The Vatican's comeback has a long history. We are familiar with stories about the Middle Ages. The descendants of Rome at that time exercised a lot of power. But in the timeline, you can see that the spiritual legacy goes back much longer, even as far as ancient Mesopotamia. The city of Babel, with its pretentious tower, is synonymous with human power outside of Gods Kingdom. In order to understand the significance of the developments in the year 1929, we must relate to the much older history that preceded it.
The Babylonian prince Nebuchadnezzar had a remarkable dream [see: Babylon]. He saw a large statue, consisting of different materials. The Jewish Daniel, working in a foreign court, received insight from God to interpret his dream. The materials represent successive historical kingdoms. They all have come and gone. Yet, the statue remains as a whole, until the end of times when God will establish His eternal kingdom. Only then does the statue collapse in one go. Apparently, according to the vision, those empires still 'exist' today in some sort of way.
Later on, a second vision is given, this time about four animals. The symbols refer to the same realms. On the head of the fourth animal a small horn begins to grow. The prophecy zooms in on the rise of this new power. It’s not a fifth kingdom (there are only four beasts), but an extension of the fourth. The arrival of the new horn appears to be a gradual process, but according to the book of Revelation, it will eventually become the superpower dominating the whole scene.
The rise of the superpower began as early as the first century, during the heyday of the fourth empire, the Roman Empire. It is represented as a horn, traditionally a symbol of power, that begins to grow. The Apostle Paul refers to this entity:
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6, KJV).
In the futuristic end-time view, this lawless one, who will be revealed, is interpreted to be the devil. He will appear on the world stage as the antichrist at the end of history. The restrainer would be the Holy Spirit. But this view doesn't match with the text. Find more info about the restrainer in [1260 years of V-dominance].
About the lawless one, who will be revealed in his own time, Paul mentions two things:
There will be a climax towards the consummation of world history, and Satan will be more and more openly active, but the superpower that Daniel and Paul speak of has been around for much longer.
Although Daniel’s prophecy implies that the power will gradually grow, it is also associated with a specific time period. It relates to a period of 3,5 prophetic years, which equals 1260 real years [for substantiation of this claim, see: 1260 year – the Middle Ages]. Now that we progressed in history, we can easily recognize what period this is. The Vatican didn't fully come into political power until 538 AD. This period of dominion lasted until the deposition in 1798. In that year Napoleon deposed the Pope and sent him into captivity. An era closed. During the French Revolution, human reason was elevated like a god. The core concepts of 'freedom, equality and brotherhood' (which Pope Francis is so enthusiastic about) were placed on a pedestal. A new society would emerge, based on democracy. After exactly 1260 years of worldly power, the political papal system seemed to have ended for good.
Biblical prophecy gives us insights about the sequel. You can find startling information about this in the [Babylon] tile. From the visualization presented there it becomes clear that the powers of Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, the new growing horn, and the beast out of the sea (as described in Revelation 13) all belong together. The characteristics of the horn and the beast of the sea are identical and without a doubt imply that they refer to the same historical power. In other words, the beast that rises out of the sea is a sequel to the story of the little horn.
In Revelation 13 a remarkable feature is added to the developments. The vision tells that the beast from the sea will suffer a fatal wound. At least so it seems.
What does it mean that a prophetic beast gets wounded? Keep in mind that in prophetic terms, beasts are used to represent kingdoms, just as it still applied today in the symbols of countries.
“Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth” | “(…) the fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth...” (Daniel 7:17,23).
So, if in a prophetic context a beast gets wounded, it refers to a political event. At the end of the prophetic time of 1,260 years, the Vatican was indeed inflicted a severe political blow. After the French revolution secular power was a thing of the past. It seemed like a mortal wound to this politico-religious system. The Vatican did not disappear, of course, but it did shift to the background of the world political stage. But note that Revelation speaks of appearances:
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast” (13:3).
It appeared deadly, but it wasn't. The political wound was about to heal.
In the year 1929, the Italian dictator Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri concluded the Lateran Treaty, concerning the Roman Catholic Church. With the signing of this treaty, Vatican City became an independent state on February 11, 1929. Thus, Rome reappeared in the political arena and has been a rising star ever since (see next point). The mortal wound started to heal.
The political strategy changed compared to the time of the Middle Ages, because the starting position was very different. It took the form of collaboration, with political leaders, the religious world, the business world, Hollywood and of course the financial markets. There are relationships everywhere and old ties are being re-enforced. But while Rome has changed superficially seen, the underlying goal stayed exactly the same: world dominion.
After the wound heals, the beast makes a huge comeback. In fact, at some point the whole world will follow in wonder (Revelation 13:3). It may be a terrible beast in a spiritual sense, with seven heads, but apparently it has very attractive features on the outside. Strange really that the smallest sovereign state in the world becomes the largest ruler. You can read more about this under [a global pact]. A picture paints a thousand words.
The revival of the Vatican is not just political. The Pope and his team are talking about world issues (such as climate, migration, covid, war, etc.). But there is a much deeper religious component underneath. That dimension also emerges in Revelation. It is essentially about worship (Revelation 13). In addition to the metaphor of the beast out of the sea, Revelation uses two other images to describe the same power: the city of Babylon (chapter 18) and a harlot (chapter 17). Both are symbols of human religion outside of God. Babylon as the antitype of Jerusalem. And the harlot as the antitype of the devoted bride of Christ.
In other words, the political entity (the beast) is enforcing worship (religion). In order to gain this absolute power a merge of religion and state will need to come about, just like it was in the Middle Ages. At a certain stage all powers in the world will hand over their authority to the beast, which is the Vatican:
“The ten horns which you saw are then kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13).
Once this is done, the beast can start to exclude people from participating in the economy. This presupposes a mixture of religion and state power. The Vatican will determine what the criteria are for all people to live their lives. Anyone who does not acknowledge and worship this symbolic beast will face severe economic sanctions: you can no longer buy or sell. Enforcing a certain way of thinking and living, marking the forehead and right hand, will play a central role towards the climax of history. More insights into these developments, which are fulfilled before our very eyes, are given in [a global pact] and [the climax of an ancient conflict].
Did you know that even the name "Vatican" most likely has this religious echo to it? The word vaticanus comes from the Latin vatis, which means seer or soothsayer. The Vatican Hill was likely a site of occult practices:
Soothsaying also occurred on a large scale in biblical times among the surrounding nations of Israel and was strongly rejected (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). No one was allowed to get involved in such practices. So why would you, as religious system, want to be named after such a pagan god? What does this tell you about the true nature of this system?
In our days we are going to see the climax of the conflict that is already going on for thousands of years. Is there room for free worship of the Creator, out of love, or will it be forced worship of the anti-power? Is it the true way of God or the counterfeit of all He is doing? Who do you belong to, who do you listen to, who do you love? Is it the Creator, who made heaven and earth? Or is it the devil, who is trying to deceive all the earth? It will become a matter of ultimate devotion and worship. That's the real gist of what's happening on the world stage in the coming years. In [the climax of an ancient conflict] it all comes together. It can and will storm. But you need not be afraid. As long as you stay close to God you will have firm ground under your feet: