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The Good News – August 14, 1978
The Good News – August 14, 1978
Significance Of Pope’s Death

by Herbert W. Armstrong

The death of Pope Paul may have tremendous significance to God’s Church and to God’s Work!

Some 20 years ago when Pope John was elected, I wondered if he would be the pope who would offer his good offices to the nations of Europe to bring about the political and military, as well as economic, union so many European nations have desired.

In other words, to resurrect the Holy Roman Empire, which ruled Europe under the popes from 554 to 1814. But immediately we could see Pope John was not the man to do this. He sought to strengthen the Roman Catholic Church by launching the ecumenical movement – hoping to bring back to the “Mother Church” her daughters that had gone out of her in PROTEST – calling themselves Protestant.

Fifteen years ago I felt that surely Pope Paul would be the stern pope who would bring about this United States of Europe (Revelation 17), sternly ruling all Europe with police and military FORCE (Revelation 13). But he too was a more kindly, gentle type of man.

During the decade and a half of Pope Paul’s rule, the Catholic Church faced its period of greatest trial and test in many decades. Pope Paul continued the efforts of the ecumenical movement, but it brought no real results. But his greatest stress was within the church itself. Many priests became of the more liberal persuasion – many married, many nuns married. Probably 90 percent to 98 percent of the church laity neglected completely to follow the church edict that sexual union must be used solely for purposes of reproduction – and that any other use of sex, even in marriage, was a sin, even though only venial.

At the same time Pope Paul had to contend with another power group among the priesthood, who stood sternly for the traditional conservatism. This pope walked a tightrope and did manage to hold the church together – though in a time of great and mounting stress.

It had seemed that the resurrection of the Catholic-ruled Europe was considerably past due. But in Revelation 7, when the time had come for the trumpet plagues to be poured out, you will read how God held up events, until the sealing of the 144,000 and other great innumerable multitude. So it has seemed God has deliberately HELD UP the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire UNTIL God’s GREAT COMMISSION is completed.

When this European combine – Politically, militarily, religiously, with a common currency – occurs, our work will be just about over – and it will be well for us to HEED that warning!

Now, as the world awaits in anxious suspense the election of the next pope, it is well that we realize that our days to finish God’s Work maybe fast closing in on us! This time, the pope elected MAY BE THE ONE that will signify the imminency of the GREAT TRIBULATION.

This is the time of the trial and test of GOD’S PEOPLE! (Daniel 12:9, 10.) We are in the process of seeing the living HEAD of God’s Church, Jesus Christ, enthroned once again along with the GREAT MAJESTIC GOD in our hearts as never before! GOD’S CHURCH is now striving, with God’s power, to root out liberalism, secularism and spiritual lethargy and neglect from our midst! God’s Church and Work have been completely turned around in the past two months.

We are, praise to our Leader Jesus Christ, now making a NEW START in the right direction!

We need to be AWAKE and plunge with renewed vigor into the work before us, for the night draweth on, when no man can work!

Let us GIVE as never before, of our earnest and heart-rending PRAYERS for God’s Work, and for those Christ is using in it – in our enthusiasm and warm-hearted encouragement and support, both in attitude and words, and in tithes and offerings – that God’s Work now will make the FINAL DASH ON THE HOME STRETCH WITH A RENEWED VITALITY, VIGOR AND POWER!