Since the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that he will step down from his pontifical throne the news media and internet have been set afire with speculation. In particular attention has been drawn to a 12th century document known as the Prophecy of the Popes which has been remarkably accurate about naming the last 111 papal heads of the Catholic heads. According to the prophecy, the next pope is alledged to be the last and will be identified as Petrus Romanus or Peter the Roman. The prophecy goes on to describe the Catholic Church’s last Pontiff as overseeing a new era, and one that will be met with great difficulty and destruction:
“In extreme persecution the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman…”
“Who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible or fearsome judge will judge his people.
The End.” — Prophecy of the Popes – Attributed to St. Malachy circa 1139 A.D.
What has most people, especially Christians interested in Bible prophecy, intrigued is the strangely coincidental fact that one of the leading candidates for the next pope is a black cardinal from Guyana by the name of Cardinal Peter Turkson which appears to be in line with the Saint Malachy prophecy, thus speculation and discussion is likely to become very intense in the next few weeks as the stakes are high. Is the Catholic saint right or is this going to go awash like the recently much hyped and overblown Mayan 2012 calendar end of the world prediction?
Predictably Seventh-day Adventists have not been slack in commenting on this papal development as it now presents a new dimension to our understanding of last day events. However, there is far from a consensus as reflected by a Spectrum article which shares some of the many speculations that are arising. Will the next pope “be one of the heads on the seven-headed beast of Revelation 17—the eighth who wasn’t and then was.”? Or does this mean “that surely the next pope will be the last, the one who will bring about the National (worldwide…) Sunday Law.”? Or the popular Face Book preacher Eye-Opening Reality who suggests that the next pope will fulfill Dan. 11:43 as king of the north? With this much variation in opinions within the span of 24 hours what is certain is that this discussion will not end anytime soon nor reach any clear consensus. And why is this case, one may ask?
Does the Bible have a response to this recent development?
- In the next pope going to be one of the heads on the beast of Revelation 7?
- Is the next pope going to be the last king of the north?
- Will the next pope bring about the national Sunday law that Adventists are so much in expectation will come to pass?
Are you willing to have your views challenged? Would you believe that none of these views are scripturally sound despite all of the reasons given? Why is that you may ask, or who are you to make such charges, can you back them up? The reason is simple and the Bible tells us plainly.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.” — 2 Peter 1:20, 21
So if no one has a correct view of this development, then who does? We can thank God that in His infinite mercy that we are not left on a ship without chart or compass but that the Elijah message found in the original message of the Shepherd’s Rod has the answer.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” — 2 Peter 1:19
How will you know if this is so? “Come know and let us reason together sayeth the Lord.” Yes the Shepherd’s Rod does have the most logical and plain teaching on subjects which are mysteries and often confused, even by Seventh-day Adventists, on topics germane to the discussion as listed below.
- The Man 666, The False Prophet, Mother of Harlots, Man of Sin: Who are They?
- Who Is the King of the North in Daniel 11:41-45?
- Who is the Leopard Like Beast of Revelation 13?
- Who are the Seven Heads on the Beast of Revelation 17?
- Who are the Beast and the False Prophet that are Cast Into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19:20?
It is imperative for all Seventh-day Adventists to have a clear understanding of prophecy in order to understand and explain the rapidly unfolding events coming at us with unprecedented speed. Time is of the essence, come hear both sides of the story before firing for or against, lest you be found in darkness. Please pray and study over this material as your soul salvation depends on knowing what is the Truth and what is coming next so as not to be caught off guard.