Summary: Who can we trust these days? Do all roads really have to lead to Rome?
SIXTY-SEVEN: THE LAST POPES
At the end of the Old Testament is Malachi. In these last days of the Roman Church, there is Malachi Martin, aggressive "prophet" to the Catholic people, former Jesuit professor, one who served with John XXIII. Comments from his book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, are revealing, though I am told that Martin needs to be listened to with discernment. In speaking of the lessening Roman membership in these days he says:
"There appears to be no reasonable hope that this decline can be arrested...what form Roman Catholicism will take - its religious spirit and faith will not die, nor a successor to St. Peter's Throne ever lack -is one of the tantalizing enigmas we moderns will not live to see solved."
Oh I don't know, Malachi. Keep your eyes open. Keys to the mystery are everywhere.
In speaking of John XXIII he says that his appeal was universal. He wanted contacts with all men. He believed that people intuitively eventually do the right thing... he later came to reject the idea of a personal Devil and original sin. Yet, this was the father of Vatican II.
He relates that John's successor, Paul VI, talked about the people of God, not the kingdom idea which so threatened people -rightly so - who knew of Rome's evil history. This same Paul, Malachi says, was used by leftist powers in Latin countries, and seemed to be unable to rein in his bishops that were Marxist leaning. He implies that Paul did not do much in the way of protesting unnatural persecution of believers in Communist countries.
So the next Pope, he says, was determined to restore the old ways of Rome:
"By any measures at our disposal the influence of this Pope and his Vatican exceeds that of most middle class powers in the world today (e.g., France, Germany) and it modifies - sometimes offsets, even upsets, the policies and influences of the two superpowers...even the Communist Politburo in Peking is beginning to feel his influence and the need to be in contact with him (Pope John Paul II)."
Malachi also talks about one who finally will dominate...the ultimate dictator, the man of Destiny... This man seems to know a lot of important things.
So, is Rome declining? Quite possibly. It seems as though Satan, since Vatican II, has been regrouping, backing off awhile. In the formation process, though, is a greater than ever world religion, still based in Rome, still identifiable as Babylon the Great. I believe the unchanging church will continue to evolve, adding elements that will at once disgust believers and amaze the world. But the world will buy those elements. Add to all of this, rising Europe, and you can begin to see the awesome spectacle viewed by John the Revelator on the isle of Patmos. Could we be about to see it in our day?
SIXTY-EIGHT: DECEIVING THE VERY ELECT
The history of Babylon, though sketchy, is mostly before you. But I would be amiss to leave out some recent [1990's] elements, things which show the fruit of Vatican II in scarier terms. The post-Vatican II world of Babylon is becoming quite confusing.
Within Rome are a myriad of confused voices. Perhaps this is a good time to conclude the "Mary" thread by returning to Samples (op.cit., pp 100 ff) and telling with him the story of Medjugorje. That's a small town in present-day Yugoslavia, where a record-setting series of apparitions are occurring, or so it is reported.
The story begins in 1981, when, once again, young people who have no particular longing for God, who in fact are going out to a hillside for a smoke, suddenly encounter a "presence."
Why has she come, this ghostly but real "blessed Virgin Mary"?
"I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world."
She says some traditional Catholic prayers with them, and leaves them with the admonition to find peace with God, and promote peace among men. Right away we know something is wrong, as God's peace is only promised for His own, and for the rest is promised a sword, and eventual judgment.
The visions continue, and the Communist government then ruling the land reminds the would-be vision-seers that religious services are not allowed outside; the Communists needed to control religion in their regime. Seems that "Mary" would have known that from the beginning. But she, and they, all comply, and the meeting is taken indoors.
Over the weeks and months the children are visited by not only Mary, but "various angels, Jesus, the devil, and certain relatives who have died." They have also seen heaven, purgatory, and hell. By the early 90's, 2,500 appearances have been reported, carrying over 1,000 messages!
But we've got some problems here: