After nearly eight years as leader of the largest religious organisation on the face of the earth, Pope Benedict XVI has tendered his resignation in an announcement last Monday that startled the world. With his resignation set to occur on February 28, 2013, a new pope will soon afterward be selected by a conclave of Roman Catholic cardinals assembled at the Vatican in Rome. Observers are wondering what this unexpected and monumental change will mean for Roman Catholicism, and for the struggling European Union.
On April 19, 2005, a conclave of Roman Catholic cardinals meeting at the Vatican in Rome selected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as their new Pope. Taking the name Benedict XVI, he has since travelled the world from Turkey to Brazil, Austria to Africa, and Cuba to America, meeting with prominent heads of state and with patrons of his church. He has also weathered a tide of accusations against the Catholic priesthood involving paedophilia and other wide-ranging allegations of sexual misconduct.
Furthermore, as noted in a CNN Money article, there have been issues surrounding the way the Vatican has handled its financial affairs. Though it made him unpopular with some Vatican “insiders,” Benedict sought to make a priority of reforming Vatican financial and banking practices that had been accused of laxity with regard to international standards on combatting money laundering and financing terrorism.
All this, and more, took its toll on the now nearly 86-year-old leader. He cited in his resignation address “advanced age” as the reason for his early and surprising departure from office.
Benedict used his platform to wield tremendous religious influence over the world—not just its billion Roman Catholics. Religion is indeed a powerful influence, even in our increasingly secular world. How powerful? Your Bible foretells that, at the end of this age, there will be a charismatic religious figure—known as the false prophet—who “performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13).
This coming false prophet will draw support by performing astounding miracles and signs. Through these signs and wonders many in the world will be deceived into believing that this individual is, himself, God on earth (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).
This deceiver will speak the message of the dragon. “Then I [John] saw another beast coming up from out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). Satan the Devil is called a dragon in Revelation 12:9. In that same verse we are told that Satan has deceived the whole world, and through this beast, the coming false prophet, the devil’s message of deception will literally pour forth.
This individual will be supernaturally imbued with deceptive power. The “signs” he performs will cause the inhabitants of the earth to turn and follow after him. So, what will he do? He will point the peoples of the earth to follow after a great political and military leader also called in Scripture the beast. “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” (Revelation 13:4).
Those who watch Bible prophecy can be sure that this prophecy will be fulfilled. There will be an alliance between a great false prophet and a political and military leader known as the “beast.” They will have great authority over the European establishment and will drive all nations toward a cataclysmic final world war.
You can make yourself ready for the climactic times ahead and receive divine protection. What role will the new Pope’s institution play in prophesied end-time events? To learn more, order our free booklet The Beast of Revelation today. Also, order our free booklet, Who or What Is the Antichrist?, for more information about these vital end-time prophecies. Prepare yourself, and you can be spared much of the suffering that is ahead.