Almost 900 years ago, Pope Innocent II summoned the Bishop of Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland, to come to Rome. While there, this Bishop purportedly experienced a vision in which he saw the popes from that time until the end of the Roman Catholic church. He recorded his impression of each of the remaining 112 popes in a series of cryptic phrases.
Today, Saint Malachy’s vision is called “The Prophecy of the Popes.” Written in 1139, it was rediscovered in the Vatican’s archives in 1590.
I do not believe Saint Malachy’s predictions rise to the level of the Bible’s prophecies in either their detail or accuracy. However, his predictions have been remarkable in their own way and bear relevance to the times in which we live.
You see, Saint Malachy’s prophecy seems to predict that the current pope, Benedict XVI, will be the next to last pope of the Roman church. After him will come a pope called Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman. Malachy appears to indicate that he will be the one who cooperates with the Antichrist, then will be turned upon and destroyed by the leader of the confederacy that rises out of the old Roman Empire.
When you consider the fact that Benedict XVI is 85 years old, the world might not have to wait very long to learn if Saint Malachy’s final prediction comes true.
And if that’s not interesting enough, stir this into the mix. The European Union is virtually teetering on the edge of collapse. I’m sure you’ve been hearing all the talk about Greece in the news. As I write this, the G20 is meeting to discuss how to rescue Greece from total bankruptcy. Germany is leading the effort to bail out the Greeks because if they fall chances are several other EU nations will follow in short order.
It’s gotten so dodgy that some European leaders have turned to China for help.
Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, recently told CNBC that the European Union is too big (27 members) to succeed. He noted that the divide, both culturally and economically, between the northern and southern countries of the EU is just too great. He thinks that the only way divergent nations can successfully lump their currencies together is if they are culturally close, like Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. Otherwise, he said, it just can’t work.
Wow, that means the northern nations of the EU should not be tied, currency-wise, to the southern nations of the EU. That could cause a problem since, essentially, it’s the northern nations that are having to bail out the southern members. And the citizens of those northern nations are none too happy about that.
Bottom line, of course, is that if the EU can’t make it work (and the futility of previous bailouts of several of the EU nations seems to indicate it will not), then there is every chance that the European Union may collapse. Or, it may turn to someone who has the ideas and the leadership to make it work. Or, at least, make a revised form of it work.
Now, consider, too, the fact that the Vatican just recently published a report by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. It calls for the establishment of a “global authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over the world’s diverse financial institutions. Although this body does not speak directly for Pope Benedict, it carries his authority because the report quotes him extensively.
In fact, in 2009 Pope Benedict issued an encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate.” In it, the Pope denounced the capitalist mentality as responsible for the global financial meltdown. He also stated that the world’s nations need to transfer part of their powers to a world authority. Then he argued that “there is an urgent need for a true world political authority.”
To recap: We have an ancient prophecy — issued by a Catholic Bishop — that predicts Pope Benedict XVI will be the next to last pope. It also indicates that the pontiff which follows him will cooperate with the Antichrist, which, in turn will result in “the city of seven hills” being destroyed.
Then, we have the current Pope and leadership of the Roman Catholic church advocating for a global authority to rule over the world’s financial institutions. Further, the Pope suggests that there needs to be a single world political authority.
At precisely the same time, the vaunted European Union — which essentially springs from the residue of the old Roman Empire — is facing the possibility of imminent collapse. If that were to happen, it would result in either it disappearing from the pages of history or finding new leadership, retooling itself, and rising again to take charge of the chaos enveloping the world in the wake of its first failure.
Now, how can anyone look at this convergence of remarkable circumstances and say that Bible prophecy is just so much hooey? Only a spiritually blind and deaf person could conceivably argue that these are not exciting times in which to live. Especially if you’re a believer!
But Europe’s not the only place in the world witnessing major movement among end-times players. In the last 10 months, the “Arab Spring” has resulted in a geopolitical shift that has brought the Bible’s prophecies concerning the “King of the South” into sharp relief — no — into concrete reality. The nations that span northern Africa and extend down the Arabian peninsula are now formally Islamic states or soon will be. They all lie to the ‘south’ of Israel and, I believe, form the entity that the prophets called the “King of the South” — referring to one of the four spheres of power that will be involved in the war of Armageddon.
Once again, these remarkable events prove the veracity of God’s Word. And that Word also says that before things get too nasty, Jesus Christ will return to receive all true believers unto Himself. And when He calls us up to join Him in the air, He’ll be removing from this earth the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. And, friends, that’s when — literally — all hell will break loose upon this world. You do not want to be here when that happens.
Don’t wait. If you’ve never believed and accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ; if you’ve never received the pardon that He died to purchase for you, do it right now. Accept His free gift of pardon and welcome Him into your life. Trust me. You will never regret it.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: This week only, “The Hal Lindsey Report” will not be seen on TBN. It’s Fall Praise-A-Thon time! However, this week’s Report can still be seen on Daystar, Inspiration, CPM Network, the CET stations (KHCE, KETH, KITU, KLUJ, WJEB, and WTCE) various local stations, www.hallindsey.com orwww.hischannel.com. Please check your local listings.