Petrus Romanus, The final pope. Could he be the false prophet of Revelation 13-19?
A prophetic list of popes, attributed to St. Malachy, was supposedly rediscovered and released in 1595. This list begins with Pope Celestine II, and ends with Petrus Romanus, the next pope after the current pope, Benedict XVI. You can find the list on Wikipdia. Interestingly enough, it is apparently quite accurate with regard to the details of pre-1590 popes, but after that one must lean a little more heavily on allegory.
Should Christians take this, and other Catholic prophecies, seriously? Some have, and there has even been a book written on the subject by Thomas Horn & Chris Putnam, “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here.”
The part of the prophecy related to the last pope reads as follows;
112 Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.
I submit to you that Satan has the ability to manipulate history, in ways that can have the appearance of fulfillment of prophecies, both biblical and extra-biblical. This is why I think this prophecy is very dangerous. I doubt that the next pope will take the name “Peter”. He would have to be suicidal to do that. I do however, think that some of the details of his reign will start to look very much like the reign of the false prophet of the book of Revelation.
I did not take much stock in this story as I wrote The Spirit of Prophecy, but as I now look back on this book, I see that this idea of the next pope being the last, fits in perfectly with my idea of a decoy, or pseudo, Tribulation period.
Satan is too smart to bring his Antichrist out in the open, when so many are looking for him. He has to produce a decoy, or patsy, of an Antichrist, who will divert attention away from the real thing! The same goes for the false prophet! I would say that the entire Catholic Church is an elaborate counterfeit Satan has been working on for some 1700 years.
The German philosopher Georg Hegel, born in 1770, in his Science of Logic wrote about a “dialectic” as the way ideas and philosophies change. The original state, or status-quo he called “thesis” and the opposite he called “antithesis”. When two opposite ideas clash they struggle back and forth until they combine to form a new idea, which he called “synthesis”. Hegel argued that if you control the debate, you can control the direction of society. You can lead society to your way of thinking by continuously introducing “antithesis” ideas into the conversation.
I don’t think Hegel originated this idea, he just observed it in operation. I think the originator is Satan himself.
Satan wants to be worshiped like God. Therefore he must make an appearance of being like God. In order to do this he has to create a scapegoat. He has to set up someone so evil that when Satan’s Antichrist shows up, he will appear very good in comparison! In order for the world to accept the Antichrist, as Christ, Satan has to make them think they have gone through the Tribulation! In order to do that he has to duplicate most of the major events of the Tribulation, and Armageddon!
As I have studied the End Times prophecies in Scripture, I have discovered that there are just such events prophesied! There are major End Times events and there are other End Times events that show a remarkable similarity to the major events. The Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39 wars, are a series of wars that appear to be in a cause-and-effect relationship, with the Psalm war occurring several years before the Ezekiel war.
I expect the first of these wars to be so bad that Israel will be forced to use nuclear weapons to defend herself, and the European leader, with the assistance of the pope, will step in to broker a peace treaty. This peace treaty will ensure that Israel gives up her nuclear weapons, with a guarantee that Europe will come to her aid if attacked.
The Arabs will also be forced to disarm, and both they and Israel will prosper by keeping this treaty. It is this peace that is referred to in Ezekiel 38:8 and 12, a peace that is in effect when Iran and Russia attack. I am convinced that it will be this same treaty that will be reinstated in the aftermath of the Ezekiel, Gog/Magog war, the very same “covenant” that the Antichrist will confirm.
This leads me to the conclusion that there will be approximately seven years from the end of the Psalm 83 war until either the beginning, or ending, of the Gog/Magog war.
A great many scholars, both Jewish and Christian, have identified the Gog/Magog war as being the same conflict as Armageddon of Revelation 19. This is incorrect, and actually plays into the hands of the devil’s deception.
There are a number of differences between these wars, as well as events that don’t fit the Armageddon account. For one thing, Gog is killed and buried in Israel, but at Armageddon the Antichrist and false prophet are taken alive and thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is their rapture.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon–gog. Ezekiel 39:11
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Revelation 19:20
Interestingly enough, Isaiah speaks about the fate of the Antichrist, the abominable branch, in chapter 14 verses 18-20;
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. 20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
The Antichrist will not go to Hell, the waiting place of the lost, but goes directly to the Lake of Fire. There are numerous other differences between these two passages, which I have already elaborated on in the Spirit of Prophecy, but this should be enough to show that Armageddon and the war of Ezekiel 38-39, are different wars, at different times.
So, how is this related to the last pope, Petrus Romanus? I think he will be a stand-in for the false prophet, just as the European Union leader will be a stand-in for the Antichrist. As the St. Malachy prophecy states, the city of seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed when this man is pope.
Now, what if the events of the Psalm 83 war, as I have described them above, are correct? After that war the Arabs will live at peace with Israel, and both will prosper. Israel and the Arabs will depend on Europe for security, and the leaders of the Iran-Turkey-Russian alliance know this. Wouldn’t it make sense that this alliance needs to neutralize Europe before attacking Israel? Therefore the best guess as to the destruction of Rome would be shortly before, or right at the start of, their attack on Israel.
By destroying Rome, the city of seven hills, the Russo-Iranian coalition will ensure that Europe will be in such shock and disarray, that they will fail to come to the aid of Israel during their attack. As a result God will have to personally intervene on behalf of Israel, which He will do to the shock of the attacking armies.
A great many professing Christians who are looking for allegory, will see this as fulfilment of Revelation 17-18. A careful study of the details should ensure that one would see the differences, but because many Christians are looking for generalities only, they will get sucked into the deception.
During this attack Turkey will close the dams on the Euphrates river, and its flow will slow to a trickle, to allow the armies of Turkey, Iran and Russia to cross into Israel. This will be interpreted as fulfilment of Revelation 16:12.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
If you go back just a few verses you will see that the Euphrates will be dried up because of a drought, not because some dam worker pushes a button!
Who are the “kings of the east”? It must include China and Japan, for the original says “of the rising sun”. If China and Japan are not a part of this war, you know it isn’t Armageddon! Armageddon will involve the armies of the whole world, including North and South America!
The Gog/Magog war will include the former nations of the USSR such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, etc. and might also include Malaysia, Indonesia, South East Asia, and perhaps even India, but these are not the “kings of the east”, they are only some of the kings of the east!
Another difference is that the remnants of Israel will return to the land after the Gog/Magog war, Ezekiel 39:25, but they are already in the land at the start of the Tribulation! This is why it is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. It is about the descendants of Jacob, and their relationship with their God! It won’t happen while there are large numbers of them living in relative safety among the nations.
All these things fit in perfectly with Paul’s statement;
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. I Thessalonians 5:3
Why are they saying “peace and safety”? Simply because they think it’s over, when in fact it hasn’t yet begun!
Jesus refers to the same thing;
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:44
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Luke 12:40
The old English word “ye” and “you” are plural forms of “thee” and “thou”. The “ye” here is a reference to those who are reading the bible at that time! Why would they think Jesus would not come back? The word “think” is a verb. It is an action word. This does not mean that they are not thinking about His return, but rather they THINK He won’t return, because they think He’s already here!
They think the Antichrist is Christ!
Rather than reading what the bible says about Jesus, and believing it, most professing Christians create a Jesus in their own mind. A Jesus who is remarkably like them! Their Jesus thinks like them, and has the same likes and dislikes as them! He even follows their idea of morality. In fact their Jesus likes them… a lot!
When the Antichrist shows up he will fit their idea of what Jesus should be like, consequently if He’s here on earth, he can’t come down from the sky!
In the aftermath of the Gog and Magog war, after Rome is destroyed, the religions of the world will join together in ecumenical unity. Where might they locate their headquarters? I think it will be Babylon (Zechariah 5:5-11). They will reason that “since the Harlot has been destroyed there is no more danger.” And they will also reason that they must unite to prevent more destruction, but this unity will bring down God’s judgment on them!
Where am I going with this? What I’m saying is that a prophecy may come true and still not be of God. This Malachy prophecy may indeed appear to be true, but it still isn’t of God. Moses himself said that a prophecy can come true even though its origin is suspect;
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:1-3
It does indeed appear that God does sometimes allow Satan to bring his own prophecies to fulfillment. The key is not the fulfillment of prophecy itself, but does it line up with the whole context of the Word of God. Does the prophet deny the plain teaching of the Word of God in some place? Does he deny salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in the shed blood of the Son of God? Does he add something to Scripture, that God did not add?
The Catholic popes do deny salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, and add works as being necessary for Salvation. Therefore if a Catholic prophecy does come to pass, you don’t need to worry about it. It’s not from God!
Jesus has the last word;
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19