Where it will lead is yet to be seen, but this one you will want to watch.
This week Pope Benedict XVI released his comments on the global financial crisis. Now every pope watcher knows that popes don't just write 700-word essays on world conditions and social problems. No, they write several thousand word documents called encyclicals. And these messages always have Latin names, a throwback to church origins during the Roman period when everyone spoke the native Latin. This one is called Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).
The USA Today headline said, "Pope Calls for 'God-centered' Global Economy." Here is the opening paragraph: "Pope Benedict XVI today called for reforming the United Nations and establishing a 'true world political authority' with 'real teeth' to manage the global economy with God-centered ethics... The pope says such an authority is urgently needed to end the current worldwide financial crisis. It should 'revive' damaged economies, reach toward 'disarmament, food security and peace,' protect the environment and 'regulate migration.'"
The goal of this "true world authority" is a just and equal sharing of world resources to eliminate poverty and other social problems. The document, which you can read at the official Vatican Web site, draws from past papal statements but seems to put a stake in the ground with the clear call for some type of central authority to end the cycle of financial stress that historically leads to problems like war and upheaval of whole populations. Massive wealth redistribution is also called for.
Comments from observers stress the humanity of the pope's words and the intent to relieve human suffering. The USA Today article goes on to say, "'The pope is saying you need just structures and people who act justly,' says Steve Colecchi, director of the office of international justice and peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 'He's calling on every level of society to be rooted in an ethical vision of the human person.'"
Students of Bible prophecy recall the words of Revelation chapter 13 where a future religious leader rises on the world scene in league with a global political leader and together wield a power that impacts every aspect of life. Speaking of this religious figure it says, "He exercises all the authority of the first beast [the political power]... He performs great signs… He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads" (Revelation 13:12, 13, 16).
In this amazing prophecy we are warned in advance of a coming time of global upheaval out of which emerge religious/political authorities that promise to restore stability and order in world financial markets and maintain the peace between nations that threaten world order. The language of this prophecy is unmistakable in the picture it paints. To read the words of the present pope advocating "a true world authority" is to see the potential for a significant piece of this future picture forming before our eyes. It should awaken us to the magnitude of today's global events and what could suddenly emerge.
While the words of this papal call for justice and social equality appear benign, we must read God's Word carefully to understand how the intent of man's solutions can be turned into something completely different. Spiritual deception continually lurks, ready to emerge as a powerful force for evil. The words of Revelation 16:15 are a warning to us from Jesus Christ: "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
For more information about this prophecy, be sure to read our booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled. It fills in more details of what lies ahead in world events.