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By Terry James
Many who are Christians are at least somewhat familiar with one particular Scriptural formula for coming to Christ in becoming a believer. It is known as The Roman Road to Salvation.
It has often been used for many years to show those who haven’t heard the reason salvation is needed, and how it is obtained. The following is that scriptural road map:
These Scriptures mean that none of us are worthy, nor can we earn the right to go to Heaven when we die. But Jesus loved us so much that He died for us to pay the price for our sin so that we can be with Him forever. All we have to do is ask Jesus to come into our hearts and be our Lord and Savior and follow Him.
In similar fashion–but, perhaps somewhat more circuitously–I believe there is a Roman road of prophecy that can help the student of Bible prophecy receive understanding of things involved with developments of several years ago.
With the announcement on Monday, February 11, 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI that he was resigning as pope effective February 28 of that year, came considerable concern and curiosity about what it might mean, prophetically. Most who email me, of course, are vitally interested in Bible prophecy. They know, to one degree or another, about the supposition that the next pope will be the last pontiff.
This prediction comes from the twelfth-century Irish Catholic bishop, St. Malachy, who was said to have had a vision in the year 1139, in which he received foreknowledge of the 112 popes that would reign in the line of papal succession from that point until the final pope. Although some aspects of the names of the popes from that time until now have been somewhat nebulous in terms of accuracy, they have in many cases been considered to be close enough to the “prophesied” names to validate St. Malachy’s prognostications. The last forty-five popes, I’m told the research shows, have been almost precise in their accuracy.
So, we at that time awaited the installation of the next pope to see if the Malachy “vision” that the last pope is to be Petrus Romanus (“Peter the Roman”) would prove to indeed be the case.
While preparing for being a guest on a nationwide radio program, the program host and I discussed a number of things in our preliminary phone conversations. As part of our talking through the pope and end-times matters before doing the program, we agreed that we couldn’t be absolutely dogmatic about whether Rome was the city about which the prophecies in Revelation chapter 17 foretell. The Vatican, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, as everyone knows, sits upon the “seven hills of Rome.” Therein resides the almost universal belief among Bible prophecy students that the Catholic Church will be a major player in the last days.
That prophecy about the end-times city that will play a profoundly deleterious role in the consummation of the age states: “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth” (Revelation 17:9).
Although I still maintain that we can’t be absolutely dogmatic that the city referred to is Rome, I remain personally convinced that this is the case. I believe there is a scriptural road map of sorts that we can explore that might present strong evidence that the city given in Revelation 17: 9 is Rome. Therefore, let’s look at what I term “The Roman Road of Prophecy”:
Daniel 9: 26-27 and the ties to Rome. The wind-up of this Age of Grace (Church Age) is encapsulated in the prophecy given Daniel (Daniel 9:26-27). The great prophet was told to write that the “prince that shall come” would confirm the covenant (agreement of peace between Israel and its enemies) for seven years. This prince would come out of the people who would destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the Jewish Temple). These were the Romans. Regardless of their regional makeup, they were Romans, whose leaders were Emperor Vespasian and his son, General Titus–of Rome. Romans fulfilled part of this end-times prophecy in A.D. 70., beginning earlier, around 33 A.D. with the “cutting off of Messiah” (Daniel 9:26). All of human history, from the confirming of the covenant by this Roman prince (the Beast of Revelation chapter 13) through Christ’s return, would, the Daniel 9: 26-27prophecy indicates, conclude in almost total devastation for planet Earth. This prophetic area of Scripture puts the city of Rome at ground zero for the wind-up of human history.
Luke 2:1-3: Rome holds sway over the world. During the prophesied time of Israel’s Messiah being born, Rome was the power center of the then-known world. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the entire world should be taxed. [And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.] And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem [because he was of the house and lineage of David]; To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child” (Luke 2:1-5). Again, Rome is in the prophetic spotlight while the Savior of the world makes His appearance in the flesh upon a judgment-bound planet. Revelation 17:15-18: Rome represents the focus of God’s judgment at wind-up of the age. God’s Word uses a drunken, debauched prostitute as symbol for the end-times religious system that is located–you guessed it—in Rome, whose tyrant regime had exiled John the apostle and prophet to Patmos. There, John was given the Revelation:
“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:15-18).
Can there be much doubt that Rome was the city that reigned over the whole Earth at the time of John’s exile? Bible prophecy tells us in these passages that Rome will be at the center of world rebellion “until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” A corrupt religious system will be prominently ensconced atop the seven mountains.
Make no mistake: With its expansive reach and influence, the doings of the Roman Catholic Church in the coming months are worth watching for the observer of Bible prophecy.
1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
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