Manning could not deny the crystal-clear truth that the city of Rome, and only the city of Rome, was the city prophesied of in Rev. 18. This is a fact so obvious that even many Papist authors have admitted it, and it is incredible that so many supposedly “Evangelical” authors today refuse to acknowledge what even such blatant enemies of the truth have accepted. As Manning accepted that Rome was the city in Rev. 18, he had to accept that the time was coming when it would be destroyed for its sins, for this is what the prophecy says. Thus far he was accurate, at least.
But then we see Manning falling for and promoting the Jesuit lie of the Futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy: that of a future, individual False Prophet and a future, individual Antichrist, neither of whom is Roman Catholic (rather, the False Prophet replaces the pope of Rome in his view). This is the lie that (as I show in my book Trappings of Popery) was begun by the Jesuits centuries ago, deliberately, so as to deflect the Protestants from their deeply-held conviction (based on Bible prophecy) that the Roman Papacy was the Antichrist. And it worked! Today the dominant prophetic scheme of interpretation is this Jesuit-created Futurist one – among Protestants. They believe in a future individual Antichrist, and a future individual False Prophet. Some Evangelicals, it is true, believe the final pope of Rome will be the False Prophet himself; but most see the False Prophet as some still-future religious leader, and the Antichrist as a political leader right at the end of time.
Biblically, the Antichrist of 2 Thess. 2, 1 Jn. 2, and the book of Revelation is no other than the Roman pope – each and every Roman pope through the centuries, right up to the end of the world. And the False Prophet of the book of Revelation is no other than the Roman Catholic priesthood. These biblical terms do not refer to individuals, but to systems and to groups of men. For evidence, see my writings and sermons on the book of Revelation and other prophecies. Thus both the Antichrist (the Roman Papacy) and the False Prophet (The Popish priesthood) are part and parcel of the Roman Catholic system. We are not to look elsewhere for the fulfilment of these things. The Antichrist does not destroy the city of Rome – the Antichrist is in the city of Rome and rules over the city of Rome!
Secret Societies, the Jesuits, and Vatican Conservatives vs. Liberals
As for the Freemasons and other secret societies, the truth is that these have actually been under the overall control and direction of the Jesuits of Rome for centuries! There have been times in history, of course, when they have worked against the Papacy, and they certainly do have their own agendas for world conquest (and some, for the destruction of Romanism and indeed all religion), and there certainly has been conflict between Rome and these secret occult societies; but even so the Jesuits have used them and manipulated them and in many cases founded them, for their own purposes of world conquest. Rome truly is “the Mother of abominations” (Rev. 17:5). Some within the Vatican hierarchy and priesthood, who know the Jesuit involvement with these secret societies, are deliberately promoting the idea that there is no connection, and that the secret societies always hate the “Church” of Rome and want to destroy it. But others, probably the majority, are simply ignorant, and really do think these societies are nothing but enemies of the “Church”. They have often believed a time would come when secret forces would seek to destroy Roman Catholicism from within. And for many traditionalist Papists, this planned destruction took a giant leap forward in the 1960s, when the Second Vatican Council was held under two leftist Roman popes, John XXIII and Paul VI. Vatican II, as it was called, swung the Papal system to the left, especially with regard to its ecumenical and interfaith policies, which traditionalists viewed as very harmful to Rome. For such traditionalists, Rome’s attitude of ecumenicity towards Protestant religious bodies and sympathy with other religions such as Hinduism and Islam, and public pronouncements by popes and others on these and other issues that popes of earlier times would never have made, are indicative of a Vatican overrun by liberals, Communists and other leftists, all acting according to the dictates of Illuminism and Freemasonry.
Little do most of these traditionalists realise that these “changes” since Vatican II are not evidences of a Rome that has been infiltrated by enemy agents, but have in reality simply been the Jesuits’ modern tactics to conquer the world – for it is the Jesuit Order which is the real power behind the Vatican throne. As stated previously, the Jesuits have so often been the radical left wing of the Papal system. And ever since the order was created in the sixteenth century, there has been constant tension between so many within the order and right-wing popes. There most certainly is a battle waging between traditionalist priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals within the hierarchy, and leftist priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals, notably the Jesuits. That the Vatican itself is riddled with occultists is a fact well known within the hierarchy. And that these occult agents desire to control the Vatican for themselves is also not a secret to many within that hierarchy. The Jesuits and others actually support these plans. To make it all the more confusing, Freemasons and others can be found on both sides of the fence – traditionalist and progressive/leftist/liberal. It is a huge subject and has only been touched on here.