A look at the relationship between the Jews and the Vatican.
February 9, 2013 - Audio, 11.00 MIN
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The Vatican and the Jewish people have always been enemies, are still enemies and will always be enemies. In fact, the Vatican is probably the biggest enemy that the State of Israel has today. Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington with you.
For those that follow our program here or read the Bible Magazine this will not come as a surprise when we say this about the Catholic Church. That said however, the Jerusalem Post reported this week that 'Israel, Vatican near historic relationship upgrade'.
So we are to believe that the Vatican has finally decided to warm up to the Jewish State, to the natural seed of Abraham? And, what could possibly bring about this change? The article in the Jerusalem Post reported the following:
“Jerusalem expects this agreement to improve relations not only with the Vatican, but also with other Catholic countries around the world for whom the Vatican’s position vis-a-vis Israel is important.
Over the years the discussions have centered around three main issues: the status of the Catholic Church in Israel; the issue of sovereignty over some 21 sites in the country, including the Cenacle – the site of the Last Supper on Mount Zion; and taxation and expropriation issues.”
Further to this, Israel National News reported the following in an article entitled “A Seat for the Pope at King David's Tomb”:
“An historic agreement has been drafted between Israel and the Vatican. The Israeli authorities have granted the Pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and where David and Solomon, Jewish kings of Judea, are considered by some researchers, to also be buried.
It is the culmination of a long campaign by the Catholic Church to regain religious stewardship over the place where Jesus is supposed to have broken bread and drunk wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.”
There is nothing the Vatican would love more than to have sovereignty over the so called “Holy Sites” in the land of Israel. As for an official seat in the supposed room of the Last Supper, nothing could excite the Vatican more than that.
But let’s just get this right now. Israel gives up sovereignty over 21 sites in the country in exchange for the Vatican’s friendship. The scriptures say the following in Matthew 7 starting at verse 15:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
The record of the Roman Catholic Church and their relation to the Jewish people is anything but pretty from the Crusades, to the Inquisition. If you thought it was Hitler that came up with the idea of having the Jews wear something that distinguished them from their Gentile neighbours (which in Hitler’s case was the yellow badge), it wasn’t... that idea came from the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, when the not so innocent Pope Innocent III declared the requirement for Jews to wear something that “distinguished” them as Jews, that turned into badges. In 1434 the Council of Basel met, much was discussed I’m sure but they did manage to get this decided... Christians should not be permitted to serve Jews in any capacity, or attend their weddings and other celebrations, or bathe together with them. It also renewed the requirement that Jews must wear distinguishing clothing and that they be compelled to live apart from Christians. Nice touch.
What about recently? Well, they signed a concordat with Hitler and smuggled Nazi war criminals out of Europe dressed as priests, were viciously opposed to the birth of the State of Israel and befriended Yasser Arafat, the terrorist leader, Arafat had no less than 12 audiences with John Paul II. No doubt they both wanted the downfall of Israel.
The Roman Catholic Church is all but the sworn enemy of the Jews. Simply put, the Jews killed Christ Jesus (forgetting I suppose that there was just as much Roman involvement). This has been used as an excuse to persecute the Jews for centuries. That when the words of Christ himself at the crucifixion was “forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
Well the Apostle Paul asks in Romans 11, “Hast God cast away his people?” He also clearly gives us the answer... “Certainly NOT”. In fact as we have discussed on this program before, we are actually in the time period of the redemption of God’s people. As God continues to build the land of Israel and bring his people back from dispersion the more angry the Vatican will become, and scared because in their minds they were supposed to have replaced the Jewish people as Gods chosen. The following quote from The Vatican Moscow Washington Alliance (1982) written by Avro Manhattan gets to the heart of the issue:
“The spectre of the creation of such a theocracy has haunted the inner chambers of the Catholic Church from here earliest inception, and is still a dominant fear. Hence her equivocal role in world affairs surrounding the birth and existence of the State of Israel...
“In Vatican eyes, therefore, the millenarian yearning for a global Hebrew theocracy represents a deadly threat to the eschatological teachings of the Catholic Church. When translated into concrete political terms, such a view spells not only rivalry but implacable enmity.”
So as for giving up sovereignty over 21 “Holy Sites” for the Vatican and their friends to play nice, it is like giving the school yard bully your cookies in exchange for him to stop smacking the life out of you. It may make today better but when he is hungry again you better have some more cookies. In the book of Jeremiah, God asks a rhetorical question, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” The answer is no, and neither has the Roman Catholic Church changed. In the words of the book of Revelation “they have repented not.”
Interestingly when we look at Ezekiel 36, a prophecy relating to the end times has something to say about these “holy places” or high places as they are called in the King James version:
“Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:
Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession”
The Church certainly does have much interest in the “high places” or “holy sites”. She would certainly like to have control over them there is no doubt. Whether she gains control of some now or not we cannot tell, but like the school yard bully she will not be satisfied.
From the prophecies, we expect the Roman Catholic Church to be joined with a northern confederacy of nations that invade the land of Israel. Daniel 11: 40, 41, 45:
“ And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown...
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
And at that time she will be gloating about her new real estate and in particular the “high places” or “holy sites”. It is at that point when the Messiah will intervene, what a surprise it will be.
For us today when we see the Church opposing the Jewish people and now making moves to gain control over the “holy sites” it is a stark reminder that she has not changed and will not be satisfied with a mere 21. The Lord God sees it all and the time will come when, in the words of Psalm 2
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Even so come Lord Jesus.
Join us again next week for another edition of the Bible in the News.