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The decline and fall of the Roman Church

Aug 30, 2018

The prophet Daniel had one of the most comprehensive prophecies in the history of the world, spanning literally thousands of years into the future. He foresaw four (actually five) major empires that were to arise in the centuries ahead, prior to the establishment of the Stone Kingdom. All of the earlier kingdoms were to be temporary; only the Stone Kingdom was said to “endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).

Of course, each kingdom fancied that it would last forever. To suggest otherwise would have been viewed as seditious. But Daniel boldly told King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon that his kingdom would be replaced by another. If the king had done his research, he would have seen from Jeremiah’s writings that Babylon was to last just 70 years. No doubt Daniel himself knew this, but he tactfully refrained from informing Nebuchadnezzar, because this detail was not part of the king’s dream that he was interpreting.

After Babylon came Persia, then Greece, then Rome. To each was ascribed a metal (in Daniel 2), but in a later vision (Daniel 7) the prophet saw these empires as various animals (“beasts”). After the fall of the fourth beast (Rome), another beast was to arise as an extension of Rome. It was pictured as a “horn,” which is an extension of a beast.

Historians tell us that Rome fell in 476 A.D., and that a religious beast arose afterward that carried on the dominion of Rome for many centuries. It was the Roman church. The beginning of this “horn” was described in Daniel 7:25 in terms of “alterations in times and in law.” The emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, whose name was Justinian, changed the Roman calendar (“times”) to make Christ’s birth the reference point. He then changed the laws of the empire to conform to Church law.

The complete process took about ten years (526-536/537). The “horn” was then to rule for “a time, times, and half a time” (or 1,260 years) until 1786-1796, when the French Revolution struck a serious blow to the Roman church. Out of this arose Napoleon, who took the Pope captive in 1798. Revelation 13:3 refers to this as a “fatal wound” which was then “healed” in 1804, when Napoleon reinstated the Pope in order to have someone crown him as emperor.

But John then went beyond Daniel’s revelation to tell us that a second beast would arise at that time. This was to be a financial/banking beast, and indeed, that was when the Rothschild banks got their start, setting the tone for the modern banking system. From then on, the two beasts—the first from the sea, and the second from the earth—were to work together until the establishment of the Stone Kingdom.

We are now at the end of the time of beast rule. The total time frame of beast rule from Babylon to the final beasts was (by law) set at “seven times” (Leviticus 26:18), or 2,520 years. During the time of the third beast (Greece), the beasts had been deprived of rule when Jerusalem was independent (63-163 B.C.), so that century had to be added to the total. The time thus fully ended in 2017, which is 2,620 years from the fall of Jerusalem (604 B.C.) to the end (2017).

The number 2620 is interesting, because it happens to be a marathon. A marathon is a long race of 26.2 miles, or one percent of 2620. Indeed, the great tribulation has been a marathon.

Transfer of Authority

In September of 2013 it occurred to me we should soon expect to see the transfer of authority that was prophesied in Daniel 7:21, 22 as the final beast empires collapsed. The “seven times” were drawing to completion (2014-2017). The banking beast from the earth ought to collapse and be replaced by a more righteous system shortly. Likewise, the religious beast from the sea (Holy See) also should collapse shortly as authority was given to the overcomers.

I have written extensively already about the economic/financial/banking situation, but less about the Roman church’s collapse. Yet it is clear that both must give way to the saints of the Most High when the true Kingdom of God is set up. The Roman church fancies itself to be the Kingdom of God, but in fact it is the fulfillment of the kingdom of Saul, not David.

Saul too thought that his kingdom would never end—and indeed, if he had been obedient, his kingdom would have endured indefinitely (1 Samuel 13:13). But his calling as a Pentecostal type (being crowned on the day of wheat harvest, or Pentecost) worked against him, because Pentecost was insufficient to establish the Kingdom in its final form.

Likewise, the Roman church, which fulfilled Saul’s reign, was not to endure forever, contrary to their own fanciful idea that it would last forever regardless of its internal corruption. But now the corruption is bubbling up to the surface where it is being exposed and judged. In the end, Saul fought a losing battle with the Philistines, and he committed suicide rather than risk being taken captive (1 Samuel 31:4).

So I have been watching to see how this prophetic story might be fulfilled in the Roman church in our time today. I hardly expect the final pope to commit suicide in a literal sense, but I do expect the church to make some suicidal policy decisions that would destroy the Roman church as an institution.

When this occurs, I also expect to see the former Roman Catholic people themselves come under the dominion of King David. In other words, they will become citizens of the true Kingdom of God, which is based on faith in Jesus Christ, rather than faith in the previous institutional church. Right now, many of them do not really know the difference, but when the Roman church collapses from the weight of its own corruption, they will have little choice but to find an alternative.

Unbearable Ugliness

In January 2002 the avalanche of Roman church scandals began to be reported in the news media, and soon the Roman church was in a state of crisis. Multi-million dollar lawsuits were filed. Many stopped giving donations to the church, as people realized that the money would not go to charitable causes but only to pay the lawsuits. Many Diocese went bankrupt, as billions of dollars were paid to thousands of victims of sexual abuse by pedophile priests.

This was the beginning of the final judgment upon Saul’s kingdom. The popes continued to offer tepid apologies for the misdeeds of individuals within the church, but they seemed more concerned with covering up incidents than with cleaning up the corruption itself. Cardinal Bernard Law, for instance, had to flee to Rome to avoid prosecution, where he was promoted to a higher position and received a cushy mansion in reward.

But the Roman church could not hide any longer, nor will it survive. Disillusionment has already set in among many Catholics. Church pews are emptying; donations are down. Pedophilia continues, and some have remarked that the priesthood looks more and more like a gay men’s club. Here is an article that appeared recently, written by a disillusioned Roman Catholic:


How will the Roman Catholic Church survive the scandals engulfing it on every side?

It's a hyperbolic question, but one with a serious intent.

Of course the church will continue to exist in some form. Two-thousand-year-old institutions with a billion adherents and solid growth rates in the developing world don't disappear overnight, no matter how thoroughly corrupt they are revealed to be.

But in what form will it survive?

Yes, the Church will continue to exist in some form—but not as a Roman Catholic institution. The house of Saul will not endure. It will be replaced by the house of David (2 Samuel 3:1). David was a type of Christ and also a type of overcomer. Whereas Saul was crowned on the day of wheat harvest, i.e., Pentecost (1 Samuel 12:17), David was crowned on a Jubilee, which is the preparation day for the feast of Tabernacles.

The article above continues, saying,

Sixteen years and roughly $3 billion in financial settlements later, the scandal is back. This time its focal point is Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. — a man who had been promoted to top positions in the church despite being credibly and repeatedly accused of a range of acts of sexual predation, including the years-long abuse of a boy (whom McCarrick had reportedly baptized as a baby) starting when he was 11 years old.

As if to underscore that the problem goes far beyond a single wayward prelate, the revelations about McCarrick, which broke in mid-July, were quickly followed by the release of an exhaustive (1,400-page) grand jury report that identified 1,000 cases of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of more than 300 Catholic priests in the single state of Pennsylvania (where I live with my wife and children). Other states are apparently preparing similar reports of their own.

This year’s exposure of McCarrick may well be the final blow to the Roman Church, given the fact that this is 2018. The divine authority was fully passed to the overcomers on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles, October 16, 2017. From that point on, I have expected to see events move toward the collapse (or takeover) of the banking system and the Roman Church.

The manner in which prophecy will be fulfilled is usually unclear until it happens, but as the time approaches, real events begin to expose the truth to those who have eyes to see.

Opposition in Catholic Ireland

Ireland recently passed a law permitting abortion. No doubt the recent Church scandals have brought so much disillusionment to Irish Catholics that the sword of Saul was no longer able to withstand the onslaught of the Philistines.

The Pope visited Ireland recently but “addressed a crowd roughly one-tenth the size” of the crowd a previous pope had addressed in 1979.

Four decades ago, Ireland was among the most homogeneously and fervently Catholic countries in the world. When Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, he was greeted by crowds of well over a million people. Last weekend, three months after the overwhelming passage of a referendum that repealed the pro-life provision of the Irish constitution, Pope Francis addressed a crowd roughly one-tenth the size.

What has changed? In the intervening years, Irish Catholicism has been crushed by an avalanche of scandals involving the widespread decades-long abuse (sexual and otherwise) of children in the country's schools and childcare system.

Here is one of the big scandals rocking the church in Ireland:


I do not see how it is possible for the Roman church to remain in its position of power when Catholics themselves are becoming disillusioned in droves. It seems to me that the only glue holding the church together is their claim that it is an “eternal” church. But is it really? Saul’s reign was not eternal. The word “eternal” is olam, which only means “indefinite, hidden.” In other words, it will last until corruption causes it to collapse and God replaces it with something better.

When we understand Daniel’s prophecies, we see that the Roman church is part of the “beast” system, an extension of the corrupt Roman Empire. It does not reflect the nature of God nor the life of Christ. Instead, it acts like a beast, which consumes grass (“all flesh is grass”). Being just one of the beast empires means that it must collapse when the time of tribulation runs its course.

We are now living in that time of the end. Being aware of this, we can watch events as they unfold before our eyes, and we can understand what is happening. This is not merely about the collapse of beast systems. This is about a massive change in government, brought about by God’s decree giving authority to the saints of the Most High. These saints are the overcomers, those who have the character of Christ, who will not exercise authority in a self-serving way to perpetuate corruption and to abuse children.

The transition may be painful to those who do not understand, but we should be encouraged at the signs of Christ’s Kingdom and a better world ahead.

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Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones