FINAL WORLD EVENTS IN PROPHECY FORESHADOWED 2016

RECENT GENERAL REPORTS

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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"

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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 2015

New  DONALD TRUMP ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

WORLDWIDE FEAR AFTER VICTORY OF DONALD TRUMP!

THE EARLY TRUMP CABINET CHOICES

OVERLOOKED: THE GRAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

THE LIBERTINE CHAMPIONS THEOCRACY

RELIGIOUS RIGHT DECLARES ITS CHOICE

THEOCRAT IN WAITING AND ALREADY EXERCISING INFLUENCE

WHY AT THIS TIME IN WORLD HISTORY?

THE CONDITIONING OF THE NATION

THE FACTOR OF FOX NEWS AND ALLIED ENTITIES

ROOT OF THE PERVASIVE PROPAGANDA

MIXED VATICAN REACTION

SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE TRIUMPH OF TRUMP AND TRUMPISM

PROPHECIES DESTINED TO CONVERGE

WORLDWIDE FEAR AFTER VICTORY OF DONALD TRUMP!

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, shocking the nation and the world, with one notable exception being Vladimir Putin. The headlines and the news reports tell the story, and we ignore them at the peril of being overrun by the tide of events because of inattentiveness. Just the upheaval alone speaks volumes in the light of what A. T. Jones pointed out in his perceptive sermon on the Papacy:-

Donald Trump’s Victory Is Met With Shock Across a Wide Political Divide

The American political establishment reeled on Wednesday as leaders in both parties began coming to grips with four years of President Donald J. Trump in the White House, a once-unimaginable scenario that has now plunged the United States and its allies and adversaries into a period of deep uncertainty about the policies and impact of his administration. . .

On campuses nationwide, students marched against Mr. Trump with signs bearing slogans like “Not my president,” and protesters in Oakland, Calif., smashed windows and set fire to garbage bins. On Wednesday night, thousands of people protested in several cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and New York, where demonstrators converged in Midtown Manhattan in front of Trump Tower, the home of the president-elect. . .

Still, more than a third of Americans said in exit polls on Tuesday that they would be frightened of a Trump presidency. Among those who voted for Mrs. Clinton, the feeling was almost unanimous: 92 percent said Mr. Trump scared them.

Anxieties ran strong among Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, women and others who had felt disparaged or demonized by Mr. Trump, who used harsh and racially charged language in ways that upended mainstream politics. The fact that Mr. Trump had been endorsed by a Ku Klux Klan newspaper, even if he rejected it, symbolized the sense of shock that he would now lead a vibrantly diverse democracy.

Across the World, Shock and Uncertainty at Trump’s Victory

The election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States has shocked the world — and has the potential to reshape it. . .

Álvaro García Linera, Bolivia’s leftist vice president, said the voters’ endorsement of Mr. Trump’s populist message shows how Americans, too, are questioning prevailing economic paradigms in “a passive revolution,” this time coming from the right.

Others expressed dismay with the election entirely.

“The excesses of this eccentric millionaire have proven that the number one enemy of the U.S. is not beyond its borders, but rather within,” wrote Vladimir Flórez, a Colombian cartoonist popularly known as Vladdo, in El Tiempo newspaper. “This threat called Trump is a product of American society; a nightmarish mutation of the American dream.”

For Europe, Trump’s Election Is a Terrifying Disaster

No one in Europe truly believed Americans would elect someone who seems so obviously unfit to lead the most powerful nation in the world. And yet, that is precisely what has happened, and now, across the Continent, people are trying to figure out what this will mean. Many fear that Donald J. Trump’s election might mean the end of the West as we know it. . .

But Mr. Trump’s election poses a new systemic and strategic risk. For seven decades, a politically stable United States has been a beacon of democracy and a cornerstone of the liberal world order. When democracy was seriously threatened in Europe, the United States stepped in and stopped the tide of authoritarianism. But now the United States itself has elected a demagogue who seems to have authoritarian tendencies and whose proposals — if he follows through on them — will have huge and disastrous consequences from Lisbon to Kiev.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany knows how grave the situation is. As she congratulated Mr. Trump on his victory on Wednesday, she also lectured him on the elements of liberal democracy that form the basis of the American-European relations. “Germany and America are bound by their values: democracy, freedom, the respect for the law and the dignity of human beings, independent of their origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political position,” Ms. Merkel said. “On the basis of these values I offer the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation.”

As of this stage in the writing of this update, President-elect Trump had already begun to flex his authoritarian, racist, anti-democratic muscles by four controversial nominations for his Administration:

Steve Bannon

Fear rises that Bannon could bring the ‘alt-right’ into White House

Trump’s decision to appoint the Breitbart executive his chief strategist stokes warnings across the political spectrum.

Donald Trump's newly named chief strategist, Steve Bannon, came under fire Monday from a wide swath of American leaders and organizations, from conservative operatives to minority-rights groups, all of whom are deeply concerned that Bannon will foster an extremist “alt-right” mentality inside the hallways of the White House and normalize ideas that had thrived only on the fringes of society.

Before joining Trump's campaign as its CEO in August, Bannon served as executive chairman of Breitbart News, identifying his outlet this summer as “the platform for the alt-right,” a group known for white-nationalist and anti-Semitic politics. His appointment Sunday to one of the two most senior roles in the White House was Trump's first major staff announcement, and has united a spectrum of conservatives and liberals, Muslims and Jews alarmed by how much his ideas are likely to shape the administration of the president-elect.

Meantime, representatives from a number of ethnic and religious minority groups are pointing to controversial remarks from Bannon and, under his leadership, Breitbart, about everyone from Jews to African-Americans, arguing that “alt-right” is code for racism and bigotry.

“I know what the alt-right is all about,” said Deborah Lipstadt, a Jewish historian based at Emory University who was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton. “It’s a bastion of white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semitic, racist, Islamophobic expression, and that a man who has been so closely connected with the alt-right, who has helped propel it into the mainstream, should have the ear of the president, I’m flabbergasted. I’m almost at a loss for words. So far, I find that the most depressing of almost anything I’ve heard thus far.”. . .

THE EARLY TRUMP CABINET CHOICES

Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions: Meet Trump's Latest Top Picks

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn

Flynn — a controversial figure who has been known to eschew "political correctness" — is a Trump loyalist who stayed by the candidate's side even as other national security experts sharply criticized him during the campaign. . .

As speculation about Flynn's appointment spread Thursday night, critics highlighted some of his controversial past statements. In February, Flynn said on Twitter that "fear of Muslims is rational.". . .

Multiple senior intelligence officials told NBC News on Friday that they have deep reservations about Trump tapping Flynn for the post.

They described him as a "hot head" with an abusive leadership style who would threaten to purge subordinates who disagreed with him. One called him "shallow and reactionary."

Beyond his leadership style, the officials worried that his narrow views of important foreign policy hot spots could lead to long-term erosion of US power and influence overseas.

"He doesn't understand the magnitude of the job," said one former intelligence official.

Senator Jeff Sessions

When he first endorsed Trump, Sessions praised the then-GOP contender as someone who would finally fix illegal immigration. . .

As a current member of the Senate, it's unlikely that Sessions' Republican colleagues will try to block his nomination. But Democrats and liberal groups are sure to focus on Sessions' controversial past.

In the 1980s, Sessions was considered for a Ronald Reagan-appointed federal district judgeship in Alabama, but was blocked by the Senate after a black former deputy, Thomas Figures, accused him of making racially insensitive statements. Figures, a former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama, said that Sessions had once warned him to be careful about what he said to "white folks."

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said in a statement that, "No Senator has fought harder against the hopes and aspirations of Latinos, immigrants, and people of color than Sen. Sessions."

Mike Pompeo

Trump Picks Pro-Surveillance, Tea Party Hawk Mike Pompeo to Lead CIA

Pompeo, a former U.S. Army officer, was elected to U.S. Congress in 2010 admist a Tea Party wave. Among other things, he opposes closing the Guantánamo Bay military prison, favors National Security Agency (NSA) domestic surveillance programs, and is an outspoken opponent of the landmark U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.

Pompeo wrote on Twitter, "I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism."

He has also called for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to receive the death penalty and has mocked hunger striking detainees.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said Friday, "Congressman Pompeo's positions on bulk surveillance and Guantánamo Bay...raise serious civil liberties concerns about privacy and due process. These positions and others merit serious public scrutiny through a confirmation process. His positions on mass surveillance have been rejected by federal courts and have been the subject of several lawsuits."

Pompeo also drew fire in 2013 for stating on the House floor that Muslim leaders who do not denounce terrorist acts are "potentially complicit" in the attacks.

Pompeo's Tea Party identification exposes his connection to the right-wing Roman Catholic-Evangelical political alliance, dominated by the Roman Catholics. However, the degree of unity in this religio-political movement for the election of Donald Trump is somewhat enigmatic. Nevertheless, it does not require full comprehension of Rome's part in the election of Trump to be able to predict that she can, and will, take advantage of his presidency to advance, and perhaps complete, the totalitarian theocratic State towards which she and apostate Protestantism have been working assiduously for several decades. The combination of these four appointments to the Trump Administration is ominous. [There have been further questionable and ominous nominations since this passage was written, not least of all the heavy concentration of military men, all of which will probably be the subject of future documents on this page.]

OVERLOOKED: THE GRAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

It is noteworthy that in all of the reports cited above describing the fear sweeping the nation and the world because of the election of Donald Trump, there is no mention of the separation of Church and State. The same applies to most of the major news publications; and yet theocratic governance looms large in the immediate future, and this should be a major concern for all, believers and unbelievers alike, as the Trump inauguration approaches. Interestingly, the magazine of the liberals in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who bear a heavy responsibility for the Denomination's apostasy has recognized the menacing future:

Perspective: Trump and Clinton on Religious Minorities

When Donald J. Trump addressed the Republican National Convention one week ago today in Cleveland, Ohio he promised Evangelical Christians that for their support he would work to remove the wall separating Church and State:

At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. We can accomplish these great things, and so much else. All we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America is back, bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.

The statement brought wild cheers from the Republican audience and foreshadowed a Trump White House in which the religious majority (Evangelicals made up just over 25% of the U.S. population in 2014) would enjoy greater prominence and empowerment.

By contrast, Donald Trump has on several occasions disparaged religious minorities for his political advantage, notably Muslims and Seventh-day Adventists.

THE LIBERTINE CHAMPIONS THEOCRACY

There are publications which sounded the warning before the election:

Donald Trump Will Lead a Theocratic Party Into the Election

Before the Republican National Convention approved what right-wing delegates described as “the most conservative platform in modern history” on Monday, platform-committee co-chair Virginia Foxx announced that the document was “a reaffirmation of the principles America and the Republican Party were founded on.”

Wrong.

The platform is theocratic in its language and spirit, employing arguments never before considered by a major American political party. It’s extremism is such that People for the American Way’s “Right-Wing Watch” team has observed, “Four years ago, we called the GOP platform ‘a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.’ Yet this year’s platform is even further to the right.”

Yes, the platform has its Donald Trump flourishes. As the New York Times editorial board notes: “Mr. Trump’s anti-Muslim phobia and fantasy wall across the Mexican border are front and center, along with his protectionist views, which deny long- held positions of the party.”

But where the platform veers furthest to the right is in sections that champion precisely the mingling of religion and politics that worried not just the wisest of the founders of the American experiment but also the Republicans of another time—who sought to advance and enhance that experiment.

Congresswoman Foxx did not seem to recall Thomas Jefferson’s observation, as the third president of the United States, that “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

In his letter to the Danbury Baptists, the third president wrote of the separation of church and state as an “expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience.”

Seventh-day Adventists and other Christians who wax enthusiastic about the Theocrats' war against abortion and yes, their campaign against  LGBTQ rights, should beware the forces violating Jesus' statement on the separation of Church and State. The abortion controversy is founded on the Roman Catholic dogma of the immortality of the soul. Condemnation of unnatural sexual behaviour and immoral sexual conduct in general is the province of the pulpit under the power of the Holy Spirit, totally devoid of the coercive power of the State ("Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" Zech. 4:6b; Cf. Jamieson, Fausset & Brown commentary on Verse 4 of 2 Cor. 10.) It is not easy, but the Scriputres constrain us to leave unregenate human beings to the judgment before the Great White Throne, without human intervention (Rev. 20:11-15,) except to purge the Church of open sinners. The words of the Apostle Peter should be kept in mind 1 Peter 4:18; 2 Peter 1:10; (cf. The Danger of Usurping God's Prerogatives.)

Crying out for attention is the fact that with the Trump presidency, Republican control of both Houses of Congress, and the imminence of the appointment of an extreme right-wing Justice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Antonin Scalia, America is faced with the stark reality that full theocratic government is being revealed; how far short of the tyranny of Rev. 13:15-17 is yet to be seen!

While the nation slept there were those in recent decades who penned warnings. Frederick Clarkson is one, and he wrote recently about Dominionism and the 2016 election:

Dominionism Rising: A Theocratic Movement Hiding in Plain Sight

In June 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held a private meeting with conservative movement leaders to plot his political future. Attendees afterwards cast him in the role of Ronald Reagan, who’d lost the 1976 Republican presidential nomination to Gerald Ford but led a conservative comeback in 1980 that made Jimmy Carter a one-term president. The thinking was that Cruz did well enough in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries before losing to celebrity billionaire Donald Trump that he could plan to run again in 2020 or 2024. “He was with kindred spirits,” said Brent Bozell, the conservative activist who hosted the meeting, “and I would say most people in that room see him as the leader of the conservative movement.”

The rise of Ted Cruz is a singular event in American political history. The son of a Cuban refugee and evangelical pastor, Cruz was raised in the kind of evangelicalism-with-a-theocratic-bent that has come to epitomize a significant and growing trend in American public life. That is, dominionism: a dynamic ideology that arose from the swirls and eddies of American evangelicalism to animate the Christian Right, and become a defining feature of modern politics and culture.

Dominionism is the theocratic idea that regardless of theological camp, means, or timetable, God has called conservative Christians to exercise dominion over society by taking control of political and cultural institutions. The term describes a broad tendency across a wide swath of American Christianity. People who embrace this idea are referred to as dominionists. Although Chip Berlet, then of Political Research Associates, and I defined and popularized the term for many in the 1990s, in fact it had (along with the term dominion theology) been in use by both evangelical proponents and critics for many years.

In many ways, Ted Cruz personifies the story of dominionism: how it became the ideological engine of the Christian Right, and how it illuminates the changes underway in American politics, culture and religion that have helped shape recent history. . .

Latter Rain theology was revived under the under aegis of longtime Fuller Theological Seminary professor C. Peter Wagner, who organized a global network of hundreds of apostles. Many of these apostles lead groups of non-denominational churches and ministries called “apostolic networks,” which sometimes comprise tens of thousands of members. Today, NAR theology and its apostles and prophets have assumed an increasingly high profile in religious and civic life in the U.S. They were well known in the past decade, for example, for mass rallies named TheCall, led by Lou Engle, who is also internationally known for his anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ activism. They have also gained political influence. For example, several leading apostles were among the three-dozen “conveners” of a June 2016 meeting at which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump courted the support of some 1,000 evangelical leaders. . .

One contemporary example will suffice. David Lane, a leading Christian Right electoral organizer, declared in a 2013 essay that religious war may be on the horizon. Meanwhile he has shifted the electoral emphasis of his Mississippi-based American Renewal Project. (The group hosts all-expenses paid policy briefings for clergy and their spouses, featuring top politicians like Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Gingrich, Huckabee, Cruz, and often David Barton. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump addressed one such event in August 2016.) They are currently recruiting and training clergy with a dominionist vision to run for office at all levels. Lane’s own pastor, Rob McCoy, won a city council seat in Thousand Oaks, California, in 2016. Lane’s vision is clear: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as a separation of church and state. This was not established as a secular nation, and anybody that says that it is, they’re not reading American history. This was established by Christians for the advancement of the Christian faith. My goal is to return—to restore a biblically based culture and a Judeo-Christian heritage.” . . .

Dominionism now appears to be a permanent feature of politics at all levels. For three presidential elections in a row, dominionist politicians have played prominent roles. Following Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin in 2008, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry in 2012, and the remarkable run of Ted Cruz in 2016, dominionists are among the most prominent politicians in the country and enjoy significant public support and acceptance as a legitimate part of the political mix.

While Senator Cruz’s campaign was supported by leading NAR figures and most other Christian Right leaders, there was always a Plan B as well. One NAR prophet said God had told him in July 2015 that he will use Donald Trump to “expose darkness and perversion.” Donald Trump also enjoyed significant support from other Christian Right figures, notably 7M theorist Lance Wallnau (who also sits on the board of an NAR political arm, the Oak Initiative).

Wallnau sought to explain the paradox of evangelical Christians supporting Trump from early on even though he didn’t seem like a good fit. Trump, as has been much discussed, was a longtime supporter of abortion and LGBTQ rights, a thrice-married philanderer, a failed casino magnate with ties to organized crime, and someone whose Christian credentials were dubious at best. Nevertheless, Wallnau suggested that God could use Trump to achieve his purposes even though he was a flawed vessel. Wallnau recalled the story of Cyrus, the King of Persia in the biblical book of Isaiah who, as had been earlier prophesied, freed the Jews who had been captive in Babylon for 70 years, and helped to build the temple in Jerusalem. God used the pagan Cyrus, as Wallnau put it, as a “wrecking ball” for his purposes. Wallnau thought God would use Trump to challenge “an increasingly hostile anti-Christian culture” and “deliver us from Hillary.”

Wallnau’s story makes clear that at least some 7Mers do not require moral or doctrinal conformity to accept someone as a co-belligerent, or even as a leader, as long as they can help get them part of the way down the road to dominion. It also underscores that while the various doctrines feeding into the dominionist movement are clear, the degree to which they are adopted, and the means and timeline by which dominionists may seek to achieve their goals, will vary according to individual and factional interests.

Dominionism, like the Christian Right itself, has come a long way from obscure beginnings. What is remarkable today is that the nature of this driving ideology of the Christian Right remains obscure to most of society, most of the time. Dominionism’s proponents and their allies know it takes time to infuse their ideas into the constituencies most likely to be receptive. They also know it is likely—and rightly—to alarm many others.

Religion scholar Michael McVicar recounts an illuminating anecdote from that pivotal 1980 gathering of the Religious Roundtable addressed by Ronald Reagan. During the meeting, Robert Billings, one of the founders of the Moral Majority, privately observed to Gary North that, “If it weren’t for his [Rushdoony’s] books, none of us would be here.” North replied, “No one in the audience understands that.” Billings replied, “True. But we do.”

“Insiders knew about Rushdoony’s influence, even if the rank and file did not,” McVicar concludes. That continues to be true. The role of dominionism is largely hidden in plain sight from those most affected, on all sides.

"Those most affected" include the people, Christian and non-Christian alike, who are devoted to the separation of Church and State, and are lovers of liberty of conscience for every individual. The Dominionists are far removed from the principles of Christianity, so deluded that they chose to support a man of corrupt and depraved character as the leader of the American nation. Jesus said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:47-48.) Not even the most morally upright human being has any authority from God to impose his/her beliefs on others.

RELIGIOUS RIGHT DECLARES ITS CHOICE

Dr. Michael Brown is a Jewish Christian, described as "a biblical scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist." This column written by him for a publication called "OneNewsNow.com," is reflective of the views held across the broad range of misguided "Christians" who deride the separation of Church and State:

Donald Trump - president-elect by the sovereign intervention of God

Certainly, some will say God has raised up Trump not to bless America, but to judge her. But if God has raised him up for certain divine purposes, it behooves us to ask what those purposes are.

As the political pundits weigh in on the many sociological and ideological factors that contributed to Donald Trump's stunning victory, allow me to weigh in on the spiritual side of things.

I believe Trump has been elected president by divine intervention. . .

I'm aware, of course, that some people believe that everything happens by the will of God, which means that whoever wins the presidency wins by God's express will.

Yet there are times when there are so many odds against something happening, when it so greatly defies logic, that it is easier to recognize God's involvement.

That, I believe, is the case with Donald Trump winning – and remember, this comes from someone who endorsed Ted Cruz and was one of Trump's stronger conservative critics during the primaries. Just think of the obstacles Trump overcame . . .

First, consider this post from Pastor Jeremiah Johnson, now just 28 years old, dating to July of last year.

Jeremiah knew very little about Trump when he wrote these words:

"I was in a time of prayer several weeks ago when God began to speak to me concerning the destiny of Donald Trump in America. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, 'Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.'"

THEOCRAT IN WAITING AND ALREADY EXERCISING INFLUENCE

From the known facts published about Donald Trump, his commitment to the theocratic agenda may be a matter of expediency rather than conviction - not so his Vice-President Mike Pence:

5 faith facts about Mike Pence: A ‘born-again, evangelical Catholic’

He has described himself as a “pretty ordinary Christian” and as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”

But he also once said, “I made a commitment to Christ. I’m a born-again, evangelical Catholic.” . . .

1. He was raised Catholic and later attended an evangelical megachurch. . .

2. He supported causes important to evangelicals as a congressman. . .

5. He signed Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law.

Last year, Pence found himself at the center of a storm when he supported Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would have allowed businesses and individuals to refuse to do business with some people based on their own religious beliefs. . .

Trump's VP: Mike Pence brings political and evangelical credibility to ticket

Two of Pence’s favorite lines are to describe himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” and to offer assurance, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not angry about it.”

He became a born again Christian – and a born again Republican – while at university. “For me it all begins with faith; it begins with what matters most, and I try and put what I believe to be moral truth first,” he told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 2010. “My philosophy of government second. And my politics third.” . . .

Trump himself has been registered as both a Democrat and Republican and voted for both parties over the years. He has contradicted himself on guns, abortion and other social issues. He once raised questions about his biblical knowledge by referring to “Two Corinthians” rather than “Second Corinthians”.

The devout Pence could be a useful antidote. An early advocate of the Tea Party movement, he has voted with social conservatives for nearly his entire time in office, putting him more in line with the far right of the Republican party.

Where Is Mike Pence’s Faith?

By the time he gave Congress another try, in 2000, it was clear that Pence had changed. He won the seat and held on for the next 12 years, eventually rising to third in the GOP’s congressional leadership. But his faith stayed front and center. Pence refused to campaign on Sundays. He declined to dine solo with women who weren’t his wife. (“It’s about building a zone around your marriage,” he told the Hill.) After 9/11, his first reaction was to gather his staff in prayer. Aides and other politicians often saw him reading his Bible, and Pence would cite specific verses to justify policy arguments. “These have stood the test of time,” he told one staffer. “They have eternal value.” He was frank about the influence of his evangelicalism. “My support for Israel stems largely from my personal faith,” he told Congressional Quarterly in 2002. “In the Bible, God promises Abraham, ‘Those who bless you I will bless, and those who curse you I will curse.’ ”

During his time in Congress, Pence emerged as one of the most privately and publicly devout figures in Washington. But something changed when he ran for governor of Indiana. You could no longer get Pence to address his faith, past or present. When I interviewed him in 2012, I asked about the peculiarities in his religious biography; each time, he evaded. Could he help me understand his strange spiritual journey? “I cherish my Catholic upbringing,” he replied. Could he explain why his faith shifted again in the mid-’90s? “We just felt drawn to worship at an evangelical church.” Could he define himself as a believer? “I’m a pretty ordinary Christian, trying to make that faith real every day.”

It was all pretty stunning to see. The man who once quoted Genesis 12:3 to justify his foreign policy was now speaking in phrases so platitudinous they felt ripped from the chorus of a particularly bad Christian rock song.

But this was all by design. . .

Once elected, Pence began pushing a very different agenda. While the most notorious example came when he signed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, Pence’s faith has driven decisions big and small. It led him to sign a new anti-abortion law so restrictive that the American Civil Liberties Union is now suing the state. It led him to award a $3.5 million contract to Real Alternatives, a nonprofit that pushes abstinence education and urges pregnant women not to abort.

“My faith,” Pence told me in 2012, “has continued to be what I hope is the most important thing in my life.” Pence’s beliefs have shifted at least twice—from his family’s Catholicism to an idiosyncratic evangelical Christianity, and from that to a more hardened and ideological version of the same. If, as he insists, faith does indeed order his life, why did he stop being so open about it? Why strip the evangelizing from his evangelicalism?

It is clear from the above reports that in Vice-president Pence the nation has a hardline Theocrat a heartbeat from the presidency; but there is an even more immediate threat. Already prominent conservative commentators are predicting that Donald Trump will be impeached early in his presidency. Most notable prior to Trump's election is the proposition by The Federalist, a leading conservative publication:

The GOP Needs To Elect Trump, Then Impeach Him

There is a way out of this mess. It is a desperate plan, but desperate times, desperate measures: Elect-and-Impeach. Elect the ticket. Impeach Trump.

The Republican Party does have an attractive candidate on its ticket. Socially conservative. Economically conservative. Conservative on national defense. Morally and religiously impeccable. The trouble is, that man is the Republican candidate for vice president, Mike Pence.

But if Trump were impeached immediately after he took office, the Republican candidate for vice president would become president in his place. Further, if Republicans take the lead in removing Trump from office, the party might regain some of its lost credibility in parts of the electorate that it is anxious to attract. . .

Mike Pence is poised to exercise the powers of the presidency even if Donald Trump is not removed from the office:

America's Next Chief Executive?

The Constitution assigns executive authority to the president—but a President Trump would hand it off to Mike Pence.

On Wednesday night, America will meet the man who could be the nation’s next chief executive officer—and it’s not Donald Trump.

The Constitution says that “the executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America,” but Trump isn’t one to be bound by tradition. He has, instead, made it clear that he intends to hire “the best” and “the most talented” people to exercise power on his behalf. And right at the top, running the United States government, would be Trump’s pick for vice president: Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

That’s how those closest to Trump have described the role. “He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do,” Paul Manafort told the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman about the VP search back in May. “He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.”

And, The New York Times Magazine reported Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. described the vice presidency in similar terms to a senior Kasich adviser:

Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

This is how close the nation is to a presidency committed to the specific agenda of the Theocrats who are destined to usher in the ultimate tyranny of Rev. 13:15-17.

WHY AT THIS TIME IN WORLD HISTORY?

The question arises: why are these events taking place during this particular period of history. The Christian world was given prophetic evidence that the time for the closing events of this world's history had come, with a warning period extending from 1967 to 1980. This powerful sermon of Elder William H. Grotheer on the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy recorded in Luke 21:24, Jesus' Own Prophecy, was delivered years ago and therefore does not include the continued unfolding of prophetic events in recent years; but its exegesis is valid and closely related to current events (Cf. A Fearful Warning, which describes successive closings of probation in this world as set forth in the Bible.)

In The Sign of the End of Time, Elder Grotheer makes this statement:

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. Even though Satan declared that he possessed such power and could delegate it to whomever he chose (Luke 4:6), the book of Daniel draws the curtain aside and reveals that God "ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will" (Dan. 4:17). When kings and rulers resisted His purposes, Michael, to whom all earthly authority is given (I Cor. 15:27), comes Himself to influence the outcome of human events (Dan. 10:13). That time is now past, and God has stepped aside and Satan is working his will in the nations of earth.

We have not been left in doubt as to what Satan is seeking to accomplish. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the picture is drawn. "The spirits of devils go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14). But you respond, that is the sixth plague after the close of probation. No, it is the cause for the sixth plague, not the plague. Consider the first plague: a "grievous sore" on those who had received the mark of the beast (16:2). Was not the mark of the beast received prior to the close of probation? Just so, the sixth plague. Verse 12 describes the plague - the drying up of the great river Euphrates, and verses 13-14 give the cause in probationary time.

In the context of Rev. 16:14, consider the report of the "Holy Spirit" speaking to Pastor Jeremiah Johnson. A search online will reveal that he was not the only one who received such a message.

The words of Jesus in Luke 21:28-32 clearly define the period of earth's history to which the fulfilled prophecy of verse 24 relates, and verse 32 specifies a time limit for this period. A generation is generally recognized as a period of 40 years.

THE CONDITIONING OF THE NATION

Next, what were and are the conditions which opened the way for the ultimate disaster of a Trump presidency. Logic suggests that this social phenomenon was a contributing factor: DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: PRODUCT OF A DUMBED DOWN AMERICA. This content of an earlier update begins to explain the role of propaganda in Trump's victory, and specifically that of the Jesuits, and the papacy's philosophy of degrading the educational system to bring about an ill-informed populace, as applied by Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Propaganda can be both positive and negative. There are some explanations of this science which hold that positive propaganda can serve a good purpose; however,propaganda is inherently misleading, whether it is positive or negative, as shown in this definition and underscored by this one.

To those who are not deceived, it is readily apparent that the success of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was utterly due to the avalanche of negative propaganda that overwhelmed the Democratic candidate. Trump's campaign was one based almost entirely on virulent negative propaganda, and vague in detailed public policy. In addition, there was Russian propaganda designed to aid the Trump campaign; but above all a vast array of purveyors of right-wing propaganda. The Republicans themselves in coordination with Trump were very effective in smearing and undermining the Democratic candidate, who was not remotely as bad a character as the Republican candidate:

There's Simply No Comparison Between Clinton's Flaws and Trump's

The Democratic nominee’s shortcomings should not blind voters to the catastrophe they’d invite by electing her cruel, undisciplined, erratic opponent.

At The Week, Damon Linker, who is no fan of Clinton, argues that despite all her weaknesses and petty corruptions, the choice on November 8 is an easy one. Trump “is a menace to American democracy,” he writes, “a know-nothing demagogic con man who hasn’t released his tax returns, who brags about assaulting women, who has invited Vladimir Putin to meddle in the presidential election while also suggesting on the basis of no evidence at all that the election will be ‘rigged’ against him, and who regularly uses social media to promote white supremacists and neo-Nazis (who increasingly feel emboldened to spew their civic poison in public). And that's just the most minimal accounting of Trump's offenses.”

As if to agree, Paul Waldman at the Washington Post reviews Trump’s “history of corruption, double-dealing, and fraud” with this “partial list” of his discreditable behavior . . .[the "partial list" is lengthy.]

An elite team of investigators would need months to plumb the depths of all those stories. Individual instances of unethical behavior related to them could fill 100 news cycles.

Trump has escaped a lot of that scrutiny because no one expects any better.

The Republicans have become masters of destructive propaganda:

How did this monster get created?

The decades of GOP lies that brought us Donald Trump, Republican front-runner

How did America get to such a place that someone like Donald Trump can command a lead in the Republican primaries? Trump is the product of a deliberate Republican strategy, adopted by Richard Nixon’s people in 1968, to attract voters with an apocalyptic redemption story rather than reasoned argument. It has taken almost 50 years, but we have finally arrived at the culmination of postmodern politics in which Republican leaders use words to create their own reality. . .

“Voters are basically lazy,” one Nixon media adviser wrote. “Reason requires a high degree of discipline, of concentration; impression is easier. Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree; impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intellectual demand…. When we argue with him, we… seek to engage his intellect…. The emotions are more easily roused, closer to the surface, more malleable….” Nixon’s people hired advertising executive Harry Treleaven, who believed the new medium of television had changed the nature of politics. For him, politicians were no longer policy wonks; they were actors with a narrative. . .

The Movement Conservative story was never based in reality. Facts repeatedly gave way to the narrative that America was on the ropes because of Democratic social welfare policies that sucked tax dollars and threatened the nation’s safety. Ronald Reagan’s Welfare Queen represented the misuse of tax dollars for lazy African-Americans, for example, but he also incorrectly insisted that President Carter had slashed the nation’s military budget, and warned in his inaugural address that the nation was in a crisis that rivaled the Great Depression, a crisis created by government activism.

To avoid niggling fact-checkers, in 1987, President Reagan’s FCC abandoned the Fairness Doctrine, a decision that meant that public broadcasters were no longer required to provide their audience with opposing viewpoints. Within a year, talk radio had taken off, with hosts like Rush Limbaugh hammering home the vision of a nation gone to ruin, awaiting redemption from the latest Movement Conservative candidate. In 1992, Limbaugh began to broadcast a television show, produced by Roger Ailes, to take the story to viewers. By 1994, the show was carried by 225 television stations. Two years later, Ailes would become the CEO of a new media channel, Fox News, which used the same formula—albeit updated—that Ailes had used to package Nixon’s story almost 30 years before.

By the time of the George W. Bush administration, the Movement Conservatives had erased the line between image and reality. In 2004, a senior adviser to Bush famously dismissed “the reality-based community” to journalist Ron Suskind. Gone were the days when politicians could find solutions based on their observations of the careful study of discernible reality. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore…. When we act, we create our own reality…. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do,” he said.

The "reality" of these times has become so divorced from truth that we are now said to be in "the post-truth era," a manifestation of the delusive power over human minds that Satan has now achieved:

The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life

At one time we had truth and lies. Now we have truth, lies, and statements that may not be true but we consider too benign to call false. Euphemisms abound. We’re “economical with the truth,” we “sweeten it,” or tell “the truth improved.” The term deceive gives way to spin. At worst we admit to “misspeaking,” or “exercising poor judgment.” Nor do we want to accuse others of lying. We say they’re in denial. A liar is “ethically challenged,” someone for whom “the truth is temporarily unavailable.”

This is post-truth. In the post-truth era, borders blur between truth and lies, honesty and dishonesty, fiction and nonfiction. Deceiving others becomes a challenge, a game, and ultimately a habit. . .

What motivates the casual dishonesty that’s become pandemic? Why do so many, even those with no apparent need to do so, feel a need to embellish their personal history? . . .

We can only understand the motives of such dissemblers by examining the sea in which they swim. Trends ranging from the postmodern disdain for “truth” to therapeutic non-judgment encourage deception. . .

The Age of Post-Truth Politics

Facts hold a sacred place in Western liberal democracies. Whenever democracy seems to be going awry, when voters are manipulated or politicians are ducking questions, we turn to facts for salvation.

But they seem to be losing their ability to support consensus. PolitiFact has found that about 70 percent of Donald Trump’s “factual” statements actually fall into the categories of “mostly false,” “false” and “pants on fire” untruth. . .

The sense is widespread: We have entered an age of post-truth politics.As politics becomes more adversarial and dominated by television performances, the status of facts in public debate rises too high. . .

How can we still be speaking of “facts” when they no longer provide us with a reality that we all agree on? The problem is that the experts and agencies involved in producing facts have multiplied, and many are now for hire. If you really want to find an expert willing to endorse a fact, and have sufficient money or political clout behind you, you probably can. . .

Lord of the Lies

Trump lies about big things (there is no drought in California) and small things (his hair spray could not affect the ozone layer because it’s sealed within Trump Tower). He lies about himself, and the fake self he invented to talk about himself. He’s been shown to lie more than 70 times in a single event. . .

Professional truth-seekers have never seen anything like Trump, surely the most compulsive liar to seek high office. To date, the nonpartisan PolitiFact has rated 76 percent of his statements lies — 57 percent false or mostly false, and another 19 percent “Pants on Fire” fabrications. Only 2 percent — 2 percent! — of his assertions were rated true, and another 6 percent mostly true. Hillary Clinton, who is not exactly known for fealty to the facts, had a 28 percent total lie score, including a mere 1 percent Pants on Fire.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has dinged Trump with 30 of its Four Pinocchio ratings — lying 70 percent of the time. Trump cares so little about the truth that when the Fact Checker reaches out to him for an explanation, he never responds, the paper noted. . .

He even lies about his lies. He claimed he wanted to keep a personal donation to veterans private, when in fact he’d boasted in January of a $1 million gift, which wasn’t sent out until the press began questioning him on it months later.

Sadly, a lot of voters don’t care if a candidate is a pathological liar. But most of us should. . .

Mentally manipulated out of sound, rational, judgement, a sufficiently large proportion of the American electorate either did not care and voted for Donald Trump, or did not understand that they should care enough to vote against him. A pathological liar becomes President of the United States on January 20, 2017. Is there any room for doubt "that God is no longer restraining the power of Satan in his control of the nations of earth"? The evidence of the Satan's control is overwhelming. Jesus said of those who are under his influence, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44.) Speaking and believing lies is the natural result of coming under the control of Satan. As Ellen G. White described the process by which he has gained control, "he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts." In these times protection is found in the promise of Psalm 91:4b: "his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." The Apostle Paul elaborates in Eph. 6:10-17. Note "loins girt about with truth," and "breastplate of righteousness," (here cf. 2 Thess. 2:10.) Note further "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Wherefore it behooves us to "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15.) This is our protection against our own minds "becoming linked with Satan's, and imbued with his thoughts."

THE FACTOR OF FOX NEWS AND ALLIED ENTITIES

It is highly unlikely that the following headline is a correct assessment of the state of the Republican party; but the article provides facts about the destructive propaganda of the cable news channel which has played a huge role in deceiving the people:

How Fox News Unwittingly Destroyed the Republican Party

The Republican Party has been fomenting anger and discontent in the base of its own Party for years. The mechanism through which this hate has been disseminated has been the network of extremist media of right-wing talk radio and the Fox News Channel, which is essentially talk radio transposed onto television.

Just think of all the right-wing “superstars” who spew messages of anger and hate every single day throughout the land over this enormous megaphone. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Ben Shapiro, Dana Loesch, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, to name a few.

And make no mistake, spewing hate has a significant impact upon society. It is the equivalent of modern-day propaganda where the population is barraged with a stream of consistent messaging. As ordinary people go about their daily lives, they are exposed repeatedly, day-in and day-out, to the same messages in numerous different forms and by numerous different people. Pretty soon, these messages begin to sink in and take effect. The audience begins to adopt a worldview consistent with these messages, regardless of the degree of truth. It is a remarkable phenomenon.

History is replete with examples of how propaganda can be very effective in altering the views of a population. Nazi Germany in the 1930’s is a classic example. How could it possibly be that a maniac like Adolph Hitler was able to convince millions of ordinary people throughout the entire nation of Germany to go to war against the world? Well, propaganda was an extremely powerful component.

Tea Party advocates have proudly boasted of the identification of Fox News with Roman Catholicism and the Tea Party movement: TEA PARTY UNITED!

Then there are the Koch brothers, who are more difficult to nail down than Fox News; but on balance the evidence points to a Roman Catholic affiliation:

Inside the right-wing lie factory: Secrets of a Koch-funded propaganda machine more insidious than Fox News

Medora is a small, seasonal tourist town in the Badlands of western North Dakota, about 25 miles from the Montana border. It has a population of less than one hundred. It went for John McCain for president by a three-to-one margin in 2008. A handful of small stores are in the center of the town—some gift shops, a bookstore, an ice cream shop, two restaurants, a museum, and a hotel that’s full during tourist season.

Around the corner from downtown is the Rushmore Mountain Taffy and Gift Shop (not to be confused with the Rushmore Mountain Taffy Shop at the base of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota). You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but the Medora taffy shop was the first legal home of a media organization that now provides a significant amount of political news coverage in 39 state capitals through 55 interconnected news sites, according to a local reporter who was curious about the entity and asked around.

At the start of 2008, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity had a budget of zero dollars. Its legal home was the taffy shop in Medora. By 2009 the Franklin Center’s budget had jumped to $2.4 million, according to IRS tax records. That’s a spectacular leap for a nonprofit, especially in Medora.

It was almost as if someone wished to utilize the charter concept of the Franklin Center—developing individual but interlinked news centers across the United States that would all promote the same messages—for other purposes and therefore infused it with a mountain of funding and network support. Intriguingly, this was a year before the Tea Party movement seemingly sprang from nowhere and spread like a prairie fire to the thirty-nine state capitals where the Franklin Center now operates its news sites. . .

Its success—basically, the reason that it has no need to fight for its survival when every other local digital journalism effort does—is almost certainly due to its connection to the Koch donor network. Like other related groups with operations in the DC area, the Franklin Center benefits greatly from the Koch donor network’s Freedom Partners.

The Franklin Center’s director of donor development, Matt Hauck, worked for the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Its senior vice president in charge of strategic initiatives, Erik Telford, worked for the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity before joining the Franklin Center. The founding board member who set it up was Rudie Martinson, who helped run Americans for Prosperity in North Dakota. Martinson is still on the Franklin Center’s board. One of the founders of the Franklin Center, John Tsarpalas, is a past president of the Sam Adams Alliance and director of the Illinois Republican Party.

Fox News and the Koch brothers are accompanied by a host of other subversive entities, and talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh. The destructive propaganda of the Republican party and its allies has been combined with deceptive positive propaganda resulting in the consolidation of a GOP hold on a sufficiently large number of voters who have failed to see that the Party's ideology and program are destructive of their own welfare:

Struggling White Voters Who Helped Elect Trump Are Headed for Some Serious Pain

Donald Trump ran on a series of impossible promises, but enough people believed he could deliver on them that he won the Electoral College. His supporters are in for what might be the rudest awakening in recent political history. . .

The exit polls show that Trump beat Clinton among affluent voters, and Americans up and down the economic ladder responded to his dog whistles, or at least voted for their party despite the bigotry displayed by its nominee. But Trump made huge gains over Mitt Romney among those making $30,000 or less, and benefited from a major urban-rural divide. And it’s the rural poor who put him over the top in key swing states who are going to be hit especially hard by the coming bait and switch. . .

ROOT OF THE PERVASIVE PROPAGANDA

The root source and cause of the negative propaganda, with the exception of the Russians, is not readily apparent; but can be deduced from the historical record, (cf. In the case against the Church of Rome . .; The radical religious in our country . . .) By bringing the Religious Right alliance of Roman Catholics and so-called Evangelicals into existence the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops unleashed a monster which they cannot always control. The USCCB is not completely comfortable with the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election:

Catholic bishops follow Trump’s election with a message of their own

A week after Donald Trump’s stunning election as president sent the country’s governance lurching to the right, the nation’s Catholic bishops sent a message of their own — at least on immigration — by putting Mexican-born Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles in line to become the first Latino to lead the American hierarchy.

But the vote at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday (Nov. 15) also suggested that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is still hesitant to fully endorse the more progressive and pastoral approach to ministry that Pope Francis has been championing since his election in 2013. . .

The statement that the USCCB "is still hesitant to fully endorse the more progressive and pastoral approach to ministry that Pope Francis has been championing since his election in 2013" is related to an ideological struggle between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" in the Roman Catholic Church since the publication of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum encyclical at the end of the 19th century. Robert P. George is a Roman Catholic Theocon who has a powerful ideological influence over the rightward leaning USCCB, and George Weigel is also a Theocon with similar influence. They both openly opposed the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. Like most things about the Church of Rome, the ideological struggle between "Liberals" and "Conservatives" is misleading. They share the common goal of world domination, and will reach accomodation with any worldly power that will enable them to achieve that goal.

After an early brush with Donald Trump and a later hint of support for the campaign of Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis appeared to keep his distance from the US presidential election. The following report after the election seems more likely to favor the Democratic candidate than the Republican, given the utter destruction of Hillary Clinton's reputation:

Pope Francis compares media that spread fake news to people who are excited by feces

There’s much too much fake news to go around, but this is real: In an interview with a Belgian publication, Pope Francis reportedly compared news outlets that grab for a juicy story, even when it’s untrue, to those who participate in “coprophilia.” . . .

Crux said that Francis criticized media outlets that look only for negative stories and those that smear people’s reputations, but reserved the harshest criticism for those who report untruths. Spreading incorrect information, Francis reportedly said, is “probably the biggest damage a news organization can cause.”

Whatever the Pope's preference might have been, there is already a search for accomodation:

Where could President Trump and Pope Francis do business?

The natural instinct likely will be to forecast a rocky relationship between the US and the Vatican as long as Donald Trump and Pope Francis are the figures in charge, yet there are at least three areas in which a surprising partnership could potentially emerge.

Defying every last scrap of conventional political wisdom, Donald Trump stunned the world Tuesday night by capturing the American presidency.

Given the role the United States plays on the global stage, actors all over the world right now are scrambling to figure out what Trump’s victory means about the direction America is taking, and how best to react.

One of those actors, of course, will be the Vatican.

To use the categories made famous by Joseph Nye, the Vatican is the world’s most important “soft power,” the only major world religion which has at its core a sovereign state with its own diplomatic corps; the United States, with military expenditures exceeding all other nations combined, is the planet’s most important “hard power.”

Inevitably, therefore, the relationship between these two players is important, and this morning, personnel in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, which has primary responsibility for foreign policy, are undoubtedly trying like mad to get a read on where things stand.

To be honest, at first blush the stars don’t seem aligned for an auspicious relationship between the current administration in Rome and the incoming one in Washington. . .

To be honest, at first blush the stars don’t seem aligned for an auspicious relationship between the current administration in Rome and the incoming one in Washington. . .

The likely flash points between a Trump White House and a Francis Vatican are easy to anticipate: immigration, climate change, anti-poverty efforts, multilateralism in foreign policy, crime and punishment, and on and on.

The natural instinct likely will be to forecast a rocky relationship between the US and the Vatican as long as Trump and Francis are the figures in charge.

On the other hand, Trump pledged in his victory speech to pursue “great relationships” with other nations, and presumably that includes the Holy See. The more interesting question, therefore, is where the current pope and the new president might be able to do business.

Aside from the reasonably obvious life issues, such as abortion, here are three other possibilities.

Anti-Christian persecution . . .

Gender theory . . .

Religious freedom . . .

To what extent the Vatican and the White House will be able to join forces on these or other fronts will depend, to some extent, on choices made on both sides.

MIXED VATICAN REACTION

It is interesting to note that reaction in the Vatican to the Trump election victory was not uniform:

How the Vatican Views Trump’s Presidential Victory

Views are mixed, ranging from ‘incomprehension’ and ‘shock’ to optimism that a Republican presidency opens new possibilities for cooperation.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin was among the first in the Vatican to react to Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States.

Speaking to reporters in Rome Nov. 9, he congratulated Trump and said the Holy See respected the democratic wish of the people. He noted the high turnout and gave the Holy See’s “best wishes to the new president, that his government can be truly fruitful.” The Church would be praying for him, he said, that the Lord “enlighten and support him in the service of his country, but also that he work for well-being and peace in the world.”

“I believe that, today, we all need to work to change the world situation; that is a situation of grave wounds, of severe conflict,” Cardinal Parolin continued. He said the future president had “already expressed himself in terms of a leader,” but it was “too soon to judge” his presidency.

Pope Francis hasn’t commented himself, although he did respond to the prospect of a potential Trump presidency in an interview conducted the day before the election and subsequently published online by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Asked for his opinion about Trump, Pope Francis replied, “I don’t make judgments on people and on political men. I only want to understand the sufferings that their way of proceeding causes the poor and excluded.” The Pope shared his comments with Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist publisher of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, in an interview published Nov. 11.

Pope Francis clearly hasn’t favored Trump’s policies on immigration, a subject close to the Pope’s heart. He made this point most directly on the papal plane returning from Mexico in February, obliquely referring to Trump when commenting that people should build bridges rather than walls and that anyone who wishes to build a wall “is not Christian.”

Mixed Views

Generally, Vatican officials have mixed views about the U.S. election result. One senior Italian official in the more traditional wing of the Church said he was “jumping for joy” at the news. Like a number of other Italian officials, he was most pleased because American voters didn’t choose Hillary Clinton, due to evidence of her campaign leader’s dismissive attitude toward Catholicism, her extreme positions on abortion and same-sex “marriage,” and personal corruption. Other well-informed priests saw the result as a clear rebuke to the mainstream media, who did little to conceal their bias in favor of a Clinton presidency.

However, Corriere della Sera reported Nov. 10 that, according to its research, most in the Vatican were backing Hillary Clinton as the “lesser evil.” Trump, on the other hand, was considered “unelectable” due to his “aggressive chauvinism,” in addition to his threats to deport 11 million illegal Mexican immigrants and ban Muslims from immigrating to the United States.

Now that the “greater evil” has won, the Vatican is viewing the United States as “angry and radicalized,” Corriere della Sera wrote. “For the Holy See, it is a bitter defeat, cultural rather than political. Among other things, it indicates that the Catholic Church hasn’t registered the very deep upheavals taking place in the greatest Western country.” A “lot of incomprehension” and “bitter shock” were generally prevalent for many in the Vatican, agreed one U.S. official who spoke with the Register. Based on “failings of reporting,” he said, Clinton was represented as far preferable to Trump, who was portrayed as a “buffoon,” and reporting about Clinton’s shortcomings “never sunk in.” Due to a general lack of understanding in Italy of the U.S. “culture wars,” Clinton’s radical pro-abortion-rights position also hardly figured at all in media commentary. . .

SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE TRIUMPH OF TRUMP AND TRUMPISM

There are profound spiritual factors involved in the astonishing victory of Donald Trump.

Ellen G. White has made this statement about the influence of Satan on the unregenerate human mind:

For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days, he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women, that none but his voice will be heard. 2SM 352.3

The restraining power of God has been withdrawn. As Elder Grotheer stated in "The Sign of the End of Time," hyperlinked above, "The very least that this fulfilled prophecy [Luke 21:24] of Jesus is saying is that God is no longer restraining the power of Satan in his control of the nations of earth." The validity of this insight has been plain to see since 1980, and is aptly described by this prophecy of Ellen G. White: "After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation . . ." In this is also clearly visible the work of the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14. Satan is now applying the diabolical understanding acquired from "experimenting upon the properties of the human mind" for thousands of years. As the prophecy of Rev. 16 elucidates, the ultimate objective is the unifying of the nations in rebellion against God. Although there is not as yet a clear identification of the ten kings of of Rev. 17:12, and indeed the prophecy explicitly predicts their emergence in the very last remnant of time, the final battle between deluded humanity under the leadership of Satan and Jesus Christ "the Lamb" is unequivocally forecasted. The delusions of unregenerate human minds now increasingly manifested in these times was prophesied by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:10-12, and expressly related to the events preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the revealing of the papacy, the "man of sin." The delusions are the direct result of receiving his falsehoods as manifested by failure to believe the Truth.

The following statements of Ellen G. White are particularly applicable to the present times, although they clearly were already beginning to be perceptible in 1890 and 1904:

The present is a solemn, fearful time for the church. The angels are already girded, awaiting the mandate of God to pour their vials of wrath upon the world. Destroying angels are taking up the work of vengeance; for the Spirit of God is gradually withdrawing from the world. Satan is also mustering his forces of evil, going forth “unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world,” to gather them under his banner, to be trained for “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Satan is to make most powerful efforts for the mastery in the last great conflict. Fundamental principles will be brought out, and decisions made in regard to them. Skepticism is prevailing everywhere. Ungodliness abounds. The faith of individual members of the church will be tested as though there were not another person in the world (Manuscript 1a, 1890).

Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly men are ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly they are waiting and watching the movements of their leaders.

An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusements, in money-making, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (The Signs of the Times July 6, 1904 paragraph 1.)

PROPHECIES DESTINED TO CONVERGE

The rapid progress of events prophesied to culminate in the tyranny of Rev. 13:15-17 is much too clear to be ignored or downplayed. Rev. 13 involves both the United States and the world at large. Keeping in mind the opening verse of the Book of Revelation, complete fulfillment or even the imminence of fulfillment, of other prophecies covering the period immediately before the Second Coming of Jesus, is not yet clearly discernible. These prophecies involve the whole world, the specific area of Palestine, and the City of Jerusalem. In general terms, Rev. 13:15-17 has clearly been in the process of fulfillment since the end of the times of the gentiles (nations) as Jesus prophesied in Luke 21:24, and the work of the spirits of devils has been manifest in events clearly progressing towards the fulfillment of Rev. 17:1-18a. This has been manifest in the worldwide ecumenical movement. Forward movement in the fulfillment of Daniel 11:45 has been stalled by the Zionist government of Israel, supported by Christian Zionists in America. Vladimir Putin's Russia is an additional complicating factor. Fulfillment of Rev. 17:8b, and 10b-13, coupled with Isa. 14:12-14, and Isa. 2:2-5 is not yet clearly discernible (studies and sermons on these prophecies can be found on this website by using the Search function.) In this last context Pope Francis has made an intriguing statement. Can we afford to relax our vigilance in watching, thinking that the apocalyptic end in the United States as predicted in Rev. 13:15-17 cannot be as close as the recent dramatic events seem to indicate? The significance of the completed fulfillment of Luke 21:24 argues against complacency in thinking that we are not, in the words of Ellen G. White when the Second Coming was last imminent at the end of the 19th century (and before a delay was indicated,) "upon the very borders, of the eternal world;" [and similar phrases.] Those who are looking for the "National Sunday Law" are going to be caught unawares by the final rapid movements closing the history of this world.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near (Isa. 55:6)


 

[Amplified 10/29/2016] While prophetic events under Rev. 13 have been unfolding in the United States at a rapid pace, and with ominous aspects, the world ecumenical movement has been progressing at a measured pace. With the pontificate of Francis, there has been a particular emphasis on relations between the Church of Rome and the Pentecostals. The World Council of Churches has also been a part of the movement towards Pentecostalism:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pentecostals meet Pope Francis; World Council of Churches' Tveit speaks at Pentecostal conference

Pope Francis met with a group of Italian Pentecostal pastors Sept. 8, telling them that unity is achieved by walking patiently together.

In São Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 7, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches spoke about climate change during the opening day of the 24th Pentecostal World Conference.

"We all sin against the Holy Spirit if we ignore climate change," said Rev. Tveit.

The encounters between the head of the Catholic Church and the leader of the WCC which represents mainly Anglican, Orthodox and traditional Protestant churches comes at [a] time of greater ecumenical contact across the board. . .

During the informal encounter Pastor Traettino thanked Francis for his role "as a brother and an ally" in accelerating the dialogue between Catholics and Pentecostals.

Pope Francis replied that he "felt in his heart" the need to undertake steps towards reconciliation, citing the examples of his meeting with the Waldensian community or with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

Unity, he said, is achieved step by step, through a patient and continuous journey together. Full unity, he said, will be achieved after "the Son of Man returns" but in the meantime, he stressed, Christians must pray, repent of their sins and walk together.

Tveit said in his Buenos Aires message, "We have to remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit is the life-giver, active in creation from the very beginning till today. The Holy Spirit sustain us and all creatures every day."

"The world desperately needs people like you who believe in the transformative power of the Holy Spirit to invest in the future of the world for our children", he noted, said the WCC in a statement.

"As Pentecostals believing in the power of the Holy Spirit, I will invite you to receive the invitation issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch, Pope Francis, the general secretary of the WCC and other ecumenical leaders to pray and care for God's creation", said Tveit.

PENTECOSTAL WORLD FELLOWSHIP DINNER

Tveit was at the Pentecostal World Fellowship dinner, where he was invited by Rev. Prince Guneratnam, chairman of the PWF, to bring greetings.

Representatives of the Global Christian Forum, the World Evangelical Alliance, Pontifical Council to Promote Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation also addressed the global Pentecostal gathering. . .

Like the PWF, the WCC was founded after World War II. For the past 15 years the WCC has maintained a platform for dialogue with Pentecostals.

"The joint consultative group has helped nurture our growing together in Christ. It will continue in the years ahead, examining how the Holy Spirit is working in the church to form disciples that transform the world," said Tveit.

In the foregoing passages we see a determined interaction and coming together of Rome, the Pentecostals, and the mainline Protestant organization, the World Council of Churches. There is also a common purpose in advocating against climate change, in which we see justifiable concern about the degradation of the natural environment co-opted by the forces driving the ecumenical movement to accelerate union of diverse world bodies. In these passages are some striking statements:-

STATEMENT

"We all sin against the Holy Spirit if we ignore climate change":

References to climate change as a central issue in the ecumenical movement are sprinkled throughout the passages quoted from. In fact climate change itself has developed into a universal spiritual movement:

Spiritual ecology

Spiritual ecology is an emerging field in religion, conservation, and academia recognizing that there is a spiritual facet to all issues related to conservation, environmentalism, and earth stewardship. Proponents of Spiritual Ecology assert a need for contemporary conservation work to include spiritual elements and for contemporary religion and spirituality to include awareness of and engagement in ecological issues. . .

Religion and ecology . . .

Earth-based traditions and earth spirituality-Spirituality and ecology

The ecumenical impetus provided by the climate change issue has been recognized at the highest levels:

Climate Change an Ecumenical Catalyst Says WCC Head

The leader of the World Council of Churches (WCC) believes climate change is a catalyst for ecumenical unity of all churches. Dr. Olav Fykse wrote in the latest issue of the Ecumenical Review, “In a very disturbing way, the climate crisis brings us together as one humanity. Therefore, it also brings us together as one fellowship of believers, as one church.” He added, “We are called together to show signs of what it means to be one humanity” (Ecumenical News International, 8-13- 10). The WCC, a socio-political and religious left-wing organization, continually seeks to rally churches of all theological stripes around a common social or political cause for the sake of unity, yet God’s Word always points to sound doctrine as the true basis of unity in Christ’s body.

The pagan pantheism inherent in the spiritual ecology movement is evidenced on the following website:

Spiritual Ecology the Cry of the Earth, and is echoed in Pope Francis' encyclical Lodat Si, which has garnered high praise on every side, with no objections raised to either the Roman Catholic ideology and dogmas or the paganistic pantheism expressly promulgated in the encyclical. That there there is degradation of earth's ecology is an undoubted fact, and this is recognized prophetically in the Bible (Rev. 11:18;) but the ecumenical climate change movement is definitely not directed by the God of Heaven. (Cf. Evangelicalism, the Charismatic Movement, and the Race Back to Rome.) [Note that adventistlaymen.com is not Trinitarian.]

STATEMENT

The encounters between the head of the Catholic Church and the leader of the WCC which represents mainly Anglican, Orthodox and traditional Protestant churches comes at [a] time of greater ecumenical contact across the board:

"Ecumenical contact across the board," is explained by reference to Pentecostal Pastor Traettino's thanks to Pope Francis for his role "as a brother and an ally" in accelerating the dialogue between Catholics and Pentecostals. Thus is highlighted the coming together of Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Pentecostals. Rome has long locked in the mainline apostate Protestant churches, using Vatican II to bait the trap for a willing prey It should be kept in mind that the ecumenical movement had its origin in the Protestant world. The Roman Catholic Church saw in it an opportunity to entice the Protestant churches back into its fold:

The Missionary Origins of Modern Ecumenism

Among many Orthodox Christians today it is generally accepted that the contemporary Ecumenical Movement began with the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 “Unto the Churches of Christ Everywhere.” Furthermore, it is generally believed that the movement for Christian unity arose out of a search for “unity in truth” and doctrinal agreement. It will, thus, come as a surprise to many to discover that the historical record disproves both of these assertions beyond a shadow of a doubt.

History shows that the contemporary Ecumenical Movement has its roots in the Protestant missionary movement of the 19th century and its inspiration in the desire of Evangelical Protestants to achieve a “unity in fellowship” amongst themselves for greater success in the mission field. Willem Saayman, a Protestant scholar of missiology, begins his study on mission and unity with the following words: “The ecumenical movement does not derive simply from a passion for unity; it sprang from a passion for unity that is completely fused in mission.” The union of mission and ecumenism, however, was not something arrived at quickly or painlessly for the Protestant world. It grew slowly in the soil of global confessional alliances and comity agreements among the Protestants in the second half of the 19th century, and continued in the international student movements and missionary conferences, becoming a new paradigm of ecclesiastical unity – for the conversion of the world. It became, from 1910 onwards, the basis upon which the Ecumenical Movement was built.

UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO Decree on Ecumenism Second Vatican Council

1. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.(1) Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.

But the Lord of Ages wisely and patiently follows out the plan of grace on our behalf, sinners that we are. In recent times more than ever before, He has been rousing divided Christians to remorse over their divisions and to a longing for unity. Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day the movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. This movement toward unity is called "ecumenical." 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. For almost everyone regards the body in which he has heard the Gospel as his Church and indeed, God's Church. All however, though in different ways, long for the one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and set forth into the world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God.

(Cf. Challenges facing the Roman Catholic Church-WCC collaboration World Council of Churches: Relations with the Roman Catholic Church;  Francis, Ecumenism, and the Common Witness to Christ.) Pope Francis is in a unique position to lock in the Pentecostals.

Roman Catholics and Pentecostals have not been natural bedfellows in the past, which makes the current rapprochement all the more startling:

CATHOLICS AND PENTECOSTALS: TROUBLED HISTORY, NEW INITIATIVES

Catholics and Pentecostals in their various expressions—classical, charismatic, and Neo-Pentecostal—constitute about 75 percent of the total number of Christians today. And Pentecostals continue to grow in number. While the relations between the two traditions have often been troubled and serious theological differences remain, particularly in the area of ecclesiology, Pentecostals are beginning to show a new interest in ecumenism, and new initiatives on both sides are promising. . .

PENTECOSTALS AND ROMAN CATHOLICS

Much of the remarkable Pentecostal growth has come at the expense of the Catholic Church, particularly in Latin America where Pentecostals constitute about 75 percent of non-Roman Catholic Christians. It is estimated that some 8,000 to 10,000 Catholics leave their church every day to join Pentecostal churches. According to Harvey Cox, there are more Pentecostals at church on any given Sunday morning in Brazil than there are Catholics at Mass. Allan Anderson says that present growth rates indicate that some Latin American countries could have a majority of “evangelicals,” mostly Pentecostals, by 2010. In nominally Catholic Cuba, Assemblies of God churches have increased from 90 ten years ago to 3,000 today.

Evidence suggests that many Latino Catholics who convert to Pentecostalism later leave and end up not practicing any religion at all. According to Kurt Bowen’s study on evangelicalism and apostasy in Mexico, 43 percent of adults in the second generation were no longer part of the evangelical world; while some returned to Catholicism or took up another faith, the great majority (41 percent) were simply nothing (nada). The dropouts were highest among Pentecostals. David Martin reports data from Chile indicating similar losses among evangelicals. Though more research is needed on this question, if it is true that many who join Pentecostal communities eventually end up practicing no religion at all, it might make more sense from an evangelical perspective for Catholics and Pentecostals to try to support each other rather than work in competition. . .

Thus we see that the former intense competition between these two denominations is moving into ecumenical union - an extraordinary development, indicative of extraordinary times! Pope Francis has been particularly focused on an embrace of the Pentecostal movement quite distinct from the overall the drive towards ecumenical union with the mainline Protestant churches associated with the World Council of Churches since Vatican II:

Francis, Ecumenism, and the Common Witness to Christ

Focusing on Evangelicals and Pentecostals rather than “historical” Protestant denominations, Pope Francis has taken a new approach to ecumenical efforts.

Although ecumenism has received increased attention from Church authorities at all levels in the decades following the Second Vatican Council, during his short period of time as pontiff Pope Francis has approached this area with a new twist, one characterized by personal outreaches specifically addressed to the world of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity and disconnected from the official activity of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. . .

But prominent as they may be in the eyes of the man on the street, Anglicanism and Orthodoxy today represent a minority of non-Catholic Christians. Since the middle of the past century, and especially since the beginning of the 1970s, there has been a sea change in the composition of Christianity worldwide. According to a 2011 Pew Forum report, about half of the world’s Christians are Catholic, 12 percent are Orthodox, and 37 percent are “Protestants, broadly defined.” The same study reported that “there are about 279 million pentecostal Christians and 305 million charismatic Christians in the world” and that “according to this analysis, pentecostal and charismatic Christians together make up about 27 percent of all Christians and more than 8 percent of the world’s total population.” (Charismatics, as the study defines them, include Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians.) There are roughly 285 million Evangelicals worldwide, which means that, together, Evangelicals and Pentecostals total nearly 400 million. Meanwhile, the number of “historic Protestants” (Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, etc.) and Anglicans continues to shrink overall.

Nonetheless, to many Catholic specialists in ecumenism, even though an official international Catholic/Pentecostal dialogue has been in existence since 1972 and has issued five joint statements, dialogue with the Protestants still means dialogue with the shrinking “historical” churches—represented by World Council of Churches—many of which accept abortion and a few of which also accept homosexual “marriage.”

By contrast, Pope Francis’ ecumenical focus has been on the Evangelical and Pentecostal worlds, reflecting not only a realistic attention to demographics, but also—judging by the concluding document of the 2007 Aparecida Conference, primarily authored by then-Cardinal Bergoglio—his experience in Latin America. . .

STATEMENT

Full unity, he said, will be achieved after "the Son of Man returns"

This statement by Pope Francis is pregnant with meaning:

Prophecy informs us that whereas Satan has worked against God's people through human agencies from the time of the Egyptian dynasties to the time of the Roman Empire out of which the papacy emerged; he will show himself openly at the very end of time (Rev. 17:7-11; cf. Satan Will Be Deified.) A prophecy in the Book of Isaiah also reveals Satan's ambition to enthrone himself in Jerusalem (Isa. 14:12-14; cf. Isa. 2; cf.) There is yet another prophecy which applies with particular force to these times and current events unfolding around the globe (Rev. 16:13-14, 16.) The spirits are at work, and they speak. In this prophecy is found the explanation of all the combined forces that are promoting global ecumenical union.

The statement of Pope Francis on when "full unity"will be achieved is specific and explicit. Was this prediction inspired by the spirits, or by Satan, their commander?

The prediction raises a huge question which has a bearing on our watchfulness and our preparedness for the final apoclyptic events. The question is how far short of full unity will the world ecumenical movement be when Satan puts in his appearance. It is implicit in the Pope's statement that it is that appearance which finally produces complete unity. There are currently major geopolitical obstacles obstructing the objective of full unity: the Zionist Israeli government and their Christian Zionist supporters in the USA, Russia under a contrary and aggressive President Putin, and China, which seems to be outside the orbit of papal influence. This emphasizes the necessity of extreme watchfulness, and diligence to make our calling and election sure before the final great delusion which will certainly be of great intensity.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 2:5-11.)

The Religious Right churches are relentless in their pursuit of theocratic government in the United States:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

New Bill Would Allow Pastors to Endorse Political Candidates

Legislators have proposed a bill that would repeal the Johnson amendment and allow pastors to make political statements from the pulpit without losing their church's tax-exempt status.

The Christian Post reports that the bill, known as the “Free Speech Fairness Act” or H.R. 6195, was introduced by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. and Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga. . .

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made it a speaking point of his campaign that he supports repealing the Johnson amendment.

"We're going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we're going to let evangelicals, we're going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk,” Trump said in July, as previously reported by ChristianHeadlines.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Scalise stated, “For decades now, the Johnson Amendment has limited the ability for a lot of churches and religious organizations and nonprofits to express their views and to exercise their free speech rights and exercise the religious liberty that is one of the hallmarks of our Constitution.”

They want the Johnson Amendment repealed; but they already flagrantly violate the law - and get away with it:

Politics Still Prevalent In The Pulpit, Survey Shows

Churchgoing Americans say their preachers often speak out on hot social and political issues and occasionally back or oppose particular candidates in defiance of U.S. law prohibiting such endorsements.

The findings from a new survey by the Pew Research Center suggest that the 1954 "Johnson Amendment" regulating political activity by churches and other charitable organizations has had limited impact in restricting such speech.

The 2016 Republican platform calls for a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has promised that if elected he would work to have the law overturned. . .

In practice, the IRS has made minimal efforts to endorse the statute, in part because the wording of the law is somewhat vague. According to the ADF, no church has yet been punished under the terms of the law.

The new Pew survey reports that nearly two out of three churchgoing Americans have heard their clergy speak out on at least one social or political issue, from same sex marriage to economic inequality and immigration. That type of advocacy is generally not restricted by the Johnson Amendment.

A much smaller share of churchgoers, 14 percent, say they have heard their pastors endorse or oppose a presidential candidate in the months leading up to the survey.

The Image to the Beast casts a dark shadow over the nation! How distant are the final enactments of Rev. 13?

Abraham Lincoln defined America's representative democracy as "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Thomas Jefferson defined the only basis on which such a representative democracy could be maintained:

I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15278

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384.

The Roman Catholic Church is the greatest and most dangerous enemy of representative democracy that this world has ever known. This is not surprising. The ultimate enemy of the freedoms guaranteed by American democracy is "the great dragon . . . that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9.) It is he from whom the papacy has received "his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev. 13:2b.) Satan knew that the most effective means of destroying the representative democracy of the most powerful and influential nation on earth was to undermine the educational system and thereby bring about an ill-informed populace.

As long ago as the end of the 19th century America's representative democracy was already under intense scrutiny by the papacy. It was seen as a model to be followed in other parts of the world, subject to modification. On the constitutional guarantee of separation of Church and State, Leo XIII expressed his disapproval without qualification. On democratic government in general his denunciation was unequivocal; yet he indicated that under suitable conditions Roman Catholics could work in accommodation with it:

LEO XIII

For Italy, Leo adopted a policy marked by an intransigence which produced more or less the same bitter fruits as in France. Leo hoped Germany would force a solution of the "Roman question" and restore the papacy to a position of temporal power. But the Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria, and Italy dashed these aspirations. Leo could expect no help from France, where his policies had, rather, fomented antipapal feeling. When Mariano Rampolla became secretary of state for Italy in 1887, he sought the friendship of the democracies, the United States, and France particularly. Leo was much more in favor of a monarchical paternalism than of a democratic form of government; he feared the latter as an open door to anticlerical and secular policies. In Italy, Leo allowed Catholics to participate in municipal politics, but he maintained the traditional ban on all Catholic participation in national politics almost to the end of his life. In his encyclical letter Immortale Dei (Nov. 1, 1885) Leo denounced democracy as irreconcilable with the authority of the Church, although he did allow that with proper conditions Catholics could work within such a democratic framework. In Libertas praestantissimum (June 20, 1888) he declared personal liberty and freedom to be a legitimate political goal, but he tied the success of such a goal to adherence to Roman Catholicism. Leo sought, in other words, to reconcile the liberalism of his day with traditional Roman Catholic teaching. Although he did not succeed, he laid the foundations for a later development in the mid-20th century. The policies of John XXIII, for instance, reflected Leo's thoughts but took some essential steps forward.

The bottom line is that democracy is "irreconcilable with the authority of the Church," and the Church has not given up, and will not give up, its assertion of authority in all matters spiritual and temporal:

Separation of Church and State

Manifest Destiny or Manifest Heresy?

I would have agreed wholeheartedly with George Sim Johnston who wrote in his recent article "Why Vatican II Was Necessary" that, "The council made it clear that she no longer wanted a confessional state tied to a monarchy; it was high time to make peace with liberal democracy."

But now, after some years of reflection and more careful examination not only of Vatican II but of pre-conciliar magisterial teaching on the matter, I find that Johnston's claim just doesn't hold up. For starters, one will search in vain for the words "monarch", "monarchy", "democracy", "democratic", or the phrase "confessional state" in the conciliar documents. Even the passages that contain the words "government" and "governments" fail to establish the "clear" teaching to which Johnston alludes. Yes, certain passages of Gaudium et Spes indicate a preference for governmental systems that encourage participation by the greater portion of citizens in public life (e.g. Gaudium et Spes §31, 73, 75, echoing John XXIII's Pacem in Terris §26). But such participation can be manifested in any number of governmental systems, including constitutional monarchies. These passages, then, fall far short of a carte blanche endorsement of full-blown democracy, let alone the liberal democracy with which Johnston insists the Church made peace.

On the contrary, as Fr. E. Cahill, S.J. has pointed out, the foundations of liberal democracy are incompatible with Catholicism:

In the theory of the Liberal State, personal human rights are acknowledged, and indeed exaggerated, for they are regarded as paramount, the rights of God and the limitations set by the divine law being disregarded. In actual practice, however, all individual rights are merged in or made subservient to the power of the majority, by which the actual government of the State is set up. Hence the governing authority again becomes omni-competent, although this omni-competence is upheld in virtue of a title different from the title of a deified emperor or a civil body identified with the deity. . . (Underscored emphasis added.)

These frequent warnings and their vindication through subsequent events keep me from following Johnston in heaping unqualified praise on the separation of Church and State as we have it here in the United States. Johnston claims that by (allegedly) doing away with a confessional State and making peace with liberal democracy in the documents of Vatican II, "the Americans, especially the Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray, made their contribution to the council. The Constitution of the United States, which keeps the government out of the chancery, had served the Church well."

He is correct that non-interference of the State in the affairs of the Church does indeed serve the Church well. This is upheld by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical letter to the hierarchy of the United States:

[T]hanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. . .

Pope St. Pius X insists that to have the Church and the State separated, with the State failing to acknowledge the Catholic Faith as the true religion-as it is in the United States-amounts to a grave injustice to God . . .

Pope Pius XI noted that this refusal on the part of the State to give Jesus Christ and the Church He founded due public recognition is very far from a matter of indifference . . .

We should reflect carefully on what the Catholic Church has solemnly taught concerning the right ordering of civil government. This is especially true as our nation continues to advance, often by force of arms, a particular variety of liberal democracy as the only system of government worthy of any nation. For some, my insistence that the present position of the government of the United States with respect to the separation of Church and State is not rightly ordered will seem a sort of blasphemy, albeit a secular one. But as Catholics, our first obligation is to the teaching of the Church and not to the founding documents of our country.

Roman Catholicism is incompatible with representative democracy's "Government of the people, by the people, for the people." It is therefore reasonable to expect that Rome will always seek to undermine such a system of government. One means of doing so is by degrading the educational system to bring about an ill-informed populace. Pope Benedict exposed this philosophy of the papacy in 1979:

Hans Küng and Pope Benedict, old friends and archrivals have a cordial meeting

In a sermon on Dec. 31, 1979, Ratzinger defended the action against Küng in terms that would become familiar: "The Christian believer is a simple person: bishops should protect the faith of these little people against the power of intellectuals."

The following observation and a comparison with the above statement of Pope Benedict is made in a CATHOLICA.COM.AU Editorial Commentary about the diversified media tycoon Rupert Murdoch titled:

The trouble with Rupert

So what is Murdoch's great skill?

As argued two paragraphs ago, Murdoch's great skill is not going to be found in his management styles nor his personal sincerity and integrity. We think Murdoch's great skill is in an uncanny ability to "read the mind" of the average citizen. Murdoch understands what is called the "lizard brain" or "reptile brain" cravings of the ordinary person whose main interests in life centre around "eating, roots and leaves". Page 3 "tits and bums" sell newspapers by the tens of millions. The ordinary person is not interested in the lengthy philosophical and theological conversations we have in places like Catholica — their attention span is limited to about the 140 characters allowed in a tweet. They crave entertainment and distraction far more than they crave information and enlightenment. Rupert Murdoch really does understand the mentality of the average Jo and Sally Blo in the suburbs in any of the major countries of the Western world. Rupert understands how to feed their needs for "entertainment and distraction" in ways that attract massive readership numbers, or massive electronic media audiences, and through that, massive advertising revenues. The question is: is that good for the overall health of human civilisation? Is there a question of "balance" involved here?

In many ways it might be compared to the philosophy of Joseph Ratzinger who said back in 1979:

"The Christian believer is a simple person: bishops should protect the faith of these little people against the power of intellectuals." (Allen,130)

Rupert plays the same game in the secular sphere of society. And he has become without peer at doing it. Just as Pope Ratzinger seems to believe that if the "ordinary person" wants miracles, weeping statues and simple devotions and pieties he will deliver it to them; Rupert has worked out if all the average citizen craves in life is celebrity and sporting star gossip, tits and bums titillation, political scandal, and acres of massage parlour and dating advertisements he'll deliver it to them by the truckload and denuded forest. It's a great way to make money.

One cannot help but note that here is an excellent description of the science of propaganda which distracts minds from the serious issues of life - Pope Benedict XVI subscribed to it, and Rupert Murdoch practices it. With this in mind, it is not surprising that a boast of "TEA PARTY UNITED™" is that "FOX NEWS "IS" CATHOLIC NEWS!," and "The vast majority of FOX NEWS Hosts and Analysts are Devout Catholics."

Probably as major a role as Fox News has played in television newscasting has also been played by a Jesuit priest named John McLaughlin. He created a television punditry show called "The McLaughlin Group" which degraded political discourse by "treating politics as another form of televised entertainment and setting aside more nuanced examination of current events for heated confrontation among the panelists":

John McLaughlin, center of influential TV pundit chat show 'The McLaughlin Group,' dies at 89

If you recently tuned into a cable news program centered around politics, and the discourse drifted into something more akin to a combative holiday dinner than buttoned-up Beltway chatter, you have John McLaughlin to thank.

He was a tireless conservative voice whose long-running weekly public television program "The McLaughlin Group” helped alter the shape of political discourse since its debut in 1982. . .

When it debuted, "The McLaughlin Group" stood in sharp contrast with "Firing Line,” "Washington Week in Review" and other political programming of its day, with a contentious atmosphere in which politicians were set aside in favor of giving voice to opinion journalists. . .

For all its influential qualities, critics scolded the show for treating politics as another form of televised entertainment and setting aside more nuanced examination of current events for heated confrontation among the panelists, who generally reflected the host by skewing white, male and conservative.

John McLaughlin, provocateur of public affairs TV, dies at 89

John McLaughlin, a former Jesuit priest, speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon and conservative provocateur whose pugnacious style as a host of a political chat show helped usher in the era of impolite punditry, died Aug. 16 at his home in Washington. . .

For more than three decades, Mr. McLaughlin sat in judgment of national political trends on “The McLaughlin Group” and goaded journalists and pundits into moving beyond fact into the argumentative terrain of ideological talking points and rhetorical hyperbole. . .

At times, “The McLaughlin Group” felt more like a cross-talk show than a talk show, with the host interrupting his guests’ trains of thought or bellowing “Wronnng!” to express disapproval of their statements.

His approach forever changed audience expectations of public affairs programming. Mr. McLaughlin’s impact can be glimpsed almost any night on cable news channels, for better or worse. And although no one ever mistook Mr. McLaughlin for a digital visionary, his show’s staccato approach to wringing opinions from guests previewed the Internet’s addiction to fast and unprocessed news bites. . .

Look at ‘The McLaughlin Group’ now and it looks positively quaint,” said Syracuse University television historian Robert Thompson. “The kind of thing McLaughlin was doing is being done in so many places.”

It is not without significance that John McLaughlin was a Jesuit, an unusual right-wing member of the Order to be sure, but nevertheless one of them. In the Chapter "The Jesuits" of Christian Edwardson's book Facts of Faith foresaw a rude awakening for America as the result of allowing the Order to carry on their work peaceably. In the chapter of the same book titled "Making America Catholic" the author stated:

The Roman hierarchy knew that the older Protestants, who had read about the persecutions of the Dark Ages, and who knew some of the inside workings of the papal church, would never become Catholics. Rome's hope lay in capturing the younger generation. If the Papacy could cover up those dark pages of its history, when it waded in the blood of martyrs, and could appear in the beautiful modern dress of a real champion of liberty, as a lover of science, art, and education, it would appeal to the American youth, and the battle would be won.

   The Jesuits, who through years of experience in Europe, have become experts in molding young minds, are now establishing schools everywhere, that are patronized by thousands of Protestant youth. They have also undertaken the delicate task of Romanizing the textbooks of our public schools, and books of reference, in order to cover up their past, and to whitewash the Dark Ages.

The author proceeded to document changes made in ROMANIZING TEXTBOOKS. He father documented REVISING BOOKS OF REFERENCE; MUZZLING THE PUBLIC PRESS; CAPTURING THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES; and CENSORSHIP OF BOOKS, all of which are of profound significance in "dumbing down" the populace. Facts of Faith was published in 1943. Consider how much farther the degradation of the American educational system has advanced over sixty years later!

As alarmingly large numbers of the American populace are embracing ideologies and personalities inimical to the preservation of the nation's representative democracy, many are sounding the alarm about the "dumbing down" of the people:

Newly Discovered Eighth Grade Exam From 1912 Shows How Dumbed Down America Has Become

Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”? It is a movie about an “average American” that wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that is surrounding him. Unfortunately, that film is a very accurate metaphor for what has happened to American society today. We have become so “dumbed down” that we don’t even realize what has happened to us. But once in a while something comes along that reminds us of how far we have fallen. In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 was recently donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. When I read this exam over, I was shocked at how difficult it was. Could most eighth grade students pass such an exam today? Of course not. In fact, I don’t even think that I could pass it. Sadly, this is even more evidence of “the deliberate dumbing down of America” that former Department of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt is constantly warning us about. The American people are not nearly as mentally sharp as they once were, and with each passing generation it gets even worse.

Just check out some of the questions from the eighth grade exam that was discovered. Do you think that you could correctly answer these?…

-Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?

-How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?

-How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?

-Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?

-During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?

A copy of the exam is posted below. Today, it would be a real challenge for many college students to correctly answer most of these questions correctly… [Cf. the article itself for the copy of the exam.] . . .

It also doesn’t help that Americans (especially young Americans) are absolutely addicted to entertainment. Americans spend an average of 153 hours watching television each month, and when we aren’t watching television we are watching movies, playing video games, surfing the Internet, etc. . .

The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the "dumbing down" of America

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America's political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said:

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, reveals how a whole generation of youth is being dumbed down by their aversion to reading anything of substance and their addiction to digital "crap" via social media.

Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective:

"The rise of idiot America today represents - for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power - the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about. In the new media age, everybody is an expert."

"There's a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization," says Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique and a film and media studies professor at University of California. The very mission of universities has changed, argues Liu. "We don't educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs."

Part of the reason for the rising anti-intellectualism can be found in the declining state of education in the U.S. compared to other advanced countries:

After leading the world for decades in 25-34 year olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries; . . . [The entire article is highly educational - excellent reading.]

The Dumbing Of America

"The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself." Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today's very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble -- in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations.

This is the last subject that any candidate would dare raise on the long and winding road to the White House. It is almost impossible to talk about the manner in which public ignorance contributes to grave national problems without being labeled an "elitist," one of the most powerful pejoratives that can be applied to anyone aspiring to high office. Instead, our politicians repeatedly assure Americans that they are just "folks," a patronizing term that you will search for in vain in important presidential speeches before 1980. (Just imagine: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . and that government of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth.") Such exaltations of ordinariness are among the distinguishing traits of anti-intellectualism in any era.

The classic work on this subject by Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life," was published in early 1963, between the anti-communist crusades of the McCarthy era and the social convulsions of the late 1960s. Hofstadter saw American anti-intellectualism as a basically cyclical phenomenon that often manifested itself as the dark side of the country's democratic impulses in religion and education. But today's brand of anti-intellectualism is less a cycle than a flood. If Hofstadter (who died of leukemia in 1970 at age 54) had lived long enough to write a modern-day sequel, he would have found that our era of 24/7 infotainment has outstripped his most apocalyptic predictions about the future of American culture. . .

The Dumbed Down Democracy

Are you smarter than an immigrant? Can you name, say, all three branches of government or a single Supreme Court justice? Most Americans, those born here, those about to make the most momentous decision in civic life this November, cannot. And most cannot pass the simple test aced by 90 percent of new citizens. . .

We know that at least 30 million American adults cannot read. But the current presidential election may yet prove that an even bigger part of the citizenry is politically illiterate — and functional. Which is to say, they will vote despite being unable to accept basic facts needed to process this American life.

“There’s got to be a reckoning on all this,” said Charlie Sykes, the influential conservative radio host, in a soul-searching interview with Business Insider. “We’ve created this monster.”

Trump, who says he doesn’t read much at all, is both a product of the epidemic of ignorance and a main producer of it. He can litter the campaign trail with hundreds of easily debunked falsehoods because conservative media has spent more than two decades tearing down the idea of objective fact.

If Trump supporters knew that illegal immigration peaked in 2007, or that violent crime has been on a steady downward spiral nationwide for more than 20 years, they would scoff when Trump says Mexican rapists are surging across the border and crime is out of control. . .

The dumbing down of this democracy has been gradual, and then — this year — all at once. The Princeton Review found that the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were engaged at roughly a high school senior level. A century later, the presidential debate of 1960 was a notch below, at a 10th grade level. By the year 2000, the two contenders were speaking like sixth graders. And in the upcoming debates — “Crooked Hillary” against “Don the Con” — we’ll be lucky to get beyond preschool potty talk.

How did this happen, when the populace was so less educated in the days when most families didn’t even have an indoor potty to talk about? You can look at one calculated loop of misinformation over the last two weeks to find some of the answer.

A big political lie often starts on the Drudge Report, home of Obama-as-Muslim stories. He jump-started a recent smear with pictures of Hillary Clinton losing her balance — proof that something was very wrong with her. Fox News then went big with it, using the Trump adviser and free-media enabler Sean Hannity as the village gossip. Then Rudy Giuliani, the internet diagnostician, urged people to Google “Hillary Clinton illness” for evidence of her malady. This forced Clinton to prove her stamina, in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, by opening a jar of pickles. . .

It appears that Donald Trump has triggered this general acknowledgement of the progressive degradation of American education. There is now an awakening to the realization that something is drastically wrong, but the blame does not appear to be laid on the Jesuits. This is not surprising. The Jesuits are by nature and history a secretive and conspiratorial organization. The truth of all their activities is probably stranger than fiction, and difficult to detect. This is manifest in the fact that the modern American educational system is universally attributed to only one man - an educational philosopher named John Dewey:

How did Ultra Progressive Dewey Become America's Patron Saint of Education?

In considering modern liberal plagues, are there any worse than America’s debased “free” education system? John Dewey, patron saint of American education, ruined our school curriculum while adamantly rejecting religion yet touting of secular humanism. In fact, not only did the atheistic Dewey sign the Humanist Manifesto I, but the prolific writer probably authored much of it, as well.

The American education system is built from a model designed by Dewey, one which rejected the classics, any emphasis on rhetoric and logic, or rote memorization. Instead, the pragmatist Dewey valued experience over facts, logic or debate. In fact, the deeply progressive and anti-traditional Dewey held Marxist presuppositions. In John Dewey: An Intellectual Portrait, Sidney Hook describes his impact:

In America’s intellectual coming of age, no person has played a more important role than John Dewey. There is hardly a phase of American thought to which he has not made some contribution, hardly an aspect of American life which he has left uninterpreted. His influence has extended to the schools, the courts, the laboratories, the labor movement, and the politics of the nation.

But what has been the impact of Dewey’s ideas? As Dewey was not so much interested in individual student learning, but instead the child’s adaptation to a state-dominated society, we can well-guess the effect has been catastrophic.

The mystery deepens when one reads statements such as the following by Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J.:

THE DEWEY LEGEND IN AMERICAN EDUCATION

In a feature article published in Education Digest in 1950, we read: "It is conceded on all hands that John Dewey is our outstanding educational philosopher; his influence on American education has been immense."[1] This, in one sentence, is a summary of the Dewey legend. For, although it is true that Dewey's influence on American education has been immense, it is only in a very qualified sense that we can call him an outstanding philosopher. Certainly a philosopher's real greatness is not to be estimated by the mere extent of his influence, but also and especially by the effects, good or bad, which his philosophy has had on contemporary civilization and will have on subsequent civilization. Measured by this standard, Dewey's tide to fame must be balanced by the extent of the evil which his principles of social naturalism and pragmatic experimentalism have produced in the United States.

THE PLAY-COMPLEX IN EDUCATION

Under modern progressivism, school discipline and work, which have been of the essence of education since the dawn of history, are to be substituted with freedom and play. According to Dewey, ". . . children should be allowed as much freedom as possible.... No individual child is [to be] forced to a task that does not appeal.... A discipline based on moral ground [is] a mere excuse for forcing [pupils] to do something simply because some grown-up person wants it done."

Written in 1915, these ideas have been adopted in thousands of American schools. Writing on the subject in 1951, a Catholic educator made this observation:

One of the principles that are doing as much as anything else to undermine American schools is the fixed notion that education has to be fun. We won't have our children subjected to anything hard or bothersome. We have practically adopted as a national education motto: "If it isn't easy, it isn't educational."

Perhaps Hardon was a renegade Jesuit, but this is not necessarily so. The following quotation in the chapter of Facts of Faith titled "The Jesuits" probably provides an explanation:

Rene Fulop-Miller says of the Jesuits:

"In actual fact, the Jesuit casuists deal with two forms of permissible deception, that of 'amphibology' and that of reservatio mentalis. 'Amphibology' is nothing else than the employment of ambiguous terms calculated to mislead the questioner; 'mental reservation' consists in answering a question, not with a direct lie, but in such a way that the truth is partly suppressed, certain words being formulated mentally but not expressed orally.

"The Jesuits hold that neither intentional ambiguity nor the fact of making a mental reservation can be regarded as lying, since, in both cases, all that happens is that one's neighbor is not actually deceived, but rather his deception is permitted only for a justifiable cause.'''–'' The Power and Secret of the Jesuits," pp. 154, 155.

There is documentation which establishes the connection between John Dewey's philosophy of education and the Jesuits:

Recovering the Social Dimension of Reflection

In this regard, I will engage in a sort of ressourcement (a return to the roots) of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus ( Jesuits), in order to show how programs inspired by his vision at Jesuit universities can recast reflection as a more relational practice. Ressourcement is a French word associated especially with a theological school advocating renewal through a return to the sources (particularly the Church Fathers). Joseph Ratzinger captured the importance of the movement when he wrote: “Whoever reads [Henri] de Lubac’s book [Catholicisme, 1938] will see how much more relevant theology is the more it returns to its center and draws from its deepest resources” (Ratzinger, 1988, p. 11). Recognizing the distinctive American context of teacher preparation programs, I will treat John Dewey similarly. . .

LMU’s CF notes the influence that Jesuit “concepts and goals” and the thought of John Dewey had on its composition. In this regard, LMU is not extraordinary, for both influences ( Jesuit and Dewey) are acknowledged in many of the CFs of Jesuit institutions. As members of communities of memory (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 1985), teacher educators at Jesuit institutions in the United States have both Ignatius Loyola and John Dewey as resources to help them to address the deficiencies in the understanding and practice of reflection. In particular, the thought of John Dewey can serve as a resource for reconsidering teacher experience as the proper principal object of reflection, and the thought of Ignatius Loyola can likewise serve as an important resource for reconsidering reflection as a social, intermental practice (as opposed to an individual, intramental one). . .

What is Ignatian Pedagogy?

In December 1985 the Jesuits published The Characteristics of a Jesuit Education not as a new Ratio Studiorum but as a tool to approach contemporary Jesuit/Ignatian education, according to Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., then Father General of the Jesuits who said, “The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm presents a frame­work to incorporate the crucial element of reflection into learning. Reflection can provide the opportunity for students themselves to consider the human meaning and the implications of what they study.” (Address at the Ignatian Pedagogy: a Practical Approach Conference, April 29, 1993)

The Ignatian pedagogical paradigm (which predates John Dewey’s work that incorporates many of the same elements by centuries) starts with these themes: context, experience, reflection, action, evaluation. It uniquely characterizes the relationship the faculty member has with the student he/she attempts to create a teaching/learning environment. . . (Underscored emphasis added.)

We do not need to understand all of the highfaluting words and phrases in the quotations from the two preceding articles to see very clearly that John Dewey's philosophy of education is identified with Ignatian pedagogy. Thus was the foundation laid for the McLaughlin Group's "treating politics as another form of televised entertainment and setting aside more nuanced examination of current events for heated confrontation among the panelists" ("John McLaughlin, center of influential TV pundit chat show 'The McLaughlin Group,' dies at 89," above,) and a general lowering of standards throughout the body politic. The degradation of the American educational system has been buttressed by the dissemination of Roman Catholic propaganda, and the suppression of opposition by intimidation. A highly respected and brave journalist by the name of George Seldes wrote:

This pressure [of the Catholic Church on American journalism] is one of the most important forces in American life, and the only one about which secrecy is generally maintained, no newspaper being brave enough to discuss it, although all fear it and believe that the problem should be dragged into the open and made publicly known. (VATICAN REJECTION OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS; The Vatican Propaganda Machine: The Spanish “Civil War” Lesson.)

Rome has shaped the course of a history which has led to the present time when alarm bells are ringing as a bigoted fascistic, white supremacist, con-man threatens to capture the presidency of the United States.

From the period of the presidential primary election to the present:

America, you’re stupid: Donald Trump’s political triumph makes it official — we’re a nation of idiots

Trump's rise proves we're full of loud, illiterate and credulous people — and he's a mirror of them

“I love the poorly educated.” — Donald Trump

Before any votes were cast, when Donald Trump was the theoretical front-runner, the optimists preached patience. Just wait, they said. This will blow over. He’s a clown, a huckster, a TV personality. There’s no way he can win. It’s just not possible.

Well, it’s not only possible – it’s likely.

Trump won again in Nevada on Tuesday night, by a massive margin, and he may well sweep the Super Tuesday states. If that happens, and it’s the most probable outcome at this point, the race is effectively over. Trump will have won the nomination of one our two major parties, and he’ll have done it with extraordinary ease. [He did.]

I hate to have to say it, but the conclusion stares us in the face: We’re a stupid country, full of loud, illiterate and credulous people. Trump has marched straight to the nomination without offering anything like a platform or a plan. With a vocabulary of roughly a dozen words – wall, Mexicans, low-energy, loser, Muslims, stupid, China, negotiate, deals, America, great, again – he’s bamboozled millions of Americans. And it’s not just splenetic conservatives supporting Trump or your garden-variety bigots (although that’s the center of his coalition), it’s also independents, pro-choice Republicans, and a subset of Reagan Democrats.

This says something profoundly uncomfortable about our country and our process. A majority of Americans appear wholly uninterested in the actual business of government; they don’t understand it and don’t want to. They have vague feelings about undefined issues and they surrender their votes on emotional grounds to whoever approximates their rage. This has always been true to some extent, but Trump is a rubicon-crossing moment for the nation.

Trump’s wager was simple: Pretend to be stupid and angry because that’s what stupid and angry people like. He’s held up a mirror to the country, shown us how blind and apish we are. He knew how undiscerning the populace would be, how little they cared about details and facts. In Nevada, for instance, 70 percent of Trump voters said they preferred an “anti-establishment” candidate to one with any “experience in politics.” Essentially, that means they don’t care if he understands how government works or if he has the requisite skills to do the job. It’s a protest vote, born of rage, not deliberation. . .

After the official start of the presidential campaign (mid-September Wall Street Journal op-ed):

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says Trump Is ‘Beyond Repair’

“He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has served both Republican and Democratic presidents, sharply criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump’s ability to lead the United States, writing that the business mogul was “beyond repair” when it came to national security.

“At least on national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief,” Gates wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Friday evening.

Gates wrote that Trump was clueless when it came to the American military and foreign policy. Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly, threatened to not defend NATO countries, said he would “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and seemed unfamiliar with Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Mr. Trump is also willfully ignorant about the rest of the world, about our military and its capabilities, and about government itself. He disdains expertise and experience while touting his own—such as his claim that he knows more about ISIS than America’s generals,” Gates wrote. “He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations.

Gates ran the CIA under President George H.W. Bush and served as defense secretary under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He wrote that all the leaders he served were smart enough to listen to their advisers ― even if they didn’t take their advice. Trump, he worried, would not.

The world we confront is too perilous and too complex to have as president a man who believes he, and he alone, has all the answers and has no need to listen to anyone. In domestic affairs, there are many checks on what a president can do; in national security there are few constraints,” he said. “A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”

Case in point: just last week, Trump threatened to start a war with Iran over hand gestures. . .

With the Trump ascendancy in the Republican Party the immediate prospects for the theocracy that has been the goal of the Religious Right for four decades has become murky. Before Donald Trump's triumph in the presidential primary election campaign, Ted Cruz was the favorite of the Evangelicals. He was also favored by the Catholics. In this combined choice of Evangelicals and Catholics was a menacing prospect for those who oppose all theocratic government, and especially one to be dominated by the Church of Rome. Now the Religious Right is divided. The Evangelicals have readily embraced Trump, while the Catholic leaders deplore his nomination by the Republican Party:

Leave It to Trump to Split a Catholic-Evangelical Bloc That’s Generations Old

Catholics now represent the latest demographic challenge for Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions. As the Washington Post recently reported, a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that Catholic voters preferred Hillary Clinton to Trump by a crushing 23 percent margin, 55-32. With less than a third of Catholics intending to vote for him, Trump has fallen well below the support GOP candidates typically enjoy from Catholic voters. George W. Bush won the Catholic vote in his 2004 reelection, 52-47. Although John McCain and Mitt Romney both lost among Catholic voters, they still managed to win 45 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Why have Catholic voters rejected Trump? All year Catholic commentators and media outlets have provided their thoughts, but they have largely been overlooked by a mainstream media more fascinated by the story of evangelicals and Trump. As early as August 2015, the independent Catholic news site Crux noted that Trump’s aggressive anti-immigration stance put him at odds with Catholic bishops who were lobbying Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Writing in National Review earlier this summer, the political scientist Michael J. New commented that Trump’s “Catholic problem” likely stemmed from Trump’s harsh rhetoric on Latino immigrants who many American Catholics see positively as the future of their church, but also because of Trump’s attacks on Pope Francis.

After Trump selected Mike Pence as his running mate, Christopher Hale, the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, called the Trump-Pence ticket the “most anti-Catholic GOP presidential ticket in modern history” because of not only Trump’s many shortcomings but also Pence’s record of blocking the Catholic Church’s efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in Indiana. . .

The news that some 80 percent of white evangelicals plan to vote for Trump seemed astounding enough when the latest polls were released. But now compared with Catholics and Mormons rebuffing Trump, evangelicals’ overwhelming support for Trump offers damning evidence that they care more about political power than principles in this election cycle.

In the pages of the Washington Post, Mark Rozell argued we were seeing a “splitting apart” of the coalition of evangelicals and conservative Catholics who have voted together for Republican candidates for nearly four decades. If polling patterns hold up in November, 2016 may yield the greatest difference between Catholic and evangelical voting since the 1960 election where at least 75 percent of evangelicals voted for Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy compared to only 18 percent of Catholics. But in the ensuing years, evangelicals and Catholics increasingly found themselves political partners in opposing abortion, pornography and gay rights, and in electing Republicans to higher office.

An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics

by Robert P. George & George Weigel

In recent decades, the Republican party has been a vehicle — imperfect, like all human institutions, but serviceable — for promoting causes at the center of Catholic social concern in the United States: (1) providing legal protection for unborn children, the physically disabled and cognitively handicapped, the frail elderly, and other victims of what Saint John Paul II branded “the culture of death”; (2) defending religious freedom in the face of unprecedented assaults by officials at every level of government who have made themselves the enemies of conscience; (3) rebuilding our marriage culture, based on a sound understanding of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and (4) re-establishing constitutional and limited government, according to the core Catholic social-ethical principle of subsidiarity. There have been frustrations along the way, to be sure; no political party perfectly embodies Catholic social doctrine. But there have also been successes, and at the beginning of the current presidential electoral cycle, it seemed possible that further progress in defending and advancing these noble causes was possible through the instrument of the Republican party. That possibility is now in grave danger. And so are those causes. Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president of the United States. His campaign has already driven our politics down to new levels of vulgarity. His appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice are offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility. He promised to order U.S. military personnel to torture terrorist suspects and to kill terrorists’ families — actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country. And there is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government. (Underscored emphasis added.)

Complicating the picture in the Religious Right alliance is the Tea Party, whose existence can be traced directly back to the Moral Majority, which was the creation of the Roman Catholic Church:

The Tea Party has found a Leader in Trump

What do you mean there’s still a TEA Party? And that crass Trump their leader? He may be boorish, but he’s American’s best hope for moving the ball back against the liberalism that is destroying America.

Didn’t Obama and Boehner destroy that movement? Wasn’t that defeated with Ted Cruz? Didn’t Jeb Bush say he could win without the TEA Party base of the Republican Party? Haven’t TEA Party conservatives condemned Trump as unworthy?

First off, until you destroy Christianity, patriotism, and capitalism, there will always be a TEA Party. We are not a political party. We are AMERICANS! We still love Ted Cruz. We still love Rush Limbaugh. We still love America because Democrats haven’t yet turned it into a socialist banana republic hellhole belonging to the dregs of world culture. And now we love Trump! . . .

Like the grassroots TEA Party movement, Donald Trump is a grass roots candidate who threw his hat into the political ring for the people. Many were unsure of Trump’s intentions, but he has made his position clear. Trump is not as refined as Ted Cruz who is obviously a genius, but you don’t become a billionaire by being a dumbass. Trump’s genius is in dealing with people and getting things done despite corrupt politicians, and pushing back liberalism to restore America is what we need to get done! Ted is a great conservative Christian, but he doesn’t fight and win like Trump does. It is questionable whether he could have defeated Jeb Bush who wanted to push conservatism aside and work with Democrats without the Republican base.

Portage County Tea Party leader says party backs Trump

Tom Zawistowski wasn't a Donald Trump supporter before Ohio's primary election earlier this year.

The head of the Portage County Tea Party backed Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Other Tea Party leaders around the state were behind retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

But Trump is the Republican nominee, and Zawistowski and others in the movement in Ohio made it clear Aug. 27 that he's their choice for the White House.

Trump, Zawistowski said, is surrounding himself with people who Tea Party groups support, and the billionaire businessman is on the same page on an array of issues." Do I want Donald Trump as my next door neighbor? Probably not/ but the point is that he's surrounded himself with a lot of people that we do like. He's come out with Supreme Court justices -- that's obviously huge for us."

"We want our constitution, we want freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, we want our Second Amendment rights, we want freedom of religion," Zawistowski said. "When you look at the candidates, it's very clear there's a difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In spite of all the warnings by opinion-makers in the American body politic, even right-wing theocrats, Donald Trump may be a hairsbreadth away from becoming the President of the United States. This is a direct consequence of the deliberate "dumbing down" of America, as is now generally recognized, and responsibility can be laid on Rome through the instrumentality of the Jesuit philosophy of education. There is a lesson in all of this for Seventh-day Adventists, who no longer value deep study of the Bible, having joined an illiterate world of Protestants. With a certainty Roman Catholic, and very likely Jesuit, influence is responsible.

Could a Trump presidency serve the purpose of Rome, present appearances to the contrary. This should not be discounted. She is practiced in making accommodation with tyrants.

"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)

A "Final World Events in Prophecy Foreshadowed," 2013, entry, updated, revised, and expanded:-

Legislation against abortion and birth control are proceeding at all levels of government in America, and particularly below the federal level where less attention is drawn to the activity. Stealth and deviousness are often a part of the legislative process:

Wisconsin Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Passes State Assembly, Heads To Scott Walker’s Desk  (June 13, 2013.)

Wisconsin’s Republican-led state Assembly passed a measure on Thursday to make it more difficult to get an abortion by requiring women first undergo an ultrasound.

The bill, which also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, now heads for the desk of Republican Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to sign it into law.

Anti-abortion activists have increasingly turned toward enacting new restrictions at the state level to the procedure, which was made legal nationally by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. . .

The bill mandates results of the ultrasound including images, a description of the fetus and a visualization of the fetal heartbeat be provided to the woman. The woman can decline the results, according to the bill. . .

The bill also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of their clinic.

According Planned Parenthood, its facility outside of Appleton, one of the state’s four abortion clinics, will be forced to close because doctors there do not have the required admitting privileges. . .

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic was granted a temporary reprieve in April when a federal judge blocked enforcement of a state law, similar to the one in Wisconsin, that required doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges.

In March, North Dakota adopted the nation’s most restrictive law, effectively banning most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or about six weeks into pregnancy.

Cf. Religious Groups Are Fighting To Defeat Albuquerque’s Proposed 20-Week Abortion Ban

On contraception:

The Strange Bedfellows of the Anti-Contraception Alliance (March 17, 2014)

Evangelicals and Catholics didn't always share the same views on contraception and abortion. A look at how their alliance came to be and how it's shaping crucial legal battles.

On March 25, lawyers representing the owners of a large purveyor of craft supplies and a much smaller cabinetry business will appear before the Supreme Court in what has become the cornerstone case for opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s “contraception mandate.” Under the mandate, all employers—with the exception of religious organizations like churches—must include free birth control under their insurance plans. Catholic schools, hospitals, and social service agencies immediately raised a ruckus. Dozens of Catholic nonprofits filed lawsuits against the government, arguing that because their tradition forbids them from using birth control, paying for it—even indirectly through insurance—would violate their religious liberty.

The cases that will appear before the highest court deal with a different question: whether the owners of corporations can claim religious liberty exemptions. But there’s a stranger and less remarked-upon twist. The owners of both companies aren’t Catholic at all; one is Mennonite, and the other is evangelical. While Catholic doctrine teaches that birth control undermines God by allowing couples to separate reproduction from sex, Protestants—whether they’re Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Southern Baptist—have no such theological objection.

Strictly speaking, the Protestant entrepreneurs involved in the upcoming case aren’t trying to get an exemption for all 16 forms of contraception covered under the ACA. They claim—backed up by a growing multitude of pro-life activists—that Plan B and the IUD cause abortion by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Every year, more scientific evidence piles up to support the opposite conclusion: that contraceptives only work before the egg has been fertilized, not after. This won’t make a difference for the Supreme Court case, where the plaintiffs’ religious opposition to these so-called “abortifacients” is accepted as fact.

But some evangelical leaders, perhaps tired of explaining what happens in the murky hours between sex and conception, are no longer relying on this intricate biological argument to shoo their followers away from birth control. In a recent blog post, Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, declared that evangelical acceptance of oral contraceptives happened “without any adequate theological reflection.” Evangelicals today, he wrote, are “indeed reconsidering contraception.” In Mohler’s view, contraception isn’t just problematic because it might cause abortion. Any attempt to artificially regulate fertility is at odds with a “pro-life” ethos.

Fifteen years ago, this position would have been unthinkable. But an about-face on contraception isn’t unprecedented; in fact, evangelicals’ growing doubt about birth control echoes their theological U-turn on abortion four decades ago. . .

The Roman Catholic Perspective - Birth Control

The Seventh-day Adventist Perspective - Birth Control

An article with an anti-abortion bias; but very revealing of how the Roman Catholic Church has brainwashed Evangelicals. Sadly, many, many Seventh-day Adventists are also captivated by the misapplication of Bible texts to the abortion issue by brilliant Roman Catholic minds:

Roe v. Wade anniversary: How abortion became an evangelical issue

There is more to the story of course. One often overlooked dimension of the story is the intersection of evangelical and Roman Catholic concerns in the emergence of a pro-life coalition. While most evangelicals were either on the wrong side of the issue or politically disengaged, Roman Catholic leaders were on the front lines opposing abortion as a fundamental assault on human dignity. By the late 1960s, the Roman Catholic Church was fighting demands for the legalization of abortion nationally and state by state - opposition that preceded the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae.

By the time Roe was handed down, Catholic leaders had developed sophisticated arguments and growing organizations to fight for the pro-life cause. In 1967, six years before Roe, Catholics had led in the creation of the National Right to Life Committee. The Catholic tradition, drawn largely from the natural law, became the foundational intellectual contribution to the development of a united front against abortion. Nevertheless, for evangelicals to join the movement in a decisive way, arguments drawn directly from Scripture had to be formed and then preached from the pulpits of evangelical churches. . . (Underscored emphasis added.)

The Roman Catholic crusade against abortion is not, and has never been, based on any injunction or principle to be found in the Bible; but only on the papacy's philosophical system of Natural Law. It should come as no surprise therefore that the Evangelicals were not converted to Rome's position by any identifiable biblical principle. In fact the shocking reality is that they took up the cause of Rome as an appalling demonstration of delusional and corrupt Protestant "Christianity."

As stated above, "for evangelicals to join the movement in a decisive way, arguments drawn directly from Scripture had to be formed and then preached from the pulpits of evangelical churches;" but the scriptural arguments were formulated after the nefarious events during which the Evangelicals were convinced to cast their lot in with the Roman Catholics:

How Evangelicals Decided That Life Begins at Conception

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, evangelical Christians widely believed the Bible says life begins at birth and supported looser abortion policies.

That was my argument in an Oct. 31 op-ed for CNN, titled, “When evangelicals were pro-choice.” Understandably, not all evangelical leaders were pleased. Mark Galli at Christianity Today called the op-ed a “fake history” in the title of a response article, even while going on to say the facts in the article are actually true. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, issued a more honest response, conceding that many “evangelicals did hold to embarrassingly liberal positions on the abortion issue (including, I must admit, the Southern Baptist Convention).” But both said that the change in evangelical opinion was not driven by a late-1970s political mobilization effort. . .

In 1968, Christianity Today and the Christian Medical Society hosted a gathering of evangelical leaders from across the country for a symposium on birth control. The purpose was to set forth “the conservative or evangelical position within Protestantism” from scholars who “shared a common acceptance of the Bible as the final authority on moral issues.” The joint statement resulting from the conference, titled “A Protestant Affirmation on the Control of Human Reproduction,” included the consensus of attendees on abortion.

“Whether the performance of an induced abortion is sinful we are not agreed,” it declared, “but about the necessity of it and permissibility for it under certain circumstances we are in accord.” Circumstances justifying abortion included “family welfare, and social responsibility.” “When principles conflict,” they affirmed, “the preservation of fetal life ... may have to be abandoned to maintain full and secure family life.”

In 1971, the Southern Baptist Convention agreed, in a joint resolution: “We call upon Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.”

Dallas Theological Seminary professors also supported the cause. Bruce Wakte, writing in Christianity Today, drew on Exodus 21:22-24 to argue that “God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed.” His colleague Norman Geisler concurred: “The embryo is not fully human — it is an undeveloped person.” . . .

In 1975, the Christian Action Coalition formed to mobilize lay evangelicals against abortion. Its founders quickly discovered that lay evangelicals weren’t interested: “We really thought it wouldn’t take much to get the general Christian community in the United States really upset about this issue. ... We thought, ‘Once people realize what’s going on, there will be spontaneous upheaval.’ That didn’t happen.” Moody Monthly, an evangelical magazine, complained as late as 1980 that “Evangelicalism as a whole has uttered no real outcry. We’ve organized no protest. ... The Catholics have called abortion ‘The Silent Holocaust.’ The deeper horror is the silence of the evangelical.”

And the founders of the evangelical right at the time, speaking of their movement’s emergence in the mid-1970s, lamented that the evangelical community was was stubbornly apathetic on abortion. Paul Weyrich, for example, noted that “what galvanized the Christian community was not abortion, school prayer, or the [equal rights amendment]. ... I was trying to get [evangelicals] interested in those issues and I utterly failed.” Ed Dobson, the right-hand man of Jerry Falwell, agreed: “The Religious New Right did not start because of a concern about abortion. ... I frankly do not remember abortion ever being mentioned as a reason why we ought to do something.”

In 1980, Falwell used his unparalleled platform to change all that. Declaring that “[t]he Bible clearly teaches that life begins at conception,” he allied with like-minded evangelicals to disseminate that interpretation across America. Falwell’s assertion that this position was the obvious one in Scripture necessarily implied that the host of intelligent, pious evangelicals who came before him just didn’t read their Bibles closely enough. It also made the Bible say the same thing his Catholic political allies believed (though Catholics believed it for other reasons). . .

Why does it matter that what evangelical leaders say is “the biblical view on abortion” was not a widespread interpretation until about 30 years ago? For one thing, it’s harder to argue the Bible clearly teaches something when the overwhelming majority of its past interpreters didn’t read the Bible that way. . .

Although he had associates, Paul Weyrich was essentially the evil genius behind the Moral Majority alliance between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals for political purposes. The Moral Majority is long defunct, but the impact of its union of Roman Catholics and "Protestant" Evangelicals is still roiling the waters of politics and legislation in the United States, growing steadily stronger and threatening, if they have their way, to elect a man of frightful character as President:

Abortion: How it became the issue that will sink Clinton for evangelicals

Evangelicals – and white evangelicals in particular – are planning to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in droves. . .

For most US evangelicals and Roman Catholics, life begins at conception. This is not a view evangelicals have always held – the Southern Baptist Convention in 1971 called for legislation to allow abortion under conditions such as rape, incest, severe foetal deformity, or damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother. It later expressed regret for its stance. After the crucial Roe v Wade ruling in 1973 that legalised abortion, even such a doughty conservative as Walter Criswell welcomed it, saying: "I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person," he said, "and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed."

Neither is it the case that abortion has always been a political dealbreaker for evangelicals, or decided along party lines. Republican president Ronald Reagan was personally pro-life but when he was governor of California he signed into law the Therapeutic Abortion Act to reduce the number of back-street abortions.

But abortion became a key political battleground with the rise of the religious right and its ideological identification with the Republican party. And according to Randall Balmer, a Columbia University professor and author of Thy Kingdom Come, this was a deliberate policy rather than a spontaeous revulsion at the consequences of Roe v Wade.

In his book, subtitled An Evangelical's Lament, Balmer says most evangelical leaders did not respond to Roe v Wade. He recalls a meeting at which one of the founders of the Moral Majority movement, Paul Weyrich, spoke animatedly about the formation of the Religious Right in the late 1970s. It came about, he said, as a result of efforts by Jimmy Carter to deny segregationist colleges tax-exempt status. Weyrich, corroborated by others, told Balmer conservatives held a conference call to discuss their strategy and find a unifying issue. "Several callers made suggestions, and then, according to Weyrich, a voice on the end of one of the lines said, 'How about abortion?' And that is how abortion was cobbled into the political agenda of the Religious Right," says Balmer.

There are two issues here. One is whether abortion was cynically used by the right as a way of getting evangelical Christians onside in a struggle for political influence. On Balmer's evidence, it was.

But the other issue is about the thing itself. Whatever the origins of the abortion lobby, most evangelicals have been convinced by the argument that life begins at conception and that abortion is, to one degree or another, profoundly wrong. . .

As reprehensible as the foregoing reports of the political nature of the Pro-Life movement are, even more shocking facts are exposed in the following article by Randall Balmer about the real reason for this alliance between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals:

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.

Some of these anti- Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism. . .

So what then were the real origins of the religious right? It turns out that the movement can trace its political roots back to a court ruling, but not Roe v. Wade.

In May 1969, a group of African-American parents in Holmes County, Mississippi, sued the Treasury Department to prevent three new whites-only K-12 private academies from securing full tax-exempt status, arguing that their discriminatory policies prevented them from being considered “charitable” institutions. The schools had been founded in the mid-1960s in response to the desegregation of public schools set in motion by the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954. In 1969, the first year of desegregation, the number of white students enrolled in public schools in Holmes County dropped from 771 to 28; the following year, that number fell to zero.

In Green v. Kennedy (David Kennedy was secretary of the treasury at the time), decided in January 1970, the plaintiffs won a preliminary injunction, which denied the “segregation academies” tax-exempt status until further review. In the meantime, the government was solidifying its position on such schools. Later that year, President Richard Nixon ordered the Internal Revenue Service to enact a new policy denying tax exemptions to all segregated schools in the United States. Under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbade racial segregation and discrimination, discriminatory schools were not—by definition—“charitable” educational organizations, and therefore they had no claims to tax-exempt status; similarly, donations to such organizations would no longer qualify as tax-deductible contributions.

On June 30, 1971, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued its ruling in the case, now Green v. Connally (John Connally had replaced David Kennedy as secretary of the Treasury). The decision upheld the new IRS policy: “Under the Internal Revenue Code, properly construed, racially discriminatory private schools are not entitled to the Federal tax exemption provided for charitable, educational institutions, and persons making gifts to such schools are not entitled to the deductions provided in case of gifts to charitable, educational institutions.”

Paul Weyrich, the late religious conservative political activist and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, saw his opening.

In the decades following World War II, evangelicals, especially white evangelicals in the North, had drifted toward the Republican Party—inclined in that direction by general Cold War anxieties, vestigial suspicions of Catholicism and well-known evangelist Billy Graham’s very public friendship with Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Despite these predilections, though, evangelicals had largely stayed out of the political arena, at least in any organized way. If he could change that, Weyrich reasoned, their large numbers would constitute a formidable voting bloc—one that he could easily marshal behind conservative causes.

“The new political philosophy must be defined by us [conservatives] in moral terms, packaged in non-religious language, and propagated throughout the country by our new coalition,” Weyrich wrote in the mid-1970s.“ When political power is achieved, the moral majority will have the opportunity to re-create this great nation.” Weyrich believed that the political possibilities of such a coalition were unlimited.“ The leadership, moral philosophy, and workable vehicle are at hand just waiting to be blended and activated,” he wrote. “If the moral majority acts, results could well exceed our wildest dreams.”

But this hypothetical “moral majority” needed a catalyst—a standard around which to rally. For nearly two decades, Weyrich, by his own account, had been trying out different issues, hoping one might pique evangelical interest: pornography, prayer in schools, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, even abortion. “I was trying to get these people interested in those issues and I utterly failed,” Weyrich recalled at a conference in 1990.

The Green v. Connally ruling provided a necessary first step: It captured the attention of evangelical leaders , especially as the IRS began sending questionnaires to church-related “segregation academies,” including Falwell’s own Lynchburg Christian School, inquiring about their racial policies. Falwell was furious. “In some states,” he famously complained, “It’s easier to open a massage parlor than a Christian school.”

One such school, Bob Jones University—a fundamentalist college in Greenville, South Carolina—was especially obdurate. The IRS had sent its first letter to Bob Jones University in November 1970 to ascertain whether or not it discriminated on the basis of race. The school responded defiantly: It did not admit African Americans. . . (Underscored emphasis added) [The entire article is highly educational, and provides insight into continuing current events bearing on the fulfillment of prophecy.]

There are Seventh-day Adventists who will neither be convinced by the foregoing facts of history nor by the significance of the fact that "life begins at conception" is central to the anti-abortion movement. It is glaringly obvious that in the Pro-Life movement we are confronted by the dogma of the Immortality of the Soul. This is an inescapable fact! Ellen G. White has coupled the Immortality of the Soul with Sunday sacredness as allied means by which "Satan will bring the people under his deceptions." Even secular scholarship recognizes that the dogma of the immortality of the soul is the obvious foundation of the teaching that "life begins at conception." To be seduced into supporting the anti-abortion crusade is to assent to the dogma.

"There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See":

According to the ‘Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings’ this proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21 (‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’). In 1738 it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’. The full saying is: ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’.

New  They hoped for 1 million Christians to gather on the Mall. The event fell far short of the mark, turning out only an estimated 350,000. Nevertheless, it was important enough to the ecumenical movement to be addressed by the Pope and receive a message from President Obama:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Thousands of Christians gather to worship in Washington DC

About 350,000 people of all faiths gathered together on the National Mall in Washington DC on July 16 for Together 2016 to declare that Jesus changes everything and asking him to “reset the generation.”. . .

“We want people to know today that Jesus welcomes anyone who comes to the table of grace. There, you can experience forgiveness,” organiser Nick Hall, 34, told the crowd. “Jesus does not have a big fence over his house saying you come in you don’t. God will you heal our nation and gather leaders around the world so that they too can turn their attention toward this gathering.”. . .

Former NFL player Tim Tebow made an appearance, and a letter from President Barack Obama was read to those present.

“I send greetings to all those gathered at Together 2016 in times of joy and uncertainty alike Christians have turned to Jesus,” Obama said. “As you come together today to pray, to learn, to share, to love and reset you have my best wishes for a memorable event.”

Pope addresses thousands gathered at National Mall in video message

Francis tells youth Christ is the answer to their restlessness during ecumenical rally in Washington:

On July 16, Pope Francis, in a pre-recorded video message, spoke to thousands of Christians from across denominations who were gathered on the National Mall in Washington, in an attempt to push the reset button on ecumenical relations.

Together 2016, organized by a coalition of evangelical leaders led by Nick Hall of PULSE Ministries, was designed, according to its website, “to bring people from all backgrounds together for a unified day of worship and prayer, asking Jesus to reset the nation.”. . .

There was scattered criticism of the event in its lead-up; some wrote to event organizers scoffing at the notion of being able to “plan” a revival; others expressed mistrust at the invitation of Catholics to the discussion, fearing that their inclusion would make the event no longer a Christian gathering. Grammy winner David Crowder, however, was thrilled about that aspect of it: “To me, I’m excited that Catholics and Protestants can share the stage together at an event like this.”

There was no denominational agenda in the presentations, but the speakers and performers certainly reflected an evangelical, and even charismatic bent. As the event concluded, a montage on the projection screen featured a vintage reel of Billy Graham at one of his signature crusades — an indication of the kind of movement that Hall and PULSE were aiming to emulate.*

It is interesting to note that there is residual recognition in the Evangelical world that the Roman Catholic Church is not a Christian Church. There is still some work to be done; but the Pope and the Democratic President of the United States have declared their common interest in advancing the ecumenical movement. There is no doubt that what is determined will come to pass. Rome has already made great strides towards ecumenical union through interfaith dialogue. Now there is evidence that she is ready to administer the coup de grace by pretending to accept the principles of the Protestant Reformation, having already undermined Protestantism by fostering erosion of faith in the Bible:

From [D]@google.com:

Roman Catholics seek unity with Protestants 499 years after the Reformation

With the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation in 2017, Catholic Bishops in Germany have reached out to Protestants.

They've released a new report, which speaks warmly about Martin Luther – the founder of the German Reformation – while also addressing some of the key theological disputes between Catholics and Lutherans.

Bishop Gerhard Feige said the "Catholic Church may recognize today what was important in the Reformation – namely, that Sacred Scripture is the center and standard for all Christian life." Given that this was one of the main disputes at stake during the schism, this is a major olive branch from the Catholic Bishops.

He also said, "Connected with this is Martin Luther's fundamental insight that God's self-revelation in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the people is proclaimed in the Gospel – that Jesus Christ is the center of Scripture and the only mediator."

The role of Scripture and the perception that Catholics thought there were others who mediated between humans and God (than Jesus) were two of the major dividing lines between Protestants and Catholics for centuries.

With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaching, ecumenical efforts are stepping up. There have already been theological and doctrinal agreements between the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church over the last 40 years. Now though, it seems both churches (who between them claim more than half of all Germans as members) are preparing to put on a show of unity.

The role of Martin Luther is important. Having been a Catholic Priest, he was denounced as a heretic when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg (the event from 499 years ago which will be commemorated in 2017). Now, though, the document describes him as, "a religious pathfinder, Gospel witness and teacher of the faith."

One will look in vain for unequivocal condemnation of the ecumenical movement in the publications of the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church. To the contrary, strange commendations of the Pope and the Church of Rome appear in official publications. (Cf. PROGRESSIVE ADVENTISM - THE ENEMY WITHIN; THE GREAT APOSTASY.) The following article by a Presbyterian exposes the deception being perpetrated by the German Catholic Bishops in the report above, and condemns the ecumenical movement in the clearest terms:

The ecumenical movement – What it REALLY is

A brief outline of the nature of the Ecumenical movement and what the Christian’s response to it should be.

The term ecumenical is derived from a Greek word that means “earth” or “world”. The term simply indicates that the intention of those who are engaged in ecumenical activity is to build one world-wide Church. The ecumenical movement is a movement that has Church unity as its goal.

The twentieth century has seen great advances in this direction. The establishment of the World Council of Churches in 1948 was a quantum leap toward church unity. Since then there has been a steady increase in ecumenical activity both in a national and international sense. In recent times the evidence of the progressive strides that ecumenism has made is alarming. For example, the sixty four Lutheran denominations around the world are on the verge of accepting a joint statement with the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of Justification. When we think that Luther, the man from who this Church derives its name, broke from Roman Catholicism over this very issue, we see that the ecumenical movement is perilously close to success. The production of joint statements in 1994 and again in 1997 by Evangelicals and Catholics Together further shows how successful this movement has been. This group includes high ranking ‘evangelicals’ from the North American religious scene led by Charles Colson. The joint statement was then endorsed by other evangelicals including J. I. Packer and Bill Bright. Evangelical leaders like Dr Billy Graham are in the forefront of this ecumenical drive for religious unity and promote numerous inter-church activities. These are men that vast numbers of Christians listen to, support and follow. Many are carried along on this tide of ecumenism without understanding what it is and where it will take them. Ignorance has always been the Devil’s chief weapon in his destructive attacks on the cause of Jesus Christ [Cf. Hosea 4:6.] It is necessary that every one who is truly born of God examine the ecumenical movement in the light of Scripture, not in the light of popular opinion and obey what God has to say about it.

Roman Catholicism and the Ecumenical Movement.

It has long been the goal of the Roman Catholic Church to bring the “separated brethren” in the Protestant denominations back into fellowship with itself and so undo the work of the great Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. As part of the Second Vatican Council a Decree on Ecumenism was issued by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964. This decree is the authoritative statement of the Roman Catholic Church on ecumenical activity and on her involvement in it. . .

The Charismatic Connection.

Ecumenism requires the help of numerous participants. One key participant in the march back to Rome is the Charismatic movement. This movement has an important role to play since it is very largely non-denominational and so very easily becomes inter-denominational. The charismatic movement has always emphasized personal feeling and experience above the written doctrines of Scripture. This has made it a very useful tool in the hand of the Devil. When the written doctrines of God’s Word are departed from or weakened error creeps in undetected — indeed error is welcomed by those ignorant of truth! The cardinal Scriptural doctrines of sin, justification and the once for all redeeming work of Christ became less important than the “charismatic experience” and so they were largely set aside and ignored. When the charismatic movement began to make inroads into the Roman Catholic Church the door was opened wide for a return to Rome. . .

The Neo-evangelical factor.

There are many involved in the ecumenical movement who claim to be “evangelical”. The term “evangelical” is derived from the Greek word translated “Gospel” in the New Testament. An evangelical therefore is someone who preaches and believes the gospel of the Bible. Those in the ecumenical movement who claim to be evangelical are deceivers because they no longer believe or preach the gospel as it is recorded in Scripture. They have departed from the faith and although they may still use Biblical terminology in reality they preach another gospel. Many of the populist preachers of our day fall into this category. Dr Billy Graham is a case in point and there are many following in his wake who have abandoned the truths of God’s Word for a popular message that has no sin, no guilt, no Hell and no salvation in it. These modernists have openly embraced Roman Catholicism and are leading their followers back to union with Rome. Dr Graham is on record eulogizing the Pope as the greatest Christian on earth. His crusades have for many years involved Roman Catholic priests as counselors and he has encouraged his Roman Catholic “converts” to return to their Church. Such cooperation with Roman Catholicism by those who profess to be evangelical has done much to advance the ecumenical march back to Roman darkness. . .

God calls His people to separate and to resist the wicked trends of today. It is always easier to go with the crowd and therefore resistance to popular ecumenical activity carries a price. It will mean unpopularity; it will mean shame and the scorn of the crowd. Faithfulness to God, however, always means, the well done of God. Which will it be for you? The reward of popularity here on earth or the well done of God? John 12:42-43 records that among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Let us not follow this cowardly and shameful example in our day when an uncompromising stand for God is unquestionably called for! (Underscored emphasis added.)

This last paragraph speaks to all "Protestant" Christians, not least of all Seventh-day Adventists.


 

From the very beginning of the 2016 primary election it became apparent that the roster of Republican candidates were in varying degrees strongly opposed to the Separation of Church and State guaranteed by the United States' Constitution. Then surprisingly an unlikely candidate with no religious right credentials shot to the forefront and never looked back. Now the Republican nominee for the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump is viewed with widespread fear and loathing in the body politic; yet there are credible warnings that he could still win the election in spite of currently sinking in the polls, because his opponent is herself regarded as a a flawed candidate. There is ample justification to fear the improbable event of a Trump presidency. It is reasonable to assume that in one fell swoop Christians who are unwilling to conform to the dictates of an ascendant religio-political power would find that conditions conducive to fulfillment of Rev. 13:15-17 confront them:

What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man

The year was 1977, and Mr. Cohn’s reputation was well established. He had been Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red-baiting consigliere. He had helped send the Rosenbergs to the electric chair for spying and elect Richard M. Nixon president.

Then New York’s most feared lawyer, Mr. Cohn had a client list that ran the gamut from the disreputable to the quasi-reputable: Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno, Claus von Bulow, George Steinbrenner.

But there was one client who occupied a special place in Roy Cohn’s famously cold heart: Donald J. Trump.

For Mr. Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, weeks after being disbarred for flagrant ethical violations, Mr. Trump was something of a final project. If Fred Trump got his son’s career started, bringing him into the family business of middle-class rentals in Brooklyn and Queens, Mr. Cohn ushered him across the river and into Manhattan, introducing him to the social and political elite while ferociously defending him against a growing list of enemies.

Decades later, Mr. Cohn’s influence on Mr. Trump is unmistakable. Mr. Trump’s wrecking ball of a presidential bid — the gleeful smearing of his opponents, the embracing of bluster as brand — has been a Roy Cohn number on a grand scale. Mr. Trump’s response to the Orlando massacre, with his ominous warnings of a terrorist attack that could wipe out the country and his conspiratorial suggestions of a Muslim fifth column in the United States, seemed to have been ripped straight out of the Cohn playbook." . . .

‘He Brutalized For You’

The reporter from the Washington Post didn’t ask Donald Trump about nuclear weapons, but he wanted to talk about them anyway. “Some people have an ability to negotiate,” Trump said, of facing the Soviet Union. “You either have it or you don’t.”

He wasn’t daunted by the complexity of the topic: “It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles,” he said.

It was the fall of 1984, Trump Tower was new, and this was unusual territory for the 38-year-old real estate developer. He was three years away from his first semi-serious dalliance with presidential politics, more than 30 years before the beginning of his current campaign—but he had gotten the idea to bring this up, he said, from his attorney, his good friend and his closest adviser, Roy Cohn.

That Roy Cohn.

Roy Cohn, the lurking legal hit man for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose reign of televised intimidation in the 1950s has become synonymous with demagoguery, fear-mongering and character assassination. In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life.

Over a 13-year-period, ending shortly before Cohn’s death in 1986, Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. Interviews with people who knew both men at the time say the relationship ran deeper than that—that Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Something Cohn had, Donald liked,” Susan Bell, Cohn’s longtime secretary, said this week when I asked her about the relationship between her old boss and Trump.

Trump’s Mobbed Up, McCarthyite Mentor Roy

Donald Trump’s brash and bullying style was learned at the heel of Roy Cohn, one of America’s most infamous lawyers.

They met at Le Club, a private disco on the Upper East Side frequented by Jackie Kennedy, Al Pacino, and Diana Ross, according to Trump: The Saga of America’s Most Powerful Real Estate Baron. Donald Trump, the young developer, quickly amassing a fortune in New York real estate and Roy Cohn, America’s most loathed yet socially successful defense attorney who had vaulted to infamy in the 1950s while serving as legal counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The friendship they forged would provide the foundation for Trump’s eventual presidential campaign. And in hindsight, it serves as a tool for understanding Donald Trump the Candidate, whose bumper sticker-averse declarations—undocumented Mexican immigrants are “criminals” and “rapists”; Senator John McCain is “not a war hero”—have both led him to the top of the Republican primary polls and mistakenly convinced many that he is a puzzle unworthy of solving. It may appear that way, but Trump isn’t just spouting off insults like a malfunctioning sprinkler system—he’s mimicking what he learned some 40 years ago.

A longtime friend of Trump’s who was introduced to the candidate by Cohn told me it’s a shame that Cohn’s not alive to see the chaos his protégé has wrought.

“He would have just loved what’s going on right now,” the friend said. “Roy liked upsetting the establishment.” . . .

He moved to Washington, where his first assignment was to prepare the indictment of Owen Lattimore, an expert on China and professor at Johns Hopkins University who had been accused of being “the top Russian espionage agent in the United States” by Senator Joe McCarthy.

The charges were ultimately dismissed, but Cohn’s aggressive performance left a lasting impact on McCarthy, who named him chief counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Robert F. Kennedy was assistant counsel.) . . .

When McCarthy was finally censured, in 1954, Cohn was thought to be finished, too.

He moved back to New York City and joined the law firm Saxe, Bacon & Bolan. But instead of fading into obscurity, Cohn became a socialite with a roster of high-powered, famous, pious, and allegedly murderous clients.

He represented Andy Warhol, Studio 54, Roman Catholic Cardinals Francis Spellman and Terence Cooke, and mafia leaders Carmine “Cigar” Galante and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno.

Cohn’s tactics were thought to be so unethical and dishonest by the legal establishment (he was eventually disbarred) that Esquire dubbed him “a legal executioner.” . . .

When Cohn first got ahold of him, according to his friend, “Donald was a bit of a political neophyte.”

It was Cohn who helped transform him. “His early political training came from Roy,” the friend told me.

Cohn, a registered Democrat, was a Reaganphile. On the grand piano in his law office rested a framed photo of the former president and a letter of thanks he sent to Cohn. He and his law partner, Thomas Bolan, who could not be reached for comment, fundraised tirelessly for his 1980 campaign.

According to Trump’s friend, Cohn acted to “recruit Donald and Donald’s father for Reagan’s finance committee.” In an 1983 Times report, Trump was characterized as a Reagan supporter and was said to have visited the White House “several times.” There’s a picture of the two together, shaking hands. Trump, his hair darker and fuller, in a pinstripe suit and shiny, light pink tie; and Reagan, looking duller by comparison.

Today, Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again!” Which was Reagan’s slogan in 1980. Trump has claimed he invented the slogan and trademarked it in order to prevent other candidates from using it in speeches. “I mean, I get tremendous raves for that line,” Trump told The Daily Mail. “You would think they would come up with their own. That is my whole theme.”

There is insufficient evidence on which to arrive at an informed opinion; but reasonable questions might be raised by some of the associations mentioned in this last report. There is an intriguing Roman Catholic connection, including the administration of Ronald Reagan. During his presidency there were no overt signs of authoritarianism in the Republican Party; but as Roman Catholic influence has increased over the years this has changed, with deliberate legislation designed to perpetuate Republican governance. Roman Catholicism is a hierarchical and authoritarian ideology that encourages activism, which has bred the right-wing extremism exhibited by the Republican Party. Historically there are glaring instances where Roman Catholicism has either created fascist governance or at least made accommodation with it. It should be noted that Pope Francis is pulling the hierarchy in the opposite direction from right-wing extremism; but this will not change the inherent authoritarian nature of the religion.

What you observe of Donald Trump reeks of fascism and racism. There are reports about his family background and his reading habits which make the connection and increase the menacing aura exuded by the man:

Donald Trump’s KKK connections go back to dad Fred’s arrest at Klan riot in 1927

Racism reportedly runs in the family, when it comes to the Trump Klan.

Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, was arrested following a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens in 1927, according to a bombshell report that further suggests unusual ties between the 2016 front-runner and the notorious white supremacist group.

Fred Trump Sr. was among seven men arrested following a May 30, 1927 brawl between members of the KKK and the New York Police Department, according to The Washington Post, which unearthed news articles from the June 1, 1927 edition of The New York Times. . .

When asked to comment Sunday on the latest details surrounding the incident, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign sent a link to a story from September 2015 story in which the Republican mogul ardently rejected the report. . .

“He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened. This is nonsense and it never happened," Trump said about his father in the September 2015 article. "This never happened. Never took place. He was never arrested, never convicted, never even charged. It's a completely false, ridiculous story. He was never there! It never happened. Never took place."

The resurfacing of the report comes at an inopportune time for the bombastic billionaire, who last week received the endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke.

On Sunday Trump repeatedly refused to distance himself from Duke and the KKK and initially declined to disavow the support.

Amid mounting pressure to reject the comments, however, he eventually took to twitter to condemn the support.

Donald Trump's ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler's speeches by his bed

According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her husband, real-estate mogul Donald Trump, now a leading Republican presidential candidate, kept a book of Hitler's speeches near his bed.

"Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler's collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed ... Hitler's speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist," Marie Brenner wrote. . .

When Brenner asked Trump about how he came to possess Hitler's speeches, "Trump hesitated" and then said, "Who told you that?"

"I don't remember," Brenner reportedly replied.

Trump then recalled, "Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of 'Mein Kampf,' and he's a Jew."

Brenner added that Davis did acknowledge that he gave Trump a book about Hitler.

"But it was 'My New Order,' Hitler's speeches, not 'Mein Kampf,'" Davis reportedly said. "I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I'm not Jewish."

After Trump and Brenner changed topics, Trump returned to the subject and reportedly said, "If, I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them."

In the Vanity Fair article, Ivana Trump told a friend that her husband's cousin, John Walter "clicks his heels and says, 'Heil Hitler," when visiting Trump's office.

All of the reports above sound a clear warning about Donald Trump's unfitness for the presidency of the United States of America by his character and life experience! He has demonstrated this by frighteningly reckless speech since he has burst upon the world stage in his presidential bid. A sampling is quoted below from:

10 Reckless Donald Trump Statements on Terrorism and National Security

#3: Kill Terrorist Families

Statement: “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Response: Donald Trump supports killing innocent people and committing war crimes. Killing the family members of ISIS would result in the deaths of innocent women and children. Donald Trump has no regard for our basic principles or humanitarian law.

There is a targeted and smart way to hit ISIS, which is what the Obama Administration is doing. Donald Trump doesn’t understand the difference between a reckless strategy, and a smart one.

Donald Trump’s plan to kill innocent people will not defeat ISIS. Killing innocent families runs counter to international law, our principles, and would enrage the world against the U.S. Resorting to such barbaric attacks would bring the U.S. down to the terrorists’ level, hurting our reputation and leadership role in the world.

Precision bombing and intelligence will effectively identify and eliminate the threat without incurring too many civilian casualties. The overkill Trump suggests is an insult to our military and intelligence professionals.

#4: Torture

Statement: “Torture works. Ok, folks?” You know, I have these guys – ‘Torture doesn’t work!’ – believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

Response: U.S. national security experts, military officials, and the intelligence community agree that torture does not work. People who have been tortured have given false information to make the torture stop. We don’t find out that information is bad until after we’ve spent millions of dollars and lost lives chasing false leads. It doesn’t work and it goes against our values, which is why the U.S. does not and should not use torture.

Torture often produces false information. We get much more reliable information from standard interrogations conducted by our experienced career interrogators. Every time we see an American give a forced confession in North Korea or at the hands of ISIS before a beheading, we get absolute proof that torture doesn’t work.

Torture fundamentally contradicts the Constitution and our values. It harms our global reputation, which is a key component of American strength. By using torture, the U.S. throws its lot in with Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Waterboarding inflicts “severe mental pain or suffering,”13 which distorts memories and is unnecessarily cruel. In response to the rhetoric from Trump on torture, the current CIA director, John Brennan, has said he wouldn’t allow CIA officers to waterboard terrorists. Donald Trump’s thoughtless approach to national security and support for torture would hurt U.S. interests.

Trump made these statements during his rise to become the nominee for President of the Republican Party. His present slide in the polls is not directly related. Even if it becomes increasingly unlikely that he wins the election, it is astonishing that majorities of the Republican electorate in the State primaries were untroubled by them. This is a clear sign of what can and will happen in the not too distant future. Economic conditions are unlikely to be greatly improved. Financial hardship and the fear of jihadist terrorism could provoke an extremist backlash in the body politic. If there is a dramatic change in Trump's prospects by election day and he wins the presidency, he seems to promise an administration wholly in tune with the end-time despotism prophesied for the United States.

The Donald Trump candidacy has opened up a huge fissure in a Republican Party already divided by a struggle between the Establishment and Religious Right extremists, which can be laid directly at the feet of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The division also reflects a contest within the Roman Catholic Church that has existed ever since Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum, albeit by intellectual argumentation rather than virulent controversy as is now raging within the Republican Party (Cf. Learning From Catholicism’s Loyal Trouble-Makers.)

The right-wing Roman Catholic ideologues who have reigned supreme in the United States for decades are hoisted on their own petard:

An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics

In recent decades, the Republican party has been a vehicle — imperfect, like all human institutions, but serviceable — for promoting causes at the center of Catholic social concern in the United States: (1) providing legal protection for unborn children, the physically disabled and cognitively handicapped, the frail elderly, and other victims of what Saint John Paul II branded “the culture of death”; (2) defending religious freedom in the face of unprecedented assaults by officials at every level of government who have made themselves the enemies of conscience; (3) rebuilding our marriage culture, based on a sound understanding of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and (4) re-establishing constitutional and limited government, according to the core Catholic social-ethical principle of subsidiarity. There have been frustrations along the way, to be sure; no political party perfectly embodies Catholic social doctrine. But there have also been successes, and at the beginning of the current presidential electoral cycle, it seemed possible that further progress in defending and advancing these noble causes was possible through the instrument of the Republican party.

That possibility is now in grave danger. And so are those causes. . ."

The signatories are revealing, the two most prominent being Robert P. George and George Weigel. Before Donald Trump burst on the US presidential election scene, the Republican Party under the domination of the Church of Rome's Religious Right surrogates was clearly on course to establishing the end of time theocracy prophesied in Rev. 13:14-17:

Republican candidates appeal to religious conservatives

From opposition to abortion and gay marriage, to support for Israel and the fight against the Islamic State, Carson and other Republican candidates -- Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee -- drew repeated ovations at the event co-sponsored by the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

"I believe 2016 is going to be a religious liberty election," said Cruz, a Texas senator who had many backers at the mega-church; Fiorina, a businesswoman, told the crowd that "people of faith make better leaders."

Bush, the son and brother of previous presidents, talked about a "faith journey" that has included a conversion to Catholicism, "a partnership with Jesus Christ" and a commitment to a "culture of life."

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who rode religious support to a narrow win in the 2012 Iowa caucuses, touted his long-time support from evangelical groups, while former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Huckabee denounced abortion as "uncivilized savagery for which we must repent."

Each of the Republican candidates is seeking to appeal to a constituency that has major influence in early delegate contest states such as Iowa, South Carolina and Texas.

The idea is to "connect candidates and their messages with people of faith who are potential voters," said Timothy Head, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. "The conservative Christian vote still remains the largest political constituency in all of American politics."

Among the issues that surfaced during the forum: Abortion, the role of faith in political life, attempts to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood and religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court sanctioning gay marriage.

2016 race: Why a Tea Party president is a real possibility

When the Tea Party began in 2009, even those of us at the heart of the movement couldn’t have predicted how it would permanently alter America’s political landscape. Just six years later, it’s undeniably at the heart of American politics in spite of countless attacks from the political establishment and from the national media. Because of the Tea Party’s strength and influence, candidates who call themselves conservative must prove their bona fides to successfully court any grassroots support at all. . .

America’s political landscape has been forever changed, and it’s a testament to the health and vibrancy of our democracy. The Washington establishment can bristle, smirk and even curse all they want, but a Tea Party president is now a very real possibility.

'So much for what might have been! Nevertheless, the statement that "America’s political landscape has been forever changed" is an undeniable fact. Moreover, the Democrats are not willing to cede religion in politics to the Republicans. President Obama has been greatly influenced by Roman Catholic activism, and has a Roman Catholic vice-president. He has contributed to the erosion of the wall of separation between Church and State by the faith-based initiatives of his Administration. Hillary Clinton is likely to outdo Obama:

Religion and the 2016 Presidential Election: How Important is Faith to Candidates?

The separation of church and state is expressed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, yet most Americans believe the two must intertwine when it comes to the presidency. Candidates answer questions about their faith both on the campaign trail and during presidential debates. They pander to specific religious denominations, depending on which part of the country they're visiting.

Come Election Day, faith may decide who unseats President Obama. . .

Clinton, a self-described Methodist, told a New Hampshire crowd last Wednesday that she keeps a group of faith advisors closer by and fights to separate political ambitions from personal values.

"I get a scripture lesson every morning from a minister that I have a really close personal relationship with," Clinton said. "And, you know, it just gets me grounded. He gets up really early to send it to me. So, you know, there it is in my in box at 5:00 a.m."

"I have friends who are rabbis who send me notes, give me readings that are going to be discussed in services. So I really appreciate all that incoming."

Hillary Clinton has chosen Jesuit-trained Roman Catholic Tim Kaine, said to resemble Pope Francis, as her running mate. The nation cannot escape from Roman Catholic, and Jesuit, influence. If Clinton wins the presidency it remains to be seen whether or not the progression of the nation towards theocracy will be much slower than under a dark, authoritarian Donald Trump administration. In any event the handwriting can clearly be seen on the wall.

Pope Francis speaks out about a world at war, and insists it is not a war of religions; but can religious strife be discounted?:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis: ‘The World Is At War’

In a brief address aboard the papal plane en route to Krakow for World Youth Day, Pope Francis expressed his conviction that the world is at war, but it is not a religious war, since every religion wants peace.

The Pope told journalists traveling with him that the world is not only insecure, it is at war. “But it’s a real war, not a religious war,” Francis said.

“It’s a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood?” he said.

Of course the Pope is reluctant to admit that religious conflict is manifest, not only in the Middle East but also is other parts of the world. This is an obstacle in the way of the urgent quest of the papacy for ecumenical union.

Pope Francis: ‘The world is at war, but it is not a war of religions’

The world is at war, but it is not a war of religions, Pope Francis has said as he traveled to Poland on his first visit to Central and Eastern Europe in the shadow of the slaying of a priest in France.

The killing of an 85-year-old priest in a Normandy church on Tuesday added to security fears surrounding Francis’s five-day visit for the World Youth Day celebrations, which were already high due to a string of violent attacks in France and Germany. Polish officials say they have deployed tens of thousands of security officials to cover the event.

Francis spoke to reporters on the papal plane en route from Rome to Poland. Asked about the slaying of the priest, Francis replied: “It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this.”

After greeting reporters on his papal plane he returned to the topic to clarify that when he speaks of war, he is speaking of “a war of interests, for money, resources. … I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.” . . .

Meanwhile, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a message of condolence to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen after the killing of Fr Hamel, Catholic News Service reports. The cardinal said Pope Francis was “particularly upset that this act of violence took place in a church during Mass, the liturgical act that implores God’s peace for the world.”

In the latest event of violence, the cardinal said, the Pope prayed God would “inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and brotherhood.”

Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, was another church leader in Krakow for World Youth Day. He told Catholic News Service the attack in France reminded him of the 2010 massacred in Baghdad’s Church of Our Lady of Deliverance “when they held the people inside the church” during Sunday evening Mass “and killed two priests and then started killing the rest.” A total of 48 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.

“This is the sort of world we are living in,” Archbishop Warda said. “We pray for the priest and everyone who was shocked and horrified.”

At the same time, “we pray for all of ISIS so they could really wake up and know the God of mercy,” he said. “We know that it is going to be harder and harder because the more you push them, they come up with more terrifying stories and events.”

“It’s shocking, it’s sad, really sad” to know they could “enter a church, a place of prayer” and commit such violence, the archbishop said. “Imagine you enter a mosque and start killing people — but that’s ISIS. That’s the way they act. Unfortunately this is the way they’ve been trained.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed gratitude for “the unforgettable witness of the faithful” in the church attack.

The total context of the Pope's statements suggests that he made a candid acknowledgement at first that the world is indeed in a religious war; but then on reflection found it necessary to tone this down in the interest of ecumenical union of denominations and religions. Nevertheless, Jidahist attacks in Europe are central in all the reports of the Pope's statements:

Pope Francis warns world 'is at war' after Europe attacks

Pope Francis has warned that a recent wave of jihadist attacks in Europe is proof that "the world is at war".

However, he stressed he did not mean a war of religions, but rather a conflict over "interests, money, resources".

He was speaking ahead of his visit to Poland to reporters seeking his comments on the murder of a Catholic priest by French jihadists on Tuesday.

Father Jacques Hamel was killed at a morning mass in his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, northern France.

The killing was the latest of a spate of attacks carried out in France and Germany over the past few days and weeks, many of them attributed to Islamist militants.

"The word we hear a lot is insecurity, but the real word is war," the pontiff said.

"We must not be afraid to say the truth, the world is at war because it has lost peace.

"When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it's the others who want war," Pope Francis added. . .

In Krakow, the Pope met Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Wawel Castle before retiring for a closed question-and-answer session with the country's bishops in the city's cathedral.

Much of Poland's conservative Catholic establishment is uncomfortable with Pope Francis's push for a more flexible and compassionate church.

Growing anti-Muslim sentiment is clearly a factor in the Pope's denial that the jidahist conflict is a religious war:

Pope Francis Says World Is at War, but It’s Not a Religious Conflict

As he began his first official visit to Poland, Pope Francis on Wednesday said “the world is at war,” and he challenged the conservative governments of Central and Eastern Europe to soften their resistance to migrants seeking refuge.

The pope’s visit to the southern Polish city of Krakow to celebrate World Youth Day, a major event on the Roman Catholic calendar, began just a day after the horrific killing of a priest in France.

The priest, the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85, was celebrating Mass in a small town in Normandy when two men with knives entered the church and slit his throat. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Francis, 79, was clearly shaken by the attack, and he appeared solemn and pensive as he headed to Poland, the first stop on a trip to Central and Eastern Europe.

“The world is at war,” he told reporters on his plane from Rome to Krakow. “We don’t need to be afraid to say this.”

But with anti-Muslim sentiment growing after the recent Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks in France and Germany, Pope Francis emphasized that he did not see a religious conflict. “I am not speaking of a war of religions,” he said. “Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

He said he was referring to “a war of interests” and a war for money, resources and the “domination of peoples.”

Three days before the pope’s arrival in Poland, the Vatican issued a statement reprimanding Polish officials who “artificially created fear of Muslims.”

Now, does all of this have special prophetic significance. In one respect, definitely. The signs are difficult to read in another respect; but watchfulness may be appropriate (Note that the physical war against ISIS is now expanded to include Libya, once a part of the Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt.) In the context of Dan. 11:40-44 the "King of the South" makes the first move against "the King." If there is possible validity in regarding references to the "King of the South' and the "King of the North" as identifying locations rather than nations, is it worthy of consideration that the ideology of al-Qaeda originated in Egypt, and influential leaders such as Ayman al-Zawahiri are Egyptian? Is it possible that Dan. 11:40-44 is being fulfilled by al-Qaeda and ISIS, unnoticed?

The archdeceiver sows confusion about the end times:-

Devil is working hard on securing end times

Francis is not shy about preaching on how the battle between good and evil has already begun

In short, this pope is a believer in the end times who’s convinced they aren’t merely coming but are, in a sense, already being played out before our eyes. This, likewise, is someone who believes the devil is real and perceives a demonic hand at work in current events.

For example: The Vatican summary of his weekday homily Nov. 28 quotes him as saying: “The devil pushes us to be unfaithful to the Lord. Sometimes he pushes hard.”

Francis went on to add that this is more than just individual temptation. Scripture, he pointed out, “speaks to us about a universal temptation, about a universal trial, about the time when ... the whole of the Lord’s creation will be faced with this choice between God and evil, God and the prince of the world.”

That time, he made clear, is now.

Cautious, optimistic

That said, it’s important to realize nothing Pope Francis has said lends support to sweaty-palms predictions that the end of the world is imminent. On the contrary, much that the pope has said and done seems to reflect the assumption that Church and world will both be around for a long time.

This last paragraph says it all. In it is a contradiction of the end-times prophecies of the Bible, the biblical predictions of how the Remnant of God who are loyal to the true Christ will be persecuted by the papal power, and a perverse reversal of roles between persecutor and persecuted. Of course, it is obvious that the identity of the Church of Rome as the persecutor must of necessity be revealed in the end; but how many billions will be lost because of the delusion that Rome and her ecumenical allies are the true Church of Christ?!

The Bible states that "the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:9b.) The fulfillment of Luke 21:34 reveals that "God is no longer restraining the power of Satan in his control of the nations of earth." The devil is well aware of this spiritual reality, and is working feverishly under the pretence that he is the spirit of Jesus Christ, ensnaring multitudes into delusions about his true identity.

Pope Francis is prompted by Satan to make the admission that "the battle between good and evil has already begun." Does the reader recognize that it is intensifying into the final "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14; Rev. 17:14)?

Given the grip of the Church of Rome on the Religious Right movement and in turn the takeover of the Republican Party by the movement, it is appropriate to focus on the advancing Roman Catholic and Religious Right agenda and its impact on the 2016 presidential election. The twists and turns in the fortunes of the candidates and the triumph of Donald Trump has made the signs difficult to read. However, the Religious Right's agenda is clearly stated in the Republican Party's platform. This fact should be kept in mind in the face of complications within the Party and between the two major parties which obscure the meaning of unfolding events related to Rev. 13:-

From [D]@google.com:

New GOP Platform Aims To Make The Christian Right Even More Powerful

Churches and other tax-exempt institutions are prohibited from political organizing, but Republicans want to change that.

Republicans met in Cleveland this week to finalize their platform in preparation for Donald Trump’s nomination for president. Among the new GOP platform’s highlights ― which include extreme anti-LGBT measures ― is a proposal to repeal a 50-year-old tax law that prohibits churches and other tax-exempt organizations from political organizing.

“This is going to create a revolution among Christian leaders, nonprofit universities, and nonprofits in general,” Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Christian-based Liberty University who has endorsed Donald Trump for president, said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Wednesday.

In 1954, Congress passed an amendment proposed by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson to ban 501(c)(3) organizations ― which includes both churches and charities ― from engaging in political campaign activity. In 1987 Congress adjusted the language of what has come to be known as the “Johnson Amendment” to clarify that the ban applies to statements both endorsing and opposing candidates.

Some believe the law violates religious leaders’ First Amendment rights, but others feel it maintains the integrity of the tax system under which churches and nonprofits do not pay taxes on their income and contributions made to them are tax-deductible by donors.

The Internal Revenue Service upholds the prohibition accordingly, investigating churches and faith leaders who use their tax-exempt platforms to engage in political organizing.

Among the leaders and organizations, like Falwell, who favor repealing the amendment but maintaining religious organizations’ tax exemption, are conservative Christian nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, Catholic anti-abortion organization Priests for Life, and Branch Ministries Inc., whose permit the IRS revoked in the mid-1990s for campaigning against Bill Clinton.

According to a 2014 Pew Research poll, nearly 60 percent of Republicans believe churches should express their political views, compared with 42 percent of Democrats. Just 38 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats, though, think churches should go as far as endorsing candidates.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and Republican platform committee member, said the proposal to repeal the law would be a “priority” of a Trump administration, which nearly 80 percent of white evangelicals said they would support.

Religious organizations should “have the ability to speak freely, and ... should not live in fear of the IRS,” Perkins said, according to Time.

In spite of any fear faith leaders may harbor about sharing their political beliefs, conservative Christians don’t seem to have been particularly hard hit by the law. The Christian right, also called the religious right, has proven to be a powerful organizing force in recent decades, spearheading the movements against abortion and gay rights, as well as so-called “religious liberty” cases that allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

Previous proposals to repeal the Johnson Amendment, submitted by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in 2013 and again in 2015, have failed to pass in Congress. As the Los Angeles Times wrote in an editorial about the proposal in 2013: “Churches may have a 1st Amendment right to endorse candidates, but there is no constitutional right to a tax exemption.”

Reverend Steven Baines of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State expressed similar sentiment in 2012 after a Maryland bishop announced he was “purposely preaching a message that violates the 501(c)(3) status of our tax code” to campaign against President Barack Obama’s reelection.

“Basically what you’re doing when you endorse a candidate from the pulpit is you’re flowing thousands of dollars of non-taxed money to political parties,” Baines told Religion & Politics at the time. “They are turning houses of worship into political action committees without risking that taxable income.” (Blue highlights by Contributor.)

Presidential candidates generally are not wholly committed to their party's platform for political reasons, and they commonly make no serious attempts to implement the platform planks if elected. "Bob Dole famously declared that he didn't even read the GOP platform after the party rejected his proposal to insert a "declaration of tolerance" in place of the anti-abortion plank" (Do party platforms really matter?) Nevertheless, if Tony Perkins is correct that "the proposal to repeal the law would be a “priority” of a Trump administration" and Trump is elected, the Religious Right is on the verge of realizing their goal of freedom from all restraints on political activism. However, the following statement in the above article is worthy of note:

In spite of any fear faith leaders may harbor about sharing their political beliefs, conservative Christians don’t seem to have been particularly hard hit by the law. The Christian right, also called the religious right, has proven to be a powerful organizing force in recent decades, spearheading the movements against abortion and gay rights, as well as so-called “religious liberty” cases that allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

The fact is that the Church of Rome and the Religious Right are much closer to fulfilling Rev. 13:15-17 than many care to recognize. The final movements will be rapid ones, and they may roll up on us sooner than now appears possible.

The British have voted to leave the European Union (EU,) which has been a scheme to recreate and expand the Holy Roman Empire. This result of the Brexit referendum has sent shock waves aroung the globe. The EU is part of a process of globalization, which is also a perceptible scheme of the papacy to achieve world domination, consistent with Bible prophecy:-

Britain Votes to Leave E.U.; Cameron Plans to Step Down

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, a historic decision sure to reshape the nation’s place in the world, rattle the Continent and rock political establishments throughout the West. . .

European leaders acknowledged that the British vote would further limit their ability to move forward with economic and political integration, a process that had all but stalled anyway.

“Today marks a turning point for Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said. “It is a turning point for the European unification process.” . . .

Britain will become the first country to leave the 28-member bloc, which has been increasingly weighed down by its failures to deal fully with a succession of crises, from the financial collapse of 2008 to a resurgent Russia and the huge influx of migrants last year. . .

For the European Union, the result is a disaster, raising questions about the direction, cohesion and future of a bloc built on liberal values and shared sovereignty that represents, with NATO, a vital component of Europe’s postwar structure. . .

The loss of Britain is an enormous blow to the credibility of a bloc already under pressure from slow growth, high unemployment, the migrant crisis, Greece’s debt woes and the conflict in Ukraine.

“The main impact will be massive disorder in the E.U. system for the next two years,” said Thierry de Montbrial, founder and executive chairman of the French Institute of International Relations. “There will be huge political transition costs, on how to solve the British exit, and the risk of a domino effect or bank run from other countries that think of leaving.”

Europe will have to “reorganize itself in a system of different degrees of association,” said Karl Kaiser, a Harvard professor and former director of the German Council on Foreign Relations. . .

Other anti-establishment and far-right parties in Europe, like the National Front of Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders’s party in the Netherlands and the Alternative for Germany party will celebrate the outcome. The depth of anti-Europe sentiment could be a key factor in national elections scheduled next year in the other two most important countries of the European Union, France and Germany.

With European leaders, including Angela Merkel of Germany, predicting a limitation of the EU nations' ability to move forward with economic and political integration, the question is whither bound is the Vatican's new Holy Roman Empire in the making? As far as the EU is concerned, the European leaders (and the Vatican) are probably genuinely disappointed that they were not able to draw the British into their currency and policy of political integration. They should not be disappointed that a major obstacle in the way of integration is being removed. The British have always resisted integration into a Eurpoean superstate, as was pointed out in a number of reports before the Brexit referendum vote:

Brexit: the best argument for Britain to leave the European Union:

Poll results have started to come in in this week's historic vote on Brexit— British exit from the EU. And it's looking like there's a real possibility that the United Kingdom will vote to leave. Many people view this as a disaster for the European Union.

But Andrew Lilico, a British economist at the consulting firm Europe Economics, argues that it's more complicated than that. He views the creation and expansion of the EU over the past half-century as a great accomplishment with benefits for both Britain and continental Europe. But he now believes it would now be better — for both Britain and the rest of the EU — for Britain to leave.

Why? Lilico believes that British exit from the EU became inevitable as soon as soon as the UK refused to join Europe’s common currency project. The euro has been an economic disaster, creating shockingly high unemployment rates in peripheral EU countries like Greece and Spain.

Lilico argues that the euro can only work well if the eurozone becomes a single integrated superstate. And he argues that the UK’s presence within the EU has become the most important obstacle to deeper European integration. . .

Brexit vote would bring EU states closer together, says French finance minister:

European countries would counter the economic shock of a British vote to leave the EU by accelerating plans for closer integration, the French finance minister has said. . .

Europe struggles with integration — and Britain struggles with Europe:

On Thursday, British voters will have the opportunity to express their collective opinion on whether to remain in the European Union. "Brexit" is the shorthand term for leaving. The referendum of Prime Minister David Cameron's government has been extremely controversial, even within his own Conservative Party.

However, the referendum does reflect the strong established currents within Britain of skepticism and outright opposition to European economic and political integration. . .

In 2005, Britain also led the way in vetoing a proposed comprehensive European Constitution. The risk of losing aid from Brussels encouraged politically astute Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision. Additionally, European backers of integration had grown more ambitious, alienating Britain and others with visions of expanding EU authority at the expense of national sovereignty. . .

British resistance to institutional engagement in Europe is deeply rooted historically, traceable at least to the 16th century. According to one story, King Henry VIII had a portrait of himself painted in which he held in one hand a pair of scales labeled Austria and France. In his other hand, he held a weight capable of tipping the balance in favor of one state or the other. This image is a useful symbol for British policies toward the continent in the centuries that have followed. Britain proved crucial in defeating Napoleon and then Hitler. . .

A penchant for separation from continental European institutions, as illustrated by the story about King Henry VIII, includes the Holy Roman Empire, of which Britain was never a part. It is worthy of note that major nations such as France were not a part. Now, even without Britain a new Holy Roman Empire comprised of European Union nations is vastly expanded from the old. This is in harmony with the papacy's global ambition.

Notwithstanding pessimism about the future of the European Union expressed by Angela Merkel and other European leaders, Britain's vote to leave the EU has been followed swiftly by plans for a superstate:

Is a European Superstate in the Near Future?

In the wake of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union, pundits the world over have pondered the future of the influential (and largely economic) coalition of European states. Several of the most powerful remaining of these member-states, however, seem to be wasting no time in charting that future course for themselves.

Polish broadcaster TVP has obtained a 9-page excerpt from a document endorsed by the foreign ministers of both Germany and France detailing what appears to be a road-map toward a more federalized European Union; a new development that could weaken the individual sovereignty of the participants and pave the way for something akin to “the United States of Europe.”

Britain dodges European Union ‘superstate’ bullet with plans revealed days after Brexit vote

THE EU has unveiled plans to morph the continent’s countries into one giant superstate just days after Britain voted to leave the EU, it is claimed.

Foreign ministers from France and Germany presented the radical proposals to do away with individual member states’ armies, criminal law systems and central banks, The Sun reports.

The blueprint suggests the 27 states in the bloc would also lose what is left of their powers to control their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees, according to reports by Polish media.

Instead all powers would be transferred to Brussels under the controversial plans.

In a foreword to the nine-page report seen by the Daily Express, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault said: “Our countries share a common destiny and a common set of values … that give rise to an even closer union between our citizens.

“We will therefore strive for a political union in Europe and invite the next Europeans to participate in this venture.”

The EU is seen as an example of the need for nations to think globally in order to survive in a world economy marked by the rapid development of technology. Globalization is also precisely what serves the purpose of the papacy, and the dragon power behind the throne (Rev. 13:2, last part.) There is a critical distinction between globalization and internationalization:

Globalization Versus Internationalization

 Globalization, considered by many to be the inevitable wave of the future, is frequently confused with internationalization, but is in fact something totally different. Internationalization refers to the increasing importance of international trade, international relations, treaties, alliances, etc. Inter-national, of course, means between or among nations. The basic unit remains the nation, even as relations among nations become increasingly necessary and important. Globalization refers to global economic integration of many formerly national economies into one global economy, mainly by free trade and free capital mobility, but also by easy or uncontrolled migration. It is the effective erasure of national boundaries for economic purposes. International trade (governed by comparative advantage) becomes interregional trade (governed by absolute advantage). What was many becomes one.

The very word "integration" derives from "integer", meaning one, complete, or whole. Integration is the act of combining into one whole. Since there can be only one whole, only one unity with reference to which parts are integrated, it follows that global economic integration logically implies national economic disintegration. By disintegration I do not mean that the productive plant of each country is annihilated, but rather that its parts are torn out of their national context (dis-integrated), in order to be re-integrated into the new whole, the globalized economy. As the saying goes, to make an omelette you have to break some eggs. The disintegration of the national egg is necessary to integrate the global omelette. . .

It is obvious that economics is a major vehicle for the supranational global government planned by the Vatican. This is to accomplish political integration where this cannot be accomplished through religious ecumenism. Rome is on the march on all fronts:

The EU, the UK and The Future of the Global Economy

The rapid spread of information of technology has made it almost impossible for governments to control cross border capital flows or regulate the production, marketing and distribution of multinational enterprise. Perhaps more importantly, most economists see globalization as the engine of world economic growth and prosperity. Indeed, many point to the formation of the European Union (EU) as one of the more striking examples of the need to think globally to survive in the new economy. . .

In truth, globalization is much more than simply the integration of different economic systems. It is, rather, the merging of social and political value systems, as well as economies, although admittedly proponents of globalization have tended to focus on the economic aspects alone. . .

The EU nations have greatly helped shape the future for all nations but this great example in governance cannot succeed without the UK. [It remains to be seen whether success is dependent on UK involvement.]

IN ANY EVENT, no matter what happens in Europe, globalization is here to stay, both by irreversible technological conditions AND as the ultimate objective of the papacy and the dragon. The world is rapidly advancing towards the apocalyptic union of nations against the Lamb of God and those who are with Him; but their end and that of the papacy will be as described in Rev. 17:12-18.

A Jesuit has been appointed head of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Jesuit appointed head of US religious freedom commission

Jesuit priest Fr. Thomas Reese was first appointed to a two-year term as a member of the commission by President Barack Obama in 2014, and re-appointed in 2016.

Now he will take over as the chair of the organization, an independent, bipartisan commission that monitors and reviews religious freedom violations around the world, and makes policy recommendations to the Secretary of State, Congress and the president. . .

Created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, the commission issues annual reports on the state of religious freedom around the world, and names countries that are guilty of severe religious freedom violations during the previous year. It also holds public hearings and conducts fact-finding missions to aid in its efforts.

In taking over as chair of the body, Fr. Reese replaces Princeton law professor Dr. Robert George.

Fr. Reese serves as the senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter. Previously, he served as editor-in-chief at America Magazine – a publication of the Jesuit order – from 1998-2005 and its associate editor from 1978-1985. Fr. Reese also was a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center from 1985-1998, and again from 2008-2013.

In his time at America, the Vatican raised issues with several articles published at the magazine, including some on abortion and homosexuality. Fr. Reese resigned from the publication in May 2015.

The appointment of Jesuit Thomas Reese is not as dramatic a change as might appear at first sight. His predecessor Dr. Robert George is also a Roman Catholic, and is identified with an extreme right-wing Roman Catholic ideology. The appointment of Thomas Reese more than likely signals a swing of the pendulum of power from neo-conservative Catholics to the “liberals,” (Jesuit concern for the poor and condemnation of unbridled capitalism.) Robert George has also made explicit statements about the meaning of religious freedom in Roman Catholic theology.

On the surface the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom would be expected to be committed to individual religious liberty and to separation of Church and State as the best guarantee of religious freedom. There is overwhelming evidence that these cannot be the true objectives of the organization. Furthermore, the passages in the last bookmark were written in 2013, with a focus on the farcical idea that the Church of Rome could be genuinely committed to religious freedom for any but the Roman Catholic hierarchy (Cf. "The freedom of the Church . . .;" "Professor George is chairman . . .") This focus did not include the role of the US Congress in legislating for religious freedom around the globe. There are troubling aspects to this legislation, in both its origins and its implementation. Of great significance is the fact that evangelical Christians played a major role in its passage:

Politics of Religious Freedom: Case Studies

In the United States, the U.S. Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998 during the second term of the Clinton Administration. The Act both expressly invoked religious freedom as a human right recognized in U.S. and international law alike and established a Commission on International Religious Freedom to monitor, promote, and protect that right worldwide The implementation of IRFA has had mixed results and has changed over time. IRFA has been criticized for the disproportionate role American evangelical Christians played in its passage, for its preoccupation with the plight of Christians rather than that of other religious minorities, and the systemic inequality produced by majoritarian religious politics. . .

The American foreign policy establishment itself has begun to appreciate the complexity of the world religious landscape in which IRFA seeks to intervene. In other words, since its passage, IRFA has been subject to a variety of transformations and critiques from within and without.

Legislating International Religious Freedom

With the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998, the United States became one of the few countries in the world to make promotion of religious freedom an explicit foreign policy goal. The act, signed into law by President Clinton, established an Office of International Religious Freedom at the State Department, headed by an ambassador-at-large responsible for issuing a yearly country-by-country report on religious

freedom. . .

The 1998 act also created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent government agency that issues its own annual report and makes policy recommendations to the State Department, Congress and the president.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the American Academy of Religion and the Library of Congress’ Kluge Center invited four distinguished experts to explore why the U.S. has made international religious freedom a priority and in what ways the policy has succeeded or failed. . .

TIMOTHY S. SHAH: Almost precisely 25 years ago, on November 25th, 1981, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a declaration on religious freedom, or in classic diplomatic language, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. That mouthful hints at the lengthy and torturous deliberations required for the UN to draft this declaration, a process that took something like 20 years. But in the end the world body achieved a fairly robust consensus and was able to declare forthrightly that “All states shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.”

Twenty-five years after that landmark declaration, only two countries in the world have made the advancement of international religious freedom an explicit and significant goal of their foreign policies. One is the Vatican city-state and the other is the United States of America. . .

ALLEN D. HERTZKE: I want to start by providing the context for the legislation. What were the conditions underlying the legislative initiative? The first condition is the globalization of Christianity. The tectonic shift of the Christian population to the developing world of Asia, Africa and Latin America provide the crucial underpinning for this movement. It created a constituency around the world that communicates with an American constituency here at home. Some two thirds of all Christians live in Asia, Africa and Latin America today, and the percentage is growing. Many of these Christians live amidst conditions of poverty, exploitation, war and religious persecution; these communities communicate with their counterparts here in the United States and sensitize many lay Americans to the problem of religious persecution.

The second condition is related to the importance of religion in the modern world. The pervasiveness of religious persecution has a lot to do religion’s importance. As Samuel Huntington noted in one work, “If religion is unimportant, it can be tolerated. If it is important, governments will insist on controlling it, regulating it, suppressing or prohibiting it, or manipulating it to their own advantage.” That context helps explain why persecution endures in so many parts of the world today.

The pervasiveness of persecution and the globalization of Christianity also create another context: the potential for allies in the campaign against persecution. What began initially in 1996 as a campaign primarily for persecuted Christians blossomed into a concern for persecuted religious minorities. Evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant Christians found allies among Tibetan Buddhists, Iranian Bahai, Buddhists in Southeast Asia and China, and Muslim Uighars in western China. Many U.S. Christian groups, which began with what we might call a parochial concern about their own, became sensitized to the issue, more broadly, of religious freedom and the persecution of minorities. This created what I call the “unlikely alliance” that made the legislation seem compelling to members of Congress.

The final piece of the puzzle had to do with church-based networks here in the United States, and, in particular, the activation of evangelical networks on behalf of the legislation. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam has written about how the evangelical community has built, in the last quarter century, the most vibrant social movement network we have seen in recent years. Those social-movement networks were mobilized initially on behalf of domestic, conservative issues but were activated later on behalf of international religious freedom.

As Allen D. Hertzke points out in the above quotation, "What began initially in 1996 as a campaign primarily for persecuted Christians blossomed into a concern for persecuted religious minorities." The "globalization of Christiantity" was the root cause of concern about religious persecution, and this is emphasized by the following article in the Israeli publication Jewish Israel:

When Religious Freedom becomes Religious Tyranny

A disproportionate amount of the report is dedicated to depicting Torah traditions and Orthodox Judaism as oppressive, and to reporting on Israel’s “growing” but “harassed” community of apostate Jews and Christian missionaries. . .

On the right to proselytize:

The report places an unusual emphasis on the right of missionaries to proselytize in Israel. This entitlement is mentioned throughout the lengthy report:

“Proselytizing is legal in the country and missionaries of all religious groups are allowed to proselytize all citizens.”

“Society's attitudes toward missionary activities and conversion generally were negative. Most Jews were opposed to missionary activity directed at Jews, and some were hostile to Jewish converts to Christianity. While proselytism is officially legal, missionaries continued to face harassment and discrimination by some Jewish activists and organizations.”

“Despite harassment, the number of Messianic Jews and evangelical Christians has grown in recent years through both immigration and conversion. During the reporting period, however, increased press reporting and complaints from religious freedom activists indicated a corresponding increase in Yad L'achim and associated activism, and a growing wider backlash against the presence of evangelical Christian or Messianic Jewish congregations and missionaries living in Jewish communities. Exacerbating these tensions was the widespread but false belief that proselytizing is illegal in the country.”

It’s clear that the US State Department deems proselytizing a religious right (under the International Religious Freedoms Act of 1998), but it appears evident from the report that the majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens are opposed to, or feel harassed by, such a practice in the Jewish state - so much so that the populace makes the natural assumption that missionary activity is illegal (and, indeed, it should be). . .

Agudath Israel of America reacts:

It’s been reported that Agudath Israel of America’s executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel issued the following statement regarding the U.S. State Department’s recent release of its “International Religious Freedom Report” for 2009:

“Much of the criticism of Israel in the U.S. Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2009 is misplaced.”

“The United States is rightly proud of its tradition as a republic that embraces no official religion. But numerous other countries, with equal pride, define themselves as Muslim or Christian. One country was created as a Jewish state. Israel’s choice of timeless Jewish tradition in the public realm and with regard to issues of personal status requires no apology. Criticism of Israel for being true to its foundational ideal is ill-conceived.”

The Jerusalem Post also issued a news story on the Religious Freedoms report.

The Bitter Irony:

Jewish Israel feels the State Department’s report is a clear case of Judeo-Christian tolerance and values becoming tyranny.

In a sort of “clash of civilizations”, Jewish heritage and tradition has been pitted against American-style Freedom of Religion and Democracy (with a little Christian nationalism thrown in for good measure).

The bitter irony is that it was Orthodox Jew Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute, who in the mid-1990’s, teamed up with evangelicals and spearheaded the Congressional International Religious Freedoms Act of 1998 which would result in the current State Department reports which are now challenging Israel’s right to be a Jewish nation.

That this law and subsequent reports would be used to defend missionary activity in Israel, promote “messianic” Christianity as Judaism, and pressure Israel into withdrawing counter -missionary legislation, was written on the wall early on, and in a number of publications. Why Jews like Michael Horowitz chose to ignore the signs is beyond us.

There is a complex of issues and questions raised by the articles from which the foregoing quotations have been drawn. The Roman Catholic connection alone is complicated and contradictory. Looking first at the Evangelical (Religious Right) involvement in the passage and implementation of the International Religious Freedom legislation, it is essential to recognize the Church of Rome's role in politicizing the Evangelical Protestants. Rome continues to manipulate the Evangelicals, although there are disagreements on Zionism. Moreover, through the Religious Right the Roman Catholic Church had taken over the Republican Party, which controlled both the House and the Senate at the time of the legislation. (Cf. The American Party of God; Theocratic Dictatorship - "Two vast movements . . .". The evidence is overwhelming that the Church of Rome has acquired domination over the US Congress through the Evangelical Protestants.

The quotation from "Jewish Israel" above puts the spotlight on one area of disagreement between Rome and the Evangelicals. The Vatican has made a firm commitment to desist from proselytizing the Jews. Interestingly, Rome has asserted the right to "evangelize" all other religions and faiths, ("In this and all of the other ecumenical activities . . .";) while also promoting the contradictory goal of bringing all together in diversity. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom accomodates all aspects of the Vatican's drive towards the goal of global dominance, including its contradictions.

There is much ado about the threat of Sharia Law. Here is an example of the all-encompassing interest and influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the laws of nations:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis with judges at the Vatican: The Church must get involved in greater politics

The Pope held a meeting at the Vatican with a hundred judges from around the world. They participated in the Summit of Judges on human trafficking and organized crime that brought together legal experts to analyze this scourge and seek to combat it. . .

Pope Francis explained that the Church is also called on to engage in the field of politics and again requested the abolition of the death penalty.

There is only one period in earth's history when judgment between humans could safely be committed to the Church:

Church-State Relations (Official SDA Statement; caveat: as a reflection of the great apostasy, this statement endorses a much greater involvement by the Church in national and international politics and government than is consistent with the gospel commission)

The appropriate relation between religion and the state was best exemplified in the life of our Savior and example, Jesus Christ. As one of the Godhead, Jesus held unparalleled authority on earth. He had divine insight,[6] divine power,[7] and a Holy charter.[8] If anyone in the history of the world had the right to force others to worship as he dictated, it was Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus never used force to advance the gospel.[9]It is for the followers of Christ to emulate this example. . .

[4] The example of ancient Israel under theocratic rule is sometimes used to justify modern efforts to legislate religious mandates. Such justifications misapply Biblical precedent. For a relatively short period of this earth's history, God used particular methods to preserve His message for the world. These methods were based on a mutually agreed upon covenant between God and a family that grew into a relatively small nation. During this period, God directly ruled in a manner He has not chosen to utilize since. The experience of direct rule by God based on a mutually agreed upon covenant, while of invaluable importance to our understanding of the Lord, is not directly applicable to how modern nations should be ruled. Rather, the more applicable example of the relationship between the church and the state is that provided by Jesus Christ.

It was Christ who clearly stated the principle of separation of church and state. Therefore, Pope Francis' statement that "the Church is also called on to engage in the field of politics" is in direct contradiction to the Word of Him whom the Pope claims to represent - one of the numerous manifestations of the spirit of the Antichrist.

When the Pope declares that "the Church is also called on to engage in the field of politics" in the context of an international gathering of judges, what is the implicit objective? We have the answer to this question in the administration of justice in the United States, and particularly in the Supreme Court, which is the final interpreter of constitutional questions. The 2000 presidential election case of Bush v. Gore is a glaring example of the intent to impose Roman Catholic governance on the United States. In the Editor's Preface to the Watchman, What of the Night? essay "The Forming of the Image To the Beast Is It Now Accomplished?" Elder Wm. H. Grotheer wrote:

The selection by the Supreme Court of the President of the United States in a five to four decision, with three of the five judges confessed Romanists, plus the rapid fire changes initiated by the President without a clear mandate to govern, clearly indicates the meaning of what we have been told - "the final movements will be rapid ones. "Consideration needs to be given to the fact that the common bond between the Religious Right and the Hierarchy of the Roman Church is the issue of abortion, and the basis of this factor is grounded in the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.

Note his statement about the common bond between the Religious Right and the Hierarchy of the Roman Church. It is highly probable that Seventh-day Adventists are looking for a more obvious manifestation of coercion to accept the dogma of the immortality of the soul than the anti-abortion campaign. This would be inconsistent with the character of Satan, whose modus operandi is deception, which has been greatly intensified over the centuries. The process of Roman Catholic domination of the United States by behind-the-scenes manipulation was effectively started under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and this was greatly accelerated under George W. Bush. The Roman Catholic Church has achieved a majority on the US Supreme Court, and this has resulted in decisions enforcing Church doctrine and dogma in areas including abortion and contraception, both inextricably tied to the immortality of the soul.

Three days after his initial meeting with the judges, Pope Francis made an unexpected appearance at the "Judges Summit," and delivered a speech. The text of the speech contain some revealing statements:

Pope Francis addresses Judges' summit on human trafficking and organized crime

I would like to warmly greet you and renew the expression of my esteem for your cooperation and contribution towards human and social progress, a task of which the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is more than capable.

If I'm happy for this contribution and proud of you, it is in consideration of the remarkable service you can offer to humanity — both through an understanding of indifference and its extreme forms in the globalised world — and through solutions facing this challenge, trying to improve the living conditions of the needy among our brothers and sisters. Following Christ, the Church is called to engage and to be faithful to people, even more in the case of situations where open wounds and dramatic suffering are present, and where values, ethics, social sciences and faith are involved; situations in which the testimony of you all as individuals and humanists, together with your own social expertise, is particularly appreciated. . .

The meeting on 2 December 2014 with the leaders of today's most influential religions in this globalised world, and the summit on 21 July 2015 with the mayors of the major cities of the world, have shown the willingness of this Academy to pursue the eradication of new forms of slavery. I hold a special memory of these two meetings, as well as the noteworthy youth symposiums, all due to the initiative of the Academy.

Now, inspired by the same motivation, the Academy has brought you together, judges and prosecutors from around the world, with practical experience and wisdom in eradicating human trafficking, smuggling and organised crime. You have come here representing your colleagues with the praiseworthy aim of making progress in spreading awareness of these scourges and consequently manifesting your irreplaceable mission to face the new challenges posed by the globalisation of indifference, responding to society's growing concern and respecting national and international laws. Taking charge of one's own vocation also means feeling, and proclaiming oneself, free from the pressures of governments, private institutions and, of course, the "structures of sin" of which my predecessor John Paul II spoke, particularly in regard to organised crime. Without this freedom, a nation's judiciary is corrupted and corrupting.

Fortunately, for the realisation of this complex and delicate human and Christian project of freeing humanity from the new slaveries and organised crime, which the Academy has undertaken following my request, we can also count on the important and decisive synergy with the United Nations. . .

You are called to give hope and to do justice. From the widow seeking justice insistently (Lk: 18,1-8), to the victims of today, all fuel a desire for justice and a hope that the injustice that passes through this world is not final, that it does not have the last word. . .

If there is anything that runs through the Beatitudes and the protocol of divine judgment according to the Gospel of Matthew (Ch. 25), it is the issue of justice: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who suffer for justice, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed by our Father are those who treat the most needy and least of my brothers and sisters as myself. They — and here I am referring especially to judges — will have the highest reward: they shall inherit the earth, and they will be called children of God, they shall see God, and enjoy eternity with the heavenly Father.

In this spirit, I am encouraged to ask judges, prosecutors and academics to continue their work and carry out, within their own means and with the help of Grace, successful initiatives that honour them in the service of people and the common good.

The passages from the Pope's speech quoted above were selected for their obvious reference to religion, and the Christian religion in particular. There are other passages which state the interest of the Church of Rome in an all-encompassing involvement with society at large:

We must generate a crosscutting wave of "good vibes" to embrace the whole of society from top to bottom, from the periphery to the centre and back, from leaders to communities, and from villages and public opinion to the key players in society. As the religious, social and civic leaders have realized, achieving this requires that judges too become fully aware of this challenge, feeling the importance of their responsibility towards society, sharing their experiences and best practices and acting together to break down barriers and open new paths of justice to promote human dignity, freedom, responsibility, happiness and, ultimately, peace.

This reminiscent of Pope John-Paul's dictum recorded by Malachi Martin:

No human activity escapes the religious dimension, he said; but especially important are the activities that constitute the sociopolitical life of men and women wherever they reside. Indeed, the note that dominated and animated that encyclical document was John Paul's insistence that the hard, intractable problems of the world—hunger, violation of human dignity and human rights, war and violence, economic oppression, political persecution—any and all of these can be solved only by acceptance and implementation of the message of Christ's revelation announced by the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. (Underscored and italicized emphasis added.)

The fact is that civil government should be concerned only with maintaining an orderly society, administering justice, and taxing citizens to meet the costs of government. This is to be separated from religion, and this should be recognized by any entity that professes to be a Christian Church. Moreover, human nature being what it is, diversity of Christian denominations is inevitable, as Roger Williams recognized:

God, Government and Roger Williams' Big Idea

Williams believed that preventing error in religion was impossible, for it required people to interpret God’s law, and people would inevitably err. He therefore concluded that government must remove itself from anything that touched upon human beings’ relationship with God.

The intrusion of the doctrines of one Christian denomination or another into civil government is a clear violation of the declaration by Jesus Christ of the principle of separation of church and state. The apostles Peter (1 Peter 2:13-17, and Paul (Romans 13:1-7) clearly recognized this principle in their statements on government. Indeed, the New Commentary on the Whole Bible (Based on Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown) states on Romans 13:

This chapter introduces the second section of exhortations, and the apostle moves directly from personal matters to the realm of the Christian’s responsibility in politics. In this section Paul notes that the Christian is responsible to the state because the government is an institution of God and is blessed of God. Most commentators divide this chapter into two basic sections: political ethics (13:1-7) and personal ethics (13:8-14)

In commenting on 13:3-4, this significant statement is made: "The statement applies equally to all forms of government, from an unchecked despotism—such as flourished when this was written under the Emperor Nero—to a democracy."

Christian principle demands that civil government must be kept separate from religion. Pope Francis' statement that "the Church is also called on to engage in the field of politics," is a direct challenge to that principle. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences has no business being involved in conference with judges from all over the world. When Rome is involved in the administration of justice, however worthy the cause of eradicating human trafficking and organized Crime, it is an ill omen for the future of religious liberty for the individual law-abiding citizen.

Reminiscent of major civil rights demonstrations on the National Mall (250,000 at the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" and Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech; 837,000 +/- at the "Million Man March,") "Evangelical leaders are calling on 1 million Christians to gather together in the nation's capital next month for prayer and worship at a historic event called "Together 2016":-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis Joins Lecrae, Hillsong at Historic 1 Million-Strong 'Together 2016' DC Event

Inspired by Nick Hall, the founder of PULSE, a prayer and evangelism movement to empower the church and awaken the culture to Jesus, Americans are being urged to unite on the National Mall on July 16 to offer prayer that God will change the hearts of a divided America.

Adding his name to the lineup of pominent [sic] guest speakers and musicians is Pope Francis, who will deliver a video message addressing the crowd.

"We are humbled and honored by his involvement and are eager to share his message with the crowd that gathers at Together 2016," Hall said in a statement to The Christian Post, reacting to the announcement that the pope has added his name to the list of speakers. "That His Holiness would choose to speak into this historic day is a testament to the urgency and the need for followers of Jesus to unite in prayer for our nation and our world."

Hall, a college pastor, came up with the radical idea of uniting pastors and Christian leaders from all denominational backgrounds to join 1 million people at the free event in hopes of inspiring true revival in the America. . .

"The times call for this moment," Hall said. "It is time to gather on a large scale and draw our attention back to where it really matters. Our hope and our help are found in Jesus, not in political leaders. We are going to come together, seek God, pray for our nation and pray for unity. Our goal is to gather as a unified front, seeking Jesus and change for our nation through prayer and worship."

It is no surprise that Pope Francis will address this gathering by video. This is a charismatic event, and he is deeply involved in the movement. Moreover, unlike Jesus who made His escape from the multitude who wanted to make Him King (John 6:14-15,) the Pope basks in the adoration of the crowds. Every report of his public appearances describes the "adoring" crowds, and his popularity bridges great divides. Unity is spite of diversity is the goal (Benedict XVI on Unity in Diversity to Interreligious Dialogue Leaders in Jerusalem.) It is predictable that the multitude at "Together 2016" will be in a spiritual frenzy born of the delusion that they are being filled with the Holy Spirit:

How a God-Given Dream for a 'Modern-Day Pentecost' Became a Reality

Nick Hall wants to see a nation bow a knee to Jesus Christ this summer in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Although many are skeptical about the manifestation of this verse's promise—"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land"—these God-given instructions have led to transforming revivals throughout history and could again.

Though it seems too long ago, the First and Second Great Awakenings, the Azusa Street Revival and Billy Graham's Explo '72 are among the fruit of this promise in America. Together 2016, a free event that invites Christians worldwide to unite July 16 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., could be one more step toward the tipping point that brings awakening to the nation. . .

Like the nation, Hall's Together 2016 wasn't birthed overnight. Hall has been thinking about it, praying for it and working on it for over 10 years. It all started during student prayer meetings at Pulse in North Dakota. Students were making intercession for revival in their generation. As Pulse grew, Hall heard similar petitions from other campus ministries and groups across the country. They all looked for a generation-defining moment: a spiritual reset for America. . .

With a clear vision from God, Hall started reaching out to other prominent Christians to join his movement. The list of names grew quickly. R. York Moore, national evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA and a longtime friend, says he has the same heart for revival.

"What we haven't seen is the move of the Holy Spirit in such a way that it revitalizes the institutions of society," says Moore. "We haven't seen that in generations. I think something like Together 2016 has the capacity to create an altar. No one can schedule a revival—we're not claiming to do that—but I think when God's people come together and humble themselves before Him, it creates an altar. An altar is something God can consume." . . .

As the team started to assemble around the project, Hall was soon overwhelmed with the scale of resetting America. He tried to pitch his "God-sized vision," to other ministries. He spoke to the heads of Cru, Navigators and Young Life. He even visited Billy Graham at his house and asked if the renowned evangelist was interested in taking on this project.

"Even Billy Graham sat up in his chair, and his eyes lit up," says Hall. "He was super into it. When we started to talk about gathering a movement at the Mall, you could see the fire in his eyes, like he'd seen a vision from the Lord. We kept getting green lights from mentors we respected who we considered spiritual fathers. And yet they all said, 'This is great—you guys should do this. We believe in you.' . . .

With that, Hall got to work and trusted God to come through. As if on cue, it seemed the proverbial mountains started falling into the sea. Together 2016 required $10 million of fundraising—Hall had never raised more than $1 million in his life—and the finances rolled in. The National Mall's reservation policies made it almost impossible to set an exact date more than a year in advance, yet Hall got rapid approval for the exact date he wanted. He had no connections to procure guest speakers and artists, but God brought the big names to him, including Lecrae, Samuel Rodriguez, Ravi Zacharias—and Pope Francis.

"A couple of weeks ago, we got a call from the Vatican, saying the pope is going to be recording a prayer and a little video message if we want to share it on the Mall—in the spirit of unity," says Hall. "You can see how far-reaching it has become. . .

"PULSE [is] a prayer and evangelism movement to empower the church and awaken the culture to Jesus." The movement is empowered, but not by the Holy Spirit. It is by the same spirit, the fallen angel whom God identifies as the dragon (Rev. 12:9.) He gives the beast of Rev. 13:1-8, personified in Pope Francis, "his power, and his seat, and great authority." That same "dragon" commands the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14.

No movement that discards the Truth which alone creates true unity of faith and doctrine is of the Holy Spirit, for it is He Who guides believers into all Truth (John 16:13,) and Who is sent to "reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8-11.)

With the exception of the Remnant (Rom. 9:27-28; Rev. 12:17) whom God is calling out of Babylon and who will not be deluded into submission to Rome, the Protestant world has surrendered its sacred mission to enlighten the world by the Word of God. The papacy is satisfied that "Protestant" now conforms with its definition of "Christian." Rome has also reached a working accommodation with Judaism, and continues to negotiate relentlessly toward the goal of receiving the keys to the City of Jerusalem on this earth and establishing her presence there (Dan. 11:45,) in opposition to the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22.) Now an authorized spokesman for the Vatican has stated that "We have a mission to convert all non-Christian religions’ people [except] Judaism." The statement was made in response to the specific question whether "Catholics must seek to convert Muslims to Christianity":-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Christians have 'mission to convert' Muslims - Cardinal

Christians still have a “mission to convert” Muslims and members of other religions to Christianity even in the face of persecution in the Middle East, one of Pope Francis’s most senior aides has insisted.

But Cardinal Kurt Koch, the Vatican’s head of ecumenical relations, emphasised that Roman Catholic teaching rules out missionary activity aimed at Jewish people because they are regarded as God’s “chosen” people.

He said that, despite fundamental differences in beliefs between the two faiths, especially over the figure of Jesus, Christians should view Judaism as a “mother”.

But, although Islam also shares common roots with the two religions, it did not have the same “unique relationship” as Christianity and Judaism, he insisted.

The Cardinal was speaking after an intense two-day round of interfaith dialogue between senior Catholic and Jewish leaders behind closed doors, organised through the Woolf Institute in Cambridge. . .

“In this sense we have only with Jewish people this unique relationship that we have not with Islam.”

Asked whether this meant Catholics must seek to convert Muslims to Christianity, he said: “We have a mission to convert all non-Christian religions’ people [except] Judaism.

“And what is very important for us is that we can make mission only with a credible witness and without any proselytism.”

He added that this extended to the Jihadi groups responsible for persecution of Christians in the Middle East. . .

The question is not if the Roman Catholic and Muslim worlds will come together eventually. The prophecy is clear: ". . . and all the world wondered [margin "followed"] after the beast," (Rev. 13:3.) The question is when, - before or after the false messiah appears? His appearance will be centered in Jerusalem (Isa. 14; Isa. 2.)

Triggered by the Brexit campaign in Britain (cf. EU referendum poll: pensioners, Tory voters and men are deserting the Brexit campaign, That Brexit was included as a target . . .,) documented reports are proliferating of a much deeper involvement of the United States in the creation of the European Union than suggested in the last entry. It involves the Roman Catholic Church and the CIA; and it accentuates the menacing shadow of the future prophesied in Rev. 13:11-18, which has already been apparent in recent years:-

The European Union Was An AMERICAN Idea

The former Bank of England head Mervyn King said this week that the “depression” in Europe “has happened almost as a deliberate act of policy”. Specifically, King said that the formation of the European Union has doomed Europe to economic malaise. [cf. DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY - A Sign of the last remnant of time]

He points out that Greece is experiencing “a depression deeper than the United States experienced in the 1930s”. . .

Moreover – as Martin Armstrong has warned for decades – letting countries like Greece join the Euro without first structurally adjusting their debts was a recipe for disaster.

So it is fascinating to learn that the U.S. was largely behind the creation of both the European Union and the Euro.

The European Union: Funded By the CIA

Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick Richard J. Aldrich reviewed available historical documents, and concludes that the European Union was largely an American project:

US officials trying to rebuild and stabilize postwar Europe worked from the assumption that it required rapid unification, perhaps leading to a United States of Europe. The encouragement of European unification, one of the most consistent components of Harry S. Truman’s foreign policy, was even more strongly emphasized under his successor General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Moreover, under both Truman and Eisenhower, US policymakers conceived of European unification not only as an important end in itself, but also as a way to solve the German problem.’ . . .

The statement of the former Bank of England head that the “depression” in Europe “has happened almost as a deliberate act of policy” is intriguing. It seems to be beyond belief that this could be remotely possible; and yet in his perceptive sermon on the Papacy A. T. Jones pointed out that uneasiness among the nations, "society racked, everything going to pieces" serves the purpose of the Papacy to gain the ascendancy. Is that what is going on here? This possibility, if not probability, should not be dismissed lightly.

The reports and evidence mount up that the EU was an American project carried out by the CIA:

United States of Europe: EU was created by the CIA

Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.

The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington. They include files released by the US National Archives. Washington's main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948. The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then.

The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA's first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years. . .

The EU – A CIA Covert Operation

The upcoming British referendum on whether to stay in the European Union (EU) represents the culmination of a long term project by the United States to destroy the concept of national sovereignty in the Old World and replace it with a supranational entity with ironclad links to Washington. Whether that longstanding ambition has succeeded will be decided on June 23 – which is why President Barack Obama made a special trip to the Mother Country to give them a little lecture on the alleged evils of nationalism and the goodness of the EU.

Some were shocked at the brazenness of such an aggressive intervention into a purely British affair by a sitting US President, but to anyone who knows the real history of the “European idea,” Obama’s pushiness is hardly surprising.

The European Union was born in the bosom of the Central Intelligence Agency: that’s what declassified documents tell us about the origins of the European project and its progress since the Truman administration.

In the midst of the cold war, the United States and its European allies conceived the EU as the political concomitant of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The basic idea was to counterpose a European identity against the “internationalist” ideology of the Soviets and their increasingly powerful fifth columns in the West. The “European Movement,” which was and still is the “grassroots” organization that relentlessly pushed for the creation of a European super-state, was financed to the tune of $1 million a year by the “American Committee for a United Europe” (ACUE), which was founded by Allen Dulles, who was at that point chairing a committee tasked with looking at how to organize the nascent CIA, and William “Wild Bill” Donovan, who had been head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. Allen Dulles, who would become a CIA’s director, was the Vice President. On the board was Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA’s first director, as well as number of spook-ish figures who played various roles in the American intelligence community at one time or another. Prominent politicians such as Herbert Lehman and businessmen, such as Conrad Hilton, were involved, as well as left-leaning labor leaders, such as David Dubinsky and the ex-Communist Jay Lovestone. CIA agent Tom Braden served as Executive Director.

Covert US financial support to the European federalist movement never amounted to “less than half” of the various groups’ budgets. The money was funneled through the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other private conduits. The head of the Ford Foundation was Paul Hoffman, a former OSS official who played a major leadership role in the ACUE.

The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover

Brexiteers should have been prepared for the shattering intervention of the US. The European Union always was an American project.

It was Washington that drove European integration in the late 1940s, and funded it covertly under the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

While irritated at times, the US has relied on the EU ever since as the anchor to American regional interests alongside NATO.

There has never been a divide-and-rule strategy.

The eurosceptic camp has been strangely blind to this, somehow supposing that powerful forces across the Atlantic are egging on British secession, and will hail them as liberators. . .

The Schuman Declaration that set the tone of Franco-German reconciliation - and would lead by stages to the European Community - was cooked up by the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson at a meeting in Foggy Bottom. "It all began in Washington," said Robert Schuman's chief of staff.

It was the Truman administration that browbeat the French to reach a modus vivendi with Germany in the early post-War years, even threatening to cut off US Marshall aid at a furious meeting with recalcitrant French leaders they resisted in September 1950. . .

For British eurosceptics, Jean Monnet looms large in the federalist pantheon, the emminence grise of supranational villainy. Few are aware that he spent much of his life in America, and served as war-time eyes and ears of Franklin Roosevelt.

General Charles de Gaulle thought him an American agent, as indeed he was in a loose sense. Eric Roussel's biography of Monnet reveals how he worked hand in glove with successive administrations.

It is odd that this magisterial 1000-page study has never been translated into English since it is the best work ever written about the origins of the EU.

Nor are many aware of declassified documents from the State Department archives showing that US intelligence funded the European movement secretly for decades, and worked aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into the project. . .

This last report proves that the European project was not a rogue operation of the CIA. The policy of promoting a federation of European States was approved and promoted at the highest levels of the US government. This is of profound significance in the context of Rev. 13:8,11-18, as the mounting reports of a symbiotic relationship between the CIA and the Vatican establish:

The Real Agenda Behind the CIA Spawning the EU

The U.S. intelligence community was responsible for usurping Europeans' right to self-government, in an effort to impose what Obama recently called “one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times.” As British voters prepare to vote on secession from the European Union super-state, the Obama administration's bizarre intervention to support the pro-EU side has sparked a fresh examination of the shadowy origins of the controversial European regime.

Under scrutiny is the critical backing the EU and its predecessor outfits received at every step of the way from top globalists within the U.S. government, and in particular from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its predecessor. The real goal was always what globalists called an "Atlantic Union," and eventually, a global government. And as the Obama-backed U.S.- EU merger known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) moves forward, that remains the case today, just under a new name and new marketing slogans.

While the information about the CIA's major role in foisting the superstate on Europe is not new, it is back in the headlines. The latest large-scale exposure and discussion of the facts came from the U.K. Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a seemingly establishment-minded journalist who occasionally veers into the truth about what happens behind the scenes. Referring to the “shattering intervention” of the Obama administration in the British Exit (Brexit) debate on the EU, the columnist noted that the supranational regime “always was an American project.” “It was Washington that drove European integration in the late 1940s, and funded it covertly under the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations,” he explained, citing official documents and other sources.

While Evans-Pritchard does not go into detail about the broader globalist agenda, he is right about the EU having always been a CIA project. There can be no doubt that top U.S. globalists worked to unite Europe under a single government. In fact, the evidence is all over the congressional record. The role of the CIA and its predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), is also indisputable at this point. As highlighted again in the Telegraph report and elsewhere, official documents from the agencies, declassified in recent decades, show that the shadowy “intelligence” outfits pumped vast amounts of money and resources into the creation of the European federalist movement across the 1950s and 1960s.

One 1950 declassified memorandum, signed by General William Donovan, the former head of the OSS, even details the plot, as well as instructions on imposing a “European Parliament” on the formerly sovereign nations and peoples of Europe. Today, the rubber-stamp pseudo-Parliament is a reality. Indeed, despite the wishes of Europeans as expressed in numerous referendums, the superstate just keeps usurping more and more power, with a bogus fig-leaf of public accountability provided by the Soviet-style “Parliament” that does not even create legislation. . . (Underlined emphasis added.)

The world power seemingly benefitting most from the European project is the United States. The fact that there is yet another world power, and a religio-political power at that, benefitting even more than the United States is proven by the following reports, which also point to a dramatic fulfillment of the prophecies of Rev. 13, and the sinister and secretive way that these final events of the world's history are shaping up:

The CIA and the Vatican’s Intelligence Apparatus

One day in July 1944, as the Second World War raged throughout Europe, General William “Wild Bill” Donovan was ushered into an ornate chamber in Vatican City for an audience with Pope Pius XII. Donovan bowed his head reverently as the pontiff intoned a ceremonial prayer in Latin and decorated him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester, the oldest and most prestigious of papal knighthoods. This award has been given to only 100 other men in history, who “by feat of arms, or writings, or outstanding deeds, have spread the Faith, and have safeguarded and championed the Church.”

Although a papal citation of this sort rarely, if ever, states why a person is inducted into the “Golden Militia,” there can be no doubt that Donovan earned his knighthood by virtue of the services he rendered to the Catholic hierarchy in World War II, during which he served as chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In 1941, the year before the OSS was officially constituted, Donovan forged a close alliance with Father Felix Morlion, founder of a European Catholic intelligence service known as Pro Deo. When the Germans overran western Europe, Donovan helped Morlion move his base of operations from Lisbon to New York. From then on, Pro Deo was financed by Donovan, who believed that such an expenditure would result in valuable insight into the secret affairs of the Vatican, then a neutral enclave in the midst of fascist Rome. When the Allies liberated Rome in 1944, Morlion re-established his spy network in the Vatican; from there he helped the OSS obtain confidential reports provided by apostolic delegates in the Far East, which included information about strategic bombing targets in Japan.

Pope Pius’ decoration of Wild Bill Donovan marked the beginning of a long-standing, intimate relationship between the Vatican and U.S. intelligence that continues to the present day. For centuries the Vatican has been a prime target of foreign espionage. One of the world’s greatest repositories of raw intelligence, it is a spy’s gold mine. Ecclesiastical, political and economic information filters in every day from thousands of priests, bishops and papal nuncios, who report regularly from every corner of the globe to the Office of the Papal Secretariat. So rich was this source of data that shortly after the war, the CIA created a special unit in its counterintelligence section to tap it and monitor developments within the Holy See.

But the CIA’s interest in the Catholic church is not limited to intelligence gathering. The Vatican, with its immense wealth and political influence, has in recent years become a key force in global politics, particularly with Catholicism playing such a pivotal role in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Unbeknownst to most Catholics, the Vatican, which carefully maintains an apolitical image, not only has a foreign office and a diplomatic corps, but also has a foreign policy. And with Polish Communists embracing Catholicism and Latin American Catholics embracing communism, the U.S. government and particularly the CIA have recently taken a much greater interest in Vatican foreign policy. A year-long Mother Jones investigation has revealed a number of unlikely channels — both overt and covert — which the agency uses to bring its influence to bear upon that policy. . .

It was in this last regard that the CIA supported factions within the Catholic church that were instrumental in promoting and electing the current pope [1983,] John Paul II, whose Polish nationalism and anti-Communist credentials, they thought, would make him a perfect vehicle for U.S. foreign policy. . .

Every year in late June a bizarre ritual takes place in Rome. Men and women fly in from all over the world to participate in a ceremony that has been performed for centuries. Next year, the assembled might find CIA director William Casey in their midst. And Casey could well be accompanied by former Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

If they make the journey, Casey and Haig will join a gathering of the world’s Catholic elite on St. John’s Day. Dressed in scarlet uniforms and black capes, brandishing swords and waving flags emblazoned with the eight-pointed Maltese cross, these Catholic brothers and sisters will, in an atmosphere of pomp and circumstance befitting a coronation, swear allegiance to the defense of the Holy Mother Church.

Casey and Haig are both members of the Knights of Malta, a legendary Vatican order dating back to the Crusades, when the “warrior monks” served as the military arm of the Catholic church. . .

Passages in the above article suggest that the CIA has been using the Roman Catholic Church for its own purposes. This is wishful thinking. What is the likelihood that those who "swear allegiance to the defense of the Holy Mother Church" will not be as eager (if not more eager) to advance the cause of the Vatican to be dominant in the world as to serve the interests of their country? In any event, they could do both, and the history of the European Union reveals that this is precisely what happened. Casey and Haig were only two of a number of prominent and faithful Roman Catholics involved in the European Union project.

The following web page contains some erroneous footnotes in small print which are not supported by prophecy. For example, the events predicted in Rev. 13, and the identification of the Woman and the Beast in Rev. 17 given by the Angel, clearly contradict the suggestion that "America as it is, will be destroyed, then re-engineered, re-constituted, enlarged via wars, unions(NAU..) … and finally merged into the Luciferian New World Order, World Government. America 2.0, is the Mystery Babylon Whore of endtimes prophecy." Moreover, the suggestion that the ten kings of Rev. 17:12 are the ten European nations identified in the article Ministers want to “transform EU into federal state” seems implausible, especially given the scope of the suzerainty sought and predicted to be accomplished by Rome. Why, therefore, include the web page in this commentary? It is because of the additional news reports to those cited above. Overall, the evidence of a plot by the conspirators of Rome and the United States to create a federation of European States is overwhelming:

The European Union Always Was a CIA Project, as Brexiteers Discover - 2.

Roman Catholic penetration into and power over every aspect of civil governance and economics in the United States and Europe are inescapable facts. This is accompanied by irresistible influence on the social mores of the nations (particularly America) through the exercise of religio-political propaganda, activism, exploitation of the democratic process, and legislative action:

What is Catholic Social Thought?

When discussing the approach of Roman Catholicism to social morality, various terms have been used to characterize the contribution of the Church in response to the concerns and challenges arising out of social life: thought, teaching, and doctrine. The phrase Catholic Social Thought refers to the reflection of the whole Church on the order of social life.

It has developed not only through the insights formulated by the Church councils, papal encyclicals, and bishops' documents and letters, but also is fashioned by the contributions and insights of the broader Catholic community around the world. Catholic thinkers, social activists, theologians and other scholars contribute greatly to enrich this tradition of social thought and action.

The phrases social teaching and social doctrine refer specifically to the reflection on social matters formulated by the hierarchy of the Church in response to the changing circumstances of the times. The social teaching of the Church “is the expression of the way that the Church understands society and of her position regarding social structures and changes” (CSDC, n. 79).

Nature of Catholic Social Teaching

“The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ ...

The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action (CCC, nn. 2422-2423). . .

Audience: A Message for the Sons and Daughters of the Church and for Humanity

The primary and specific recipient of Catholic Social Teaching “is the Church community in its entire membership, because everyone has social responsibilities that must be fulfilled. The conscience is called by this social teaching to recognize and fulfil the obligations of justice and charity in society. This doctrine is a light of moral truth that inspires appropriate responses according to the vocation and ministry of each Christian.”

Catholic Social Teaching is also directed to the whole of humanity because “the light of the Gospel that the Church's social doctrine shines on society illuminates all men and women, and every conscience and mind is in a position to grasp the human depths of meaning and values expressed in it and the potential of humanity and humanization contained in its norms of action.” This is a social teaching “explicitly addressed to all people of good will ” (CSDC, nn. 83-84).

The last passage above is the reality that the Western World is facing in these times. Rome is not content with formulating her teachings for Roman Catholics. She is forcing them on society at large in all countries where she is increasing her influence and power. We are still on the alert for further forward movement in fulfillment of Dan. 11:45; but when Our Lord's own prophecy is factored in, the final apocalyptic events of this world's history must surely be rapidly approaching.

The European Union is in crisis, and there are widespread predictions of its disintegration (The disintegration of Europe: How the EU is falling apart.) The article in parenthesis is only one among many which can be found online. Exacerbating the crisis is the possibility that the United Kingdom may vote in a June 2016 referendum to exit the Union. It is worthy of note that Britain does not favor a "United States of Europe," which has always been the goal of the Vatican. It will therefore come as no surprise that Pope Francis has weighed in against Britain's exit from the EU:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis tells Europe, ‘I Have a Dream’

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that became a defining moment in the American Civil Rights movement, laying out his dream for a racially reconciled nation.

On Friday, Pope Francis delivered his own “I have a dream” address, in this case dedicated to Europe, calling the continent to undergo a “memory transfusion” to avoid the mistakes of the past and to pursue a future based on economic justice, openness to newcomers, respect for life in all its stages, and dialogue with everyone.

“I dream of a Europe that is young, still capable of being a mother: a mother who has life because she respects life and offers hope for life,” Francis said on Friday, as he was accepting the prestigious Charlemagne Prize, given yearly to personalities or institutions for their efforts towards European unity. . .

When the prize was announced, both the Vatican and the committee that presents it had said that Francis wouldn’t travel to the city of Aachen to receive it. It’s the first time the ceremony has been held somewhere else.

The only other pope to receive a similar honor from this committee was John Paul II, who in 2004 received an “extraordinary” Charlemagne prize. . .
Preceding Francis’ acceptance speech, European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk all gave their own remarks.

“Our European unity is founded on a simple insight: whenever we Europeans have been divided, the consequences for everyone have been disastrous,” Schulz said, speaking in Spanish.

However, he added, “the forces unleashed by the crises we’re facing are driving us apart, not bringing us closer together: national self-interest, renationalization and particularism are gaining ground.”. . .

Francis also listed three “capacities” with which Europe would be able to create a “new European humanism,” that would lead to his dreamed version of his ancestors home: The capacity to integrate, the capacity for dialogue and the capacity to generate.

An integrated version of the European people, he said, would rediscover its soul, “born of the encounter of civilizations and peoples.”. . .

Lastly, in Francis’ envisioned rebirth of “weary” Europe, the Catholic Church must “play her part.”

“Her task is one with her mission: the proclamation of the Gospel,” because only a Church rich in witness “will be able to bring back the pure water of the Gospel to the roots of Europe.”

This witness, he said, must also include efforts towards full Christian unity.

The name of Charlemagne has profound significance in the context of the European Union:

Life of Charlemagne

Although missionaries like Patrick and Augustine had made Christianity hugely successful in the British Isles, there was really only one tribe in the whole of mainland Europe who were mainstream Christians — the Franks, whose King had converted in 599. The others were all pagans or Arians.

All this changed when Charles the Great, or “Charlemagne” became King of the Franks, ruling from 771 to 814. He was a great military conqueror, and channeled this talent into the service of the church, for in taking over most of Western Europe and a fair bit of the east, he used military force to compel all his subject peoples to become Christian. He also sponsored more subtle missionary efforts, and encouraged the spread of Benedictine monasteries, and especially the copying of theological manuscripts.

The Pope crowned him Roman Emperor in 800, centuries after the ancient Roman Empire had collapsed in Europe — a move which infuriated the Eastern Emperor who still claimed to rule both east and west. His “Holy Roman Empire” shrank rapidly after his death, but it remained a major force in Europe into the Reformation. Although centered in modern Germany, its influence spread much wider.

In the history of Charlemagne's Europe is the heart of Pope Francis' dream of an integrated Europe. These passages highlighted above make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt. Given the present nominal, and the historical, Protestant countries of Europe, the fact that there is no attempt to conceal Rome's ambition is a powerful evidence of prophecy fulfilled (Rev. 13:3.):

Protestantism by country

In European countries which were most profoundly influenced by the Reformation, Protestantism still remains the most practiced religion. These include the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom. In other historical Protestant strongholds such as Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Latvia, Estonia and Hungary, it remains one of the most popular religions.

That Brexit was included as a target in the Pope's speech is evidenced by the reaction of European integrationists:

Pope’s Europe speech a boost to anti-Brexit campaign - EU leaders pleased that Pope Francis called for European unity, not division.

Nigel Baker has a reputation in the Vatican for being an efficient British ambassador to the Holy See. He had plenty of reason to celebrate on Friday as it appeared that his political message had made it all the way up to Pope Francis.

The Pontiff on Friday gave a speech on Europe that the bloc’s leaders hope will convince citizens — including Brits — that the EU is worth fighting for, according to senior EU officials.

The high-profile audience was a sign of the influence a Papal word has in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was present as were Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and several heads of state, from Spain’s King Felipe to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

This commentary would be incomplete without noting the fact that the United States has looked with favor on the union of European countries from it very inception. This settled policy has been followed by the Obama presidency, as evidenced by the fact the President traveled to the United Kingdom recently to declare the United States' opposition to Brexit. This is also further evidence that "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."

In the reports cited above, there is on the one hand evidence that the European Union is tottering on the brink of dissolution, and on the other hand proof of the influence and power of the Vatican. One cannot safely bet on the disintegration of the European Union, and certainly not on a waning of papal influence. Prophecy declares that this will not happen (Rev. 13:3-4.)

The spirits of Rev. 16:13-14 seem to be driving an orgy of frenzied fervor in those who are under their control in the charismatic movement:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Christians pack Coliseum for revival: Catholics join thousands of believers to mark 110th anniversary of Pentecostal Azuza revival

By 4 a.m., thousands were lined up at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for what may soon be called the beginning of a new wave of spiritual renewal and reconciliation of the Body of Christ in the United States. . .

Protestant pastor Lou Engle of “The Call” led Azuza Now, a revival marking the 110th anniversary of the Pentecostal Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. Throughout the day, an estimated 90,000 Christians and church leaders from across the nation joined in praise, which began at 7 a.m. and ended at 10:30 p.m. April 9.

In 1999, from his then home base in Kansas City, Missouri, Engle began to organize the first of these large gatherings that grew into a series of stadium events, hoping to unleash the Holy Spirit.

The crowd’s hunger was spiritual, evident from the excitement onstage — from the testimonials of miraculous faith-healings, to the bathroom and concession-line politeness that you can only expect from a stadium full of Christians who refused to leave in the rain.

Shalom World Media was there to broadcast the event to the Catholic world, along with God TV and other Christian media channels. “It was the first time ever that a [mostly] Protestant-Christian event would be broadcasted on Catholic television,” remarked Mark McElrath of Orange County Catholics at Work, who emceed the broadcast along with Kevin Kast, formerly of the LA Archdiocese Office of Life, Justice and Peace, who is now an independent media producer. . .

Mike Bickle shared his testimony with The Tidings while dodging heavy raindrops by standing under the cover of an outdoor kitchen canopy by the greenroom tent.

“When I was in my 20s I was asked to pastor a church and I never officially went back to the Catholic Church, but I also don’t feel like I intentionally left it either. At the House of Prayer, I encourage people to learn the teachings of the Catholic saints, as the experts on contemplative prayer, such as Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross,” he said.

“In fact, the idea for 24-hour prayer and musical praise comes from the writings of King David; however, it was first done in the Christian church by the Catholics!” Bickle joyously expressed with his famously contagious grin. . .

Matteo Calisi, former president of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, was introduced and began to address the crowd in Italian with Dr. Bruno Ierullo translating:

“We are a delegation, a Catholic delegation. … I come from Italy. And, I bring you a salute from 150 million Charismatic Catholics.” As the crowd cheered, Calisi then spoke to the crowd about the influence of the Asuza Street Revival on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Following these remarks, he ceremoniously laid prostrate on the stage and kissed Lou Engle’s feet in an act of reconciliatory love. “We are just in a holy moment right here,” Engle emotionally cried out. Then he continued to call out the other church elders onto the stage while he fell to his knees reciprocally kissing Matteo’s feet.

“Jesus, I thank you!” cried out Calisi while Engle kneeled before his feet, “because you are breaking the spirit of division! You are preparing a great revival in the event of this call, like you did 100 years ago. Do it again! Do it again! Holy Spirit let your Spirit come again for a billion Catholics.” . . . (Internal hyperlinks added.)

As incredible as it may seem, kindred spirits are driving both the orgy of ecstatic fervor among charismatic "christians" and the outpouring of grief and celebration in the world of "rock," "soul," "pop," and "funk" music after the death of the musical genius Prince. He excelled in a genre which mixes sexual immorality with religion, in a delusion of "christian" religiosity:

The Personality Cult of Prince: Purple Rain, Sex and the Sacred, and the Implicit Religion Surrounding a Popular Icon

Prince is an artist who uses popular iconography to present himself as an icon of consumer culture, as a deified "rock god" worshipped by his fans, analogous to a preacher leading his audience like a congregation. His personality cult mixes spirituality and sexuality freely, and deals with issues of ecstasy and liberation, a transgressional approach that draws both controversy and public interest. . .

One of the ways that Prince achieved fame was by courting notoriety by mixing the sacred and the profane. Durkheim (1965) defines religion as that relating to the sacred and profane, the secular being regarded perhaps as being that existing between these two poles. This paper aims to show how Prince mixes, confuses and plays with imagery and traditions that are traditionally regarded as either sacred or profane, transgressing borders and creating a "Sacred Popular" that lies between the two, in the realm of a popular culture often thought of as secular, but in fact drenched in meaning, belief, faith, worship and ritual, and thus presented here as religious.

Astonishing facts have been published about Prince's religious roots and ultimate practice:

Purple Faith: Prince's Life as a Jehovah's Witness

Prince was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist in Minneapolis frequently attending services with his grandmother at Glendale Church, a historically African-American congregation in the city. "Both of his parents believed in the strict faith as did Bernadette Anderson, who took him in after he left home," Touré writes in his book about Prince, I Would Die 4 U. Religion informed every part of his life: He told PBS that he informed his mother an angel told him he would no longer suffer from the epileptic seizures that plagued his early childhood.

Decades later, it took two years from Graham's initial work with Prince before the Purple One converted. News of Prince's conversion circulated in 2001 (the Associated Press was the first large outlet to report it, apparently based off an interview Prince gave to Gotham magazine), but people seemed to have a hard time believing the man who wrote songs like "Jack U Off" and "Sexy MF" was now a devout Jehovah's Witness until October of 2003.

On Oct. 5, 2003, a couple in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, opened their door at 2 p.m. to find Prince standing on their doorstep, Bible in hand. Needless to say, they were shocked. Compounding their surprise: They were Jewish, it was Yom Kippur and the Vikings were playing.

There is no way of knowing whether Prince received proper instruction in righteousness during his early years in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, or what influences led him into a career of corrupt religiosity. Nevertheless, the publication of his upbringing as a Seventh-day Adventist should be an embarrassment to the denomination. Worse yet is his identification as a Jehovah's Witness. It is beyond comprehension that the Watchtower Society is not embarrassed to acknowledge him as a church member:

Jehovah's Witness Church Release Statement Over Prince's Death, Says He 'Found Fulfillment Sharing His Faith With Others'

The church said that Prince “found fulfillment as a Witness and in sharing his faith with others."

The statement added: "We do not have any details regarding his medical condition or the cause of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, particularly his fellow worshippers in the Saint Louis Park congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minnesota. We hope that all find comfort in the Bible’s promise of a future time when death, pain, and tears will be no more.—Revelation 21:3, 4."

This failure of the Jehovah's Witness Church to recognize the depravity of Prince's musical artistry is symptomatic of these end times. The vast majority of professed Christians are ignorant of the moral standards mandated by the Bible.

To state the obvious, the spirits of devils have thoroughly corrupted contemporary Christianity. The foundation was laid for their present work by the invention of "higher criticism." Faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God has been dramatically undermined, and the result is "biblical illiteracy." Churchgoing people are not simply violating the moral standards of the Bible; they do not know that the standards exist for Christians.

Considering the role of the Church of Rome in destroying faith in the inspired Word of God, it should come as no surprise that while claiming the papacy's right to teach and enforce morality in the world, the Vatican has joined in recognizing and lamenting the death of Prince and praising his legacy:

Vatican pays tribute to Prince’s legacy

The death of the songwriter, singer and music producer Prince drew reactions from the Vatican and praise for his musical talent.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, sent a tweet quoting the artist’s song “Sometimes It Snows In April:”

“Sometimes, sometimes I wish that life was never ending / All good things they say, never last.” . . .

The Italian edition of the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano spoke of the artist’s death in Giuseppe Fiorentino’s article “The Prince and the ‘labels’.” . . .

While his music and performances were at times raunchy, his music sometimes had Christian-inspired overtones.

There is a fundamental reason for the Church of Rome's satanic work of undermining faith in the Bible and her indifference to moral depravity. That reason is revealed in the very foundation of the papacy. Its founder was Simon Magus, not Simon Peter. The entire document SIMON MAGUS is highly profitable reading. In the context of the Church of Rome's true origin and her lack of moral legitimacy, note the following passages:

What Luke Tells Us About Simon Magus

What Did Simon and the Samaritans Believe?

What Deities Did the Samaritans Worship?

Simon Magus and HIS Universal Church

Simon Magus Blends Paganism With Christianity!

Simonites Establish UNIVERSAL CHURCH

Magus Degrades the Bible

In the history of Simon Magus lies a full revelation of the Roman Catholic Church's origin, the hollowness of her claim to be the true Christian Church of God, and the key to understanding the rampant mixture of the sacred and the profane in modern society.

In observing the Vatican, there is always more than meets the eye. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences invited Bernie Sanders to address their conference celebrating Pope John Paul’s 1991 papal encyclical letter on the economy and workers’ rights. The invitation raised questions that are related to the unfolding fulfillment of the prophecies of Rev. 13: was the invitation instigated by Pope Francis or by Bernie Sanders himself; or was it a simple, straightforward invitation by the Academy without any involvement of the Vatican? A logical answer, which is probably the correct one, seems to have emerged. The route to that answer appears to be a labrynth of diversions and deceptions. Not surprisingly, the invitation has been fraught with controversy:

Sanders trip to Vatican sparks diplomatic controversy

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders's plan to attend a Vatican-sponsored conference later this month has sparked some diplomatic controversy, with a senior Vatican official accusing him of showing "monumental discourtesy" in seeking an invitation. . .

. . . the senior Vatican official, Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said it was Sanders who made "the first move" to attend the event. . .

However, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, [Fellowship of Minds] chancellor of academy, formally invited Sanders to attend the meeting in a letter dated March 30 and provided to The Hill by Sanders' campaign.

A close association between Sorondo and the Pope is significant. Nevertheless, strong arguments have been made against the Pope's involvement. The following article provides some valuable information about the complexity of the Vatican scene and its politics:

What Does the Sanders 'Invitation' Say About the Vatican, and Sanders?

The Vatican’s “invitation” to Bernie Sanders to speak at a conference of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences (PASS) on Friday has sparked a range of reactions. There are those who say it’s irresponsible for Sanders to travel right after his Thursday night debate with Hillary Clinton to give a ten-minute talk in Rome, just four days before the New York primary. There are those who see in it an attempt by the (male) Catholic establishment to block the election of a woman to the White House. Some see it as an endorsement of “the Jewish progressive agenda,” others as a direct attempt by Francis to advance a leftist agenda in U.S. politics. . .

The social justice agenda of Francis and conflicts of interest. One of the least explored elements of this flap is the role of those who likely pushed for the invitation with Bishop Sorondo. There are indications that Jeffrey Sachs, a Sanders consultant, and Michael Shank, a communications consultant who has worked with Sachs, were involved. Both also have done work for the Vatican. The Sanders campaign has even, remarkably, referred Politico to Shank; Politico quotes him as having said he “occasionally” handles press relations for the Vatican. Shank himself has tried to characterize the invitation as an official one: “The PASS is part of the Vatican. So the senator is right when he says the Vatican invited him.”

The Vatican’s line of communication with the American Catholic church. This episode has unfolded as a transition in the office of the apostolic nuncio to the United States, from Carlo Maria Viganò, who is retiring, to Christophe Pierre, is underway. Additionally, on April 7, the day before word of the Sanders invitation broke, Viganò was in Rome attending a high-priced fundraising dinner at the North American College, where he received the 2016 Rector’s Award. Still, how is it that no one—no U.S. bishop, no one at the Secretariat of State, no one at the office of the nuncio—was in communication over the issue of the invitation? In this sense, Sanders’s “invitation” is reminiscent of the Kim Davis episode during Francis’s visit to the United States last September.

The Vatican, U.S. politics, and the U.S. church. This happened because people on both sides of the Atlantic misread the intentions of Pope Francis regarding American politics based on answers he gave about Donald Trump during an interview on the papal flight from Mexico this year. The changes Francis embodies in the style of the papal office, and the shift on certain issues related to social and economic justice, has given some (Sanders included?) the idea that the Vatican is now a more flexible place, less bound by old rules and restrictions. This also has given some in the Vatican itself the idea that they can push an agenda on behalf of Francis while disregarding not only protocol, but also basic considerations about diplomacy (curious, given that the Vatican has the oldest functioning diplomacy in the Western world). The parties involved have underestimated the sensitiveness of relations between the Holy See and the United States, and, with the papacy of Francis, at a particularly delicate moment (I have to refer here to my book on Francis, and the final chapter in particular). The reception to Pope Francis in the United States is more problematic than anywhere else, given some of the political-theological alignments in U.S. Catholicism. Whether or not Sanders goes through with the trip, and whether or not he would have met with the pope, the episode certainly does not make things easier for Francis. (Underscored emphasis added.)

The underscored passages are of particular significance; especially the perception that the invitation might be a direct attempt by Francis to advance a leftist agenda in U.S. politics, (addressed later in this analysis,) and the references to "the sensitiveness of relations between the Holy See and the United States," (cf. Establishing Relations with the Holy See. Quotations) and "some of the political-theological alignments in U.S. Catholicism," (cf. Catholic Trumpism Is Reigniting The ‘American Problem’ Within Pope Francis’ Church. Quotations

Sanders did indeed go through with the trip and the seemingly elusive meeting the Pope was accomplished:

Yes, the Pope Did Meet Bernie Sanders

The encounter was short on substance, short on time, but high on symbolism. Just how much do the pontiff and the candidate have in common? . . .

. . . He had come on a wing and a prayer, as it were, to speak briefly at a Vatican conference, but there was nothing on the pope’s schedule suggesting the two men would meet. Then, in the early hours of Saturday morning, the gamble paid off: Sanders got five minutes of facetime with Pope Francis. . .

. . . But for Sanders, the sacrifice of a midnight stroll through Rome’s cobbled streets or a toss of a coin into the Trevi Fountain paid off before sunrise this morning, when the Santa Marta’s other VIP guest, Pope Francis, was in the foyer of the hotel getting ready to leave for Lesbos, Greece. That’s where the two met for around five minutes, Sanders told the Associated Press. No photographer was present.

On the flight back from Lesbos, Francis confirmed the encounter, but played it down considerably. “This morning as I was leaving, Senator Sanders was there,” Francis told reporters on the plane. “He knew I was coming out at that time, and he had the kindness to greet me. When I came down, he introduced himself, I greeted him with a handshake, and nothing more. It’s common courtesy, this is called common courtesy."

Then, for good measure, he added, “If someone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that they find a psychiatrist.”

Still, it would be unfair to call what the senator did “doorstepping.” Francis would have had to approve the encounter, and his security detail would have made sure Sanders wasn’t just milling about the foyer when the pope was heading out if the pope wasn’t inclined to meet him.

The ramifications of the Sanders visit to Rome embrace history dating back to Pope Leo XIII at the end of the 19th century. The next article cited below presents "the endorsement of 'the Jewish progressive agenda,'” perspective referred to in "What Does the Sanders 'Invitation' Say About the Vatican, and Sanders?" cited above. The focus of this citation is on what it reveals about the theological connotation of the common interests of Sanders and the Pope:

What the Vatican’s Invitation to Bernie Sanders Says About Jews

You can understand why they invited him. The event is an international conference on economic justice. Sanders is the guy who put the issue atop the agenda of the world’s most powerful nation. It makes sense.

On the other hand, it crossed so many lines of normal political etiquette that it left observers gaping, the conference’s own organizers openly feuding , the Hillary Clinton campaign quietly fuming, top Sanders aides squirming and the press corps giggling up their sleeves.

For one thing, it comes in the middle of an American presidential race, thus unavoidably creating the impression that the Vatican has improperly endorsed one of the candidates. . .

The Vatican conference is sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a nominally independent think tank set up in 1994 by Pope John Paul II. The conclave’s title is “Centesimus Annus 25 Years Later.” It’s meant to look back at the influence and relevance of John Paul’s 1991 papal encyclical letter on the economy and workers’ rights.

The encyclical’s title, Centesimus Annus, is Latin for “100th anniversary.” It was issued to mark the centennial of the 1891 encyclical by Pope Leo XIII , Rerum Novarum (“New Things”) [cf. After reciting the devotional prayer,] a groundbreaking declaration supporting workers’ rights, fair pay and labor unions. In effect, therefore, the Centesimus Annus conference is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of a 100th-anniversary celebration.

Rerum Novarum attempted in 1891 to chart a new Catholic social doctrine in response to the industrial revolution. It addressed the twin threats, as Leo saw them, of rapacious buccaneer capitalism and violent revolutionary socialism. It defended private property — including land and factories — but called for government regulation, living wages, humane working conditions and strong unions.

Leo’s document posed a defiant challenge to local church hierarchies allied for centuries to nobility and the wealthy. It divided the church into opposing camps of liberals and conservatives. The two sides have been fighting it out ever since.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the liberal popes John XXIII and Paul VI elevated a generation of church leaders who took a lead fighting poverty, especially in the developing world. John Paul II, coming of age in communist Poland, managed during his long papacy to reverse the trend and appoint a generation of deeply conservative bishops.

In America, the church debate has played out in a decades-long tug-of-war between liberals and conservatives. Catholic liberals have played a historic role in the labor movement, immigrant rights and Democratic politics. Conservatives — including much of the church hierarchy — put top priority on abortion and gender issues and are a key force in the Republican coalition.

The Argentine-born Pope Francis aims to reverse course once again. But he won’t have much time. John Paul II became pope at 58 and served 27 years. Francis took office at 76. In three years he’s issued some daring declarations and made a few key appointments, but his long-term impact remains to be seen.

The two-day Centesimus Annus conference is one reflection of the Francis era. It was organized by an Argentine ally, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the social-science academy. Inviting Sanders was his idea. . .

Sanders is one of two American Jews on the program. The other is Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, a globetrotting expert on global poverty and development. He’s scheduled to present the conference’s opening paper. He shares the platform with a Honduran cardinal who heads Francis’s Council of Cardinals and in effect puts a papal stamp on the proceedings. (Cf. We Now Know Who Pope Francis is Voting For in the Next US Presidential Election [English does not appear to be the first language of the author] (Underscored emphasis added.)

So here we have documentation that Pope Francis is intent on advancing a leftist agenda in U.S. politics. This is supported by "Catholic Trumpism Is Reigniting The ‘American Problem’ Within Pope Francis’ Church," above, which also reveals a whole lot more about the strange phenomenon of Donald Trump. This website has long directed attention to the ascendancy of right-wing ideology in contemporary American Roman Catholicism, supported by Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI.

What does all of this mean for the complete fulfillment of Rev. 13? First, it must be kept in mind that the Image to the Beast is formed by apostate Protestants, while Christian Edwardson was quite correct in fingering the manipulation of the Protestants by Roman Catholics behind the scenes. The Protestant Religious Right shows no inclination to move to the left.

It is entirely possible that Pope Francis may be successful in advancing a leftist agenda in American Roman Catholicism pursuant to the Catholic Social Doctrine of Leo XIII; but will it slow down the advance of theocracy in the United States in fulfillment of Rev. 13? This does not seem to be very likely. Here is a quotation to be kept in mind when observing and seeking to understand 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)

ADDENDUM

Since the foregoing was written, the essay which is hyperlinked below was found among the results of a Google search. It is well-written, tightly reasoned, well documented, and gives credence to the view that Pope Francis is sponsoring a left-wing world revolution. The thesis is that there is a struggle between Catholicism and Capitalism, now that Communism has been defeated by an alliance between the two, who have become antagonists. In only one particular can the reasoning not be endorsed. It is in the apparent application in the last two sentences of Revelation 13:15-17, and 17:9-15 to the struggle between Catholicism and Capitalism, rather than to "the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

The Enemy in the Camp

In his very insightful, and in many ways, prophetic volume, Keys of this Blood, Jesuit scholar and Vatican expert, Malachi Martin, talked about the three way competition for world domination. He identified the players, whom he considered the only ones with the resources to engage in such a contest, as Capitalism, Communism, and Catholicism. He then concluded that ultimately there will be only one victor. He stated, “ Nobody who is acquainted with the plans of these three rivals has any doubt but that only one of them can win. Each expects the other two to be overwhelmed and swallowed up in the coming maelstrom of change. That being the case, it would appear inescapable that their competition will end up as a confrontation” (The Keys of this Blood, pg 15).

Since the publication of his book in 1990, one of those three players, Communism, has been effectively neutralized. The other two, Capitalism and Catholicism, had joined forces to bring about the demise of Communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations. Today, even in other so-called Communist states, Capitalism remains the engine that drives their economic machinery. For all intents and purposes, there are only two players left of Malachi Martin’s three—Capitalism and Catholicism, as epitomized by President Barak Obama and Pope Francis respectively. . .

However, since his appointment as the supreme head of the Papacy (Catholicism), some three years ago, Pope Francis has launched a frontal attack on Capitalism, decrying its evil influences on the human family and its destructive impact on the environment. Noted Columnist, Paul B. Farrell, made this eye opening observation in a commentary in Market Watch, “Pope Francis’s target is clear: economic inequality is the world’s No. 1 problem. Capitalism is at the center of all problems of inequality. And he speaks with a powerful moral authority — something totally missing from American political leaders who are ideologically guided by atheist Ayn Rand, patron saint of the GOP’s capitalism agenda in this moral war. Without moral grounding, the GOP is no match for Francis’ vision, his principled mandate, his long-game strategy to raise the world’s billions out of poverty, to eliminate inequality, to attack the myopic capitalism driving today’s economy, markets and political system”.

Farrell continued, “Moreover, the pope has the resources: As commander-in-chief of the world’s largest army: 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide who are now motivated to defeat capitalism’s grip on inequality. His army includes 78 million Americans in 17,645 parishes, plus a huge officer corps of 213 cardinals, over 5,000 bishops, 450,000 priests and deacons worldwide, all sworn to carry out his vision. He needs no legislative approvals; popes have authority to act unilaterally, with speed, a dictator whose word is law, commanding allegiance, obedience and action” (Market Watch, November 18, 2014). . .

Nevertheless, not only is Francis vehemently attacking Capitalism, he is inciting a revolution against it as he casts himself as the champion of the poor whom he pictures as victims of that inhumane and immoral system. . .

Bernie Sanders has been invited to speak at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in Rome. Is this Pope Francis meddling in the US presidential primary election again, or is it a Sanders initiated invitation to boost his presidential campaign, or is it simply an initiative of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences entirely divorced from politics?:-

Bernie Heads to the Vatican

A socialist, Jewish, “not particularly religious” senator from Vermont will soon make his debut at the Vatican. On Friday, Bernie Sanders announced that in a week or so, he will be speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a scholarly body that’s part of Catholic Church in Rome.

“I was very moved by the invitation,” he said during an interview on Morning Joe. “People say Bernie Sanders is radical? Uh-uh. Read what the pope is writing.”

There is a somewhat uncanny overlap between the way Bernie and Francis talk about economic issues. One of the first pieces of writing the pope released during his tenure, Evangelii Gaudium, is all about the greed and fundamental corruption at the heart of the global economy. Both men speak with passion about poverty and talk about labor and wages in moral terms. And Sanders has often praised the pope, including after the pontiff addressed the U.S. Congress in September.

Even so, the simple fact of Sanders’s visit is remarkable: As a fairly progressive non-Catholic, he’s a curious choice of a speaker for a group of academically minded priests. In the middle of a tight race to the Democratic convention and presidential nomination, it’s also striking that he’s taking precious time off the campaign trail for a jaunt to Rome.

It might also seem like the Vatican is getting involved in a controversial presidential race—not just to throw shade at Donald Trump, which the pope has done before, but to tacitly show favor to one of the Democratic candidates. But the internal politics of the Church, as it turns out, can be rather complicated. After the speaking gig became public, Bloomberg ran an interview with Margaret Archer, the president of the academy, who said that Sanders had approached the Vatican to solicit an invite, showing “monumental discourtesy” in making a Church event into something political. The chancellor of the body, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, denied that in an interview with Reuters, though, saying that it was his idea to invite Sanders.

Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor who is presenting at the event, said in a phone interview that he helped the Vatican reach out to Bernie Sanders in March, and he doesn’t know why Archer alleged that the Sanders campaign initiated the gig. “The academy sent the invitation, it’s pure and simple,” he said. “A lot of people in the Vatican respect him a lot. He is speaking in the same kind of moral themes that Pope Francis, and the social teachings of the Church, promote, which is a moral economy.” . . .

Vatican trip could boost Sanders' fight against Clinton

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will speak at an event in the Vatican next week, likely broadening his appeal to Catholic voters ahead of crucial nominating contests in a series of Northeastern states.

Like Pope Francis, Sanders has made economic inequality and the plight of the working class a central tenet of his message. Sanders' April 15 visit to Vatican City, where he will give an economic address at a conference, will come just days before Democrats in New York vote in their state primary. . .

Sanders, who would be the first Jewish U.S. president if elected, described himself on MSNBC as a "big, big fan of the pope," who leads the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Speaking to reporters in New York later, Sanders said he hoped to meet with Francis. . .

As stated in the quotation above from The Atlantic, "the internal politics of the Church . . . can be rather complicated." There is no way of knowing the degree of involvement of the Pope in the invitation to Sanders; but as also stated in the quotation from The Atlantic:

There is a somewhat uncanny overlap between the way Bernie and Francis talk about economic issues. One of the first pieces of writing the pope released during his tenure, Evangelii Gaudium, is all about the greed and fundamental corruption at the heart of the global economy. Both men speak with passion about poverty and talk about labor and wages in moral terms."

The Roman Catholic Social Doctrine on "economic inequality and the plight of the working class" is what the Pope and Bernie Sanders have in common. As far as the papacy is concerned, one can legitimately ask whether the relief of global poverty is the ultimate goal of an institution which receives it power, its seat, and great authority from the dragon (Rev. 13:2b.) Bible prophecy answers in the negative. Acceptance of this fact is the only protection against a great deception.

Valid biblical exegesis has identified "the King" of Dan. 11:36-39 as the papacy (Report on the Eleventh Chapter of Daniel,) and the "King of the South" as Egypt (Identifying the King of the North and the King of the South.) With these basic facts of sound prophetic interpretation in mind, it is obvious that the papacy can neither conceivably muster her own army to wage war against Egypt, nor against Iran, Syria, or any of the other contemporary nations that are located in the former territory of the "King of the North" (Seleucid Empire.) So what secular power(s) can she manipulate to pursue her military campaign(s)? In the year 2000, the European Institute for Protestant Studies warned that Rome wanted a European Union army for that purpose. The Popes at War and the Fall of the Papal States:

The Roman Catholic dominated European Union . . .

Two years earlier the same organization had sponsored a lecture which explained how a call by Sir Winston Churchill for the establishment of a United States of Europe "was in a sense hijacked by the Vatican." The Conspiracy Behind The European Union: What Every Christian Should Know:

In 1946 Sir Winston Churchill . . .

The entire lecture is profitable reading, especially as it exposes the objective of Romanizing Great Britain. The process was well advanced by the year 2011. Still Here: The Case of British Catholics:

When the Jesuit John Carroll was appointed the first bishop of the United States in 1790, he had to go to England to be consecrated by another bishop. But there were no public Catholic churches in England, so Bishop Charles Walmesley performed the ceremony privately in the chapel of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. The poet Alexander Pope, who as a recusant Catholic was barred at the time from living in London, was probably among those present.

But that was then. English Catholics have since become woven into the fabric of British society. Two popes have visited Britain to a warm welcome—Pope John Paul II in 1982, and Pope Benedict XVI last September. An Anglican prime minister (Tony Blair) converted to Catholicism—although he waited until he had resigned to make the switch, so a Catholic has yet to occupy 10 Downing Street.

And in January, three Anglican bishops, unhappy with the introduction of women clergy and other changes in their own church, said they planned to take up the Catholic Church’s recent invitation to become Roman clergy. The 4.2 million-strong Catholic minority in England and Wales (eight percent of the population) is both more active and more resilient than in most European countries.

In an age of secularization, one million Catholics (according to recent surveys) say they are regular churchgoers; so that while priests in such predominantly Catholic countries as Spain and Italy celebrate Mass on Sundays in near empty churches, this is not the case in Catholic Britain.

By contrast, the Church of England, a.k.a. the Anglican Church, with its twenty-five million baptized members, is in slow but definite decline. . .

The conspiracy behind the European Union is further confirmed by the naked support of the British Roman Catholic Bishops for the Union itself, and their opposition to the exit of the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, they favor the movement of immigrants into the United Kingdom, a large proportion of whom are Polish Catholics, and their opposition to Britain exiting. Will Catholic bishops try to scare their flocks into voting against Brexit?:

On both sides of the border [England and Scotland,] the hierarchies are likely to focus on immigrants. Catholic bishops and priests believe that the more migrants we welcome, the better. This view may be based on their reading of the Gospels; at the same time, they’re also well aware that immigrants are propping up their parishes. For their part, immigrants see the clergy as their natural champions – and, come the EU referendum, could respond favourably to a little nudging from the pulpit.

The Church of Rome is relentless in its goals, which may lie dormant for long periods of time, but are certain to resurface at a convenient time. That of creating a European army did so in early 2015. Jean-Claude Juncker calls for EU army:

The European Union needs its own army to help address the problem that it is not “taken entirely seriously” as an international force, the president of the European commission has said.

Jean-Claude Juncker said such a move would help the EU to persuade Russia that it was serious about defending its values in the face of the threat posed by Moscow.

However, his proposal was immediately rejected by the British government, which said that there was “no prospect” of the UK agreeing to the creation of an EU army.

“You would not create a European army to use it immediately,” Juncker told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in Germany in an interview published on Sunday.

“But a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.”

Juncker, who has been a longstanding advocate of an EU army, said getting member states to combine militarily would make spending more efficient and would encourage further European integration.

“Such an army would help us design a common foreign and security policy,” the former prime minister of Luxembourg said. . .

Now, in early 2016 the proposal for an EU army seems to be gathering strength. The pretext of a defence against Russia, expressed by Juncker, is now reinforced by the threat of ISIS; but he was not shy about urging an EU army to encourage "further European integration." Not surprisingly, Roman Catholic convert Tony Blair is also arguing the necessity of a European army. Tony Blair: Britain must join EU army, fend off ‘backward-looking’ Euroskeptics:

Britain should be part of the proposed EU army and stay in the union despite the efforts of “backwards-looking” Euroskeptics to withdraw, controversial former PM Tony Blair claims.

Writing in Newsweek magazine, Blair said there has never been a stronger need for European unity, on defense and elsewhere, and that the EU must bind together and ignore those who are “forever looking backward to break the union asunder.” . . .

“I would argue that in the medium term, there will be a growing requirement for Europe to build defense capability.

“That force would not supplant NATO but would have the independent ability to take military action at times when Europe’s security interests are threatened when the US may decide not to be involved,” he said.

(Cf. Tony Blair insists Europe needs MORE integration and revives calls for a European army as the only way to confront the terror threat from ISIS.)

From another report it is clear that the proponents of an EU army are deadly serious, and are taking concrete steps to accomplish its creation. Also clear is the central control that will be exerted over the military force, and the powerful role to be played by Germany (EU Army Plans Allow German Soldiers To Take Control Of Borders Without Consent Of National Governments):

A European Army is now one step closer to becoming a reality, just over 18 months since Britain’s former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg branded warnings that the EU was aiming for such expansionism a “dangerous fantasy.”

Mr. Clegg, among others, have gone quiet with his usual derisory treatment of the EU army warnings in the last few months, as top EU policymakers have elaborated upon their ideas for a pan-European Border and Coast Guard.

Now it looks like the plans are not just formalising, but going further than anyone thought possible, with documents outlining what an EU army would look like, including the ability to take control of national borders without the consent of the government of the nation in question.

In theory, this would mean that EU army members could seize border controls, or lack thereof, from countries like the United Kingdom without the permission of the country’s leaders or elected representatives.

According to the Times, the proposals for a 2,500-strong border and coast guard force could see armed personnel first deployed to areas like Greece or the Balkans.

The paper likens the idea of primarily German soldiers seizing power across Europe to the Second World War. Bruno Waterfield and Francis Elliott report: “The force, wearing blue armbands and an EU and agency insignia, would be equipped with naval patrol vessels, helicopters and drones, according to plans tabled yesterday by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president”. . .

It does not require much imagination to visualize the consequences of ultimate control over an EU army being exercised by Rome. The reality is that Europe is being brought into line with papal ambitions and objectives, as is also the United States of America. Long before the European Union was created, the Church of Rome had set about making America Catholic by the activism of its legions of Jesuits and lay Catholics. The activism expected of lay Catholics is described in Catholic Action and Magisterium Summons Church to Action. "Catholic Action" is an article originally published in 1980 (a very significant date,) and republished over twenty years later. A passage from "Magisterium Summons Church to Action" reveals a militancy which often leads to violence, and even murder:

“The Christian who does honor to his name is always an apostle; it is not fitting for the soldier of Christ to abandon the combat, for death alone puts an end to his service;”
“Besides, as it is a question of a sect which has invaded all domains, it is not enough to remain on the defensive. Catholics must descend courageously into the arena and combat it face to face. This you shall do, dear sons, by opposing publications to publications, schools to schools, associations to associations, congresses to congresses, action to action…” [The USCCB's Pastoral Plan bears full responsibility for "pro-life" violence and murder
]

The process of making America Catholic can be traced all the way back to the papacy of Leo XIII. By the early 1990s the Vatican had taken over the Republican Party. The hold over the American Nation was dramatically demonstrated when Pope Francis visited the United States in September, 2015. Significantly, as long ago as 1968 Eugene V. Rostow, then an Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, stated in a speech to a conference on "The Vatican and Peace" at Boston College, Massachusetts:

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. (THE ROLE OF THE VATICAN IN THE MODERN WORLD.)

It can reasonably be concluded that the papacy is as likely to turn to the United States as to the European Union as an instrument of papal militarism, which is apparently being revived on a scale never before seen in this world. This conclusion is buttressed by the prophetic role of the United States in Rev. 13. It is probable that both the EU and the United States may be allied to fight Rome's war(s) in the final movements of earth's history. From this perspective the clear fulfillment of Dan. 11:40-44 is still future as is that of verse 45. However, Luke 21:24 was fulfilled over thirty-five years ago (with one generation from that fulfillment defined as the span of time within which Jesus Christ will return.) Therefore, the unfolding of events in the Middle East demands intense watchfulness. The Middle East has been in constant turmoil for years. The cluster of prophecies in Dan. 11:40-45 can be fulfilled completely within a very short space of time, and it is predicted that "the final movements [in our world] will be rapid ones." 9T, p. 11 The sands of time must surely be fast running out!

Pope Francis is given to elaborate displays of humility:-

From [D]@google.com:

Pope Francis washes the feet of Muslim migrants, says we are ‘children of the same God’

They came from Mali, Eritrea, Syria and Pakistan. They were Muslim, Hindu, Catholic and Coptic Christians. And one by one, Pope Francis knelt down before these migrants on Holy Thursday and washed their feet. . .

Francis condemned the attack in Brussels and those behind such violence. "There are manufacturers, arms dealers who want blood, not peace; they want the war, not fraternity," the pope said.

"You, we, all of us together, of different religions, different cultures, but children of the same Father, brothers — and there, those poor people, who buy weapons to wreck fraternity," Francis said Thursday. "Today, at this time, when I do the same act of Jesus washing the feet of twelve of you, let us all make a gesture of brotherhood, and let us all say: 'We are different, we are different, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace.'"

The incongruity of these gestures should be evident to anyone who considers that the Pope is a potentate who stands at the pinnacle of power in a hierarchy which rules over a world Roman Catholic population of over 1.2 billion souls. Nevertheless, there are probably billions who stand in amazement at the "goodness" of the man, ignoring the power structure over which he rules:

Can Pope Francis Reconcile His Message of Humility With the Vatican’s Rigid Power Structure?

Last week, in Rome, I attended a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis himself, the man who has become, unexpectedly, the most powerful spokesman against inequality and injustice in the world. The Mass was held outdoors, at the Lateran Palace; it was free and open to all. I was in Rome as a journalist-invitee to an academic conference sponsored by the University of Notre Dame on the topic of “contending modernities,” and though I am not a Catholic, I love religion. I had a rare chance to glimpse this sensational figure — the bishop who reaches out to the faithful by calling them on the phone, who in his frequent displays of humility washes the feet of the elderly and the incarcerated and others of society’s lowest castes — on the very spot, practically, where, more than 1,600 years ago, Christianity became the religion of empire. It seemed to me an opportunity not to be missed.

'John Paul II was a rock star, too, of course, but his appeal — a forward-looking, optimistic statesman, a friend of Ronald Reagan — suited his time. Not since Vatican II has a pope done more to “throw open the windows of the church,” as John XXIII put it, and let the fresh air in. Francis is a pope for now — decrying poverty, confronting climate change, and establishing a tribunal for bishops who looked away from sex offenders. . .

As the crowd pressed against the barriers, certain worthy VIPs were being admitted into the piazza itself, within pitching distance of the altar, into what at a baseball game would be the box seats. There were ushers in white tie and tails, and security guards, looking like Secret Service, listening to unseen voices in earphones and barring interlopers from the inner circle.

Inside the barriers, men who had given their lives to God promenaded toward their places near the altar like so many rare birds. There were hundreds of them, garbed in costumes from another age, each sartorial iteration conveying a rank, an order, and a history that to the inexpert eye was both certain and obscure. There was the Swiss Guard, of course, in their striped knickers and spats; priests in red cassocks and lace aprons called rochets; priests wearing purple with golden tassels dangling down their backs; priests in velvet birettas and white-cassocked monks with Birkenstocks on their feet. All these men had places up front, in easy view of the pontiff — who, when he entered the square clad in white and gold, took his place on a white chair that can only be called a throne.

The Mass itself carried another dissonance. Francis’s gentle, slurred voice infused the square with a kind of enveloping holiness. The sun began to set on Rome; a boy near me who looked about 10 began to cry; birds circled in the bluish air. “We scatter … when we do not live in brotherhood, when we compete to occupy the best places … when we do not find the courage to give a witness of charity, when we are unable to offer hope,” Francis said. Even in a homily with a narrow, theological theme — the centrality of the Eucharist in the Catholic faith — the pope found a chance to repudiate self-serving ambition and offer a view of brotherhood and love instead.

But it was impossible to ignore that, even outdoors, at an “open” event, the crowd was arranged in tiers and rows, so that each participant could see his or her higher or lower position in the order of things. . .

Worthy of note is that the political element of the Pope's actions is not viewed with disfavor. This may not be surprising for those who do not profess to be Christians; but is truly a mark of the falling away from Christian principles by contemporary Christian churches. Did not Jesus declare the essential of separation between church and state? (Matt. 22:21.):

Pope Francis' political style on display: humble gestures, not fiery rhetoric

Within the often stormy centers of secular power, Pope Francis has brought a quiet and even deferential moral authority to bitter political divides.

It is in many ways a moral authority rooted as much in personal gestures and his deeply humble lifestyle as it is in the historic teachings of the Catholic Church. He has washed the feet of those in prison, embraced the disfigured, and opted for a simple four-door Fiat to get around this week – actions of humility that have resonated around the world.

“I think he’s got really good political instincts, especially in his instinct not to be overtly political,” says Terrence Tilley, professor of Catholic theology at Fordham University in New York. “That almost sounds like a paradox, but it’s a kind of a style that keeps him involved with the people, without regard to all the trappings of his office.”

Jesus Christ stated the principle that must govern the relationship between humans and their spiritual leaders in Matt. 23:8-12. Pope Francis and the papacy in general would have us believe that they are fulfilling verses 11-12, and expect us to ignore their blatant violations of all that Jesus stated in verses 8-10. Imagine for example a mere mortal being called the holy father, and claiming the right of "magisterium," to be the teacher of the world for all the blasphemous dogmas of Rome. There is in Pope Francis' words and actions invariably a combination of moral teaching and ecumenical evangelism. Ecumenism is the engine by which Rome is driving towards world domination.

The image of morality is a delusional chimera (Cf. 2 Thess. 2:9-12.) The apostle Paul has given us clear warnings in 2 Thess. 2 and also in 2 Cor. 11:13-15. Spiritual leaders can safely be judged by only one standard - the Bible, which has alerted us to the true nature of the papacy.

In studying the events described in Dan. 11:40-44, one logical fact is that the "him" and the "he" refers to the papacy. This is the basis on which it can be understood that it is the papacy which will "plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain," (a reference to Jerusalem; Dan. 11:45.)

Upon careful examination, two problems can be perceived in trying to understand the prophecies of Dan. 11:40-44. The first is the description of "chariots" and "horsemen," a portrayal of ancient conflict bearing no resemblance to modern warfare, and "many ships." Obsolescence apart, this seems to be a description of warfare by nations, which leads to the second problem. In the modern context, the Western nations associated with Rome are so powerful that it seems improbable that either Egypt ("King of the South") or any nation of the former Seleucid Empire ("King of the North") would or could dare to make a frontal attack on them. Given that these verses are expressly prophetic of "the time of the end," one is driven to the conclusion that the chariots and horsemen, and probably even the ships, are not to be understood literally. Indeed, by what other description that would be intelligible to Daniel could the conflict have been shown in vision? The conclusion can also be drawn that "King of the South" and "King of the North" are primarily indications of the locations from which the aggressions originate, especially since there are now many nations in the territories once comprising the Seleucid Empire.

In looking at current events, there is one other problem. There is no obvious connection between Egypt and the ISIS threat emanating from Syria and Iraq. (However, worthy of note is the fact that ISIS has established a presence in Lybia, which was a part of the Ptolemaic (Egyptian) Empire.)*

The question is why could attacks by ISIS on European countries and the USA be synonymous with attacks on the papacy. As to Europe, the evidence is overwhelming that the European Union was created as the brainchild of the papacy, and is substantially influenced in its policies by the papacy. In the case of the United States, it is well documented that the Church of Rome wields tremendous influence by the adoption and enactment into laws of the principles of its Social Doctrine, and not least of all its take over of the Republican Party. Moreover, on the authority of Eugene V. Rostow "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." This identification of the European Union and the United States with the papacy makes it reasonable to conclude that offensive actions against them can be regarded as taken against Rome under certain circumstances. Similarly, given that the papacy no longer has its own army, it is valid to view the armies of the European Union and the United States, individually and collectively, as the military forces of Rome, offensively and defensively.

There are aspects of the identity, ideology, and terrorist activities of ISIS which command attention in connection with Dan. 11:40, either as being in the process of fulfillment or as a precursor to fulfillment of the prophecy:

What ISIS Really Wants

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world. . .

If al-Qaeda wanted to revive slavery, it never said so. And why would it? Silence on slavery probably reflected strategic thinking, with public sympathies in mind: when the Islamic State began enslaving people, even some of its supporters balked. Nonetheless, the caliphate has continued to embrace slavery and crucifixion without apology. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Adnani, the spokesman, promised in one of his periodic valentines to the West. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.” . . .

For certain true believers—the kind who long for epic good-versus-evil battles—visions of apocalyptic bloodbaths fulfill a deep psychological need. Of the Islamic State supporters I met, Musa Cerantonio, the Australian, expressed the deepest interest in the apocalypse and how the remaining days of the Islamic State—and the world—might look. Parts of that prediction are original to him, and do not yet have the status of doctrine. But other parts are based on mainstream Sunni sources and appear all over the Islamic State’s propaganda. These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.

The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains. It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp. The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam. . .

The Prophetic narration that foretells the Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome. Who “Rome” is, now that the pope has no army, remains a matter of debate. But Cerantonio makes a case that Rome meant the Eastern Roman empire, which had its capital in what is now Istanbul. We should think of Rome as the Republic of Turkey—the same republic that ended the last self-identified caliphate, 90 years ago. Other Islamic State sources suggest that Rome might mean any infidel army, and the Americans will do nicely.

ISIS magazine shows flag flying in Vatican

The black flag of Islamic militant group ISIS is shown flying above St. Peter's Square on the cover of the group's magazine Dabiq, which called in its latest issue for a war against the Catholic Church.

With the headline The Failed Crusade, the photo-shopped cover of Dabiq caps new threats against Rome and the Vatican as well as forces led by the United States in a bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria against ISIS militants.

It threatens to "conquer" Rome and "break your crosses," referring to the symbol of Christianity.

Apocalypse NOW: The battle sites that ISIS predict will bring about the end of the world

DERANGED Islamic State (ISIS) leaders have predicted the world will come to a brutal and bloody end with an almighty clash between jihadist and 'infidel' armies in the heart of Europe.

The savage terror group was founded on the belief that all civilisations will crumble in an imminent apocalypse, with their wild theory also identifying four likely locations for a battle they claim will bring about the end of the world.

Three of those sites exist in the Middle East, including two in Syria and one in Israel.

But the fanatics have also pinpointed Italy's capital Rome as the site of another great clash between their soldiers and the West.

"The Muslim armies are supposed to take over Rome, and eventually they are supposed to take over the whole world," explained William McCants, a US expert on jihadism, who has written a new book on the ISIS obsession with the apocalypse.

"The group believes that Muslims will conquer the Italian capital in the course of conquering the entire world. There will be an ultimate victory for Islam and then the end of the world comes."

The United States is in the process of degrading and pushing ISIS out of the territories that it over-ran in mid-2014. The course of current events will ultimately clarify the questions which hang over the ISIS "caliphate." How long will it continue? Will it be destroyed before the fulfillment of Dan. 11:40-44 can clearly be discerned? By watchfulness of the events in Iraq and Syria, combined with following events in the United States and Palestine, that we will discern with certainty where the world stands in the stream of prophetic time.

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his commander Ptolemy 1 Soter founded the Ptolemaic State in Egypt.

Egypt became one of the great powers of the Hellenistic world, at various times extending its rule over parts of Syria, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Libya and Phoenicia.

Here is a striking convergence of the date 1844 for both the Apostleship of Prayer, under which the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network functions, and the beginning of the antitypical Day of Atonement, with Rome combining the work of the Jesuits with that of the spirits of devils,* promoting the ecumenical movement in opposition to the High Priestly work of Jesus Christ:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope: Pray with me for humanity’s challenges [For some reason the hyperlink will not work; but a google search for the title will find the web page.]

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has launched ‘the Pope Video’ through which Pope Francis invites men and women of the world to unite in prayer for his intentions related to the challenges facing humanity. This global multi-media initiative builds on the network that has grown as the Apostleship of Prayer since 1844; its first statutes were approved by Pius IX in 1879 and its promotion was entrusted to the Jesuits as an ecclesial ministry of the Church throughout the world. Since 1929, the Holy Father has also given a specific mission intention to the faithful for their prayerful attention. In 1985, Pope John Paul II described the Apostleship of Prayer as "a precious treasure from the Pope's heart and the Heart of Christ." . . .

The Pope Video is one of the projects scheduled in 2016 to raise awareness among people of good will of all religious traditions of the issues that affect all of humanity. Visitors can interact with the community engaged in this initiative via its Facebook page, thereby reaching 30 million people in 10 languages.

The papacy is using the most advanced media technology to promote its cause. The video on the web page hyperlinked above emphasizes Rome's objective of unity in diversity between religions and peoples around the world.

Another video by Pope Francis addresses ecology:

Pontiff makes dramatic video eco-plea

The Successor of St. Peter continues to engage the world of social media with the second video developed and shared by Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network's video project at Apostleship of Prayer. Underscored with stunning visuals and a stirring soundtrack, Pope Francis reiterates his prayer intention for February asking men and women everywhere to pray in solidarity and in response to diverse eco-challenges facing humanity.

"The prayer intention for February comes at a crucial time for humanity, addressing an area where we urgently need to make changes," said Rev. Frédéric Fornos, S.J., international director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.

"The Pope asks us to unite in respect for creation and to act to preserve the natural world for future generations. We need a conversation that brings us together, because we are all affected by environmental challenges, especially the poor and displaced."

Helping develop the February video was the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Tomás Insua, the global coordinator for the GCCM, said that the Pope's video "is a compelling follow up of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', reinforcing his powerful call to action to care our common home." . . .

The Pope's monthly prayer intentions for March, 2016, embrace a universal intention and an evangelization intention:

THE POPE'S MONTHLY PRAYER INTENTIONS March 2016

Universal Intention - Families in Difficulty. That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments. . .

Evangelization Intention - Persecuted Christians. That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church. . .

Thus poverty in the world serves the papacy's purpose of ensnaring those who admire and wish to support Rome's promotion of charitable works. Focusing attention on the persecution of Christians is a vehicle for evangelization and the promotion of unity. Rome disavows proselytizing. She does not need to proselytize openly. Her program of evangelization serves the same purpose without arousing antagonism, and her opponents are disarmed. She marches on towards the pinnacle of influence and power. This is truly a sign of the times.

Modern spiritualism began in 1848. The date 1967 marked significant movements in the "spirit" world, and the beginning of a period culminating in 1980, which signalled prophetically that probationary time for the nations had closed, and God had given them into the hands of Satan to work his will with them."

Both Democrats and Republicans are playing a part in causing "the earth and them that dwell therein" to worship the first beast of Rev. 13. Democratic Presidents Carter and Obama have both invited Popes to the White House, providing them with national exposure and acclamation. The Democratic leaderships in both the House of Representatives and the Senate endorsed the invitation to Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress in September 2015. However, the Republican Party stands out in its promotion and passage of Roman Catholic laws and its advocacy of religion in politics. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it is the Republican Party which has been transformed into a religious party bent on destroying the wall of separation between Church and State, and by this means making an image to the beast and giving life to it in fulfillment of Rev. 13:14, & 15 (first part.) As the influence of the first beast increases, the nation is moving closer to fulfillment of Rev. 13:15 (first part.)

Anyone, especially a Seventh-day Adventist, who continues to doubt that the last paragraph describes and predicts the role of the Republican Party in fulfilling the prophecies of Rev. 13:11-17 should carefully consider the following 2006 Washington Post article by former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips, who has demonstrated an extraordinary depth of insight, and a capacity to predict the course of events:

How the GOP Became God's Own Party

Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.

We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before -- in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.

Indeed, there is a potent change taking place in this country's domestic and foreign policy, driven by religion's new political prowess and its role in projecting military power in the Mideast. The United States has organized much of its military posture since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks around the protection of oil fields, pipelines and sea lanes. But U.S. preoccupation with the Middle East has another dimension. In addition to its concerns with oil and terrorism, the White House is courting end-times theologians and electorates for whom the Holy Lands are a battleground of Christian destiny. Both pursuits -- oil and biblical expectations -- require a dissimulation in Washington that undercuts the U.S. tradition of commitment to the role of an informed electorate.

The political corollary -- fascinating but appalling -- is the recent transformation of the Republican presidential coalition. Since the election of 2000 and especially that of 2004, three pillars have become central: the oil-national security complex, with its pervasive interests; the religious right, with its doctrinal imperatives and massive electorate; and the debt-driven financial sector, which extends far beyond the old symbolism of Wall Street.

President Bush has promoted these alignments, interest groups and their underpinning values. His family, over multiple generations, has been linked to a politics that conjoined finance, national security and oil. In recent decades, the Bushes have added close ties to evangelical and fundamentalist power brokers of many persuasions.

Over a quarter-century of Bush presidencies and vice presidencies, the Republican Party has slowly become the vehicle of all three interests -- a fusion of petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex. The three are increasingly allied in commitment to Republican politics. On the most important front, I am beginning to think that the Southern-dominated, biblically driven Washington GOP represents a rogue coalition, like the Southern, proslavery politics that controlled Washington until Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860.

I have a personal concern over what has become of the Republican coalition. Forty years ago, I began a book, "The Emerging Republican Majority," which I finished in 1967 and took to the 1968 Republican presidential campaign, for which I became the chief political and voting-patterns analyst. Published in 1969, while I was still in the fledgling Nixon administration, the volume was identified by Newsweek as the "political bible of the Nixon Era."

In that book I coined the term "Sun Belt" to describe the oil, military, aerospace and retirement country stretching from Florida to California, but debate concentrated on the argument -- since fulfilled and then some -- that the South was on its way into the national Republican Party. Four decades later, this framework has produced the alliance of oil, fundamentalism and debt.

Some of that evolution was always implicit. If any region of the United States had the potential to produce a high-powered, crusading fundamentalism, it was Dixie. If any new alignment had the potential to nurture a fusion of oil interests and the military-industrial complex, it was the Sun Belt, which helped draw them into commercial and political proximity and collaboration. Wall Street, of course, has long been part of the GOP coalition. But members of the Downtown Association and the Links Club were never enthusiastic about "Joe Sixpack" and middle America, to say nothing of preachers such as Oral Roberts or the Tupelo, Miss., Assemblies of God. The new cohabitation is an unnatural one.

While studying economic geography and history in Britain, I had been intrigued by the Eurasian "heartland" theory of Sir Halford Mackinder, a prominent geographer of the early 20th century. Control of that heartland, Mackinder argued, would determine control of the world. In North America, I thought, the coming together of a heartland -- across fading Civil War lines -- would determine control of Washington. . .

Because the United States is beginning to run out of its own oil sources, a military solution to an energy crisis is hardly lunacy. Neither Caesar nor Napoleon would have flinched. What Caesar and Napoleon did not face, but less able American presidents do, is that bungled overseas military embroilments could also boomerang economically. The United States, some $4 trillion in hock internationally, has become the world's leading debtor, increasingly nagged by worry that some nations will sell dollars in their reserves and switch their holdings to rival currencies. Washington prints bonds and dollar-green IOUs, which European and Asian bankers accumulate until for some reason they lose patience. This is the debt Achilles' heel, which stands alongside the oil Achilles' heel.

Unfortunately, more danger lurks in the responsiveness of the new GOP coalition to Christian evangelicals, fundamentalists and Pentecostals, who muster some 40 percent of the party electorate. Many millions believe that the Armageddon described in the Bible is coming soon. Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence.

The potential interaction between the end-times electorate, inept pursuit of Persian Gulf oil, Washington's multiple deceptions and the financial crisis that could follow a substantial liquidation by foreign holders of U.S. bonds is the stuff of nightmares. To watch U.S. voters enable such policies -- the GOP coalition is unlikely to turn back -- is depressing to someone who spent many years researching, watching and cheering those grass roots.

Four decades ago, the new GOP coalition seemed certain to enjoy a major infusion of conservative northern Catholics and southern Protestants. This troubled me not at all. I agreed with the predominating Republican argument at the time that "secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the depth and importance of religion in the United States, had given conservatives a powerful and legitimate electoral opportunity.

Since then, my appreciation of the intensity of religion in the United States has deepened. When religion was trod upon in the 1960s and thereafter by secular advocates determined to push Christianity out of the public square, the move unleashed an evangelical, fundamentalist and Pentecostal counterreformation, with strong theocratic pressures becoming visible in the Republican national coalition and its leadership. Besides providing critical support for invading Iraq -- widely anathematized by preachers as a second Babylon -- the Republican coalition has also seeded half a dozen controversies in the realm of science. These include Bible-based disbelief in Darwinian theories of evolution [a disbelief with which we identify, while disavowing the right to force acceptance of this disbelief by civil legislation,] dismissal of global warming, disagreement with geological explanations of fossil-fuel depletion, religious rejection of global population planning, derogation of women's rights and opposition to stem cell research. This suggests that U.S. society and politics may again be heading for a defining controversy such as the Scopes trial of 1925. That embarrassment chastened fundamentalism for a generation, but the outcome of the eventual 21st century test is hardly assured [not just "hardly assured" - Bible prophecy predicts that the religious dogmatists will prevail.]

These developments have warped the Republican Party and its electoral coalition, muted Democratic voices and become a gathering threat to America's future. No leading world power in modern memory has become a captive of the sort of biblical inerrancy that dismisses modern knowledge and science. The last parallel was in the early 17th century, when the papacy, with the agreement of inquisitional Spain, disciplined the astronomer Galileo for saying that the sun, not the Earth, was the center of our solar system. . .

It does not require the keenest powers of observation to accept the validity of this Kevin Phillips essay. As stated in the above quotation, "the GOP coalition is unlikely to turn back." This has been obvious with increasing clarity since the 2006 date of the article. It is also verifiable by the historical record, which also reveals how the Republican Party is not simply the "Party of God." It is the Roman Catholic Party. Can anyone doubt that the Image to the Beast has been formed, and the end is rapidly approaching?

The following article is published at a time when there is already some relaxation of Sunday observance laws in the United Kingdom, and it relates to plans to expand business hours on Sunday. However, the sentiments expressed by the Member of Parliament, and the rationale offered for Sunday laws cannot be ignored. It is a harbinger of the future in the sense that it is a manifestation of worldwide interest in Sunday observance:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Sunday Should Remain Special Day of Rest and Time with Family, Says MP

Sunday should remain a sacred day of rest and time spent with family, says U.K. Labour MP Tristram Hunt. The Christian Institute reports that Hunt, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said that if the plans to expand business hours on Sunday were passed, the culture of the U.K. would be drastically changed in a negative way. “If passed by Parliament, large shops and supermarkets will be able to treat Sunday the same as any other working day,” said Hunt. And, he continued, even if businesses did “put a few extra pence in the national coffers, is that really worth watering down such a distinctive aspect of our national culture?” . . .

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, the Church of England stated, “Keeping Sunday special is essential to the fabric of our society. Longer Sunday opening will have a dramatic effect on family life for no economic gain.”

It will be noted that Sunday legislation is in force in the United Kingdom, as also in other European nations. This contrasts with the relaxed environment and general business and sports activities in the USA. A National Sunday Law is not visible on the horizon; but Roman Catholic laws are being enacted on both Federal and State levels; (Cf. The Threat From Within: Dominionists Taking Over America; How the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine is Advancing in America.) Theocracy is more glaringly evident than a National Sunday law. The next two hyperlinked articles are somewhat intemperate (the authors appear to hold religion in contempt;) but they are factual:

They really want a theocracy: The GOP candidates who want to make you bow to their lord

A new PPP survey reveals that Republicans are afflicted most, with 44 percent now favoring installing Christianity as the United States’ official religion. (Lest we forget, the GOP’s roster of potential 2016 candidates is stocked with rabid believers, and even faith-faker Donald Trump is courting evangelicals.) A shocking 28 percent of Democrats are also theocratically inclined. Only 53 percent of Republican and Democratic voters combined oppose declaring Jesus jabberwocky our national faith.

The upshot: almost three out of four adult Americans would, in effect, junk the First Amendment, and with it, our gloriously godless system of governance.

Adventistlaymen.com has long identified Ted Cruz as a dangerous Christian zealot. The next article reveals facts that are downright frightening considering his successes in the Republican presidential primary election (next to Donald Trump) as of the beginning of March, 2016:

Beware: How the Quiet Rise of Christian Dominionism Threatens America (Part 1)

To understand the threat of religion to our secular government all one has to do is to look at the current slate of Republican presidential candidates. God touting devil dodgers like Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and others openly admit their allegiance to ancient mythical beliefs while eschewing the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state.

TEDannointedKING

This behavior among the nation’s politicians, both local and national, is becoming more widespread and to deny the implied threat to America can have frightening consequences.

Can you, after all, imagine a President Ted Cruz or a President Mike Huckabee? Both make a President Trump look like a patient, rational thinking, always diplomatic Rhodes Scholar. . .

When the theocratic movement reaches critical mass in America a Sunday law is sure to follow, with worldwide reverberations (Cf. Ex-Bishop of Durham calls for Christian “theocracy.”) Bible Christians educated in the prophetic timeline need to be wide-awake and watchful, not only of developments in America, but also in Palestine (Dan. 11:45.) It should be noted that the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45 is the last major signal that probation is about to close for all humanity (Dan. 12:1.) The final movements will be rapid ones, and probably begin before the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45. For those deluded by the rejection of Truth (2 Thess. 2:8-12,) there will be no hope of redemption. For those simply halting between two opinions it will be too late to receive the Word (John 1:1, 14,) Who is "the Bridegroom" (Matt. 25:10-12.) There will be a famine in the earth for the Word (Amos 8:11-12; cf. Hosea 4:6, Isa. 55:6, Hosea 5:6.)

It does appear that the United States is the major stage of prophetic events ushering in the final rapid movements of history (Rev. 13:14-17.) It is not as yet clear when they will begin. It is probable that dramatic end-time events will happen suddenly. Therefore current events in America demand intense observation and interpretation in the light of Bible prophecy.

Pope Francis' ecumenical outreach continues at a relentless pace, across the boundaries of Christian Denominations, World Religions, and Nations:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope Francis wants more dialogue with Islam. Is Egypt the key?

For Pope Francis, dialogue with Islam is a core issue. He recently voiced hopes to meet a major Sunni leader: the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Mosque, Ahmed el-Tayeb.

“I want to meet him. I know that he would like it,” the Pope said during his Feb. 18 in-flight press conference.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, is reaching out to al-Azhar Mosque.

“We are looking for the way, always through Cardinal Tauran because it is the path, but we will achieve it,” Pope Francis said on his flight from Mexico to Italy.

The al-Azhar Mosque and its companion university are the most prominent institutions of Sunni Islam. Both institutions were founded in the 10th century. In 1961, the university added non-religious curricula.

el-Tayeb has been imam of the al-Azhar Mosque since his 2010 election. He was elected rector of the university in 2003. He is considered a moderate Sunni who has worked to prevent Islamic radicalization.

Father Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, visited al-Azhar on Feb. 16 and met with the mosque’s deputy imam, Abbas Shuman. The Holy See Press Office said the two had a “cordial meeting.”

At this meeting, the priest invited the Grand Imam to meet with the Pope at the Vatican. . .

In this and all of the other ecumenical activities of Pope Francis we should keep in mind the Church of Rome's New Evangelization, to which he is as deeply committed as his predecessors John-Paul II and Benedict XVI. This makes it the height of hypocrisy that he calls for rejection of proselytism and competition in the Christian world. Proselytism and, not just competition but domination, is at the core of the New Evangelization. This is a snare for the unwary, comprising the vast majority of contemporary Protestants. The objective of the New Evangelization is clear from the following candid dissertation:

Professor/ Pope Benedict Leads the School of the New Evangelization

After returning from Madrid where Two Million young people gathered with him to be instructed in the faith and enlisted into the mission of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI gathered his former doctoral students together in Castel Gandolfo to reflect on the theme of the New Evangelization. . .

Throughout the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II he called for such a "New Evangelization." Pope Benedict XVI has made this New Evangelization a central pillar of his pontificate. He erected a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization tasked with evangelizing countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence in peoples' daily life seems to be all but lost. The call to a New Evangelization invites each of us to live our baptismal vocation, no matter what our state in life, completely given over to the work of the Lord in this crucial hour. We do that when we choose to live at the heart of the Church for the sake of the world. Since the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church we have been constantly reminded that the Church is by nature missionary and that every baptized Christian participates in her missionary activity. The New Evangelization means taking this truth to heart and living differently. It requires an authentic renewal of the Church so that she can undertake a new missionary outreach. I believe that we are at the beginning of a great resurgence in the Catholic Church precisely for this mission. Just when her opponents are ready to count the Catholic Church out, the sleeping giant is rising. The Church is Christ's plan for the entire world.

The early Fathers called her the "world reconciled." There is no "plan B" through which He will save this world. She is a universal sign, sacrament and seed of the kingdom of God. . .

This Church called Catholic is not a mere human institution. If it were, it would have shipwrecked long ago. The contemporary culture has lost its way, throwing off almost every remnant of Christian influence. It has embraced a new paganism. What Pope Benedict calls the "Dictatorship of Relativism" is the bad fruit of a rejection of truth. Given the current state of moral decline in Western Culture we need to view the entirety of the American continent as missionary territory, ripe for the New Evangelization. We also need to view the once Christian Nations of the European continent as mission territory. Most importantly, we need to view ourselves as missionaries in a new missionary age. We are also students and disciples, called to the New Evangelization. The Lord of the harvest is calling workers to the New Evangelization of His Church. Then, as loyal sons and daughters of that Church, He is calling us into the fields of contemporary culture which are ripe and ready for harvest. . .

In its treatment of this "mystery" called the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled."

As to the critical role of Pope Francis in the New Evangelization, the title of the following article says it all:

Pope Francis is all about the new evangelization, says expert

With a style that meets the need for a new missionary zeal, Pope Francis is representative of the new evangelization, says one theologian and guest speaker for the upcoming annual gathering of Ratzinger's former students.

“The new style represented by Pope Francis is the first to merit the title of new evangelization,” said Msgr. Tomas Halik in an interview with CNA.

“If this progress, which has aroused so much hope in the Church – and outside [it] -- were to stop, it would have tragic consequences, both for the Church and for the world,” he said. . .

In his May, 2014, address to participants in the meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies Pope Francis provides his perspective on the New Evangelization:

Address of Pope Francis to Participants in the Meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies

I welcome the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies and collaborators of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. I thank Cardinal Fernando Filoni and all of you who serve of the Church’s mission to bring the Gospel to peoples all over the Earth.

With the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium I wished to invite all the faithful to a new season of evangelization; and in our time the missio ad gentes is also the fundamental dynamism of the Church’s outreach. The eagerness to evangelize to the “ends”, as witnessed to by holy and generous missionaries, helps all communities to create an outgoing and effective pastoral ministry, a renewal of structures and works. Missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity (cf. Evangelii gaudium, n. 15).

Evangelizing at this time of great social transformation requires a missionary Church impelled to go forth, capable of discerning how to deal with various cultures and man’s visions. Because a world in transformation needs a Church renewed and transformed by contemplation and personal contact with Christ, through the power of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ is the source of renewal, for he enables us to discover new paths, new creative methods, various forms of expression for the evangelization of the present world. . .

The Church, which is missionary by her nature, carries out the service of charity to all as a fundamental prerogative. Universal fraternity and solidarity are connatural to her life and to her mission in the world and for the world. Evangelization, which must reach everyone, is nevertheless called to begin with the least, with the poor, with those who are weighed down by the burden and strain of life.

The last sentence above reveals that the Pope's expressions of concern for the poor is a fundamental part of his promotion of Evangelization.

Finally, in the following article can be found an explanation of Pope Francis' deliberate downplaying of the controversial social issues which have aroused antagonism in the world of politics, especially in America. It is nothing more than a clever ploy to gain wide acceptance of his prominent role on the world stage. Neither he nor Rome has abandoned her Social Doctrine:

The Pope’s radical call to the new evangelization

During a recent visit to the United States, I was repeatedly impressed by how deeply Pope Francis has penetrated the national conversation on a whole range of issues. His special gift of expressing direct care for each and all has resonated strongly with many in my homeland.

At the same time, I noted a certain questioning about whether Pope Francis has altered or is about to alter the Church’s teaching on a number of the critical moral issues of our time, for example, the teaching on the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, and the integrity of marriage and the family. Those who questioned me in the matter were surprised to learn that the Holy Father has in fact affirmed the unchanging and unchangeable truths of the Church’s teaching on these very questions. They had developed a quite different impression as a result of the popular presentation of Pope Francis and his views.

Clearly, the words and actions of the Holy Father require, on our part, a fitting tool of interpretation, if we are to understand correctly what he intends to teach. My friend and colleague at the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, put it this way in a recent article in this newspaper: “The Holy Father instructs with his words, but effectively teaches through his actions. This is his uniqueness and his magnetism” (L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, [ore] 13 December 2013, p. 7). In other words, Pope Francis is exercising strongly his gift for drawing near to all people of good will. It is said that when he manifests his care for a single person, as he does so generously whenever the occasion presents itself, all understand that he has the same care for each of them.

With regard to his manner of addressing the critical issues, the Holy Father himself has described his approach, when he stated: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time” (“The Pope’s Interview”, ore, 25 September 2013, p. 14). In other words, the Holy Father wants, first, to convey his love of all people so that his teaching on the critical moral questions may be received in that context. But his approach cannot change the duty of the Church and her shepherds to teach clearly and insistently about the most fundamental moral questions of our time. I think, for instance, of the Holy Father’s words to the participants in the second annual March for Life in Rome on 12 May of last year, or of his Twitter message to the participants in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on 22 January.

Pope Francis chose the moment for himself to speak unambiguously on these issues, and to do so within the context of pastoral charity, when he addressed the Dignitatis Humanae Institute at our Fifth Anniversary Papal Audience. Exhorting the assembled politicians, the Holy Father warned of a modern-day “throwaway culture” which threatens “to become the dominant mentality”. He went on to identify those who suffer most from such a culture, declaring: “The victims of such a culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings — the unborn, the poorest people, sick elderly people, gravely disabled people… who are in danger of being ‘thrown out’, expelled from a machine that must be efficient at all costs. This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the Word of God that says: ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness’” (lor, English edition, 13 December 2013, p. 7). . .

Pope Francis has clearly reaffirmed the Church’s moral teaching, in accord with her unbroken tradition. What, then, does he want us to understand about his pastoral approach in general? It seems to me that he first wishes to have people set aside every obstacle which they imagine to prevent them from responding with faith. He wants, above all, that they see Christ and receive His personal invitation to be one with Him in the Church. . .

In the words and actions of Pope Francis can be seen the evidence that he is every bit a "political animal," as he has been proud to acknowledge. He disarms in order to conquer. Caveat emptor!

Pope Francis looms large on the American scene. What he does and says reverberates across the socio-political spectrum. This is consistent with the prophecy of Rev. 13:12(b). Engineered by Roman Catholic activism and propaganda, apostate Protestantism, as a sufficiently large proportion of the second beast's electorate (Rev. 13:11, 14:b,) has empowered the first beast (Rev. 13:1-3,) so that its religio-political principles already prevail in America.

The Pope denies meddling in American politics; but this is recognized and/or challenged by those who feel that they are in the line of fire:-

After feuding with the pope, Donald Trump eases up

Thrusting himself into the heated American presidential campaign, Pope Francis declared Thursday that Donald Trump is "not Christian" if he wants to address illegal immigration only by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump fired back ferociously, saying it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question a person's faith.

But later, Trump eased up, saying during a town hall event on CNN that he now believes the pope's remarks were "probably a little bit nicer" than first reported.

The rare back-and-forth between pontiff and presidential candidate was the latest astonishing development in an American election already roiled by Trump's free-wheeling rhetoric and controversial policy proposals, particularly on immigration. It also underscored the popular pope's willingness to needle U.S. politicians on hot-button issues. . .Francis, the first pope from Latin America, urged Congress during his visit to Washington last year to respond to immigrants "in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal." He irked Republicans on the same trip with his forceful call for international action to address climate change.

Immigration is among the most contentious issues in American politics. Republicans have moved toward hardline positions that emphasize law enforcement and border security, blocking comprehensive legislation in 2013 that would have included a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally. . .

However, the current GOP presidential primary has been dominated by increasingly tough rhetoric. Trump has insisted that Mexico will pay for his proposed border wall and has said some Mexicans entering the U.S. illegally are murderers and rapists.

While Trump's words have been among the most inflammatory, some of his rivals have staked out similar enforcement positions. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are among those who have explicitly called for construction of a wall.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the few GOP candidates proposing a path to legal status for people already in the U.S. illegally, said Thursday he supports "walls and fencing where it's appropriate." Bush said that while he gets his guidance "as a Catholic" from the pope, he doesn't take his cues from Francis on "economic or environmental policy."

Marco Rubio, another Catholic seeking the GOP nomination, said that Vatican City has a right to control its borders and so does the United States.

Rubio said he has "tremendous respect and admiration" for the pope, but he added, "There's no nation on Earth that's more compassionate on immigration than we are."

Cruz said he was steering clear of the dispute. "That's between Donald and the pope," he said. "I'm not going to get in the middle of them."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, on the other hand, said he was staunchly "pro-Pope."

"We have a right to build a wall," Kasich said Thursday night. But he added: "We need bridges between us if we're going to fix the problems in Washington 'cause all they do is have walls." . .

Even before Thursday, Trump had been critical of Francis' visit to Mexico. He said last week that the pope's plans to pray at the border showed he was a political figure being exploited by the Mexican government.

Francis glossed over Trump's assertion that he was a pawn of Mexico, telling reporters on his plane that he would "leave that up to your judgment." But he seemed pleased to hear the candidate had called him a "political" figure, noting that Aristotle had described the human being as a "political animal."

That the Pope would be pleased to hear that he had been called a "political" figure and respond that Aristotle had described the human being as a "political animal" is a remarkable admission of the true nature of the papacy. It is a religio-political power in direct violation of the principles enunciated by Jesus Christ, It is a religion based more on philosophical than biblical principles, founded on the teachings of a false convert to Christianity and permeated with paganism.

This is how the Pope Francis-Donald Trump argument has played out

. . . POPE FRANCIS: After finishing his trip to the Mexican border, Francis told journalists:

“A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel." . . .

The irony here is that Roman Catholicism has corrupted ". . . the gospel of God . . . concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom. 1:1-3.) There may an element of Christian principle in the Pope's stricture against "building walls;" but it is not the gospel of the Bible, and there is a strong hint of concern about ecumenical unity which is also not founded in true Christianity.

Roman Catholicism has become so respected and entrenched in the body politic of the United States, that Catholic opinion writers in major newspapers are not shy about defending the Pope's involvement in the politics of the nation:

Donald Trump is right. Pope Francis’s visit to the border is political.

The presence of the first Latin American pope at the border also symbolically puts the most influential religious leader on the global stage squarely in the middle of a fierce presidential election-year fight over immigration.

Donald Trump last week called the pope “a very political person” and implied Francis was being used by the Mexican government.

“I think Mexico got him to do it,” Trump sniffed, “because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they’re making a fortune and we’re losing.”

A pope who travels to the margins as a witness to God’s solidarity with the poor and vulnerable isn’t playing politics. He is following the Gospel. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus radically redefined the definition of neighbor beyond language, religion and border. . .

The hard work of governing requires practical and humane solutions to address the reality of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. Any nation has a right to protect its borders, but as the U.S. bishops’ conference, Jesuit Refugee Services, the Evangelical Immigration Table and other faith-based groups that advocate for immigrants make clear, enforcement-only solutions will never address the root causes of why migrants risk death to come here.

In Mexico, Pope Francis reminds us once again that politics does matter because people’s lives are on the line.

The popularity of Pope Francis in America as in the world at large is related to his individual persona and his outreach beyond the confines of the Roman Catholic Church. The ready acceptance of papal meddling in the politics of the United States has been developed assiduously by Roman Catholic activism and propaganda over a long period of time. Now the implementation of Roman Catholic principles of governance is being accomplished by the takeover of the Republican Party, that Rome has achieved, witnessed in this instance by how gingerly Republican presidential candidates are handling the Pope's criticism of the idea of building a wall along the Mexican border.

An interesting aspect of the issue is the fact that almost all of the Republican presidential candidates support the building of the wall. Why is this? While it is certainly in part because of the demands of the party's voter base, there is also the phenomenon that an extreme right-wing faction of the Roman Catholic Church is in the ascendancy in America. What will be the ultimate impact on the current flow of end- time events? Time will tell.

The falling away from Bible Truth, doctrinal and prophetic, laid the foundation for the ecumenical movement. It is worthy of note that the advanced Truth revealed in the fulfillment of the great prophecy of Dan. 8:14 was rejected by all of the Christian denominations of that time. The spiritual impact on the Churches was remarkable! The evidence of history is that a descent into spiritual darkness was inevitable.

Those who perceived that these Churches had ceased to constitute "the pillar and ground of the Truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) separated themselves and became a part of the Great Second Advent Movement out of which a new denomination named the Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged. By rejection of the Great Second Advent Movement the advancing Truths of Dan. 7:9-14, the Book of Hebrews, and Rev. 14:6-9 could not be received by the Churches. It is of great significance that the Apostle Paul wrote Heb. 5:11-14 in the context of Jesus Christ's ministry in the heavenly Sanctuary as Melchisedec the High Priest. By their rejection of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Dan. 8:14 and Sanctuary Truth which followed, the Churches shut the door to the reception of the "strong meat" of advancing Truth which followed.

The descent into spiritual darkness has reached a climax in these days when spirits of devils have been given free rein because of the great apostasy of all Christian Churches. Do a Google search for the phrase "Bible illiteracy" and there is a prolific number of search results, all lamenting the abysmal ignorance of today's "Christians" in both the principles and practice of Bible Christianity. Here is an interesting chart contrasting Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.

The falling away from Bible Christianity has not resulted in apathy. To the contrary, there is spiritual fervor born of delusion. This is undoubtedly the time prophesied by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:8-12; and significantly Ellen G. White applied this passage of Scripture to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If it applies to the denomination which still harbors vestiges of the great Truths committed to it in sacred trust, how much more does it apply to the denominations which rejected advancing Truth over one hundred and fifty years ago! That the Seventh-day Adventist Church has joined the rejectionists is a shocking fact. What a weight of responsibility rests on the shoulders of the leaders of this denomination, for the entire Christian world as well as its own membership! The Church repudiated the commission given to it by God for the entire world, and now darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people, spiritually (Isa. 60:2.)

It is in this fertile environment that Pope Francis is continuing the Roman Catholic push started by his predecessors John-Paul II and Benedict XVI for ecumenical unity in the Christian world, unity with other religions (especially the Jewish and Muslim faiths,) and unity of nations by implementation of Rome's Social Doctrine. The Pope is able to interface with both religious and civil leaders because he is both the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Holy See. This dual role is now on display in his visit to Mexico as he addresses the civil authorities and religious leaders separately:

Pope condemns drug trade, violence in Mexico

Earlier in the day, Pope Francis called on Mexico’s elected leaders to provide basic rights to their citizens and blamed individualism as the root of the country’s most pressing challenges, including rampant corruption and ongoing drug violence.

Flanked by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the pope addressed congressmen and women, governors and the civil and diplomatic corps in the first of three major events Saturday, the second day of his visit to Mexico.

In his introduction, the president welcomed the pontiff and said his visit meant a lot to the people. He also listed challenges his country faced — but notably made no mention of the violence and drug trafficking that has ravaged the nation. Francis, however, was keen to engage the topic.

“Each time we seek the path of privileges and benefits for the few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development,” the pope said.

The pope, referring to himself as a “missionary of mercy and peace,” called on elected leaders to guarantee access to basic necessities for all citizens, such as affordable housing, dignified jobs, food security and safety. . .

After Francis' speech, he boarded his popemobile and weaved through crowds at the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square, toward the Metropolitan Cathedral to meet with Mexican bishops. There, he offered a public rebuke of infighting among bishops and urged them to tackle the problems surrounding drug trafficking in Mexico head on.

“If you have to fight, fight. If you have to tell each other off, say them. But as men, face to face,” he said. “But as men of God, pray together, … and if you crossed the line, ask for forgiveness. But be sure to maintain the unity of the episcopate.” (Underscored emphasis added.)

Pope Francis' dual role was also on display when he visited the United States in September, 2015, with pomp and ceremony attending his visit to the White House, an address to a joint session of Congress, and his participation in the display of Roman Catholic rituals.

The Pope's campaign for Roman Catholic ecumenical unity with the rest of the Christian world is being waged at a frenetic pace. It should first be observed that one year ago he declared that Christian unity "means rejecting ‘proselytism and competition." This is a call for unilateral disarmament in the war between Truth and error - an attempt to extinguish the last vestiges of Protestantism kept alive by the remnant of the woman's seed.

Most notable in the push for unity in the Christian world is the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kyril/Kirill:-

From [D]@google.com:

Pope Francis to have historic meeting with head of Russian Orthodox Church

It's a meeting nearly a millennium in the making.

Pope Francis will meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kyril, next Friday in Cuba, the Vatican announced Friday.

It will be the first meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches in history. The Eastern Orthodox and Western factions of Christianity broke apart during the Great Schism in 1054. The Vatican has repaired relations with several branches of Orthodox Christianity in recent decades, but the Russian Church accused Catholics of trying to convert Russians after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989, leading to tensions between the churches. Pope Francis has made concerted efforts to heal the breach, telling Patriarch Kyril in 2014 that "I'll go wherever you want. You call me and I'll go." . .

The meeting is now history:

After 1,000-year split, pope and Russian patriarch embrace in Cuba

"In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely exterminated," they said in a joint declaration in apparent reference to violence by militant groups such as Islamic State. . .

"Finally," Francis said as he and Kirill entered through doors on opposite sides of a room at Havana airport. "We are brothers."

Francis, dressed in white with a skullcap, and Kirill, wearing a tall, domed hat that dangled a white stole over black robes, joined arms and kissed on both cheeks.

"It is very clear that this is the will of God," Francis said.

Their meeting carried political overtones, coming at a time of Russian disagreements with the West over Syria and Ukraine.

The Russian Orthodox Church is closely aligned with the Kremlin, which is in turn an ally of Cuba.

The Argentine pontiff helped the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba after more than five decades of estrangement.

The pope, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, is seeking to repair a much longer rupture. Eastern Orthodoxy split with Rome in 1054.

The declaration called for Europe to remain faithful to its Christian roots and restated several traditional Christian teachings such as opposition to abortion and marriage being reserved for a man and a woman.

The Russian Orthodox Church takes a stronger stand on these issues in public than Pope Francis, who supports these teachings but often speaks of other issues such as poverty and protecting the environment, which were also mentioned in the text.

It is interesting to note how the rapprochement between Rome and the eastern Catholic Church ties in with the menace of Islamic terrorism, which has become a driving force for religious and political unity.

Pope Francis' declarations represent the Roman Catholic Church as a magnanimous, conciliatory influence in the Christian world. He also manages in some measure to tar all professed Christian Churches with the same brush:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Pope asks mercy, pardon for ways Christians have harmed one another

After walking across the threshold of the Holy Door with an Orthodox metropolitan and an Anglican archbishop, Pope Francis invoked God's mercy upon divided Christians and apologized for times that Catholics may have hurt members of other denominations.

"As bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I want to beg for mercy and forgiveness for un-Gospel-like behavior on the part of Catholics against Christians of other churches," the pope said Jan. 25 at a prayer service concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

"We ask most of all for forgiveness for the sin of our divisions, which are an open wound on the body of Christ," Pope Francis said.

"At the same time, I ask all my Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if, today or in the past, they were hurt by other Christians," he said. "We cannot erase what happened, but we do not want to allow the burden of past faults to continue to poison our relationships."

It is an undoubted fact that the Catholic laity have in the past been regarded with fear and loathing in the United States, as well as other countries:

When America feared and reviled Catholics

In the early 1900s, many Americans were genuinely frightened by the perceived religious threat of the Roman Catholic Church and the suspected imperialistic intentions of its leader, the pope. He was plotting the overthrow of the United States, warned the fearful, to "make America Catholic." His foot soldiers, tens of thousands of Catholic men who called themselves the Knights of Columbus, were busily stockpiling arms and ammunition in the basements of their churches, all in preparation for the day when their papist leader would give the signal for the violent insurrection to begin.

The holders of such beliefs were not just some fringe crazies safely outnumbered by their clear-eyed, religiously tolerant neighbors. To the contrary, widely popular, openly anti-Catholic literature spilled from newsstands across the country, newspapers like Sen. Tom Watson's Jeffersonian out of Atlanta and the Menace of Aurora, Mo., whose subscriptions dwarfed those of the largest newspapers in New York City and Chicago combined. Elections were won on promises to oust Catholics from positions of public trust. Only "true Americans" should hold such positions, went the warning, not Catholics who were loyal first to their religious leader in Rome.

In the present climate of acceptance and actual approval of the Roman Catholic presence and influence in America, few realize that the fears implied in the above article to have been unjustified were well-founded in the reality of Rome's claim of right to dominate, in the United States and the rest of the world (cf. The Role of the Papacy According to Malachi Martin.) Seventh-day Adventist writer A. T. Jones correctly exposed the ambitions of the papacy in the policy and declarations of Pope Louis XIII. Christian Edwardson, another Seventh-day Adventist writer, documented the advances made by the Church of Rome in Making America Catholic. The fears of the early 1900s were well-founded in history, and for Seventh-day Adventists in particular in Bible prophecy.

Unquestionably, there have been Roman Catholic as well as Protestant martyrs in the past; but consider the comparison:

ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT MARTYRS CONTRASTED

The present interest in this difficult matter should be used to prompt a deeper study. It is well to recall that in the times of the Reformation there was great human cruelty. The death penalty, often for quite trivial offences, was common and carried out in the cruellest and vilest ways. Human life was cheap. It must ever be admitted that the Reformation, with its great emphasis on the Bible and its teaching, causing the recovery of the Gospel, slowly but surely reformed society into milder measures and a detestation of cruelty. Society became more Christian, as it renounced popery. No Protestant body ever, at any time set up such an institution as the Inquisition with its violation of justice and refined cruelty. It was a case of "The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." Psalm 74 v20. Yet it was true that as the countries of the west emerged from the Papal domination there was great persecution and cruelty.

PERSECUTION IN SUPPORT OF FALSE DOCTRINE

The Roman Church claimed the right to persecute and has never renounced it. If it has, it would have disowned and disbanded the Holy Office of the Inquisition. In England, as the 15th Century was beginning, a wicked act of Parliament, known as the Act for the Burning of Heretics, was placed on the statute book. It was Rome's answer to the rise of Wicliffe and the Lollards, his followers. It was under this that many, often quite humble folk, were burnt alive. They were tried by Church courts and there examined for what they believed with regard to the doctrine of the Roman Church, that the wafer used in the Mass was changed in substance at its consecration into Christ Himself bodily. If they denied this unscriptural doctrine they were burnt. If they abjured they were put to penance and quite often branded physically on the cheek with a letter 'H' with a hot iron. If they relapsed later, they could be burnt without further trial. . .

NO ROMAN MARTYRS UNDER THE FIRST PROTESTANT KING!

During the reign of Edward VI 1547 - 1553 there was no persecution of Roman Catholics. The Bishops who refused to destroy high altars, rood-lofts, and images, were quietly retired. Only one was imprisoned - Stephen Gardiner of Winchester - in the Tower of London. It was not a very severe imprisonment. None was charged with treason or executed. . .

AN INCREASE OF PROTESTANTISM

During the early years of the reign of Elizabeth her policy of conciliation of her Roman Catholic subjects was successful to a large extent. In 1563 a considerable body of refugees returned from the Continent. Some of them were scholars and divines who had fled from the persecution under Mary I, and in the City of Geneva, with the assistance of the Swiss scholars, had made a new translation of the Bible. . .

THE PAPAL REACTION

The Jesuit Movement, founded by Ignatius Loyola, from its inception in 1534 contrived to effect the overthrow of Protestantism. English Jesuit Colleges were established at Reims, Douay, Vallodid and Rome. Young English men, often of noble birth or sons of landed gentry, went to these colleges to train for the priesthood. . .

The young Jesuit Priests, trained in these foreign colleges, were prohibited from coming to England by laws passed against them. If they came they were part of the plots for the murder of Elizabeth I and later Stuart monarchs. They were not martyrs dying for the faith but criminals, guilty of treason and sedition. It can be argued that they believed that what they were doing was right in the sight of God, that they were supporting the Papacy and its policy, which they equated with the Divine Will. They were not put to death for this belief, but the action they had taken to support it. To regard them as dying for the Christian faith is to acknowledge the papacy and Roman Church and its doctrine as Christian, which it is not, because it is totally contrary to Scripture and apostate in both belief and practice.

They came into this country as Missionary Priests, ostensibly to make converts and to minister to the Roman Catholic community. As they flitted from priest hole to priest hole, often in disguise, their purpose was to report back to their masters the state of the country and the support a foreign invasion would receive from native adherents of the Roman religion. This was a traitorous and seditious activity which prompted the English Parliament to pass laws against the Mass and conversion to Roman Catholicism and to prohibit the ingress of these priests into the country. This activity persisted until the passing of the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Acts of Settlement of 1689, 1694 and 1701. During the period before the coming of the Armada and prior to the death on the block of Mary Queen of Scots they were engaged in the plots to kill the Queen and also to gather intelligence for the Spanish invaders. The Queen of Scots is regarded by Romanists as a Martyr. She was very clearly implicated in the plots to kill Elizabeth and place herself on the throne and thereby to reinstate the Roman religion. This is proved by the state papers of the period. Many of them died bravely, endured torture and great hardship, often avowing that they died for the faith, but it was faith in a false religion and an impostor posing as the Head of the Church - the Pope; thus denying Christ the only Head of the Church. . .

Nothing in the annals of history can compare to the magnitude of Roman Catholic persecution and slaughter of Protestants:

ESTIMATES OF THE NUMBER KILLED BY THE PAPACY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND LATER

Surely nearly all Roman Catholics as well as Protestants disapprove of past religious persecutions, so this discussion should not reflect negatively on current members of the Roman Catholic Church. However, events in Nazi Germany show how easily persecution can revive, so it is necessary to be on guard against it and maintain an awareness of its history. Of course, many other groups besides the Papacy have persecuted. And all of us, without Christ, have the roots of sin in ourselves. The reason the Papacy stands out is that it has ruled for such a long period of time over such a large area, exercised so much power, and claimed divine prerogatives for its persecutions. The magnitude of the persecutions is important for the following reason: One can excuse a few thousand cases as exceptional, but millions and millions of victims can only be the result of a systematic policy, thereby showing the harmful results of church-state unions. . .

Pope Francis and his predecessor John-Paul II have been outstanding in apologizing for persecutions perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries. This is no accident. John-Paul II was Pope when the end-time prophecy of Jesus Christ was fulfilled. Since then world conditions have indicated that "God is no longer restraining the power of Satan in his control of the nations" of earth. Now is the time for the papacy to be swept to the pinnacle of world power before Satan himself appears on the scene. Pope John-Paul II, and now Pope Francis have worked assiduously to create a benign image of the Roman Catholic Church, by professing sorrow for past persecutions. Pope John Paul II, in the words of the following article, "attempted to purify the soul of the Roman Catholic church by making a sweeping apology for 2,000 years of violence, persecution and blunders":

Pope says sorry for sins of church

Saving one of his most audacious initiatives for the twilight of his papacy, John Paul II yesterday attempted to purify the soul of the Roman Catholic church by making a sweeping apology for 2,000 years of violence, persecution and blunders.

From the altar of St Peter's Basilica in Rome he led Catholicism into unchartered territory by seeking forgiveness for sins committed against Jews, heretics, women, Gypsies and native peoples. . .

Centuries of hate and rivalry could not recur in the third millennium. "We forgive and we ask forgiveness. We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed towards followers of other religions." . .

Yesterday's apology was by far the most sweeping and an unprecedented act for the leader of a major religion. One of the highlights of this year's jubilee, or holy year, it was the result of four years' research by a panel of 28 theologians and scholars. . .

The document that provides the theological framework emphasises a distinction between the sins committed by the church's sons and daughters and the church itself, which remains holy and immaculate. . .

Speaking after the ceremony to the crowd in St Peter's Square, the Pope stressed he was seeking forgiveness not from those who had been wronged, but from God. "Only he can do that."

The last paragraph but one in the passages quoted above is an object lesson in the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. We are expected to believe that the sins committed by the Church's sons and daughters are not the sins of the Church itself. We must overlook what was directly sanctioned by the Popes and the Roman Catholic hierarchy, as well as the claims of church authority over all mankind which have engendered the atrocities committed by the Church's sons and daughters. As to the Pope stressing that he was not seeking forgiveness "from those who had been wronged, but from God," we can know with confidence that this was in vain; and Seventh-day Adventists should pay close attention to this prophetic fact.

Now he who is the power behind the papal throne knows this prophetic fact as well as any Bible student, but his efforts to neutralize the fear of the Church of Rome by means of the papal apologies is not an exercise in futility. One need only to look at the parade of Christian denominations into the camp of Rome to perceive the intent, and that it is working, not least of all through the present extremely popular Pope. Note the context and terms in which he apologized "for times that Catholics may have hurt members of other denomination" in "Pope asks mercy, pardon for ways Christians have harmed one another" hyperlinked above:

After walking across the threshold of the Holy Door with an Orthodox metropolitan and an Anglican archbishop, Pope Francis invoked God's mercy upon divided Christians and apologized for times that Catholics may have hurt members of other denominations. . .

"As bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I want to beg for mercy and forgiveness for un-Gospel-like behavior on the part of Catholics against Christians of other churches," the pope said Jan. 25 at a prayer service concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. . .

"We ask most of all for forgiveness for the sin of our divisions, which are an open wound on the body of Christ," Pope Francis said.

"At the same time, I ask all my Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if, today or in the past, they were hurt by other Christians," he said. "We cannot erase what happened, but we do not want to allow the burden of past faults to continue to poison our relationships.". .

No doubt many are hoodwinked into appreciating and sympathizing with Pope Francis in the face of reports such as the following:

Pope Francis under fire for ‘concessions’ to Protestants after asking for forgiveness, common prayer

Pope Francis will be visiting Sweden in the fall for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation amid heavy criticism for religious “concessions.” The Pope had asked Protestants and other Christian Churches for forgiveness for Catholic persecutions. . .

Earlier last week, the Pope asked “forgiveness for the un-gospel like behavior by Catholics towards Christians of other Churches” during his speech at the annual vespers service in St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome. The event was also attended by members of other religions.

“We cannot undo what was done in the past, but we don’t want to allow the weight of past sins to pollute our relationships,” he said. “The mercy of God will renew our relations.”

Pope Francis also called on Catholics to forgive anyone who has persecuted them in the past.

While the head of the Catholic Church has already been heavily criticized for his openness towards other religions, Pope Francis’ attempts to blur lines and embrace dialogue have reached new highs lately. He was spotted visiting the Lutheran Church of Rome, as well as Rome’s synagogue and the Waldensian protestant community in northern Italy. Moreover, the pope is planning his first-ever visit to a mosque in Rome.

The issue that has stirred the most controversy, however, could be Francis’ perceived concessions to Lutherans, including the “common prayer.”

Those who would sympathize with Pope Francis as he comes under criticism and opposition within his own religio-political institution for his successful campaign of ecumenical unity thereby succumb to the delusion that the Church of Rome is "holy and immaculate." Such a description has always been a lie (2 Thess. 2:8-12.)

The conclusion of the matter is that the spirit of the devil has ever reigned supreme in the Roman Catholic Church. She has always been a persecuting power, and at the culmination of earth's history in this world will again reveal her true character as the would-be annihilator of God's people (Rev. 13:12-18.)

The Roman Catholic Church does not regard its relationship with Judaism as a part of interreligious dialogue which in fact had its beginning in the issue of the responsibility of "Christians" during the Holocaust:

'Nostra Aetate' at 50: The 'Magna Carta' of interreligious dialogue

Although promulgated by Blessed Paul VI on Oct. 28, 1965, the first draft of "Nostra Aetate" was commissioned by St. John XXIII under the direction of Cardinal Augustin Bea. The draft, originally entitled "Decretum de Iudaeis" ("Decree on the Jews"), "only addressed the issue of the responsibility of Christians" during the Holocaust, Cardinal Tauran said.

In the end, the final two articles of the document addressed the Catholic Church's relationship with the Jewish people while the initial articles of the declaration highlight the church's relations with other world religions.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews, said the document's discussion of Christianity's relationship with Judaism was not only a starting point "but the hinge of the whole council declaration."

"The fourth article of 'Nostra Aetate' should be considered the 'Magna Carta' of Judeo-Catholic dialogue," he said. "For the first time in history, the ecumenical council expressed itself so explicitly and positively with regard to the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism."

The Swiss cardinal also noted that "Nostra Aetate" not only mentioned "practical and pragmatic prospects," but placed the relationship between Catholicism and Judaism inside a "theological context" based on "solid biblical foundations."

"Nostra Aetate" marked a decisive change in direction in relations between the Catholic Church and Judaism, Cardinal Koch said, and it "shows itself as a useful compass toward reconciliation between Christians and Jews, valid both for the present and for the future."

Thus, Paragraph 4 of Nostra Aetate begins as follows:

4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock.

Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham's sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch's call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people's exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles. . .

Is it plausible that the Church of Rome "draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree . . .??" Not really!! The Church of Rome draws her sustenance from Babylonian paganism, including sun worship.

Nevertheless, the Church of Rome claims as an "acknowledgement" that "according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets." A different picture emerges in the history of Simon Magus. However, Rome's "acknowledgement" led to a "fundamental agreement," followed by ever deepening relations as Rome edges towards her cherished goal, which is but a prelude to Satan's ultimate purpose. It is in this spirit and undoubtedly with an eye to the future that Pope Francis has followed his predecessors John-Paul and Benedict in visiting the Tempio Maggiore, Rome’s Great Synagogue:

From [D]@gmail.com:-

Pope Francis at Rome synagogue: God’s covenant with Jews ‘irrevocable’

ROME (RNS) Pope Francis stressed the “irrevocability” of God’s covenant with the Jews and cited the Holocaust as a reminder of the ongoing need to combat violence as he made his first visit to Rome’s main synagogue on Sunday (Jan. 17) amid tight security.

“Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name, and in particular with the three great monotheistic religions,” Francis told a crowd filling the Great Synagogue just down the Tiber River from the Vatican. “Life is sacred, a gift of God.”

“Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, regardless of his or her origin or religious affiliation,” he said, calling on Christians and Jews to “put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness” in the Middle East and elsewhere. . .

The pontiff is well-known for his strong ties to the Jewish community of Buenos Aires and in 2010 published a book with Argentine rabbi Abraham Skorka.

Ahead of Francis’ visit to the synagogue, Skorka highlighted the pope’s “special bond” with the Argentine Jewish community, praising the pontiff’s “profound commitment to relations with it and through it with Judaism as a whole.”

The chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, who also greeted the pope on Sunday, said the occasion came “in a very dramatic moment” for the world.

What Pope Francis synagogue visit says about Catholic-Jewish relations

Argentine-born Francis had a close relationship with the Jewish community even before his election to the papacy, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Since he became pontiff in March 2013 he has consistently demonstrated attention to Jewish issues and has won over many skeptics with his warmth. He visited Israel, along with Jordan and the West Bank, in 2014.

His visit to the synagogue “will not be marked by a novice stepping foot in an alien place and saying that I need to find my connection, as John Paul II did,” said Bretton-Granatoor. Pope Francis, he told JTA, “is wholly at ease with the Jewish community and Jewish life. His entrance into that synagogue will not be dissimilar to a Jew entering a synagogue in a new place — new, yet familiar.”

In May 2014, Pope Francis defused the Pius issue to some extent by making clear that he had no intention of fast-tracking his sainthood. And a Vatican document released in December to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate reiterated at length how Christianity is rooted in Judaism. It also renewed pledges of cooperation and stated that the Church as an institution should not try to convert Jews.

“Francis’s visit to the synagogue will be far closer to a family reunion precisely because the blessed new positive Catholic-Jewish relationship has become almost normative, and Francis is overwhelmingly seen as a true friend of the Jewish people, which indeed he is,” said Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s international director for interreligious affairs.

There is still work to be done (As pope visits Rome synagogue, six issues strain Catholic-Jewish ties.) However, Pope Francis appears to be a pontiff uniquely poised to accomplish complete reconciliation between the Roman Catholic Church and Judaism; but there is yet the major obstacle of Zionism, Jewish and Christian, impeding progress towards her desired goal of a presence in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the sands of time are running out. Fulfillment of the prophecy of Dan.11:45 is certain. The ecumenical dialogues are resulting in agreements, religious and political. The process of ecumenical unity seems to be accelerating, and the final movements of earth's history will be rapid ones.

For the Church of Rome to realize her cherished goal, ecumenism must continue on the broadest front. Thus Pope Francis is reported to be about to make another historic visit in harmony with Nostra Aetate:

After Rome’s synagogue, Pope Francis now set to visit mosque

Pope Francis appears set to become the first pope to visit the Great Mosque of Rome, one of the largest Islamic places of worship outside the Arab world, not long after visiting the city’s historic Great Synagogue.

Although the Vatican hasn’t confirmed it, the president of the Union of Italy’s Islamic communities said Tuesday that the visit could happen on Jan. 27. His visit to the city’s historic Great Synagogue came on Jan. 17.

Speaking to the Italian network TV2000, sponsored by Italy’s Catholic bishops, Imam Izzedin Elzir also said a delegation from the community of Rome’s mosque will be in the Vatican Tuesday afternoon to emphasize the importance of the decades-old dialogue with the Catholic Church. . .

The pope has made interreligious dialogue one of the cornerstones of his papacy, and has maintained a close friendship with both Jewish and Islamic leaders, such as Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud, both from Argentina.

When he announced the Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, Francis noted that both Judaism and Islam “consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes” and said he trusted the Jubilee “will foster an encounter” with these religions.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the three major Abrahamic religions; that is, monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him.

The advancing ecumenical dialogues, interfaith (Christian) and interreligious, are highly visible manifestations of the work of the spirits of Rev. 13:13-14, and a major sign of the approaching end of earth's history.

The Vatican has issued a reminder of unfinished business in Palestine, and especially Jerusalem:-

From [D]@gmail.com:

Historic Vatican accord with Palestine takes effect

The Vatican's first accord with the Palestinians -- an agreement that Israel has attacked as counter-productive to the Middle East peace process -- has come into force, the Holy See announced Saturday. . .

The accord covers the operation of the Church in areas of the Holy Land under Palestinian control but its significance has been seen in broader terms as a symbol of growing international backing for a Palestinian state. . .

The Church has had diplomatic relations with Israel since 1993 but has yet to conclude an agreement on Christian rights there. Negotiations on the subject have been running since 1999 but have repeatedly run into deadlock over the status of Jerusalem.

It is interesting to note that within one year after relations were established between the Holy See and Israel in 1993 Foreign Minister Shimon Peres twice presented plans to the papacy which if implemented would have established Rome's presence in Jerusalem. This has been the Church of Rome's objective, so the failure to follow through on the plans could not have been the Vatican's fault. There was a time when Israeli opposition to Rome's objective of planting the flag of the Vatican in Jerusalem could be attributed to theological animosity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews; but this has changed dramatically since the papacy of John-Paul II:

Pope John Paul II: Relations with Jews and Israel

While Wojtyla was a bishop, he took part in the historic Second Vatican Council convened by Pope John XXIII, which modernized aspects of church practice and doctrine. The Council also radically changed the Church’s relationship with the Jewish people when it issued the Nostra Aetate declaration in 1965, which cleared Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, renounced its traditional claim that Jews had been rejected by God, condemned anti-Semitism, and called for “mutual understanding and respect” between Catholics and Jews. As Pope, John Paul II would turn these words into actions.

After his election as pope in October 1978, John Paul often devoted his energy to improving relations between Jews and Catholics. He frequently met with Jewish leaders, repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism, commemorated the Holocaust, and established diplomatic relations with Israel. . .

In 1994, John Paul established full diplomatic ties between the Vatican and Israel. He said, “For the Jewish people who live in the State of Israel and who preserve in that land such precious testimonies to their history and their faith, we must ask for the desired security and the due tranquility that are the prerogative of every nation ...” . . .

While many of John Paul’s teachings about the Jews have become official church policy, even he recognized that differences would remain. In a 1985 speech, the Pope took some credit for helping bury ignorance, prejudice and stereotypes about Jews, but he also acknowledged that Catholics and Jews would continue to have disagreements. “Love involves understanding,” he said. “It also involves frankness and the freedom to disagree in a brotherly way where there are reasons for it."

In addition, while John Paul was regarded warmly by Jews, not all of his statements and actions were sympathetic. He was, for example, frequently critical of Israeli actions, and largely silent on the mistreatment of Christians by Arabs and Muslims. In February 2000, the Pope and Yasser Arafat issued a joint condemnation of any unilateral decision that would “change the unique character of Jerusalem,” terming such a decision “legally and morally invalid.” Arafat and the Pope, meeting in the Vatican, called for an international status to be granted to Jerusalem.

Always we see Jerusalem figuring largely in the thinking of the Popes. Their advocacy of an international status for the City (in which they plan to play a major part) is anathema first to the right-wing Zionist governments of Israel:

Israeli far-right still blocking peace 20 years after Rabin

The recent spike in incidents comes after Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem in September, clashing with Palestinian worshippers as they cleared the site to make way for ultra-orthodox Jews wishing to mark the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The Al Aqsa Mosque, referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount, is a significant symbol for Palestinians and one of the holiest places in Islam. It is also sacred for Jews as it is believed to have once been the site of the ancient Temple of Solomon, which was destroyed by the Babylonians 2,000 years ago. According to international agreements, the site is administered by the Palestinian Al Waqf foundation, which is supervised by Jordan. . .

In the escalating violence, over 70 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis were killed in the month of October alone. Around half of the Palestinians casualties reportedly occurred while they were attacking Israelis. Among measures introduced to quell the violence, Arab sectors in the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem were sealed off, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on Israelis to carry firearms with them at all times.

Meanwhile, the Israeli far-right has been calling for a return to the policies enforced during the second intifada, with Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party, both ministers in Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, organising demonstrations outside the prime minister’s residence on Oct. 5. Ministers Zeev Elkin, Yariv Levin and Haim Katz and opposition Yisrael Beitenu party head Avigdor Liberman were also in attendance along with 10,000 Israelis.

Today, Netanyahu, like his late predecessor Rabin, is caught in a dilemma regarding his domestic and international obligations. While under pressure by the international community to cooperate in the peace process, the Israeli far-right, to whom he is indebted for his re-election as prime minister this year, continues to bang the drums of war against the Palestinians. . .

At the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Oct. 20, Netanyahu went as far as absolving Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler of the Holocaust by blaming then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, for giving Hitler the idea of exterminating millions of Jewish people during World War II. His comments were not only denounced by the Israeli opposition and the Palestinians, they were also rebuked by the West, with Germany reaffirming its responsibility for the Holocaust. Although Netanyahu later denied trying to absolve Hitler, the damage had already been done.

Nevertheless, with such rhetoric Netanyahu continues to appease the increasingly restless Israeli far-right at the expense of the peace process and Western creditors.

The advocacy of an international status for Jerusalem is also anathema to the Christian Zionist Religious Right in the United States:

When defending his community, Revivi may prefer legal arguments to religious ones. But the offhand reference to holy scripture shared by both Christians and Jews hints at a longstanding — but often unreported — transnational religious connection: Begin, Israel’s sixth prime minister, is credited with cementing the relationship between Israel and Evangelical Christians in the United States, openly courting the support of what are often called “Christian Zionists.”

To see evidence of this legacy, one need only look down the road. Efrat is home to the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, an organization that regularly hosts evangelical groups and leaders from the United States.

Taken at face value, conservative Christian support for Israeli settlements seems innocuous, or at the very least unsurprising — after all, the same land was Jesus’ home too.

But over the past few decades, the American Religious Right’s actions in the region have extended far beyond the broad consensus endorsing Israel’s right to exist, morphing instead into a form of faith-based activism that makes the area’s multitudinous issues more complicated. Often with the blessing of conservative politicians, funders, and pundits, right-wing Christian and Jewish groups in the United States have consistently offered financial assistance for the construction and maintenance of settlements in the West Bank that international law says are illegal, as well as lending support to fringe “outposts” that even the Israeli government often does not formally recognize. These constructions are passionately opposed by Palestinians, the international community, and the United States, which has repeatedly called them a “barrier to peace.” . . .

Support for Israeli settlements in the U.S. goes back decades, with many pro-settlement organizations springing to life after the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. Groups quickly formed as American nonprofits to take advantage of tax-exempt status, accepting donations and shuttling them across the Green Line — the border between Israel and the West Bank. The legality of this practice was briefly challenged in a 1991 federal lawsuit, but the IRS did not side with those who opposed it, and the tax-exempt groups won the court case and an appeal. . .

However, several other organizations are explicitly Christian in their language and outlook. One example is Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC), a small but well-funded organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado dedicated to providing “a much needed vehicle for Christians to become better informed about the Jewish communities in the heartland of Biblical Israel, to visit these areas and to provide practical support for vital community needs.” The terminology used by the CFOIC website makes their political and theological perspective clear: It does not refer to the West Bank except in quotation marks, instead using the biblical phrase “Judea and Samaria” to describe the occupied land East of the Green Line between Israel and Jordan. It also does not use the term “settlements,” preferring to call towns in the West Bank “Jewish communities” populated by “pioneers,” and does not appear to mention Palestinian Christian communities currently living in the occupied territories. . .

Guided by dispensationalist theology

The key to comprehending why CFOIC and other Christian groups prop up Israeli settlements lies in their curious shared theology, particularly a school of thought known as “dispensationalism.” An old Christian theological concept with a variety of interpretations, dispensationalism’s core idea is that God promised the Jewish people the land of Israel in the Old Testament. Many dispensationalists also believe the Jewish return to the Holy Land signals the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. . .

The American conservative movement…for settlements

In addition to direct donations, this movement — a spiritual fusion of settlement support, dispensationalism, and Christian Zionism — is shored up by a broad network of American political funders and elected officials. This powerful community was once bipartisan, and support for Israel broadly — specifically its right to exist and defend itself — largely remains as such, bolstered by the efforts of groups such as The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose official stance on settlements is somewhat vague. But the hardline pro-settlement caucus is now squarely rooted (with a few exceptions) in the Republican party’s base, especially among religious conservatives. . .

Fellow GOP presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz also visited Israel this year, where he met with politicians and spoke to the Israeli Knesset, or parliament. He has generally articulated a more hands-off approach to settlements than Huckabee’s, but still de facto endorses the status quo by leaving the issue up to the Israeli government. . .

Although Cruz hasn’t claimed to be a hardline dispensationalist, other dispensationalists have already lifted him up as one of their own. When he declared that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel” during a deeply controversial speech to Middle East Christians in October 2014, Rob McCoy, senior pastor of Godspeak Calvary told the Washington Times that Cruz was effectively speaking in religious code. (Cf. Ted Cruz’s Faith Is Under Fire. Here’s The Story Behind His Religious Beliefs)

This all presents a complicated picture, which becomes even more complicated in light of the following:-

Also from [D]@gmail.com:

Reflecting on the Vatican’s Jewish-Catholic relations ‘Reflection’

On the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Nostra Aetate declaration, the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews published a text titled, “For the Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable: A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Nostra Aetate’ (No. 4).” At the core of the new document, experts say, is the Church’s rejection of both replacement theology and the notion that the covenant of the Jews with God has been negated.

In 1965, Nostra Aetate marked the Vatican’s rescinding of an age-old belief that the Jewish people were guilty for the crucifixion of Jesus, in addition to the Church’s rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism.

“As a result of a soul change, epitomized by Nostra Aetate, the Roman Catholic Church shifted from what was, for the most part, a need to condemn Judaism to one of a condemnation of anti-Judaism,” said Dr. Edward Kessler, founder of the Woolf Institute think tank and a fellow at St. Edmunds College in Cambridge, United Kingdom, who participated in a panel discussion with the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Rabbi David Rosen to provide a Jewish response to the new Vatican document.

Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs, said during the panel that Nostra Aetate “opened up the way for subsequent popes to further affirm the unique bond between the Church and the Jewish people which this [new] text documents, and to see Jewry as a living source of divine inspiration for the Church.” . .

The three primary topics addressed in the document are the “old” covenant, salvation, and evangelization. “Reflection” completely rejects the theology known as supersessionism, or replacement theology, and affirms that God’s “new” covenant for Christians does not negate the “old” covenant with Jews.

“If this term (supersessionism) is understood to mean that Jewish covenantal life with God was ended or replaced by the Church’s covenanting with God in Christ, then this document rejects it. It repeats several times that the Church did not replace Jews as a people of God and that Jewish covenantal life with God was never abrogated,” Cunningham told JNS.org.

“The document sees Christianity as in continuity with biblical Israel, and indeed as ‘fulfilling’ terms of Israel’s covenanting, but, again, not in the sense of rendering Jewish covenantal life or Jewish traditions as obsolete or antiquated. It doesn’t define exactly what it means by ‘fulfillment,’” said Cunningham. . .

The document also addresses “the thorny issue of how to understand the fact that Jews are saved without believing explicitly in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and Son of God,” Koch said.

Cunningham said that “without ever exactly defining ‘salvation,’ the document makes it clear that Jews [are in a] covenant with a saving God.”

“It also asserts that Christ is involved in the salvation of all people, which in a mysterious way also applies to Jews,” he said, noting how this does not mean that Jews must be baptized to be “saved.”

Regarding evangelism, the text says that the Catholic Church “neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews,” though Christians are still called on to “bear witness to the faith.”

Cunningham said that broadly speaking, Catholics “understand ‘evangelization’ to include any activity that spreads the ‘good news’ of Christ and prepares the way for the coming of the reign of God.” According to this understanding, evangelization can include proselytization, but can also include many other activities such as interfaith dialogue. . .

Betty Ehrenberg, executive director for the World Jewish Congress in North America, told JNS.org that the Vatican document “represents the fruits of a productive longterm dialogue between the Catholic and Jewish communities” and “reflects the development of a mutual understanding that did not exist 50 years ago.

“The fact that the document asserts that the Torah serves as the instruction for Jewish life and that there should be no missionizing to the Jews are statements, in addition to others in the paper, that our community has long waited to hear,” said Ehrenberg, who has worked extensively with the Vatican on Jewish-Catholic relations.

“In the course of our 40-year dialogue,” she said, “there were many ups and downs, yet we persisted in our unrelenting efforts to speak to one another and to forge a relationship. This important Vatican paper represents our mutual determination to find those common threads that bind people of faith. This is a very important moment in our shared history.” (Underscored emphasis added.)

It is interesting to note how the Vatican has moved close to all Jews (religious, secular, or Zionist) who cling to their "chosen people" convictions, and in any event harbor a belief in a biblical right to the land of Palestine. They also in general resent Christian proselytization.

There is one name which figures prominently in all of the reports surrounding the process of reconciliation between the Roman Catholics and the Jews - Rabbi David Rosen. This man wields tremendous influence which may very likely have an impact on the political impasse in the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians:

Rabbi David Rosen

Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, is the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee and Director of AJC's Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Understanding. He is a past chairman of IJCIC, the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations.

Rabbi Rosen also serves as the Advisor on Interreligious Affairs to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel; is a member of the Chief Rabbinate's delegation for Interreligious Dialogue; and serves on the Council of the Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.

He is an International President of the World Conference of Religion for Peace (WCRP), the all-encompassing world inter-faith body; Honorary President of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ); a member of the Executive of the World Council of Religious Leaders; of the Elijah Interfaith Institute’s Board of World Religious Leaders; and a trustee of the Coexist Foundation. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis and as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum's Council for promoting relations and cooperation between the Muslim and Western worlds.

Rabbi Rosen was recently appointed as the only Jewish member of the Board of Directors of the King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, established by the King of Saudi Arabia together with the governments of Austria and Spain.

He was a member of the Bilateral Commission of the State of Israel and the Holy See that negotiated the Fundamental Agreement between the two, leading to the establishment of full bilateral relations in 1994.

In November 2005, Pope Benedict XVI made Rabbi Rosen a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great for his contribution to promoting Catholic-Jewish reconciliation; and in 2010 he was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to interfaith relations. . .

Rome has also concurrently moved closer to the Christian Zionists by conceding that the Jews have a continuing covenant relationship with God, although there are Christian Zionists who are committed to proselytizing the Jews. Rapprochement between the Roman Catholics and the Christian Zionists may be a major path to resolving the conflict in Palestine which blocks the Vatican's way into Jerusalem. The Roman Catholics are working assiduously to usher in "the reign of God." The dispensationalist Christian Zionists are committed to ushering in the "Kingdom of God" in this world. Both are in rejection of, and in opposition to, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which is not of this world (John 18:36.) Here is a remarkable demonstration of the working of the spirits of Rev. 16:13-14.

Ben Carson remained in the US presidential campaign spotlight for an astonishing length of time. Now the glare is diminished, but not before he dragged the Seventh-day Adventist Church into the spotlight with him. Those who think that this must be a good thing, should consider all of the ramifications at this stage of the world's and the Church's history:-

The leaders of the denomination have seen the spotlight as "an opportunity to tell the world, tell this country about Seventh-day Adventism, our beliefs and our desire to lift up Jesus Christ,” (New York Times, Ben Carson Puts Spotlight on Seventh-Day Adventists.) The Rundown Blog of the PBS Newshour has stated:

As Ben Carson seeks the Republican nomination for president, he’s also drawing notice to the church that has counted him as a member since he was a child.

The denomination is not well-known and neither are its teachings. Church officials are hoping to change that, unveiling on Thursday a new website — whoareadventists.org — to provide some answers.

The Church leadership has gone to the length of launching a new website to inform the world of its teachings. The intractable problem of contemporary Seventh-day Adventism is the Babel of teachings now tolerated within the Church and spawned in the wider community of Seventh-day Adventists because the Church has played the harlot with apostate Protestantism and the Roman Catholic Church, corrupting the unique foundation doctrines of the Denomination.

There was a time when there was unanimity in all the major areas of doctrinal thought within the Church:

Seventh-day Adventists have no creed but the Bible; but they hold to certain well-defined points of faith, for which they feel prepared to give a reason "to every man that asketh" them. The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body." (1889 Yearbook, p. 147; from Key Doctrinal Comparisons.)

This unanimity was preserved during the lifetime of Ellen G. White:

Further, it will be observed that all statements, official and unofficial, from 1872 through 1914 did say the same thing in the same way concerning God.

"This data also means that during the lifetime of Ellen G. White, the stated position of the Church not only on the doctrine of God, but in all other major areas of doctrinal thought, remained constant." (From WWN 9(99))

Among questionable statements being made in the glare of the Ben Carson spotlight by individuals professing to know what Seventh-day Adventism teaches, the following is a glaring example of falsehood as reported in Adventist Today:

Leading journals have in recent weeks published articles exploring the history of the Adventist movement and its slow acceptance by other Christians as a legitimate Protestant denomination. The Washington Post, the leading newspaper in the nation’s capital, published interviews with Dr. Paul McGraw, a history professor at the denomination’s Pacific Union College in California, and Kenneth Samples, a well-known Evangelical scholar and widely read author. . .

Ellen White helped the Adventist faith and gain [sic] acceptance, Samples told The Washington Post, by advocating basic Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and salvation through faith in Jesus instead of legalistic rules. . ." (Carson Moves Up in Presidential Polls and is Criticized for His Adventist Faith.)

That the Church has officially adopted the dogma of the Trinity in its Statements of Belief is an undoubted fact; but responsibility for this cannot be laid upon Ellen G. White. Her statements on "the Heavenly Trio" and "the three Great Powers of heaven" are logically consistent with three individual personalities. It is difficult for minds that are fixated on the Jewish Shema to perceive this logic. The New Testament reveals three individuals comprising the Godhead; while the Old Testament reveals two. The Incarnation added the third member of the New Testament - the God-man Who could not have existed before Bethlehem. The "Triune God" concept first appeared in the Seventh-day Adventist Church's 1980 Statements of Belief.

The development of a false concept of the Godhead alone was a deadly descent into Romanism; however, the Godhead was not a fundamental founding doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The central doctrine of the denomination which set it apart from all others (other Christian denominations observe the seventh day Sabbath) was the ministry of Jesus Christ as Melchisedek the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and particularly the two-phase ministry1 which is to end in the Final Atonement. This was categorically repudiated in the Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956:

THE HERESY OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST EVANGELICAL CONFERENCES CONFIRMED BY THE ACTION OF THE 1980 GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSION -

Regardless of how the hierarchy seeks to justify the conferences that took place between Barnhouse and Martin for the Evangelicals; and Unruh, Froom, Anderson, and Read for the Church, apostasy of the darkest hue was perpetrated by these men who sought to speak for the Church. And this apostasy was approved by the leadership of the Church. One needs read only Unruh's report in the Adventist Heritage (Vol. 4, #2, pp. 35-46) for this verification. . .

With this background, take your previous thought paper [WWN (XIII-10)] and turn to page 10. There at the top of the page begins the statement from the Annual Council of 1979 recommended statement of beliefs, followed by the statement given to the delegates at the Dallas Session, and the third paragraph gives the statement as voted in regard to Christ's High Priestly Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Observe closely the following sentences from these statements:

That there is in heaven a sanctuary in which Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1979 Recommended)

As High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary He draws all to Himself and makes available to those who receive Him the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 Presented)

In it [a sanctuary in heaven], Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 Voted)

By this action the Church must have reached the limit of God's forbearance in the face of persistent rebellion. 1980 marked the year in which the signal was given that probation had closed for corporate bodies, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church (but not for individuals.) Since then the Church has been in a downward spiral. The door to contradictions of doctrine and fragmentation of the unity for which Jesus Christ prayed in John 17:21 was opened wide. Heresies too numerous to mention ensued, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church of the 21st century is not even a pale shadow of the movement that started in the 19th century.

One organization of laymen in particular, "The Association of Adventist Forums," has played a prominent role in "liberalizing" the Church, with devastating consequences for the "well-defined points of faith" on which the leaders once could boast "entire unanimity throughout the body." Indeed, one Jim Walters (James W. Walters, PhD.) of Loma Linda University School of Religion has written an article for Adventist Today titled:

"Today's Authentic, Divergent Faces of Adventism: The Case for a Big Tent."

Adventism is today increasingly polarized, and my thesis is that this can be managed as a healthy tension or it can be allowed to morph into a divisive crisis. The present polarization over women’s ordination should be accepted as natural in today’s church and used as a step toward a more mature denomination.

This paper begins with a primarily descriptive element—worldwide Adventism is increasingly diverse in both its demographics and in its understanding of the Bible and of Ellen White. Then I make two normative claims: first, that a widely diverse denomination is not just natural, but that this diversity is good, even God-ordained; and second, that our church can remain unified in diversity if we maintain twin, interrelated qualities that are highly prized in our religious tradition—a high view of individual conscience, with a concomitantly high view of church unity. . .

An Increasingly Diverse Church, Hermeneutically

Not only is the Adventist church becoming exceedingly diverse in its demographics, its theologians’ differences in Biblical interpretation are likewise prominent. . .

Diversity—Natural, Good, and God-ordained

I now turn from a largely descriptive account of a disparate and changing worldwide Adventism to argue that our diverse denomination is as interesting as a lush meadow—composed of flowers, grasses and, yes, weeds—in the High Sierra in the flush of spring.

Diversity is “in” these days, if what is being taught in our universities is any indication. . .

The primary message of the New Testament is what God has done for us: so loving us that He sent his Son to give eternal life (John 3:16). That is the gospel, the good news. It not only gives us hope for life beyond, but it puts meaning into our everyday lives—God, the God of the universe, loves you and me! Jesus not only personally proclaimed God’s love, but according to Matthew he made provision for long-term proclamation—through his church. Hence we read: “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it....” (16:18).

Our friends the Roman Catholics have taken this passage and based their church on it, making Peter their first pope. No group of Christian believers has taken the idea of church more seriously and raised the concept to unparalleled heights: Through the Eucharist the believer partakes of the actual body and blood of Christ and thereby enters into the communion of all the saints on earth, in purgatory and in heaven, comprising a spiritual solidarity of the mystical church body under Christ its head.

It is a satanic philosophy which extols the virtues of "a disparate and changing worldwide Adventism" (Cf. The Power of Unity.) The diversity which the author of this article commends is inextricably bound up with confusion, which is the antithesis of the unity for which Jesus prayed (Cf. Ps. 133:1, Eph. 4:3, 11-16.) True Christian principles do not countenance confusion. Ellen G. White gave these prophetic warnings:

There will be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils in the midst of the church, and these evil influences will increase . . .--Ms 61, 1906, p. 2. ("Hold Fast the Beginning of Your Confidence," June 29, 1906.) (8MR 345.2)

One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,--the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. . . (NYI, February 7, 1906 par. 1)

It is the seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, manifest in the growing apostasy, that are the driving force for disunity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The leadership spawned it by the progressive abandonment of fundamental doctrines and the underlying hermeneutics (interpretation/exegesis of the Bible.)

The phrase "Our friends the Roman Catholics" could never have been expressed in a publication of the early Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the offspring of this statement of Church leaders in 1975:

Although it is true that there was a period of time in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church government, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant (sic.) denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been assigned to the historical trash heap as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Reply Brief for Defendants in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment, Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR)

The approving mention of the Eucharist is an abomination flowing from the pen of a professed Seventh-day Adventist. This Roman Catholic ceremony is the ultimate in blasphemy against the divinity, sacrifice, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.The foregoing is but a sampling of the many ways in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church has strayed from the path of Truth, pure and unadulterated, and therefore from the righteousness of Christ. Sadly and tragically, all that the Church now has to present to the world is a fractured image and a confusion of teachings. It is a delusion to think otherwise.

1 Clarification This is correct in relation to the total ministry of Jesus Christ as Melchisedek the High Priest, from His coronation in A.D. 31 to the close of probation. From A.D. 31 He ministered in the Holy Place until 1844, when the antitypical Day of Atonement (Judgment) began in the Most Holy. The Judgment is itself three-phased, beginning in the Most Holy, then moving to the Holy Place, and finally completed in the Outer Court at the Altar of Burnt Offering (Lev. 16.) (Cf. The type indicates movement . . .; AND Before considering further "the last act of the final atonement" . . .)


 

BOOKMARKS

Satan Will Be Deified

In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Revelation 18:8).—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 62 (1893).

As the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ draws near, satanic agencies are moved from beneath. Satan will not only appear as a human being, but he will personate Jesus Christ, and the world that has rejected the truth will receive him as the Lord of lords and King of kings.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1105, 1106 (1900). (Ellen G. White, Last Day Events. p.168-169)

CCT

In September, 2001, Christian Churches Together (CCT) began in the USA:-

Christian Churches Together - About Us:

Christian Churches Together in the USA began in September, 2001, with a meeting of church leaders in the US who explored the need for expanding fellowship, unity, and witness among the diverse expressions of Christian faith today. They lamented the absence of any one place where representatives of historic Protestant, African American, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Orthodox churches come together officially to strengthen their unity in Christ and empower their mission. They decided to convene another meeting in April, 2002 to continue this exploration and invite broader participation from other church leaders. At this meeting, held in Chicago, the vision of CCT was crafted and publicly announced. . .

(Cf. Christian Churches Together USCCB; Member Churches of Churches Together in England.)

(George W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States in 2001, and the form of the Image to the Beast could clearly be seen.)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decided on November 17, 2004, to join CCT:

US CATHOLIC BISHOPS TO JOIN NEW ECUMENICAL GROUP

The top hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States decided yesterday to join the broadest alliance of Christian churches in the country so far, a new ecumenical group that would bring the church to the same table as conservative evangelicals and liberal Protestants.

Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have played a central role in the formation of the group, Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., since discussions began with leaders of other denominations in fall 2001. . .

The organization has about 23 members, Father Kennedy said, including Eastern Orthodox churches; the historic Protestant denominations, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; evangelical churches; ethnic churches; and religiously oriented groups, like the Salvation Army and World Vision. The decision by the bishops' conference to join Christian Churches Together was seen from the outset as essential to the group's existence.

Although most churches engage in ecumenical dialogue with other Christians, those talks are usually bilateral. Moreover, evangelicals and Pentecostals have often not participated regularly in such talks. Through this new group, they can be brought into greater contact with the more traditional churches. . .

CCT in the USA

This title stands for "Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A." It represents a new ecumenical organization to which the Roman Catholic Church through its American Bishops has united. This group - Evangelical, Orthodox, Pentecostal, mainline Protestant as well as Roman Catholics - have written to "all Christians in the United States to share [their] longing for an expanded Christian conversation" in the United States. They declared themselves to be "Christians who long for greater unity." They indicated that this longing most clearly points us to "something new" as a possibility for the churches in the United States.

What does this “something new” involve? The Catholic News Service (CNS) for Nov. 18, 2004, in reporting the decision of the US Catholic Bishops to join this new national ecumenical forum, noted the comments of Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, who is chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical Affairs of the Bishop's Conference. He emphasized that "for the Catholic Church the ultimate goal of ecumenism is the full, visible unity of all Christian churches in the one apostolic faith."

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, asked "if the other churches in the CCT are aware of the perspective from which the Catholic Church approaches the organization. To this question Blaire responded that "not only are the other churches aware of the Catholic view, but many of them also believe that full visible unity is the ultimate goal and that organizations such as the CCT are only interim steps." The CCT will seek to offer a "common witness" several ways, the first one being "a common confession of faith in the Triune God."

QUOTATIONS FROM "Catholic Trumpism Is Reigniting The ‘American Problem’ Within Pope Francis’ Church":

The rise of Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination is based in part on a consensus among conservative Catholics in America, who prefer him over the other Republican candidates (Cruz, Kasich and Rubio), who vaunt a far less marked religious appeal. There were signs of this during the primaries in various states, most notably in Michigan. What’s most interesting is that the xenophobic and nationalist candidate has earned the vote of a majority of Catholic Republicans, either unaware or uninterested in the fact that Pope Francis said, just three weeks ago during his return flight from Mexico, that Trump’s message “is not Christian.”

The phenomenon of Catholic Trumpism lays bare several deep internal contradictions and trends at work in American Catholicism. The first deals with the evolution of the American Catholic church and its inherent political alignment. In 2008 the election of Obama to the office of the President highlighted a stratification of votes among Catholics not only along social and ideological lines, but ethnic lines as well. In the last two presidential elections, white Catholics voted by a large majority for Republican candidates, while non-white Catholics voted for the Democrats. The success of Trump (who stood out during the early part of Obama’s presidency for accusing the President of not being born in the United States, and therefore having been elected illegitimately) among conservative Catholics is therefore part of a trend that was already clear during the previous decade within the American church. . .

The second element can be seen in shifts in the role played by pro-life vs. pro-choice in relationsihps between the church and politics in America. For the past 40 years, starting with the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 to legalize abortion, the abortion issue has been the critical factor for the American church, whose bishops aligned staunchly with Republicans from 1980 onward first and foremost for their anti-abortion stance.

Seduced by the partially-instrumental positioning of the GOP, Catholic bishops feel abandoned by a Republican Party that risks nominating a person who is unafraid of distancing himself from the party orthodoxy on this issue. The pro-life agenda has disappeared not only from the Democratic Party, but from large part of the Republican Party as well. Trump earns the votes of most conservative Catholics despite his more than flip-floppy position on the issue. Social, economic and immigration issues have overtaken abortion in importance within the white conservative Catholic church, whose members are now clinging desperately to Trump, terrified to lose “white supremacy” within American society, as well as by the deindustrialization and impoverishment of the American middle class.

The third element is the involution of political culture among conservative American Catholics. Catholic support for Trump cannot be explained simply by the fears and decline of white America’s lower middle class. Instead it should be viewed through the lens of decadence within the neo-conservative Catholic intelligentsia in the US during the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. On one hand the “victimology” elaborated by bishops and conservative Catholic Americans concerning the religious freedom of Catholics around the country who felt under fire from the Obama administration has found its surrogate in the ethnic and nationalistic victimhood professed by Trump against Latinos and the Chinese. . .

During the early ‘90s, conservative American Catholicism morally and politically excommunicated Bill Clinton, and in 2008 it was Obama’s turn — the only difference being that the “excommunication” reserved for Obama was not merely political and moral, but also civil and not devoid of racial undertones, aimed constantly and consistently at undermining and delegitimizing his presidency. The libertarian rhetoric of the Tea Party, with its “let’s take back our country” (in other words, let’s take it out of the hands of an African-American president), is extremely similar to Trump’s brand of xenophobia — two things that American bishops proved themselves incapable of reacting to, back then and today. It’s a short step from libertarian-liberalist rhetoric to the death of the key idea of “the common good” for Catholic morality, and the Republican Party already took this step over the course of the past decade.

From a certain point of view, Trump is merely the tip of the iceberg of this perversion, which is at once moral and theological: the social and moral depth of the message candidates close to the religious right, like Cruz and Rubio, are sending is not much more Christian than Trump’s manifest moral illiteracy.

The fourth element: Pope Francis’ “American problem” has shone a light on the hypocrisies and contradictions that exist in American Catholicism. The majority of American bishops and conservative American Catholics are not following Francis: in part this is due to the Pope’s message; in part because a peculiar feature of American Catholicism has emerged over the past decade. According to “the American equation,” that which is good for America is good in and of itself; American Catholicism lives within a similar illusion. On March 7th of this year, two of America’s most famous conservative Catholics, George Weigel and Robert George, published an appeal to conservative American Catholics asking them not to vote for Trump. Not only did this appeal (which was also signed by other academics) include not a single quote from Pope Francis (even though the Pope had already been quite clear in statements on Trump), it built the anti-Trump argument based on an interpretation of the church’s social teachings that is identical to that of American liberal capitalism: their thesis is that Trump is no good for Catholics because Trump is no good for American capitalism. . .

In their own way, Catholics for Trump are presenting the country and the American Catholic church with the bill for a moral and intellectual bankruptcy that it will not be easy to recover from, even for one of the most important churches in modern global Catholicism. (Underscored emphasis added.)

QUOTATIONS FROM Establishing Relations with the Holy See:

The Catholic Church has been a political force in Europe for more than a millennium and more than a fifth of all Americans were either raised or are practicing Catholics. Bilateral ties with the Papal States were established in 1848 but lapsed in 1867, in large part because of increasing anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States.

Re-establishing relations with the Vatican turned out to be a long and often bumpy road, as many Americans, including some Catholics, opposed bilateral ties on the grounds they would somehow undermine Constitutional separation of church and state. The United States and the Holy See finally announced the establishment of diplomatic relations on January 10, 1984 during the Reagan Administration. . .

During my four plus years of service at the Vatican, several topics were always out of bounds for discussion between officials of the Vatican and our Embassy. Sometimes the line is quite fine: during the Reagan years, when we at the Embassy were attempting to convince the Vatican on the necessity of somehow coming out with a public statement approving our Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), we had to be very careful not to appear to be lobbying the Vatican against the Peace Pastoral being written by the American Bishops Conference at the time.

I frequently met American priests, laymen, [and] noted political figures who brought up the subject of the Catholic Church in the United States. I would be obliged to gently redirect the conversation. . .

Diplomacy is, of course, not just a one-way street. While we were trying to influence the Holy See, the Holy See was trying to place its stamp on United States policies.

When working with the Holy See on matters involving worldwide political situations, one has the feeling that one is dealing with “diplomacy” at its finest. The Vatican has had many centuries of experience in diplomacy and the Vatican is never in a rush. There always seems to be time to wait, say, for a change of government or a political figure. (Underscored emphasis added.)

Here are some of her statements:

There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.-- Evangelism, p. 615. (7ABC 441-442; original emphasis.)

Those who proclaim the third angel's message must put on the whole armor of God, that they may stand boldly at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, resisting the enemy with the word, "It is written." Keep yourselves where the three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, can be your efficiency. These powers work with the one who gives himself unreservedly to God. The strength of heaven is at the command of God's believing ones. The man who takes God as his trust is barricaded by an impregnable wall.--The Southern Watchman, Feb. 23, 1904, p. 122. {7ABC 442.2}

Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfilment of the covenant that God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, with His Son, and with His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then co-operate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of righteousness.--The Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901. {7ABC 442.3}

We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven, --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,--and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.-- Ibid., p. 617. {7ABC 442.5}