These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)
“Looking at the thunderstorm activity at the start of February, there seems to have been a lot more storms in the area around Rome … more than usual for this time of year.” (BBC News, on the bolt striking St. Peter’s on February 11, 2013)
“Statistically St. Peter’s, with its location and great dome, stands a higher than usual chance of experiencing lightning strikes. Having said that, it did not suffer another such occurrence until October 7, 2016 [Three and a half years after Benedict’s resignation] on the feast day for Our Lady of the Rosary, when the Church recalls Christian Europe’s defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto.” (Brian Williams, my comment between brackets)
The Torah, the Law that God gave Israel in the wilderness, contains one specific commandment regarding the testimony of witnesses: “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) Many centuries later, St. Paul reminded the Christians of Corinth of the same law. (2 Corinthians 13:1) The same principle appears in Revelation 11 when St. John writes about the two witnesses of God that have a mission to preach to the world before the Seventh Trumpet blows its ominous note at the time of the Third Woe announcing the birth of God’s Kingdom, the opening of the Temple in Heaven and the lost Ark of the Covenant becomes visible to all in the midst of a great storm with peals of thunder and lightning bolts.
I know it may be a bit difficult but try to keep all of the above in mind because I do not have anything to teach on this matter, but I do have lots of questions that still remained unanswered in my mind.
I received and invitation to watch a video by Taylor Marshall where he speculates about the possibility of a Papal Diarchy among other things. Diarchy is the government of two authorities (from the Greek di-arké, two rulers.) It is quite an interesting video and I invite you to watch it.
Dr. Marshall’s video made me recall a scriptural curiosity I found years ago, something that is obviously there for a reason but I cannot fit anywhere. I am talking about the pair of God’s servants that appear every time the people of God are about to witness a great change. You will see it immediately and perhaps you will be as intrigued as I am.
Moses and Aaron appear before Pharaoh before the Hebrews are liberated from Egyptian rule. (Exodus 7:1-3) Young David is anointed as King of Israel but he does not rule until King Saul dies many years later. During those years Israel had, technically, two kings. (1 Samuel 16 [anointing of David] and 1 Samuel 31:3-6; 1 Chronicles 10:3-6 [death of Saul]) After the death of Saul, the dynasty of the Messiah is established, a very important moment in the life of Israel.
The most interesting of those duos appears at the time of Jesus’ trial and death. The Romans ruling over Israel got a bit suspicious of the High Priest, someone who enjoyed a quasi-divine status among the people, and was a religious ruler for life in the same manner as the Roman Emperor. The Emperor was a political ruler but also the Pontifex Maximus, the supreme religious authority of the Roman Empire. In time, the Romans imposed a rule over the Jews, making the post of High Priest a rotational duty among the males of the family. That is why we see two High Priests in the Gospel: Annas, the real High Priest; and Caiaphas, the High Priest on duty the year when Jesus was condemned. (See Matthew 26) That, of course, was the year when Jesus died on the Cross and Israel and the world were changed forever.
I can offer no interpretation on those pairs of rulers that seem to appear very conspicuously when something big is about to happen. Is that the way God introduces two men to witness His divine judgments? Your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you that, when Pope Francis was elevated to the Papacy on March 19, 2013, the thought came immediately to my mind: “We have two Popes now: one that was and one that is the Pope.” When Pope Benedict XVI decided to keep the title of Pope Emeritus and some of the external signs of his former authority … that confirmed my guess that this was a sign of the End Times.
I do not know a thing about Canon Law. I am not about to join the crowd of authors speculating about the canonical validity of the present situation. But I remember this important piece of prophecy given to the Church on March 13, 1820 by Bl. Anna Katharina Emmerick –exactly 193 years to the day Francis was elected— here it is:
“I saw also the relationship between the two popes … I saw how baleful (harmful) would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome). The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness…”
“Then the vision seemed to extend on every side. Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches closed down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took violent action. But it did not last long…”
“Once more I saw that the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect [Freemasons], while storms were damaging it. But I saw also that help was coming when distress had reached its peak. I saw again the Blessed Virgin ascend on the Church and spread her mantle [over it].” (Quote taken from JESUSMARIASITE.ORG)
It seems to me there is one obvious conclusion: the Church is about to experience extreme persecution and harm during the reign of the “two Popes,” and this is undoubtedly a sign that prophetic times are upon us. I believe a big change is on the horizon, a change at least as important as the liberation from Egyptian rule, the advent of David’s kingdom, or the birth of the Church on Mount Calvary.
If you have additional insights of your own. I would really like to hear them.