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Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Prophecy of the Last World Emperor

Since going on The Hagmann Report last Monday, I have received numerous excited emails from prophecy buffs and concerned Christians who were unaware of the Final Roman Emperor prophecy and its connection with modern Catholic eschatology and the astounding parallels between this vision and current events at the Vatican and activity by Pope Francis, which seem literally torn from the pages of the ancient Sibyl’s forecast (as though the Pope and those in the know are following it like a roadmap). 

This took many evangelicals off guard (and wait until they read the complete analysis in the FINAL ENTRY by me and Cris Putnam “The Final Roman Emperor, the Islamic Antichrist, and the Vatican’s Last Crusade” coming out this Tuesday with the massive limited time giveaway) because it is often assumed that Catholic eschatology follows the biblical outline presented in Daniel and Revelation. However, there are significant differences due to their necessary emphasis on ongoing revelation. One such development is the “Last World Emperor” or “Great Catholic Monarch.” Also called the “Last Roman Emperor,” he is a figure of medieval European legend, who developed as an aspect of early apocalyptic literature. He first appears in the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius.
The Last World Emperor

Then suddenly tribulation and distress will arise against them. The king of the Greeks, i.e. the Romans, will come out against them in great anger, roused as from a drunken stupor like one whom men had thought dead and worthless (Ps. 77:65). He will go forth against them from the Ethiopian sea and will send the sword and desolation into Ethribus their homeland, capturing their women and children living in the Land of Promise. The sons of the king will come down with the sword and cut them off from the earth. Fear and trembling will rush upon them and their wives and their children from all sides. They will mourn their offspring, weeping over them and all the villages in the lands of their fathers. By the sword they will be given over into the hands of the king of the Romans—to captivity, death, and decay.

The king of the Romans will impose his yoke upon them seven times as much as their yoke weighed upon the earth. Great distress will seize them; tribulation will bring them hunger and thirst. They, their wives, and their children will be slaves and serve those who used to serve them, and their slavery will be a hundred times more bitter and hard. The earth which they destitute will then be at peace; each man will return to his own land and to the inheritance of his fathers—Armenia, Cilicia, Isauria, Africa, Greece, Sicily. Every man who was left captive will return to the things that were his and his fathers’, and men will multiply upon the once desolated earth like locusts. Egypt will be desolated, Arabia burned with fire, the land of Ausania burned, and the sea provinces pacified. The whole indignation and fury of the king of the Romans will blaze forth against those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the earth will sit in peace and there will be great peace and tranquility upon the earth such as has never been nor ever will be anymore, since it is the final peace at the End of time….

Then the “Gates of the North” will be opened and the strength of those nations which Alexander shut up there will go forth. The whole earth will be terrified at the sight of them; men will be afraid and flee in terror to hide themselves in mountains and caves and graves. They will die of fright and very many will be wasted with fear. There will be no one to bury the bodies. The tribes which will go forth from the North will eat the flesh of men and will drink the blood of beasts like water. They will eat unclean serpents, scorpions, and every kind of filthy and abominable beast and reptile which crawls the earth. They will consume the dead bodies of beasts of burden and even women’s abortions. They will slay the young and take them away from their mothers and eat them. They will corrupt the earth and contaminate it. No one will be able to stand against them.

After a week of years, when they have already captured the city of Joppa, the Lord will send one of the princes of his host and strike them down in a moment. After this the king of the Romans will go down and live in Jerusalem for seven and half-seven times, i.e. years. When the ten and a half years are completed the Son of Perdition will appear.

He will be born in Chorazaim, nourished in Bethsaida, and reign in Capharnaum. Chorazaim will rejoice because he was born in her, and Capharnaum because he will have reigned in her. For this reason in the third Gospel the Lord gave the following statement: “Woe to you Chorazaim, woe to you Bethsaida, and to you Capharnaum—if you have risen up to heaven, you will descend even to hell” (Luke 10:13–15). When the Son of Perdition has arisen, the king of the Romans will ascend Golgotha upon which the wood of the Holy Cross is fixed, in the place where the Lord underwent death for us. The king will take the crown from his head and place it on the cross and stretching out his hands to heaven will hand over the kingdom of the Christians to the Father. 

The cross and the crown of the king will be taken up together to heaven. This is because the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the common salvation of all will begin to appear before him at his coming to convict the lack of faith of unbelievers. The prophecy of David which says, “In the last days Ethiopia will stretch out her hand to God” (Ps. 67:32) will be fulfilled in that these last men who stretch out their hands to God are from the seed of the sons of Chuseth, the daughter of Phol, king of Ethiopia. When the Cross has been lifted up on high to heaven, the king of the Romans will directly give up his spirit. Then every principality and power will be destroyed that the Son of Perdition may be manifest. [i]

The character of the Last Roman Emperor is still taught as standard eschatology in Catholicism. For example, the host of the Catholic television show, The Last Things, on the EWTN network, Desmond Birch, billed as an expert on the end times, describes the “Great Monarch” or King:

They (the prophecies by the Church Fathers and other, later, great saints regarding the Great Monarch) all contain prophecy of: (1) Toward the end of time but well prior to anti-Christ, the world will be very troubled (2) which troubles are ended for a time by a great temporal ruler, a great Monarch or King (3) who works closely with a very great and saintly Pope (4) together they reestablish peace in the world which lasts for a significant period of time (5) at the end of which time the people go bad because they cannot withstand the temptations that come with continued peace and prosperity (6) as a result of their becoming worse than “ever before” Anti-Christ comes.[ii]

Students of biblical eschatology recognize that those Catholic beliefs are not derived from the Old or New Testaments, but rather later traditions, known as private revelations or “those which have been recorded since the days of Christ.”[iii] Birch cites numerous scholars and saints throughout Christian history who pointed to a Holy Pope and Great Monarch who institute an era of peace just prior to the Great Tribulation of biblical prophecy.[iv]

A seventeenth-century German priest known as “the Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser” in Catholic literature wrote a famous commentary on the book of Revelation, which is still held in high regard today by Roman Catholics. He argued the seven stars and the seven candlesticks seen by John signify seven periods of Church history, from its formation to the return of Christ for the final judgment. He also advocated that the seven periods correspond to the seven churches of Asia Minor addressed by John in Revelation, a view shared by many protestant premillennialists. According to Holzhauser, “the fifth period of the Roman Catholic Church began in 1520, would extend until the time of the ‘Holy Pope,’ and that fifth period would be marked by major wars, the loss of Roman Catholic Church influence, moral laxity, and that Moslems would again rise up to cause the Latin Church problems.”[v]

Various descriptions of the fifth period well describe recent history within and without the Catholic Church. For example, the once-Christian West has sunk to new lows in terms of promiscuity, birth control, abortion, and so on. Even so, Catholic moral influence waned largely due to the hypocrisy entailed by the institutional cover up of the worldwide pedophile-priest scandal. (Detailed in our first book, Petrus Romanus).

Pope Francis seems to match the description of the “Holy Pope” presiding during a modern Muslim uprising, which reaches out to Muslim authorities to work together toward the common goal of a global religious community devoid of radicals in either institution [exactly what the Grand Imam and Pope Francis are doing this week). The “Holy Pope” is also prophesied to bring the Eastern Orthodox back into communion with Rome. Right on cue, in an address to the Orthodox Church of St. George in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Pope Francis said, “the one thing that the Catholic Church desires and that I seek as Bishop of Rome…is communion with the Orthodox Churches.”[vi] Francis then followed this in February 2016 by meeting with Patriarch Kirill in a “first-ever papal meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, an historic development in the 1,000-year schism that divided Christianity.” [vii]

After the fifth period of darkness, chastisement and restoration, Catholic prophecies predict a Great Monarch will arise to vanquish radical Islam and turn the world to an ecumenical Rome. Holzhauser prophesied:

There rise a valiant King anointed by God. He will be a Catholic and a descendant of Louis IX, yet a descendant also of an old German imperial family, born in exile. He will rule supreme in temporal matters.[viii]

While many Catholic seers imply a restored French monarchy (almost impossible politically), the hero is predicted to be crowned king of the restored Holy Roman Empire. Dupont commented, “But the restoration of Monarchy will not be a local affair; it will be a world-wide phenomenon. This will mark a near historical epoch and, because of this, many people are finding it hard to believe.”[ix] Indeed, it’s even harder to believe that he will convert the world’s Muslims into a Catholic-loving super church of any shelf-life. Other prophecies cited predicting a French Monarch include:

Take notice that the Kingdom of the Franks is predestined by God for the defense of the Roman Church which is the only true Church of Christ. This kingdom shall someday be great among the kingdoms of the earth, and shall embrace all the limits of the Roman Empire, and shall submit all other kingdoms to its own scepter. (St. Rémi, fifth century)

Certain Doctors truly say that one of the Kings of the Frankish Empire shall possess it in its entirety which King shall live in the last time and shall be the greatest and last of Kings. (St. Anselm, eleventh century)

Peace will return to the world when the White Flower again takes possession of the throne of France. (St. Hidlegard, notably German, twelfth century)

The French people will ask for the good King, he who was chosen by God. He will come, this savior whom God has spared for France, this king who is not wanted now because he is dear to God’s Heart. He will ascend to the throne; he will free the Church and reassert the Pope’s rights. (The Ecstatic of Tours, nineteenth century)

Is not France “the tribe of Juda of the New Covenant” (St. Pius X)? (L’Abbé de Nantes, twenty-first century)[x]

Leading a divinely inspired crusade, the Great Monarch is predicted to conquer many Middle Eastern nations. A Catholic expert on private revelations,[xi] Dupont has collected many private revelations about the Great Monarch:

The Great Monarch…will conquer the (Middle) East. (Pareus, seventeenth century)

Cyprus, the Turks and Barbarians he will subdue. (Cataldus, fifth century)

The Eagle will also invade the Mohammedan countries. (St. Bridget, fourteenth century)

He shall destroy Jewish and Mohammedan extremist sects. (St. Bridget)

He shall subdue to his dominion the Mohammedan Empire. (Gekner, seventeenth century)

He shall reign over the House of Agar (Hagar), and shall possess Jerusalem. (Isidore of Seville, seventh century)

He shall wrestle the Kingdom of the Christians from Ishmael, and conquer it from the Saracens. None of the Saracens shall be able to prevail. (Liber Mirabilis, sixteenth century)[xii]

Dupont, naively, credits the following prophecy to the fourth-century theologian St. Methodius of Olympus:

A day will come when the enemies of Christ will boast of having conquered the whole world. They will say, “Christians cannot escape now!” But a Great King will arise to defeat the enemies of God. He will defeat them, and peace will be given to the world, and the Church will be freed from her anxieties.[xiii]
The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius

Dupont does not cite a specific work for Methodius’ prediction, but it must be The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius now agreed to by a Syrian pseudepigrapher. Falsely attributed to Methodius of Olympus, a fourth-century Church Father, the work attempts to rationalize the Islamic Conquest of the Levant—troublesome in the seventh century, but not of much concern to the fourth-century Olympian Christian. Written in Syriac in the late seventh century, scholars typically date The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius’ composition to precisely AD 692.[xiv] The Apocalypse is the earliest surviving witness to the legend of the Last World Emperor. Hence, we believe it is no accident the “legends of the black flag and the Muslim savior, the Mahdi, first circulated during the reign of the Umayyad dynasty, which ruled the Islamic empire from the ancient city of Damascus in the seventh and eighth centuries AD.”[xv]

While recognizing its obvious dependence on Christian sources, an encyclopedia entry credits the composition with the addition of a new character:

The Apocalypse of St. Methodius, however, adds a new element to Christian eschatology: the rise of a messianic Roman emperor. He became a hero in Christian apocalyptic literature until the end of the medieval period, “the basis for the most important branch of Byzantine apocalyptic tradition.”[xvi] The original Syriac text was translated into Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Arabic, and other languages from the late seventh century onwards and facilitated the Apocalypse’s widespread prophetic influence.[xvii] According to Paul Julius Alexander, it was “the basis for the most important branch of Byzantine apocalyptic tradition.”[xviii]

It’s hard for us as modern folks, used to dramatic storytelling via HDTV and iPods, to understand how important this sort of literature was in the ancient world. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that in the development of the Byzantine apocalyptic tradition, the translation of the Syriac text of Pseudo-Methodius into Greek marked the end of the era of Antiquity, and the beginning of that of the Middle Ages.[xix] The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius remained influential until at least the fourteenth century.[xx] The region surrounding Damascus that produced this literature is the same area that produced many of the Hadiths. Scholars have only started source criticism of the Hadith and have published concerning the Mahdi’s dependence on the Last World Emperor tradition.

Citing this work, O. Livine-Kafri writes: “is there a reflection of the Apocalypse of pseudo-Methodius in Muslim Tradition?”[xxi] Scholars today recognize that Pseudo-Methodius not only exercised great influence on later apocalyptic texts, but his Apocalypse was used by “theologians and historiographers too, and was probably known to Muslim traditionalists.”[xxii] Not only is it the earliest surviving witness to the legend of the Last World Emperor, it is likely the source material for the Hadith on the arrival of the Mahdi. It is not terribly surprising that the Muslims created the Mahdi in response to the Last Roman Emperor—the consummate Ottoman antihero:

As far as the history of the literary transmissions allows us to know, Psueudo-Methodius bears witness to a significant innovation with respect to the patterns of previous eschatological literature: it is the peculiar role of the Last Roman Emperor. After a period of domination by the tribes of Ishmael over the Christian oikoumene, a Roman Emperor will arise to fight the Ishmaelites. He will liberate the Christian lands, push the Ishmaelites back to the desert and annihilate their power. Then he will establish a long period of peace and prosperity, which will last until the invasion of the peoples of Gog and Magog, followed by the last Emperors move to Jerusalem.[xxiii]

The early Hadith writers were responding to what was being popularly discussed in seventh-century Syria, and the Syriac Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius was hot off the press. In a revisionist style similar to the Qur’an’s treatment of Ishmael and Isaac, the Last Roman Emperor becomes the Mahdi, of the Hadith. Thus both Muslim and Catholic mystics are working toward the arrival of a single MAN that they will receive as ruler over a global socialistic empire!

Credit to Zero Hedge

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