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.