XXI: The Beast From The Sea

Lucifer’s Seed of the Serpent is called by many names including Marduk, Zeus, Satan, the god of this world, Antichrist and the Beast from the Sea of outerspace. Moses records his assaults on humanity from creation via cloning from his father Lucifer through his incarnation in Nimrod via harboring and engineering of angel genes smuggled through the Flood in one or more of Noah’s daughters-inlaw.

Daniel gives God’s people a preview of his course through history from his era of the chastisement of God’s people for a set time up to the coming of the Seed of the Woman to deliver mankind in the 1st century AD.

  1. Nabopollasar the Babylonian(surprise, not Nebuchadnezzar who inherited the kingdom and honored and served the true God more than once, so no, not Nimrod)
  2. Darius the Greatwho insinuated himself into Cyrus God’s Messiah dynasty via a coupagainst the rightful heir and spinning lies about himself. Exactly the stamp of anti-christ. In order to improve the imperial economy, Darius standardized units of measure for currency, and weights, and established land and sea trade routes. He repaired and utilized a 7th century BCE [Suez] canal from the Nile River leading to the Red Sea, and he divided the empire into satrapies (provinces) to institute a new system of taxation.
  3. Alexander the Greek conqueror of the Persian empire.In a reign of 13 years Alexander shot across the Greek and Middle Eastern firmament like a meteor, transforming whatever he — often brutally — touched and ensuring the ancient world and so eventually our world could never be the same again,”“Until the internet age, Alexander the Great was probably the most famous human being who ever lived…inspired not just Caesar…[but] Napoleon, Hitler and other would-be world conquerors from the West.” He was also noted for instituting a new system of taxationwhile those who supported his rise to power were exempted from taxation.
  4. Augustus Caesar the Roman conqueror of the Greek empire is the first Roman emperor – big clue here! – though he never claimed the title for himself. He best known for initiating the Pax Romana, a largely peaceful period of two centuries – after years of civil war at home and military conquests abroad. Augustus nearly doubled the size of the empire, adding territories in Europe and Asia Minor and securing alliances that gave him effective rule from Britain to India. He spent much of his time outside of Rome, consolidating power in the provinces and instituting a new system of taxation.
  5. Nero reigned as Roman Emperor from 37 – 68 AD.at the time that Paul wrote his letters to the churches about the mystery of iniquity and the son of perdition. By the time John wrote Revelation, he was “yet is not”.
  6. and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

When that opportunity to reclaim dominion by mankind was lost by the Jewish rulers who rejected both Yeshua and Paul, John documented an updated preview of Satan’s future career track.

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea,

  • having seven heads
  • and ten horns,
  • and upon his horns ten crowns,
  • and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

And the beast which I saw was like unto

  • a leopard (Greece / Asia Minor / Turkey)
  • and his feet were as the feet of a bear (Persia / Iran
  • and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Rome/ Europe / NATO including the US]
  • and the dragon [mushussu / Babylon / Iraq with oil] gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:1-2)

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the…beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Seven Heads

head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy…the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead (such as the British Monarch) or concurrently the head of government and more (such as the president of the United States, who is also commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces).

Hitler was the supreme leader of the Axis Powers consisting of ten heads of state of Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Croatia and Finland.

Likewise, the totality of the Roman Empire was subdivided into provinces based on territorial absorption into the Empire. Obviously there were different administrative imperatives based on the the relationship of submission or chronic rebellion to Rome’s authority, value of resources, etc. You don’t see American forces expending military resources in impoverished Sudan like we do in oil-rich Iraq.

Likewise there were two basic types of provinces.

  1. Public provinces were managed by the Senate, which voted governors into annual terms.
  2. Imperial provinces were headed by imperial appointees to indefinite terms, rich provinces, like enviable embassadorial posts, granted to supporters to whom the emperor owed favor. The imperial provinces were further broken down by the presence, or not, of a military garrison.
    1. A militarized zone was ruled by a praefecti, a military officer under legatus Augusti pro praetore(literally: “envoy of the emperor – acting for the praetor”), who was the combined head of the provincial administration, chief judicial officer and commander-in-chief of all military forces based in the province (legions and auxiliaries).
    2. A province that had been absorbed through an alliance, such as Judea under Herod, and did not require military occupation was ruled by a procuratore. or praefecti. These were men of the second highest Senate rank, equestrian rank, the Roman knights, whose appointments were based on their support of the Emperor.

During Nero’s reign, out of a total 36 provinces, 10 provinces were headed by procuratores or praefecti. However, the number of provinces which had reached a high ranking with resultant economic benefits varied, depending on current status of alliance. This is easily recognizable by the fluctuations in alliances by foreign nations with America, such as Turkey.

“From the reign of the emperor Vitellius, who ruled in the year 69, onward, these equestrian procurators often served as heads of the great ministries of the Roman government. The most important ministries were finance, correspondence and petitions, equivalent to the American roles of Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State, and Vice President who is also the President of the Senate empowered to break a tie in proposals / petitions.

jherrman-roman-republic-in-43bc

Ten Horns

Daniel’s original prophecy regarding this last kingdom defines the horns.

The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth…the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:23-25)

OK, so doesn’t this state categorically that the beast is a kingdom, not an individual?

Semantics.

quote-i-am-the-state-louis-xiv-114883

Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control…

In earlier times, the term autocrat was coined as a favorable description of a ruler, having some connection to the concept of “lack of conflicts of interests” as well as an indication of grandeur and power. This use of the term continued into modern times, as the Russian Emperor was styled “Autocrat of all the Russias” as late as the early 20th century. In the 19th century, Eastern and Central Europe were under autocratic monarchies within the territories of which lived diverse peoples.

Daniel’s prophecies about the Persian and Greek Empire assumes understanding of the autocratic nature of the ancient nations.

  • “a ram which had two horns…the two horns are the kings of Media and Persia…
  • an he goat came from the west…had a notable horn between his eyes.
  • the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
  • And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great” (Daniel 8)

“the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” (Revelation 17:12)

A current conceptual fit for the ten kings under an autocracy can be found in the United Nations, where ten leaders are fully subject to the main power.

The Security Council, the United Nations’ principal crisis-management body,is empowered to impose binding obligations on the 193 UN member states to maintain peace. The council’s five permanent and ten elected members meet regularly to assess threats to international security, addressing issues that include civil wars, natural disasters, arms control, and terrorism…

The Security Council has five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—collectively known as the P5. Any one of them can veto a resolution. The council’s ten elected members, which serve two-year, nonconsecutive terms, are not afforded veto power

the United States was among the powers that prevented a robust UN response in Rwanda. Despite alarming reports received by the council in 1994, it declined to respond as an estimated eight hundred thousand people were killed in a genocide committed against ethnic Tutsis.

So since horns have always symbolized kingship, the real question is not “what do horns symbolize?”, but “why do horns symbolize kingship?”

Horns signify the God / god who is the source of the king’s power.

“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.” (Habakkuk 3)

“this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death…of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lordlet the blessing come upon the head of Joseph…his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 33)

“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Revelation 5:6)

So of course the Adversary has his counterfeit.

Gerald Gardner says (in 1959’s The Meaning of Witchcraft) that The Horned God is an Under-god, a mediator between an unknowable supreme deity and the people.

Horns have always been an important symbol throughout history and throughout every culture but now this symbolism is appearing more and more in mainstream pop culture. It makes you wonder “why now?” and what’s going on…To really understand we have to go back through time and look at what’s behind all the symbolism.

According to DNA studies, all cows, bulls, and oxen…originated from the now extinct, wild aurochs…enormous and fearsome animal that roamed all of Europe and Asia for thousands of years…The Aurochs cow (female) and bull (male) were so connected with the creation of the universe[emphasis added here and below] that the first two runes in the Elder Futhark are dedicated to them…and the 24 runestaves of the Elder Futhark is said to be, when understood, the secret to the entire sequence of the universe. The Egyptian Goddesses Isis and Hathor both are depicted with cow horns connecting them with creation…

One of the most notorious ancient gods Moloch, was a bull horned god worshiped by the ancient Canaanites, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and most of the Eastern Mediterranean. His name has a root that in the Semitic languages means “king”…The god Enlil [Adam, Son of God] was also considered the bull of heaven and his son, Sin, the moon god, rode on a winged bull. You can see how all this symbolism gets distorted over the course of history. The difference between good and bad really depended on who’s team you were on.

The first one that we have a written record of is Enki [Sumerian Lucifer], the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom, and all magic. He is usually seen with the horned crown of divinity...Other important gods who had these horns were the Egyptian, Ra AmmonOsiris, Utu, sometimes Zeus, Mercury, Jupiter, Odinalexander1.peoplegodswithhorns2Alexander the Great…made a visit to the Oracle of Ammon in the Libyan Desert, and supposedly, the oracle told him he was the son of Ammon/Zeus, and afterwards he became known as the “two horned one”. Coins minted after this time show him wearing the “Horn of Ammon” crown…Alexander really believed that the oracle was right and that he was a god, as we know that he founded a dynasty on this claim…Cleopatra of Egypt, later claimed to be the goddess Isis because she was a descendant of Alexander and therefore of the royal line of the gods.We can clearly see that horns in the ancient world were considered a sign of kingship, divinity, and wisdom. Even as the “Emperor Card” in the tarot shows the emperor seated with horned rams’ heads on the four corners of his thrown signifying his divine power brought into the physical realm
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remember the truth about who and what we are and how powerful we are. That truth is that as humans we are all descendants of gods and most of what we were taught to believe are lies specifically engineered to make us forget who we really are. The purpose of demonizing the culture of our ancestors…is all part of the plan to make sure that we never wake up. Our ancestors have left us with all the pieces of the puzzle, and now all we have to do is figure out how to put them together.

With this background in mind, we should be able to recognize that every culture in which the 1st Century Jewish scriptures were preached proclaiming that Yeshua haMessiah of Nazareth was the rightful king of Israel naturally also accepted him as the son of the Jewish God YHVH Creator, and therefore also easily accepted him as one prophesied to be the Savior of the world. He was simply one of many claimants – importantly – within the Roman dominions.

What made Yeshua different, and more appealing, was his message of equality and spiritual empowerment of even the lowest members of society, not to mention the legally admissible proof by witnesses of his resurrection, ergo real power over death.

We should also be able to transfer the concept of the Holy Spirit residing in and controlling multiple individuals whose bodies die but whose souls remain connected to the source of life Spirit with the identical pagan concept of the single spirit of the god Enki / Ammon / Zeus inhabiting and controlling a series of individuals whose bodies die but whose souls, now immortal through the god’s spirit, ascend to some hereafter place while the god moves on to his next partner.

Julius Caesar allowed himself to be worshiped as a god…his successor Augustus…is known in some inscriptions  as  CAESAR DIVI FILIUS, Son of God, that is, Son of eternal Caesar.  Oaths were taken on the divine spirit of the emperor. His image was publicly adored. Worship of the image was a regular military duty.   Caligula was the first emperor to demand to be worshiped, he demanded that citizens everywhere bow to his statue.  Nero also claimed to be divine…As Augustus had been Zeus incarnate, so Nero was Apollo incarnate. Even Seneca called him as the long-awaited savior of the world.

Even though Nero was dead when John wrote Revelation, “in the eastern provinces of the Empire…a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as “Nero reborn” to enlist popular support.”

In any case, the Caesars in the first century Roman empire were certainly understood to be one continuous dynastic succession, signifying themselves as the rightful heir to Julius Caesar by taking his family name Caesar – and the spirit of his god ancestor.

“The seven heads are seven mountains

This identifies Rome. This is like saying the White House or the Kremlin.

  • And there are seven kings:

theromanemperorsofthefirstcentury_p182

  • five are fallen
  • and one is,
  • and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
  • And the beast that was, and is not,
  • even he is the eighth,
  • and is [one] of the seven [before him, re-incarnating through time]

By working backwards from the Caesar who “is” at the time John wrote what was most definitely as much a current-day letter to believers as Paul’s epistles, we find that John begins his list, not with Augustus or Nero, but with Nero’s successor.

This makes sense. John has previously identified Nero by the number of the beast as the “mystery of iniquity” described by Paul. Now he explains that the same spirit that controlled Nero incarnates in a succession of rulers who were more contemporaneous with John’s readers in 96 AD, therefore would more easily make a connection between them and the ruler to come.

  1. Galba
  2. Otho
  3. Vitellius
  4. Vespasian
  5. Titus
  6. and one is [currently]: i.e. Domitian at the time John was writing Revelation
  7. and the other is not yet come
  8. the beast that was [as Nero], and is not [as Nero any longer], even he is the eighth, and is of the seven [as Domitian], and goeth into perdition. 

This dynastic list confirms the previous number-name given identifying the beast that is to come.

The Beast From The Sea Is Nero

Nero has become one of the most infamous men who ever lived.” His reign from 54-68 AD was marked by personal debauchery and extravagant spending that left the empire in dire straits.

  • He was elevated to power at the age of 16 or 17 when his mother Agrippina poisoned his stepfather the Emperor Claudius Caesar, whose own personal life was marked with multiple incestuous and tumultuous marriages. While Agrippina was married to Claudius she had become a powerful woman, having even been voted the title Augusta / Goddess by the Senate. On the ascension of her son Nero she took total control of the empire, until Nero had her assassinated by government forces, with the approval of the Senate.
    •  I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy…And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the the beast…shall hate the whore, and shall…burn her with fire.” (Revelation 17:1, 17)
  • He would be considered a serial killer today.While adultery, divorce and remarriage were common among the Roman elite, Nero’s exploits were exceptional.
    • He married his stepsister Claudia Octavia in 53 AD, making a double family connection to become Emperor Claudius’ heir, then killed her.
    • He killed his stepbrother Britannicus, Claudius’ son and rightful heir.
    •  He takes Poppaea, the wife of his friend and the future Emperor Otho, as his mistress while married to Claudia, then three years after marrying her kicks her to death while she was pregnant.
    • Shortly after he had a young freeman named Sporus castrated because he bore an uncanny resemblance to Poppaea Sabina. He married him, and paraded him in public dressed as Empress. At the same time Nero drove a man to commit suicide so that he could legally marry the man’s wife, Statilia Messalina.
  • He instituted the first imperially supervised and wide-spread persecution of Christians in 64 AD after falsely blaming them for a catastrophe.
    • “A beast having ten horns…And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:1,7)
    • By 65 AD he kills anyone suspected of treason
    • 67 AD he sends Vespasian to Judea to quell the First Jewish Revolt

for the most part he used his position simply to gratify his own personal pleasures.His nocturnal rioting in the streets was a scandal as early as 56, but the emergence of real brutality in Nero can be fixed in the 35-month period between the putting to death of his mother at his orders in 59 and his similar treatment of his wife Octavia in June 62…

Seeing that he could do what he liked without fear of censure or retribution, Nero began to give rein to inordinate artistic pretensions. He fancied himself not only a poet but also a charioteer and lyre player, and in 59 or 60 he began to give public performances; later he appeared on the stage, and the theatre furnished him with the pretext to assume every kind of role. To the Romans these antics seemed to be scandalous breaches of civic dignity and decorumBeginning about 63, he also developed strange religious enthusiasms and became increasingly attracted to the preachers of novel cults…

Taking advantage of the fire’s destruction, Nero…began building a prodigious palace—the Golden House—which…would have covered a third of Rome… 

revolt spread and the legions made Galba emperor. The Senate condemned Nero to die a slave’s death: on a cross and under the whip. The Praetorian Guard, his palace guard, abandoned him…he stabbed himself in the throat with a dagger…

the revolts his misrule provoked sparked a series of civil wars that for a time threatened the survival of the Roman Empire and caused widespread misery.

John tells us that the beastly spirit inhabiting Nero reincarnates in one of the seven, i.e Galba through Domitian. We can immediately eliminate Galba, Otho and Vitellius since they succeeded each other only for a few months at a time during a year of civil war from which Vespasian emerged the victor.

After winning victories in the invasion of Britain, in 67 Vespasian was appointed by Nero to the command of a legionary army to crush the Jewish rebellion in Judaea.

“At its height, Roman legionaries [like U.S. forces currently] were viewed as the foremost fighting force in the Roman world…As legionaries moved into newly conquered provinces, they helped Romanize the native population and helped integrate the disparate regions of the Roman Empire into one polity. They enlisted in a legion for 25 years of service.”

In other words, the first permanent Roman occupying military force garrisoned in Judea was sent by Nero.

The significance of this action will be detailed below in this post. On Nero’s death in June 68 Vespacian turned over the fighting to his son and heir Titus, and fought his way to becoming Emperor. It was during Vespasian’s reign, ergo under his orders as Imperator / Supreme Commander of the Army that the siege of Jerusalem was broken, the Temple destroyed, and thousands of Jews slaughtered and enslaved.

This makes for a worthwhile animated debate, but I’m going to put my white stone on Vespacian’s second son and second heir Domitian as the Neroic spiritual successor. “Domitian’s government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.”

Domitian took the title “lord and god”and ordered people to confess he was “lord and god” as a test of loyalty (Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, Book 8: Domitian 13)…Dio Cassius (Roman History 67.14) refers to Domition exiling a Flavius Clemens and his wife, Flavia Domitilla for “atheism.”  Atheism is the charge made against those who drifted into “things Jewish…” 

It was during the reign of Domitian when the imperial cult became a factor in unifying the empire in Asia Minor. The provincial cult allowed the Roman network of social obligations to be extended to virtually the whole population.  If you lived within the empire, then you were a social client of the Emperor and owed him supreme allegiance.  It is not hard to see, therefore, the struggle which Christians in the late first century would have showing allegiance to Rome – if that allegiance required worship of the Emperor, then the Christian must refuse or compromise their faith.

In his The Twelve Caesars Suetonius claimed that Domitian was not evil to begin with; however, greed and fear of assassination made him cruel...The emperor saw himself as an absolute ruler and took pride in being called master and god: “dominus et deus…” The Senate was almost stripped entirely of its power and his paranoia led to the execution of both senators and imperial officers for the most trivial of offences. Out of jealousy, he had Sullustius Lucullus, governor of Britannia, executed for naming a new type of lance after himself and he recalled Agricola, a victorious general in Britain because he became too popular.

His paranoia led him to take extreme measures such as employing informers…he ordered interrogators to cut off the hands (or scorched the genitals) of prisoners…He executed another niece’s husband Flavius Clemons on the charge of atheism because he was sympathetic to the plight of the Roman Jews…

a group of conspirators…hacked the emperor to death. He was only forty-four years old…On hearing of his death the Senate was overjoyed. Suetonius wrote, “The Senators, on the other hand, were delighted and thronged to denounce Domitian in the House with bitter and insulting cries. Then, seeking for ladders, they had his images and the votive shields engraved with his likeness, brought smashing down….”

Spirit beings have had ample opportunity throughout history to maintain a foothold in governments world-wide for direct control. Their prime directive? Permanent war to wipe out humanity. They have had “boots on the ground”, hiding in plain sight, all along, accomplishing their will behind the scenes with their human allies.

Consider how the CIA operates.

Despite it’s championing of freedom, the CIA’s true objective has always been imperialist in nature. Whether oil in Iran or bananas in Guatemala, the U.S. has a material interest in every country in whose affairs it has meddled.

In order to meet its goals, the CIA recruits influential, intellectual and charismatic personalities. The agency also resorts to threats, kidnapping, torture, enforced disappearances and assassinations. The organization incites violence, uprisings and military rebellion, and causes economic chaos and misery to the people through scarcity of basic foods and so on.

The CIA has been exposed on a number of occasions through documented evidence, leaks of information and whistleblowing by active and former agents.

The Beast From The Sea Is The Spiritual Ruler

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Nero was both political and religious head of the Roman Empire. Modern humanistic governments that claim separation of church and state are lying. The religious head of the Roman Empire has never fallen from power. We just need to recognize what we are seeing in our current iteration of the Fourth Empire as two legs consisting of Christianity and Islam.

Interestingly…

Pope St. John Paul II was a towering figure in Christian-Muslim relations. He is known in the Muslim world as somebody who was unprecedented in his outreach to the Muslim world. He visited many Muslim countries; said very positive things about the Muslim tradition; famously kissed the Quran. It was an important moment, and he attracted a huge amount of criticism from the Catholic world for having done this. But he was a real pioneer of interreligious relations and especially in the worlds of Islam and Judaism…

Francis has right from the beginning struck a very different tone. The agenda before Pope Francis was above all focused on religious freedom; what the Vatican calls reciprocity. In other words, “We Christians allow you Muslims to come to our countries and worship freely. Why don’t you do the same for us?”

With Francis, there is a desire to understand religious extremism in all its forms…he refers not just to religious fundamentalism as a phenomenon you find in other religions but also in Christianity. And I think that’s been quite a helpful thing to have pointed out because it means that the enemy, if you like, is…a certain kind of extreme…you don’t find that Christianity is free of extremism either.

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, head of the Vatican Observatory and sometimes called “the pope’s astronomer,”… agreed with me that the Catholic intellectual tradition would have absolutely zero problem with the idea of intelligent life — that is, substances of a rational nature (the classic definition of a “person” in my field) — on other planets…

when asked in a later, more in-depth interview on these topics if he would be willing to baptize an alien, he said, “Only if she asked…

From Origen in the third century to Thomas Aquinas in the 13th to the Renaissance thinkers of the 15th and 16th centuries, there is already a robust set of theological reflections on a host of questions that nonhuman persons on other planets produce.

Did Jesus die for them too?…Or maybe they didn’t have a primeval original sin that disordered their nature and environment…? Are they governed by our sense of right and wrong or would it be quite different? Or would they be capable of sinning at all?…

the church’s intellectual tradition on these questions would be brought to bear in exciting and important ways.

Note, that is “intellectual” as in Greek philosophy and Platonic thought leading to an ex-cathedra pronouncement on faith and morals, not hermeneutical review of scripture in order to apply YHVH’s validated scriptures to current events.

So bring it on, director of national intelligence and Pentagon. Let’s see what you got. The Catholic intellectual tradition stands ready to help humanity interpret and process the fact that we are not alone in the universe.

Then there is the fact that money not only talks, it convinces.

Wealth of Roman Catholic Church impossible to calculate

There is no doubt, however, that between the church’s priceless art, land, gold and investments across the globe, it is one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth…

the buildings in Vatican City….are priceless and could never be sold. They include: the Apostolic Palace, the pope’s official residence; the Sistine Chapel, best known for murals by Botticelli and Michelangelo…and St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world…

716,290 square kilometres [of properties] across the globe…

10 billions of dollars [invested] in foreign companies by the Institute of Religious Works (the Vatican bank) in the 1990s. It has holdings in such industries as banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction and real estate. It only invests in companies that operate according to Catholic morals [read under Catholic control].

86 millions of dollars in 2011…made up of donations from parishes across the globe. The money is spent on humanitarian projects, including disaster relief.

The pope is an utterly unique actor in international relations (IR)Pope Francis currently enjoys formal diplomatic relations with over 180 individual countries across the globe, from Albania to Zimbabwe. At the same time, the pope is the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, a religious community numbering more than a billion souls. As a result of that institutional status, the pope is also…the “first citizen of global civil society,”…

Braaake!

Do you understand what this Professor of Political Science at Colgate University just said?

Princeps civitatis (“First Citizen”) was an official title of a Roman Emperor

This usage of “princeps” derived from the position of Princeps senatus, the “first among equals” of the Senate…the first member by precedence of the Roman Senate, and his opinion would usually be asked first in senatorial debates.

It was first given as a special title to Caesar Augustus in 27 BC, who saw that use of the titles rex (king) or dictator would create resentment amongst senators and other influential men, who had earlier demonstrated their disapproval by supporting the assassination of Julius Caesar. While Augustus had political and military supremacy, he needed the assistance of his fellow Romans to manage the Empire.

And the Pontifex Maximus, another title of the Pope, was taken to himself by Augustus as an imperial title.

[Initially] The pontifex maximus was elected by the comitia tributa, an assembly of the people that was divided into voting districts…

Julius Caesar was elected pontifex maximus in 63 BCE and kept the office until his death. The house where he spent the night before he was killed, was the domus publica. After his death, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus became pontifex maximus (44-12 BCE); when he died, the emperor Augustus became responsible for the state cult. He also put an end to the election of the pontifices…

The word pontifex is sometimes explained as ‘bridge builder’, but…means something like ‘preparer of the road’. 

In 381, the Roman emperor Gratian was the first to decline to use the title of pontifex maximus. It was accepted by the pope.

“With the consent of the Senate, Augustus slowly assumed the sole leadership of the Empire.”

And the pope has sole leadership of the Roman Catholic Empire.

In terms of his formal role, the pope engages in international diplomacy as the embodiment of a “juridical actor” known as the Holy See. An inaccurate shorthand often refers to “Vatican embassies,” or to “the Vatican” engaging in diplomatic relations with one country or another. In fact, however, it is the Holy See and not the Vatican City State that is recognized under international law. And it is the pope who in his person embodies the Holy See as a legal actor…And the current pope has played that role actively. Among other instances, he has sought to deepen and reorient the Holy See’s relationship with China; he has tried to dampen inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflicts in Ukraine; and he has leveraged his formal diplomatic relations with both the United States and Cuba…

No other religious leader has anything approaching this level of formal access to the diplomatic realm…

Francis has clearly devoted his considerable energies to fortify the definition of his religious community as a “Church for the poor,”…and to orient the energies and resources of his Church to address those needs.

With the resources, worldwide manpower, moral authority and heritage of placing one’s faith in the Pope’s infallibility, the Holy See is the only organization poised to be the First Responder on the scene in the next world war. As a religious organization, the Holy See is the only world-wide institution that can instantly accredit a hyper dimensional being as The Return of the King of the world, syncretize the world religions especially Christianity, Islam and Judaism, demand submission to his law, and cause the death of the heretics to this faith by withholding financial aid in refugee camps.

“be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away / apostacy first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 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. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he [the Holy Spirit] who now letteth [another word for withholdeth] will let , until he be taken out of the way [by such dire martyrdom of God’s people through whom he works].

And then shall that Wicked be revealed…Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (II Thessalonians 2:2-9)

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