A few days ago on February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy effective at the end of February. Typically the turnover of a Roman Catholic Pope would not be significant to the end times or Bible prophecy. However, there is the matter of the Malachy prophecy.
To be honest I debated whether to write a post on this subject. I feared that there would be some who would take away from this post the wrong message that I was elevating the Malachy prophecy to the level of Biblical prophecy. Please understand I am not. What follows is merely an observation that a saying taken as prophecy may after all be providing further confirmation of where we are prior to Christ’s return.
The Malachy prophecy is a list of 112 short, cryptic phrases followed by a longer paragraph. Malachy himself was an Irish bishop who lived in the twelfth century. Each of the 112 phrases supposedly describes each of the popes starting with Celestine II whose reign started in 1143, to the present with the 112th phrase corresponding to the current pope, Benedict XVI. Some believe that the 112th phrase, “the glory of the olive” partially drove his choosing of the name Benedict. The original Benedict founded the Benedictine Order which has an olive in its crest. Following the list of 112 phrases describing the 112 popes, is a paragraph describing a 113th pope which is supposedly to be the last pope:
“In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End.”
What this “prophecy” suggests is that the very next pope is to be named Peter and that he will be pope from now until the second coming of Christ. Admittedly, it is remarkable that 112 phrases were used to describe the popes from 1143 onward, and that we have reached the end of the 112 at this point in time with the 113th starting, perhaps twenty years or so before the Second Coming.
However, the Malachy prophecy may still be proven false. The Malachy prophecy at best may be a true prophecy, but could very well be nothing better than say, a quatrain of Nostradamus. Any prophecy or saying should be made to measure up against the Bible. The Signposts has as its pedigree the foundation of Scripture itself and a thorough study of history, while the Malachy prophecy does not. Therefore the Four Signposts is the standard on which the Malachy prophecy must be compared.
The Four Signposts show us that there is still much to happen over the next several years prior to the Tribulation and Second Coming, as I wrote about in my book, Daniel Revisited. We may very well have twenty or thirty years yet to go. It of course is silent on the subject of the popes. If the Malachy prophecy is true, then within the timeframe and events of the Four Signposts, we should expect the next pope to also be the last pope. He will be named Peter and his reign should start when he is relatively young, in his 50’s, like John Paul II did.
The next month should prove interesting. But whether or not the next pope is named Peter or whether or not he is deemed young enough to last many years, I’m keeping my eyes on our Lord, his Scripture, and the interpretation of the Signposts. No matter what happens with the popes, the message of the Four Signposts remains unchanged.
Categories: The Signpost Perspective