The Pope and the Peace Table

When peace does come, what may we ex­pect? Who will sit at the peace table ? Who will have the determining influence? What about the outcome?

By M. L. Andreasen, Professor of Biblical Exegesis, Theological Seminary

Peace will come sometime; we know not when. The Bible demands a little time of peace before the end comes, that the peace-and­safety cry may be given and certain scriptures fulfilled, as Isaiah 2, Revelation 12 and 17, and Joel 3. We do not pretend to know all the coming events or their exact order, but it seems clear that there must come a little time when nations should be so tired of war that they shall decide to "learn war no more," that is, to discontinue military training and ptepa­ration, and to turn their swords into plow­shares, While this has been fulfilled in a very limited way through the defunct League of Nations, we cannot believe that the league ex­hausted the prophecy. We look for a much more definite and striking fulfillment.


When peace does come, what may we ex­pect? Who will sit at the peace table ? Who will have the determining influence? What about the outcome? The latter half of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation contains an interesting prophecy. A power is there spoken of who exerciseth all the power of the first beast," "causeth the earth . . to worship the first beast," "doeth great wonders," "deceiveth them that dwell in the earth," "had power to give life to the image of the beast," "and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed," and at last it will cause all "to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads," and whoever will not receive this mark will be unable "to buy or sell."

We know the identity of the power spoken of here. We also know who the "first beast" is. We know the tremendous power which Rome once exercised. It dominated the earth. It reigned supreme. When the statement is made that the second beast "exerciseth all the power of the first beast" we get a vision of the power which this second beast will exercise. It will dominate the earth.

How will this power be exercised ? It will cause "the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." This means that there will be close co-operation between this power and the Papacy, and that this nation will put its power and influence behind the movement to give the Papacy the place which it claims as the repre­sentative of Christ in the earth. The prophecy says it has "power" to do this, that it will "exercise" this power, and that it will "cause" its will to become effective. In this connection the close co-operation between this nation and Rome at the present time is significant.

What place does the Papacy claim ? Listen to these words from the Catholic journal Amer­ica:

"The Papacy, and what it stands for, can be the only insurance against recurrent war. But that can come about only if the Pope be given his rightful place at any table round which the peace terms will be, in God's own time, discussed. His rightful place on two counts : first as the vicar of Christ, who still has a place in this world; second, as a tem­poral ruler of a fully sovereign nation, who has an .equal place with an the kings and presidents of other nations. As Catholics, then, we must first of all talk peace—peace not on Hitler's or Churchill s or Roosevelt's terms, but on God's.

"Secondly, for those terms to come to fructifica­tion, we must talk up, in season and out, the corol­lary that the Pope must have a place in the settle­ment. We want insurance against wars, and only the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ (of which the Pope is the visible head) can take out the policy."—America, September 27.

Note the "two counts" on which the Pope is to be given "his rightful place" at the peace table. To the mind of Rome there is only one such place. That place is at the head of the table. We shall carefully watch to see how this will be done. These are intriguing times. Let us watch developing events.

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By M. L. Andreasen, Professor of Biblical Exegesis, Theological Seminary

January 1942

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