Vatican’s call for One World (Economic) Government

It’s great to be back in Ohio! Wow, do I have a lot to do! And I get to celebrate our return with a dentist visit in a few short hours–hooray!

Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Image via Wikipedia (from Andreas Tille)

This is just a quick post to note that the commentary I submitted to Charlotte about the recent paper published by the Roman Catholic Church (specifically, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace) concerning analysis of the current financial crisis and recommendations for the prevention of future crises has been published at the Tomorrow’s World website: “Vatican: ‘Supranational authority’ needed to guide world finance.”

Here’s the lead paragraph:

On Monday, October 24, 2011, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published its recommendation for a globally empowered international authority over the world’s finances. This move by the Vatican may seem like simply “another academic paper” for policy wonks. But for students of Bible prophecy, the move represents possibilities of tremendous prophetic significance.

Click here here for the whole (brief) article.

In a related article, I thought today’s Wall Street Journal piece “The Vatican’s Monetary Wisdom” was pretty good, noting that the analysis of one of the major “root” cause (a standardless fiat monetary system afte the collapse of Bretton Woods) in the paper is insightful but that the recommendations come across as a naïve “more of the same” approach, relying on a central global authority to be–miraculously, perhaps–better and more virtuous at a managing a standardless fiat monetary system than individual governments have been.

The WSJ article is good, but I would argue that the Vatican paper is in not the product of naïvety.  (Read the short commentary to see why I would think so.)

I hope to do a video for a Heads Up video podcast on the subject later.

12 thoughts on “Vatican’s call for One World (Economic) Government

  1. Michael O'Byrne

    Those of us who are know and understand that which Herbert W. Armstrong was made aware of by God in relation to the revival of the Holy Roman Empire by way of a European superstate to be dominated by a united Germany and a powerful religious entity and an apparently miracle working religious figure will not be surprised by these proposals from the Vatican. It may make many wonder that a tiny state such as the Vatican can wield such influence, but the tentacles of the Roman Catholic Church are far-reaching and people who know and understand Biblical prophecy will have expected developments like this. These proposals and the seeming resolution of the problems in relation to the Euro, tied with the expressed view of leading European leaders for fiscal unity and cohesion are clearly more milestones in the development of the final political, military, social and religious model which will be the final outcome. How and when one powerful figure and the ten lesser leaders who will submit to that leader’s will according to prophecy, remains to be seen. Will the ten be leaders of individual countries or will there be agreement amongst the 17 Euro zone or the 27 members of the EU to divide the EU as a whole into ten distinct regions over which ten specific governors will be elected or appointed? We shall have to wait and see. That there will be one charismatic and strong political leader, a powerful religious figure – the false prophet – and ten subservient figures dominating the beast power is certain because the Bible says so. It seems like the speed at which it will happen will take those in the world by surprise – and perhaps even those of us who know it will happen also.

  2. John from Australia

    Michael you appear to have left out the most-important person in your comment – the beast-person. In Revelation 19:20 we have “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him” – the “beast” is mentioned first as he is the most important of the two.

    In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 a person “sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”. Who then is this “god” – the beast person or the false prophet?

    “…Biblical usage confirms the concept of the prophet as an announcer: for example, when God sent Moses to Egypt He explained, “See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet: thou shall speak all that I command thee, and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh” (Ex 7:1-2). To this, then, corresponds the basic meaning of the Greek word profetes, one who speaks forth, in behalf of another; in classic culture, one who interprets the will of some deity” (J. Barton Payne, Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy, pages 4-5).

    Moses and Aaron provide a ‘positive’ type of the relationship between a God and a prophet, cp. also Acts 14:12; all this suggests that the beast-person will be the “god” – the most important person used by Satan; and the false prophet will be his Joseph Goebals.

    “In John’s description of the beast, there are numerous parallels with Jesus that should alert the reader to the fact that John is seeking to establish…a theological characterization…: Both wielded swords; both had followers on whose foreheads were inscribed their names (13:16-14:1); both had horns (5:6; 13:1); both were slain, the same Greek word being used to describe their deaths (sphagizo, vv.3,8); both had arisen to new life and authority; and both were given (by different authorities) power over every nation, tribe, people, and tongue as well as over kings of the earth (1:5; 7:9; with 13:7; 17:12). The beast described here is the great theological counterpart to all that Christ represents…” (Alan F. Johnson, Revelation, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 12, page 527).

    Just as the assassination of Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand was the spark that lit WWI so the assassination of the beast-person, a.k.a. the antichrist, will be the spark to light WW3; cp. the rumour of Anticohus Epiphanes’s death in Egypt as a type, that lead to the typical people of the prince’s attack on Jerusalem.

  3. Greetings, again, John from Australia —

    I’d have to say that the Bible’s clear words override any typology. The man spoken of in the rest of 2 Thess. 2 is clearly the wonder working false prophet (2nd beast) of Revelation 13, which does not describe the Beast power as doing any miraculous signs, himself, nor showing himself to be anything. While it is possible, perhaps, that Paul is speaking of two different individuals in the chapter, that is not necessarily the best understanding.

    Not that a type of Moses and God may not exist in the relationship between the False Prophet and the Beast; but just as the right relationship Moses had with God still brings him a form of undue worship in this day and age amongst some, the manner in which such dynamics might be steered, used, and manipulated by those without the restraints of Moses’ godly humility and meekness is not hard to imagine.

    After all, the woman rides the Beast. “Most important” is a matter of perspective.

    I hope you’ll read our booklets on the matter: The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality and Who or What Is the Antichrist>

    P.S. This think you misread Michael’s comment, by the way, since he does speak of both beasts, the Beast and the False Prophet. It may be that he needed the word “and” in one of his final statements: “That there will be one charismatic and strong political leader, [and] a powerful religious figure…”

  4. Michael O'Byrne

    Thank you for your additional comment, Mr. Smith. You are correct in suggesting that I neededto include the word ” and ” between the words ” There will one one charismatic and strong political leader ” and the words ” a powerful religious figure “. I thought my wording was sufficient, but I can see how the ommision of the word ” and ” could leave it a little unclear.

  5. No problem! I thought what you said was sound and helpful. It would only have been confusing for those who don’t fully understand the roles of the False Prophet and the Beast, which the world confuses greatly. Your comments were appreciated! 🙂

  6. John from Australia

    Hi Wallace,

    You write

    I’d have to say that the Bible’s clear words override any typology.

    I would suggest that typology should complement the “Bible’s clear words”; if it doesn’t then perhaps the interpretation of those “clear words” is wrong.

    “Woe to the bloody city! It is full of lies and robbery. Its victims never departs… the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, The mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries” (Nahum 3:1,4).

    A ‘woman’ may be a symbol for both a “church” and a “city”; a ‘harlot’ is also a symbol for a city; Babylon was a “great” city:

    Dan 4: 30 and said (is) not this Babylon the great that I have built it for the palace royal; by the might on my power and for the honor of my majesty? (Green’s The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek- English Bible).

    Jer 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
    Jer 51:8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
    Jer 51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.
    Jer 50:23 How the hammer of the whole world has been cut apart and broken! How Babylon has become a desolation among the nations

    “The deliberate association of Assyria with Babylon ([Genesis10] vv.10-12) is also significant… By means of this narrative insertion, then, the author has not only introduced a key city, Babylon, but has taken Assyria out of its natural associations … and given it a new identification with the city of Babylon. Thus the author has opened the way for an association and identification of any city with the city of Babylon. These appear to be the initial stirrings of a “larger than life” symbolic value for the city of Babylon, one known in the Book of Isaiah (chs.13-14), where Assyria is identified with Babylon) and fully developed in the image of “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT” in Revelation 17:5). The prophet Micah can already speak of Assyria as the “land of Nimrod” (Micah 5:6)” (John H. Sailhamer, Genesis, EBC, Vol.2, pages 100-101).

    I would suggest that it is “Babylon” the city that sits on the beast for three and a half years; and that Jerusalem, the capital city of the Beast (Dan 11:45a), is the last manifestation of “Babylon”; cp. also Rev 11:7-8.

    It appears that the beast is the main subject of chapter 17 from the amount of material devoted to him in the interpretation.

    If prophecy has near-future and far-future fulfillments the ‘early’ recipients of John’s prophecy would have associated Rome, with its emperor worship, as the near-future fulfilment of Babylon not a church.

    It appears that the ten kings destroy the Babylonian “church” at the beginning of the tribulation, then the beast and the false prophet sets up a true-antypical Babylonian kingdom, the latter enforcing worship of the former and, later, Christ destroys the Babylonian “kingdom” – Babylon the Great – at the end of the Tribulation.

    (It appears that the women of Revelation 12 and 17 are ‘telescopic’ women – what appears to be one woman in each chapter turns out to be two woman – Israel the Kingdom and Israel the Church in Rev 12 and Babylon the Kingdom and Babylon the Church in Rev 17; and only the Babylonian Kingdom in Rev 18).

    Mt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders;
    2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    If Christ says that false Christs can perform “signs” and “wonders” it would be something if the antitypical false Christ does not show great signs and wonders but the antitypical false prophet does.

    Regards John

  7. Howdy, again, John from Australia.

    On a match between “clear words” and “conjectured type,” I’m sorry, but it is the type that earns the first and strongest doubts, not the words. It is in type that conjecture and personal theory more easiily find room and comfort.

    While you’re right in that a woman can be used to identify a city, it’s a far step from that to saying that she does. You seem to conflate several things, including the antichrist and the Beast power, when the antichrist is clearly a religious figure, not a civil/poltical/military power, and one that has promoted false doctrines in the Church since before the RCC existed, indeed, according to John, since the time of the apostles, themselves.

    No clear Scripture gives miracle working power to the Beast, only to the “second” beast, the false prophet, and we use the clear to illuminate the less clear.

    And I do see why such conflation is easy, since, as your words help to indicate, the borders have often been fuzzy. Babylon is a city, yes, but it is associated with a perverted faith, as well, enduring long past the city’s fall, just as yesterday’s Rome is now today’s RCC, and Vatican City is virtually synonymous with the RCC. And the pontiff of Rome has ever claimed authority to “reign over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 17:18) and has, indeed, done so on numerous occasion. The Holy Roman Empire is the historical model of the Beast/Prophet relationship, and the ties and lines between Church and State in that model are both fuzzy and contentious, each using the other for benefit in its own sphere and outside of it. The woman and the Beast will have an uncomfortable union, and city and system are not easily separated, though beyond their borders distinction is clear.

    Yet, the woman is distinctly not the Beast — that much is clear. The text of Revelation 17 makes the distinction of type too sharp to ignore. The ten kings do not give their authority to the woman, but to the Beast, and the woman is not the Beast.

    As the woman of Revelation 12 in the last days is a religion, so, too, is the woman of Revelation 17. A look at all the facts is necessary (something commandment-breaking commentary writers rarely do), and, still, the words themselves win out over conjectured type.

    Thanks for your comments, but it looks as though we will need to agree to disagree. Still, I hope you’ll study through the booklets I mentioned.

  8. John from Australia

    Hi Wallace,

    Yes, we will have to agree to disagree.

    But one comment you made:

    “While you’re right in that a woman can be used to identify a city, it’s a far step from that to saying that she does.”

    But isn’t that what John is saying in Revelation 17:18a: And the woman which thou sawest is that great city?

    I can’t accept, if that is what you are saying, that the RCC-Vatican city – established in 1929 – is the “great city”.But that is OK, as we can agree to disagree.

    While I have not read all of “The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?” there are some historical/editorial problems with it.

    For example it reads:

    “The first three kingdoms springing out of the old Roman Empire, the Vandals, Herulii, and Ostrogoths, were uprooted. The might of the eastern emperor, Justinian, accomplished this “plucking up” at the behest of Rome’s pope.”

    But an earlier paragraph includes these sentences:

    “The eastern emperor, Zeno, “recognized” Odoacer as the legitimate continuation of Roman government in Italy. Odoacer was an Arian, however, and after an appeal by the Bishop of Rome, Zeno dispatched Theodoric, the leader of the Ostrogoths, to drive out the Herulii in 488.”

    The last quoted sentences contradicts, in part, the first statement I quoted. Justinian was only five years old in 488 and it would be another 39 years before he became emperor.

    The article also reads:

    Thus the first three “horns” were plucked up at the behest of the bishop of Rome, the “little horn” of Daniel 7.

    I cannot find any historical evidence to support this, so if you can provide some it would be appreciated.

    History does reveal this:

    “…At the urging of the Ostrogothic king Theodahad, he [Pope Agapetus 1] headed an unsuccessful mission to Constantinople to deter the emperor Justinian I from his plans to reconquer Italy” (Pope Agapetus I, Encyclopaedia Britannica).

    (Theodahad was king when Justinian’s army first invaded Sicily).

    “For more than half a century after Gelasisus the real position of the popes was very much less than their exalted claims. They were used, and sometimes abused, first by the Gothic kings in Italy and then, after Justinian reconquered the West, by the Eastern emperors. There were the scenes of humiliation, as when Pope John I, on the orders of Theodoric the Ostrogothic king of Italy, travelled to Constantinople to plead with the Emperor on the behalf of Arian Christians. When he returned in failure he was thrown into prison. The papacy remained subservient to Constantinople long after the death of Justinian and the failure of Roman rule in Italy. Until 741 papal elections had to be confirmed by Constantinople, or the imperial exarch of Ravenna” (A Lion Handbook, The History of Christianity, pp.201-202).

    “The papacy had triumphed over the Empire of the Hohenstaufen and played its part in rooting out the ‘infamous clan’.” (Friedrich Heer, Holy Roman Empire, p.87).

    The papacy’s role in bringing about end of the Hohenstaufens, the last dynasty of the First Reich, is at least historical.

    Some other points to this theory:

    (1) The Vandals appear to be a “revival/resurrection” of the Roman Empire before it received its so-called deadly wound.

    (2) the Vandals sacked Rome before the deadly wound but so did the Visigoths, as noted in the booklet, but the latter is not included among the horns – only partially uprooted.

    (2) The Heruli inflicted that deadly wound and set up the first barbarian kingdom in Italy.

    (3) The Heruli, the second so-called horn, was uprooted before the Vandals.

    (4) The booklet states “the Romans “recognized” them [the Vandals] as the legitimate continuation of the empire in North Africa ” (Langer, p.135). But recognised as what? The Atlas of World History, Vol.1, p.117) records that they were “recognised as foederati”. In the next historical note, following the Vandals, Langer defines the term foederati: “450-457. Marcian, emperor of the east…allowed the Ostrogoths (east Goths) to settle as military allies (foederati) in Pannonia” (p.135). So were the Ostrogoths also a ‘horn’ of the eastern Roman Empire?

    (5) The booklet refers to the first three horns being plucked up. But is this so?

    Da 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

    It appears that the “little horn” arises “after” the ten kings are on the scene and then shall subdue three of these ten. Clear words? So it could refer to any of the ten kings of Revelation 17:12 & 16 if they are contemporaries as the context suggests.

    Bob Thiel made this comment:

    “Much is happening in the world, and a leader known as the final King of the North (or Beast) in Bible prophecy, will ultimately become the leader of Europe. And according to the Bible, he will have military abilities (Revelation 13:1-4) and apparently be popular and charismatic (cf. Daniel 7:20,11:21-24,31; Revelation 13:3-5)” (August 25, 2011).

    Though he denies that the little horn of Daniel 7 is the Beast, he still uses verse 20 as a comparison for suggesting that the King of the North is “popular and charismatic”. From the context it seems to me he is associating the little horn with the Beast.

    (6) I would suggest this statement from the Beast booklet needs to be qualified

    “In 455 they even pillaged the city of Rome itself. They were so thorough that to this day the name “vandal” is attached to those who destroy others’ property.”

    from historical observations, such as this one:

    “The Vandals stayed a fortnight (June 455) in Rome, long enough to take all the treasures which had been left by the Visigoths in the year 410 or restored since… the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, of which even the half of the gilded roof was taken away… On the other hand, the Christians churches as a rule were spared. Murder and incendiarism also, as has been certainly proved, did not take place, neither was their any wanton destruction of buildings or works of art. It is therefore very unjust to brand Gaiseric’s people with the word “Vandalism,” which indeed came into use in France no earlier than the end of the eighteenth century” (The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol.1, Chapter, 10, p.308, Cambridge University Press, 1936).

    The above highlights, at least to me, the difficulty of trying to fit a theory to history.

    Regards John

  9. Howdy, one more time, John from Australia.

    Thanks for noticing the way I said that about being a city — in my haste I accidentally said more than I meant to. I was trying to say there, and with my examples as well, that religions and their cities can often be conflated and that it can be a mistake to think of such a reference as “just” a city. The Vatican I meant as good modern example of that. I believe the woman to be Rome and the church of Rome.

    As for the details in the booklet, I appreciate your observation about Justinian and that one sentence might need an edit, but thankfully the material makes it clear enough that it was not Justinian who uprooted the Herulii or, for that matter, the Ostrogoths. And the comments about the Vandals are, indeed, true and perfectly valid, with no contradiction between what is said and the history you cite.

    And as for citing historical evidence, the booklet, itself, provides references rather clearly, so I’m not sure what needs to be added. To say that historians differ would be hardly controversial, but the references are right there on the page. If you prefer the other perspectives and disagree with Mr. Durant, I suppose you could take it up with him. (Yes, that’s supposed to be funny.)

    Finally, as for any need for contemporaneous existence concerning the horns, there is no such need as Revelation 17:10 points out that appearance together in vision does not discount sequential fulfillment in time.

    Typing on my phone here in the car is getting tiresome (my wife is driving, so I’m not being reckless!) so I will wrap up, but I did want to respond briefly and to thank you for letting me know where I had been confusing. Have a great day, and thanks, again. — Wallace Smith

  10. P.S. I did not comment on your quote from Bob Thiel, as I figure he can comment for himself. He is a faithful member of our Church, but he is not a minister with us nor does he officially represent the Church in what he writes. His writings are his own, and if you have a question about something he’s written, I’d recommend asking him directly. It is my understanding that he would probably be happy to write you back, and he enjoys history a great deal. Now, I have to stop before my typing thumbs and strained eyeballs divorce me. 🙂 — WGS

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