Michael Pence, Pope Francis, Pope Tawadros, Middle East persecution, SDAs, etc.

Vice President Pence, Pope Francis, and Pope Tawadros II


US Vice President Michael Pence spoke out against religious persecution in the Middle East:

October 26, 2017

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the State Department will no longer fund “ineffective” U.N. relief efforts for persecuted and religious minorities in the Middle East, and instead pay for them directly through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Pence announced the move in a Wednesday night speech at a dinner for a group called In Defense of Christians, which works to “promote greater awareness of the plight of Christians in the Middle East.”

“We will no longer rely on the United Nations alone to assist persecuted Christians and minorities in the wake of genocide and the atrocities of terrorist groups,” Pence said. “The United States will work hand-in-hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith.”

The vice president said the U.N. has failed to help religious minorities, leaving them to “suffer and struggle needlessly.”

Pence did not give specifics about which countries are involved, the timing of the change or how much money would be shifted from U.S. contributions to the United Nations.

He said Christianity is “under unprecedented assault in those ancient lands where it first grew,” making specific references to Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. https://www.voanews.com/a/pence-to-visit-israel-and-egypt-in-december/4086864.html

Pope Francis made some comments on persecution in the Middle East today:

October 26, 2017

“My thoughts turn in a particular way to those Christians who in our day face grave trials and sufferings, enduring persecution for the name of Jesus,” Pope Francis said this to a delegation from the Church of Scotland on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in the Vatican.

Francis recalled that today’s meeting took place during the fifth centenary of the Reformation, which he joined in commemorating last year in Lund, Sweden, Oct. 31-Nov.1, 2016.

“Let us thank the Lord for the great gift of being able to live this year in true fraternity, no longer as adversaries, after long centuries of estrangement and conflict,” he said…

For so long we regarded one another from afar, all too humanly, harbouring suspicion, dwelling on differences and errors, and with hearts intent on recrimination for past wrongs.

In the spirit of the Gospel, we are now pursuing the path of humble charity that leads to overcoming division and healing wounds. …

My thoughts turn in a particular way to those Christians who in our day face grave trials and sufferings, enduring persecution for the name of Jesus. So many of them bear a heavy cross as they profess their faith, many to the point of martyrdom. Their witness impels us to persevere, with love and courage, to the end. Our dialogue directed to full unity, our witness and our shared service, our commitment to pray for one another and to overcome the wounds of the past: these are also a response that is owed to them, within this great “we” of faith.

It is my prayerful hope that the journey to visible unity will continue daily and bear rich fruits for the future, as it has in the recent past. The Catholic Church, especially through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has engaged for decades in a fruitful cooperation with the Church of Scotland and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and desires to continue on this path.


Michael Pence considers himself to be an “Evangelical Catholic.” He has lauded his Roman Catholic upbringing combined with his becoming an evangelical.

Pope Francis, of course professes Roman Catholicism, but with options for non-Catholics. And when Francis spoke today, he tied his comments in with the coming 500th anniversary of the Reformation and his ecumenical plans. He is not alone in this.

Notice something related to some other Greco-Roman church leaders:

For the first time, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandira; Patriarch Ignatius Afrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church; Catholicos Karekin II, supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Catholicos Baselios Morthoma Paulose II, Supreme Head of the Malankara Indian Orthodox Church visited Germany together.

They were there to inform political and church representatives on the bad and sad situation in the region where Christianity originates.

For the Berlin Dome it was a historic moment on Oct. 21.

“Never in the 112 years history of this Evangelical church building in the center of the German capital has the colorful variety of Christian faith been more obvious,” wrote Katja Dorothea Buck a journalist who covers religion and politics in Germany.

“Prayers, lectures and hymns were performed in Aramaic, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, English and German. Ethiopian, Armenian, Syrian and Coptic church choirs contributed with their respective liturgical music.


Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairperson of the Council of the EKD, the alliance of German Lutheran and Protestant churches said, “It’s a great honor for the Evangelical Church in Germany that the four Oriental churches accepted the invitation to come to Germany to commemorate the Reformation, to share their suffering and to pray with us,” …

Syrian Patriarch Ignatius Afrem II thanked EKD for the invitation which gave the patriarchs the opportunity to discuss over four days what his church faces with political leaders and representatives of the churches in Germany.

 “Thousands of people have been killed. Many people had to endure martyrdom. Hundreds of churches were destroyed. We are grateful that we were able to tell our story,” the patriarch said. …”We are thankful to be invited to celebrate with the German Evangelical Church the 500 years of Reformation which brought many positive elements,” Afrem noted.

 “The Reformation reminds us all to be faithful in the Gospel. But it also brought division in the body of Christ.”

In 2017 Chrisitans are commemorating 500 years since priest Martin Luther nailed his 95 protests to a Wittenberg church against wrongdoing in the Catholic Church to start the Reformation.

In the 18th and 19th century Protestant missionaries came to the Middle East to evangelize among the Orthodox faithful and created new churches, he explained.

“Today we recognize our Protestant sisters and brothers. But we are concerned that there are new Evangelical groups proselytizing among our members. They take advantage of their sad situation,” he said, 10/25/17  http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/coptic-pope-and-oriental-patriarchs-pay-historic-visit-to-germany/60441.htm

The persecution of the Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, Protestants, and others in the Middle East is wrong and terrible. Those affected have long been in my prayers.

But the solution is not the type of ecumenical unity that leaders of these groups are working towards.

Their meetings and plans remind me of the efforts of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who arose around a time of persecution.

Consider something about Constantine from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Constantine the Great… Constantine can rightfully claim the title of Great, for he turned the history of the world into a new course and made Christianity…the religion of the State… it is easy to understand that many of the emperors yielded to the delusion that they could unite all their subjects in the adoration of the one sun-god who combined in himself the Father-God of the Christians and the much-worshipped Mithras; thus the empire could be founded anew on unity of religion. Even Constantine…cherished this mistaken belief… Could not Sol Deus Invictus, to whom even Constantine dedicated his coins for a long time, or Sol Mithras Deus Invictus, venerated by Diocletian and Galerius, become the supreme god of the empire? Constantine may have pondered over this. Nor had he absolutely rejected the thought even after a miraculous event had strongly influenced him in favour of the God of the Christians…  As pontifex maximus he watched over the heathen worship and protected its rights. …It is true that the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun. … A law of 333 commanded the state officials to enforce the decisions of the bishops, a bishop’s testimony should be considered sufficient by all judges and no witness was to be summoned after a bishop had testified. (Herbermann C., Georg Gp. Constantine the Great. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908).

Constantine had an interfaith agenda and ended up combining Mithraism with a profession of Christianity (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?)–he used a council to get some of that accomplished and state pressure for other aspects of his interfaith/political unity project. He started off by encouraging soldiers to put crosses (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?) on their shields and fight–these soldiers were NOT Christian (see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?). After winning the battle of Milvian Bridge and improperly claiming he saw Jesus, he then (combined with political and economic pressure) was able to get the Greco-Roman faiths to accept his views of participation in carnal warfare.

He legalized Christianity in 313, but later authorized persecution against those who did not agree with ‘Constantinian Christianity’ (Edict Against Heretics, 332), including those who held to the original Christian faith (see Persecutions by Church and State).

Notice the following prophecy about a warring god:

36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:36-39)

Emperor Constantine worshiped his ‘god of fortresses.’ The Bible prophesies that another (the European King of the North) will do so as well–this leader will rise up within this century! And despite claiming peace, this leader will also persecute those who hold to the true Christian faith.

Furthermore, understand that the Bible shows that a compromised religion based in the city of seven hills will encourage his activities for a time (Revelation 17).

The interfaith agenda Pope Francis and others advocate will not lead to lasting peace. It may lead to temporary peace (cf. Daniel 9:27), but sudden destruction will come one day per 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

The interfaith and ecumenical leaders do not know the way of peace. Their ignorance is consistent with the following written by the prophet Isaiah:

8 The way of peace they have not known,
And there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths;
Whoever takes that way shall not know peace. (Isaiah 59:8)

The interfaith movement is based upon a crooked path as it does NOT hold to the necessity of Jesus for salvation (Acts 4:10-12), nor does  the ecumenical movement actually advocate living according to the way that He and early Christians taught.

Since several ‘Orthodox’ leaders have been meeting related to the Reformation, notice a prediction from an Eastern Orthodox saint from centuries ago:

Saint Nelios the Myrrh-Gusher (died 1592): During that time the Eighth and last Ecumenical Synod will take place, which will satisfy the contentions of the heretics…(Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenikia Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, p. 111).

By satisfying “heretics,” clearly this council is prophesied to compromise and change the religion, which will be called “Catholic” according to other such predictions.

Some Orthodox look forward to this “eighth ecumenical council,” but also expect an antipope and war near then:

Helen Tzima Otto (20th century): We have been told time and time again through the prophets that the Great Monarch and Papa Angelorum…will convene the 8th Ecumenical Council, which will reunify all Christians…The Emperor will spend three years waging wars against the non-Christian nations…{later will be} the end time schism of the Roman Catholic Church of the End Times and the rise of an antipope. (Tzima Otto, pp. xxv, 103, 122)

Apparently the “non-Christian nations” will be those that do not desire to be part of the ecumenical church that is to form. But the Emperor mentioned above sounds like the final King of the North of biblical prophecy. Like the King of the North and Emperor Constantine, this Emperor (often called ‘the Great Monarch‘ is Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic prophecies) will be a warrior.

Sadly, the interfaith and ecumenical agenda will temporarily succeed (cf. Revelation 13:4,8).

Pope Francis is an ecumenically-oriented pontiff, and we have seen more ecumenically-oriented Orthodox leaders the past several years than have been seen in centuries. Many seem to have similar objectives. Even the head of the United Nations supports their agenda (see United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order?).

The end time ‘New Babylon’ is in the process of forming.

The Bible and Roman Catholic writings warn against the type of ecumenical unity that many Greco-Roman leaders want. As bizarre as this will seem to some who understand certain end-time biblical prophecies, the Eastern Orthodox actually look forward to a time of a new Babylon:

Monk Leontios (died 543): Rejoice, oh most unhappy one, oh New Babylon!…You, who are the New Babylon rejoice now on behalf of Zion! New Babylon, dance, bounce and leap greatly, make known even those in Haydes what a Grace you have received. Because that peace which was yours to enjoy in times past, and which God has deprived you of in course of battles, receive it once more from the hand of an Angel…oh, the City of Seven Hills the dominion will be yours. (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenikia Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, pp. 82-83).

This is something that the Bible and at least one Catholic priest have warned against:

2…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:2-5)

6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:6-7)

Priest H. Kramer (20th century): In the vision of the Seer now appears a second beast rising out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon…In other places he is called the false prophet…This prophet may re-establish the pagan Roman Empire and build the “Great Harlot”, Babylon… The False Prophet…will persuade all infidels, apostates and apostate nations to worship and adore him…Antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God” (I Thes. II. 4). This is not the ancient Temple in Jerusalem…this temple is shown to be a Catholic Church…The False Prophet will proclaim the resurrection of the Roman Empire. (Kramer H., p. 318,320-323)

A video sermon is also available about this: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?

These ecumenical calls and next week’s Reformation anniversary are steps in that direction. Watch also: Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary.

A Seventh-Day Adventist sent me the following today:

Lutherans Heal the Prophetic Deadly Wound; Will Adventists Follow?
“Lutherans joint communion with Catholics next week celebrates the healing of a ‘deadly wound’ on the 500th anniversary of Luther’s protest, says Dr. Richard Ruhling, author on current events,  citing the Bible’s prophecy of this for those who wish to understand its meaning, Revelation 13:3.
Ruhling offers following explanation. The book of Daniel uses beasts to represent nations like a bear or eagle represent Russia or the US. In Daniel 7, the lion, bear, leopard and dragon were a prophetic picture of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and then Rome which had a little horn grow out of it, representing the papacy that survived in spite of a deadly wound to the beast in Rev 13.
Revelation 13 shows it as an amalgamation of Daniel 7—mouth like a lion, feet like a bear, looked like a leopard, and had the total of 7 heads and 10 horns from Daniel 7. The healing of the deadly wound was also seen as every living US president bowed before the casket of a dead John Paul.
An article in Ministry Magazine said Luther replied to questions about the Sabbath by saying it was part of the Jewish ceremonial law that was ‘nailed to the cross.’
Seventh-day Adventists point to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 to show that the Sabbath is part of the moral law (verses 8-11), and not nailed to the cross because Christ told his followers to pray that their flight (decades later) would not be on the Sabbath day, Matthew 24.
The book of Acts has only one reference to “the first day,” but nine to the Sabbath, two being “every Sabbath” as the practice of the apostles was for its observance. With no text showing that Sunday is ‘the Lord’s day,’ it’s a mystery how Rome could pull off their blessing the day of pagan worship and their claim of apostolic succession and boast of tradition as authority over the Bible.
Luther said, “a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.” In following Luther rather than the Bible, Lutherans made choices that brought them to next week’s joint communion with Rome and a welcome back to the “mother” church, Revelation 17:5. It’s taken 500 years. Adventists seem to be on a more accelerated course. …
Ellen White (a founder 40 years earlier) replied, “How is the faithful city become a harlot?”—a reference to the above text in Revelation. Testimonies for the Church, Vol 8, p 250.
Church leaders today side with Rome in abolishing the annual Sabbaths as part of the ceremonial law—like Luther claimed for the 7th day Sabbath. They fail to see that the appointed times, mo’ed, in Genesis 1:14, were before any Jews and mo’ed applies to God’s feasts in Leviticus 23:44, a chapter where they are enjoined “forever throughout all your generations.”
The Christian does not need to do Jewish ceremonies or offer sacrifices, but can honor those appointed times, mo’ed as Christ did when He instituted communion service in place of Passover.
Christ’s wedding parables all have Passover imagery. He will be looking for an intelligent bride; those who seek to understand His words, like we want our spouses to please us in marriage.

So, there are SDAs who have concerns as well about the ecumenical direction of the world and their church. It is my hope and prayer that SDAs, Orthodox Catholics, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and others will wake-up and return to the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

Despite biblical and other warnings, Greco-Roman leaders and certain others seem determined to help fulfill prophecies that warn against what they are trying to do (watch also Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?).

Those who truly believe the Bible will have no part of it.

Some items of related interest may include:

Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
India and the Beast of Revelation 13 Do biblical, Catholic, and even Hindu prophecies suggest that many in India will follow, for a while, the Beast and False Prophet/Antichrist? Here is link to a related YouTube video Will People in India Worship the Beast of Revelation 13?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.

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