It caused a huge stir – but really, should any Christian be surprised?
At a conference in Texas, USA, under the auspices of the “ministry” of veteran Charismatic charlatan and false prophet, Kenneth Copeland, a man appeared on a giant TV screen and gave his “blessing” to the assembled congregation. That man was no other than the Jesuit pope of Rome, Francis I.
He spoke in Italian, with subtitles provided, delivering an ecumenical message that was lapped up by those Charismatics like a word from heaven itself. The Roman Antichrist, employing all the subtlety for which the Jesuits are infamous, said that he yearned that “this separation comes to an end and gives us communion.” He went on to say: “we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together…. These tears will unite us, the tears of love…. I speak to you in a simple way, with joy and yearning. Let us allow our nostalgia (yearning) to grow, because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another. And together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history.”
Indeed the Papacy yearns for the day when all spiritually blind “Protestants” are all united under the Roman banner. But this yearning is the yearning of a hungry wolf for the goats which are so close to its slavering jaws that it can almost taste them. While those same silly goats bleat on about “how wonderful it is that we’re all coming together” and yearn for “unity” with Rome which, they naively believe, is the unity of sheep with sheep (even though both sides are comprised of goats), the Papacy has no such illusions. It knows that what is happening, step by step, is not unity, but the annihilation of the other side. This is all it desires: conquest. Conquest over the non-Papists by any and every means. And so its pope, faithful to his Jesuit orders, waffles on about all being “brothers” and about the need to cry together and embrace one another; and the Charismatics – already softened up by decades of touchy-feely emotionalism produced by their “tongues-speaking” and their repetitive songs, their swaying together as they sing and cry and swoon in heaps from the mass-induced hysteria which they blindly attribute to being “slain in the Spirit” – ignore biblical doctrine as they always have done and embrace the Roman pope’s call as they would one of their own false “prophecies”.
But Antichrist had one more trick up his sleeve – and when he pulled it out he had that Charismatic conference eating out of his hand. He asked them to pray for him. “I thank you profoundly for allowing me to speak the language of the heart,” he said. “Please pray for me, because I need your prayers… Let us pray to the Lord that he unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”
He ended with: “I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you. Thank you.”
Well, that brought the house down. A pope of Rome, asking non-Romanists to pray for him? It was clever, it was jesuitically subtle and deceptive, and it had the desired effect. Kenneth Copeland took the stage, shouting, “Glory! Glory! Glory! Come on, the man asked us to pray for him!”
No doubt, once Francis heard of Copeland’s response, he winced a little at being called, simply, “the man”. Much better for him if Copeland had called him “His Holiness” or some other dearly-beloved papal title. But he could overlook it, at least for now, because he knows that allowances have to be made for Charismatic ignorance about Roman Catholicism. Charismatics and Pentecostals are woefully ignorant of the false doctrines and practices of Rome; and the reason for their ignorance is that they are woefully ignorant of the true doctrines and practices of biblical Christianity!
As far as Francis was concerned, the great objective was certainly achieved. When Copeland called for his followers to pray for the Roman pope, they immediately began doing so throughout the crowd, praying in what they believed to be “unknown tongues” (in truth, nothing but gibberish). And Copeland himself prayed as follows: “Father, we answer his request…. We know not how to pray for him as we ought, other than to agree with him in his quest… for the unity of the Body of Christ. We come together in the unity of our faith. Hallelujah!”
So what brought all this about?
The video of Francis was recorded on January 14, 2014, by Englishman Tony Palmer, a minister within the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches. This man worked with leaders of the Roman Catholic Charismatic movement in Argentina some years ago, and while there he befriended a Jesuit cardinal named Jorge Mario Bergoglio – the man who would become Francis I, the pope of Rome, in 2013. As pope, Bergoglio invited Palmer to the Vatican, where the video was recorded.
Now ponder Palmer’s own challenge to the crowd: “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?” This man was declaring that the Protestant Reformation was over, it was no longer relevant, Protestants had nothing left to protest about with regards to Rome, and it was thus time to quit protesting and wholeheartedly embrace Romanists as brethren, Romanism as Christian, and unite! This is where things stand now: puny, ignorant, spiritually blind men, claiming to be ministers, preachers and teachers, dismissing Protestantism with an airy wave of the hand, and demanding that all non-Papists stop protesting against Rome, for there is now no need to do so!
In the words of Marcel LeJeune, assistant director of campus ministry at St Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M University, it was stunning to see a flock of “evangelical leaders” (as he incorrectly called them) openly praying for the pope of Rome, instead of, as was common in the past, “talking about Rome being the Great Whore of Babylon.” Yes, well might Romanists rejoice at this. Where are those today who proclaim boldly what the saints through the ages have known and proclaimed – that Rome is the Great Whore of Babylon as described in the book of Revelation? There is a deadly silence on this point from the decimated ranks of the “Protestants”. They are Romeward bound, singing about “unity” and proclaiming that “doctrine isn’t important, all that matters is love”, and simply unable to even grasp the momentous issues at stake.
Amazing how Charismatics love to talk about having the “gift of discerning of spirits” operating among them – and yet not one of them was able to discern “the spirit of Antichrist” which was so powerfully at work in their very meeting (1 Jn. 4:1-3)! Their claim to possess the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit is false. Those gifts have ceased; they ceased with the apostolic age (1 Cor. 13:8-12). We have the completed Word of God, the Bible, and we are to “try the spirits” by that. But Charismatics and Pentecostals prefer to claim possession of miraculous gifts than to truly obey the Bible. If they really were “led by the Spirit”, why are they going ever deeper into doctrinal error? It is not the Holy Spirit who is leading them there, for He leads into all truth (Jn. 16:13). They are under the direction and guidance of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils – the very same seducing spirits which moved men to bring the Papal system into being in the first place (1 Tim. 4:1-5).
And so that praying, weeping, swaying crowd of Copeland disciples became yet another non-Popish congregation which was now a giant step closer to being sucked into the embrace of the Mother of Harlots (Rev. 17:5). Never mind what the Bible says in condemnation of the vile doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism; never mind what Bible prophecy says about the true nature of this religious system which it calls the Great Whore (Rev. 17); never mind what it says about its leader, whom it refers to as the Antichrist, the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition (1 Jn. 2:18-23; 2 Thess. 2:1-10); never mind centuries of persecution of Protestants at the hands of Rome (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13:7) – those Charismatics did not know about these things and would not have cared to know them. As far as they were concerned, a great “Christian leader” – the leader of the largest “Christian church” on earth – had called them brothers and spoken of the need for unity and asked them to pray for him. What else mattered? Doctrine? Since when have Charismatics ever been concerned with sound doctrine?
For the truth is this: it was not a true Christian church embracing the Roman Catholic institution and its pope! This was an assembly of Kenneth Copeland devotees! Kenneth Copeland – one of the most influential Charismatic preachers in the world, but a man who is a false teacher, a false prophet, an outright charlatan and wolf in sheep’s clothing! A man who has taught that men today can perform miraculous “healings” and receive special revelations from the Lord directly. A man who has taught many heresies, including the following: that God cannot do anything for anyone apart from man’s faith; that God is a being who stands around 6’2″ or 6’3″; that Adam was God manifest in the flesh; that God is the biggest failure in the Bible; that Jesus did not claim to be God; that on the cross He accepted the sin nature of Satan, and that Satan dragged Him to hell where He was tortured by demons; that anyone who is born again becomes a God. A man who has taught the equivalent of the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation, by claiming that taking what he called “communion” would be taking the actual blood of Jesus in his veins, and would leave the taste of Jesus’ blood and body in his mouth. A man who has taught, with much vigour, the Charismatic “prosperity gospel” heresy – that Jesus wants everyone wealthy – a teaching which has made Copeland an extremely wealthy man by milking his duped followers. A man whose false teachings have done immense harm to multitudes.
Why then should any true Christian be shocked by this Charismatic’s embrace of the Roman pope, or be shocked that his congregation did the same? It was the embrace of one counterfeit “christian” by another! Kenneth Copeland is not a brother in Christ! Kenneth Copeland Ministries is not a Christian ministry! The Charismatic movement is not a movement of the Holy Spirit! And therefore what occurred beneath that giant screen was a Pentecostal pope accepting unity with the Roman pope. It was darkness merging with darkness.
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
. See the article, A Jesuit Becomes the Pope of Rome, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2013. www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. Zenit.org, February 21, 2014.
. Antelope Valley Press, March 1, 2014.
. Antelope Valley Press, March 1, 2014.
. See the pamphlet, Charismatic Doctrine in the Light of God’s Word, by Shaun Willcock. A set of CDs is also available, Pentecostal/Charismatic Doctrine in the Light of Scripture, by Shaun Willcock. All available from Bible Based Ministries. www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. “What’s Wrong with the Faith Movement?” 1994, by the Christian Research Institute, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA.
. Calvary Contender, November 1st, 1987.
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