In this chapter we shall go back in time to see what happened in the Vatican on a certain occasion.
Pope Pius IX called a general ecumenical council on 18th July 1870 at which were present, 6 archbishop-princes, 49 cardinals, 11 patriarchs, 680 archbishops and bishops, 28 abbots, and 29 generals of order, 803 in all. The purpose of this great gathering was to discuss the letter which the Pope sent out on 8th December 1869, propounding the doctrine of PAPAL INFALLIBILITY. This dogma had been inculcated by the false decretals of Isidore and others, but not adopted by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). It was debated in Council, and maintained by one party in the Church, tolerated by another, and utterly rejected by the third. When finally put to the vote, 533 voted in favour, 2 against, and the rest abstained. Hence it became papal law.
The above facts may be checked by anyone who has access to the various encyclopedias and chronological surveys, normally found in any reference library. However, what is not commonly known may be learned from a book written by William Campbell, entitled “The Most Tremendous Book in the World: the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Part 2, page 100) I am most grateful to an esteemed friend, Dr. Charles Ozanne of Guernsey, for bringing this to my notice. The quotation is as follows.
“On 18th July 1870, Pope Pius IX, having summoned an ecumenical council representing the Church of Rome throughout the world, sat on a grand throne in the Vatican, with mirrors designed and placed to reflect a glory around him from the morning sun, and he was adorned with a perfect blaze of precious stones, so that he might appear as more than man. It was the occasion of the Decree of Papal Infallibility. But no sun shone (although it was mid-summer); a deep gloom developed; a fearful thunderstorm broke overhead; lightning flashed in at every window; and the voices of the assembled hierarchy, voting orally in favour of the decree, were almost drowned.
“A huge taper had to be brought and lit to enable the Pope to see and read the words intended to invest him with divine authority. But he could not see the words properly, and a Cardinal had to do the reading. He had not read far when such a flash of liquid fire, and such a crash from the inky sky as had never been experienced in Rome before, shook every heart. The reading ceased; one Cardinal jumped up trembling from his chair and exclaimed, ‘It is the voice of God in the thunder of Sinai!’ And undoubtedly it was!”
And of course the thunder of God was paralleled by a storm of protest from the Protestant world, and perhaps best epitomised by the strenuous attack made by Mr W.E.Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister of the time, in his pamphlet “The Vatican Decrees.” (November 1874)
It is perhaps significant to notice that only a few months after the Decree, in December 1870, the Pope lost the last vestiges of his temporal power following the overthrow of Rome and the establishment of civil power. And on 28th and 29th of that month there was a powerful surge of water in the River Tiber, causing an inundation and great suffering to the people of Rome. But whilst these things have been recorded here and there in books, their significance is lost to the majority, and the Hand of God in Judgement is not recognised. Insurance companies would list such happenings as “Acts of God”, but be totally divorced from the meaning of the words they use.
If we now move on nearer to the present, to 1990 in fact, we have a strange thing to record. The then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, went to Rome, and only for the second time since the Reformation, celebrated mass with the Pope. This was Runcie’s first official visit to the Vatican, and whilst there he said, “Could not all Christians come to reconsider the kind of primacy the Bishop of Rome exercised within the early church?” He went on to call on all Christians to acknowledge the Pope as “the universal leader of the church.”
During an Anglican service the evening before he celebrated mass, and as Runcie was preaching a sermon, three Anglican clergymen in the congregation stood up, and taking off their robes, revealed T-shirts bearing the words VIPER IN VESTMENTS. They were ejected from the church. One of the clergymen was Rev. Brian Green from Feltham in Middlesex, co-founder of the “British Council of Protestant Christian Churches” with Rev. Ian Paisley, the fiery preacher from Ulster.
Although many Protestants were not very happy about the way in which the protest was handled, there was a massive groundswell of reaction against Runcie for betraying the cause of Protestantism. They said in effect, did Luther do it all in vain? Well, does it matter any more, say the New Agers? Wouldn’t it be better if everyone forgot all their silly theology, and joined hands, to sing and dance in blissful unity, rather than fight over words and create endless divisions?
Runcie also attended the Pope’s “Day of Peace,” attended also by various leaders of world faiths and religions. It was a sort of syncretistic pow-wow to smoke the pipe of peace for all theworld. Afterwards Runcie said, “It was an effort to take a world-view, to develop a world consciousness, to create a sense of world fellowship, to recognize the work of the same spirit at the center of each of our faiths.” The same spirit! Is that what the Anglican Church now believes? We saw in an earlier chapter how first of all England doesn’t seem to want to know about its early history. Then in another chapter, how David Jenkins began preaching his “gospel” of no virgin birth and no resurrection. And now we have recorded the words of an Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest office in the Anglican Church, speaking of an identical spirit within all diverse faiths. Is the Holy Spirit of God, the One spoken about in the New Testament, responsible for the pantheism of Hindu gods? And does that same Spirit speak through Chrisha, Buddha, Mohammed, and even the New Age channelers?
Take a look at the words of one such channeler, Shirley MacLaine, in one of her New Age books. “You are everything. Everything you want to know is inside of you. You are the universe. . . Man refuses to accept that he is in possession of all truth, and has been from the beginning of time and space. . . . Man is the co-creator with God of the cosmos. . . Maybe the tragedy of the human race was that we had forgotten we were each divine. . . You must never worship anyone or anything other than self. For you are God. To love self is to love God. . . . To dance with God, the creator of all things, is to dance with oneself . . . The total understanding and realization of myself might require eons for me to accomplish, but when that awareness is achieved, I will be aligned completely with that unseen Divine Force we call God. For me to deny that Divine Force now, would be tantamount to denying that I exist. I know that I exist, therefore I AM. I know that the God-source exists, therefore IT IS. Since I am part of that force, then I AM that I AM.”
Blasphemy? Yes, of course. Obviously no true Christian would fall for it. But wait a minute, there is a large group of American Christians, clubbed together under the patronage of one Gary Sigler, who teaches virtually the same as Shirley MacLaine. Here is an extract from a Sigler tape in our possession –
“We are not Adam. We are not a race of human people trying to be godly. If we are we will go to the grave. . . . When I would stand before God, He would have to say, ‘Depart from me, I don’t know you.‘ People go to church all the time, read ten chapters a day, pray for an hour, pray in the Holy Ghost for an hour a day, and God says, ‘I never knew you.’How could that be? Because the only way He can know you is to become you. We cannot know God, even in a small measure, until He becomes us.
“You must realise that you are NOT Adam. You are CHRIST. You will never become anything in God, but He will become everything in you.
“Many people today are seeing the good land, but they won’t cross over. ‘Brother’, they say, ‘it’s blasphemy for you to declare you’re God.’ Well, I agree with that. And I don’t say I’m God, but I do say this, if Adam is replaced, and God has filled me wholly with His life, and when we come together we express, as the word says, the fulness of Him who fills everything, everywhere, if I am not Christ, who am I? The greatest problem in the universe is mistaken identity.
“Not to know the pull of sin and death on you any longer, that’s what Tabernacles does for you. But see, you can’t enter that realm, and God won’t bring you into that realm until the Potter has finished His work, because Adam cannot enter into Tabernacles. In the holiest of all, in the realm of Tabernacles, there is nothing but God. Now I’m not standing up here telling you that I’m fully walking in Tabernacles and there’s nothing of Gary left, but I’m telling you that more and more, day by day, there is less and less of my carnality.
Do you want to see Him manifested? Come over to me for a while. Will you see someone who doesn’t make mistakes? No, but I guarantee you, if you come and live with me, you’ll see God manifested.” [End of quote]
We have come full circle. We began by witnessing the awful spectacle in the Vatican in 1870, when a Pope declared that he was “infallible”, and ended by witnessing a New Age Channel saying “I AM that I AM”, and an American Christian saying that he is Christ.
Didn’t Jesus declare, “Take heed that no man shall lead you astray, for many shall come in my name, saying I am the Christ, and shall lead many astray”? (Matthew 24:4)