Pope Benedict XVI promises to obey the next pope unconditionally

Pope Benedict XVI


In what seems to have been his final public statement as Pope, Benedict XVI said that he would obey the next pope:

28 February 2013

The papacy became vacant at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT/2PM ET), marking the first time in six centuries a pope has resigned instead of ruling for life.

In a symbolic gesture, the Swiss Guards who stood sentry at the papal summer residence south of Rome, where the pope flew by helicopter less than three hours earlier, quit their posts and the massive wooden doors of the hilltop residence were closed.

At the same time, the papal apartments in the Vatican were locked and will not be opened until a new pope is elected…

“I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you are fully accepting of the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope,” he said. “May the Lord show you what he wants. Among you there is the future pope, to whom I today declare my unconditional reverence and obedience.”

The pledge, made ahead of the closed-doors conclave where cardinals will elect his successor, was significant because for the first time in history, there will be a reigning pope and a former pope living side by side in the Vatican.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/28/us-pope-resignation-idUSBRE91Q0BH20130228

While Benedict may do as he pleases, making the unconditional obedience statement goes against the Bible and statements from an early Christian leader who defied the then Bishop of Rome, Victor, in the late second century.

The Bible teaches that when speaking to religious leaders who wanted the apostles to go against God’s teachings, the Apostle Peter would not do it:

29 Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”  (Acts 5:29)

All true successors to the ministry of the Apostle Peter  and original apostles would do so as well.

Polycrates of Ephesus wrote the following to a claimed, but not true successor in Rome (Victor), regarding the date of Passover:

We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead ? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘ We ought to obey God rather than man’…I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book V, Chapter XXIV, Verses 2-7 . Translated by A. Cushman McGiffert. Digireads.com Publishing, Stilwell (KS), 2005, p. 114).

Note that Polycrates:

1 ) Claimed to be a follower of the teachings passed on from the Apostle John
2 ) Claimed that he was being faithful to the teachings of the Gospel
3 ) Relied on the position that teachings from the Bible were above those of Roman-accepted tradition
4 ) Claimed that he was being faithful to the teachings passed down to him
5 ) Was then the spokesperson for many in Asia Minor
6 ) Claimed he and his predecessors observed the time of unleavened bread
7 ) Refused to accept the authority of Roman tradition over the Bible
8 ) Refused to accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome–he preferred to be separate (cf. Revelation 18:4)
9 ) Claimed that his life was to be governed by Jesus and not opinions of men

And that is what true Christians should do.

Sadly, most who profess Christ in and out of the Church of God seem to be willing to accept certain teachings from leaders that simply do not square with the Bible (e.g. see the video The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others  or the article The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Now going back directly to Pope Benedict, he faces a potentially horrible position if he gives unconditional obedience to the next pope. One thing he did, that I warned against, was to speed up the election process for the next pope:

At the general congregations, of which there were 13 after John Paul’s death, cardinals will decide when the conclave, the closed-door, ultra-secret series of votes to pick the next pope, will begin. Typically, conclaves are supposed to happen at least 15 days and no more than 20 days after the sede vacante begins, but Benedict changed the rules in the last days of his papacy to allow an earlier start. (Kaleem J.  Sede Vacante And Papal Conclave At The Vatican: What’s Next After Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down.  Huffington Post, February 28, 2013  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/sede-vacante-papal-conclave_n_2777332.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D276838)

Irregularities in the election of the final pope are suggested in certain Catholic prophecies telling of the rise of an antipope, who at this stage, could be the final Antichrist.

According to certain prophecies allegedly from a 12th century Catholic saint and bishop named Malachy, there were to be 112 pontiffs from his time until the end.  Pope Benedict was number 111 on the list.  And the next pontiff, 112, is to oversee the destruction of Rome if it is accurate.

Here is an English translation of what Malachy was said to have written in Latin from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End.” (Devine, Prophecy).

Furthermore, other Catholic prophecies tell of the emergence of an antipope, which if the Malachy list is complete and accurate would have to be the next one.  Some also suggest a time with two popes (which we could have very soon, presuming Benedict lives until the next one is in office), and that one apparently betrays that faith (which is consistent with certain statements in Revelation 17 and 13).

From a biblical, as well as Catholic, perspective, a terrible religious leader is to rise up a few years before Jesus returns (Revelation 13:11-16). Many have long believed that this would be shortly before 6,000 years after Adam & Eve were created or when they left the Garden of Eden have elapsed.

I do not believe that the final pope, the final Antichrist, will truly really believe the Roman Catholic faith, though he will work hard to persuade others that he does–I believe that the final pope is likely to be an antipope, false prophet, and the final Antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

If the next pope truly is the last pope, and Benedict lives long enough, he may well regret making an unconditional declaration of loyalty to one who will not be loyal to the Bible or even the Church of Rome.

Since God’s 6,000 years for humanity to rule itself is almost over, the next pope MAY be the last pope.

Articles of related interest may include:

Will Pope Benedict’s resignation lead to the prophesied Antichrist? YouTube video. Will the pope that succeeds Pope Benedict XVI fulfill biblical and non-biblical prophecies? What about Pope Benedict himself? Pope Benedict XVI resigned his pontificate effective February 28, 2013. Might his resignation lead to the fulfillment of prophecy? Might his resignation lead to the prophesied Antichrist according to biblical and Catholic prophecies? Do Catholic prophecies foretell of an antipope as the next pope? Is the Peter the Roman of the Malachy prophecies the next pope? Is there a 6,000 year plan? Is the 6,000 year almost up?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2021 or 20xx?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
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? Catholic writings indicate this, but what does the Bible show?
The Antichrist Quiz Do you really know much about the Antichrist?
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
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.

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