In the thirteenth chapter of Revelation and verse thirteen we read of the lamb-like beast which sponsors the worship of the beast, in these words:
‘And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from the heaven on the earth in the sight of men.’ Rev. 13:13.
Notice that this beast does the work which is identified with the whole priestly caste of the Roman system.
This prophecy is strikingly fulfilled in the papal interdicts and excommunications originating in the Antichrist and propagated by his emissaries the priests of Rome.
The fire of heaven’s judgement was pronounced by the Pope. His priests saw that it was put into effect. Blinded nations were deluded into believing that in the voice of the Pope they heard the voice of God, and that the thunderings and lightnings of the Vatican were indeed what the Pope claimed them to be, the very wrath of God. The papal excommunication was more dreadful than an invasion of a great army. When launched it stopped the nations in its tracks.
The lights were extinguished at the altars. The church doors were closed. The marriages took place in the graveyards. The unshriven dead were buried in ditches. The curse of Antichrist had closed the gates of Paradise and until he opened them all were damned. Yes, men believed it was real fire from heaven and they were scorched by it.
To the mightiest of kings the excommunication of Antichrist was a dreadful affair. The cursed monarch shook on his throne, for his army could not help him. Indeed they were more likely to join with his people in driving him forth from his kingdom. The Antichrist deposed sixty-four emperors and kings. In that number is included, Henry II of England deposed by Pope Alexander III; King John by Pope Innocent III; Kings Richard and Edward by Pope Boniface IX; Henry VIII by Pope Clement VII and again by Pope Paul III; Elizabeth I by Pope Pius V. Even Robert the Bruce of Scotland was so cursed by the Pope, but thanks to the strong Culdee elements which survived them King Robert and his subjects rejected the Pope’s fulmination.
The Antichrist chose the very figure of the prophetic scripture to designate his anathemas. Pope Gregory VII spoke of the Emperor Henry IV when excommunicated as, ‘struck with thunder.’
To the same effect is Antichrist’s description of the Emperor Frederick by Pope Innocent at the first Council of Lyons.
‘These words of excommunication, uttered in the midst of the Council, struck the hearers with terror as might the flashing thunderbolts. When with candles lighted and flung down, the Lord Pope and his assistant prelates flashed their lightning-fire terribly against the Emperor Frederick, now no longer to be called emperor, his procurators and friends burst into a bitter wailing and struck the thigh or breast on that day of wrath, of calamity and of woe!’
These outbursts of the Antichrist continued in Europe right down to the Glorious Revolution year of 1688.
In Rome’s great book of curses one of the most notable is the ‘Bullums Coenae Domini.’ It is truly the utterance of the ‘mouth speaking great things.’
‘Framed since Reformation, it curses all the various sections of the Protestant Church, giving special prominence to Calvinists and Zwinglians. Its scope is wide indeed. The world and its inhabitants, so far as they were known to the framers of this bull, are compendiously cursed in it. Its thunders are heard re-echoing far beyond the limits of Christendom, and its lightnings are seen to strike the pirates of barbarous seas, as well as the Calvinists of Great Britain.
This bull was wont to be promulgated annually by the Pope in person, attended by a magnificent array of cardinals and priests.
The ceremony took place on Maundy Thursday — the Thursday before Easter, and was accompanied by numerous solemnities, fitted to strike the spectators with awe. It was read from the lofty vestibule of the Church of the Lateran, amid the firing of cannon, the ringing of bells, the blaring of trumpets and the blazing of torches. When the curses of the bull had been thundered forth, the torches were extinguished and flung into the great piazza beneath, to signify the outer darkness into which all heretics shall finally be hurled. Pope Ganganelli in 1770 forbade the public reading of the bull Coenae Domini, but the practice was soon revived, and is still continued at Rome, though not in the same public fashion. But the discontinuance of its open promulgation matters nothing; it is unrepealed; all heretics are, ipso facto, under its ban, and the establishment of the Papal Hierarchy gives it to all Romanists the force of law in the United Kingdom.’ — Dr. Wylie.
It should be emphasised that Vatican Council Two reaffirmed no departure by the church from the decrees of the Council of Trent. Rome’s curses stand! The Infallible Antichrist has decreed them!