FINAL WORLD EVENTS IN PROPHECY FORESHADOWED 2014

RECENT GENERAL REPORTS

LINK TO 2013

LINK TO 2012

LINK TO 2011

LINK TO 2010

LINK TO 2009

LINK TO 2008 AND EARLIER

Home Page
Home Page

That prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man; that it is included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Tim. 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deut. 29:29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word of God as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Ps. 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Rev. 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands. (1914 Yearbook, p. 293)

THE SURE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY:

"A Message Whose Time Has Come"

Windows Media

Windows Media 54kbps

Windows Media 11kbps

ESCHATOLOGICAL PROPHECIES

SPECIAL UPDATING REPORTS

CONTINUING COVERAGE OF A MENACING CRISIS AND A VERY SIGNIFICANT PROPHETIC SIGN:

FINANCIAL CRISIS

(Cf. DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY - A Sign of the last remnant of time)

Keeping an eye on the European Union:

European Union

CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE GEOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL SIGNS WHICH MULTIPLY - “the sea and the waves roaring” Luke 21:25; “Calamities, earthquakes, floods, disasters by land and by sea, will increase. . . ." - (R&H, December 11, 1900):

Natural disasters and extreme weather

Global Disaster Watch

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System


SPECIAL REPORTS

SUBSIDIARITY: THE PRINCIPLE AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION

THE EUROPEAN UNION

A Major Path For Rome Among Many Converging through Jerusalem to Global Domination By Satan in Person - the Ultimate Antichrist

NATURAL LAW

(The Roman Catholic Social Doctrine - Ascendancy of the Roman Catholic dogma in the body politic of the United States.)


The insight of A. T. Jones that needs to be kept in mind as Roman Catholic legislation proliferates throughout America - "The papacy is very impatient of any restraining bonds"  more . . .

Ellen G. White: "When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." (GC 445.1)

"When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." (5T 451.)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. (Review and Herald, February 18, 1890; TM 119)

Spirit of Prophecy Policy on Family Planning  (For full context cf. Adventists and Birth Control; Adventists and Birth Control (Concluded)

A quotation to be kept in mind and applied to current events:

"What the Jesuit Order is for the left wing of the Roman Catholic Church, Opus Dei is for its right wing. (Hegelian politics at its finest, for the Roman Catholic Church cannot lose if it has strong ties with both ends of the political spectrum!)" (From Opus Dei in the USA)

RECENT GENERAL REPORTS

Certain of the popular positions mentioned approvingly in some hyperlinked reports, essays, and blogs on this web page will of necessity cause reactions of strong disagreement, or at the very least discomfort, on the part of many readers. Regrettably, these positions cannot be separated from the core issues in the reports which prove the fulfillment of major end-times prophecies, and may of themselves be fulfillment of the prophecy of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

LINK TO 2013

Another Bush wants to be president, and he is the most dangerous of all. Militant Roman Catholic politician Rick Santorum described George W. Bush as "the first Roman Catholic President;" but as a Methodist, he was essentially a "fellow traveler." Jeb Bush is a deeply committed member of the church of Rome (Cf. That all-but-missing detail about Jeb Bush’s life.) Fanatical Roman Catholics have a dream social organization for America. Ave Maria, Florida, is the model, and it exists thanks to a law passed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush:-

Getting Medieval: In Florida, A Catholic Mogul Seeks To Base An Entire Town On His Personal Theology

The small town of Ave Maria, Fla., is home to Ave Maria University, a strictly Catholic institution – and critics say, an undemocratic form of government dominated by one man’s interpretation of religious doctrine.

The community of about 2,500 souls is a project of eccentric millionaire and Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, who reportedly planned the town as an ultra- conservative Catholic enclave in an isolated stretch of Florida countryside.

Now, outsiders are raising concerns about the constitutionality of Monaghan’s dream town, which is centred around a large Catholic church. . .

If it seems a bit unusual that one man possesses so much control over the government of a town, that’s because it is. Thanks to a law passed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Monaghan co-owns the town along with the Barron-Collier development company – and they can retain that control for perpetuity. Ave Maria holds no elections. Every member of its governing board has been handpicked by Monaghan and Barron-Collier.

And that, along with Monaghan’s decision to restrict contraception access and make moral decisions for the people living under his rule, raises serious issues.

Hail Mary

Essentially, Monaghan plans to draw a line in the sand against a trend he deems evil. Even as the rapidly growing church lists right worldwide and a few rock-ribbed Catholic orders—most notably Opus Dei—are surging, American Catholics are becoming ever more progressive. . . .

Monaghan's campaign may be a first in Catholic history. For centuries, the church's schools have always been headed up by a religious order—the Benedictines, for instance, or the Jesuits. Monaghan, though, is stealing a page from Protestant evangelicals such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and invoking a decidedly corporate structure. "I'm a businessman," he's pronounced. "I get to the bottom line.... And the bottom line is to help people get to heaven."

To conservatives, Monaghan is a deep-pocketed savior. Florida governor Jeb Bush, a converted Catholic, made Ave Maria Town a special tax district like Disney World, giving the self-appointed Board of Supervisors (run by Monaghan's development partner) wideonging powers and exempting the town from state and local laws. John DiIulio Jr., once George W. Bush's director of faith-based initiatives, is on the university's board of regents, and Pope Benedict XVI—who has bemoaned the "dictatorship of relativism"—sees great hope in Monaghan's school. A former student of the pope, Reverend Joseph Fessio, is the provost there, and when Fessio visited Rome recently, he reported that the pope asked, "How's Ave Maria?"

Separating Church and State Still an Issue in the US

It bills itself as "southwest Florida's newest hometown . . . A town where children can ride their bikes to school, walk to the candy store and scoot their way to the ice cream shop. Where neighbors are friends and life is good. Where everyone enjoys life as it is meant to be lived."

Yes, it sounds like Mayberry, USA, but this is not the description of a made-for-TV utopia. Indeed, it's a very real place created by Domino's Pizza founder and former Detroit Tigers' owner Tom Monaghan, in partnership with the Florida-based Barron Collier companies.

Indeed, Ave Maria, Florida, was founded as an unincorporated "stewardship community district" in 2005. Florida's then-governor Jeb Bush attended Ave Maria's groundbreaking and dubbed it "a new kind of town where like-minded people live in harmony between faith and freedom."

Faith? Freedom? For Monaghan, the two are inseparable, and he has trumpeted his intention of creating a city "according to strict Roman Catholic principles." As he sees it, this means that stores will be unable to sell pornography, pharmacies will be barred from selling condoms or other forms of birth control, and cable TV will not be allowed to carry X-rated channels.

Small wonder that civil libertarians, secular humanists and those who believe in religious pluralism have a host of questions about church-state separation in Ave Maria.

Their fears ramped up after an article in Catholicstand.com hailed the town's religious foundation. "This small town used to be 1,000 acres of tomato plant and has been transformed into a college town with modern amenities and a very distinct religious lifestyle . . . Catholic culture is apparent everywhere, in street names such as Assisi, Avila and Cana . . . The entire town was built around and revolves around the center: The Oratory."

Another indicator of Jeb Bush's commitment to Roman Catholic ideology is the Terry Schiavo case:

Both of the brothers Bush, George W. and Jeb, were deeply involved in the blatant government intervention into the case, the one at the federal level, and the other at the level of the State of Florida (Jeb's hands were already unclean from his role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election.) The intervention was a violation of the US Constitution's separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The attempt to impose religious right-wing ideology inspired by the Roman Catholic Church was also an assault on the separation of Church and State guaranteed by the Constitution. Here the Image to the Beast was plainly visible, had been since 2001, and was beginning to speak -

Terri's Law

I was stunned when the Florida legislature and Governor Jeb Bush, for religious reasons, intervened in a case that belonged in the courts. At that point I began to track events surrounding Terri Sciavo. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the U.S. Congress and President would get involved. The silver-lining in Terri Schiavo's sad death is that it illustrates the basic thesis of this web site: the theocratic right has taken working control of the Republican Party and is using it as a base from which to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of the country.

Jeb Bush, Still Playing Politics Over the Dead Body of Terri Schiavo

On June 15, Pinellas County Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin released his long-awaited, thirty-nine page autopsy report on Terri - a report that included extensive evidence from neuropathologists who had examined her brain and spinal cord. . .

In particular, the report showed that, as over a decade of court wrangling had already proved, Terri had been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). Indeed, the report also found that her brain had atrophied to half normal size, and that she was blind, the visual areas of her brain having been destroyed.

Nevertheless, the autopsy left an opening for politics to once again insert itself into the case - prompting Gov. Bush to instruct the state's Attorney General to investigate Michael Schiavo.

As I will explain, there is no good reason to investigate. Rather, this investigation is simply a continuation of the politics that have always surrounded the Schiavo case, as I argued in an earlier column for this site.

Terri Schiavo's case doesn't end with her passing

Over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case six times, most recently Wednesday. Hundreds of protesters camped outside the hospice here where she was a patient. (Related video: Years in the courts)

By the time she died at 9:05 a.m. ET, the case was an international story. The van transporting her body to the Pinellas County medical examiner's office was shown live on TV. An autopsy will be performed.

Even the Vatican got involved. Shortly after her death, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican's office for sainthood, called the removal of the feeding tube "an attack against God." (Related story: Reaction at the Vatican)

President Bush said Thursday, "The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak." His brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who pushed hard to intervene, said, "Her experience will heighten awareness of the importance of families dealing with end-of-life issues, and this is an incredible legacy."

Vatican addresses Terri Schiavo case, end-of-life issues

The Vatican was also asked by the U.S. bishops about another situation which is reminiscent of the Terri Schiavo case. The prelates asked, “When nutrition and hydration are being supplied by artificial means to a patient in a 'permanent vegetative state,' may they be discontinued when competent physicians judge with moral certainty that the patient will never recover consciousness?”

The response from the Vatican maintained clear and consistent respect for life at all its stages. The CDF responded, “No. A patient in a 'permanent vegetative state' is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means."

Echoing a key distinction that Pope John Paul II made in a 2004 speech, Levada said, “[T]he provision of water and food, even by artificial means, always represents a 'natural means' for preserving life, and is not a 'therapeutic treatment.' The late Holy Father’s teaching was in direct opposition to those argued that food and water can be considered extraordinary means to prolong a patient’s life.

The "respect for life at all stages" of course embraces the fetus in a woman's womb. As pointed out repeatedly in the past, the "pro-life" movement is a vehicle for Roman Catholic dogma and ideology. The Image to the Beast began to speak clearly during the George W. Bush years, and although the speech may now seem to be muted, the laws expressing that speech continue to be passed on both the federal and state levels in the United States; particularly at the state level.

The small corporate body of Ave Maria, Florida, is a dream social organization of fanatical Roman Catholics. Now consider the constitution of the Republic of Ireland. That constitution is essentially a Roman Catholic document. Inevitably, as with Rome's Social Doctrine in general, and the claims made for the universality of the Magisterium or Teaching Authority of the Church, there are government intrusions into the individual citizen's freedom of choice. The constitution was drafted by the government of Ireland in close collaboration with a prominent priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Ultimately the Pope had to approve:

Church and Constitution

The Irish Constitution or Bunreacht na hÉireann was enacted by the people on 1st July 1937. From early 1937, the then head of government, Éamon de Valera was bombarded with letters almost daily from Fr John McQuaid C.S.Sp. They contained suggestions, viewpoints, documents and learned references on nearly every aspect of what was to become Bunreacht na hÉireann/the Constitution of Ireland. McQuaid was the persistent adviser, 'one of the great architects of the Constitution, albeit in the shadows.' (quoted in John Charles McQuaid: Ruler of Catholic Ireland, Chapter 8: Co-maker of the Constitution)

McQuaid's central, possibly pivotal, role in the writing of the Constitution was somewhat frustrated by de Valera's refusal to enshrine the absolute claims of the Catholic Church as the Church of Christ. . .

De Valera and the Church’s special position

PRESIDENT Éamon de Valera signed into law the constitutional amendment abolishing article 44’s recognition of “the special position” of the Catholic Church on Jan 5, 1973. Ironically, the clause dealing with religion had caused de Valera the greatest anxiety in drafting the Constitution in 1937.

He had sought “to produce a constitution which would not require any fundamental change when the unity of Ireland was accomplished”. Subject to “public order and morality”, the proposed constitution guaranteed “fundamental rights”, like freedoms of speech, conscience, association, and assembly, as well as habeas corpus, and the inviolability of one’s home. All citizens were equal before the law, and there was protection against religious discrimination.

Nevertheless, the Constitution accorded closely with Catholic thinking. “The Most Holy Trinity” was described as the source of all authority in the Preamble. The document was drafted with the help of the President of Blackrock College, Dr John Charles McQuaid, who was shortly to become Archbishop of Dublin. De Valera showed early proofs of the document to some colleagues, who raised strong objections to the religious clause. “The State acknowledges that the true religion is that established by Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ Himself, which he committed to his Church to protect and propagate, as the guardian and interpreter of true morality,” the article read. “It acknowledges, moreover, that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.” . . .

Joseph Cardinal MacRory, the Irish Primate, opposed the new wording. Both he and de Valera appealed to the Pope.

“The Holy Father at first agreed with me,” MacRory wrote. But de Valera sent Joseph Walshe, secretary at the Department of External Affairs, to the Vatican to explain the difficulties that such a triumphal recognition would cause, in view of the sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland. Walshe persuaded the Vatican not to oppose the new wording.

Explainer: What is the 8th Amendment?

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1983 was effected after a referendum which asked Irish people to vote on the State’s abortion laws.

In order to make a change to the constitution, a referendum has to be held. This was done on 7 September 1983.

The wording of the amendment is:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. . .

The Amendment acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, equating it with the mother’s right to life.

A case decided by the Irish Court is illustrative of the harsh impact of Roman Catholic ideology, and its invasiveness:

A brain-dead Irish woman’s body is being used as an incubator. Be angry

In Ireland, a woman who is clinically dead but 17 weeks pregnant is being kept alive against her family’s will. At this painful time, her relatives must go to court to stop the Irish state treating their loved one’s body as a cadaveric incubator.

Do those facts emotionally affect you? Then please calm down. What we need here is balance. Indeed, the Irish media considers it a moral virtue to trot out pro-life arguments alongside the facts of each and every new horror story that arises from Ireland’s abortion laws. There are two sides to this debate, after all. And Taoiseach Enda Kenny has cautioned us against “knee-jerk” reactions to sensitive cases such as this. What is the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction? Is it a tropism towards the light so slow that we wither and die in the dark? Because I think that might be a more fitting analogy here.

In 1983, due largely to pressure from Catholic lobby groups, Ireland became, as Fintan O’Toole puts it, the only country in the democratic world to have a constitutional ban on abortion. The eighth amendment holds that the right to life of a pregnant woman cannot be privileged over that of a foetus. . .

An Irish prelate has made a surprisingly enlightened statement about this case -

Catholic Archbishop: A Woman Is Not “Simply An Incubator” For Childbirth

Enter an unlikely advocate for the family’s right to take the woman off life support: the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. In his appearance on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, the Archbishop made a startling revelation that seems to stray away from traditional Catholic teachings regarding life:

“From the point of view of Catholic teaching in general medical ethics, there is no obligation to use extraordinary means to maintain a life. That applies both to the woman and to the child. A woman isn’t simply an incubator, the relation between a woman and a child is a relationship and it is very clear that one has to examine at what stage is this fetus, what are the possibilities, is it right to use extraordinary means to prolong that life if it is not going to move.”

It only took 20 centuries to figure this out. Better late than never. Martin continued, saying:

“It should be within the area of the medical profession, but there seems to be a polarisation and a fear that if things go wrong then there will be a difficulty legally or with insurance and so on. It’s a pity that these have to come to the courts. We should have a more robust, open and less conflictual situation.”

It seems Pope Francis’ commonsense tone is resonating across the Catholic landscape.

The influence of Pope Francis is certainly sweeping through the Roman Catholic Church. Does this kinder, gentler tone indicate a real reformation of a true Christian Church? Not at all! It is the more dangerous for masking the true nature of the Beast while gathering more followers  from the world at large (Rev. 13:3.)

Of necessity there will be much about the prophetic significance of the "Pro-life" movement in the United States (the second beast of Revelation 13,) in the 2015 edition of Final World Events in Prophecy Foreshadowed.

Pope Francis' role as peacemaker ranges far and wide, and is an integral part of the unfolding prophetic events of the last days before the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:3, 8):-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis, Peacemaker

Francis's active role in brokering the U.S.-Cuba detente wasn’t his only foray into peacemaking this year. When he visited South Korea in August, the Vatican convinced Chinese officials to allow the papal plane to fly over Chinese airspace, a first. While over China, the pope sent a goodwill message to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people. The ultimate goal: Restoring Vatican ties to China, where Catholics have long been forced to worship underground or in churches run by the government.

In April, after a visit to the Middle East, Francis invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican for a prayer session. Both accepted, and while no breakthrough resulted (and none was expected), the gesture reflected Francis’ willingness to become personally involved in peacemaking efforts. It was the first time the Vatican had ever hosted such a gathering with Mideast leaders.

The chief purpose of Francis’ Middle East trip was a meeting with the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church marking the 50th anniversary of a meeting that ended hostilities between the two churches, which split in 1054. Relations have steadily improved in recent decades, and Francis has said he wants to restore the churches into communion with each other, a message he repeated last month while attending an Orthodox service with Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul. If he succeeds, it would be a monumental achievement for Christian unity.

Other popes have cautiously waded into these conflicts. Francis has been diving in. And that is especially true of his approach to healing the divisions within the Catholic Church itself.

In October, when Francis convened a major conference on family life, he thrust into the center of it questions about how the church can build stronger bonds with those who have felt abandoned, including gays and lesbians and remarried couples. He warned the bishops against “hostile rigidity” in their thinking and all but invited them to challenge the church’s status quo, evoking the same spirit that inspired so many changes at the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis helped broker the restoration of US-Cuban relations

The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, as well as a prisoner exchange that secured the release of American Alan Gross, was brokered, in part, by the Holy See.

A high-ranking Vatican official confirmed today that the Obama administration and the Vatican have been working together for more than a year to end decades of hostility and restore relations between the US and the Caribbean nation.

After 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, the pontiff hosted the final meeting at the Vatican in October between US and Cuban officials, according to the Vatican. The final agreement was reached during a telephone call between Obama and Castro Tuesday.

In purely geo-political terms one can find no fault with the restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, given the existence of US diplomatic representation in Russia, China, Viet Nam, and other world antagonists. However, the deep involvement of the papacy in US foreign policy is of profound significance to the predicted ascendancy of Rome just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There is no way of knowing how much we do not know.

Events on the move in Palestine - presssure on Israel being increased? The Palestinian move and Prime Minister Netanyahu's trip to Rome to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry, together with the involvement of the European Union, bear watching. The Vatican is not mentioned, but the venue of the meeting and EU involvement must be significant:-

Ramallah to push UN bid Wednesday, will maintain security ties -

The Palestinians are to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that would set a two-year deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, an official said. . .

Following the death of senior Fatah official Ziad Abu Ein last Wednesday after clashing with Israel Defense Forces soldiers, former Preventive Security Force head Jibril Rajoub said the PA had no choice but to respond, given that Israel had “crossed a red line.”

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the statehood bid ahead of Monday’s meeting in Rome between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry arrived in Italy Sunday amid a European-led drive to push moves towards Palestinian statehood, with US officials saying he sought to learn more about the European position.

After Netanyahu called snap elections for March, some Europeans have pointed to a narrow window of opportunity to push a Palestinian resolution at the Security Council.

In the past, the United States has consistently used its UN veto power to block moves it sees as anti-Israel, but US officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have the backing of many nations.

Misguided and delusional enthusiasm - "I believe it shook the gates of hell." Rather, the spirits of Rev. 16:14 rejoice as they advance the goal of uniting the world for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty." The Holy Spirit is not in this:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Gates of Hell Shake as Prophetic Pope Seeks the Blessing of a Humble Patriarch -

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew embraced one another as brothers, and friends. Then, the successor of Peter bowed his head and sought a blessing from his brother in the Lord, Patriarch Bartholomew. Like much of what Francis does, the request for a blessing from Patriarch Bartholomew was prophetic. It also reflected the humility of this servant of the servants of God. However, I suggest it may be much more. It may point toward a tectonic plate shift in the history of Christianity. . .

The language regularly used by both Bartholomew and Francis reflects the kind of language which can help to build a framework for full communion. It is laced with humility, informed by mutual respect and fueled by the hope of legitimate diversity within full communion.

The revision of ecclesial governance which is being encouraged by Francis reflects a movement toward a synodal approach within the Catholic Church. This points toward real possibilities of ecclesial structures which could promote this goal. It is something the Orthodox Church is watching quite closely.

There is a phrase which was used by Saint John Paul and Pope Emeritus Benedict when referring to the full communion of Eastern and Western Christianity. They spoke of the two lungs of the Church breathing together again.

Francis also uses the phrase. . .

I pray that this prophetic action of Pope Francis - humbly seeking the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew - hastens the healing of the divisions which separate the Church of Jesus Christ.

I believe it shook the gates of hell.

May it now release the power of the Holy Spirit and unleash a new missionary age of the Church.

"Divine Liturgy" indeed! Consider the travesty of Truth - those being led by the Holy Spirit to oppose the confederacy are to be identified with the gates of hell as the dragon makes war against "the remnant of her seed."

Pope Francis continues his determined quest for unity, the desired culmination of the ecumenical movement in Christendom and between different religions, not least of all Judaism and Islam. It is impossible for an observer to gauge progress from the outside; but it is certain that the mission will be accomplished under the direction of supernatural powers, and according to the sure Word of Prophecy:-

Pope Francis to visit Turkey in most challenging mission of papacy so far -

Pope Francis embarks on one of the most delicate missions of his 18-month-old papacy on Friday, when he is expected to wrestle with the problems of Christian persecution in the Muslim world and tackle relations with Islam in a time of spreading jihadism during his visit to Turkey.

As if that were not enough, he is also expected to deal with the millenium-old schism between Catholicism and Orthodoxy that centred on the city that is now Istanbul. . . .

Francis will be the fourth reigning pope to visit Turkey, and his comes at an intensely sensitive moment for the dwindling Christian communities of the Middle East. Many of the Iraqi and Syrian Christians who have fled their homes to escape the spread of Islamic State (Isis)are currently living as refugees in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Francis appeared to reach out for dialogue with Isis. “I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It’s difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open,” he said.

From the Vatican’s standpoint, another important aspect of the visit will be the opportunity to consolidate the papacy’s good relations with the ecumenical patriarch, Bartholomew I, the pre- eminent spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians. Francis’s stay in Turkey will coincide with the feast of St Andrew, whose significance for the Orthodox church is similar to that of St Peter for Catholics. . . .

Pope Francis in Turkey to boost faith ties -

Pope Francis is in Turkey on a three-day trip aimed at promoting religious dialogue, only the fourth visit by a pope to the Muslim-majority nation.

In a speech in Ankara he said such a dialogue could "deepen the understanding and appreciation of the many things which we hold in common".

He also spoke about the Middle East, saying that "for too long [it has] been a theatre of fratricidal wars".

The Pope was speaking alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. . . .

Pope Francis begins Turkey visit

Pope Francis has begun his first visit to Turkey in a trip aimed at building bridges with Islam and supporting the Christian minorities of the Middle East.

On Friday, Francis spent the first of three days in Turkey in the capital Ankara, holding a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his newly constructed presidential palace.

In an address following the meeting, Francis condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) assault on Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, adding that military force was justified to stop ISIL advance.

Pope condemns 'barbaric violence' of Islamic State

After meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan the pope said it was lawful to stop an unjust aggressor but urged a concerted commitment to devote resources "not to weaponry, but to the other noble battles worthy of man -- the fight against hunger and sickness".

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics called for inter-religious dialogue to end of all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism, and stressed the importance of freedom of religion and of expression.

"It is essential that all citizens - Muslim, Jewish and Christian - both in the provision and practice of the law, enjoy the same rights and respect the same duties," he said. . . .

Clearly the Vatican is agitated about the escalating violence in Jerusalem:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

At interfaith conference, Vatican official blasts 'barbarism' of killings at Jerusalem synagogue -

Speaking to a conference on inter-religious dialogue just after the news of a terrorist bombing at a synagogue in Jerusalem, the Vatican’s representative said that “no cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarism.”

Note the setting - an interfaith conference. The Papacy is intent on a coming together, the work of the spirits of Rev. 16:14. Pope Francis, who is intensely involved in the ecumenical Charismatic Renewal movement, has been frenetically cementing his ties to its leaders as well as his fraternal relations with leaders of other religions. He has just reiterated that "Christian unity" is a priority for Catholics; not surprising since Christian unity is a prerequisite for unity with the other religions involved in the Jerusalem crisis:

Pope Francis: Christian unity remains a priority for Catholics -

Pope Francis thanks all those who, over the past half century, have pioneered this process of reconciliation and he mentions the important role that ecumenical translations of the Bible have played in developing closer cooperation among Christians.

The Pope has also expressed his anguish over the violent conflict in Jerusalem:

Pope Francis calls for peace after series of Jerusalem attacks -

In remarks at the General Audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said, “I am following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even the places of worship. I assure a special prayer for all the victims of this dramatic situation and for those who suffer most as a result. From the bottom of my heart, I make an appeal to the parties involved to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence and to make courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!

Recently, a representative of the European Union said, "There is an element of desperation in the area." It is reasonable to conclude that the sense of urgency is inspired by the power behind the papal throne (the dragon) and his angels (Rev. 12:7-9; 13:2.) He knows from Jesus' prophecy of Luke 21:24 that the time remaining is limited. While the devils work assiduously to plant doubt and unbelief in the minds of humans, they themselves "believe, and tremble" (James 2:19.)

The EU increases pressure on Israel:-

EU to Israel: If you want to get along with us, make peace -

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council said that “the EU and its member states remain committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products.”

It added that “the EU closely monitors the situation and its broader implications and remains ready to take further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution.”

It issued a three-page statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of a renewed effort by the EU to be involved in any US-led revival of the peace talks, which have remained frozen since April.

After the meeting, the EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that the EU supports the initiative US Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing to relaunch the peace process.

As part of that effort, Kerry spoke with PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday evening.

The EU was looking at a regional framework that involved the US, EU and UN Security Council, and that would also include Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Mogherini said.

We decided that we cannot just wait and see. We are running out of time. There is an element of desperation in the area,” Mogherini told reporters.

Cf. Inflexible harshness of the right-wing Israeli government.

Israeli Chief Rabbi seeks help from Pope Francis to quell violence and terrorism in Jerusalem; but asserts Israel's right to sovereignty over the City, which is a primary obstacle to peace. How will Pope Francis respond?:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Chief Rabbi calls on Pope Francis to condemn violence and terrorism over Jerusalem -

Yosef met with Apostolic Nunico Lazzarotto at the offices of the Chief Rabbinate in the capital and said that religious leaders should use their influence to impart to the adherents of their faiths the central concept of the sanctity of life and the requirement to refrain from shedding the blood of others.

“Jerusalem was given by God to the Jewish people thousands of years ago and we do not need to need to concede our sovereignty over it, but at the same time the Bible says ‘My house will be a house of prayer for all peoples,’” Yosef told Lazzarotto.

“Therefore we must allow people from all faiths to pray there if they so wish, while our utmost desire is to prevent bloodshed and to reduce the tensions, [because] the purpose of faith is to bring good and peace to all, and not the opposite, God forbid,” the chief rabbi continued.

The common ground between the Chief Rabbi and the Pope appears to be allowing "people from all faiths to pray there" [at the Temple Mount?] Certainly the ecumenical "peace process" continues on its own track.

Our Lord's admonition to watch embraces recognizing the obstacles to the fulfillment of end-time prophecies as well as the indications of progress towards completed fulfillment. Concerning Dan. 11:45, a state of upheaval has erupted in Palestine since Pope Francis' visit in May. There are demonstrations and physical conflicts in Jerusalem, triggered in part by that very visit. Nevertheless, it would be a fatal mistake to conclude that the divisive issue of Jerusalem will never be resolved, or that it cannot be resolved within one generation of the fulfillment of Jesus' own prophecy:-

Hundreds clash with IDF forces in 'Day of Rage' -

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on Palestinians to take to the streets of Jerusalem and the West Bank to demonstrate against Israel's policies at the Aksa Mosque.

Jerusalem holy site closure 'declaration of war' - Abbas -

A spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has described the closure of a disputed Jerusalem holy site as a "declaration of war."

The move came amid tension and violence after the shooting of a Jewish activist. Israel's PM urged calm, saying Mr. Abbas was stoking unrest.

The holy site will reopen on Friday, Israel's economy minister says.

Yehuda Glick, a campaigner for greater Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount/al-Haram al- Sharif, was wounded.

Israel Pledges to Restore Security at Religious Site -

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sought to reassure King Abdullah II of Jordan in a phone call on Thursday that Israel was committed to maintaining the status quo at a contested holy site in East Jerusalem, and that Israel would make every effort to restore calm there after weeks of escalating tensions, according to statements from both sides.

The phone call came a day after Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel, saying the move was for consultations and to protest Israeli “violations” at the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Some nationalist Israelis have been challenging a decades-old ban on Jewish prayer at the site, revered by Jews as the place where ancient temples once stood, and by Muslims as the site of Al Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. Jordan is the official custodian of the compound; Israel is in charge of security. . . .

What is new is that the demolitions are taking place at a time of acute tension, especially the increasingly violent contest over the city’s holy places. On the morning after the evictions, fresh riots erupted in the Old City, with televised exchanges of rocks and firecrackers (from Palestinians) and stun-grenades (from the Israel riot police) in the doorway of the al-Aqsa mosque; there are conflicting accounts of how far the police went in. . . .

This is purely speculative, but it may be that in the inflexible harshness of the right-wing Israeli government lie the seeds of its undoing and the ultimate achievement of the papacy's goal.

Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel -

The vote, by a count of 310 to 303, was watched closely in Washington and Jerusalem and by Palestinians as a sign of momentum for a movement to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to end the occupation, with a campaign known as B.D.S., for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

‘European nations threaten to recognize Palestinian state’ -

Several European nations told US officials that they are seriously considering unilaterally recognizing Palestine as a state, as Sweden did last month, if peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians do not resume.

according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, these countries include some of the US’s closest allies. The report did not specify which, however.

“We’re not going to wait forever,” a senior European official said, according to the report. “Other European countries are poised to follow Sweden.” . . .

European unilateral recognition of Palestinian state irresponsible, Netanyahu tells EU's Mogherini -

Mogherini, however, was not swayed by his words.

”The settlements are an obstacle to the two-states solution, are illegal, and so the European Union is considering this as its position.

No way we can be misinterpreted on that,” Mogherini said after speaking in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Saturday. She also met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Roman Catholic identity of the EU should be carefully noted.

One of the perplexing anomalies apparent as the fulfilling events of the prophecies of Rev. 13:11-17 and Dan. 11:45 unfold is the alliance between the Religious Right in America and the Israeli right-wing government:

For Evangelicals, Supporting Israel Is ‘God’s Foreign Policy’ -

At a dinner addressed by the Israeli ambassador, a handful of Republican senators and the chairman of the Republican Party, Mr. Hagee read greetings from President Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and dispatched the crowd with a message for their representatives in Congress. Tell them “to let Israel do their job” of destroying the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, Mr. Hagee said.

He called the conflict “a battle between good and evil” and said support for Israel was “God’s foreign policy.”

The next day he took the same message to the White House.

Evangelicals and Israel -

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington this past January, his initial meeting was not with President Clinton but with Jerry Falwell and more than 1,000 fundamentalist Christians. The crowd saluted the prime minister as "the Ronald Reagan of Israel," and Falwell pledged to contact more than 200,000 evangelical pastors, asking them to "tell President Clinton to refrain from putting pressure on Israel" to comply with the Oslo accords.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Falwell illustrates a remarkable political and theological convergence. The link between Israelis Likud government and the U.S. Religious Right was established by Natanyahu's [sic] mentor, Menachem Begin, during the Carter and Reagan administrations. However, the roots of evangelical support for Israel lie in the long tradition of Christian thinking about the millennium. . . .

The anomaly exists in the fact that the Israeli Likud policies on Jerusalem and a Palestinian State are in direct conflict with the objective of the Vatican as prophesied in Dan. 11:45 and evidenced by history. The Evangelical Religious Right appear on the surface to be dominant in the emerging American Theocracy; but from the very inception of the Religious Right movement they have been the puppets of the Roman Catholic Church. So what will Rome do about Republican support for the right-wing government of Israel? We can only wait and watch as the process of change takes place in the United States, Europe, and Israel:

Israel Losing Support from Its Biggest Ally: American Evangelical Christians -

Evangelical leaders on both sides of the divide on Israel agree that members of the millennial generation do not share their parents’ passion for the Jewish state; many are seeking some form of evenhandedness when approaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“What is happening is that the hard line of Christian Zionists was not successfully passed forward to the next generation, because it was based on theological themes that are now being questioned by younger evangelicals,” said David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Atlanta.

The grip of Christian Zionists over young evangelicals has been loosening for several years, according to observers within the community. But in recent weeks, the leading evangelical pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel, has set off alarm bells in articles and interviews decrying the inroads made by pro-Palestinian activists into the evangelical community. CUFI’s leaders are calling for a new strategy to block them.

In the words of the hymn by A. Cleveland Cox, "We are living, we are dwelling, in a grand and awful time . . ." Watching the march of events is as fascinating as it is a solemn duty.

The Papacy sees itself as having the right to exercise authority over all aspects of life on planet earth (and beyond, judging by the intrusion of its dogmas even into the heaven of heavens.) World political leaders have been looking to the Vatican to settle the difficult politics of climate change; and they are now joined by world science leaders desperate over the geopolitical impasse:-

From [I]@yahoo.com:

An Appeal from Science Leaders to Religious Leaders on Environmental Protection -

In an essay to be released Sept. 19 in the journal Science, Partha Dasgupta, an economist at St John's College, Cambridge University, and Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a climate and atmospheric scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, argue that safeguarding the well-being of all individuals, stabilizing climate change, and providing universal access to energy are “central to disrupting destructive feedbacks.” . . .

The essay, “Pursuit of the Common Good” appears just days before Ramanathan addresses a United Nations summit on climate change in New York. He will speak at the summit on Sept. 23, touching in part on the transformational role religions can play in mobilizing public support. Accompanying Dasgupta and Ramanathan’s essay is an editorial from Science Editor-in-chief and Scripps alumna Marcia McNutt in which she lauds Pope Francis’ call for active environmental stewardship from all members of society. . . .

The essay follows a first-of-its kind workshop co-convened by Ramanathan and Dasgupta of two Vatican academies that provide information to pontiffs on a range of societal and science matters. The workshop, “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility,” brought together the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences from May 2 to May 6. Since then, Pope Francis has made several calls for the need to protect creation, including a joint statement with Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I released on May 25 which interwove affirmations of the need to respect nature and human dignity. It is anticipated that environmental stewardship will be the subject of a future papal encyclical.

"That the intellectual and institutional structures we rely on are bad news for our descendants should not be controversial, but most people think it is someone else's problem,” said Dasgupta. “I guess it's a sense of defeat that led Ram and I to seek help from the Vatican."

I believe that I can speak for all of us who attended the Vatican workshop on sustainability at how inspired we were at the courageous leadership on these issues shown by the Pope, who struck me as a remarkably humble man,” said McNutt. “At a time when the globe suffers from a leadership vacuum on sustainability issues, he is a beacon of hope."

"And all the world wondered [followed] after the beast" (Rev. 13:3b.)

Irreverent Pope Francis makes a declaration which belittles the omnipotence of "the LORD the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts," Creator of all things. The theory of evolution destroys the foundation of the seventh-day Sabbath, which is a sign of the sanctifying power of God and one of the two great issues of the Final Conflict, the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty:-

Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are right and God isn't 'a magician with a magic wand.'

"Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said."

What the devotees of higher criticism and evolution teach is diametrically opposed to the explicit Word of God:

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . .

Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6, 8-9.)

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3)

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:12-13, 16-17.) (Cf. The Israel of God; audio Our Christian Heritage)

The fanciful theories of Higher Criticism and Evolution will not prevail against the TRUTH of God:

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:4.)

Bible texts which should serve as a warning to the irreverent:

Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. . . . And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:3. 19-22.)

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. . . .

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:6, 11-16.)

The God of Infinite Love is also THE God of awesome majesty, glory, and power. In the words of a grand old hymn, "With reverence let the saints appear":

From "The Psalms of David," by Isaac Watts -

Psalm 89:3. 7 &c. Second Part.

The power and majesty of God;

or, Reverential worship.

With reverence let the saints appear,

And bow before the Lord;

His high commands with reverence hear,

And tremble at His Word.

How terrible Thy glories be!

How bright Thine armies shine!

Where is the power that vies with Thee,

Or truth compared to Thine?

+++ 

More evidence out of the mouth of Republican and Roman Catholic Chris Christie (See last entry):-

Chris Christie’s Latest Terrible Idea: Let GOP Governors Control Voting for 2016

These 2014 races are consequential for 2016, Christie told the Chamber group.

“The fact is it doesn’t matter if you don’t really care what happens in these states,” he said, “you’re going to care about who is running the state in November of 2016, what kind of political apparatus they’ve set up and what kind of governmental apparatus they’ve set up to ensure a full and fair election in 2016.”

“All of those things are incredibly important,” Christie concluded.

No one can argue with him on that point.

Battles over Republican proposals to alter the “voting mechanism” have rocked states across the country over the past several years. Hundreds of proposals that civil rights, voting rights and good government groups say could make it harder to vote have been advanced since the 2010 “Republican wave” election, and dozens have been implemented. Media reports tend to focus on Voter ID laws, and the legal wrangling over those initiatives extended deep into the 2014 election season—just as it could continue deep into the 2016 election season.

But requirements that citizens obtain and present particular forms of identification in order to cast ballots are only the beginning of the long list of voting mechanisms that governors can and do have influence over.

“Nationally there has been a real significant battle over the right to vote in a lot of states across the country, and in particular many Republican-controlled jurisdictions, particularly ones where there were highly competitive races, have passed new laws that make it harder for eligible citizens to vote,” Wendy R. Weiser, the director of the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, explained to New Jersey’s Bergen County Record. “This is a fairly recent phenomenon; it really stepped up in 2011 after the 2010 election when there was a real shift in partisan control across the country, and it has continued.”

The laws take many forms, but, explained Weiser, “one thing that they appear to all have in common is that they do all fall more harshly on minority voters, low-income voters, seniors and young voters.”

Consider Wisconsin, a state Christie referenced. Since his election in 2010, Republican Governor Walker has advocated for, signed and defended laws—passed by a Republican legislature which responds to his “jump” command by shouting in unison “how high?”—that include:

Voter ID provisions so strict that a federal judge determined that they violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution—and that the US Supreme Court has now put on hold.

* A radical gerrymandering of congressional and legislative district lines that has also been challenged in the courts and that in 2012 produced a circumstance where substantially more ballots were cast for Democratic legislative candidates but Republicans remained firmly in control.

* A shift in the primary election date so that primaries were moved from September to the peak vacation month of August—when many Wisconsinites are away from home and college students are generally on break.

* Constraints on early voting that limit the number of hours available for evening and weekend voting, which in recent years have been prime times for working-class voters to cast ballots.

Walker, himself a 2016 presidential prospect, still finds himself in a very tight race this year. That may explain why the governor and his allies fought so hard to implement their voter ID agenda—with the Republican attorney general even saying after the Supreme Court blocked implementation of the law that he was still looking for ways to put restrictions in place this year. (He finally backed off two weeks before election day, but there are still fears about confusion and complexity.)"

The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.” Lord Acton

The Republic is dead; the Democracy is nearing its death throes by slow but accelerating strangulation by Roman Catholic activism. Here is another ominous Supreme Court decision:-

The Supreme Court Eviscerates the Voting Rights Act in a Texas Voter-ID Decision "The Voting Rights Act ended the blight of voting discrimination in places like Selma by eliminating the literacy tests and poll taxes that prevented so many people from voting. The Selma of yesteryear is reminiscent of the current situation in Texas, where a voter ID law blocked by the federal courts as a discriminatory poll tax on two different occasions—under two different sections of the VRA— remains on the books.

The law was first blocked in 2012 under Section 5 of the VRA. 'A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote,' wrote Judge David Tatel. 'The same is true when a law imposes an implicit fee for the privilege of casting a ballot.'

Then the Supreme Court gutted the VRA—ignoring the striking evidence of contemporary voting discrimination in places like Texas—which allowed the voter ID law to immediately go into effect. Eric Holder can no longer deny #VoterID in #Texas after today’s #SCOTUS decision,' Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tweeted minutes after the Shelby County v. Holder decision. States like Texas, with the worst history of voting abuses, no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government. Texas had lost more Section 5 lawsuits than any other state.

The law was challenged again by the Justice Department and civil rights groups. After a lengthy trial, it was struck down, again, on October 9, in a searing opinion by Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who called the law 'an unconstitutional poll tax.'

Ramos found that 600,000 registered voters in Texas—4.5 percent of the electorate—lacked a government-issued ID, but the state had issued only 279 new voter IDs by the start of the trial. African-Americans were three times as likely as whites to not have a voter ID and Hispanics twice as likely. The law was passed by the Texas legislature, 'because of and not merely in spite of the voter ID law’s detrimental effects on the African-American and Hispanic electorate,' Ramos wrote.

But five days later, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit —one of the most conservative courts in the country—overruled Ramos, arguing that striking the voter ID law 'substantially disturbs the election process of the State of Texas just nine days before early voting begins.' The appeals court curiously believed that blocking the voter ID before the election would do more harm to voters than preserving a law that could disenfranchise 600,000 voters in the state.

The Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court decision on October 18. It was the first time since 1982 that the Court approved a voting law deemed intentionally discriminatory by a trial court. Justice Ginsburg dissented, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. 'The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,' Ginsburg wrote.

Full text of Justice Ginsburg's dissent.

Cf. Dust Off Those Poll Tax Laws, Dixie "The radical right-wing members of the court led by Chief Justice John Roberts eviscerated the venerable Voting Rights Act. They said the law's preemptive federal enforcement of voting rights in nine states that have long, shameful records of egregious violations unfairly singles them out - discriminates against them, so to speak.

Now those states can do whatever they want. Texas and South Carolina quickly announced they would immediately institute costly voter ID requirements previously forbidden as discriminatory under the terms of the Voting Rights Act." (Note the New York Times article hyperlinked in this Huffington Post article.)

Court Decisions on Voting Rules Sow Confusion in State Races " Just weeks before elections that will decide control of the Senate and crucial governors’ races, a cascade of court rulings about voting rules, issued by judges with an increasingly partisan edge, are sowing confusion and changing voting procedures with the potential to affect outcomes in some states.

Last week, a day before voting was scheduled to begin in Ohio, the United States Supreme Court split, 5 to 4, to uphold a cut in early voting in the state by one week; the five Republican appointees voted in favor and the four Democratic appointees against. Cases from North Carolina and Wisconsin are also before the court, with decisions expected shortly, while others are proceeding in Texas and Arkansas.

The legal fights are over laws that Republican-led state governments passed in recent years to more tightly regulate voting, in the name of preventing fraud. Critics argue that the restrictions are really efforts to discourage African-Americans, students and low-income voters, who tend to favor Democrats."

Those who are still skeptical that there is an advanced Roman Catholic takeover of the United States, should consider the following:

Paul Weyrich - "I don't want everybody to vote" - The recording speaks for itself.

But WHO was Paul Weyrich (now deceased)? Some of his partisan history is mentioned in the upload note to the video, and there is much more that identifies his first allegiance:

THEOCRATIC DICTATORSHIP -

Probably the most influential . . .

If we didn't know the Pope agrees with us . . .

The radical religious in our country . . .

Although "probably the most influential," Paul Weyrich is only one of a host of Roman Catholic activists and activist organizations that have advanced and are advancing the cause of Roman Catholic dictatorship in the United States.

Again, if there is skepticism about liberal Justice Goldburg's dissent in the Texas case, consider that of conservative Judge Richard Posner in the Wisconsin case of Frank v. Walker:

GOP voter ID law gets crushed: Why Judge Richard Posner’s new opinion is so amazing "It is a dissent, released on Friday, written by Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was the one who approved the first such Photo ID law in the country (Indiana’s) back in 2008, in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County case which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Posner’s ruling was affirmed.

If there was ever evidence that a jurist could change their mind upon review of additional subsequent evidence, this is it. If there was ever a concise and airtight case made against Photo ID laws and the threat they pose to our most basic right to vote, this is it. If there was ever a treatise revealing such laws for the blatantly partisan shell games that they are, this is it.

His dissent includes a devastating response to virtually every false and/or disingenuous rightwing argument/talking point ever put forth in support of Photo ID voting restrictions, describing them as 'a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government.' (Hyperlinks to the full text of the dissent are found all through this article.) Cf. 9 Scathing Quotes From Judge Posner's Dissent Against WI Voter ID.

Posner is, by far, the most widely cited legal scholar of the 20th century, according to The Journal of Legal Studies. His opinions are closely read by the Supreme Court, where the battle over the legality and Constitutionality of Photo ID voting laws will almost certainly wind up at some point in the not too distant future. That’s just one of the reasons why this opinion is so important."

That the voter ID laws are racist and elitist is a fact beyond question; but beyond this they are partisan laws designed to diminish votes for Democratic party candidates and tilt races in favor of Republican candidates. You can judge this* horse by its color, and it is red. The color stands for discrimination, electoral cheating by the passage of restrictive laws and (yes) outright fraud in the counting of the votes. The end result to be attained is totalitarian dominance by a Republican Party which has been taken over by the Vatican. (George W. Bush in particular opened the floodgates, as no previous President had done. Cf. ROME’S LONG OBJECTIVE ATTAINED) In other words, we are on the way to a Roman Catholic dictatorship disguised by an Evangelical Protestant facade.

Cf. The Stolen Presidential Elections "Then a five-to-four conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court in a logically tortured decision ruled that a complete recount in Florida would be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause because different counties have different ways of counting the votes. At that point Gore was behind by only a few hundred or so votes in Florida and was gaining ground with each attempt at a recount. By preventing a complete tally, the justices handed Florida’s electoral votes and the presidency to Bush, a stolen election in which the conservative activists on the Supreme Court played a key role. . . .

The 2004 presidential contest between Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry and the incumbent president George W. Bush amounted to another stolen election. Some 105 million citizens voted in 2000, but in 2004 the turnout climbed to at least 122 million. Pre-election surveys indicated that among the record 16.8 million new voters Kerry was a heavy favorite, a fact that went largely unreported by the press. In addition, there were about two million progressives who had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 who switched to Kerry in 2004. Yet the official 2004 tallies showed Bush Jr. with 62 million votes, about 11.6 million more than he got in 2000. Meanwhile Kerry showed only eight million more votes than Gore received in 2000. To have achieved his remarkable 2004 tally, Bush would needed to have kept all his 50.4 million from 2000, plus a majority of the new voters, plus a large share of the very liberal Nader defectors. Nothing in the campaign and in the opinion polls suggest such a mass crossover. The numbers simply do not add up." (N.B. On Jeb Bush's role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election that he is a Roman Catholic.)

The evidence is overwhelming.

Let us not be lulled by the apparent stalemate in Rome's Jerusalem policy (Rev. 11:45) into a sense that the end cannot be as near as we thought. There is a strong flowing tide of events fulfilling Rev. 13, a prophecy which unfolds all the way to the seven last plagues. Luke 21:24 (Cf. THE HOUR AND THE END) still governs. There is not much time left of a generation from its fulfillment.

A major sign of the rapidly approaching end of this rebellious world is the deep and enthusiastic involvement of Pope Francis in the Charismatic Renewal movement. The spirits of devils (Rev. 16:13-14, 16) are the unifying and driving force of this movement:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Is Pope Francis a Charismatic? Yes, But In the Fullest Sense of the Word "On Pentecost Sunday of this past year he spoke to a massive crowd in St Peters square. It included the leaders and representatives of what are now collectively referred to as the ecclesial movements. Pope Francis sees all of these movements as a resource for the Church in her work. That includes what is called the New Evangelization within the Church- as well as her work in the world in what I believe is clearly emerging as a new missionary age of Christianity.

He sees all of these ecclesial movements as assisting the Christian faithful to experience an encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ and open their lives to the work of the Holy Spirit. He wants to direct ALL the movements to serve the one mission of the one Church."

Pope Francis & the Charismatic Renewal: Q&A with Patti Gallagher Mansfield "You’ve been involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since it began in 1967. How has the movement changed or evolved in these five decades?

The Charismatic Renewal is not a movement like other movements in that it has no human founder. In the beginning years, the movement spread like wildfire. It now numbers an estimated 120 million Catholics in 235 countries around the world. In the United States, attendance at Charismatic Renewal events has declined over the years, but in other countries numbers are high and the movement is flourishing. In Brazil, a country I have visited more than 20 times for missions and conferences, there are 2 million Catholic charismatics.

One of the biggest changes since the early days is that the Charismatic Renewal is no longer regarded as something strange or alien, but rather seen as an accepted ecclesial movement serving the church and her mission. It is, in fact, the largest ecclesial movement.

Since becoming pope, Francis has reached out to Catholic charismatics and to Protestant evangelicals. Why are these gestures significant?

Pope Francis is the first pope who has had first-hand experience with the Charismatic Renewal. His predecessors were open and supportive to the movement, but Pope Francis was actively involved with Catholic charismatics in Argentina by celebrating Mass for them and serving as the representative of the bishops of his country to the movement. He admits that his first impressions were not very positive; he thought they were like a “Samba school.” But he changed his mind and stated, “I think that this movement does much good for the church overall.” He has also encouraged the Charismatic Renewal to give the witness of spiritual ecumenism with other Christians."

Note the year 1967 and its significance. (Cf. Jesus' Own Prophecy)

Antonin Scalia is not shy about making declarations that are quite at odds with the US Constitution which he is empowered to interpret as a Supreme Court Justice. To be sure, there are differences between him and the other right-wing Republican appointed Roman Catholic Justices; but it is certain that on the question of the constitutional legitimacy of favoring religion in the public sphere they are unanimous; and unitedly set on utterly demolishing the wall of separation between Church and State:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Permits Court To 'Favor Religion Over Non-Religion':

Defending his strict adherence to the plain text of the Constitution, Scalia knocked secular qualms over the role of religion in the public sphere as “utterly absurd,” arguing that the Constitution is only obligated to protect freedom of religion -- not freedom from it.

I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion,” the Reagan-appointed jurist told the crowd of about 400 people.

We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” the conservative Catholic justice continued. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”

Earlier this year, Scalia joined the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Town of Greece v. Galloway, which held that the New York town could continue opening legislative sessions with sectarian prayers.

Scalia has since used the case to press for the approval of public prayers in schools, legislatures and courtrooms.

Note the emphasized passages:

". . . the Constitution is only obligated to protect freedom of religion -- not freedom from it." - With Roman Catholic activists, the only freedom of religion entitled to protection is that of the Church of Rome, and the phrase "not freedom from it" is stark and pregnant with meaning.

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion, . . .”

The Roman Catholic hierarchy is utterly opposed to the secular state, which is the only one which recognizes the freedom of the individual to choose any religion or none at all. "Dissuading Americans" is really no longer a fight. The Church of Rome has done an effective job of propagandizing the American people.

“We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies, . . .” In 1954 the phrase "under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance, previously a secular statement, as the result of a campaign by the Roman Catholic activist organization, the Knights of Columbus:

The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance-

Between 1924 and 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance was worded-

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1954, during the McCarthy era and communism scare, Congress passed a bill, which was signed into law, to add the words "under God." The current Pledge reads:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

One Nation Under God-

The purpose of the program is to keep the phrase one nation “Under God” in the public eye, as well as in the Pledge of Allegiance. In 1951, a movement to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was organized. As you probably know, this movement was begun by a resolution adopted by the Knights of Columbus' national Board of Directors in April, at the height of the Korean War. The resolution called on all Knights to add the words "under God" to the Pledge, which is recited at the opening of Council and Assembly meetings. The Hearst newspaper corporation joined us in 1952, campaigning for the resolution in its papers nationwide. In 1953, Federal legislators were lobbied by leaders from the Knights of Columbus. A bill to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was introduced, in the House by Representative Louis Rabaut (a Democrat), and in the Senate by Senator Homer Ferguson (a Republican). On June 14, 1954, the words "under God" were inserted into the Pledge. The legislation was signed into law and supported by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower says: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

Cf. Pope Francis heaps praise upon the Knights of Columbus . . .

More on Scalia, the Knights of Columbus, and freedom of and from religion:

Newdow Seeks Scalia Recusal-

Newdow filed a brief, "Suggestion for Recusal of Justice Scalia," on Sept. 5, pointing out that Scalia gave a speech in January alluding to the Ninth Circuit decision as a prime example of how courts are misinterpreting the Constitution. At a Knights of Columbus rally in Fredericksburg, Va., the Catholic justice said framers didn't intend to "exclude God from the public forums and from political life."

Newdow's brief noted the "firestorm of controversy" erupting when the opinion was issued.

"The associated passions--though understandable--are the very reason we have an Establishment Clause, and, perhaps in this arena more than any other, it is essential that the judiciary present a neutral front." The brief argues that statements and activities by Scalia call his impartiality into question. . .

In other developments, the U.S. House, by a 307-119 margin, passed an amendment in July by Rep. John Hostettler, R-IN, prohibiting enforcement of the Ninth Circuit pledge decision.

That amendment was actually opposed by the Justice Department, which said such legislation could complicate the appeal.

A second amendment, adopted by a 260-161 vote, prohibited use of federal money to enforce the 11th Circuit's ruling against Judge Roy Moore. The intent was to bar the U.S. Marshals Service from enforcing either decision.

"These amendments are essentially meaningless. But these votes do show a shocking contempt by a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives--not just for the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, but for a free and independent judiciary," said Anne Gaylor, president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation."

SHADES OF BUSH V. GORE! In that 2001 case, a partisan right-wing majority on the Supreme Court intervened to halt a recount of ballots in Florida, thus handing an election victory to Republican George W. Bush. It was blatantly not based on legal authority, to the extent that the majority stipulated that the reasoning for the decision was not to be cited as a precedent in future cases. This time a similar right-wing Republican ROMAN CATHOLIC majority has moved to restrict voting rights in Ohio, which is probably a prediction of similar decisions to come for other States:

An Ominous Supreme Court Decision "Anyone who cares about the right to vote should be very concerned by yesterday’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Husted v. NAACP . The one-paragraph stay order effectively stops same day registration in Ohio, which was to start today, and reduces the early voting period. The evidence showed that these voting opportunities were heavily used by African American and poor voters, who will be disproportionately burdened by the cuts. Even more disconcerting, however, are the implications of yesterday’s decision for the future of the right to vote.

In layman’s terms, here’s what happened: Ohio got caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and the Supreme Court let them eat the cookies. The state’s Republican legislature eliminated voting opportunities used mostly by Democratic-leaning voters, offering flimsy justifications for the changes. Conscientiously applying existing precedent, the lower courts blocked these voting restrictions, but the five most conservative justices on the Supreme Court allowed them to take effect, without explanation.

The Supreme Court’s action is unprecedented. I can’t think of any other case in which the Court has put the brakes on voting the day before it was to begin. The order is disruptive, changing the rules around which voters, candidates, parties, and election officials have budgeted and planned for weeks. The order is also unnecessary. Contrary to the state’s claim, there was no “emergency” from following the voting rules which had been in place for multiple election cycles."

Law Professor Calls Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Restrictions ‘Purely Partisan’ "The order staying the voting restrictions came the day after the justices met for their first formal conference for the new term and just one day before polling stations were set to open in Ohio to allow voters to cast ballots in November’s general election.

“This is a case that is just partisan all the way down,” Eric Segall, a Georgia State University law professor, said in an interview with RH Reality Check.

Segall is the author of Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court and Its Justices are Not Judges, and co-author of Supreme Secrecy, to be published next year by Stanford University Press."

Although the foundations for the destruction of democracy in America by the institution of Roman Catholic ideological supremacy were laid during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the 2000 election marked the introduction of a presidency openly dedicated to Roman Catholic principles of government. The forming of the Image to the Beast was clearly visible.

Just one week ago, in the entry below on religion in politics, the following quotation of Lord Acton was stated, “The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections” (emphasis added.) This aphorism is now seen in action, markedly beginning in the year 2000:

Yes, Bush v. Gore Did Steal the Election "The general topic of wildly partisan Supreme Court rulings is on everybody’s mind right now for some reason. The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney wants everybody to know that the Supreme Court really, truly did not hand the presidential election to George W. Bush. 'You can disagree with the ruling in Bush v. Gore,' writes Carney, 'but you can’t honestly argue that it decided the election.'

Well, yes, you can. In fact we know nearly for certain that the recount stopped by the Supreme Court would have given Gore the lead. (Of course, it’s entirely possible that the Republican-controlled Florida legislature would have simply overridden the results of the count and handed the state to Bush, as it threatened to do.) But Carney is repeating a common misconception."

Lawyers Protest U.S. Supreme Court "As George W. Bush and his backers descend on Washington for days of celebration and years of governing, other Americans insist on reminding the world of the unprecedented use of political and judicial power that got Bush here.

On Saturday, 554 law professors from 120 law schools signed a full-page New York Times ad protesting the Dec. 9 halting of a Florida recount that had threatened to reverse Bush's tiny lead.

'By stopping the vote count in Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court used its power to act as political partisans, not judges of a court of law,' read the ad.

In an interview, one of the law professors deplored the fact that one of his primary teachings to his students over a 40-year career in constitutional law -- that the U.S. Supreme Court acts as a nonpartisan institution despite differing judicial philosophies -- had been rendered null and void by the actions of the five justices who stopped the count."

All of the signs are that the prophetic time clock is winding down, especially since 1980, when one generation's time to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ began, according to Jesus' own prophecy. Should we not heed the call of the prophet Amos to "prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." (Amos 4:12.)

Pope Francis claims that the Eucharist can transform the world. His claim is not confined to Roman Catholics:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope reflects on the Eucharist and hope "The Eucharist is a source of hope for the world’s transformation, Pope Francis told members of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses in a September 27 audience."

The Eucharist is a blasphemous rite that symbolically crucifies Jesus Christ every time that the Mass is performed! Rome plays fast and loose with the name, the priesthood, and the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the blasphemy is approaching a crescendo!:

THE NEW PRIESTHOOD AND THE NEW SANCTUARY "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12 KJV)

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22 RSV)" (Emphasis added)

"We have the prophetic word confirmed . . ." [From 2 Peter 1:19 NKJV,] by the unfolding of religio-political events. The prophecy predicted that a democratic America would become a Theocracy by the vote of its people *. This process is already far advanced in the forming of an Image to the Beast, and it is not by a majority of the people. George Washington said, “It is one of the evils of democratical governments, that the people, not always seeing and frequently misled, must often feel before they can act,” (emphasis added) The tragedy is that by the time that the the blind and the gullible feel, it is too late to act:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Increasing Number of Americans Want Religion in Politics, Pew Poll Finds "The number of people who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up six percentage points since the 2010 midterm elections, from 43 percent to 49 percent. Similarly, those who think there has been 'too little' expression of faith from political leaders is up from 37 percent to 41 percent. . .

The study reveals a greater gap between religiously affiliated people and the growing number of people who are not affiliated with any religion, a group sometimes referred to as the 'nones.' Those who identify with a religion have become more supportive of churches and other religious houses who speak out about political issues and political leaders talking more often about religion while the 'nones' frequently oppose religion in politics.

The study also indicates that people who think religion has a positive impact on society are also more likely to want more religion in politics. Moreover, the desire to see religion in public life is greater among Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP than it is among Democrats."

No comfort can be taken from the fact that it is still a minority who in effect are expressing support for Theocracy. Lord Acton said, “The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections” (emphasis added.) How prescient of what has been happening in America since the 1970s, and is now the menacing element in electoral politics.

Emerging from the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman what form the new government would take. Franklin answered “A republic, if you can keep it.” (A Republic, If You Can Keep It.) Today, the distinction between a Republic and a Democracy has become blurred into oblivion. This is due in major part to the "dumbing down" of the American body politic from a knowledge of papal history and an awareness of its ever present menace, through a deliberate process of indoctrination by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Christian Edwardson has pointed out that although the Image to the Beast is formed by Protestants, it is really the Roman Catholic Church that is working its will, (cf. Making America Catholic.) His book Facts of Faith was first published in 1943, which is a measure of how far conversion of the American Republic into a Theocracy has advanced by the year 2014.

* Elder Wm. H. Grotheer was clearly correct in his exegetical conclusion that "earth" in Rev. 13:11-12, 14, applies to the same geographical area.

The False Prophet has formed the Image to the Beast, and is now causing it to begin to speak in dictatorial terms, in many ways little noticed as well as in major laws proposed and being passed. One little-noticed law: an airman who does not believe in the existence of God is required to acknowledge Him in order to re-enlist in the USAF:-

Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God'

US Air Force to Atheist: Say ‘God’ in oath or don’t re-enlist

Almighty God forces the will of no human being, ("The government . . ." and has certainly not given the State authority to do so, rather the contrary,) and the United States of America has guaranteed freedom of conscience by its own Constitution:

The Law of Religious Freedom ". . . The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment guarantee religious liberty, or freedom of conscience, for all Americans — people of all faiths and none."

The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Religious aspects

It is settled constitutional law "that affirmations are equivalent to oaths, and that what may be said with a “So help me God” may be said without:-

Should atheists who refuse to say ‘so help me God’ be excluded from the Air Force?:

Title 1 U.S.C. § 1 indeed provides, “‘oath’ includes affirmation, and ‘sworn’ includes affirmed.” And what is an affirmation? United States v. Bueno-Vargas (9th Cir. 2004) tells us (emphasis added),

An “‘”Oath or affirmation” is a formal assertion of, or attestation to, the truth of what has been, or is to be, said.’” United States v. Brooks, 285 F.3d 1102, 1105 (8th Cir.2002) (quoting United States v. Turner, 558 F.2d 46, 50 (2d Cir.1977)). Black’s Law Dictionary 1099 (7th ed.1999), defines an oath as a “solemn declaration, accompanied by a swearing to God or a revered person or thing, that one’s statement is true.” Black’s defines an affirmation as a “pledge equivalent to an oath but without reference to a supreme being or to ‘swearing.’” Id. at 50; see also Brooks, 285 F.3d at 1105 (reciting these definitions).

So 10 U.S.C. § 502 expressly says that each person may swear or affirm. Likewise, 1 U.S.C. § 1 expressly says that an oath includes an affirmation. And an affirmation means precisely a pledge without reference to a supreme being. Given this context, it seems to me quite clear that “So help me God” in the statute should be read as an optional component, to be used for the great bulk of people who swear, but should be omitted for those who exercise their expressly statutorily provided option to affirm — because that’s what affirming means (omitting reference to a supreme being).

Even looking at the statute standing alone, then, the Air Force thus has no business denying people the ability to affirm, which is to say to omit “so help me God.” . . .

It is not surprising that it is the Air Force which seeks to rigidly enforce the change in 10 USC 502. Paragraph 5.6, made in October, 2013:-

Religious intolerance at Air Force Academy:

Mikey Weinstein, a graduate of of the Academy who has two sons there said: "The Air Force's official policy remains that the Air Force reserves the right to evangelize anyone in the Air Force that it determines to be unchurched."During an an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said:

"It's a declaration of war, as far as I'm concerned, on the Constitution. I hope everybody comprehensively and joyously celebrates whatever religion that they want ? or no religion ? but they cannot engage the machinery of the state."

During an interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette, he said:

"These guidelines do nothing more than contribute to what appears to be an imperious, fascistic contagion that is sweeping throughout this country through evangelical Christians trying to infuse their religious thought into the machinery of the state."

Weinstein later organized the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to combat religious oppression in the military. . .

Captain Melinda Morton, a Lutheran, is the second most senior chaplain at the school. She told the task force that she was fired because she had spoken up about religious intolerance among cadets and staff -- including allegations that Evangelical Christians there wield too much influence. When she was asked why she thought the problem was concentrated at the Air Force Academy and not at the other academies, she pointed to nearby Colorado Springs, CO, the home of many influential conservative Christian organizations.

Tom Minnery, spokesperson for Focus on the Family, arguably the most influential Evangelical Christian para-church organization in the U.S., disagreed that Evangelical Christians are the problem. He claims that "anti-Christian bigotry" was infecting the academy. He said that Americans United is on a "witch hunt here. They will not rest until religion is eradicated from that campus."

According to National Public Radio, Colorado Springs, "...for the past decade has been recognized as a center for evangelical Christian organizations." Over 100 groups are located there, of which Focus on the Family is the largest. Others include the New Life Church, the Navigators, Mission of Mercy, Global Action, and the International Bible Society."

(N.B. The use of articles from the "Religious Tolerance" website does not imply approval of an "all religions" or "no religion" philosophy. The Christian Bible is our rule of faith and practice.)

Cf. Air Force Academy: Proselytizing And Religious Freedom Debate On School Campus

The descriptive language of Mikey Weinstein quoted above, "an imperious, fascistic contagion that is sweeping throughout this country through evangelical Christians trying to infuse their religious thought into the machinery of the state," is not an exaggeration. It perfectly matches what is happening, and the prophecy of Rev. 13:11-17. They speak "as a dragon."

This article is comprehensive in its analysis of the uniqueness of Pope Francis' determined focus on an ecumenical "coming together." Every paragraph is so pregnant with significance for these end times, that it is difficult to make a selection for quotation. The entire article needs to be studied carefully. The Pope is looking to the most dynamic religious organizations for unity of purpose - the "Common Witness to Christ." The dynamism is not of the Holy Spirit, but of the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14, and it heralds the rapidly approaching apocalypse:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Francis, Ecumenism, and the Common Witness to Christ "Some Evangelical and Pentecostal faithful appear to have started paying attention and accepting the possibility that not only individual charismatic Catholics, but the very Catholic Church—including the major stumbling block, the Pope himself—may not be the Whore of Babylon after all. [Cf. 2 Thess. 2:8-12.]

Newcomers to the ecumenical table tend to think that all the things they are discovering for the first time are radical innovations by Pope Francis, as if no other pope before him had ever gone out to hug the people and kiss the babies and the disabled; as if no other pope had ever asked forgiveness for the past sins of the Catholic Church; as if no other pope had made an outreach to the separated brethren; as if Saint John Paul II hadn’t traveled to mafia country to publicly rebuke criminals, calling them to repent or face the wrath of God; as if no other pope had ever placed emphasis on Jesus or Scripture.

But however much they may hold on to misconceptions about the Church’s past, at least many are now willing to take an unprejudiced look at the present Pope and his leadership of the present Church.

The World Evangelical Alliance’s Brian Stiller made a sober defense of this position in an article called 'Lunch with the Pope':

My counter argument to those who might dismiss friendship with the pope is this. For Evangelicals and Protestants, of all shapes and sizes, the state and condition of the Roman Catholic Church matters. Of the over 2 billion Christians, one-half are linked to the Vatican. About 600 million are Evangelicals and another 550 million members of the World Council of Churches (which includes the Orthodox Churches). As a world body, it is our calling to have contact with other major Christian communities and faiths. Conferencing with Rome no more compromises our doctrinal commitments than it would by meeting with the heads of other religions. We do that as a natural and important role of our calling. In places where Evangelicals are marginalized, having this official connection allows us to raise issues and ask for responses we would never otherwise get. In a worldwide community of faith, the work and role of each Christian community matters.

A final dramatic moment in ecumenism from the first half of 2014 was the announcement that one of Sweden’s most influential Charismatic pastors, Ulf Ekman, founder of the world-wide Word of Life Movement, had taken a step he had been pondering in his heart for a long time, and, together with his wife, had become Catholic . Although this predictably caused confusion and even pain to some in Ekman’s flock, it must be said here that 'sheep-stealing' is not Pope Francis’ purpose. The late Bishop Tony Palmer was careful to point this out: 'Pope Francis pulled me up on more than one occasion when I used the expression ‘coming home to the Catholic Church.’' He said, ‘Don’t use this term.’ He told me, ‘No one is coming home. You are journeying towards us and we are journeying towards you and we will meet in the middle. We will meet on the road as we seek each other.’”

The true unity for which Jesus Christ prayed cannot be overemphazed.

Wishful thinking perhaps on the part of an elder Israeli statesman nearing the end of his life, frustrated by the course of events (Peres: Netanyahu torpedoed peace deal 3 years ago; Land
grab shows Netanyahu unbowed after Gaza
;) but still hoping to realize his dream of peace in Palestine under the auspices of a papal presence in Jerusalem:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Shimon Peres: Francis is a more powerful peace advocate than UN "While visiting the Vatican earlier today, Mr Peres asked Pope Francis to head a parallel United Nations called the 'United Religions' to counter religious extremism in the world today. . .

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed that Peres, who ended his presidential term in July, had requested the meeting and told the Pope about his idea for United Religions. The Pope, however, did not commit himself to the proposal.

'The Pope listened' to the idea just as he always does with any peace initiative, 'showing his interest, his attention and encouragement,' Fr Lombardi said.

But 'the Pope made no personal commitment' and reminded Peres that the Vatican has the Pontifical Councils for Interreligious Dialogue and for Justice and Peace — two offices 'that are suitable' for supporting or following such initiatives, Father Lombardi said."

The Church of Rome is probably far ahead of Shimon Peres' idea, as is implicit in the reminder by the Pope about the Pontifical Councils. Moving with the subtlety and stealth of "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan" (Rev. 12:9,) who "gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev. 13:2b,) the papacy has many tentacles spread far and wide. Those tentacles encompass the great ecumenical movement, which embraces the Christian world, other religions of the world, the United Nations, individual nations such as the United States of America, and combinations of nations such as the European Union - creature of the papacy.

The role of the European Union in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process tends to be underestimated:

Can the EU Revive the Cause of Middle East Peace? "Two very strong assumptions have governed much international diplomacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the past decades. The first is that the solution is known, so all that is necessary is strong leadership—and U.S. determination—to arrive at that goal. The second is that European action is not likely to have much independent effect, so Europe can at best only support American efforts.

The unhelpfulness of the first assumption is now apparent to all but a few diehards. That makes it an especially important time to demolish what remains of the second assumption. This is not to suggest that Europeans can succeed where Americans have failed. Rather, Europe might be able to have some long-term positive effects in precisely those areas where the United States has
decided not to go. This conclusion flows not from unrealistic optimism but from a hard-nosed look at the past. . .

It would be hard not to be cynical about Europe’s possible role. European states and institutions
are hardly angelic players. They have their own material and security interests. And they are often acting in tension with each other; when they manage to coordinate, it is through a very cumbersome process.

However, from a decade-to-decade perspective, many of the main ideas for settling the conflict were incubated in Europe before they became common diplomatic wisdom. Most notably, the two-state solution that now is touted as the 'known solution' was one that U.S. officials found literally unspeakable for many, many years. Not so in Europe. The first time that the European Community, the precursor to the EU, tackled the question was with its 1971 Schumann Document, which proposed the creation of demilitarized zones, the Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, and the internationalization of Jerusalem. . ."

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT - ROME IS A MOVING FORCE BEHIND THE DRIVE FOR
PEACE IN PALESTINE, AND THE OBJECTIVE IS THE PAPACY'S PRESENCE IN JERUSALEM AS PROPHESIED IN DAN. 11:45.

Before achieving "united religions," as envisaged by Shimon Peres, the papacy needs to complete
the process of unification of the apostate Christian churches. A major obstacle is the conflict in Ukraine. The Evangelical churches are astir with the belief that the Gog and Magog prophecy of Eze. 38-39 is being fulfilled, a futurist-dispensationalist fantasy which refuses to recognize that the prophecy, together with others, was conditioned upon the faithfulness of ancient Israel. Even such a serious newspaper as Haaretz publishes an article on the subject (subscription probably required to read it, but it is free):

FYI: Putin=Gog, Crimea=Magog, the apocalypse is here and the Messiah is coming "Not only Christian fans of Armageddon are buzzing: According to one rabbi, the Vilna Gaon himself predicted that when the Russians take Crimea, the steps of the Messiah will be heard."

Probation closed for the nation of Israel in A.D. 34. The Jews ceased to be the people chosen by God to preserve and spread the light of His Truth. Thenceforth there was a new "Israel of God." The true prophetic significance of the Ukraine conflict is that it impedes the papacy's progress towards dominance of a unified world:

Ukraine crisis poisons Catholic-Orthodox relations "The crisis in Ukraine is undermining reconciliation efforts between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church and has shown up Pope Francis's inability to make his peace message heard in the conflict-torn country, analysts said. . .

In Moscow meanwhile, the ties between the Russian state and a 130-million strong Orthodox church are stronger than ever.In the Ukraine crisis, Kirill 'cannot play the role of referee because he is too linked to Moscow', Hamant said.

But there are signs too that the Russian Orthodox are playing a more constructive role, with their chief clergyman in Ukraine -- interim metropolitan Onufriy calling on Friday for pro-Russian rebels to lay down arms."

Ukrainian crisis may split Russian Orthodox church "The Ukrainian Orthodox church of the Moscow patriarchate, which has 12,500 congregations, is the largest of three Orthodox churches in Ukraine.

It has some degree of autonomy, with a Synod of Bishops that elects its own members. However, the church's leader, currently Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, although elected by the synod, has to be approved by Moscow. . .

The 'Russian world,' or 'Russky mir,' has been an overriding theme for Kirill since he became patriarch in 2009, and it meshes with Putin's worldview, said Antoine Arjakovsky, director of research at the College des Bernardins in Paris and founder of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Lviv, Ukraine."

Catholicism in the Ukraine: Unresolved problems "Over 400 years ago Orthodox Christians of the present day western Ukraine broke away from the Orthodox Church and entered into union with Rome. Although they kept their religious traditions and rites they were not totally free from forces of latinization in the various aspects of their ecclesial life. Today, the place of the Greek Catholic Church in the Western Ukraine within Christianity is a topic of dispute and confusion. The Greek Catholic Church is an obstacle in Catholic-Orthodox relations. To overcome this obstacle it is necessary to examine various areas, the historical, the theological and then possibilities for the future. . ."

The Vatican has a huge task ahead of it before the ultimate goal of a unified christendom and world is achieved; but it would be a mistake to think that it is impossible, or that it could not come rapidly, and in the near future.

Cf. JERUSALEM IN THE CROSSHAIRS.

A major sign of the end is the fallen state of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The "faithful city" has become a harlot. The following entry is excerpted from an exposé just published on this website of the unlawful appropriation in October, 2010, of virtually all of the priceless research books and papers owned by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation Corporations of Mississippi-Arkansas:-

The theology of Adventist Laymen's Foundation is unique . . .  (Cf. Report of Research Findings on the Adventist Laymen’s Foundation by a Court appointed Expert Witness.)

The unity advocated by Pope Francis is the work of the spirits of devils:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

The purpose of spiritualism "'In a Christian community division is one of the most serious sins, because it does not allow God to act,' . . .

'One because she has her origin in the Triune God, mystery of unity and full communion. Holy since she is founded by Jesus Christ, enlivened by his Holy Spirit, and filled with his love and salvation.'

We continue to refer to the Church as 'one' and 'holy' despite the fact that 'we know by experience that it is also composed of sinners and that there is no shortage of divisions,' he said, recalling how the night before he was arrested Jesus 'asked for the unity of his disciples: ‘that all be one.’”

The oneness for which Jesus Christ prayed.

Pope Francis heaps praise upon the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic lay organization in the world, which was founded and is headquartered in the United States of America:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope sends message to Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention "Pope Francis has sent greetings and encouragement to the Knights of Columbus who are currently holding their 132nd Supreme Convention in Orlando, Florida, in the United States. In a message, signed by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope says the meeting’s theme of ‘Our Vocation to Fraternity’ is especially important since 'the Church is called to be a community of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another' thus serving as 'a leaven of reconciliation and unity for the whole human family.' . . .

The Pope also thanks the knights for their efforts to defend the role of religion in the public square and to encourage lay people in their mission of shaping a society that reflects true Christian values. Pope Francis praises the order for its commitment to educating people in the faith and in a strong sense of civic responsibility. Finally he thanks the knights for their support of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family, to be held in the Vatican in October, and the World Meeting of Families which will take place next year in Philadelphia."

The Pope has urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to tone down their campaign1 against contraception, abortion, and the other issues embraced by the "family values" crusade. His endorsement of the work of Knights of Columbus stands in stark contrast. This organization funds the USCCB's campaign, and more than that its members are strident and aggressive "foot soldiers" in support of the campaign:

Who's funding the Catholic bishops' religious freedom campaign? "On Thursday, Catholics across the country will amplify what is an already loud outcry from the hierarchy over the federal government's so-called contraception mandate.

With rallies, marches, lectures and special publications, the U.S. Catholic Bishop's Fortnight for Freedom campaign will seek to galvanize Catholic opposition to President Barack Obama's proposed mandate to require employers -- including religious institutions -- to provide free contraception insurance coverage to employees.

But while Catholic leaders frame the events as a fight for religious liberty, critics see signs of political partisanship and electioneering. Questions over the financing of the bishops' campaign have caused those suspicions to multiply. . .

'The Knights of Columbus are clearly one of the major sources of funding (against the mandate), as well as other fraternal organizations,' Schneck said.

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charitable group based in New Haven, Conn., says it's the world's largest lay Catholic organization. Knights of Columbus life insurance sales neared $8 billion in 2010, and last year, it contributed $158 million to charity. In the last decade, the Knights have donated more than $1 billion to charity.

The group's 2010 tax forms show that the Knights gave more than $3 million to the Vatican that year, nearly $2 million to the U.S. bishops conference and $25,000 to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has guided much of the legal action against the contraception mandate.

The group must disclose more recent donations in its 2011 tax forms. But Andrew Walther, a Knights of Columbus spokesman, said the group has asked for an extension in filing the documents, making them unavailable until the fall.

In 2010, the Knights were also generous with their contributions to individual bishops, doling out nearly $350,000 for a variety of programs in various dioceses. Of that, $248,700, or 71 percent, went to Lori's former Diocese of Bridgeport.

Lori -- who is the man most directly in charge of the Fortnight for Freedom campaign -- has been the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus since 2005."

The Knights of Columbus: Crusaders for Discrimination "As the largest Catholic lay organization in the world, the Knights of Columbus can be found in many parishes, where it has traditionally performed charitable works, led fundraisers to help the needy and brought communities together at pancake suppers.

But the Knights have a darker side. The order has pushed a conservative agenda ranging from the highly specific—a complaint against highschoolers reading Catcher in the Rye —to systemic opposition to reproductive choice and marriage equality[2] through sizable donations to programs run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other conservative organizations. The Knights of Columbus uses its manpower and money to push for legislation that does not match the beliefs of many Catholics or the will of the electorate. The Knights continue to wage a decades-long battle against abortion legislation, but what stands out now is the scale of its political expenditures—more than $10 million since 2004—and this does not include funds from the thousands of local fraternity councils and assemblies."

Over and above all, the Knights of Columbus have been highly effectuve in disseminating propaganda3 designed to mask the true nature of the papacy and its purpose to destroy religious liberty in the United States of America:

The Two Voices Of Catholicism "In the magazine section of The Daily Oklahoman, August 14, 1960, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus Religious Information Bureau admonished the people to 'take the trouble' to look at the facts of history concerning Roman Catholics and the separation of church and state and 'be surprised at what they find.' Acting on the recommendation of the Knights of Columbus, they let us take a look at some Roman Catholic documents of modern history and give people of the general public a surprise. . .

The Syllabus of pope Pius IX, and the accompanying Vatican Decrees, were ratified by the universal Roman Catholic Vatican Council in 1870, and declared by the council to be infallible, irreformable and irrevocable — never to be revised or rescinded.

The Syllabus consists of eighty ominous articles which condemn the right of any civil government to separate itself from the Roman Catholic Church; denounces freedom of conscience, of opinion, of speech and of religion; claims for the pope and the priests the right to all temporal dominion; and decrees for the Roman Catholic Church the right to the possession and employment of military force to extend the unlimited dominion of the pope of Rome over all civil government' and to make the Roman Catholic Church the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all others.

Judged by this universal Syllabus Vatican Council, the pope of Rome stands in opposition to the Constitution of the United States. The papal Syllabus is incompatible with the liberties our constitution guarantees to every man. This Syllabus is final authority in the Catholic Church, and from it there is no appeal. By its mandates every American Catholic is bound to oppose the Constitution of our country; and no Roman Catholic can take an oath of office to uphold our Constitution and maintain his own honor and integrity as a true Roman Catholic. His mental reservations and conscientious exceptions cannot be ignored. No man can serve two masters. An honest Catholic can not hold allegiance to the pope of Rome and to the Constitution of the United States. . .

In view of the current propaganda of the Knights of Columbus in the various newspaper and magazine mediums of the nation, it is in order to "look" at their assertions side by side with the articles of the Syllabus, and observe the contradictions:

1. THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS: Separation of church and state in this country seems to Catholics the natural, the inevitable, the best among us, both for the good of religion and of the state."

2. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC SYLLABUS: The state has not the right to separate itself from the church (Article 55). The church has the right to require the state to make the Roman Catholic religion the only religion of the state (Article 77).

QUESTION: Shall we take what seems under certain political circumstances to be expedient to a propaganda organization of Catholic laymen — or the official Vatican declaration of the Roman Catholic Syllabus? . . ."

Pope Francis must deeply appreciate the colossal achievements of the Knights of Columbus in neutralizing Protestant opposition to the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, undermining the constitutional guarantee of separation of Church and State, and advancing Rome to ascendancy in the body politic of the nation.

[2]While homosexuals may have a constitutional right to "marriage equality" under civil law, homosexuality is unequivocally condemned in the Bible.

The significance of the current unifying direction of the charismatic movement cannot be overemphasized. Given the prophecy of Rev. 16:13-14, 16, and the declared unifying purpose of spiritism, current events have enormous significance as the prophesied closing movements of history before the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Although an activity looked on with disfavor by some Catholics and Evangelicals alike, Pope Francis continues to display and cultivate his ties with both Roman Catholic and Protestant charismatics alike:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Papal first: Francis visits Pentecostal church "He acknowledged the remarkable nature of his visit, saying: 'Someone will be surprised: 'The pope went to visit the evangelicals?' But he went to see his brothers.'

Catholics have often compared Pentecostal groups to cults and accused them of overly aggressive, unethical proselytizing. The popular, charismatic movements have drained parishioners from the Catholic Church, particularly in Francis' own Latin America.

But Francis has met unofficially with several Pentecostal and evangelical preachers recently, including the Texas televangelists James Robinson and Kenneth Copeland. He recorded an iPhone video for a Pentecostal conference hosted by Copeland, whose prosperity gospel ministry — stressing that God will reward the faithful with health and wealth — clashes with Francis' own embrace of the value of a 'poor church.'

Not all evangelicals or Catholics have welcomed the pope's outreach: Some traditionalist Catholics have sought to minimize the pope's initiative, stressing that Traettino and others represent only their individual churches.

In a statement earlier this month on the eve of the Caserta meeting, several Italian evangelical groups met in the same city and stressed the 'incompatibility' of their beliefs with that of the Catholic Church and its pope."

Meeting 200 Pentecostals, pope renews friendship, talks unity "Traettino told the pope his visit was 'unthinkable until recently,' even though, he said, 'even among evangelicals there is great affection for you. Many of us pray for you, every day. Many of us, in fact, believe your election as bishop of Rome was the work of the Holy Spirit.'

Pope Francis told the Pentecostals that 'the Holy Spirit is the source of diversity in the church. This diversity is very rich and beautiful. But then the same Holy Spirit creates unity. And in this way the church is one in diversity. To use a beautiful Gospel phrase that I love very much, reconciled diversity' is the gift of the Holy Spirit. . .

Meeting with Caserta's Catholic priests and bishops from the Campania region July 26, the date originally scheduled for his visit with the Pentecostals, Pope Francis said he had not known that date was the city's big celebration for the feast of St. Anne.

If he had gone to the Pentecostals that day, without celebrating the feast with Catholics, 'the newspaper headlines would have been 'On the patron feast of Caserta, the pope visits Protestants,'' he said. So, he asked an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State to help organize the Mass 'to remove this noose from around my neck.'"

Human beings were created by God with the capacity for independent thought and the exercise of free will; so even those who are already under the delusive power of the devil can still balk at the pace with which they are being led, hence the objections by some Catholics and Evangelicals alike to the fraternizing between Pope Francis and Protestant charismatics.

There is little room for doubt that Satan, who gave the Pope "his power, and his seat, and great authority," (Rev. 13:2b, 12:9a) now motivates and directs him to bring about a convergence of the charismatic streams into the oneness in diversity of which he speaks. Seemingly separate and independent, the streams of charismatics have all in reality been inspired and directed by the "spirits of devils" of Rev. 16:14 under the leadership of Satan. Now in and through Pope Francis they are being led into the climax of a convergence that began in the 1960s:

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PENTECOSTALISM "This is sometimes referred to as the New Charismatic Movement [New Pentecostalism or Charismatic Renewal.] It was like the old charismatic, Pentecostal movement in that it gave special emphasis to certain gifts, most notably the gift of tongues. It was a new movement in the sense that it crossed denominational lines and barriers.

In 1960, in Van Nuys, California, the modern Charismatic movement began in an Episcopalian Church (St. Mark's, with Dennis Bennett as rector). There was an outburst of tongues speaking in this church. This event was so significant that both Time and Newsweek covered the story. After that, the movement spread like wildfire in the Episcopalian Church and then among Lutherans and Presbyterians as well.

The movement soon entered the universities. This began in New England. In October of 1962, the glossolalia phenomenon broke out at Yale University, among members of the Evangelical Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. Included in this new-Pentecostal revival were Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and even one Roman Catholic. Five were members of Phi Beta Kappa, and some were religious leaders on campus (they were soon called "GLOSSO YALIES"). Thereafter, the movement spread to Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Even more significant than these events is what happened in 1967 [note this date.] All roads lead to Rome. At the time of Spring vacation in 1967, there were in the Notre Dame area about 30 zealous Catholics who had received the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit.' In 1968, about 100 to 150 met for a Catholic Pentecostal conference. In 1969, there were about 450 Catholic Charismatics who met including about 25 or 30 priests. In 1970, the increase was more spectacular. Almost 1,300 attended the conference, including Catholics from Canada. In 1973, 22,000 Catholic Charismatics met together at Notre Dame, including Catholic participants from at least 10 foreign countries. In 1974, the Notre Dame conference was attended by 30,000 people. And finally, the 1975 international conference held in Rome attracted 10,000 pilgrims from 50 countries to hear Pope Paul VI express his warm appreciation for the movement. The movement was mushrooming not only in the Roman Catholic Church, but in all of the major Protestant denominations.

The Kansas City Charismatic Conference was held in the summer of 1977. All three wings of the Pentecostal movement were present: (1) Old Pentecostals (sometimes called 'classical Pentecostals'); (2) Protestant Charismatics; and (3) Catholic Charismatics. This was the biggest and most inclusive gathering of 'baptized in the Spirit believers' in modern history. There were nearly 50,000 participants in this 5-day conference. One speaker proudly hailed this conference as 'the largest and most inclusive ecumenical assembly in the history of American Christianity.' Almost half of the participants were Roman Catholics."

Pope Francis has been deeply involved with Pentecostals for a long time:

Pope Francis, Pentecostals and Interreligious Action "At one point, as is characteristic in these Pentecostal gatherings, the Cardinal dropped to his knees on stage to receive the “blessing” from the well-known Charismatic Father Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. and a number of Protestant pastors.

Some well-meaning Catholics tried to argue that Bergoglio must have only intended to receive a blessing from the Catholic priest, and the Protestants jumped in as a surprise to the Cardinal. As I noted in the April CFN, I do not see how this could be the case. Long time readers know I have attended many riotous Charismatic gatherings as an observer. These pan-Christian joint-blessings are standard procedure at Charismatic assemblies. Also, Pentecostalism has been rampant in South America since the late-1960s, so it was unlikely the Cardinal of Buenos Aries was unaware of these 'joint blessings' before participating in the 2009 event.

All speculation is put to rest on this point when we read page 220 of the newly released On Heaven and Earth. Cardinal Bergoglio states with pride that he knowingly permitted the joint blessing to take place.

The Cardinal says, 'The first time that the Evangelicals invited me to one of their meetings at Luna Park, the stadium was full. That day a Catholic priest [Father Cantalamessa] and an Evangelical Pastor spoke. They gave two talks each, interspersed with a break to eat some sandwiches at noon. At one point the Evangelical pastor asked that everyone pray for me and my ministry. He had asked me if I would accept that they would pray for me and I answered him that of course I would. When they prayed, the first thing that occurred to me was to kneel down, a very Catholic gesture, to receive their prayer and the blessing of the seven thousand people that were there. The next week, a magazine headline stated: ‘Buenos Aires, sede vacante. The Archbishop commits the sin of apostasy.’ For them, prayer together with others was apostasy. Even with an agnostic, with his doubt, we can look up together to find transcendence; each one praying according to his tradition. What’s the problem?'"

Who better than this Pope to bring the streams of charismatics together? The "Holy" Spirit who moved the Roman Catholic Cardinals to elect him was none other than Satan, eager to advance to the pinnacle of his power through unity in diversity (N.B. Well is it stated in The Great Controversy. . .)


 

Pope Francis disagrees with the prevailing ideological emphases of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB.) This matters to non-Catholic citizens and residents of the United States only because all are caught in the middle as Roman Catholic social teachings of one sort or another are being advocated, debated, and legislated throughout this country, contrary to the constitutional guarantee of separation of Church and State. Although couched in the language of political theory, the following essay confirms the impact of right-wing Roman Catholic ideology on the politics of America:

Catholic Whiggery: The Neo-Conservative Betrayal Of Church Social Teaching "In the past 20 years or so, we have witnessed, especially here in the United States, the emergence of what some authors have termed, 'Catholic Whiggery.' This movement, best exemplified by such authors as Michael Novak and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, is but an attempt at a Catholic version of the more encompassing 'Neo-Conservative' movement, which has its origins with anti-Stalinist Trotskyites, who came to be considered 'conservatives' during their years of opposition to Soviet Communism during the Cold War.

Led by such intellectuals as Irving Kristol, the 'Neo-Cons,' as they are called, embraced the 'Whig Tradition,' which found its modern-day expression in the social and economic writings of Friedrich von Hayek. Hayek, a Libertarian and northern European secularist, attempted to revive and promote the Whig tradition, which advances laissez-faire economics, secular democracy, and religious and cultural pluralism. . .

That such a Liberal ideology could prevail amongst secularists and non-Catholics groping for an alternative to post-World War II Soviet Communism and Fabian Socialism is not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that such an ideological view could be defended by Catholic thinkers who, subsequently, attempt to 'discover' a 'Catholic Whig tradition' running back in time to St. Thomas Aquinas. That such Catholic Whigs are claiming to base their circumvention of the entire Catholic Social Teaching on the 'Whiggery' of certain 'late Spanish Scholastics' is well known. Novak himself attempts to make the Angelic Doctor a precursor of this 'tradition' by claiming that St. Thomas's belief in 'ordered liberty,' mixed government (i.e., several different bodies of the State exercising the various powers of Sovereignty and serving as a hindrance to the emergence of tyranny), and his belief in man's powers of 'reflection and choice,' puts him firmly in the camp of Democratic Capitalism. The untenable nature of this claim, especially in light of St. Thomas's condemnation of usury, his understanding of the common good, and his unequivocal position that monarchy is the best form of human government, causes Novak, in various places in his writings, to rely on the more standard Whig philosophers like John Locke and Adam Smith to ground his ideological defense of democratic capitalism, American-style. His laudatory rhetoric in praise of these thinkers and the System they spawned often descends to the level of the blasphemous and the absurd. In an article entitled, 'A Theology of the Corporation,' Novak cites the memorable and moving last words of the young Abbe d'Ambricourt, 'Grace is everywhere,' to offer 'signs of grace in the [multinational] corporation.' In this regard, Novak finds seven such 'signs,' which he states is a 'suitably sacramental number."

The Roman Catholic thinkers who have put the ideology of the Neo-Conservatives into a religious setting are known as Theo-Conservatives, or Theocons:

The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege "The theme of this book is the rise of public religiosity that has been orchestrated by a small group of 'theoconservative' intellectuals. It is Mr. Linker's contention that Roman Catholicism has provided Republicans with a nondenominational language and morality with universal appeal. He foresees the end of separation of church and state and of secular polities.

The founder of the theocon movement is Richard John Neuhaus, for whom Linker worked when he served as editor of First Things. Neuhaus, a Lutheran convert to Roman Catholicism, is joined by two other Roman Catholics, Michael Novak and George Wiegel [s/b Weigel,] as the three most important theocons."

(Cf. Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II: "There are splits within the Thomist tradition. For a 'post-modern Augustinian Thomist,' there are irreconcilable differences between 'the culture of modernity and the classical Christian worldview.' Alasdair MacIntyre, for example, notes that when Thomists and secular humanists talk of human rights, they are frequently talking at cross purposes.

In contrast, 'Whig Thomists,' like George Weigel and Michael Novak see a certain consistency between liberalism and Christianity.")

To these names must be added that of Robert P. George, described by the New York Times as "this country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker." That he is not narrowly called "conservative Roman Catholic thinker" is a reflection of the influence that he has among conservative "Protestant" Evangelical leaders:

The Conservative-Christian Big Thinker "On a September afternoon, about 60 prominent Christians assembled in the library of the Metropolitan Club on the east side of Central Park. It was a gathering of unusual diversity and power. Many in attendance were conservative evangelicals like the born-again Watergate felon Chuck Colson, who helped initiate the meeting. Metropolitan Jonah, the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, was there as well. And so were more than half a dozen of this country’s most influential Roman Catholic bishops, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop John Myers of Newark and Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.

At the center of the event was Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor of jurisprudence and a Roman Catholic who is this country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker. Dressed in his usual uniform of three-piece suit, New College, Oxford cuff links and rimless glasses, George convened the meeting with a note of thanks and a reminder of its purpose. Alarmed at the liberal takeover of Washington and an apparent leadership vacuum among the Christian right, the group had come together to warn the country’s secular powers that the culture wars had not ended. . .

FOR 20 YEARS, George has operated largely out of public view at the intersection of academia, religion and politics. In the past 12 months, however, he has stepped into a more prominent role. With the death of the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Lutheran minister turned Roman Catholic priest who helped bring evangelicals and Catholics together into a political movement, George has assumed his mantle as the reigning brain of the Christian right. . .

Last spring, George was invited to address an audience that included many bishops at a conference in Washington. He told them with typical bluntness that they should stop talking so much about the many policy issues they have taken up in the name of social justice. They should concentrate their authority on 'the moral social' issues like abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and same-sex marriage, where, he argued, the natural law and Gospel principles were clear. To be sure, he said, he had no objections to bishops' 'making utter nuisances of themselves' about poverty and injustice, like the Old Testament prophets, as long as they did not advocate specific remedies. They should stop lobbying for detailed economic policies like progressive tax rates, higher minimum wage and, presumably, the expansion of health care — 'matters of public policy upon which Gospel principles by themselves do not resolve differences of opinion among reasonable and well-informed people of good will,' as George put it. . .

George’s admirers say he is revitalizing a strain of Catholic natural-law thinking that goes back to St. Thomas Aquinas. His scholarship has earned him accolades from religious and secular institutions alike. In one notable week two years ago, he received invitations to deliver prestigious lectures at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Harvard Law School. His critics, including many of his fellow Catholic scholars, argue that he is turning the church into a tool of Republican Party. . .

In practice, George and his allies have usually found the rules of sexuality quite absolute, while the church’s teachings about social justice come out more contingent. That may be why he is almost uniformly popular among evangelicals but controversial among many of his fellow Catholics, particularly those who prefer the church's peace-and-justice liberalism to its conservative bioethics."

Robert George, as well as the three leading Theocons named above, all claim to be following a philosophy known as Thomism, and their influence extends to the Tea Party, especially through him, and ultimately to the controlling ideology of the Republican Party. In reality it is not the Church being a tool of the Party; but the Party being a tool of the Church.

The House of Representatives Republican budget crafted by Roman Catholic Paul Ryan is parsimonious with aid for the poor and generous with tax benefits for the wealthy. Ryan acknowledges that he is influenced by St. Thomas Aquinas rather than Ayn Rand, contrary to what many commentators have suggested.

Pope Francis has condemned the negative effects of trickle-down economics on the poor, also calling for the "culture wars" to be toned down:

Papal Economics Why Pope Francis is Making “Cafeteria Catholics” out of the Catholic Right "Since its release on November 24, 2013, Pope Francis’ first official document, Evangelii Gaudium ('The Joy of the Gospel'), has been the subject of controversy among many self-described 'orthodox Catholics,' not for any questionable theological content, but because of several sections that condemn the negative effects of trickle-down economics on the poor. . .

Atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nonreligious people, accustomed to pro-market Catholics like George Weigel, Michael Novak, and Ross Douthat cheerleading the saving power of the invisible hand, may be puzzled by the pope’s strident denunciations of capitalism, but his comments really shouldn’t be surprising, given that the Catholic Church has always had an ambivalent attitude towards capitalism." (Cf. Quotes About Poverty From Pope Francis.)

Pope Francis' blunt remarks pose challenge for American bishops "In recent years, many American bishops have drawn a harder line with parishioners on what could be considered truly Roman Catholic, adopting a more aggressive style of correction and telling abortion-rights advocates to stay away from the sacrament of Communion.

But in blunt terms, in an interview published Thursday in 16 Jesuit journals worldwide, Pope Francis called the church's focus on abortion, marriage and contraception narrow and said it was driving people away.

American bishops face a challenge to rethink a strategy many considered essential for preserving the faith.

'I don't see how the pope's remarks can be interpreted in any other way than arguing that the church's rhetoric on the so-called culture war issues needs to be toned down,' said John Green, a religion specialist at the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. 'I think his language calls for less stridency on these issues.'"

Catholic bishops challenged to adapt to Pope Francis’ priorities "As the U.S. Catholic bishops began their annual fall meeting on Monday (Nov. 11), they were directly challenged by Pope Francis’ personal representative to be pastors and not ideologues — the first step of what could be a laborious process of reshaping the hierarchy to meet the pope’s dramatic shift in priorities. . .

Almost since his election in March, Francis has signaled that he wants the church to strike a 'new balance' by focusing on the poor and on social justice concerns and not overemphasizing opposition to hot-button topics like abortion and contraception and gay marriage — the signature issues of the U.S. bishops lately."

THE BISHOPS ARE NOT RESPONDING POSITIVELY:

Catholic Bishops Vote to Double Down on Culture War "The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ vote to maintain their politically aggressive Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty for another three years signals that despite the warnings of Pope Francis to tone down the culture war stuff, the bishops are fully invested in their crusade against same-sex marriage and universal access to birth control.The U.S. Catholic Bishops’ vote to maintain their politically aggressive Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty for another three years signals that despite the warnings of Pope Francis to tone down the culture war stuff, the bishops are fully invested in their crusade against same-sex marriage and universal access to birth control."

DOES THE DISAGREEMENT SIGNAL THAT POPE FRANCIS WILL, OR INDEED CAN, ACT TO CURB THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'S ASSAULTS ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE? - NOT VERY LIKELY:

Firstly, his declarations to the world at large constitute the exercise of the Magisterium, or Teaching Authority of the Roman Catholic Church -

The Magisterium or Teaching Authority of the Church "By the Magisterium we mean the teaching office of the Church. It consists of the Pope and Bishops. . .

The day to day teaching of the Church throughout the world, when the Bishops are in union with each other and with the Pope, and present something as definitive, this is infallible."

Secondly, concerning Pope Francis' condemnation of neglect of the poor, this has been a constant refrain of the papacy for centuries; yet poverty persists, most notably in Roman Catholic countries where the Roman Catholic Church wields overwhelming influence on government and society -

On Poverty, History and Catholic Credibility "Yet there are other voices in this conversation. Some are surprised that one such voice is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. The New York Times recently noted, 'from 4,500 miles away at the Vatican, Pope Francis, who has captivated the world with a message of economic justice and tolerance, has become a presence in Washington’s policy debate.'

Such surprise isn’t warranted. In the NYT article, author Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports that 'in many respects, Francis’ economic views are consistent with church doctrine' [author's emphasis.] Actually, in all respects the Pope’s views are not only consistent with church doctrine, they are church doctrine. While I join many in being grateful for the call to economic justice found in the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in it he covers no new ground. He is simply reiterating the teaching of the Church in these matters, a rich tradition that has included papal, conciliar and episcopal documents that span centuries, not decades."(Cf. Encyclical statements on poverty; Encyclical statements on poverty.)

Finally, the Roman Catholic Church does not practice what it preaches -

The Vatican Billions "Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was the poorest of the poor.

Roman Catholicism, which claims to be His church, is the richest of the rich, the wealthiest institution on earth. How come, that such an institution, ruling in the name of this same itinerant preacher, whose want was such that he had not even a pillow upon which to rest his head, is now so top-heavy with riches that she can rival - indeed, that she can put to shame - the combined might of the most redoubtable financial trusts, of the most potent industrial super-giants, and of the most prosperous global corporation of the world?

It is a question that has echoed along the somber corridors of history during almost 2,000 years; a question that has puzzled, bewildered and angered in turn untold multitudes from the first centuries to our days.

The startling contradiction of the tremendous riches of the Roman Catholic Church with the direct teaching of Christ concerning their unambiguous rejection, is too glaring to be by-passed, tolerated or ignored by even the most indifferent of believers. In the past, indeed, some of the most virulent fulminations against such mammonic accumulation came from individuals whose zeal and religious fervor were second to none. Their denunciations of the wealth, pomp, luxury and worldly habits of abbots, bishops, cardinals and popes can still be heard thundering with unabated clamor at the opening of almost any page of the chequered annals of western history."

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT CHANGE; AND HOWEVER BENIGN THE PRESENT OCCUPANT OF THE PAPAL THRONE APPEARS TO BE, HE IS WHAT THE BIBLE DECLARES HIM TO BE! ("that Wicked (One)" [ 'o anomoV - "he in whom all iniquity has fixed its abode" - Thayer] (II Thess. 2:8))

Pope Francis appeals to his prayer partners; but these two leaders can have little or no influence on the current conflict:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to end Holy Land hostilities "Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace."

Pope Francis is going to Caserta in southern Italy specifically to visit a Pentecostal pastor he knows from Argentina - again the charismatic connection:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope going to Caserta twice -- once for Mass, then to meet Pentecostals "Although Pope Francis planned to make a short, private visit to Caserta in southern Italy specifically to visit a Pentecostal pastor he knows from Argentina, the 130-mile trip has taken a new form -- two forms, to be exact.

The pope will go to Caserta July 26 to meet with local priests and then celebrate a 6 p.m. Mass with local Catholics, probably on the grounds of the 18th-century Reggia or Royal Palace of Caserta, a former residence of the kings of Naples, said Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican press office.

Pope Francis will return to the Vatican that evening, recite the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square at noon July 27, then go back to Caserta July 28 for a 'strictly private' meeting with Giovanni Traettino, the Pentecostal pastor, Father Benedettini told reporters July 17."

Lord Baal either will not or cannot answer the prayers, as Palestine descends into open conflict again. The prophecy of Luke 21:24 fulfilled reveals that probation has closed for the nations as corporate bodies. "The very least that this fulfilled prophecy of Jesus is saying is that God is no longer restraining the power of Satan in his control of the nations of earth." However, it is reasonable to believe that Almighty God retains ultimate control, since He and He alone knows the day and the hour of Christ's coming. He determines when Satan attains the pinnacle of his power (Isa. 14:13-14; Isa. 2:1-5.) The peace process will not die, because prophecy reveals, ". . . for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:3-4.) Then follows sudden destruction (Isa. 2:10, 19-21; 1 Thess. 5:3.)

Current events in Palestine:-

Reports: Israeli troops raid target in Gaza "As international calls for a cease-fire ramped up, the Israeli military warned residents of northern Gaza to evacuate 'for their own safety' late Saturday night.

In a statement, the Israeli military said it would send messages to northern Gaza residents overnight to leave their homes as Israel planned to hit the area with heavy force in the next 24 hours, according to Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, chief military spokesman."

Israel says cease-fire possible only if it ensures long-term quiet "Israel is not ruling out a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip if it results in a significant change in the situation inside Gaza and a restoration of quiet to the South, diplomatic officials said Saturday night.

The officials’ comments came as the UN Security Council issued a statement calling for a cease-fire, and as the foreign ministers of the US, France, Germany and Britain were set to discuss the situation at a meeting in Vienna on Sunday, on the sidelines of their talks with Iran.

Israeli officials were not speaking of the conditions they would demand for a cease-fire, but among the ideas that have been discussed are the dismantling of the rocket capabilities inside Gaza, similar to the manner in which the chemical weapons were dismantled in Syria; developing a mechanism to enforce the cease-fire; and a restoration of Palestinian Authority – not Hamas – control over the area."

John Kerry's First Peace Effort in Israel and Palestine Failed, But Now He Needs to Try Again "In summary, the fuse was lit for this latest conflagration by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenager. But horrific acts like these have, sadly, always been a part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu also played a role by using the investigation into the kidnapping as the pretext for attempting to destroy the Fatah-Hamas unity government. (Those who find this a reasonable objective should consider that the Netanyahu government and party contain high officials who want to deny Palestinians the right of self-determination.)

Abbas has, typically, tried to play a moderating role. Speaking in Saudi Arabia to an Arab audience, Abbas condemned the kidnapping of the Israeli teens. But Hamas deserves part of the blame for the escalation. While denying Hamas’s role in the kidnapping, Hamas leader Khalid Mashal said that Palestinians should 'applaud and take our hats off' to the kidnappers. Hamas’s rocket attacks (like Netanyahu’s attempt to destroy the unity government) have a strategic rationale. These attacks rarely hit targets, but they provoke a furious Israeli response that leads to hundreds of casualties and deaths, including women and children who have no direct connection with Hamas. These attacks rouse sympathy for Hamas in Europe and among the Arab states and can lead to welcome financial contributions and to the isolation of the Israeli government, but they come at an enormous cost to the people Hamas represents. . .

Kerry is probably right, however, in resisting another effort at renewing the peace process. Kerry and his negotiators made serious mistakes during the negotiations earlier this year—most notably, they tried to work out terms of a framework with the Israelis without concurrently talking to the Palestinians. Abbas, presented with a fait accompli, balked. But that wasn’t the main reason Kerry’s effort failed. The main reason, as Kerry’s people indicated to Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea (before they later tried to walk the story back), was Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s government kept announcing new housing starts in the occupied territories, inflaming the Palestinians. He made minor concessions in negotiations, but wouldn’t budge on specifying the borders of a Palestinian state; he wouldn’t limit the time for an Israeli occupation force in the Jordan Valley; and he wouldn’t discuss allowing a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem. Jerusalem lawyer Danny Seidemann, whom the Kerry team consulted, said in a press briefing, 'When my prime minister says that I support the two-state solution, but I oppose any compromise on Jerusalem, there is a literal transition for that. I oppose the two state solution.'"

Pope Francis reached out to Copeland, who responded positively; and no surprise because they are charismatic soulmates influenced and motivated in common by the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14. Now, at their first meeting they exult with a popular celebratory hand gesture, a historic first for a pope and representative of the forces that are gathering for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty":-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis meets US televangelists, and the first-ever ‘papal high-five’ follows "The June 24 meeting leaned particularly toward charismatic Christianity. Other guests were Anthony Palmer, a bishop and international ecumenical officer with the independent Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches; Geoff Tunnicliffe, the outgoing head of the Worldwide Evangelical Alliance; and John and Carol Arnott of Catch the Fire Toronto, which grew out of a Pentecostal revival 20 years ago.

The pope met with more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome last month, admitting he was not always comfortable with the way they prayed. Still, he knelt on stage as they prayed for him and spoke in tongues. 'Where does division come from? The devil!' Francis told them. 'Division comes from the devil. Flee from internal struggles, please!'

Pentecostal and charismatic Christians — charismatics are often Pentecostals in other churches, including the Catholic Church — share much in common, such as speaking in tongues and healing. Together, they make up at least 584 million people in the world, about 9 percent of the global population and one in four Christians worldwide, according to the Pew Research Center.

And that’s probably partly why Francis extended the invitation to the U.S. pastors. The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, a veteran of Catholic-Protestant ecumenical groups and the author of 'From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church,' said Pentecostalism is growing in the Global South at three times the rate of Catholic growth, especially among the poor.

'My guess is that Francis knows this community can’t be ignored,' Granberg-Michaelson said. 'Certainly, Francis would want to encourage Catholic charismatics to feel at home, as well as build ecumenical relationships with the Pentecostal community — and those reinforce one another. That’s also why what he is doing is both ecumenically creative, and makes sense.'"

The Hobby Lobby case is another huge victory for Roman Catholic dogma and a devastating blow against separation of Church and State - the five Justices in the majority are indeed all men, they are manifestly conservatives, but they are above all Roman Catholic ideologues serving as a battering ram to demolish the wall of separation between Church and State. "In a recent interview with CBS’ 'Face The Nation,' Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced that Hobby Lobby should be able to defy the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Given his position as a high-ranking cleric in the Catholic Church, that’s not surprising." Cardinal Dolan has had his way, and the Roman Catholic opposition to birth control has induced a transparently dishonest ruling by the right-wing Roman Catholic majority on the Supreme Court:-

The Bait-And-Switch Behind Today’s Hobby Lobby Decision "For many years, the Supreme Court struck a careful balance between protecting religious liberty and maintaining the rule of law in a pluralistic society. Religious people enjoy a robust right to practice their own faith and to act according to the dictates of their own conscience, but they could not wield religious liberty claims as a sword to cut away the legal rights of others. This was especially true in the business context. As the Supreme Court held in United States v. Lee, '[w]hen followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.'

With Monday’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, however, this careful balance has been upended. Employers who object to birth control on religious grounds may now refuse to comply with federal rules requiring them to include contraceptive care in their health plans. The rights of the employer now trump the rights of the employee.

To achieve this outcome, Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on behalf of a bare majority of the Court engages in a kind of legalistic bait-and-switch. It takes a law Congress enacted to serve one limited purpose, and expands that law to suit Hobby Lobby’s much more expansive purpose."

The New Law of Religion "Monday’s decision in Hobby Lobby was unprecedented. Much of the commentary has focused on the Supreme Court’s decision to extend rights of religious free exercise to for-profit corporations. Hobby Lobby is for religion what Citizens United was for free speech—the corporatization of our basic liberties. But Hobby Lobby is also unprecedented in another, equally important way. For the first time, the court has interpreted a federal statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or RFRA), as affording more protection for religion than has ever been provided under the First Amendment. While some have read Hobby Lobby as a narrow statutory ruling, it is much more than that. The court has eviscerated decades of case law and, having done that, invites a new generation of challenges to federal laws, including those designed to protect civil rights. . .

But in 1990, the Supreme Court repudiated this balancing test for assessing Free Exercise claims. In Employment Division v. Smith, which upheld a federal law banning the use of peyote, the court declared that generally applicable laws can incidentally burden religious practices without violating the First Amendment, and that the government does not need to provide any special justification for such laws.

After a storm of criticism, in 1993, a nearly unanimous Congress passed RFRA to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith. As the text of the law states, its purpose is to 'restore the compelling interest test as set forth' in Sherbert and Yoder. In other words, RFRA was designed to reinstate the legal principles that had existed before the court’s dramatic anti-religion decision in Smith.

But that is not how the court in Hobby Lobby interprets the law. Instead, writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito claims that RFRA marks 'a complete separation from First Amendment case law.' This is not a 'restoration' of the legal principles that existed prior to the court’s decision in Smith. The majority isn’t just reading RFRA to overturn its decision in the much-maligned peyote case. It isn’t just bringing back the balancing test from its decisions in the 1960s and 1970s. Quietly, buried in the text and footnotes of the majority opinion, Justice Alito holds that RFRA is a complete break from earlier law, a discontinuity—not a 'restoration,' but a revolution—in the test for protecting religious liberty. The law of religious exemptions can evolve past Smith, as Justice Alito points out, but there is a difference between evolution and revolution.

Justice Alito’s argument for this radical new interpretation is wrong."

Quick Change Justice "Yet moments before they adjourned for their summer recess, the justices proved they can act quite quickly and recklessly when it comes to violating the terms of a controversial opinion they handed down only days earlier. It’s as if the loaner car the court gave us in the Hobby Lobby ruling broke down mere blocks from the shop.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a 'substantial burden' on the religious freedoms of closely-held corporations for the government to require them to provide contraception as part of their employee health care plans. The court didn’t say that the government could never require a company to do something that violated its religious beliefs, but rather that the government had to use the 'least restrictive alternative.' That means that if there is a slightly less burdensome way to implement the law, it needs to be used. To prove that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate was not the 'least restrictive alternative,' the court pointed to a workaround in the law for nonprofits: If there are religious objections to a medical treatment, third parties will provide coverage to the employees.

Yet in an unsigned emergency order granted Thursday evening, the very same court said that this very same workaround it had just praised was also unconstitutional, that this workaround also burdened the religious freedom of religious employers. Overnight, the cure has become the disease. Having explicitly promised that Hobby Lobby would go no further than Hobby Lobby, the court went back on its word, then skipped town for the summer."

Hobby Lobby Decision Begins To Contort Under Its Own Logic "There’s a flaw in the legal argument at the heart of the Hobby Lobby decision, and it took only three days for it to spring into full view. In a strongly worded dissent yesterday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor attacked the court’s conservative majority for granting an injunction preventing a Catholic college from having to sign forms telling its insurance carrier it has religious objections to the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. . .

The Hobby Lobby decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who is Catholic, and joined by the court’s four other Catholic Justices. It may be the case “they honestly don’t believe contraception is essential healthcare,” Leiter said, making it easier for future judges to “cabin,” in legal terms, the decision to the facts of this case. . ."

Why The Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith "In response to today’s Supreme Court decision on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which allowed the the craft store giant and other “closely-held corporations” to be granted religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception mandate, political and religious conservatives are framing the case as a 'win' for religious liberty. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, released a statement celebrating the ruling and saying, 'The central issue of this case was whether the federal government can coerce Americans to violate their deeply held religious beliefs.' Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) echoed this sentiment in his own statement, saying, 'the Court has made it clear today that the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom in this case went too far.' Meanwhile, Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, tweeted, '#HobbyLobby wins. This is a great day for religious liberty. Government is not lord of the conscience.'

But while conservatives would have the American public believe that protecting Hobby Lobby is about protecting all religious people, the reality is that today’s ruling actually hurts people of faith. In fact, a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey conducted in early June found that a substantial majority of almost every major U.S. Christian group support the idea that publicly-held corporations and privately-owned corporations should be required to provide employees with healthcare plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost. This is likely why so many progressive Christian leaders have vocally opposed Hobby Lobby in the press, why Americans United for the Separation of Church and State submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court opposing Hobby Lobby on behalf of nearly 30 religious organizations, and why both the Jewish Social Policy Action Network and the American Jewish Committee submitted their own amicus briefs decrying the corporation’s position.

And while white evangelicals were an outlier in the PRRI poll — only 40 percent of evangelical respondents supported the ACA’s contraception mandate for privately-owned corporations — a sizable cadre of conservative Christians have publicly articulated nuanced, faith-based opposition to the case in recent months, drawing attention to the fact that Hobby Lobby only speaks for a small minority of people of faith in America. David Gushee, an evangelical Christian professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University, offered an extensive treatment of the case in the Associated Baptist Press in April. He examined the issue from the perspective of a Christian theologian, noting that any attempt to broaden the legal status of businesses to include religious exemptions — however well-intentioned — is inconsistent, dangerous, and unfair to other religious Americans."

Editorial: Hobby Lobby ruling steps over the line "We worry that Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s claim of religious persecution sets a dangerous precedent with consequences for both secular and religious freedoms. . .

Family planning is a personal decision, not a corporate decision to be made on behalf of employees. And what about the burden put on employees? Hobby Lobby isn’t a church or a religious organization with a faith-based mission. Based on a business owner’s beliefs, some companies now might be able to deny coverage for vaccinations and blood transfusions on religious grounds.

We had hoped the Supreme Court wouldn’t slide down this slippery slope, which reverses the prevailing wisdom of previous courts. Never before had a business been granted a religious exemption from a law when that exemption would allow business owners to impose their religious beliefs on employees. Until now, courts had rarely granted religious exemptions at all. What makes a craft shop like Hobby Lobby different from a bank or another enterprise whose owners also profess strong religious convictions?"

THE FLOODGATES HAVE OPENED!:

Danger sign: The Supreme Court has already expanded Hobby Lobby decision "The Supreme Court wasted no time in delivering a message to anyone who thought its Hobby Lobby ruling was limited to religious objections to coverage of purported abortion methods:

You're wrong.

The day after handing down the Hobby Lobby decision on Monday, the court issued orders pertaining to six pending cases in which employers claimed religious objections to all contraceptive services required under the Affordable Care Act. The court either ordered appeals courts to reconsider their rejection of the employers' claims in light of the Hobby Lobby decision, or let stand lower courts' endorsement of those claims. . .

The Supreme Court wasted no time in delivering a message to anyone who thought its Hobby Lobby ruling was limited to religious objections to coverage of purported abortion methods:

You're wrong.

The day after handing down the Hobby Lobby decision on Monday, the court issued orders pertaining to six pending cases in which employers claimed religious objections to all contraceptive services required under the Affordable Care Act. The court either ordered appeals courts to reconsider their rejection of the employers' claims in light of the Hobby Lobby decision, or let stand lower courts' endorsement of those claims. . .

In a case involving the Gilardi family, owners of an Ohio produce firm, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the Washington, D.C., circuit appeals court wrote in a 2-1 decision overturning the mandate that "this case is not about the sincerity of the Gilardis’ religious beliefs, nor does it concern the theology behind Catholic precepts on contraception. The former is unchallenged, while the latter is unchallengeable." N.B. ". . .while the latter [the theology behind Catholic precepts on contraception] is unchallengeable."

How many Christian (and particularly Seventh-day Adventist) skeptics are now convinced by the sure Word of Prophecy to abandon Preterism, Futurism, and Higher Criticism for the Historical method of prophetic interpretation? In 1798 the papacy appeared to be finished for all time; but prophecy indicated otherwise. Now the Historical method of prophetic interpretation is vindicated. Pope Francis speaks and writes (presumptuously,) and the world pays attention; even "follows" in accordance with the wording of the prophecy (although this by itself is not its full or ultimate meaning):-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Being a Christian means belonging to the Church, Pope affirms "'Our identity is one of belonging. To say 'I am Christian' means to say: 'I belong to the Church. I belong to this People with whom God established an ancient alliance that is always faithful,' the Pope explained in his June 25 general audience address."

But contrast how the Apostle Paul describes the Church of Christ, "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Heb. 12:22-24.)

Study finds Pope Francis most influential tweeter " "However, the study found that despite Obama’s huge following, he is not the most influential leader in the twitterverse when it comes to retweets. That honour goes to Pope Francis, who has 14 million followers on nine different language accounts."

"And all the world wondered [followed] after the beast" (Rev. 13:3b.)

A STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED!:-

Gays and Lesbians have their civil rights; but homosexuality has no place in the Church of Christ. The Bible is very clear on this aberration of the natural functions of sexuality, and the Apostle Paul had this to say about homosexuals, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another: men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet (Romans 1:26,27,) [strong words, but wholly consistent with the principles and historical evidence of the Bible.] About the unrighteous and the kingdom of God he said, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God;" (1 Cor. 6:9-10) but so-called Christian scholars and teachers, men and women who are too clever by half, have destroyed faith in the Bible by their presumptuous historical-critical methods of interpretation, and contemporary "Christianity" has come to this pass:

Presbyterians Vote to Allow Same-Sex Marriages "The Presbyterian Church, a historic mainline Protestant denomination that spans a broad spectrum from liberal to conservative evangelicals, has been mired in the debate over homosexuality for about three decades. The General Assembly’s decision in 2010 to ordain openly gay ministers caused many congregations, including some of the largest, to depart." [Note in the photograph the charismatic lifting up of hands. Pope Francis is a Charismatic.]

The Presbyterian Lay Committee Board of Directors got it right:

Presbyterian Lay Committee Board of Directors repudiates action of PCUSA General Assembly "The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved both an Authoritative Interpretation of the Constitution and an amendment to redefine marriage. In the name of 1.8 million Presbyterians nationwide, the General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God’s clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner. This is an abomination."

Cf. The Infallible Word of God "The vast majority of scholars today would disagree with such a position. "Higher criticism" is the norm, which, according to Wikipedia, "is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. Higher criticism in particular focuses on the sources of a document and tries to determine the authorship, date, and place of composition of the text." Other definitions out there say that the higher critic is also trying to determine the meaning of the text.
That all may sound benign, but it should be understood that higher criticism is based on the assumption that the Bible is inaccurate. Thus, when a higher critic is trying to determine the authorship and date of Genesis and Exodus, he may conclude that these books, contrary to Jesus' claim in the New Testament, were not written by Moses at the time of the Exodus. Moreover, he may also conclude that the Creation account of Genesis 1 is myth, and that there really wasn't an exodus from Egypt after all."

This is one of the outstanding signs that the end of this world is near; for as Jesus said, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:22,) and the Apostle Paul wrote, "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:27-28.) "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36.)

From [I]@yahoo.com:-

The recent article below is very remarkable for the following reasons:

1. The Catholic church is the ultimate “religious fundamentalist” organization because it claims that it never changes and it often uses force to enforce a rigid orthodoxy; also it claims that it never changes.

2. The violence perpetrated by the Catholic church is not even measurable.

Of course, these statements are all part of the greatest deception of all times.

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.” (The Great Controversy, page 571; underscored emphasis supplied.)

May God help us and all His faithful people to cling firmly to Him and His truth as these and other delusions are accepted by the churches and the world.

Pope Condemns Religious Fundamentalism, Middle East Violence

Before the historic prayer meeting:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

At Vatican, Peres Asks: 'Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem' "President Shimon Peres appealed for peace Sunday afternoon, in a garden of the Vatican City. Quoting in Hebrew from Psalm 122, he asked those present to 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,' saying that those who love the city shall prosper. Switching to English, he repeated what he said in Hebrew about Pope Francis bearing 'a renewed inspiration to trust in heaven, to love the people, and to care for the earth. It is in that spirit that I have come here from Jerusalem, the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, and the vibrant heart of the Jewish People. In Hebrew, the word Jerusalem and the word for peace, share the same root – Shalom. And it is with that prayer in our heart and that call to action that we stand together. From Jerusalem, I have come to call for Shalom – Peace. Peace between nations. Peace between faiths. Peace between people. Peace for our children.'"

"Abbas said he hoped the event in the Vatican Gardens at 5:00 p.m. GMT, which includes Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayers and the planting of an olive tree by all three leaders, would 'help Israel decide.'

'The pope's invitation was courageous,' Abbas said in an interview with the La Repubblica daily.
'With this prayer we are sending a message to all believers of the three major religions and the others: the dream of peace must not die,' he said."

At the prayer meeting:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis’s speech during peace prayer "We have heard a summons, and we must respond. It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word 'brother.' But to be able to utter this word we have to lift our eyes to heaven and acknowledge one another as children of one Father.

To him, the Father, in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, I now turn, begging the intercession of the Virgin Mary, a daughter of the Holy Land and our Mother.

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried…But our efforts have been in vain.

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: 'Never again war!'; 'With war everything is lost.' Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace."

Predictions of the Bible: Micah 4:3; Isa. 2:2-4, 6, 19-22; 1 Thess. 5:2-3.

Meanwhile, in Palestine a significant development:

Pope Francis Joins Israeli and Palestinian Leaders in Prayer for Peace "At the very hour Pope Francis sat with the Presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the garden of the Vatican, filling a soft June evening with the very best of intentions, more immediately meaningful events continued to unfold in the Middle East.

In Israel, the leader of the pivotal faction in the ruling coalition unveiled his own roadmap for peace — embracing the gritty specifics of the conflict that the Vatican “invocation for peace” avoided. Yair Lapid, who holds the title of Israeli Finance Minster and controls the Yesh Atid party that claimed the crucial centrist vote in the 2013 election, threatened to bring down the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if Israel moves to annex any of the West Bank, the Palestinian territory that, along with the Gaza Strip, would form a proposed Palestinian state.

Lapid urged the resumption of negotiations that fell apart in April, pointedly calling for Israel to prepare a map of its own boundaries — something American and Palestinian officials have said Netanyahu has refused to do. Lapid also called for a freeze on construction of Jewish settlements deep in the West Bank, beyond the so-called blocs that under most scenarios would become part of Israel in a final arrangement. 'There is no reason to keep avoiding the necessity of drawing out the state of Israel’s future borders,' Lapid said. . ."

The entire report is pregnant with meaning - evidence of the effective working of the spirits of Rev. 16:14.

The numbers of political and religious leaders being received in audience by the charismatic Pope Francis is unprecedented.The gathering of "the kings of the earth and of "the whole world" (Rev. 16:14) is continuing at an accelerated pace. World leaders beat a path to the door of Pope Francis' audience chamber:-

"From [D]@gmail.com:

Sen. Mike Lee, Dirk Kempthorne, Joel Osteen meet with Pope Francis at Vatican "Part of a multiday, unofficial visit to Italy to promote ecumenical prayer and interfaith understanding, Lee was joined in the private audience by former U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne; Lakewood Church pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen; Tim Timmons, a pastor and author based in Newport Beach, California; and Gayle D. Beebe, president of Westmont College, an evangelical school in Santa Barbara, California."

There is a significant symbolism in the gathering reported above. Roman Catholicism has always been rife with spiritualism; but the particular spiritualism associated with the work of the "spirits of devils" in the ecumenical movement began in the 19th century. One branch of that spiritualism is practised in the Mormon Church, of which Sen. Mike Lee is a member. This delegation which met with the Pope included prominent Protestant pastors and an Evangelical educator. Therefore in this gathering can be seen a representation of the three-fold union prophesied by Ellen G. White. Such a representation was also seen in the 2012 American presidential election. Fulfillment of the rest of the prophecy cannot be far in the future.

Extraordinary prayer summit for the Presidents of Israel and Palestine with Pope Francis presiding and the probability of Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew attending. Whatever the intended results, the parties involved indicate two major priorities of the Pope - achieving a presence in Jerusalem and reconciliation with the Orthodox Churches:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis Invites Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew To Prayer Summit With Mahmoud Abbas And Shimon Peres "Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople may join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres when they meet Pope Francis to pray for peace this weekend.

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday (June 3) that the pope had invited the head of the Orthodox faith to join the Middle East leaders at a Vatican prayer summit to be held this Sunday (June 8).

'It’s true that the pope invited him and wants him to come,” Lombardi said. “I think he will come but so far we do not have an official confirmation.'

Lombardi was responding to a report in the Italian daily La Stampa, which said sources in the patriarchate had confirmed Bartholomew’s attendance. The newspaper said a formal announcement may be made Wednesday (June 4)."

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Join Pope Francis for Vatican Prayer Summit "His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christian faithful worldwide, will join Pope Francis at the Vatican for a prayer summit on the evening of June 8, 2014 in an intensive spiritually-focused initiative for Middle East peace process. Together with the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will participate in an interfaith prayer service of Jews, Christians, and Muslims for peace in the region."

Vatican Mideast 'prayer summit' includes three faiths, olive tree planting "Sunday's prayer service at the Vatican for peace in the Middle East, hosted by Pope Francis and attended by both the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, will involve prayers in the traditions of all three Abrahamic faiths and a symbolic planting of an olive tree, the Vatican announced Friday.

Besides Israel's Shimon Peres and Palestine's Mahmoud Abbas, the summit will also be attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, considered "first among equals" in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

The summit, the fruit of an invitation the pontiff made to the Middle East leaders during his three-day visit to the Holy Land at the end of May, is being seen as a potential landmark point in what has become a stalled peace process between the two states.

The rundown of the event -- which was released following a press briefing at the Vatican from spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi and Franciscan Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who serves as the head of the main Franciscan order in the Holy Land and cares for the order's extensive property holdings in the region -- paints a picture of a possibly highly symbolic evening."

"He in whom all iniquity has fixed its abode" declares that those who deny the existence of God can be saved, and in an extreme statement of the Tridentine doctrine asserts that they only need to perform "good works" for salvation. This declaration is directly inspired by the chief of the fallen angels, the arch deceiver and great apostate Satan:-

Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too! "The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists.

However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ."

Jesus said:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18.)

"And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of
this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [i.e. I am God] he [supplied, not in the Greek], ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:23-24.)"

The Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul declared:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)

Well did the Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul give this warning concerning the papacy:

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 2:8-12.) This applies to B. B. Beach and all those SDA leaders who led the Church into the embrace of Rome, and keep the members locked in that embrace.

Spirits of devils revealed the purpose of spiritualism to the prominent spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This should be kept in mind in reading the following reports:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis sets date for prayer meeting with presidents of Israel and Palestine "Francis had invited both men to 'my home' to pray during his recent trip to the Middle East. Speaking from the biblical town of Bethlehem, Francis said: 'Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment.'

Both men immediately agreed, and subsequently approved the June 8 date, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday.

Francis has stressed that he is not seeking to jumpstart peace negotiations, but merely bring the two sides together to pray. He said he had arranged for a rabbi and a Muslim cleric to lead the prayers, along with him.

'It will be a prayer meeting. It's not to do mediation or find solutions,' he told reporters on the flight home from Jerusalem on Monday. 'We'll meet just to pray, and then everyone will go home. But I think praying is important, praying together.' . . .

The prospects of any breakthrough are slim. Peres, a 90-year-old Nobel peace laureate, holds a largely ceremonial office and is set to step down this summer. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed anger with politicians who have reached out to Abbas at a time when the Palestinian leader is reconciling with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, a terrorist group. . .

Francis' prayer meeting falls on Pentecost Sunday, an important feast in the Catholic Church which celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles."

This will be a prayer meeting on enchanted ground. How will the two Presidents react? Peres is already committed to the Vatican's plan. Can Abbas be seduced by the spirits to promise concessions that may jeopardize his life?

Pope Francis is a charismatic. The unclean spirits of Rev. 16:14 are at work. How soon will we see the signs and lying wonders prophesied in 2 Thess. 2:9?:

Come Holy Spirit! Pope Francis to Address 50,000 Participants in Charismatic Renewal at Rome's Olympic Stadium "On Sunday, June 1 and Monday, June 2, 2014, at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, home to massive soccer games, 50,000 people will gather to pray, praise and worship the Lord. They will ask the Lord for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church. They will participate in the Holy Eucharist and receive instruction on how to fully live the Catholic Christian Life.They will be enlisted in the missionary work of the Church. . .

On the opening evening of this conference, Pope Francis will speak. Participants in the Charismatic Renewal are in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. They not only speak of Jesus as someone who lived over two thousand years ago, they speak of Him as someone who is alive today - because He is! They are often enthusiastic in prayer and praise. They understand that the missionary mandate of the Church is the responsibility of every Catholic, no matter what their state in life or vocation.

No wonder they are viewed by this Pope as a great resource for the Church in its internal work of New Evangelization, as well as her global mission."

Here we have an indication of the role of the charismatic movement in the closing events of earth's history. This prayer will not be answered by the Holy Spirit, but by the god of this world - the fallen angel orchestrating the work of the unclean spirits described in Rev. 16:14 & 16:

Pope’s Historic Prayer Deeply Moves Jerusalem Bishop "The auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem described the recent prayer shared between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I as a moving event, predicting future blessings from the encounter.

'Really, it was moving. It was very moving and emotional,' Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem told CNA May 25, explaining that he had never witnessed anything like it before.

'The humility of the Pope, the friendship which was born between the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople, the atmosphere, the nature of people present of the Holy Sepulcher. It was historical in all ways.'"

As Pope Francis has completed the first day (May 24, 2014) of his "Holy Land" trip, it is worthy of note that his first stop was in Amman, the capital of Jordan which has custodianship of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem. This includes the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount. While Vatican control over the Christian holy places faces violent opposition from ultra-orthodox Jews as a major obstacle to Rome's objective, it must not be overlooked that the Muslims hold a lock on the center of the Temple Mount, and agreement must be reached with them:

Agreement Between Jordan, Palestinian Authority Officially Recognizes Jordan's Custodianship Over Jerusalem's Holy Places "The agreement states that "His Majesty King 'Abdallah II, as the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, will exert all possible efforts to preserve [these] sites, especially Al-Haram Al-Sharif [The Al-Aqsa Mosque]… and to represent their interests." The agreement states further that King 'Abdallah is responsible for ensuring respect for the holy places, guaranteeing the Muslims' freedom of movement to and from the sites, ensuring their maintenance and representing their interests in the international arena. . .

The agreement, then, does not alter the decades-long status quo, under which the Jordanian Waqf manages the affairs of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places in coordination with Israel. Nevertheless, the agreement reinforces Jordan's status in the holy places in a manner that may restrict Israel's freedom of action in Jerusalem. "

A meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan concerned issues including Jerusalem. This logically would have included the Vatican's interest:

Does Jordan truly want an independent Palestinian state? "The U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations have yet to yield any tangible results. Serious disagreements remain over key issues such as borders, refugees, security, and the status of Jerusalem. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss these issues. . .

Originally in its infancy, the area known as modern Jordan was part of the original British mandate of Palestine. In 1922, the British partitioned the original mandate, setting aside all the land east of the Jordan River to become an Arab state. But Jordan’s Hashemite kingdom still believed that areas west of the Jordan River, especially Jerusalem, should be under their control. As such, during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Jordanian forces occupied what is known today as the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, controlling it until 1967 and granting citizenship to many of the Palestinian Arabs living there.

When Israel took control of these areas as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War, Jordan’s King Hussein still laid claim to the region and control over the Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem."

The issue of the Muslim Holy Places in Jerusalem is a very sensitive one between Jordan and Israel, and has threatened the disruption of peaceful relations:

Jordan MPs vote to expel Israeli ambassador in Jerusalem holy site row "Jordan's parliament has voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy, after Israeli lawmakers debated whether to take over a Jerusalem holy site administered by Jordanians. . .

The discussion initiated on Tuesday by the Likud party's Moshe Feiglin centred on whether the Jewish state should wrest control of Muslim holy shrines from Jordan, which was given a "special" role over the area in a 1994 peace treaty with Israel. The debate ended without a vote."

Jordan and the Palestinians have an interest in the negotiations between the Vatican and Israel concerning the Cenacle and Mount Zion, and Jordan is actually involved:

The Vatican and Israel "The second issue concerns some land on Mount Zion in Jerusalem owned by the Vatican. The Holy See wants to build a church on that property which is currently used as a parking lot. Israel has not agreed to this proposal but has offered an alternative piece of land on which a church can be built. Israel has also decided to allow an area on Mount Zion, known as the Cenacle, the highest point on the Mount, where the Last Supper supposedly took place, to become open to Catholic worshippers, a decision which the Vatican has long requested. The site, presently a tourist attraction, will be administered by the Franciscans, who hold that they were guardians of this site before the Ottoman Empire took it over in the 16th century. Under this agreement Israel will retain ownership of the land.

This area, the Cenacle, has been controversial for two reasons. Christians venerate it as the site of the Last Supper, Jews see it as a holy site because it rests above what some believe to be King David's Tomb, and Muslims also consider it to be David's burial site. Secondly, the territory of Mount Zion is disputed territory. It lies in East Jerusalem which Palestinians consider an occupied site. The Palestinians hold that it should be subject to international, not Israeli law. For the Vatican, and also for Jordan, there is a dilemma. If a future agreement with Israel recognizes Catholic institutions in East Jerusalem, this agreement is tantamount to the Vatican giving de facto recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the area. Jordan is involved because it regards itself as the guardian of the holy sites in Jerusalem. It is not prepared to accept a Vatican-Israeli agreement concerning those sites. Therefore, both the Palestinians and Jordan want the Vatican to consider East Jerusalem as "occupied territory" until there is a final status agreement on the city."

Cf. Struggle for rights at Cenacle shows issues with Jerusalem's holy sites "The attention drawn to the Cenacle by extremist Jewish groups has put a damper on the hopes for negotiations over the site, said Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land. . .

But Jerusalem is full of sites holy to multiple religions. If Christians are given the right to have organized services at the Cenacle, some people worry that Jews could demand similar rights to pray at the site they refer to as the Temple Mount and which the Muslims call Haram al-Sharif. For both Jews and Muslims, it is the holiest site in Jerusalem. Currently, Muslim prayers are recited at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the top of the hill, from where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven, while Jews pray below at the Western Wall, which is a retaining wall of the platform above were once the Jewish temple stood."

A resolution of the issues appears to be impossible; but the prophecy is sure, and the way will open for the Vatican to achieve its ultimate objective. We must not weary in watching for the ultimate sign that probation is about to close for humanity (Dan. 12:1,) followed within a short space of time by the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Whether or not the rumors were based on fact, it now appears unlikely that there is an imminent announcement of a deal between the Vatican and Israel. It is clear that Pope Francis' trip is as much about healing the rift between the Church of Rome and that of Constantinople; however, there must be significance in the fact that Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, are meeting in Jerusalem:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

The 1,000-Year-Old Schism That Pope Francis Seeks To Heal "But the official purpose of the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic rapprochement between Catholics and Orthodox and to try to restore Christian unity after nearly 1,000 years of estrangement.

Meeting in Jerusalem in 1964, Pope Paul VI and Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras set a milestone: They started the process of healing the schism between Eastern and Western Christianity of the year 1054.

Moves toward closer understanding followed, but differences remain on issues such as married clergy and the centralized power of the Vatican.

It was the current Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I — known as the 'first among equals in the Orthodox church' — who asked Francis to join him in Jerusalem."

Conspiracy Theories Swirl Around Pope Francis' Visit To Holy Land "The Pope's plan hold mass in a Jerusalem room believed have hosted Jesus' Last Supper has caused an ugly rift between Israel and Vatican, with conspiracy theories swirling around the visit.

The Cenacle is a room on the top floor of medieval building of great significance to Christians, but also to Jews as the supposed burial place of King David, and to Muslims, as the building was a mosque for four centuries.

The planned mass appears to contravene an agreement, in place since the British Mandate, that states all faiths must be allowed access to the site, but cannot hold religious rituals there.

Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, head of a yeshiva, a place of study for Jewish men, located on the site, said it was 'an aggressive change of the British status quo,' according to the FT.

And Muslims share the fears of some Jews that Israel is preparing to offer the building to the Vatican, according to Mohammad Dajani Daoudi, a professor at Jerusalem’s al-Quds university. . .

The Israeli government has repeatedly denied that it will cede control of the site, but one report suggested the the Vatican was set to trade a Jewish heirloom, a candelabrum from the Second Temple, in exchange.

'The State of Israel has no intention to transfer to the Vatican sovereignty or ownership of the Cenacle or any other part of the compound on Mount Zion,' Israel's envoy to the Holy See Zion Evrony told Haaretz."

Pope’s trip to Holy Land stirs diplomatic dilemmas "Some of Francis’ planned stops could cause discomfort in Israel.

In Bethlehem, the Argentine pontiff will visit the Deheishe refugee camp, home to Palestinians who fled or were driven from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding the establishment of Israel. Palestinian officials are eager for Francis to see the impoverished camp and hear Palestinian grievances against Israel.

'The pope will see the reality,' said Xavier Abu Eid, a Palestinian official helping coordinate the papal visit.

Also, the pontiff will meet with the top Muslim cleric in Jerusalem, the grand mufti, at the Holy Land’s most politically sensitive religious site — the Old City compound revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount. The site witnesses frequent clashes between Israeli police and Muslim worshippers."

Cf. Caught in the Middle; Israel, Palestinians Eye 'Earthly' Gains From Pilgrim Pope; Jews protest upcoming Pope visit To Jerusalem holy sites; Orthodox Jews Protest Upcoming Pope Visit To Last Supper Site In Jerusalem. The Pope does not have an easy path to "plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11:45.)

Christian unity is the focus of Pope Francis' visit to Palestine on May 24-26, with the main purpose on the trip being to meet in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, considered first among equals by Orthodox bishops. Hopefully, how significant this is to the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45 may be clear by the last week of the month, especially with all of the rumors of Israeli concessions to the Vatican (Cf. Op-Ed: Will the Vatican get a Seat in David’s Tomb?):-

From [D]@gmail.com:

In Holy Land, Pope Francis will focus on unity, not ignore conflict "On Pope Francis' first trip to the Holy Land, May 24-26, his agenda will focus on the search for Christian unity, particularly between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. But inevitably, in a region so rich in history and so fraught with conflict, he will address other urgent issues, including dialogue with Jews and Muslims, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the plight of the Middle East's shrinking Christian population.

The Vatican has emphasized that the pope's main purpose on the trip is to meet in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, considered first among equals by Orthodox bishops. The official logo for the papal visit is an icon of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, patron saints of the churches of Rome and Constantinople, joined in a fraternal embrace.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew are scheduled meet four times during the pope's three-
day visit. Their private meeting May 25 will mark the 50th anniversary of the encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, which opened the modern period of ecumenical dialogue.

At an ecumenical service that evening, representatives of the three churches who share custody of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher -- Catholic, Greek-Orthodox and Armenian -- will pray together at the site of Jesus' burial and resurrection. The event will be 'extraordinarily historic,' according to the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, since the three communities normally observe strict separation when they worship in the church."

The Pope's two [Jewish and Muslim friends] will be a part of the official papal delegation, the first time that such a delegation has included members of other faiths:

Pope Francis adds Jewish and Muslim leaders to entourage for Holy Land trip "The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said their presence in the delegation was an 'absolute novelty' desired by Francis to show the "normality" of having friends of other faiths"

This is in harmony with the work of Patriarch Bartholomew:

BARTHOLOMEW ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE, NEW ROME AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH "As a citizen of Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds. He works to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox communities, such as in former Yugoslavia, and is supportive of peace building measures to diffuse global conflict in the region."

Peering behind the curtain of the Rome-Constantinople ecumenical dialogue:

Divisions in the Orthodox Church are holding up ecumenical dialogue "It is becoming increasingly clear that the reason why dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches has been proceeding at baby step pace with long stand-by phases is to be found in the Orthodox playing field, characterised by reservations and divisions. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Department for External Church Relations confirmed this yet again in a recent interview with KNA news agency. During the interview, Metropolitan Hilarion clearly aired his dissatisfaction at the work being done by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church – the body in charge of appeasing the two Churches on the pressing question of primacy and the exercise of authority in the Church. Metropolitan Hilarion is the top representative of the Patriarchate of Moscow in the commission and yet the tone of distance he has got across in some statements, has not gone unnoticed. 'We are wrong to try to present the theological traditions of our Churches as united at the highest level,' he said. Theological dialogue must not conceal but highlight the differences between Christian denominations."

Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church constitute a big obstacle to the consummation of ecumenical unity. They are in direct confrontation with Rome's European Union in the Ukraine:

Russian Orthodox Church sings from Putin hymn sheet on Ukraine "The Russian Orthodox Church does not officially recognize a smaller rival Christian Orthodox church in Ukraine following a schism in which it refused to follow Moscow's lead after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Some have warned that aligning itself too closely to the state on Ukraine may backfire on the Russian Orthodox Church as it could undercut its influence there by alienating those who do not want to strengthen Kiev's ties to Moscow.

In a sign that he may be alert to that risk, Kirill also said he would do "everything possible" to convince the Russian authorities that 'civilian deaths cannot be allowed on the Ukrainian soil'

That came after a senior cleric of the Moscow-backed Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Onuphrius, appealed to him to use his influence to help safeguard Ukraine's territorial integrity after Russia said it could dispatch troops to Crimea.

'If this happens, the Ukrainian and the Russian nations would be dragged into a confrontation that would have catastrophic consequences for our countries, Onuphrius wrote." (The rubicon has been crossed since the date of this report.)

There are still many complexities to be sorted out in the continuing ecumenical dialogue. How these will be resolved remains to be seen; but in the meantime the Pope's upcoming visit to the "Holy Land" is a significant marker in the march of prophetic events.

Pope Francis' claims for the paganistic institution which he calls "the Church":-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope at Mass: We are not Christian without the Church "So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life."

No-one who is abiding in Christ Jesus ever walks alone, though separated from the crowd (Matt.
7:13-14.) God's description of His Church by His Apostle Paul: "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Hebrews 12:22-24. No earthly organization, Roman Catholic or Protestant, conforms to the description of this spiritual body that is the true Church of Christ.

Is a significant announcement pending? There have been persistent rumors of major concessions to the Vatican by the Israeli government. Now the Pope is to be accompanied to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel by ecumenical friends, one Jewish one Muslim, with a special focus on an encounter between the Bishop of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew I; and the patriarch of the Maronite Church, Beshara Rai, also traveling to Jerusalem to greet Pope Francis, the first head of the Lebanon-based denomination to visit Israel since its creation in 1948. How significant is all of this in the context of Dan. 11:45? We continue to watch:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Jewish and Muslim leaders to join Pope’s Holy Land trip "Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, who have been participants in interreligious dialogue with the Pope, will both join the May 24-26 trip, marking the first time that a rabbi and a Muslim dignitary will have done so.

The pilgrimage will focus on the encounter between the Bishop of Rome and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople.

On the other hand, the dialogue among the three faiths that share Jerusalem as a holy city will be of crucial importance, and this is the reason why Pope Francis wanted to be accompanied by Skorka and Abboud."

Maronite patriarch to make historic Jerusalem trip "The Maronite church has its roots in the Fertile Crescent of the early 5th century. It is named after St Maron, a hermit whose holiness and miracles attracted many followers.

Following a bloody persecution a century later, the Maronite fled to the mountains of what is now Lebanon to seek refuge.

They have their own distinct theology, spirituality, liturgy and code of canon law but are in full communion with Rome."

How vast the influence of Rome has become! The papacy received a deadly wound in 1798 as prophesied, but the prophecy affirmed that the wound would be healed, and afterwards "all the world wondered (followed) after the beast (Rev. 13:3.) Note the extent of the power that the UN expects the papacy to exercise:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

UN to back Pope Francis statement on ‘human ecology "The attention of the UN could raise the pressure on the Vatican to deliver concrete action on climate change, at the same time as other countries are working towards their contributions towards a UN climate change treaty."

The rumors persist that David's Tomb will be transferred to the Vatican and parts or all of Mount Zion may be relinquished to the Vatican during the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Israel. Assuming that they prove to be true, how does this relate to the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45? Given the significance of the prophecies of Isa. 14:12-14 and Isa. 2:2-3, it seems more likely than not that the ultimate objective of Rome is the Temple Mount rather than Mount Zion, and a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians appears to be a prerequisite. On the other hand, the Temple Mount could be an unattainable objective until the supernatural appearance of the beast of Rev. 17, who is Satan impersonating Jesus Christ. The prophecy makes it clear that it is to him that the ten kings "give their power and their strength." At this time it will be revealed who these ten kings are. Following our Lord's admonition to "Watch," the unfolding of prophetic events in Palestine, America, and Europe, will alert the vigilant to the imminence of His coming:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Netanyahu 'Asked Rabbi to Allow Giving David's Tomb to Vatican' "The MKs were unanimous in declaring that they intend to do everything within their power to forestall any attempt to hand over the Tomb to the Vatican. There are also reports that not just the Tomb, but the entire Mount Zion compound is up for transfer. The MKs made clear that the zone is under Israeli sovereignty and will remain so.

There have been reports, recently, of a secret negotiation channel between the Vatican and the Israeli government, regarding the Tomb – and especially its second floor, which the Vatican calls the 'Room of the Last Supper' – and the Mount Zion compound.

Officially, this report was denied by the government, with Deputy Minister Ze'ev Elkin taking to the Knesset podium to state that it was untrue.

However, the government has decided to place the exclusive authority regarding the holy sites in the hands of the prime minister – fueling speculation that a secret deal is indeed in the works.

The Vatican's attempts to gain a sovereign foothold on Mount Zion have been going on for year[s], but thus far unsuccessfully."

The religio-political ecumenical bandwagon gathers momentum, embracing all nations, as fulfillment of Rev. 16:13-14 and Rev. 17 is unfolding:-

From [D}@gmail.com:

Baptism gains in mutual recognition among European and American churches "The World Council of Churches said on its website some people are a calling the rise of European and North American church body baptismal agreements an 'an ecumenical harvest.'"

Envoy: Iran Attaches Special Importance to Ties with Vatican "The senior diplomat also said Iran is ready to cooperate with Vatican to restore peace to Palestine and the Middle East." (Huge potential to neutralize a powerful potential opponent of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.)

Putin's Russia is a holdout, even as China strengthens ties with the European Union:

Russia, EU set to clash on causes of Ukraine turmoil "An EU diplomat told reporters that the Russian pressure on Ukraine, which led to the decision by President Viktor Yanukovich to put off the signature of the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU and to the subsequent protests, had prompted the political turmoil in Ukraine."

Europe has power over Russia, but needs more than gesture diplomacy "The consequences of failing to act firmly would have a negative impact far beyond the European Union's eastern neighborhood.

One country waiting quietly to see if Vladimir Putin gets away with his de facto land grab in Crimea is China, a growing military power locked in a series of territorial disputes with the countries around it."

EU-China: The next ten years "China and the European Union must build on the growth of their relationship over the past decade by promoting greater two-way investment as well as cooperation in areas such as finance, technology and urbanisation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a special message sent to the third Europe-China Forum."

The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been suspended by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the news media are reporting them as collapsed, but there is merit in one headline which reads, "It ain't over till it's over" ("Despite Israel’s decision to suspend talks, the Hebrew papers avoid pronouncing peace dead and buried.") The controlling timeline for accomplishing peace and establishing a papal presence in Jerusalem (Dan. 11:45) must be Luke 21:24, and there is not much more of a generation's time left from the final fulfillment of the prophecy in 1980:-

Collapse of Peace Talks Gives Israel Easy Exit, but Leaves It in a Precarious Spot "But the collapse of negotiations that Mr. Kerry and others called the last chance for a two-state solution to the intractable conflict leaves Israel in a precarious position. The talks helped contain violence in the West Bank and hold back a mounting European boycott of Israeli goods and institutions.

Now Mr. Netanyahu faces a strengthened Palestinian president free to leverage his United Nations observer-state status to access more international institutions, including courts in which Israel could face war crimes charges. The Palestinian Authority may well collapse if the United States withdraws financial aid in response to such moves as well as the reconciliation with Hamas, leaving Israel responsible for its residents and sharpening criticism of its occupation.

Absent a peace process, the threat of a binational state in which Arabs could soon outnumber Jews grows more potent.

'I don’t think the continuation of the status quo is an Israeli interest,' said Shlomo Brom, a retired general at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

'Netanyahu went to these negotiations not because he expected there would be results — he wanted release from potential pressure from the Americans and the Europeans,' Mr. Brom added. 'He got this release for the last nine months. Now he will have to think about a new trick.'"

Beyond Kerry, seeking new Mideast ideas is a thoughtful analysis of Israel's "precarious spot." In it there is a curious statement which includes the word "Vatican": "Such an enticement might be a new arrangement in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, a key issue which to date has been tethered to the final settlement idea. It might agree to joint custody of the area with its Christian,
Jewish and Muslim holy sites, possibly with the inclusion [of] other Muslim countries and outside powers — a sort of Vatican of the Holy Land." Although somewhat vague, this statement brings to mind the fact that under the government of the late Prime Minister Rabin, his foreign minister, Peres, in a meeting with the Pope in 1994, presented a plan to "Vaticanize" the Old City of Jerusalem, with the Old City to be administered by the Palestinians. Whether or not this plan or some variation of it can, and will, be revived remains to the seen.

Israel's "precarious spot" is underscored by the position adopted by the European Union. Rome has the leverage through the EU, and the United Nations, and the USA, although in America the Israel lobby is a countervailing influence:

EU hails Fatah-Hamas deal, says peace talks priority "'The EU’s top priority is that the current talks continue beyond April 29,' said a spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton, referring to the deadline for a US-led effort to broker a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal.

'The EU has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, spokesman Michael Mann said in a statement.

Such an understanding was 'an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution [with Israel],' Mann added.

The statement came as Israel announced the suspension of peace talks with the Palestinians over the unity deal."

Cf. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

The present occupant of the papal throne which was once reeling from the deadly wound of Rev. 13:3, now healed as prophesied, ranks with the world's most influential people; receives enthusiastic praise from President Obama:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Obama: Pope Francis 'makes us want to be better people'

Will Rome now reach her pinnacle under Pope Francis? It is impossible to know until fulfilled prophecy makes it clear. It appeared that Pope John-Paul II might have been the last Pope. He was "one of the most consequential popes in history" (9 Reasons Pope John Paul II mattered.) He was "arguably one of, if not the most, beloved popes of the twentieth century" (Pope Francis' popularity rivals that of John Paul II among American Catholics, survey finds;) but he died and has been succeeded by two more Popes. However, what is striking about Pope Francis is his personal relationships with non-Catholics, particularly with Jewish leaders, his involvement in the charismatic movement, and his circumspection in what he says publicly, thereby disarming potential critics and extending his popularity among unbelievers as well as believers. (But NB The Role of the Papacy According to Malachi Martin.) He is strikingly ecumenical in his image; and this is consistent with the work of the spirits of Rev. 16:14

Obama is seduced by the looming whoredom described in Rev. 17, and ready to sip from the golden cup - the institution of the White House prayer breakfast in itself undermines the separation of Church and State :-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Obama says Pope Francis is a reminder of human dignity "“I think it’s fair to say that those of us
of the Christian faith, regardless of our denomination, have been touched and moved by Pope Francis,” he said, explaining that this is partly because of the pontiff’s words, which offer “a message of justice and inclusion, especially for the poor and the outcast. He implores us to see the inherent dignity in each human being.”

“But it’s also his deeds, simple yet profound – hugging the homeless man, and washing the feet of somebody who normally ordinary folks would just pass by on the street. He reminds us that all of us, no matter what our station, have an obligation to live righteously, and that we all have an obligation to live humbly.”

There is a BBC documentary film about Britain's involvement in the European Union on YouTube, titled "The Poisoned Chalice." It is a very apt description of all manifestations of ecumenism, which is the golden cup of Rev. 17:4. It is worthy of note that the United States was a strong advocate for the inclusion of Britain in the European Union:

Britain Outside Europe? The US View "The US has been a long-standing supporter of both European integration and a British role in the European project. The US-designed Marshall Plan for assisting the reconstruction of Europe required European unity and cooperation as a means of facilitating reconstruction and security. When in 1962 retired US Secretary of State Dean Acheson said, 'Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role' he immediately followed it with another clear statement: 'The attempt to play a separate power role apart from Europe, a role based on a ‘special relationship’ with the US and on being the head of a ‘commonwealth’ which has no political structure, unity, or strength – this role is about played out.' The part about playing 'a separate power role apart from Europe' is often overlooked, not least by the British. Acheson’s speech reflected growing opinion in Washington DC that has led US administrations from Kennedy onward to push for UK participation in European integration. . .

The Obama administration has continued the Bush administration’s support for a strong and united EU, with the UK as an engaged member. US policymakers increasingly appreciate that US power is reduced from just a decade ago, if only in relative terms. Unilateralist impulses have been replaced by a search for like-minded and reliable allies capable of helping to advance common Atlantic values. As President Obama made clear in his state visit to the UK in 2011, Europe remains the cornerstone for US global engagement and the greatest catalyst for global action in the world today."

This brings to mind the God-given insight of A. T. Jones into the thinking of Pope Leo XIII. The EU is the creation of the papacy. Although the most obvious influence of Rome on US governmental policies has been observable only since the Reagan presidency, the papacy has been gradually increasing its influence since the time of Leo XIII. Britain in the EU has given up her sovereignty, become demographically lost in a sea of Roman Catholics, and all but lost her identity as the primary advocate and defender of Protestantism. She was once a central battleground between Roman Catholicism and Protestanism, and spawned the earliest Protestant missionary societies to spread the gospel around the globe. (List of Protestant missionary societies (1691–1900).) Interestingly, the Anglican Church produced the earliest Protestant missionary societies. In these times the Anglicans are as engaged as other denominations in dialogue with Rome (Offical Anglican Communion-Roman Catholic Church dialogue announced,) and the obstacles to ecumenical union appear to be organizational rather than doctrinal (Catholic-Anglican Dialogue: Cordial, but No Unity in Sight.)

The Roman Catholics must know as well as we do that "Popery" when encouraged by government has always been dangerous to the liberties of the people.

Lord George Gordon

The Lutheran Church betrays the God-given mission of its founding father, Martin Luther, turning away from the Solas of Protestantism, comprehensively five in number as developed by the Reformers, with all of which Roman Catholicism is in irreconcilable conflict, to Communion which ignores the conflict. The basis for this communion is not Bible Truth:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Catholic, Lutheran leaders urge joint study of reconciliation document "Catholics and Lutherans are urging their congregations to jointly discuss a co-publication entitled From Conflict to Communion as this helps bury past differences and brings the two Christian traditions closer together. . .

The first imperative is: 'Catholics and Lutherans should always begin from the perspective of unity and not from the point of view of division in order to strengthen what is held in common even though the differences are more easily seen and experienced.'"

The right-wing majority of justices on the Supreme Cout are handing down radical decisions which undermine American democracy. IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT EVERY ONE OF THEM IS A ROMAN CATHOLIC. The papacy is no friend of democracy:-

The Supreme Court’s War on Democracy "But this is not the first time the Supreme Court, or more accurately the five Republican-appointed justices, have sided with big business and the wealthy over the average voter. These conservative justices’ war on democracy began with its infamous Citizen’s United decision in 2010, invalidating federal laws that restricted corporations and unions from spending their funds on electioneering. The result was that these entities could spend unlimited amounts of money to influence voters and it paved the way for the creation of the monstrosities known as Super PACs.

And then in 2012, the same five justices struck down the 100-year-old Montana Corrupt Practices
Act, which had banned corporations from spending money to influence elections in that State. The law was enacted in 1912 to stop the wealthy mining company owners, known as the “Copper
Kings,” from bribing elected officials, buying judges and controlling newspapers."

Supreme Court Right-Wingers Poison Majority-Rule Democracy "The problem isn’t  limited to Sheldon purchasing immunity or GE procuring tax breaks, enabling the nation’s largest corporation to force taxpayers to give it money instead of it paying taxes. The problem also is that the rich are different from the 99 percent.

That’s what three university professors found in a study of the political views and activities of the one percent. It’s called, “Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans.”

Of the tiny percentage of Americans who are very rich, the researchers wrote:

'We find that they are extremely active politically and that they are much more conservative than the American public as a whole with respect to important policies concerning taxation, economic regulation, and especially social welfare programs. Variation within this wealthy group suggests that the top one-tenth of 1 percent of wealth-holders (people with $40 million or more in net worth) may tend to hold still more conservative views that are even more distinct from those of the general public. We suggest that these distinctive policy preferences may help account for why certain public policies in the United States appear to deviate from what the majority of U.S. citizens wants the government to do. If this is so, it raises serious issues for democratic theory.'"

Cf. Editorial: The selling of American democracy

A. T. Jones directed attention to Pope Leo XIII's intense interest in American democracy. It was not a benign interest; but one based upon the Pope's perception of a route to achieving world dominance. He was no friend of democracy. This was his view:

What applies to the individual applies no less to civil society. Those invested with the power to govern derive their authority not from the people who elected them, in the case of a democracy, but from God. Legislators have no right to enact civil laws which conflict with the natural law, even if a majority of the people wish them to do so. All authority in church, state and the family derives from God, as Our Lord pointed out to Pontius Pilate. Pope Leo condemns "the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority." Thus, the Church accepts democracy if, by this term, it is meant that those who govern are selected by a vote based on a limited or universal suffrage. The Church condemns democracy in the sense that those who govern do so not as delegates of God, but as delegates of the people who elected them; and that they are bound to legislate in accordance with the wishes of the majority. "It is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government," writes Pope Leo, "if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power." (From Pope Leo XIII on True Liberty.)

Cf. Democracy under the Care of a Guardian. The Backward March of John Paul II "The relationship between church and democracy is a crucial theme of Karol Wojtyla´s pontificate. And not just recently. It´s the point on which he has most exposed himself to criticisms of threatening the secular character of the state. And the criticism doesn´t come only from without; it also has an authoritative voice within the church."

To believe that Pope Francis is any different from his predecessors by being willing to concede the right of every individual to the freedom of conscience with which mankind was endowed by the Creator, is to ignore the Bible's identificatiion of the papacy, with the warning that "the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev. 13:2b)

Cf. He’s No Secular Saint: The Trojan Pope ". . . It’s one giant wooden horse that this Bishop of Rome is wheeling into the secular square these days, and the attention it’s getting bears at least passing comparison to that story from long-ago Troy. Now as then, the oohs and aahs of the village are upon this remarkable thing. Now as then, those present point to it with curiosity and excitement. But do they really know what’s in that horse, and what it means to loose on them?

The more Francis I talks, the more we’re all about to find out."

Cf. Man of God, Not of the Left

The completed fulfillment of Luke 21:24 by the year 1980 and the related timeline set by Jesus Himself for His Second Coming (Luke 21:32,) indicate that there are not many years remaining for a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians to open the way for fulfillment of Dan. 11:45; but the negotiating parties remain resistant to the concessions that must be made to achieve a peace accord. How the deadlock will be broken remains to be seen; our Lord admonishes us to "Watch" (Luke 21:34-36):-

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on verge of collapse: report "Israel and the Palestinian Authority started the current round of peace talks in late July in Washington D.C. after a three-year halt in talks. Israel's ongoing expansion of its West Bank settlements, however, has continued.

Some of the key issues to be resolved are the establishment of the Palestinian state on lands Israel annexed in the 1967 Mideast War, the fate of the Israeli settlements, the question of the Palestinian refugees banished in the 1948 War, and the status of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu gave a hawkish speech last week, in which he charged the source of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has "nothing to do with the settlements." This statement was slammed by left-wing politicians who said Netanyahu is 'regressing rather than advancing.'"

The UN hovers in the background:

Peace talks on verge of collapse after Palestinians' UN move "The dramatic move threatened to scupper a deal thrashed out by John Kerry, the US secretary of state, to extend the talks, which are close to reaching their deadline. Israel has said it will only continue talking if the Palestinians do not take their case to the UN or join any of its affiliated agencies such as the International Criminal Court."

A Peace Process in Which Process Has Come to Outweigh Peace "The peace process has been churning for more than 20 years now, taking on a life of its own and becoming something of an end in itself. Some analysts see the Kerry-driven negotiations as inhibiting a reckoning with the fundamental gulfs between the Israeli and Palestinian positions. The parties have spent hundreds of hours in recent weeks debating the particulars of which prisoners might be freed when; any discussion of how to divide Jerusalem, where to draw a border or the rights of refugees is a distant memory. . .

For Israelis facing a growing boycott movement, negotiations can stave off international isolation. . .

Americans prefer not to confront the crisis that a serious Palestinian international push would cause, nor to have to defend Israel in a fiercer international storm."

Will US diplomacy succeed in preventing collapse of Israel-Palestinian talks? "With the talks teetering on the brink of collapse, Washington has been fighting an uphill battle to coax the two sides into accepting a framework proposal which would extend the negotiations beyond April to the end of the year.

But the matter has become tied up with the fate of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners who Israel was to have freed this weekend under terms of an agreement which brought about a resumption of talks."

A. T. Jones foresaw from his observation of Pope Leo XIII's pronouncements that the Roman Catholic Church in America would use the "free exercise" of religion provision of the First Amendment to erode the constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. His prediction is now glaringly fulfilled by the alliance of Protestants (the False Prophet) and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. This is at issue in the Hobby Lobby case heard by the Supreme Court on March 25, 2014, and also numerous other cases working their way through the lower courts. With an activist Roman Catholic majority on the Supreme Court, it is unlikely that the Hobby Lobby claim would be rejected completely, but it might be upheld totally:-

Court majority harshly critical of Obamacare contraception mandate "The justices appeared divided along ideological lines in a 90-minute oral argument, with the federal government offering a spirited defense of the Affordable Care Act. . .

The church-state issue now in the spotlight involves three-pronged rules negotiated last year between the Obama administration and various outside groups.

Under the changes, churches and houses of worship are exempt from the contraception mandate.

Other nonprofit, religiously affiliated groups, such as church-run hospitals, parochial schools and
charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, must either offer coverage, or have a third-party insurer provide separate benefits without the employer's direct involvement.

Lawsuits in those cases are pending in several federal appeals courts.

FFRF, other advocates file brief against Hobby Lobby "FFRF’s interest in the case arises from its
position that 'the radical redefinition of ‘religious freedom’ to include a right to impose one’s religious beliefs on others is arguably the greatest threat to individual freedom of conscience.'”

Workers’ Medical Benefits Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Religious Veto, Americans United Tells Supreme CourtWe are a country of great religious diversity, and American workers must be able to make their own medical, family and reproductive decisions according to their own moral and religious values,” said Gregory M. Lipper, senior litigation counsel for Americans United and a primary author of the brief. “Although the for-profit corporations in this case are claiming the mantle of religious liberty, if courts put workers’ medical decisions at the mercy of their bosses, it would undermine the free exercise of religion.”

The five Roman Catholic activist judges on the US Supreme Court have already created a serious breach in the wall of separation between Church and State by overturning forty years of special treatment to taxpayer suits that challenge government spending in support of religion:

Cf. A breach in the church-state wall "Significant constitutional cases don't always arrive at the ball dressed up as such. Sometimes they come in the modest trappings of an obscure technical dispute too dull to capture public attention. . .

It seems like the kind of dry, legalistic dispute that only a lawyer could love. But the appearance is deceiving. If the court grants the administration's request, it will eliminate what is often the only effective mechanism for challenging financial support of religion by the executive branch. The effect would be to grant the president and his staff, as well as the vast federal bureaucracy, a license to preach.

The basis for the administration's request is the esoteric doctrine of standing, which determines who has suffered a sufficiently tangible injury to be allowed to bring suit in federal court. Ordinary taxpayers generally cannot sue to challenge the legality of government spending decisions because their contribution to any given expenditure is too small to count as tangible.

For the past 40 years, however, the Supreme Court has consistently given special treatment to taxpayer suits that challenge government spending in support of religion. The justification is simple and compelling: Government spending in support of religion generally does not inflict tangible injury on anyone, so if taxpayers don't have legal standing, no one does. In terms of government spending, the establishment clause would be rendered merely advisory.

That, of course, is how the Bush administration prefers its constitutional constraints."

Summary of Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. "On June 25, 2007, in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States held by a 5-4 vote that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) did not have legal standing to bring an Establishment Clause challenge to the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a program of President Bushs faith-based initiatives. In other words, FFRFs mere desire to enforce a strict separation of church and state was not a sufficient interest upon which to sue the federal government under the Establishment Clause; the group suffered no concrete injury."

The Head of State of the most powerful nation in the world in a subordinate role as he is received in audience by the present occupant of Caesar's throne. President Obama must be mindful of the religio-political forces that now hold sway in the United States of America:-

Obama tells Pope Francis he is a ‘great admirer’ at historic first meeting "Obama arrived at the Vatican amid the pomp and tradition of the Catholic Church, making his way to greet the pope after a long, slow procession through the hallways of the Apostolic Palace led by colourful Swiss Guards and accompanied by ceremonial attendants. The president bowed as he shook hands with the pontiff in the Small Throne Room, before the two sat down at a wooden table in the Papal Library.

'It is a great honour. I'm a great admirer,' a broadly grinning Obama said. 'Thank you so much for receiving me.'

The two were scheduled to meet for half an hour, but their private discussion lasted 52 minutes. Obama seem[ed] buoyed by the meeting as they emerged and the pope greeted a handful of Obama's senior advisers."

The harsh realities of the papacy's demands and power:

Four years later, Vatican takes a different approach toward Obama "Pope Benedict XVI sent the president-elect a congratulatory telegram the same day, noting the "historic occasion" of his election.

Four years later, the Vatican's reaction to Obama's re-election had a markedly different tone.

'If Obama truly wants to be the president of all Americans,' said L'Osservatore Nov. 7, 'he should finally acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities -- above all the Catholic Church -- in favor of the natural family, life and finally religious liberty itself.'

Speaking to reporters the same day, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, voiced hope that Obama would use his second term for the 'promotion of the culture of life and of religious liberty.'

The statements alluded to Obama policies favoring legalized abortion, same-sex marriage and a plan to require nearly all health insurance plans, including those offered by most Catholic universities and agencies, to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, which are forbidden by the church's moral teaching."

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope and Obama discuss religious freedom, life issues, immigration "In September, Pope Francis launched a high-profile campaign against Obama's proposal for military strikes to punish the government of President Bashar Assad for its presumed use of chemical weapons. The pope wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin, host of a G-20 summit, decrying the "futile pursuit of a military solution," and a few days later led a prayer vigil for peace in Syria that drew some 100,000 people to St. Peter's Square."  (Does this explain Obama's change of mind?)

Obama Hopes for Boost From Meeting with Pope Francis "Francis is a celebrity these days and the president is probably eager to be seen with him, says Stephen Schneck, who directs the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington.

'Everybody on the planet would like to have their picture taken next to the pope right now,' said Schneck, who helped Obama win Catholic votes in the last election. 'So yes, of course, the president has more to gain.'"

In the United States the Image to the Beast is highly visible and already speaking through legislation of Roman Catholic laws; in the Middle East Israelis and Palestinians are under intense pressure to reach a peace settlement to open the way for Rome's presence in Jerusalem. In these developments are signs of the rapidly approaching end of this world's history; and this reading of current events is supported by the prophecies of Luke 21:24, Rev. 13, and Dan. 11:45. Into this dynamic enters Putin's Russia, defying the eastward advance of Rome's European Union, dubbed by many as a developing new Holy Roman Empire - how long can Putin hold up the increasing pace of events fulfilling the end-time prophecies? Some commentators are predicting that he will not back down, and is taking "the long view," with a protracted struggle of many years duration in prospect. It remains to be seen whether this can be so:-

The European Union throws down the gauntlet:

Ukraine crisis: EU signs association deal "The EU and Ukraine have signed an agreement forging closer economic ties, in a show of support following Russia's annexation of Crimea."

European Union signs landmark association agreement with Ukraine "The deal commits Ukraine and the EU to closer political and economic cooperation, although more substantial parts of the agreement concerning free trade will only be signed after Ukraine has held new presidential elections in May.

Van Rompuy, the European Council president, said the agreement would bring Ukraine and its 46 million people closer to the heart of Europe and a 'European way of life'."

The United States expands sanctions:

Obama Steps Up Russia Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis "The economic calculus favors Washington, analysts said: Even significantly tougher sanctions — the kind applied to countries like Iran — would probably have only a muted effect on the American economy because of the modest size of the Russian economy and its limited trade ties with the United States.

A senior Treasury official said there were already signs that the sanctions were having an impact. On Thursday, Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, downgraded its outlook on the Russian economy to negative. And jitters over Crimea have weakened the Russian stock market and the value of the ruble."

Cf. We are all Jesuits "Listening to Van Rompuy, you will instantly notice the similarities of the Jesuits with Europe. Jesuits formed the vanguard of the Catholic Church, like the European elite is the vanguard of the European integration. Both portray themselves as 'the elite', elevated above the ordinary people. Their methods are very similar. A sophisticated lie or purposeful deception is allowed when framed in the interest of the greater goal. A barely contained cynicism typifies the attitude toward the normal citizen, the ignorant fool, who within a democracy needs to be protected from himself. The Catholic and European elites work through inner circles. The rest is prose. Van Rompuy, Barroso, Monti and Rajoy are frequent visitors at papal audiences.

It is not surprising that this mentality leaves traces in the European structures and working methods. The ECB has a Governing Council of twenty three members, among which are the six members of the Executive Board. The ECB setup is hardly different from the Vatican. . ."

The USCCB is advancing its agenda on abortion ruthlessly. The Pastoral Plan of 1975 enabled the Roman Catholic Church to use abortion as the spearhead for forcing Rome's Social Doctrine on the body politic of the United States. With the freedom to choose an abortion still a constitutional right in America, the Republican Party taken over by the papacy is rapidly eroding the exercise of that right. Whatever one's views on the morality of abortion, there should be alarm at the blatant imposition of religious dogma on the nation:-

Nancy Kaffer: Michigan rape insurance law comes at cost of women's health "Thursday was a particularly aggravating day for women in Michigan — it was the day something dubbed “rape insurance” became the law of the land.

This is a particularly noxious provision, enacted in a particularly noxious way, that bars public or private insurers from covering abortions unless the insured person purchases a special rider. There’s no exception for rape, incest, or the health of the mother, though Right To Life, the group behind the law, did concede that saving the actual life of a pregnant woman should entitle her to claim coverage for a medically necessary termination."

More State Abortion Restrictions Were Enacted in 2011–2013 Than in the Entire Previous Decade "Forty-five percent of the abortion restrictions enacted over the last three years fall into four categories: targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP), limitations on insurance coverage of abortion, bans on abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization (the equivalent of 22 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period) and limitations on medication abortion. States enacted 93 measures in these four categories from 2011 through 2013, compared with 22 during the previous decade."

Power to deceive! - Unifying for action without agreement on the identity of the true God and His teachings. Worthy objectives are no substitute for spiritual Truth, pure and unadulterated:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims sign accord against human trafficking "The new accord, signed during a Vatican news conference March 17, launched the beginning of the Global Freedom Network, which hopes to expand to include all the world's major faiths."

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Cor. 11:13-15

The Ukraine crisis reveals some of the murkier aspects of Rome's drive for world dominance. The EU is at the heart of the crisis. Consider the deep involvement of the Vatican in the birth and development of the European Union. Putin seems to have the upper hand; but can Russia prevail as the spoiler in view of the role of the papacy in the prophecies of the end?:-

EU blamed for mishandling Ukraine trade pact agreement "The official EU position has always been that EU-Ukraine association is a bilateral issue. But Putin, apparently, has played his summit cards better, if he has effectively been able to keep the EU-Ukraine AA hostage to a working group that could never meet. According to information obtained by EurActiv, the new Ukrainian government is enraged by the situation."

Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski: 'Moscow Needs Our Money' "Sikorski: The same thing applies to the Union as to the Vatican: God's mills grind slowly but surely. We have made mistakes. For example, when the negotiations over an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU were completed in December 2010, the lawyers and translators in Brussels took an entire year to work out the text. If both sides had signed faster at the time, Ukraine would be more closely connected with Europe for a long time now. Nor did we foresee at all what an irresponsible man President Yanukovych would prove to be - and that an even worse massacre could have potentially taken place on the Maidan (Independence Square). It was only our joint mediation initiative between Germany, France and Poland that prevented that from happening."

Pope Francis can be a player in Ukraine's identity crisis "Enter Pope Francis. One of the less noted aspects of his papacy has been the respect he has shown to Eastern Catholic churches. Before his inaugural Mass, he prayed at the tomb of St. Peter with the patriarch and major archbishops of those churches. He often refers to himself not as “the pope” but as “bishop of Rome,” a humbler title more congenial to prelates from the Eastern churches.

Francis also has a long history with Eastern Christians; as an archbishop in Argentina, he had responsibility for Eastern Rite Catholics who lacked a bishop of their own. The current head of the Ukrainian Catholics, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, has called Francis a mentor."

Europe On The Edge: NATO And The EU In Ukraine Crisis – Analysis ("This article looks into the way two Western international organizations have behaved during the Ukrainian crisis, and considers their possible contributions. While new developments happen on a daily basis, it is possible to sketch out some of the main trends exhibited by NATO and the European Union (EU) over the last weeks. This exercise allows a better understanding of what is at stake for Kiev, Moscow and the Crimea. More particularly, it reveals that in theory neither Kiev nor Moscow can make strategic calculations disregarding the impact of international organizations on specific issues, but in practice they mostly do. In addition, it also provides a good case study of the capacities and limitations of these international actors.")

(Cf. First Ukraine-Russia Talks As EU Floats 'Immediate' Accord)

POPE FRANCIS INVITED by Roman Catholic Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner (note ties to ALEC), supported by Roman Catholic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and with the concurrence of the Senate leadership, to address a joint session of the US Congress. The invitation and the event when it happens is and will be of profound significance. This follows President Jimmy Carter's invitation to Pope John-Paul II into the White House and consent to the Pope's blessing on the assembled representatives of all three branches of the US government. Under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, enactment of the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine in the United States began in earnest. This was continued with increasing intensity under the presidencies of Bush the elder and the younger. Along the way, the Church of Rome took over the Republican Party, using Evangelical Christians as a front. Particularly since 2010, there has been a veritable steamroller of Roman Catholic legislation in the US House of Representatives and State legislatures dominated by the Republican Party. Events in the United States are not happening in isolation. There is also clear momentum towards fulfillment of Dan. 11:45. Can anyone doubt that the nation is teetering on the edge of the precipice of absolute despotism prophesied in Rev. 13:15-18, on a parallel course with movement towards the realization of the papacy's objective in Jerusalem?:-

Report also contributed by [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis invited to address a joint session of Congress "Aides to Boehner said he sent the invitation Thursday to officials in Vatican City. If Francis accepts the invitation, he would be the first pontiff to ever address American lawmakers from the U.S. Capitol, according to Boehner aides.

In his formal invitation, Boehner noted that Francis's ascension to the papacy and his social teachings over the past year 'have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world, particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice.'

Francis's principles 'are among the fundamentals of the American Idea,' Boehner wrote. 'And though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best we give them new life as we seek the common good.'"

Boehner invites Pope Francis to address joint session of Congress "The Holy Father's pastoral message challenges people of all faiths, ideologies and political parties. His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions. It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full.

"It is with deep gratitude that I have asked Pope Francis to consider this open invitation on behalf of the Congress and the millions of citizens of the United States we serve."

Probably a majority of Seventh-day Adventists are complacent in the face of events fulfilling Rev. 13:11-18, believing that the end cannot be near because a National Sunday Law is yet to be enacted. These are unwilling to recognize that the enactment of the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine is also a challenge to the Word of God, embracing in anti-birth-control legislation the deadly error of the Immortality of the Soul, with the ultimate Sunday Law to follow on a worldwide scale. Rome commands obeisance to the dogma of the Immortality of the Soul, and millions say, "Amen" figuratively; most willingly, but some unwittingly, including many who would reject the dogma if it were presented openly.

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the apostate Protestant organization in deep collaboration with the Church of Rome, a non-member of the full organization but a member of the critically important Faith and Order Commission, visits with Pope Francis:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

WCC head, Pope share hopes for unity, justice, peace

Message delivered in audience with Pope Francis "For many years the WCC has worked and prayed for peace for Jerusalem and all the peoples living there. We know that religion and faith play a significant role in the conflict in what should be a city of peace. We believe that only a peace with justice, with a shared city of three religions and Israel and Palestine as two independent states, can there be an end to the occupation and the violence in this region. We heartily appreciate that you are going there as a pilgrim at a time urgently calling for a sustainable conclusion to the peace process. Your call for prayers for the people in Syria and other places have been warmly supported by our member churches, and as WCC we do what we can to nurture the hope of peace with justice for the people of Syria and for the future presence and witness of the Christian Churches in the Middle East."

JWG with Roman Catholic Church "Though the Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, it is a full member of the Faith & Order Commission. The RCC also serves the team on mission and unity in a consultative capacity. The RCC sponsors a faculty appointment and spiritual support at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue, the RCC works with the WCC team on interreligious dialogue and cooperation."

A right-wing politician with a warped view of the poor because of his Roman Catholic "Social Justice" philosophy. It is Roman Catholic ideology, friends, not Ayn Rand:-

Paul Ryan discovers there's no free lunch "Here's how a heartwarming nonpolitical story about the relationship between a harried executive and a homeless child gets transformed into a frosty political attack on anti-poverty school lunches for children. . .

In Ryan's hands, this became a lesson for 'the left....What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul.' . . .

So we start with a story about a harried sales executive learning about life from an abandoned child. That gets transformed, via the Republican wringer, into a lesson about the supposedly soul-sapping effect of a government nutritional program, and thence into a reproach to 'the left,' which doesn't care about the souls of our children, only about making sure they're, you know, fed. This is how the old game of 'Telephone' is played in Washington today."

Paul Ryan calls for cuts to anti-poverty programs in GOP budget "The conservative budget guru intends to rally House Republicans around an overhaul of the federal safety net, posing a direct election year confrontation with the White House over the growing issue of income inequality."

Paul Ryan Tries to Enlist Social Science to Back Up His Poverty Plan, Disaster Ensues "Paul Ryan’s budget proposals are not mere compilations of proposals, but grand vision statements. The classic versions relied on sweeping ideological pronouncements (i.e., 'it is built on the enduring truths from which America’s Founders established this great and exceptional Nation.') that would be perfectly at home in a Glenn Beck monologue. This year, Ryan has dramatically changed course. He has prefaced his budget with a review of the scholarly literature of the entire range of federal anti-poverty programs. In the place of grandiose, Randian lectures, Ryan ventures outside the world of right-wing pseudo-scholarship and actually attempts to engage with mainstream economic analysis.

This decision is very much to Ryan’s credit. On the other hand, it turns out to have been a gigantic mistake.

Basically everything in Ryan’s report turns out to be wrong. The Fiscal Times contacts a number of researchers whom Ryan cites, and they all report that Ryan knows nothing of their work . . ."

Paul Ryan wages war on the War on Poverty "Obama aims to ignite a conversation about federal safety net spending. Fifteen percent of Americans, nearly 50 million people, live in poverty.

Ryan's report questions the size and scope of the government's effort to tackle poverty. It says 92 federal programs geared for low-income people cost $799 billion per year."

One can well ask: what about the enormous cost to the federal government's coffers of corporate welfare? This is a heartless ideology. which reeks of the great deceiver's lies and hypocrisy (Rev. 16:13 . . .)

All roads lead to Rome as the climax of the great ecumenical movement looms ahead:-

From [D]@gmail.com -

Pope Francis meets high level interfaith group on its return from Holy Land pilgrimage

There are many avenues through which the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14 are working; but the most blatant manifestation of their activity is in the charismatic tongues movement. From the personality and background of Pope Francis, it is easy to see a chosen instrument of Satan to gather in his harvest quickly before Almighty God closes earthly human history:-

From [D]@gmail.com -

Pope to Copeland: Catholics and Charismatics must spiritually unite "'The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,' exclaims Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer, before a group of cheering followers at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Palmer said those words are from the Vatican. Before playing the video message from Pope Francis to Kenneth Copeland, Palmer told the crowd, 'When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.'"

The crowd cheered, as he continued, 'Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?'

Even Kenneth Copeland finds this development incredible: Said Copeland, 'Heaven is thrilled over this…You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.'"

Pope Francis to Pentecostal Conference: Tears of Love, Spiritual Hugs "In a longer video from the Kenneth Copeland conference, Anthony Palmer tells the Pentecostal gathering about the necessity of Christian unity, if we are to preach salvation in Christ to the world. Palmer said that the divisions between Catholics and Protestants have had no reason to exist since the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification [this is a delusion (Cf. whole article.)] In that agreement, both Catholics and Lutherans recognized that 'by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.'" (Cf. The Signing of the Joint Declaration; THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL)

Pope Francis and the Future of Charismatic Christianity "When people wonder why Evangelicals embrace Francis, they fail to see that Jorge Bergoglio had been connecting with evangelicals through the charismatic movement for quite some time. This greeting resulted from a relationship that Pope Francis has had with the broader charismatic movement in general and Tony Palmer in particular, who facilitated the connection. Tony Palmer’s vision to bring Christians together merged with Pope Francis’ vision to make this greeting possible. My own colleague at Regent, Vinson Synan has had more than one audience with Archbishop Bergoglio."

To the proponents of a National Sunday Law: there will ultimately be a Sunday law, but you are mistiming it, narrowing its scope, and looking in the wrong direction; the law is go forth from Jerusalem (Isa. 2:3.) It is now later than you think!

Yet another insidious organization founded one year after the USCCB's Pastoral Plan was launched and four years before the completed fulfillment of Luke 21:24! This is an emergent picture of an army of organizations constituting the modern legions of Rome, each with its assigned sector of operations and all working towards the one goal of papal supremacy in the United States and the world. This army cannot now be rolled back, prophetically or practically; but recognizing its objective of destroying religious liberty and establishing the laws of Rome in place of the teachings of the Bible warns of the rapidly approaching "battle of the great day of God Almighty." Too many are slumbering on in the face of these prophetic developments:-

EPPC|ETHICS & PUBLIC POLICY CENTER -

"CATHOLIC STUDIES

As an integral part of the Ethics and Public Policy Center for more than twenty-five years, the Catholic Studies program explores the many connections between Catholicism and public life and seeks to clarify and deepen knowledge of modern Catholic social thought. We serve as a prominent reference point for government officials, members of Congress, and journalists seeking to understand the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and its application to public policy questions. We argue for the robust moral and cultural foundations needed to sustain a society that is both free and virtuous.

EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel, who holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic studies, is one of America’s leading public intellectuals and one of the most prominent Catholic thinkers in the world. His annual William E. Simon lecture provides a prominent forum for his work and has spawned influential essays, articles, and books.

EPPC’s Catholic Studies program also runs the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society, an annual summer seminar on Catholic social teaching and the thought of Pope John Paul II."

Religious freedom caucuses planned for every state legislature "Advocates of religious liberty have announced plans to launch religious freedom caucuses in all 50 state legislatures in order to fight against the erosion of religious liberty at the local level.

The caucuses will be 'a focal point for those who are working on religious freedom in the states to direct and generate their efforts,' said Brian Walsh, executive director of the American Religious Freedom Program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center."

Ethics and Public Policy Center "The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), founded in 1976, is one of a handful [they are actually more than a handful] of organizations established by neoconservatives to promote an increased role of religion in public policy and turn back the influence of secularism. Similar institutions include the Institute on Religion and Democracy and the Institute on Religion and Public Life, as well as the various religious freedom programs created by think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute. EPPC describes itself as 'dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy.' According to the group's website, 'EPPC and its scholars have consistently sought to defend the great Western ethical imperatives—respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, individual freedom and responsibility, justice, the rule of law, and limited government.' The center sponsors conferences, publishes books and reports, and provides the media with policy analysis relating to its research programs. It operates a numerous programs that mix politics with religion."

We must not be fooled by the hue and cry about "religious liberty" and "religious freedom" being under assault by secularism and the government programs to which the Church of Rome is opposed. The goal is to accomplish exactly the opposite (Cf. A. T. JONES ON THE PAPACY AND AMERICA.)

President Peres praises a Pope of the Charismatic Renewal movement and of "religious brotherhood":

From [D]@gmail.com:

Peres Praises Pope Francis in Meeting With Argentinian Interfaith Leaders "Welcoming them to Israel, Peres praised the group for working together and showing 'religious brotherhood.' He then made mention of Pope Francis’ successful endeavors. . .

The delegationmade up of Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders – was created under the patronage of Pope Francis when he served as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Besides Israel the group will visit the Palestinian Authority and Jordan during their trip to the region. They will conclude their travels by meeting with the Pope at the Vatican.

Luis Grynwald of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires presented Peres with a Mate (a symbolic Argentinian cup) on behalf of the delegation and said, 'This is an Argentinian symbol. Everyone drinks from the same cup – Jews, Muslims, Christians and all citizens of the country.'

'It’s a symbol that we can live in peace, in Argentina, in Israel and all over the world,' he added."

Misleading by accident or design?: Pope Francis speaks out against unbridled capitalism while an organization whose primary founders were rabid Roman Catholic activists: Paul Weyrich who co-founded the Moral Majority and was involved in its evolution into the Tea Party, and Henry Hyde of the Hyde Amendment fame. This organization spreads the corrosive power of Big Corporation money like a cancer through the State legislatures of America. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is driving an agenda of unbridled capitalism by a process which is destroying democracy in the United States. It is worthy of note that democracy is inimical to the goal of Roman Catholic world dominance through the union of Church and State. Therefore, any organization that undermines democracy is serving the purpose of Rome (God’s law, not majority rule, guarantees democracy and rights, says Pope (a)):-

Here are the words of Pope Francis:

Pope calls unbridled capitalism 'a new tyranny' "In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money' and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens 'dignified work, education and healthcare'.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth."

Pope Francis warns of the dangers of ‘unbridled capitalism’ "Unbridled capitalism has taught people that money is more important than anything else, said Pope Francis during an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen and women’s shelter at the Vatican.

'Unbridled capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to receive, of exploitation without looking at the person,' said Pope Francis, before adding that the results of such attitudes can be seen 'in the crisis we are now living through.'"

Here is the harsh reality of right-wing politics promoted by one of many advocates of "unbridled capitalism" in America, fostered by the hierarchy of which the Pope is the leader, and which is growing in power and reach into every corner of the body politic:

American Legislative Exchange Council "ALEC's agenda includes rolling back civil rights, challenging government restrictions on polluters, infringing on workers’ rights, limiting government regulations of commerce, privatizing public services, and representing the interests of the corporations that make up its supporters."

EXPOSED: How the Right’s State-Based Think Tanks Are Transforming U.S. Politics "Since 1975, ALEC has developed model, business-oriented legislation in cooperation with a national network of state legislators and began a more formal and coordinated relationship with SPN and member organizations beginning in the mid-2000s. A study by the Center for Media and Democracy found that two dozen SPN groups, including the SPN itself, are organizational members of ALEC and serve on one or more of its legislative task forces. CMD identified several areas of ALEC’s policy foci in which SPN members play a role: privatizing public education and public pension systems; rolling back environmental initiatives; disenfranchising people of color, the elderly, and students; and attacking workers’ rights."

As revealed in the above reports, the organizations spearheading the right-wing agenda are legion; so why spotlight ALEC? Because it is unique in formulating "model legislation" that is being passed into law by State legislators and governors:

ALEC’s Influence over Lawmaking in State Legislatures "The goal of this article is to begin to fill the gap in our knowledge. Given the pervasive gridlock in Congress, key legislative change is occurring predominantly in the states. It is, then, all the more important to know who is affecting which bills are introduced in the state legislatures, and which bills pass. Using text analysis, I find where bills based on ALEC model legislation are introduced in the statehouses during the 2011-2012 session and track their progress in the legislative process.

My findings are threefold. First, ALEC model bills are, word-for-word, introduced in our state legislatures at a non-trivial rate. Second, they have a good chance – better than most legislation – of being enacted into law. Finally, the bills that pass are most often linked to controversial social and economic issues. In the end, I argue that this is not good for ALEC, its corporate partners, or for the democratic process."

Other political activist organizations, of the left as well as the right, lobby for or against legislation. ALEC is the only organization that formulates legislation which is passed by State legislatures word for word. Think about how this relates to Rev. 13:15.

Not only was ALEC founded by Roman Catholic activists during the same time period as the launching of the Bishops' Pastoral Plan; but the Roman Catholic billionaires who are aggressively promoting Rome's Social Doctrine are also members and financers of the organization:

A CMD Special Report on ALEC's Funding and Spending " For example, the foundations controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers gave ALEC over $200,000 in 2009. (The Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which Charles Koch, his wife and kids help run, donated $125,000 to ALEC. His own Charles G. Koch foundation kicked in an additional $75,000.) That $200k is before whatever is the undisclosed amount of membership "dues" paid by Koch Industries, which is run by Charles and David Koch. There is no public disclosure of annual gifts the company gives to take part in the one-stop shopping ALEC conventions provide to meet with legislators from every state about their wish list. . .

In 2009, Koch corporate and foundation gifts likely amounted to about three times more income for ALEC than the dues from all of its legislative members combined. Research from CMD and GreenPeace documents that the Koch foundations have given ALEC at least $600,000 in the past decade or so, and Koch Industries has donated an untold amount. The Kochs also bailed out ALEC with a loan of nearly half a million dollars in the late 1990s. Koch Industries has also chaired ALEC's corporate board and has had a seat on its board for over a decade. Plus, another subsidy unaccounted for by ALEC is the money corporations like Koch have spent on having the head of its lobbying arm involved in ALEC's leadership as well as whatever amount of time the company spends crafting ALEC "model" legislation.

The Charles G. Koch Foundation also funds Koch interns and fellows who have worked for ALEC, and Koch foundation "experts" have also provided help, such as analysis attacking the pay of public state employees. And ALEC's Board of "Scholars" includes people who also receive Koch funding or are work for Koch-funded groups. Beyond all that, the Kochs have funded an infrastructure to support their agenda, through funding other groups like Americans for Prosperity (founded by David Koch), which push legislative proposals echoing the ALEC agenda, on climate and countless other issues."

Cf. Paul Weyrich's Troika Reunited: ALEC Partners with Republican Study Committee at Heritage Foundation "Three right-wing organizations founded nearly forty years ago by conservative activist Paul Weyrich are rediscovering their shared origins. The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of 169 right-wing Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, is establishing a partnership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the controversial "corporate bill mill" for state legislators, and their first meeting is scheduled at the Heritage Foundation headquarters. Each of those three organizations -- the RSC, ALEC, and the Heritage Foundation -- were founded in 1973 by Weyrich."

In the history of friendly papal policies towards Israel and personal friendships between popes and Jews can be found the key to the fulfilment of Daniel 11:45:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Meeting Jewish group, pope asks prayers for his Holy Land trip "Pope Francis told the American Jewish Committee delegation that while the Catholic-Jewish exploration of theological themes must continue, the two communities also must find ways to work together to construct 'a more just and fraternal world,' especially through service to the poor, the marginalized and the suffering. . .

Addressing questions about the possibility of a Catholic-Jewish theological dialogue, Rabbi Rosen said both Blessed John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI had noted that Christians cannot understand Christianity without knowing something about Judaism. He said Cardinal Koch described that situation as being like 'a child who does not know his mother.'"

Pope Francis asks American Jewish leaders to pray for his trip to Jerusalem this May "Pope Francis pointed out that in 2015, the Catholic Church will mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council's declaration on relations with other religions.

The Nostra Aetate, the Pope said, is 'the sure point of reference for relations with our 'elder brothers.'

Both Christians and Jews share a common heritage and a profound spiritual bond. The Nostra Aetate also explicitly taught that responsibility for Jesus' death 'cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.' The modern relationship between Jews and Catholics, Francis said, has a 'theological foundation' and is 'not simply an expression of our desire for reciprocal respect and esteem.'"

‘Thoughtful and constructive’ meeting between Vatican, Israeli diplomats "Representatives of the Holy See and the State of Israel met in Jerusalem on February 11 to continue negotiating a diplomatic accord establishing the legal and economic rights of Church institutions in the Holy Land.

Noting that only a few issues remain, both parties issued a joint statement in which they 'took note of the progress achieved, in a thoughtful and constructive atmosphere, since the last plenary of June 2013.'"

It is significant that "Pope John XXIII reset Catholic-Jewish relations in the 1960s" (1967 marked the beginning of fulfilment of Luke 21:24.) Pope John-Paul II was pontiff in 1980, the year which marked the completion of fulfilment of Luke 21:24, and in the year 1994 when a plan to vaticanize the Old City of Jerusalem was presented by Israeli President Shimon Peres to him (Dan. 11:45 was that close to fulfilment!) Now note how personalized relations between the pontiffs and Jews have existed from John Paul II's reign, and now culminate in the extraordinary charisma of Pope Francis and his personal friendships with individual Jewish leaders:

John Paul II and the Jews "More than any other pope, John Paul II was the twentieth century’s greatest papal friend and supporter of the Jewish people. Indeed, John Paul II’s extraordinary relationship with the Jews was an important chapter in the historic legacy of his pontificate, which has had profound implications for Catholic¯Jewish relations in our time."

Reconciliation with Jews a hallmark of John Paul's papacy " What Pope John Paul II did to advance reconciliation between Catholics and Jews will go down in history as one of the hallmarks of his papacy."

Pope Benedict’s Contribution To Catholic-Jewish Relations "He played a major role as a key adviser to John Paul II during a time when Church policy toward the Jewish people and the state of Israel underwent significant change. Had he opposed such a major shift, John Paul’s recognition of Israel may never have happened."

Pope Benedict XVI and the Jewish People "The official record of Pope Benedict's relationship with Jews and Israel is formidable. First, it is important to remember that Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, worked closely for 26 years with his predecessor Pope John Paul II in developing a historic new relationship between Catholic and Jews as 'loving brothers and sisters' after centuries of tragedy. . .'

"The hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you, the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)

The Eucharist and Sunday - the one a blasphemous ceremony and an outrageous offence to the Deity and Power of Jesus Christ; the other the sun god's sabbath, in opposition to God's appointed day of worship and the sign of His power to save:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope: Don't skip Sunday Mass; people need communion with God, church "The pope continued a series of talks on the sacraments of Christian initiation, focusing on the Eucharist as the source and summit of the life of the church."

Pope Francis: The Eucharist affects the way we see others "It is from the Eucharist that the Church receives continually her identity and mission. It is in our celebration that Christ fills us with his grace, so that our lives may be consonant with our worship of God in the Liturgy."

On the ultimate test N.B. "The test will not be a Sunday closing law . . ."

Pope Francis continues to gather followers with amazing rapidity: Catholics and non-Catholics, Jews and Gentiles, religious believers and non-believers. It is interesting to note that the man appears to be truly sincere in his lifestyle and pronouncements, as deluded as the millions around the globe who are beguiled by the arch deceiver Satan, the Dragon of Rev. 12 and 13, as described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:9-12. This is surely the work of the spirits of devils described in Rev. 16:14, a miracle in and of itself - all the forces of false Christianity, godlessness and rebellion coming together:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Cool Pope Francis "As I’ve written before, the pope is real estate everyone wants to control. The major media is the machine for taking control of the property. The media can try to control the property either by pushing the pope to the margins and making him seem irrelevant and maybe dangerous, as it tried to do with Benedict, or by claiming the pope for mainstream secular society, as it is doing with Francis. In both cases, the writers quote the things that fit their story and leave out the ones that don’t.

This way of treating Francis may last or it may not. As long as it lasts, we can hope that the young atheists and others who are so excited about the pope might come to see something compelling in the faith he preaches. They may come to him because they think he’s someone else, but some of them may stay with him when they find out who he really is. A lot of converts come into the church because they thought it was something else. God is happy to have them.

Still, I think something in Francis himself makes him so popular. The press isn’t making it all up. Of course, he’s just huggier than Benedict. He’s a man of more exuberant natural warmth. As a non-huggy person, I’ve often watched a huggy man walk into a room and make friends with everyone in five minutes, when I had only spoken to three people in the hour I’d been there. Also, reporters get better pictures and stories of huggy people than they do of the rest of us.

So there’s that, but there’s something else there, too, and we can see it in a reflection from a rabbi in Jerusalem. In Haaretz, Israel’s equivalent of The New York Times, Rabbi Francis Nataf explained that Francis gives people what they really want from religion, no matter what their political and cultural views."

ADL head says Jews have friend in Pope Francis "We were concerned after the death of John Paul II that the Vatican might feel he was an aberration, that his interest in Jews was because he came from Poland, because he’d experienced the war, and so on. Then came the successor, Benedict XVI, who actually institutionalized the changes vis-à-vis the Jewish community that John Paul had initiated. Our concern was, now what? How ongoing will it really be?

Then we woke up to a pope who didn’t wait to become pope before going to a synagogue, because he went to the synagogue as the cardinal of Buenos Aires and had a great relationship with the Jewish community. Here’s a pope who even went to synagogue on slichot [a festival that marks the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur] . . . most Jews don’t even know what slichot is! That’s how close he felt, so I think we’re comfortable that he understands us, that he has a sensitivity to the issues, and that he’ll be a voice to continue to make the relationship more open.

Cf. What a year for Pope Francis: From unknown to Time's Person of the Year "He took over a church rocked by atrocious infighting, marred by child-abuse scandals, embarrassed by private memos leaked by the previous pope's own butler, and shocked by the first abdication of a pontiff in almost 600 years.

The new pope had almost an impossible task ahead of him: Resurrect confidence in the Roman Catholic Church that looked lost and arcane.

Against the odds, Pope Francis seems to have worked a miracle so far."

When the sign of the end of time came by the year 1980, the latest date for the fulfilment of Our Lord's prophecy of Luke 21:24, it triggered the further prediction by Jesus of His Second Coming within one generation (Luke 21:32-33.) Consider how close this climax of the ages must now be!

The parties are reluctant, but seem to be motivated by the reality that change must come; nevertheless, Prime Minister Netanyahu still hopes that the Palestinians will balk. Meanwhile the Vatican's President of Israel appreciates Secretary of State John Kerry's push for a Middle East settlement, which must come on the way to fulfillment of Dan. 11:45:

Israel said set to accept Kerry’s framework proposals "The TV report said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman are all inclining to accept the US framework terms, some of which were detailed by Martin Indyk, the State Department’s lead envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in a conference call with American Jewish leaders on Thursday. The framework document would have to be finalized in the next few weeks, ahead of a scheduled fourth and final phase of Palestinian prisoner releases set for March, the report said. . .

The US framework document, whose terms will not have to be signed off as fully binding by the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, provides for talks on Palestinian statehood based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps to enable 75 to 80 percent of settlers to come under Israeli sovereignty, relates to Israel as the Jewish state, provides for compensation for refugees but no Palestinian 'right of return,' and does not go into detail on the fate of Jerusalem, Indyk indicated."

US framework for peace talks will have elements 'both sides will dislike,' says Netanyahu "Among the issues expected to be difficult for Israel to swallow is a declaration that the endgame is a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with minor land swaps. And among the bitter pills for the Palestinians is expected to be a formula recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and making clear that the Palestinian refugees are to be absorbed in the future Palestinian state."

Netanyahu Still Betting on Palestinian “No” "Why would Netanyahu agree to this framework?

There are two reasons. One is that its non-binding nature commits him only to more talks and not to its implementation, a point that should help him to persuade worried coalition partners like the Jewish Home Party’s Naftali Bennett to stay in the Cabinet. But the other reason explains more about Netanyahu’s strategy in dealing with Kerry’s obsessive pursuit of an agreement with the Palestinians: he believes that sooner or later the Palestinians will say no. In what has become the diplomatic version of playing chicken, the prime minister appears to be convinced that the PA will blink and abandon the talks long before Israel is forced to live with the real-life drawbacks of Kerry’s vision. And based on what the Palestinians are saying and what they have done in the past, there’s every reason to believe he’s right."

U.S. Wants Peace by End of 2014, Indyk Tells Jewish Leaders "The plan was blasted by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who declared that 'it is not going to happen.'

'Israel will not split Jerusalem nor will it withdraw to the pre-1967 lines,' Danon said, adding, 'The only thing good about this plan is that the Palestinians will recognize Israel as a Jewish state. It’s about time.'"

Israel grateful for Kerry’s peace efforts, Peres says "Kerry’s peace effort 'comes at the behest of both sides – we, the Palestinians, the whole world,' Peres said at a ceremony at the President’s Residence honoring Israeli exporters.

'We thank him for his efforts,' the president continued, 'and we’re strengthening his hand and looking forward to positive results.'

Peres’s comments come amid a flood of fierce criticism against the American diplomat from Israeli right-wing politicians in recent days following a speech in which Kerry warned that boycotts and delegitimization of Israel would only expand without a peace deal."

Cf. Kerry Heads To Vatican Ahead Of Papal Holy Land Trip "Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said he would meet with Secretary of State of the Holy See Pietro Parolin 'to discuss foreign policy priorities, including Pope Francis’s vocal leadership on the Middle East Peace Process, poverty and humanitarian issues.' . . .

Kerry has made a fierce push to coax Israel and the Palestinians towards an elusive peace deal, making repeated visits to the region."

Pope Francis continues to promote the goal of Vatican II to achieve Christian unity. It is a superficial concept which bears no resemblance to the oneness for which Jesus Christ prayed in John 17 and the unity of the faith of which the Apostle Paul wrote in Eph. 4:

Unity will come as divided Christians pray, work together, pope says "Pope Francis, celebrating his first Christian unity week as pope, said that 'two great popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II,' felt the urgency of Jesus' prayer that his disciples be one. They dedicated so much of their energy and teaching to ecumenism that the search for Christian unity has become 'an essential dimension' of papal ministry, he said.

'We can say also that the journey of ecumenism has allowed us to come to a deeper understanding of the ministry of the successor of Peter, and we must be confident that it will continue to do so in the future,' he said."

The Roman Catholic Decree on Ecumenism in 1964 included the statement that, "Those belong to it who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies." Of course, the "Triune God" is a Roman Catholic concept now almost universally accepted in Christendom. There is the true Jesus who is Lord and Saviour and many false christs, of whom the papacy represents the pre-eminent one. With great progress having been made towards accomplishing the Roman concept of a unified Christendom, Rome has expanded her ecumenical objective to an astonishing dimension.

The oneness for which Jesus Christ prayed is not at all that envisaged by the Pope. This 1998 editorial in a non-Adventist publication, titled "The Basis of Christian Unity" puts the Seventh-day Adventist Church to shame, because the Church has been deeply involved at the heart of the ecumenical movement since 1967. Note that "fellowship follows doctrine," and nothing else but "regeneration and belief of the truth" produces unity. The Seventh-day Adventist Church compromised truths fundamental to the Advent Movement decades ago, and abandoned the rule that "fellowship follows doctrine" in order to consort with Rome and arrive at a present condition of Babylonian captivity.

This report reveals an interesting proposal to blend the two theologies of Judaism and Roman Catholicism. The question is how much of this can be achieved as a part of progress towards the vaticanization of Jerusalem. The long friendship of the Rabbi and Pope Francis and the aim of a closer relationship between Judaism and Roman Catholicism is significant, especially because of the Pope's involvement with the charismatic movement:

From [D]@gmail.com -

Rabbi says his friend, the pope, will face challenges in Holy Land "Cardinal Koch said he was pleased to hear that Pope Francis told the rabbi that the next step in Catholic-Jewish dialogue must be theological, 'perhaps developing further a Christian theology of Judaism and, perhaps, a Jewish theology of Christianity to understand each other better and to deepen our understanding of all we have in common.'" (Listen to Excerpt from sermon - A Transformed Enemy)

President and Pope to meet. Pope Francis has softened his words in comparison with those of his predecessors; but he has a vested interest in promoting the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine. There is no indication that he has done anything beyond words to curb the harsh aberrations of Subsidiarity (Limited Government) and Social Justice (not what you think it is) being implemented in the United States (Cf. The Hidden Agenda.) Without the benefit of knowing the prophetic Word, President Obama is bound to be deceived:

From [D]@gmail.com -

Obama to visit Pope Francis in March "Obama's presidency has been marked by some high-profile clashes with the Catholic Church, including over abortion and contraception. But Francis' approach to world economic issues is widely seen as more in line with Obama's own approach than that of Benedict, who stepped down last year."

Vatican, US mark 30th anniversary of full diplomatic relations "As US diplomats celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations with the Holy See, the American ambassador spoke of 'phenomenal' relations with the Holy See, but the Vatican’s top foreign-policy official sounded a more cautious note. . .

However, he also made a point of emphasizing the American tradition of respect for religious freedom. The archbishop’s remarks seemed to be a pointed reminder of the Church’s concerns about the imposition of a contraceptive mandate in the federal government's health-care program."

If true, this is clear evidence that there is dramatic movement towards the fulfilment of Dan. 11:45. The Vatican is advancing step by step towards its ultimate objective:

From [D]@gmail.com -

"Tell us if David's Tomb has been Given to the Vatican" "Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Uri Maklev (Shas) has submitted a query to the PM by which he has 21 days to divulge to the public all the information indicated in foreign media on the possibility that Israel has agreed to hold a public ceremony during which all rights to David's Tomb in the Old City will be transferred to the Vatican, as Pope Francis has demanded as a condition for his upcoming visit."

More Fears Mount Zion to Be Relinquished to Vatican "Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute added his fears that parts of Mount Zion in Jerusalem may be relinquished to the Vatican as the planned visit of Pope Francis in May approaches."

Cf. Op-Ed: Exclusive: A Seat for the Pope at King David's Tomb; Israel gives Vatican control above Tomb of King David on Mount Zion

A plan to vaticanize the Old City of Jerusalem presented by Israeli President Shimon Peres to the then Pope in 1994 is exactly what Rome wants and is predicted in Dan. 11:45. It centers on the Temple Mount and brings into the picture Isa. 14:12-14 and Isa. 2:2-5. The Temple Mount is regarded as key to peace in Palestine:

The Temple Mount is the Key to Peace "The complexity of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount appears insurmountable. The bedrock that is Mount Moriah stretches from the south at the base of the Kidron Valley floor to the Temple Mount at the head, on which the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque are built. No amount of coercion can stem the tides of Jewish or Muslim demands for exclusive access to, and possession of, the Temple Mount.

Jews are a self-described 'stiffnecked' people, so their dogmatic attitude toward this location is no surprise, especially among the orthodox. Likewise, history demonstrates that many Arabs get extremely worked up each time Jews make a significant approach towards the Temple Mount. Peace between Israel and people living under the Palestinian Authority is therefore dependent on possession and occupation on this monolith."

Cf. True Peace Can Only Begin on the Temple Mount; Secret Obama plan forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians. Formula for Israel-Arab talks leaked to KleinOnline

It is not difficult to see the Peres plan, or some variant of it which gives the Vatican control over the Temple Mount, as a probable ultimate compromise which breaks the deadlock of Arab-Israeli intransigence over possession of the Temple Mount. It is predictive of what can be achieved. Watching the unfolding events is both fascinating and a solemn exercise, given the significance of Dan. 11:45 & 12:1.

An extreme anti-abortion law brings about an extreme result! UPDATE:

Brain-dead Tarrant woman's fetus is 'distinctly abnormal,' attorneys say "Munoz's attorneys, Heather King and Jessica Hall Janicek, issued a statement Wednesday describing the condition of the fetus, now believed to be at about 22 weeks' gestation. King and Janicek based their statement on medical records they received from the hospital.

'According to the medical records we have been provided, the fetus is distinctly abnormal,' the attorneys said. 'Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.'

The attorneys said the fetus also has fluid building up inside the skull and possibly has a heart problem."

Sanity prevailing at last! -

Judge Orders Hospital to Remove Pregnant Woman From Life Support "Mr. Muñoz’s lawyer argued Friday that keeping her on life support would set a dangerous precedent in future cases of pregnant brain-dead women.

'This is tragic and very difficult case,' the judge said before siding with the family and ruling that the state law in question did not apply to Ms. Muñoz because she was dead."

The conventional wisdom appears to be that Republican harshness on government social programs is a reflection of their commitment to the Ayn Rand philosophy:

Paul Ryan, GOP’s budget architect, sets his sights on fighting poverty and winning minds "Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think tanks and intellectuals for ideas to replace the 'bureaucratic, top-down anti-poverty programs' that Ryan blames for 'wrecking families and communities' since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964."

Is Paul Ryan for or against Ayn Rand? "What made her books controversial is not violence or sex, though both 'Fountainhead' and 'Atlas' have their share of bodice-ripping, but an extremist vision of America that celebrated greed and selfishness, rejected altruism as 'evil' and opposed the fundamental tenets of Judeo-Christian morality. (She was also a militant atheist who favored abortion.)

Paul Ryan says that he read her books as a youth but was not influenced by her. In April, he gave an interview to National Review in which he repudiated Rand entirely. In the interview, he called reports of his adherence to Rand's views an 'urban legend' and said that he was more deeply influenced by his Roman Catholic faith and by Thomas Aquinas."

Note the second paragraph of the above quotation, which probably more accurately reflects Paul Ryan's true motivation than his admiration for Ayn Rand. The origins of ‘social justice’ — you might be surprised identifies Thomas Aquinas as the inspiration for the term. The Origins of Social Justice: Taparelli d’Azeglio provides an indepth analysis of the philosophy and its impact on the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine. Paul Ryan may indeed be committed more to Roman Catholic Social Justice than Ayn Rand's philosophy. The question is whether the following emanates from Ayn Rand or from religious ideology:

Republican Party on Welfare & Poverty

House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps "A Census Bureau report released on Tuesday found that the program had kept about four million people above the poverty level and had prevented millions more from sinking further into poverty. The census data also showed nearly 47 million people living in poverty — close to the highest level in two decades."

Where’s the GOP’s anti-poverty agenda? "But in the hermetically sealed bubble of the Republican office-holder, the American ideal of everyone being able to succeed if they try hard enough always holds sway. Recently the job-seekers-to-job-openings ratio fell below three to one for the first time in five years, which means it’s down to the absolute worst of the early 2000s recession. But in Republican Land the possibility of there being a situation where it is literally impossible for every person to succeed is ruled out by definition. The Great Depression was FDR’s fault. Welfare reform just didn’t kick enough people off the rolls. Giving money to poor people only makes them worse off.

As it happens, LBJ’s War on Poverty worked spectacularly well: 'from 1963 when Lyndon Johnson took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent. . .'"

John Kerry's peace plan efforts have provoked an emotional outburst by an Israeli government minister. The Israeli leaders must feel intensely pressured. Meanwhile, Kerry also pursues accomodation with the Vatican, paving the way for President Obama to meet with the Pope. The intensified US diplomacy is significant in the context of the prophecies of Dan. 11:40-45 and Rev. 13:11-18:

Take a Nobel ‘and leave us alone’: Israeli minister slams ‘obsession’ behind Kerry’s trip ("Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in damage control after his defence minister reportedly said John Kerry’s bid for a peace plan was motivated by a 'misplaced obsession and messianic fervour.'

'Secretary of State John Kerry — who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling — cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians,' Defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said, according to Yediot Ahronot.")

Kerry vows to press peace push despite Israel minister slur ("The personal nature of Yaalon's criticism of the US top diplomat was widely disavowed by fellow ministers, although not his complaints about Kerry's peace proposals.

There has been widespread resistance within Netanyahu's rightwing government to Kerry's proposals for future security arrangements between a Palestinian state and neighbouring Jordan, and his pressure for a halt to settlement expansion.

A senior official in the ruling rightwing Likud said the defence minister had merely vocalised what Netanyahu himself was thinking.")

Kerry Seeks to Build Ties to New Pope With Vatican Visit ("President Barack Obama is seeking to build ties with Pope Francis, the new spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, for help on issues such as Mideast turmoil, climate change, and global poverty.

Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday met with his Vatican counterpart, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, to discuss a range of issues in preparation for a visit by Obama. The last U.S. secretary of state’s visit was by Condoleezza Rice in April 2005, when she accompanied President George W. Bush to the funeral of Pope John Paul II.")

From [D]@gmail.com -

Kerry Asks Vatican to Help Win Release of American Jailed in Cuba ("The position held by Parolin, who will be elevated to the rank of cardinal next month, is the second most senior in the Vatican hierarchy after the pope and its holder is sometimes called the 'deputy pope'.

'We talked at great length on Syria. I was particularly appreciative for the archbishop's raising the issue and equally grateful for the Holy Father's comments ... yesterday regarding his support for the Geneva 2 process,' Kerry told reporters.")

An extreme anti-abortion law brings about an extreme result! Can the fetus be developed to a viable stage and a normal baby? Will the State assist the family with the huge medical expenses?:

Texas hospital to keep pregnant, brain-dead woman on life support

He told WFAA that his wife's collapse may have been caused by a pulmonary embolism and that tests on the fetus are too limited to determine its health and whether it can ultimately survive. Doctors may have to decide in about a month whether to attempt a caesarian delivery, since 24 weeks is generally considered the age of 'viability' in the US.

'That poor fetus had the same lack of oxygen, the same electric shocks, the same chemicals that got her heart going again,' Marlise Munoz's father, Ernest Machado, told the Dallas Morning News. 'For all we know, it’s in the same condition that Marlise is in.' Local firefighters have set up a benefit fund to help the family pay medical bills.

Brain-dead pregnant woman kept alive against family wishes to deliver child

About half of all 50 American states impose laws of varying stringency that ban medics from cutting off life support to pregnant women regardless of their will or their family's requests.

Critics have said the laws clash with American women's right under the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade supreme court decision to an abortion before the foetus is viable outside the womb.

The more one researches the abortion issue, the more incredibly complex it appears to be. It is a serious mistake to allow emotion to control one's thinking. Religious doctrine should have nothing to do with legislation on this complicated and controversial matter, particularly in a nation subject to a constitutional separation of church and state. Even outside of the constitutional factor which involves the rights of different religious faiths, what is known from the Bible leaves room for wide-ranging views and debate about what constitutes personhood, which is the essential core of the question of when life begins in the process of procreation. The Bible passage Exodus 21:22-25 is definitive and more clear-cut than any other quoted texts concerning the Divine viewpoint on the personhood of a fetus at any stage of its development. Numbers 5:11-31 could be definitive on the question of abortion for good reasons such as the life of the mother etc.; but this depends on the proper interpretation of the phrases "belly to swell" and "thigh to rot." The silence of the Bible in identifying a particular stage at which personhood is attained should be a warning against dogmatism; and in any event no single Christian denomination or alliance of Christian denominations has the constitutional right to impose its view on those who differ, whether other Christians, other religious faiths, or unbelievers. The claim of such a right is the stuff of theocratic dictatorship. Here are articles expounding some of the diversity of views:

When does human personhood begin?

What does contemporary science say about when an embryo becomes a person? There is no consensus among biologists as to this question. Below are four points in development at which different groups of scientists maintain that personhood may begin. Other scientists, however, say that the question itself is unscientific and cannot be answered. . .

While it is advised to see the evidence and the references in the original sources, a summary is given below.

What does contemporary science say about when an embryo becomes a person? There is no consensus among biologists as to this question. Below are four points in development at which different groups of scientists maintain that personhood may begin. Other scientists, however, say that the question itself is unscientific and cannot be answered.

Fertilization. Some scientists take a genetic approach, and suggest that life begins at fertilization, when one attains one's genome. This idea is also found among antiabortion activists who believe that at this point, as one website put it, "intelligence and personality— the way you look and feel—were already in place in your genetic code. At the moment of conception, you were essentially and uniquely you."

Historian Susan Lindee and sociologists Dorothy Nelkin have shown that we are constantly being told that DNA is our soul or essence—for example, "The sauna is in the DNA of every Finn." One DNA-as-soul claim is the tagline for the midsize Hummer: "Same DNA. Smaller chromosomes."

But biologists with embryological leanings take issue with this idea. Identical twins, for instance, have the same DNA, but they certainly have different personalities and, theologically speaking, distinct souls.

Gastrulation. Twins can form up to the point of individuation, when animal embryos undergo a process called gastrulation, in which the cells are “told” what to become. In human embryos, this occurs around 14 days after fertilization. Thus, countries such as Britain and Canada allow research on embryonic stem cells, which pre-date individuation. The embryos used for stem cell research do not have a front, a back, a head, or limbs.

EEG activity. Another group of biologists argues that personhood does not begin until brain activity can be recorded as an electroencephalogram, or EEG, around week 26. After all, the loss of that activity represents a loss of personhood to the extent that organs may be removed for transplant. This parallels the earlier Catholic view expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas, who said that ensoulment occurs sometime after conception, when one has developed the anatomy needed to house the human-specific, rational soul.

Viability/birth. Still other biologists contend that only birth itself makes us physically distinct individuals, independent of maternal physiology. The anatomy of our heart, lungs, and blood vessels changes at our first breath.

This, interestingly, is where the Bible claims personhood originates. Genesis 9:6 says that one who murders a man must himself be destroyed. But Exodus 21:22 says a man who causes a woman to miscarry is not to be put to death, but rather should pay a fine. In the Bible, personhood is a birthright.

Anti-abortion advocates maintain that abortion (or the death of early embryos for stem cell research) is an affront to human dignity. It makes the human into a usable entity, a "thing," not a "who." This is an important concern. However, it works both ways. By equating a fertilized egg with an adult human, one not only makes the zygote like the person; it makes the person like the zygote. As less than half of normal human conceptions make it to term, most zygotes don't become babies. Zygotes can be cheap, and human life never should be.

Jewish Attitudes Towards Abortion

Even given the designation of the embryo / fetus as intrinsic to the mother's body and thereby lacking, we might say, personhood - is feticide, the killing of at least a potential human being the same as homicide? The biblical books of Exodus and Leviticus (part of the Torah - teaching, path, law - in Judaism, and canonical "Old Testament" books for Christians,) as understood through the Talmud and Rashi (one of the most important Rabbinic authorities), argue that the answer to this question is, 'No'  . . .

In the effort to resolve the abortion debate, a common Christian move is to argue that human life (as equivalent to moral personhood) begins with 'ensoulment,' with God's placing an immortal soul in the material body of the fetus. Diverse Christian views claim that ensoulment occurs at conception, at the end of the first trimester, or at birth: the latter two views, of course, would allow for abortion, while the first view (ensoulment occurring at conception) would (largely) forbid abortion as the moral equivalent of murder. But the debate over when ensoulment occurs, Feldman points out, is essentially a Christian debate. . .

A Rabbi and a Minister Respond to 'Personhood'

The Personhood movement, as well as the anti-choice movement, in general, says that they are trying to comply with divine law, as opposed to civil law, and rely upon portions of the Christian and Hebrew Bibles to make that claim. But when I decided to take a look at the texts they say inspire these 'divine' laws, I couldn’t find one place that unequivocally said that life begins at conception. Befuddling! . . .

With the exception of a somewhat ambiguous reference to predestination, which is contrary to this website's theology, the following is an interesting analysis of abortion laws being promulgated by religious right legislators:

When does personhood begin?

So whose doctrine is correct? And whose doctrine should reign supreme in a democracy that claims freedom of religion? . . .

To add to the confusion, science has its own varied theories of when human life begins. . .

The answer is not one that will be found easily. And if we are going to pass laws based on a doctrinal belief rather than based on the unfolding science then the debate becomes whose religious doctrine is supreme. That is a road towards theocracy. A road that this democracy needs to ensure that humanity never travels down again as it thwarts the fullness of humanity in all of its creativity and expression. (Underscored emphasis added.)

The latest in the US House of Representatives:

All-Male Congressional Committee Considers Imposing Far-Reaching Abortion Restrictions

How The Omnibus Spending Bill Restricts Abortion Funding

The talk show hosts ask repeatedly why the Republicans are obsessed with the abortion issue. No-one ever lays the blame at the feet of the Church of Rome and its Religious Right allies though there is an abundance of documentation that they are in control. This is theocratic government in action - the Image to the Beast.

Israelis and Palestinians unable to agree on a framework for resumption of peace talks; Netanyahu as intransigent as ever:

From [D}@gmail.com -

Netanyahu Opposes Framework Dividing Jerusalem ". . .Sources previously revealed that US Secretary of State John Kerry's proposals would divide the capital under international management. . .

Kerry's interim plans reportedly would have Jerusalem follow the model of the Vatican, whereby the Old City and the Temple Mount would be a sort of autonomous region under joint international management, including Israeli and PA representatives."

No framework for peace yet as Kerry leaves Mideast "The framework agreement reportedly will deal with all core issues — borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem and mutual recognition, among others."

Kerry Ends Mideast Trip Without Framework Deal "After four days of intense diplomacy, US Secretary of State John Kerry headed home Monday, insisting progress had been made despite failing to agree a framework to guide Israeli-Palestinian talks."

There is a saying that "When the big wind blows the tree must bend or break." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is exerting unprecedented pressure on Israel -

Kerry Blames, Threatens Israel if ‘Peace Talks’ Fail "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thrown away the gloves, removed all the makeup, and resorted to naked threats and bullying in order to force Israel to fulfill this U.S. administration’s dream of successfully – from its, not Israel’s perspective – concluding the current round of Middle East 'peace' talks."

The choice for Netanyahu may not be to "bend or break;" but perhaps "bend or step aside."

An earlier Israeli government "presented a plan [to the then Pope] to 'Vaticanize' the Old City of Jerusalem . . ." This is right in line with the prophecy of Dan. 11:45, and it is the framework desired by the Vatican. The European Union, brainchild of the papacy, has also begun to exert pressure -

The EU becomes assertive in the Middle East peace process "What is behind a seemingly harmless directive that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls a ‘diktat’ and that infuriates Israeli centre-right policy circles so much? . . .

The directive will prohibit the issuing of grants, funding, prizes or scholarships unless a settlement exclusion sentence is included. In other words: EU financial assistance will no longer go to Israeli entities in the occupied territories. . .

The guidelines clearly state that ‘only Israeli entities having their place of establishment within Israel’s pre-1967 borders will be considered eligible’ for EU funding."

Israel’s European Peace? "But there is one promising development: the European Union, in an uncharacteristic show of backbone, has issued written guidelines prohibiting cooperation with Israeli companies operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This bold move could presage a game-changing role for the EU in bringing about a long-awaited resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict."

How the EU Can Help Kerry With Israeli and Palestinian Peace Talks "In July, as Secretary Kerry negotiated assiduously with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to give peace talks another chance, the EU high representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton announced that the EU would no longer give grants and scholarships to companies and educational institutions based in Israeli settlements. In addition, a leaked letter from Ashton detailed EU plans to require products from settlements to be labelled as such when sold in the EU. The Union, which has long argued that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, had been working on both initiatives for a while. But the timing of the announcement and the leaked letter helped in a small way to convince both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu to agree to peace talks."

THIS YEAR 2014 MAY BE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT ESCHATOLOGICALLY.


 

The Vatican continues to court Israel, with Jerusalem the target (Dan. 11:45.):

From [D]@gmail.com -

Pope Francis to visit Holy Land in May

Pope confirms trip to Holy Land in May ("The relative shortness of the trip may underline the sensitives of a papal visit to the area, where the pope will likely meet with both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.")

The Vatican is working to establish a presence in Jerusalem, a focal point of conflict in a volatile Middle East - a harbinger of the wars predicted in Dan. 11:40-44?:

Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants ("But for all its echoes, the bloodshed that has engulfed Iraq, Lebanon and Syria in the past two weeks exposes something new and destabilizing: the emergence of a post-American Middle East in which no broker has the power, or the will, to contain the region’s sectarian hatreds.Amid this vacuum, fanatical Islamists have flourished in both Iraq and Syria under the banner of Al Qaeda, as the two countries’ conflicts amplify each other and foster ever-deeper radicalism. Behind much of it is the bitter rivalry of two great oil powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, whose rulers — claiming to represent Shiite and Sunni Islam, respectively — cynically deploy a sectarian agenda that makes almost any sort of accommodation a heresy.")

U.S. diplomacy is destabilizing the Middle East, say ‘go-it-alone’ Saudis ("Julian Barnes-Dacey, a Syria expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said the Saudi leadership viewed support for the Syrian rebels and overthrow of the Iranian-aligned Syrian regime as vital for its own security. 'There is broad consensus on the need to push hard on Syria because they don’t want the Iranians to gain the upper hand,' he said. 'Saudi Arabia is upping its game to help the rebels on the ground. This is not just empty talk but is an appeal to the West to stand alongside them as they look to change the end game.' . .

The nervous Gulf states have warned that Iran remains a destructive force in the Middle East and will use a thaw as cover for its support for terrorist groups and militias across the region.")

ROMAN CATHOLIC NUNS ASSERT "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" TO DENY IT TO OTHERS:

Catholic Employers Claim That Filling Out an Obamacare Form Violates Their Religious Freedom "That's right: These groups are arguing that filling out a form is a violation of their religious freedom and that 'religious freedom' means that you should have control over your employee's health care decisions even when they happen outside of the insurance coverage you directly provide for them. Even the lawyer for one of the groups, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, admits that this lawsuit is about trying to weasel out of nothing more onerous than signing a piece of paper. 'Without an emergency injunction,' Mark Rienzi told the Associated Press, 'Mother Provincial Loraine Marie Maguire has to decide between two courses of action: (a) sign and submit a self-certification form, thereby violating her religious beliefs; or (b) refuse to sign the form and pay ruinous fines.' And a spokeswoman for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, lead counsel for the Little Sisters, said, 'The government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people. It doesn't need to force the nuns to participate.' The problem is that the government agrees and has set up a system so that the nuns can opt out. The nuns refuse to opt out, however, because opting out on paper will allow their employees to get that contraception coverage."

The nuns' Obamacare contraception lawsuit isn't about religious freedom "The Little Sisters aren't paying for contraception even through a third-party-secured insurance plan; they certainly aren't being asked to distribute it, and Catholic nuns aren't being force-fed birth control pills. They simply have to sign a piece of paper saying they're a religious group, and then turn to a third party to negotiate all the details.

Their claim that even this accommodation violates their religious liberty is telling. These ACA-related "religious liberty" arguments aren't actually about the freedom to exercise your own religion, or the right to be free of doing something that violates your conscience. These assertions are about an overwhelming sense of entitlement on behalf of religious organizations to force anyone within their reach to adhere to their beliefs."

Adminstration says Colo. nuns do not need injunction against health law provision "Religiously oriented nonprofit organizations around the country have objected to the requirement and said it violates protections granted by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

They contend that if they sign the self-certification letters, that makes them complicit in the government’s plan to provide contraceptive services, because the law provides that third-party insurers still provide the coverage."

Cf. On Contraception

Does this give us a hint that the Roman Catholic "liberals" on the US Supreme Court might be an unanticipated trojan horse for the Church of Rome?

Justice Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns

The timing looks rather suspicious. Why did they wait until the day before the mandate went into effect?:

From [D]@gmail.com -

Catholic groups ask Supreme Court to delay Obamacare mandate

An ex-Catholic's 2005 analysis of Rome's rigid stance on contraception:

You gotta have soul ("The Vatican, under the present pope [John-Paul II,] has continued to equate contraception with abortion - both being seen as a "culture of death". At John Paul II's first synod of his reign, convened in 1980 on the family and sexuality, some bishops attempted to raise the issue of contraception. Despite a special commission reporting to Pope Paul VI that contraception was not "intrinsically evil", the new pontiff swiftly reaffirmed the absolute ban laid down in Paul VI's harsh 1960 encyclical, Humanae Vitae. . .

More important, perhaps, is the recognition that, as late as 14 days after fertilisation, the embryo may divide into twins or triplets or more. This so-called "twinning argument" is the strongest yet against the view that life begins at fertilisation. Because, theologically speaking, the soul cannot split, it can be said that the soul does not enter the pre-embryo (called a zygote) until the point at which it can no longer divide into several individuals. . .

Definitions of when the soul enters the body have certainly changed over the centuries. St Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, held that male foetuses only became "animated" - in other words, acquired a soul - around the 40th day after conception. Females were believed to develop more slowly and to need 90 days for 'ensoulment'.")

Different Christian churches hold different views about the rightness and wrongness of using birth control:

Contraception

But Rome claims the right to impose her arbitrary teachings on the whole world - Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers alike!:

The role of the Church in the international community of states . . .


 

CARRIED OVER FROM 2013:

Based on the sound biblical exegesis that identifies the papacy as Anti-christ and reveals the unseen spirit power behind the papal throne, this prophetic statement of Ellen G. White is relevant: "I have been shown that Satan has not been stupid and careless these many years, since his fall, but has been learning. He has grown more artful. His plans are laid deeper, and are more covered with a religious garment to hide their deformity. The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased, and it will increase, until it is taken away." (2 SG, p. 277; emphasis added.) One can find little fault with the validity of Pope Francis' condemnation of callous and rampant capitalism and the plight of the poor. The catch is that however sincere this particular Pope may be in his concern about the neglected poor in the name of Christianity, it masks the true nature of the papacy:

Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism 'tyranny' and urges rich to share wealth

A Church for the Poor

Conflict with the conservatives - how will it be resolved?

Why conservatives just don't get Pope Francis' anti-poverty crusade

Jesus did not preach only against the neglect of the poor. He taught doctrinal Truth: "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." John 7:16-18. Further, He said, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7.) He explicitly stated that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36,) and declared a clear line of separation between Church and State (Mark 12:17; cf. Individuality in Religion - At Bookmark "VI GOD AND CAESAR.") He explained His role as Saviour and Judge of humanity; and promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to guide into all Truth and "convince the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgment." He taught that no man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6.) He explicitly declared the Holy Spirit to be Himself, and as the Father dwelt in Him, so He would dwell in His followers. With such an inextricable union between the individual believer and God, what need is there of intervention by a pope, or intercession by the Virgin Mary who sleeps in righteousness in her tomb until the resurrection. It is the Holy Spirit who is God's Vicegerent on earth. THE POPE STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO ALL OF THE ABOVE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! The Pontiff is impotent to execute the functions which he proudly and blasphemously claims the power to perform. He is a would-be interloper between God and man, but is powerless to break the connection between Jesus and the one in whom the Spirit of Truth dwells, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Tim. 2:5.) The Holy Spirit is an Intercessor as He is one with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:26-27, 34.) Sadly there are billions of deluded people in this world who neither know, nor want to know the Truth. For all of the acclaim given to the Pope's pronouncements against neglect of the poor, his words do not guide the world to the Way of Truth and Righteousness.

A new messenger seducing the world into following the man identified in Rev. 13:18 - "and all the world wondered [followed] after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast" (Rev. 13:3b-4a):

From [D]@gmail.com -

Pope Francis, a New Messenger for the Catholic Church -

"Emphasizing forgiveness over judgment, and acceptance over orthodoxy, the 266th pope is decidedly different from his predecessors. . . .

On some issues, the church is unlikely to budge. Don’t hold your breath the church will suddenly sanction birth control or abortion. Or that priests won’t have to be celibate or that women will be allowed to become priests. . . .

As the earthly successor to St. Peter, the pope is not just the spiritual leader of the world’s largest faith. He is also, according to Catholic tradition, the keeper of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s why the pope’s heraldic shield features pair of crossed keys beneath a papal crown. . . .

He has captured the imaginations of believers and non-believers alike, giving the Church’s message of social justice far greater resonance. . . .

Recent polls suggest the world is listening. A recent ABC News/Washington Post survey found more than 90% of Catholics approve of his performance. So do 69% of Americans, regardless of faith." (Underscored emphasis added.)

BOOKMARKS

The government of God is not, as Satan would make it appear, founded upon a blind submission, an unreasoning control. It appeals to the intellect and the conscience. "Come now, and let us reason together" is the Creator's invitation to the beings He has made. Isaiah 1:18. God does not force the will of His creatures. He cannot accept an homage that is not willingly and intelligently given. A mere forced submission would prevent all real development of mind.

61

Lesson #12
Excerpt from Bible Study Guide

THE HOUSE OF CHRIST

Hebrews 3:5-6  Moses verily was faithful in all his house,...   But Christ as a son over His own             house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Note - Elsewhere in the New Testament, the "house of Christ" is spoken of as "the household of faith," (Galatians 6:10) and "the household of God.., built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:19-201

Ephesians 2: Ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,... but now in 12-13            Christ Jesus ye who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

 Note - In these verses. Paul is writing to Gentile converts (2:11) and indicating that when they accepted Christ, they became a part of the Commonwealth of Israel. In Christ, they became Abraham's seed and heirs of the promise given to Abraham. (Galatians 3:29) Further. Paul declared that a real "Jew" was one whose circumcision was "that of the heart, in the spirit." (Romans 2:29) And again, he indicated that mere lineal descent from Abraham did not count in regard to "the house of Christ" but "the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Romans 9:7-8) In the New Testament. there is a "new" Israel developing - "the Israel of God." (Galatians 6:15-16)

The Gentiles were called out of pagan rites and "bondage" to the "weak and beggarly elements" of this world. (Galatians 4:3, 9) The Jews of the flesh and proselytes were called out of "the house or Moses" into "the house of Christ." This "new" Israel is called the ekklesia - or the "called out" ones. In the LXX, this word was also used to describe the "assembly" of Israel for religious purposes. (Deuteronomy 31:30) Stephen in his address before the Jewish Sanhedrin referred to the assembly of Israel at Mount Sinai as "the church in the wilderness." (Acts 7:38) Thus in the forma­tion of the "church" or "the house of Christ" under the New Covenant. it was Christ's objective to "reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross." (Ephesians 2:16)

Hebrews 12:    Ye are come unto mount Sion,... the heavenly Jerusalem,... to the church of the
22-23               first born, which are written in heaven.

Note - Paul wrote that the Jerusalem that then was. was in bondage with her children, but that the New Jerusalem which was above, "is free, which is the mother of us all." (Galatians 4:25-

26) This is the new mother into whom we are called. It is the true "mother" church, With its reg-
istry in heaven, it assembles upon earth in different places. The revelation in the New Testament is that the visible church met primarily in homes. Aquila and Pricilla had a church in their house. (Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 16:19) One, Nymphas, as well as Philemon, had churches in their homes.

( Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2) It appears in Epheses, when Paul was no longer permitted to speak
in the synagogue, he "separated the disciples" and these met in the assembly room of "the school of Tyrannus." (Acts 19:9) It must not be forgotten that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place in an "upper
room" where the followers of Christ assembled. (Acts 1:13) The meeting place for the church at Troas must have been a similar room. (Acts 20:9)

I Timothy: The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the 3:15           truth.

Note - The supreme purpose of the church is to be the pillar of the truth as it is in Jesus. (Ephe-sians 4:21) Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). His church. His house - the "new" Israel of God - will reflect that way, that truth, and that life. To depart from truth is to apostatize from Christ. and this in turn necessitates a separation from assemblies where apostasy is taught. even as Paul "separated the disciples" in Ephesus from the apostate synagogue worship. 

United States Foreign Policy

THE ROLE OF THE VATICAN IN THE MODERN WORLD "In the recognition of the need for a stable world order, and for development as the necessary means of assuring this stability, the policy of the Vatican, and the foreign policy of the United States since the days of Point Four and the Marshall Plan, are ONE."

From The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, by A. T. Jones, Chapter 13, "The Transgression and Abomination of Desolation."

And all this is confirmed by latter Rome herself. For Leo the Great was pope A.D. 440 to A.D. 461, in the very time when the former Rome was in its very last days, when it was falling rapidly to ruin. And Leo the Great declared in a sermon that the former Rome was but the promise of the latter Rome; that the glories of the former were to be reproduced in Catholic Rome; that Romulus and Remus were but the forerunners of Peter and Paul; that the successors of Romulus therefore were the precursors of the successors of Peter; and that, as the former Rome had ruled the world, so the latter Rome, by the see of the holy blessed Peter as head of the world, would dominate the earth. This conception of Leo's was never lost from the Papacy. And when, only fifteen years afterward, the Roman Empire had, as such, perished, and only the Papacy survived the ruin and firmly held place and power in Rome, this conception of Leo's was only the more strongly and with the more certitude held and asserted. . . .

Taking the ground that she is the only true continuation of original Rome, upon that the Papacy took the ground that wherever the New Testament cites or refers to the authority of original Rome, she is now meant, because she is the only true continuation of original Rome. Accordingly, where the New Testament enjoins submission to "the powers that be," or obedience to "governors," it means the Papacy, because the only power and the only governors that then were, were Roman, and the papal power was the true continuation of the Roman.

"Every passage was seized on where submission to the powers that be is enjoined, every instance cited where obedience had actually been rendered to the imperial officials; special emphasis being laid on the sanction which Christ Himself had given to Roman dominion by pacifying the world through Augustus, by being born at the time of the taxing, by paying tribute to Caesar, by saying to Pilate, 'Thou couldst have no power at all against Me except it were given thee from above'"—Bryce. And since Christ had recognized the authority of Pilate, who was but the representative of Rome, who should dare to disregard the authority of the Papacy, the true continuation of that authority, to which even the Lord from heaven had submitted.

And it was only the logical culmination of this assumption when Pope Boniface VIII presented himself in the sight of the multitude, clothed in a cuirass, with a helmet on his head and a sword in his hand held aloft, and proclaimed: "There is no other Caesar, nor king, nor emperor than I, the Sovereign Pontiff and Successor of the Apostles;" and, when further he declared, ex cathedra: "We therefore assert, define, and pronounce that it is necessary to salvation to believe that every human being is subject to the Pontiff of Rome."

This is proof enough that the little horn of the seventh chapter of Daniel is Papal Rome and that it is in spirit and purpose intentionally the continuation of original Rome.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. (GC, P. 588)

(a) Majority rule can lead to despotism as readily as the dictatorship of an individual or a minority; but this was not Pope Benedict's concern, and in any event the American democracy does not bestow unlimited power on the majority. The United States is a constitutional democracy with checks and balances and protection of the rights of minorities. The constitution was intended to guarantee basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law. All of these the Church of Rome has worked assiduously to undermine since the time of Leo XIII, an endeavour now very substantially accomplished and yet accelerating at an astonishing pace. (Cf. The Origins of Vatican Power in America)

Pope Francis - Breaking New Ground in Jewish-Catholic Relations:

The Holy Father’s friendships and strong tradition of dialogue with Jewish leaders are already having an impact, building on the foundation provided by previous popes. The bonds between Jews and Catholics have never been stronger in the Church’s 2,000-year history, but some Jewish leaders say that, with Pope Francis, the best is about to get even better.

Blessed Pope John XXIII reset Catholic-Jewish relations in the 1960s, seeking to reconcile the grievances of the past, in which Catholics had treated Jews less like beloved brothers and more like strangers — or worse, as enemies. The Church approved that outreach in 1965 at the Second Vatican Council with the document Nostra Aetate, and Popes Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI all continued efforts to deepen those relations.

But Pope Francis’ pontificate represents a new chapter of deeper understanding and friendship between Jews and Catholics.

“Pope Francis has very close personal friends from his days as cardinal who are rabbis, who are leaders in the Jewish community,” said Menachem Rosensaft, general counsel for the World Jewish Congress (WSJ). “The dialogue and the relationship have been unprecedented in terms of warmth and closeness.”

Rosensaft said the Pope’s relationship with Jews in Buenos Aires reveals “a totally new model that we’ve never seen before.”

“The relationship is not a formal or intellectual one. But in addition to being intellectual, or symbolic, it is also heartfelt and intuitive,” he said. “That makes a tremendous difference.” 

". . .her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot . . ." Numbers 5:27

In his book The Abortion Controversy, John V. Stevens, Sr., states in the chapter titled "Abortion Law in the Scriptures-Accidental and Induced," P. 160, "The Scripture refers to this miscarriage as the belly swelling and the thigh rotting - the fetus being expelled." He does not explain the interpretation, and some argue that the Scripture gives no indication that the woman is necessarily pregnant. The NRSV interprets the phrases as "womb discharge" and "uterus drop." If this translation of the Hebrew is correct, then this might settle the issue of whether or not God would condemn all abortions; but it is possible that this is a modernist translation reflecting ideology more than textual validity. However, the translation is not without some support from the commentaries of others.

Almost all of the popular Bible commentaries fail to explain the verses of Numbers 5 which contain the phrases. However, Adam Clarke states, "'Thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot' - What is meant by these expressions cannot be easily ascertained. ûry lpnl lanpel yarech signifies literally thy thigh to fall. As the thigh, feet, &c., were used among the Hebrews delicately to express the parts which nature conceals, (see Gen. xlvi. 26,) the expression here is probably to be understood in this sense; and the falling down of the thigh here must mean something similar to the prolapsus uteri, or falling down of the womb, which might be a natural effect of the preternatural distension of the abdomen." This is consistent with an induced miscarriage if the woman is pregnant.

The Law of Jealousy is a well-documented analysis, which is the more persuasive in its conclusions about the probable meaning of the phrases because the author unequivocally declares his opposition to abortion:

What exactly was the physical impact on this woman? Again, there were two possibilities. If she was innocent of adultery, she would 'be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse' [vs. 19]. In other words, it would not harm her in any way. 'If the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children' [vs. 28, NIV]. The NASB says she will be [not] able to 'conceive children.' The implication is that the judgment of God would fall upon that part of her body that had to do with reproduction. If she had been sexually unfaithful to her husband, she would be afflicted with some condition that would prevent her from ever conceiving. If she was innocent, her ability to conceive would not be affected. With regard to the guilty woman, however, there are some expressions used that have greatly puzzled the commentators and interpreters, leaving them to speculate fiercely as to the nature of this physical affliction that would come upon her. This curse is mentioned three times (Num. 5:21, 22, 27]. Notice how the following translations render it:

"abdomen swell" ... "thigh waste away" --- NASB, NIV

"belly swell" ... "thigh rot" --- KJV, NKJV

"miscarriage" ... "untimely birth" --- NEB

"belly swell" ... "womb shrivel" --- The Message

"womb swell" ... "thigh fall away" --- ESV

"never able to give birth to a child" --- CEV

"body swell" ... "thigh fall away" --- ASV

"belly swell" ... "thigh shrivel" --- HCSB

More examples could be given, but these should suffice to give the general drift of interpretive theory. The KJV and NKJV employ the word 'rot,' which doesn't actually mean to us today what it did several hundred years ago. These verses 'may indicate a miscarriage -- rot literally means 'fall'; see Job 3:16, where a similar Hebrew word refers to untimely birth' [The Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, p. 217]. Many biblical and linguistic scholars believe these two expressions convey the idea of a miscarriage, especially the idea of 'the falling of the thighs,' which they firmly believe suggests the fetus falling out of the mother between the thighs. The NIV has a footnote to Numbers 5 which states that these terms may mean: 'cause you to be barren and have a miscarrying womb.' There is significant debate as to whether the women undergoing the trial by ordeal were all pregnant at the time. Frankly, it seems extremely unlikely to believe that in every case the accused woman was pregnant. Nevertheless, it is certainly probable that in some cases she most likely was, and that perhaps the husband had doubts that the child was his. In such cases, the impact of the bitter water would be to abort the pregnancy, and she would be unable to conceive thereafter. If she was guilty of infidelity, but was not pregnant at the time, then she would be unable ever to bear children in the future. In the former case, however, please keep in mind that the water itself was not the agent of termination ... God was!! This in no way suggests God's approval of abortion, but rather shows that this was to be a horrible and deadly consequence of the woman's sin. Would God actually permit the death of such an innocent life as a consequence of another's sin? One only has to think of the death of the child of David and Bathsheba to find the answer [2 Sam. 12:14-15], which should serve as an example to His people of the costliness of one's rebellion against Him. It can be quite costly. Such a divine punishment, however, is certainly not even remotely connected with the godless notions pertaining to the mind-numbing slaughter of millions of fetuses today. For anyone to appeal to this passage as justification for the practice of abortion in certain circumstances is appalling. For further thoughts about the murder of the unborn, I would refer the reader to my article: Aborting the Miracle of Life: Does Mankind Have That Right? (Reflections #155)."

Having written an analysis which can objectively be seen as weighted on the side of acceptance that the phrases embrace an induced miscarriage, the author rejects the notion that this could indicate a toleration by God of abortions under some circumstances. Is this an example of the emotive effect of a natural aversion to the destruction of a potential human being? This is what makes the abortion controversy such a dangerous one. Reasonable moral indignation can lead to acquiescence in the propagation of the deadly dogma of the immortality of the soul.

ESCHATOLOGICAL PROPHECIES

A Message for Frequent Appearance.--In the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (CW 23-24)

Luke 21:

24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken

27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. . . .

32Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

35For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. 

THE SIGN OF THE END TIME

Daniel 11:45 & 9:16

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (See Biblical Research Institute Report on the Eleventh Chapter of Daniel)

O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain.

Isaiah 14

12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isaiah 2

1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. 6Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. . . 10Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty11The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: . . 17And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 18And the idols he shall utterly abolish. 19And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 20In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; 21To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 22Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

Rev. 13

11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, 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. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18Here 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 threescore and six.

Rev. 16:

13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . 16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Rev. 17

1And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 7And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 4These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.