WND: There’s abundant reason for Christians to be watching world developments as new geopolitical coalitions arise along with increasing persecution and other circumstances that appear to relate to end-times prophecy. But is Pope Francis the Antichrist? Chill out, at least one end-times watcher says. Probably not.
The question was raised recently in a Charisma News commentary by Jennifer LeClaire headlined, “Why So Many People Think Pope Francis is the Antichrist.”
It could be for some of the same reasons his popularity is declining . . . His approval rating in the United States has dropped from 76 percent a year ago to 56 percent today, according to Gallup.
She points to his public focus on combating “social inequity and poverty.”
Talking Points Memo noted the Charisma News commentary drew considerable attention when it was linked at the Drudge Report.
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Joel Richardson, whose works include “Mideast Beast,” “When a Jew Rule the World,” the movie “End Times Eyewitness” and “Islam & The End Times,” told WND there is “no question that Pope Francis is a real disappointment to conservatives, whether Catholic or Protestant.”
In my opinion, the greatest of his failures thus far was to officially recognize “Palestine” as a state. Such actions only empower a political movement that is founded not in the desire to establish its own state, rather it is to eliminate the state of Israel.
But Richardson said the idea that Pope Francis is the Antichrist “simply doesn’t square with Scripture.”
There are many Scriptures we could point to to establish this, but just a few should suffice . . . According to the prophet Daniel, the Antichrist will first emerge as a leader of small significance, who rises in power, initially overthrowing three other kings, eventually controlling a total of 10 kings (Daniel 7:8; 8:9-10; 11:23). The Antichrist, also called ‘Gog’ by the Prophet Ezekiel, will arise specifically from the region of Magog, which is essentially Asia Minor or modern-day Turkey (Ezekiel 38:2). The Antichrist will eventually come to spend three-and-a-half years speaking blasphemies and ‘unheard of things against the God of gods’ (Daniel 11:36), eventually elevating himself above God (Daniel 8:11,25; 11:36-38; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Richardson said that while Francis “may be a great disappointment as a pope,” it is “rather doubtful that he will ever take to openly blaspheming and elevating himself above God.”
The Charisma News commentary noted Francis has denounced capitalism, backed away from traditional views of homosexuality, discussed a “New World Order” and warmed up to Islam “like no other pope before him.”
Richardson noted some have speculated Barack Obama is the Antichrist, while others point to Francis and others.
None of these leaders aligns to the various biblical requirements. At this moment in history when there is such a tremendous sense of foreboding within the body of Christ, we must rise above our feelings, hold steady, and look only to the Scriptures.
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Author Tom Horn, whose projects include “Blood on the Altar: The Coming War Between Christian vs. Christian” and “Nephilim Stargates,” has addressed end-times prophecies regarding the pope in “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here.”
In a documentary based on the book – titled “The Last Pope?” – he describes traveling to Rome, Geneva, Belfast and other places to “discover the story of venerated Irish prophet St. Malachy” and his prophecy of the popes.
He cites medieval historians and Vatican-affiliated experts, among others, regarding Malachy’s prophecy. In “Petrus Romanus,” he explores the prophecy identifying the final pope as “Peter the Roman,” whose reign is to end in the destruction of Rome. According to tradition, Malachy was called to Rome by Pope Innocent II in 1595, and while there, experienced the vision of the future popes, including the last, which he described in a series of cryptic phrases.
Horn believes the final pontiff could be the one following Benedict XVI, who resigned.
The book charges that there are those among “a multinational power elite and occult hierarchy” who already have infiltrated the Catholic Church and will help deceive Catholics into worshiping the Antichrist.
Horn told WND that his earlier work predicted the resignation of Benedict, giving critics pause, since it was the first time a pope had resigned in nearly 600 years. He noted that Francis took his name from a friar, and it could be interpreted as “Peter the Roman.” He also pointed out Francis’ Jesuit background and the progressive ideas in his pronouncements, or encyclicals. And then there are the atheists on Francis’ advisory team, he noted. “I think maybe, more than anything, his condemnation of the free market, his embrace of ideas that are Marxist and socialist” have raised questions, he said.
Now Francis is planning a U.S. trip in which he will become the first pope to address Congress.
While exactly who will emerge to fulfill the roles prophesied in the Bible remains cloudy, “I think there is something about all of this,” Horn said. Many people over the generations, he noted, have believed the Vatican would eventually be infested with demonic clergy and be led by the Antichrist. He said Christians need to be watching carefully.
LeClaire concluded her Charisma News piece by citing the chatter about Francis and asking whether his role as pope is a fulfillment of prophecy.
Here’s what we know: More than 50 years ago, a Jesuit priest predicted the resignation of Pope Benedict – to the day – and now Tom Horn, who worked with Cris Putnam to unveil a 900-year-old prophecy buried in the library at the Vatican that describes a series of 112 popes, and others are looking at this research. “Was he divinely inspired? Was he demonically inspired?” Horn asks. “Because we know demons know things about times and dispensations, too.”
Story from WND