Why a New Pope is Good News - by James Rafferty

Why a New Pope is Good News

by James Rafferty  |  April 29, 2013

In 1929, the Italian Parliament ratified the Lateran Treaty settling the Roman Question and setting the stage for what some have since described as the healing of the deadly wound. Somewhere between that time and today, an idea developed that has since taken many minds captive.

This idea was that from 1929 to the second coming of Jesus there will be exactly seven popes, and the seventh one would reign for a “short time.”

God is waiting for people, not popes.

With a surface study of Revelation 17 in one hand and a February 12, 1929 San Francisco Chronicle headline, “healed wound of many years” in the other, advocates felt they had a valid Bible prophecy (though our pioneers taught a much longer healing process dating back to the 19th century). When Pope Benedict was elected, he was the 7th since 1929. And since he was 78, it did not appear that he would be in office very long and it seemed that the final crisis could burst forth at any time. However, Pope Benedict remained in office more than a “short space.” His reign was in fact longer than two of the previous popes noted in this interpretation (3. Pope John XXIII and 5. Pope John Paul I).

In addition, the election of Pope Francis I shows the interpretation to be false as he is the eighth since 1929. This fact, and that of the previous pope, number 7 who did not reign only for a short time or usher in the final events, was a crushing disappointment for some.

But for me at least, another pope was good news.

Many who have advocated this theory were devastated by the election of another pope. But for me at least, another pope was good news. The election of Pope Francis I helped debunk yet another newspaper interpretation. The gospel has survived a number of more recent false theories about the Second Coming, like Y2K, repeated Harold Camping predictions, the Mayan calendar scare, and now the 1929 interpretation.

The apostle might have included some of these predictions in his “rubbish” bin while directing us to “mature” our minds in the message of Christ our “Righteousness” (Philippians 3:8-15, NKJV). I hope you share our burden for this message that will “swallow up” all others (Review & Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890).

God is waiting for people, not popes. Not until the light of the character of the love of God illumines the darkness of every human being on Planet Earth, will we see a final end to sin and suffering. Amen.

Light Bearers has a complete outline on Revelation 17 (The Woman and the Beast) available as a free download here.

James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers
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  • Mrs. Dawn Joyce


  • “God is waiting for people, not popes.” Amen! I love common sense.

  • Well said. I believe we are living in the last days, not because of what is happening with the papacy, but because the character of God is being revealed in its fulness. I love that this was encapsulated in your enlightening post!

  • claudinec

    God is waiting for his people to come out of Babylon. Thank you for this post God bless you

  • everton

    This ministry is amazing. Every writer here speaks with such a clarity, tenderness and beauty. You represent your God well. Men will want to know the God you worship. I am convinced that you are connected and God is more beautiful than i have ever deemed him to be. This is what every struggling , honest soul craves. I have never seen such beautiful blogs as these anywhere and i have been around. I have heard much doctrine but nothing like this; never ever! If we could hear more like this in our pulpits i am sure we would have a revival. Thanks

  • JDR

    We as Seventh day Adventist have an even greater cup to fill, we have YET to fill the cup of Godly LOVE to our brethren and to the people of the world.
    Many Seventh Day Adventist churches are still struggling with a true conversion of heart and spirit for the truth and word of God. Many people in many churches give an outward appearance of “LOVE” in meeting at the front door of the church, but don’t appear to have it in their hearts, nor show it between Sabbaths.
    We have this problem in our own church.The members hear of sick and needy members and still refuse to visit or go out of their way to give any spiritual or true LOVING encouragement.
    We cannot share love we don’t possess. We cannot share light we refuse to believe in. It’s one thing to read about God, it’s truly another to really act out in his behalf.

  • David Asscherick

    Amen brother James! Spot on.

  • Ian Kitney


  • Thanks, James. I appreciate the insight.

  • Jimmy Estrada

    Beautifully said.May we his people be ready soon. God bless

  • Jennifer Smith

    AMEN! And yes, thank you. 🙂

  • claudinec


  • Andrew Hernandez

    Thank God that prophecy is being fulfilled that means that Jesus is soon appearing

  • Jener

    Yes, He’s waiting for people as the Pope He has already sent Himself.