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POWDERKEG: HOW MODERN CONDITIONS ARE PRIMING SOCIETY TO EMBRACE THE BEAST SYSTEM, RIGHT UNDER THE NOSE OF A SLEEPING CHURCH…ARTICLE 35, RECOGNIZING THE COUNTERFEIT

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Have you ever handled counterfeit money? If so, then you know it looks identical to the real thing. It’s only when the fake copy is examined by a trained eye that it’s exposed as fraudulent. Not just any Jane Doe at a grocery checkout is going to know when a counterfeit bill comes her way. It has to be scrutinized and pass or fail certain tests in order to be identified as phony money. The same principle applies here: The pope’s plan for world unity, to the untrained eye, looks identical to Gospel-Kingdom work. In order for it to be recognized as a counterfeit, it would have to be examined and pass or fail certain tests of Scripture. When that is done, Francis’ goal fails every time, exposed as a fraudulent kingdom work…and, just like Jane Doe who doesn’t realize until later on at the bank that she has been scammed, when the One-World Order of the End Times is officially inaugurated, people won’t know until afterward that what looked like a beautiful and legitimate thing was a counterfeit. Unlike Jane Doe, we’ll be out more than twenty bucks…

The problem is, Christians would have to know the Lord and His Word well enough to examine the pope’s plan to expose it as fraudulent. That is the testing mechanism in this case.

Jesus would love nothing more than for His followers to wake up and spiritually unite all across the planet in His name, but if it was a sincere, spiritual endeavor, world peace and every kind of philanthropic/humanitarian objective the pope listed in his letter would naturally stem from that movement anyway, because that is the truer sense of “universal fraternal society” that naturally bubbles up from loving our Savior. The only reason we’re in such need of the benevolent intervention Francis identified is that the most powerful and prosperous Christian Church in the known universe is currently using her own pile of resources as the mattress upon which she sleeps. No kingdom work can be done for Christ when His Bride won’t get out of bed. So, when a Christian leader as prominent as Pope Francis shows up and points to a political, earthly kingdom work that counterfeits the true Gospel, the sleepy Bride yawns and says, “Thank goodness someone has figured it out. Looks good to me!” A Bride this lazy, who can hardly lift her lethargic hand in the air to give a thumbs-up to a plan she hasn’t analyzed against the warnings of Scripture, has set herself up to cheat on her Betrothed for another man from another kingdom. She has set herself up to be the Harlot.

The worst part is this: If we’re anywhere as close to this reality as Francis wants us to be, the end is very close…yet, tragically, when the world’s most influential Christian takes the pulpit to usher in Antichrist’s system, Christians everywhere shrug and say, “Oh…he did? I musta missed that. Oh well, back to Netflix.”

We are so dead inside. So asleep. We are so the church at Sardis…

[Sardis,] I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished… But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:1–3; NIV)

But why should it be a surprise anyway, to think that the pope would use the Gospel of Christ as his platform to promote evil? He did that very thing last year, and what should have been the biggest news in history wasn’t even a blip on anyone’s radar.

Praising the Pachamama: A Motion for a One-World Religion

In October of 2019, in the Vatican Gardens during the Feast of St. Francis, the Pope—himself one of the most prominent world leaders and role models of the Christian Church (albeit Roman Catholic)—sat front and center at an idol-worshiping ceremony dedicated to the Mother-Nature-esque Incan goddess of fertility, earth, and the harvest, known as Pachamama. Photos and videos[i] taken at the site commemorate the entire tree-planting ritual, from the women lying prostrate on the ground in worship of the naked, pregnant goddess made of wood and surrounded by offerings of fruit and candles, to Pope Francis standing and offering his official benediction blessing upon the idol.

Though the general public was largely unaware of the earth goddess and her past prior to all of this, after the pope’s irreversibly reckless deed, there was an initial surge in online research linking to Pachamama’s consistent, historical lust for the blood of children. The Incan child-sacrifice ceremony was known as the ritual of Capacocha, and its relation to Pachamama is commonly known. A growing number of mummified adolescent remains, along with ancient cultural documentation, has helped fill in the blanks about these young victims. Three of these children—a seven-year-old boy, a six-year-old girl, and a fifteen-year-old girl known as “the Maiden” (La Doncella)—are so well preserved after five hundred years that they appear to have passed away yesterday. (Warning: Related photos online may be graphic to some viewers.) Another two mummies, “Sarita” and “Juanita,” are the attraction of Arequipa, Peru. One peer-reviewed scientific journal article notes that, in Pachamama’s ritual of Capacocha, the “victims were selected, elevated in social status, prepared for a high-altitude pilgrimage, and killed.”[ii] The details regarding how the youth were put to death are disturbing enough that we will not delve into the subject further, but suffice it to say that it was not a quick or painless process to offer a child to the goddess. In fact, studies have shown that these progenies were prepared for months or years prior to their death, or, as is the case with “the Maiden,” they might be “raised in status [from birth], presumably for the express purpose of making her an appropriate sacrifice,”[iii] so they had ample time to fear their own end. This is, of course, emotional torture on top of the slow, ritualistic, human sacrifice.

When Pope Francis was asked why he would facilitate a worship ritual of this blood-hungry, pagan idol, then participate in his own authoritative and example-setting act of worship at its close by enacting the benediction blessing upon her, some rose to his defense by saying that the wooden sculpture wasn’t Pachamama, but “Our Lady of the Amazon.” Anthropologists, like Steven Mosher of LifeSite News, took a close look at the event at the Vatican Gardens and responded otherwise, explaining that the effigy and other idols like it “were worshiped in the fertility cults of many primitive cultures around the world and still are in the recesses of the Amazon.” In his article titled “Not Even Pope Francis Can Deny the Pachamama Is a Pagan Idol,” Mosher goes on to explain that the nature of these cults does involve human sacrifice as a means to satisfy the deities’ demands, and that, particular to the “South American Pachamama cult, child sacrifice was practiced.”[iv]

Awareness of this connection was raised in the days following the event at the Vatican, and, not unreasonably, some questioned whether the pope knew at the time of the ritual that the goddess they were worshiping was such an image of evil, as opposed to a more ethnic depiction of Mother Mary. And, of course, one might argue in kind that it is extremely unlikely that, out of all the pope’s advisors and officials, not one would have known who or what they were really worshiping. (Even if that were the case, that level of ignorance regarding pagan influence is alarming, considering how many top-level leaders of the Roman Catholic Church must have approved this idol ceremony “innocently.” Surely at least someone in that circle has enough education in theology and its sister study, anthropology, to ensure that their beloved pope doesn’t “accidentally worship a pagan idol”?—or, if not, at least enough discernment to check the background of each statue brought to their group before the ceremony is scheduled to take place? Even if their motivation is simply to avoid a scandal? No? Nobody? Does the pope just go around blessing any ol’ idol that comes into his presence without accountability?)

Regardless, it didn’t take long before the pope, by his own admission in a public statement, just after this statue and several others like it were stolen out of the Santa Maria church just outside the Vatican and thrown into the Tiber River, acknowledged that the figurine involved in the ritual was not Mary at all, but “Pachamama.”[v] He proceeded to criticize and condemn those who had removed the idols from the church, even though their presence inside the house of God is overtly prohibited by Scripture.

Thus far, the whole ordeal may otherwise have been chalked up as a giant misunderstanding. But after the highest Christian leader on the globe acknowledged his role in and subsequent endorsement of this apostasy, you would think the media blast would be enormous.

…And it should have been.

Was everyone asleep? Why were so few people reacting to this story? Something is very wrong here…

Quite unbelievably, in practicing some of the weakest (and most profane) exegesis, hermeneutics, and homiletics these authors have heard to date, Pope Francis used the Bible, itself, as justification for his worship of the idol and the defense of idols being displayed in the church. In a lackluster, lazy sermon, he unambiguously wove together a response to the few folks in public who cared enough to demand answers—delivered to the “general audience” at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Francis zigzagged around a few verses in Acts 17:15–23 and even twisted a verse to relate the opposite of what its meaning in proper context. Acts 17:16 states: “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him [i.e., he was upset], when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.” Pope Francis’ warping of this verse, in a reading from some translation of the Bible that was left ambiguous (at least in the sermon transcript from the official Vatican website), stated that Paul “thrills within himself [i.e., he couldn’t be happier] to see the city full of idols.”

We don’t need to launch into a formal word-study diatribe about whether Paul felt angry versus overjoyed at the sight of the God-offending idols all over town. But just in case “common sense” isn’t enough of a resource platform to dismiss what the pope just said, we’ll hit this one quick: The word behind the KJV’s “stirred” and the PFT’s (Pope Francis Translation; excuse our sarcasm) “thrills” is the Greek paroxuno. Here are the concordance, lexicon, and biblical dictionary verdicts from just a few of the world’s leading scholarly word-study resources:

  • “to exasperate:—easily provoke, stir”[vi]Strong’s Concordance
  • “to irritate, provoke, rouse to anger…[as is the context in] Acts 17:16; 1 Co. 13:5”[vii]Thayer’s Lexicon
  • “be upset, be angered, irritated, distressed”[viii]—James Swanson’s Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains

Of course, we could throw in another twenty-five sources identifying the same context slaughter that Francis committed here, but you get the idea. An argument could be made for paroxuno meaning to “make sharp,” “sharpen,” “stimulate,” “spur on,” or “urge” (all related to the roots para and oxys, which describe something unexpected and sharp),[ix] but only as it pertains to something adverse or undesirable, like a sharp pang of hurt or agitation over something. With this in mind, Francis’ application of this verse makes as much sense as saying that Paul was “absolutely thrilled to be swiftly and sharply stabbed at the sight of idols.” Under no circumstances, the ancient language experts unanimously agree, would Acts 17:16 ever suggest that Paul was pleased to see so many idols in Athens. (This is, again, assuming a “word study” on such a thing would be necessary, since the more obvious “character study” in any language would be enough to show that our Lord’s great apostle would be devastated to see a cluster of idols in a city of lost souls.)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3–4)

In any case, after this Scripture defacement, whereupon Pope Francis established Paul’s boyish glee, he proceeded to explain how the apostle chose to “open a gap between the Gospel and the pagan world” as an intercultural “pontiff, builder of bridges.”[x] Though he avoids explaining how this behavior could be consistent with Paul’s message to the church at Corinth that merging the Gospel with the pagan world is a literal, spiritual impossibility—“the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils.… Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20–21)—Francis heavily implies that Paul would have been incapable of witnessing to the Athenians without their “idol to the unknown god” as a conversational genesis. Aside from the fact that this application is totally debatable and grasping (by no means did Paul need a pagan idol to complete God’s work), the emphasis of the sermon is not just a statement of relief that Paul conveniently had a tool to reach the lost. Francis is playing an ingenious, and very dangerous, word game. Note his closing statement:

Today we too ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to build bridges with culture…. Always build bridges, always an outstretched hand, no aggression. Let us ask him for the ability to delicately inculturate the message of faith, placing a contemplative gaze on those who are ignorant of Christ, moved by a love that warms even the most hardened hearts.[xi]

Simply put: “Inculturation” is the emphasizing of Christian teachings in a pagan culture; “acculturation” is when one culture changes (religiously and otherwise) as a result of exposure to, or a merger with, another. By endorsing “inculturation,” Pope Francis was technically only guilty of suggesting that we need to witness to the lost. However, in context of—

  1. the child-sacrifice goddess “Pachamama” idol service he facilitated on “Christian” grounds;
  2. the decision to house these idols in a church that is (supposedly) consecrated to the God of the Bible;
  3. the statement of condemnation against the personalities who removed said idols from the house of God; and
  4. his subsequent maiming of Scripture that belied Apostle Paul as one who finds idols to be resourceful and opportunistic

—he is actually pushing the agenda of acculturation and the syncretizing of the Gospel with culture and its little-g gods. Though some superficial elements of acculturation are quite innocent (for example, residents of an American city move to Beijing, learn Chinese, and adjust to standing a lot closer to strangers than we do in the States), the Bible is clear on the following: God’s people have been set apart (Genesis 12:1–3; Isaiah 43:21); we have nonnegotiable boundaries that say we’re never to live the way the pagans do or entertain the worship of their gods, lest we be found detestable and completely cut off from God (Leviticus 18:3; Deuteronomy 12:29–31); God’s supreme and all-encompassing judgment is a direct response of knowing this kind of idolatrous behavior is forbidden, and then doing it anyway (Jeremiah 44:23; 1 Kings 9:9).

Pope Francis’ sermon, in lieu of both his actions and words, has a clear scheme, and it’s not just to show the love of Christ to “hardened hearts” and “build a bridge” to the pagans, but to merge the Gospel with the pagans, which, as any one of the verses just referenced will show, leads only to having the blessing of God over a nation entirely removed. Using the Bible to excuse and endorse actions that the Bible forbids will do that… Meanwhile, the pope positions himself as an intercultural bridge-builder who peacefully and innocently champions inculturation and healthy societal pluralism.

UP NEXT: The Vatican and Protestant Babylon

If you would like more information on the topics covered in this article series, see the book Dark Covenant by Donna Howell and Allie Anderson, available below:

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[i] Both photos and videos of this incident can be found all over the web at this time, due to the fact that the controversy was so recent. However, as one close-up example showing the blessing of the idol by Pope Francis, see: “Video Shows Pope Francis Blessing Controversial ‘Pachamama’ Statue,” YouTube, uploaded by LifeSiteNews on October 24, 2019, last accessed January 10, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wjdkrfj5OI.

[ii] Wilson, Andrew S., Timothy Taylor, Maria Constanza Ceruti, et al, “Stable Isotope and DNA Evidence for Ritual Sequences in Inca Child Sacrifice,” October 16, 2007, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), last accessed October 15, 2020, https://www.pnas.org/content/104/42/16456; quote taken from the abstract of the article.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Steven Mosher, “Not Even Pope Francis Can Deny the Pachamama is a Pagan Idol,” October 28, 2019, LifeSite News, last accessed January 10, 2020, https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/not-even-pope-francis-can-deny-the-pachamama-is-a-pagan-idol.

[v] John-Henry Weston, “Pope Calls Statues ‘Pachamamas’ and Apologizes for Their Removal from Church,” October 25, 2019, LifeSite News, last accessed January 10, 2020, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-calls-statues-pachamamas-and-apologizes-for-their-removal-from-church?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=15fdf5d6d6-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_620&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-15fdf5d6d6-401421241.

[vi] Strong, J., A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible: Vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software; 2009), 56.

[vii] Thayer, J. H., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti (New York: Harper & Brothers; 1889), 490.

[viii] Swanson, J., Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed., Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.; 1997), entry “4236.”

[ix] For a bit more reflection, see: “Strong’s G3947,” Blue Letter Bible, last accessed October 16, 2020, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3947&t=KJV; then, on this same page, follow the links near the top in the “Root Word (Etymology)” box to the roots G3844 and G3691 to study how paroxuno or paroxyno formed from a term that would have never applied itself to Pope Francis’ “thrills” application.

[x] Pope Francis, in a sermon delivered to the “general audience” at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, November 6, 2019; translated and archived by the official Vatican website: “Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles—15. ‘Whom you adore without knowing him, I tell you’ (Acts 17:23). Paul at the Areopagus: an example of the inculturation of the faith in Athens,” Vatican, last accessed October 16, 2020, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/audiences/2019/documents/papa-francesco_20191106_udienza-generale.html.

[xi] Ibid; emphasis added.

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