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The Vatican, the Third Temple, and the Burdensome Stone

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And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:3)

As investigated by myself and Cris Putnam in our bestselling book Petrus Romanus, there is ample evidence to suggest that the Vatican has had a long-running interest in controlling Jerusalem and, by extension, the Temple Mount—with possibly the objective of a Third Temple.

Over the last ten years alone, surreptitious negotiations have included Netanyahu seeking to give David’s Tomb to the Vatican,[i] claims that the Vatican is hoarding Second Temple treasures until geopolitics allow for a rebuilt Temple under their control,[ii] and even efforts by the United States via Secretary of State John Kerry involving plans “for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area” including the Temple Mount. Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition under Vatican oversight with Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.[iii]

The possible Vatican connection to a rebuilt Temple is intriguing when one considers Peter Goodgame’s convincing argument that the Roman prince seen in Daniel 9:27 who sets up the Abomination of Desolation is the False Prophet rather than the Antichrist.[iv] He cites Revelation 13:14, in which the False Prophet “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (emphasis added), and Daniel 11:31, which prophecies, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (boldface added; italics added). These passages clearly show it is the confederates of the Antichrist who set up the desolating image connected to a rebuilt Temple. Goodgame also argues that because Daniel refers to the Antichrist as a king (Hebrew melek) in 7:24, 8:23, and 11:21–35, it seems unlikely that he would call him a prince (Hebrew nagiyd) in 9:26–27. We can safely assume that he is Roman by the phrase, “And the people of the prince who is to come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (v. 26; boldface added), which necessarily refers to the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70. Goodgame’s exegesis and reasoning are sound and compelling.

In line with Daniel 9:27’s prediction of a covenant for one week, Goodgame argues that this infers that a pope will broker an agreement over Jerusalem.

This final seven-year period will begin when the future Roman prince “confirms a covenant” that will involve the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, which many evangelical scholars connect to a “deal” resulting in the building of the Third Temple. This has led to the belief that this future Roman prince will be the False Prophet of Bible prophecy, and that he may indeed be a leader of the Roman Catholic Church. It is clear from Scripture that the False Prophet will be a powerful and well-respected global spiritual leader, and there is none more powerful or more respected in religious matters than the Roman Catholic Pope.[v]

Even some Catholic scholars have connected the current Pope Francis with the rise of the False Prophet and Antichrist. [vi]

To some, this may seem like a scenario lifted right out of the Left Behind novels, but it coheres nicely with Malachi Martin’s finishing assertions about the role the Vatican will play in assisting Antichrist. As far as Jerusalem and the coming Third Temple, formally classified US State Department memos have been obtained that suggest “religious figures, non-governmental people” should be put in charge of the Holy City.[vii]

On December 15, 2011, this story ran on the Israeli Arutz Sheva 7 website:

Exposé: The Vatican Wants to Lay Its Hands on Jerusalem

“Peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem,” Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue, declared several days ago in Rome.

The Vatican’s former foreign minister asked to place some Israeli holy places under Vatican authority, alluding to the Cenacle on Mount Zion and the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The first site also houses what is referred to as King David’s tomb.[viii]



As stated earlier, if you take the Bible seriously, Jerusalem has a prophesied future as the spiritual capital of the world, and for this reason, there are natural and supernatural interests in who controls its axis. The Hebrew prophets all spoke of a golden age, a righteous reign of the Messiah, and their oracles often included references to Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:26–28, 52:1–10; Joel 2:28–3:21). Of course, before that happens, we expect a usurper to sit in a rebuilt Third Temple declaring that he is God. As we will examine, there seems to be evidence that the Vatican wants to participate in building that Temple. We now come full-circle to the bombshell 2008 leaked classified US State Department memo that recorded this exchange between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (CR) and Dr. Saeb Erekat (SE), a Palestinian representative:

CR: I understand that there is no agreement without Jerusalem. 1967 as a baseline. But if we wait until you decide sovereignty over the Haram or the Temple Mount…your children’s children will not have an agreement! Sometimes in international politics you need to have a device to solve the problem later. When it comes to holy sites, no one will argue the sovereignty of the other—leave it unresolved [i.e. both Palestine and Israel could simultaneously claim sovereignty over the Haram].

SE: And actually in life?

CR: There are two other issues—who will administer? Make sure that the sewer system, the municipal issues are resolved [notes that this was a problem in Berlin], safe access to all the holy sites for all. I understand that this worked well before 2000. Some kind of custodians appointed by the world, possibly religious figures, non-governmental people.… One problem is that under the Dome is crumbling. Every time Israel tries to fix it, you call it excavations![ix] (brackets in original; the formatting but no content was altered)

While Condoleezza Rice’s relationship with the Vatican was murky, her suggestion that “religious figures” become custodians of the Old City of Jerusalem is in line with the exposés by Israeli journalists. In August of 2007, Rice met with Cardinal Tarcisio Pierto Bertone (a leading candidate for Petrus Romanus at the time), who said of the American Secretary, “If the angels did not accompany her, then she would not be able to knit back together all of these relationships that have been so fragile.”[x] Could this strange coalescence of diplomacy and prophecy be leading toward the final manifestation of apostate ecumenical faith predicted in Revelation 17 to be headquartered in Jerusalem? We think there is compelling evidence suggesting just that.

Prophecy scholars have long suspected that the Antichrist will seemingly resolve the Middle East conflict, which will drive his meteoric rise to fame and adoration. This idea is drawn from Daniel’s seventy-weeks prophecy, which predicts that in the final week, “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27). We think this interpretation must be correct, because the “consummation” is rendered from the Hebrew term kālâ, which carried the basic idea of “to bring a process to completion.” The beginning of the seventy-weeks prophecy listed things like “to bring in everlasting righteousness” (9:24b), which simply has not yet occurred. Furthermore, the same term is used in Daniel 12:7, rendered as “end,” unambiguously referencing the Day of the Lord. This firmly places the initial covenant at the beginning of the final seven years prior to Armageddon and Jesus’ return. Another problem with interpretations that place this final week in the past is that Jesus spoke of the “abomination of desolation” as a future event occurring just prior to His return: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)” (Matthew 24:15). The seventieth week includes “the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate,” and Jesus mentions Daniel explicitly so one cannot take Him seriously while arguing that the events of the seventieth week are previous history. Furthermore, the population forming the context of this prophecy was Daniel’s people, the Jews, and the covenant violation is interference in the Temple sacrifice. Accordingly, we believe that the “covenant with many” speaks to the two-state solution for the Israel/Palestinian issue and forecasts the Tribulation Temple being built in Jerusalem.


Will This Give Rise To THE THIRD TEMPLE!? Have We Entered The Fourth Turning? Stark Warning Over Anti-Americanism

It is also reiterated in the new documentary Belly of the Beast that the design of Washington DC in the likeness of Vatican City, with its proportionate Dome and Obelisk, was no accident, but rather the product of an arcane science ostensibly related to apotheosis. These parallel apotheotic sites seem poised to spawn the beast from the bottomless pit (Revelation 11:7) and the beast from the earth (Revelation 13:11). While it is speculative, this could suggest coordination between the two locations—the Vatican as the spiritual influence (False Prophet) and Washington as the political (Antichrist). From Washington, a figurehead could initiate the covenant spoken of in Daniel 9 (Donald Trump’s peace plan and/or work by his Orthodox Jewish son-in law, Jared Kushner?). While the Washington figure could be a Jew, that is not really necessary. The late Messianic Christian author Zola Levitt wrote, “It is an outsider that has to sign a legal covenant with the Jewish people, not one of their own.… They wouldn’t need a special covenant drawn up between them and one of their own citizens.”[xi] In fact, while it is possible, there is no direct evidence that the Antichrist will be accepted as the Jewish Messiah. Rather, he could simply be the one who facilities the building of the Tribulation Temple like the Persian King Cyrus (to whom Trump has been widely compared), who was designated a mashiyach (“anointed one”) for freeing the Jews to build the Second Temple (Isaiah 45:1).

In fact, Orthodox Jews are not likely to be fooled by the Antichrist. Midrash tradition, including works like Sefer Zerubbavel, contains warnings about a character named Armilus, who will deceive the whole world into false idolatrous worship. He is said to come to power when ten kings fight over Jerusalem, and after emerging victorious, he rules the entire world for a brief time before Messiah comes. According to Randall Price, “Other sources describe Armilus as rising from the Roman empire, having miraculous powers, and being born to a stone statue of a virgin.”[xii] This sounds remarkably congruent with Roman Catholic Mariolatry, wherein stone statues feature prominently. Other traditions say he is the offspring of Satan and a virgin, which sounds eerily similar to the pedophilic rite described by Malachi Martin that occurred on June 29, 1963, at the parallel enthronement site in Charleston, South Carolina, and that was connected to the enthronement of Lucifer at the Vatican. Furthermore, this stone statue aspect of the Jewish tradition could find some sort of bizarre realization in the image of the beast, which seemingly comes to life (Revelation 13:4, 15). While a minority of religious Jews are aware of these traditions, the secular Jews probably are not. Still, with the centuries of papists corralling Jews into ghettos and mandating yellow badges, one wonders how they could be persuaded by a future pope leading an ecumenical religion in Jerusalem. Time will tell, but one thing is certain. Not in our lifetime has more interest been raised in building the Third Temple, around which and in which religious and political figures will soon rise in a theater of fantastic finality.

UP NEXT: God’s Second Hand


[i] Hezki Baruk, Gil Ronen, “Netanyahu Seeking to Give David’s Tomb to Vatican?”Israel National News, January 5, 2014,

[ii] Shimon Cohen, “Claim: Vatican Hoarding Second Temple Vessels,” Israel National News, May 28, 2014,

[iii] Aaron Klein, “US Plan Gives Jerusalem Holy Sites to Vatican,” WND, December 15, 2013,

[iv] Peter Goodgame, “The Biblical False Prophet,” RedMoonRising, last accessed November 11, 2011,

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Hannah Roberts, “‘Heretic’ in the Vatican,” Politico, May 28, 2018,

[vii] “Minutes from Bilateral and Trilateral US-PAL-ISR Sessions Post Annapolis, Tuesday, 29th July 2008,” viewable here: Al Jazeera, last accessed February 7, 2012,

[viii] Giulio Meotti, “Expose: The Vatican Wants to Lay Its Hands on Jerusalem,” Israel National News, December 15, 2011,

[ix] “Minutes from Bilateral and Trilateral US-PAL-ISR Sessions Post Annapolis, Tuesday, 29th July 2008,” viewable here: Al Jazeera, last accessed February 7, 2012, Please note that formatting but none of the content has been changed from the original source.

[x] “Vatican Secretary of State Speaks with Condoleezza Rice about Christians in Middle East, Iraq,” Catholic News Agency, last accessed February 13, 2012,

[xi] Levitt Letter 21:2 (Feb 1999), 3, as cited in Randall Price, The Coming Last Days’ Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999), 475.

[xii] Randall Price, The Coming Last Days’ Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999), 481.

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