Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Sharing Prophecy


Be guarded. In bearing the message, make no personal thrusts at other churches, not even the Roman Catholic Church. Angels of God see in the different denominations many who can be reached only by the greatest caution. Therefore let us be careful of our words. Let not our ministers follow their own impulses in denouncing and exposing the "mysteries of iniquity." Upon these themes silence is eloquence. Many are deceived. Speak the truth in tomes and words of love. Let Christ be exalted. - Ellen G. White, EV 576
The last few weeks have been pretty intense in the religio-political world. The arrival of Pope Francis in America has elicited all kinds of responses. For some, he is a breath of fresh air. For others, he is no different from any other Pope apart from his "terrific PR".[1] 

Regardless of which position you may take, one thing is certain - Pope Francis is a historic Pope. He is the first Latin-american Pope and the first Jesuit Pope. In addition "[h]is tour [in America] marked several firsts for the papacy: Francis was the first pope to address a joint sitting of US Congress. He also [conducted the]... first canonization to occur on US soil."[2] And if that weren't enough, Christianity Today recently published an article titled "From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope" which reveals the results of a Life Way Research project which discovered that "[m]ore than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ."[3] This is a long shot from Luther, the father of Protestantism, who emphatically declared "I am entirely of the opinion that the papacy is the Antichrist."[4]

Those who share the apocalyptic-consciousness that Luther and the reformers proclaimed continue to view the papacy (not necessarily the pope) as the Antichrist.[5] This consciousness - or state of awareness - is arrived at through the historicist reading of apocalyptic literature. In the Bible, this interpretation chronicles an unfolding of end time events in which spiritual fraud forms the overlying strategy of scriptures protagonist - Satan. At the center of this strategy lies the Roman Papal system and the story that this system tells. A philosophy which, taken as a whole, forms a counter-narrative to the story that Jesus came to tell.

As a result, those who share this consciousness feel a responsibility to warn the world. Thus, while the masses may engage in ardent adulation of Romes pontiff, this group finds itself swimming against that stream. As a historicist I find myself in that very position and wonder, how can I effectively share this story with those who do not share my worldview? And while I have yet to arrive at a complete answer, the last few weeks have taught me 3 things I certainly do not want to do.

False Accusations
The first item on my list is false accusations. I cannot tell you how many Facebook posts I have seen that level false accusations against Pope Francis. The worst of all would have to be a recent article accusing the Pope of declaring Jesus' work on the cross a failure. If this were true, it would be very significant. But it turns out, that's not what Francis actually said. His exact words were: 
The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.[6]
The relatively unbiased and careful reader would note that the interpretation of this passage rests on the phrase "humanly speaking". In other words, we are not to measure success by way of human standards because "humanly speaking" Jesus' life ended in failure. To say the Pope was actually saying that Jesus was a failure is clearly a false accusation. While such an accusation may convince the sensational and overtly biased it fails to bear the test of scrutiny.

Antichrist or not, Christians do not have the right to label false accusations against Pope Francis. Exodus 20:16 clearly states "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." And last I checked Pope Francis is my neighbor. While I may not agree with his meta-narrative he is still a child of God. And while I may fully embrace the apocalyptic warning concerning final events that does not give me licence to break the commandments in the name of "I'm just warning people". If we are going to warn people against deception, lets not resort to deception. If we are going to proclaim truth, lets do so in the Spirit of truth and not vindictiveness and hatred. Our words and discourses regarding this matter should stand the test of scrutiny. As Ellen White said,
It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny. . . .[7]
Hateful Rhetoric
Rhetoric is defined as "the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques."[8] Combine that with "hateful" and you have got yourself one nasty piece of literature. Paul tells us in Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." With such a clear command one would expect Christians to exercise caution when it comes to the kinds of rhetoric that they engage in regarding any topic - including the Pope. And yet, it is from Christians that I have witnessed some of the most hateful rhetoric around. From sarcastic memes to outright insulting statements the internet is crawling with the greatest exhibition of Christian hate that I have seen in a long time. Sadly, most of what I have seen is being promulgated by my Adventist kin. In many ways some (not all, of course) of my own brothers and sisters in faith have become, in the words of Adventist evangelist Roger Hernandez, "the kind of Christian other Christians have to apologize for.”[9]

Examples of hateful rhetoric can include articles and memes insulting the Pope with phrases such as "Marxist", "idolater", "blasphemer", or "man of sin". Now some may argue "but that's what the Bible calls him!" To which I would say, no. That's what we call him while borrowing scriptures language. Truth is, we don't know who the Antichrist is. While I share the conviction that the Antichrist is certainly the papacy, that does not automatically mean that a particular Pope is the Antichrist.* But even if Francis were, what have we accomplished by promulgating this? By calling someone "Antichrist" outside of Revelations narrative does nothing but offend those who do not share our worldview. If we want people to know who the Antichrist is its not about slapping Antichrist on a picture of Francis and sharing it all over social media. Its about inviting people into the story of Daniel and Revelation and lovingly helping them to see the entire tale unfold - a tale which has Jesus, not the pope, as its central theme. If we skip this and instead opt for the shallow meme or the anti-Catholic propaganda, what have we really accomplished? Have we led people to see the beauty of Jesus? Have we drawn people to the truth of the cross? Or have we attempted to simply convince them of the Papacy's evils through our own brand of evil - our hateful words?

The worst part of engaging in hateful rhetoric is that ultimately we are the ones who suffer, not our target. By engaging in hateful rhetoric against the Pope we are sending a message to our friends and neighbors that we are intolerant, unloving, unhealthy, and fanatical. While Pope Francis pours his energy into relieving the suffering of illegal immigrants we raise our hate-speech banners all over Facebook to let everyone know where we stand.[10] In the end, we accomplish nothing of value. Instead, we succeed in making ourselves look like the biggest fools on earth and do damage to the cause of Christ.

Thirst for More
The final point I would like to mention is our seemingly insatiable thirst for more beast and more Antichrist. I recently came across an article which, while rejecting the Catholic worldview, attempted to highlight the areas of Pope Francis' philosophy that all Christians - especially Adventists - can embrace. The author focused exclusively on Francis' appeal to social action, acts of charity, and stewardship of the earth. In the end he concluded that in relation to these positive and necessary pursuits we were in full agreement with Francis. I enjoyed the article and found it to be both balanced and thought provoking. What I found alarming where the comments that followed. Beginning with the very fist comment all the way down the page was one complaint after another on how the author had failed to mention how the Pope is the Antichrist, the beast of Revelation 13, and how he is using social justice as his mask for the Sunday law. 

As soon as I read those comments all I could do was ask, "Haven't you read enough of that already? Do we really need another article on the Antichrist agenda? Do we really need to be told again and again?" 

The article did not deal with the apocalyptic narrative of Revelation 13. Instead, it approached the issue from the angle of "common ground" and called Adventists to recognize the value in social action. In my estimation, this is an angle that is painfully overlooked. Revelation 13 has been extrapolated in countless sermons, articles, documentaries, and books. Do we really need another article repeating the same stuff? And here I discovered one of the greatest dangers to avoid in this whole discussion - the thirst for more. Some, it seems, are constantly and endlessly craving more anti-Catholic and anti-Pope ideologies. It's like we can't get enough of it. Like addicts, we freak out when someone writes an article about the Pope that is not anti-Pope. "I want more anti-Pope!" is the cry of our "itching ears"[11]. And the more we go down this path the more susceptible we are to fanatical conspiracy theories, an imbalanced apocalyptic-consciousness, apocalyptic paranoia, and an unhealthy witness.[12]

So here is my main objective with this article. I wholeheartedly embrace the reformers historicist interpretation of Daniel and Revelation. I am all for giving the warning. I am all for preaching final events. But it can never be done via false accusations, hateful rhetoric, or a continual thirst for more anti-Papacy discourses which leave the avenues of our souls wide open to the dangers of apocalyptic paranoia. When discussing Revelations narrative we must remember that it is the "Revelation of Jesus", that our words should always be seasoned with salt, that we are never to bear false witness,** and that if there is one thing that we should thirst for more and more it is Jesus and Jesus only. Psalm 42:1 says "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God." May this prayer be ours.


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* Some have raised significant concern over the statement "We don't know who the antichrist is". I have added this footnote to clarify any misunderstandings. The above statement does not negate Adventisms prophetic understanding concerning antichrist. Adventism has never sought to identify a particular or specific individual as antichrist. It is the system of papacy that we identify as antichrist but that does not mean we know exactly who the climactic antichrist will be. Does the Pope - as the visible leader of Catholicism - fill an antichrist role? Undoubtedly yes. But that does not mean that he is the climactic antichrist. The identify of this individual we simply do not know. According to the Amazing Facts study guide Who is the AntiChrist?:
Antichrist is an organization--the papacy. The words "eyes of man" in Daniel 7:8, however, do point to a leader. Revelation 13:18 speaks of man with a number being involved. In Daniel chapter 8, Greece is represented by a goat and its leader, Alexander the Great, is symbolized by a horn. The same is true of Antichrist. The organization is the papacy. The pope in office is its representative. The prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 is not saying that popes are evil and that Catholics are not Christians. There are many warm, loving Catholic Christians. The system, however, is called Antichrist because it has usurped Jesus' authority and attempted to change His law. (Emphasis added)
The view espoused here is the same view that I and many other SDA pastors, theologians, and scholars hold. The papacy as a system is antichrist. But the personal identify of the climactic antichrist remains unknown.

** One of the main reasons why false information continues to spread is because many have not educated themselves on how to identify it and evaluate it. Here are 3 articles which should be of help with this endeavor:

"Therefore Keep Watch" - Watching the Signs vs. Conspiracy Theorizing
Does LOL Really Stand for "Lucifer Our Lord"?
Bruno Mars’ Masonic Baby Haircut and 5 Ways to STOP Misinformation on the Internet

[1] http://qz.com/511809/pope-francis-is-not-a-progressive-he-just-has-terrific-pr/
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/sep/27/pope-francis-philadelphia-us-visit-live
[3] http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/september/antichrist-brother-christ-protestant-pastors-pope-francis.html
[4] https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Luther
[5] http://biblehub.com/revelation/13-3.htm
[6] http://abcnews.go.com/US/read-pope-francis-yorks-st-patricks-cathedral/story?id=34023376
[7] http://www.gilead.net/egw/books/misc/Counsels_to_Writers_and_Editors/index.htm?http&url=www.gilead.net/egw/books/misc/Counsels_to_Writers_and_Editors/6_Attitude_to_New_Light.htm
[8] https://www.google.com.au/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=define%20rhetoric&oq=define%20rhetoric&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2301j0j4
[9] http://leadsu.org/2014/08/31/als-challenge-and-the-age-of-aquarius/
[10] http://www.cssr.org.au/writings/dsp-default.cfm?loadref=632
[11] "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." - 2 Timothy 4:3
[12] See: Christians and Conspiracy Theories - http://www.pomopastor.com/2013/01/christians-conspiracy-theories.html
Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Sharing Prophecy Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Sharing Prophecy Reviewed by Pastor Marcos on September 28, 2015 Rating: 5

25 comments

  1. Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. {7BC 949.6}
    Any true Seventh Day Adventist does truly and actually know who/what antichrist is. |
    "Paul states plainly that the “man of sin” will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.” Revelation 13:8. In both the Old and the New World, the papacy will receive homage in the honor paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman Church." {DD 27.1}
    It is our DUTY to expose him! "In the very time in which we live the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118 (1903). {Ev 233.2}
    The pope, regardless of which one, any outward show, is a wicked man, the chief servant of satan upon this planet.
    2 Thess. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be REVEALED, the son of perdition;
    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
    The pope, any pope, is wicked by taking that position; the place of God, claiming to be His representative, being able to forgive sins, changing Gods laws, and thus encouraging others to break them, thus leading them to eternal death.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! To clarify, let it be known that at no point do I say we should not preach prophecy or help people see end time deceptions including those related to the papal system. When I say we dont know who the antichrist is I am speaking of individuals. While scripture paints a complex picture of antichrist to the biblically illiterate such a term is understood as one exclusive eschatological being. so when we call a particular pope the antichrist and he dies without ever having fulfilled that role people lose confidence in our prophetic message. better to stick to scripture and say we do not know exactly who this final figure will be but that we do know that the papal system and all it entails is certainly what prophecy has in mind when it speaks of these things. So I am not saying we should not identify and discuss these things. What I am saying is we need to be careful to identify one particular man as the antichrist. The papacy is certainly antichrist and each pope certainly plays a role but to simply go around calling a particular pope the antichrist amounts to nothing more than name calling to a culture that is already hyper sensitive to religious intolerance, narcissism, and hate. Of course, not everyone agrees with me and thats OK. :)

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    1. Comment has been deleted due to name calling. Friendly dialogue is always welcome.

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    2. Do you really understand history? Go back review your history book and compare it with the Bible prophecy. Also study diligently what the current pope is doing.

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    3. WELL, PASTOR MARCOS TORRES, I THINK PROPHECY IS PROPHECY AND WE MOST PRESENT IT THE WAY GOD WROTE IR DOWN ON HIS BOOK.... BUT NOT ALL PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH HAVE THE SPIRIT OF PROHECY. WE MOPST PRAQY FOR THE HOLLY SPIRIT FOR WISDOM SO WE ALL PULL THE ROPE ONE WAY...

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    4. Eldie, I understand history quite well. This is why I maintain that the fulfillment of antichrist is indeed the office of the papacy. what i advise against is calling an individual THE antichrist. prophecy never points to an individual as the antichrist. It never attempts to reveal who this person is. It points to the office of the papacy and to the system of belief known as roman catholicism, but it never attempts to name the antichrist. In addition, allow me to also state that I am not necessesarily contesting wether we should refer to pope francis as antichrist or not. While I prefer to speak of the office of the papacy in line with scripture its not so much identifying a particular individual as antichrist that I contest. What I contest is how this is done. In the article I state " If we want people to know who the Antichrist is its not about slapping Antichrist on a picture of Francis and sharing it all over social media. Its about inviting people into the story of Daniel and Revelation and lovingly helping them to see the entire tale unfold...". Notice that in this comment what I am suggesting is that revealing who the antichrist is within the frame work of prophecies narrative is the proper approach. What I am against is the pointed statuses, the shallow memes, and the insulting one liners that people throw around in reference to the pope. If we identify the pope as antichrist let us do it in a way that shows people the whole narrative of daniel and revelation with Christ at the center.

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    5. I agree with you Bro.Torres. While we need to warn people about the deceits within the papacy/ Catholicism, we need to do it in LOVE and a CHRISTLIKE spirit, bearing in mind the objective is to win souls for the Kingdom of Christ.

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    6. Thank you for your comment! Staying focused on our goal is the key. Jesus is everything! :)

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  3. My dear brother, you are deluded and confused if you believe that the pope is not the Antichrist. It has been proven over and over in the Bible who the Antichrist is, those like Wycliffe and Luther knew who it was, and many many others through the ages knew who the Antichrist was. So for you to say you do not know, shows your ignorance of Scripture. You cannot call yourself a Historicist and not know your history. I was a catholic for many years and learned the ways of the church, until the Holy Spirit led me to the truth regarding the 7th day Sabbath, and the mark of the beast, and the three angels messages, and who the Antichrist is. So I know the tricks of the Roman Catholic church and the papacy, they are no longer able to pull the wool over my eyes, Christ has shown me the way and the truth. Turn back brother to the truth, let not the evil that is the papacy deceive you, remember your Adventist teachings, the warnings of Sister White and of the three angels messages before its too late. Sister Donna restorersoftheoldpaths.com

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    1. Thank you for your comment Sister Donna. If you read my article you will not what I say and what I dont say. I say that the fulfilment of antichrist finds itself in the papacy. What I reject is that one particular pope is the fulfilment of the antichrist. Remember this article is about sharing prophecy with unbelievers. When we say "pope francis is the antichrist" they understand that as "pope francis is the apocalyptic figure that daniel and revelation point to in its entirety." However, we dont know that. People said John Paul was the antichrist and now hes dead. In the same way they said benedict was the antichrist and now hes resigned. Now we are saying francis is the antichrist and what will we do when he passes away? Better to stick to prophecy. The bible never reveals exactly who the final apocalyptic figure of antichrist will be. What it does point to is the office of the papacy as antichrist. we are safer to stick to scripture and proclaim the office of the papacy as antichrist and avoid calling a particular pope by that name. So there is a distinction to be made between pope and papacy. the papacy is an office. the pope is a person, an individual. And prophecy never points to an individual it only points to the office. Its wise to stick to that and avoid making pointed statements about an individual.

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    2. Well stated, brother Marcos. Your position is the only Christian position.

      God does not call us to be Catholic-haters or Roman-bashers. Our first and only mission is to love. We're not called to point fingers and call names and be like the world. We're called to lower ourselves, to take on the form of servants, to give our lives to save others (which is NOT about martyring ourselves over some religious cause we've invoked upon ourselves).

      As far as I understand, prophecy was not given to warn us of the future. Rather, it was given so that, when these things do come to pass, we will know that God is who He said He was and that will build our faith. Prophecy is for our growth and comfort. It's not a weapon to be used against other people.

      Let's not forget what happened to the people of Israel when Moses tried to take prophecy into his own hands and use it according to his own understanding. His mistaken use of prophecy actually prolonged the people's bondage in Egypt!!!

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  4. Here are 3 of your misguided comments

    1. Truth is, we don't know who the Antichrist is. While I share the conviction that the Antichrist is certainly the papacy, that does not automatically mean that a particular Pope is the Antichrist.*

    Truth is they are all Antichrist, you must know this!



    2. By engaging in hateful rhetoric against the Pope we are sending a message to our friends and neighbors that we are intolerant, unloving, unhealthy, and fanatical. While Pope Francis pours his energy into relieving the suffering of illegal immigrants we raise our hate-speech banners all over Facebook to let everyone know where we stand.


    Amos 3:3
    3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
    This must also seem unloving, unhealthy, and fanatical to you.



    3."I want more anti-Pope!" is the cry of our "itching ears". And the more we go down this path the more susceptible we are to fanatical conspiracy theories, an imbalanced apocalyptic-consciousness, apocalyptic paranoia, and an unhealthy witness.

    The truth is the complete opposite, the itching ears want to embrace the pope and his message as Ellen White also stated many times.
    You are on dangerous ground my friend.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Allow me to respond. 1) Of course each Pope is antichrist by virtue of what they represent. What I am referring to here is the climactic antichrist. Unbelievers do not know the theology of antichrist. When we say someone is antichrist in their minds they think of that one really bad dude at the end of time. And truth is, we dont know who that is. Prophecy points to systems not individuals. The papacy is antichrist, but who will the climactic antichrist be? We have no idea. 2) I will respond to this one in the next quote with some bible verses and Ellen White statements. But to clarify, I am not saying we should refrain from speaking truth. I am saying we should refrain from speaking truth in a hurtful way. 3) The "itching ears" principle applies both ways. It applies to those who want to hear pleasant things when they should be hearing rebuke, and it applies to those who want to hear nothing but criticism, accusations, and conspiracy theories when they should be hearing about the love of God. In both conservative and liberal camps you will find people who only want to hear what their itching ears want to hear. So the truth is not the complete opposite. The truth is it goes both ways.

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    2. Now to reply to your 2nd comment. Here is where I base my point of view: "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:5-6

      "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

      "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame." 1 Peter 3:15-16

      "The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will." 2Timothy 2:24-26

      "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." James 3:17

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    3. Some Ellen White comments to aid our conversation:

      Regarding the Catholics—Brethren, I feel hurt when I see that so many decided thrusts are made against the Catholics. Preach the truth, but restrain the words which show a harsh spirit; for such words cannot help or enlighten anyone.... for Christ’s sake heed the admonitions which have been given in regard to making scathing remarks about the Catholics. Many Catholics read the Echo, and among the number there are honest souls who will accept the truth. But there is such a thing as shutting the door in their faces as they are about to enter. White, E. G. (1946). Counsels to Writers and Editors (pp. 64–65). Southern Publishing Association.

      No Condemnatory Articles—The light which I have to give to our people is, Let no condemnatory speeches be printed in our papers. A large number of precious souls are groping in darkness, yet longing and weeping and praying for light. Thus it is in churches everywhere.—Manuscript 46, 1900.

      No Gall.—Every article you write may be all truth, but one drop of gall in it will be poison to the reader. One reader will discard all your good and acceptable words because of that drop of poison. Another will feed on the poison, for he loves such harsh words.—Letter 91, 1899

      If a man has tact, industry, and enthusiasm, he will make a success in temporal business, and the same qualities, consecrated to the work of God, will prove even doubly efficient; for divine power will be combined with human effort.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 276. {ChS 231.1}

      In the work of soul-winning, great tact and wisdom are needed. The Saviour never suppressed the truth, but He uttered it always in love. In His intercourse with others, He exercised the greatest tact, and He was always kind and thoughtful. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave unnecessary pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He never made truth cruel, but ever manifested a deep tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in His sight. He bore Himself with divine dignity; yet He bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, souls whom it was His mission to save.--Gospel Workers, p. 117. {ChS 231.2}

      Some rash, impulsive, yet honest souls, after a pointed discourse has been given, will accost those who are not with us in a very abrupt manner, and make the truth, which we desire them to receive, repulsive to them. "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Business men and politicians study courtesy. It is their policy to make themselves as attractive as possible. They study to render their address and manners such that they may have the greatest influence over the minds of those about them. They use their knowledge and abilities as skillfully as possible in order to gain this object.--Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 68. {ChS 231.3}

      This message must be given, but while it must be given, we should be careful not to thrust and crowd and condemn those who have not the light that we have. We should not go out of our way to make hard thrusts at the Catholics. Among the Catholics there are many who are most conscientious Christians, and who walk in all the light that shines upon them, and God will work in their behalf.--Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 243.

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    4. So in light of these articles I stand by the declaration that "y engaging in hateful rhetoric against the Pope we are sending a message to our friends and neighbors that we are intolerant, unloving, unhealthy, and fanatical. While Pope Francis pours his energy into relieving the suffering of illegal immigrants we raise our hate-speech banners all over Facebook to let everyone know where we stand."

      Now please do not misunderstand what I am saying here. Note what I am not saying. I am not saying we should not speak the truth. I am not saying we should not preach the prophecies which clearly point to the papacy as antichrist. What I am saying is that we should avoid doing so in a hateful way. we can speak of the dangers of the papal office without having to attack a particular man who holds that office. To quote from Amazing Facts,

      "Antichrist is an organization--the papacy. The words "eyes of man" in Daniel 7:8, however, do point to a leader. Revelation 13:18 speaks of man with a number being involved.... The organization is the papacy. The pope in office is its representative. The prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 is not saying that popes are evil and that Catholics are not Christians. There are many warm, loving Catholic Christians. The system, however, is called Antichrist because it has usurped Jesus' authority and attempted to change His law."

      This is the same position that I reflect in this article. The antichrist is the system and while each pope functions as the human representative of that system this does not automatically make that man "evil". We must stick to prophecy in rejecting the system of antichrist and avoid the personal attacks that we often launch against individuals.

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    5. Marcos, thank you for your responses.

      Here is another EGW quote.

      The Signs of the Times
      February 19, 1894


      When Satan could not induce all the angels to revolt against the law of God, he made the earth the scene of his rebellion, and through (the man of sin) seeks to carry out his diabolical purpose. Through (the Papacy, the Roman power, the man of sin), the purpose of Satan is carried out among men; the law and the time of God are set aside. In this we see that Protestantism is giving encouragement to popery; and false systems of worship, against which our fathers manfully opposed themselves, imperiling even property and life, are fostered and cherished and encouraged to extend and gain wide influence. Protestants do not search their Bibles as they should, and do not heed the warning that has been given concerning the work of the man of sin. The Roman Church claims that the pope is invested with supreme authority over all bishops and pastors, and this claim of supremacy was once denied by Protestants. They took the position that the Bible, and the Bible alone, constituted the rule of faith and doctrine, that the word of God is the only unerring guide for human souls, and that it is unnecessary and harmful to take the words of priests and prelates instead of the word of God.


      Can you not see the papacy’s proclaimed concern for the poor is only a smoke screen.
      Have you not considered the wolf in sheep’s clothing analogy?
      The pope is the head of this church, (the man of sin) is an accurate description of him.

      Soon all truth such as this will be considered hatful in order that it might be silenced.
      You are buying into the rhetoric and legitimizing his efforts.

      No one is advocating verbal abuse of anyone, but the warning of what he represents must be given in a LOUD CRY.

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    6. Fully agreed! And that is exactly what I promote in this article. Notice the following statements I wrote:

      "...those who share this consciousness feel a responsibility to warn the world. Thus, while the masses may engage in ardent adulation of Romes pontiff, this group finds itself swimming against that stream. As a historicist I find myself in that very position and wonder, how can I effectively share this story with those who do not share my worldview?"

      " I share the conviction that the Antichrist is certainly the papacy..."

      "I wholeheartedly embrace the reformers historicist interpretation of Daniel and Revelation. I am all for giving the warning. I am all for preaching final events."

      So as you can see I am in full agreement with what you are saying here. My only contentions in this article - which some have misunderstood - are these: When warning the world about Satan's end time deceptions do not 1) Use faulty arguments/ false accusations, 2) Use pointed, condemnatory, or hateful language, and 3) focus so much on Satan that we forget prophecy to be the testimony of Jesus.

      With regard to point #2, which some seem to have taken special objection to, I am not saying that we do not know what the antichrist is. What I am saying is we do not know who it is. The antichrist is certainly the papacy. But who is the antichrist (as in the really bad guy at the end of time)? We simply do not know. So when we call a pope antichrist not only do unbelievers hyper sensetive to religious intolerance interpret that as hate speech but they also interpret our statements as us saying that this pope is that really bad dude at the end of time. But we dont know that for sure. People accused John Pauk of being the climactic antichrist and hes dead now. So while he may have been an antichrist in one sense, he certainly was not the climactic antichrist. They said the same of Benedict and hes resigned. And now we say the same of Francis. So my contention is that we should stick to daniel and revelation. Daniel speaks of a beast whose body would be destroyed but that beast represents a political empire not a person. He also speaks of a little horn whose dominion would be taken away but that little horn represents the papacy not a particular pope. In the same way the antichrist is referring to a system - the office of the pope. Prophecy does not purport to reveal if or who the final climactic antichrist will be. Adventist theology has never done this either. We maintain the antichrist is the papacy but refrain from accusing one particular pope of fulfilling that title. In doing so we wisely avoid what can be easily interpreted as name calling and yet we still preach the warning message. That is all I am suggesting in this article.

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  5. What I thinks is funny, and at the same time amazing is the fact of how many different ways Pastor Marcos can say that he is not saying that the pope is not the anti-Christ! hahahahaha!(your a patient man) Listen I have had the privilege of personally knowing and going to school with Pastor Marcos. Everyone, MARCOS BELIEVES THE POPE IS THE ANTI-CHRIST!!! Is this pope going to fulfill the Sunday law and the persecution of the saints? Maybe maybe not! Will a pope do it YES!

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    1. Ha-ha! Thanks Anthony! Yeah, I don't get it either. Some people just want to believe what they want to believe I guess. I have repeatedly affirmed our prophetic message but that doesn't seem to be enough, lol. I have even been labeled a Jesuit by some. But what can I do? Just keep lifting up Jesus and let God be my judge :D

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    2. If Jesus is truly our example... let's consider His example. Where did the Catholic Church get its power? From ROME. Right? So, ROME is the beast, the originator of the Papacy, the Devil incarnate. Right?

      And yet... how often did Jesus speak out against Rome?

      Is there any record of Jesus using harsh words or making loud cries against Rome?

      Since ROME represented SATAN in Scripture... perhaps we should learn from Jesus' example on just how we should approach the Papacy.

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  7. I just admire you for taking your time to answer some "misinterpretations" of your piece. I'm not even an English native speaker and I got your point, especially about the hateful language we may use sometimes, as if we were zealous. But I don't believe we need to use these fallacies in order to look more faithful.

    Those who fail somehow to connect the truth to the true Gospel rarely change their minds when their reasoning is challenged and are prone to engage in never-ending debates or even name calling as if they're doing it for God. However, for the ones who are sincere and are still on the fence, even though they may lack the knowledge of Theology, they'll eventually discern the spirits and God will lead them to what's right.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I found your blog through an article pastor Ivor Meyers recommended (about the IJ, which was, btw, superb indeed). I'm a Seventh-Day pastor in Brazil an I'll surely come back here to see more stuff :)

    God bless

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    1. Thanks Daniel! A pleasure to meet you bro. Blessings in your ministry!

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