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The Last Crusade
From the August 2001 Trumpet Print Edition »
Most people think the crusades are a thing of the past—over forever. But they are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all! By Gerald Flurry
Most people think the crusades are a thing of the past— over forever. But they are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all!
The Crusades were a series of Roman Catholic “holy” wars to wrest control of the Holy Land from Muslims. They produced some of the bloodiest battles in history.
Did you ever wonder how the Catholics reconcile that “holy” slaughter with the Bible, which states, “Thou shalt not kill”? Or how they can read the Sermon on the Mount and still lead the religious world in spilling rivers of blood?
They are called the Christian Crusades. That label itself is a deception. They were primarily Catholic Crusades. Other Christian religions have their problems, but let’s not blame them for what the Catholics did—and will do. Some background will help us understand.
Pope Urban II
In a.d. 622, Catholics fought and were defeated in a crusade against the Persians and the Jews. Some 60,000 Catholics were killed, and 35,000 enslaved. The fall of Jerusalem left the Catholic world shocked and mourning.
This war left Catholics bitter against the Jews for the role they played in the war. Much anti-Semitism began because of it.
Some historians consider this the First Crusade. But the Crusades we best remember came later, beginning in the 11th century.
Pope Urban ii unleashed a savage Catholic army and started these later Crusades. This “righteous” army marched 3,000 miles to conquer the Holy Land.
Here is an excerpt from the book Crusades, by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, which became a bbc television series (emphasis mine here and throughout): “By summoning an army under the banner of the Cross, the pope was extending the church’s mantle over all Christendom. This was the idea at the very heart of the revolutionary papacy; in place of separate local churches at the center of discreet communities, there was to be one overarching church, ruled by one overarching pope. The Crusade was to be its expression and its instrument.”
They state that this thinking was at the heart of the papacy. The popes wanted to rule any church called Christian. Through the Holy Roman Empire, they also tried repeatedly to rule the entire world. They have succeeded six times and are about to succeed again, for the last time, according to Bible prophecy. (Write for our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
The Protestant churches are prophesied to be brought back into the Catholic Church (Isa. 47). Mostly this will be done through bloodshed. Remember, this wish to rule all Christianity is at “the very heart of the revolutionary papacy.” That means this philosophy has motivated them for nearly 2,000 years. And they still believe violent and bloody crusades are righteous. Have they ever truly repented of this condemning history? The answer is no. The best they have managed is some recent vague apologies.
History proves the Catholic Church to be one of the most militant institutions ever created. They do not believe in a democratic philosophy. They have often “converted” people by the sword. And yet, this world seems unwilling to hold them accountable for their war crimes.
Modern historians have shown how closely they worked with the Nazis. It was through the Catholic Church that most of the leading Nazis escaped after World War ii. We have shown in past articles how well documented that history is. No one should doubt it. (Read The Unholy Trinity by Mark Aarons and John Loftus, available at bookstores.)
And doesn’t that crime reveal that the Catholics were deeply involved with the Nazi war machine?
This subject is too important to let our emotions stand in the way, because the worst is yet to come!
The last crusade will be the supreme inquisition of all history. It is time we understood the bloody history of the Crusades and let it be a warning!
The world seems almost unaware of these monstrous crimes.
The Jones and Ereira book continues, “Urban’s army would also rescue Jerusalem, the spiritual (and therefore the physical) center of the universe. He hoped that the redeemed Jerusalem would be directly ruled by the church.
“Every man who enrolled for the struggle must mark himself out by wearing a cross and, most important, vow to continue on his way until he reached Jerusalem.
“Urban’s method of raising this army was completely original; as well as pay, he could offer paradise—anyone who took part had all their sins forgiven. ‘Whoever for devotion alone, not to gain honor or money, goes to Jerusalem to liberate the Church of God can substitute this journey for all penance.’”
Any Bible student ought to know that only God can offer paradise and forgive sins. But that is the big problem with most Christians: They don’t believe and obey the Bible!
The whole world, including the religious world, is deceived (Rev. 12:9). Enormous problems like the Crusades will continue until we confront our own deception.
Jones and Ereira conclude, “By
saying that carrying out a military/political enterprise would make you a better person, wiping out past sins, Urban had invented a way by which every person could internalize papal policy. Fighting in the pope’s cause was not only an obligation, it made you righteous. With that one idea, mass political action was launched. With that one idea, ideology was born. With that one idea, the Crusade was set in motion. Urban did not understand what he had done.”
This pope certainly did not know what he had done. What he began led to a number of indescribably brutal wars between Catholics and Muslims.
The real tragedy is that the world, like Pope Urban, still doesn’t understand what he did, and what the Catholic Church continues to do. Their real beliefs surface when they gain power. Today, they are building the greatest power they have ever had. If you understand their history, their future is very predictable—far more than most historians believe. Add Bible prophecy to that equation and you will see that this world faces a frightening specter.
Fighting on Both Sides
The Crusades created rivers of blood. And it was all done in the name of God. Of course, the Muslims responded with massive slaughters against the Crusaders, also in the name of God. Does it make any sense for God to be fighting on both sides? Or are these warring factions just giving our God of love a bloody reputation?
Jerusalem is considered a holy place by both religions. It is indeed considered the “center of the universe” to the Catholics. They believe conquering Jerusalem makes them righteous. That has been their ideology from the beginning. It is still true today. The fruits are there to prove it. The Bible says that “by their fruits you shall know them.” They believe in war as an instrument to achieve their religious goals.
“The following morning the Crusaders re-entered the al-Aqsa Mosque and slaughtered every Muslim sheltering there. No one knows how many died; the Muslim chronicler reports 70,000. One of the Crusaders reports picking his way through a mess of blood and bodies more than knee-deep” (ibid.). This is only one episode of many. Many people have seen pictures of this very mosque.
How many Muslims still remember the history of this mosque being knee-deep in Arab blood? And all of this savagery supposedly made Catholics righteous! A warrior who burned Arab babies in the Crusade was considered worthy to gain glory for all eternity! Does this really make sense to a sound mind?
“But killing, the pope now declared, need not be a sin after all. It depended on who you killed. In fact, if you killed the enemies of Christ, killing did not require penance—it was the penance. Holy slaughter could be as effective a devotional activity as prayer, or fasting, or pilgrimage….”
The pope said, “Now we are proposing that you should fight wars which contain the glorious reward of martyrdom, in which you can gain the title of present and eternal glory….”
“The pope had also pointed out the importance of rescuing Jerusalem from the infidel. He seems to have suggested that ‘rescue’ meant ‘seize and keep’” (ibid.)
The pope also said, “Take the road to the Holy Sepulcher, rescue that land from a dreadful race and rule over it yourselves.”
Muslim and Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem were slaughtered like pigs. And all of this was done by Catholics who presumably became more righteous in the process.
Were these killers true Christians? A true Christian is one who follows Christ. If we look in the gospels, Christ tells us to love our enemies, even die for them—not kill them!
The memory of such horrendous massacres still lives in the minds of many Arabs.
Those memories have provoked Arabs and Jews to massacre Catholics throughout history in a similar manner—all in the name of religion.
King Peter’s Crusade
King Peter launched his crusade from the little Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which was captured by Catholic Crusaders during the Third Crusade. Here is what Steven Runciman wrote about King Peter’s Crusade in A History of the Crusades: “King Peter arrived at Rhodes early in the month, and on the 25th the whole Cypriot fleet sailed into the harbor, 108 vessels in all, galleys, transports, merchant ships and light skiffs. With the great galleys of the Venetians and those provided by the Hospital, the armada numbered 165 ships. They carried a full complement of men, with ample horses, provisions and arms. Not since the Third Crusade had a proportionate expedition set out for the Holy War….
“During the Friday night there was a fierce Muslim counterattack through one of the southern gates, which the Christians in their excitement had burned down. It was beaten off; and by the Saturday afternoon, all Alexandria was in the Crusaders’ hands.
“The victory was celebrated with unparalleled savagery. Two and a half centuries of holy warfare had taught the Crusaders nothing of humanity. The massacres were only equalled by those of Jerusalem in 1099 and Constantinople in 1204. The Muslims had not been so ferocious at Antioch or at Acre. Alexandria’s wealth had been phenomenal; and the victors were maddened at the sight of so much booty. They spared no one. The native Christians and the Jews suffered as much as the Muslims; and even the European merchants settled in the city saw their factories and storehouses ruthlessly looted. Mosques and tombs were raided and their ornaments stolen or destroyed; churches too were sacked, though a gallant crippled Coptic lady managed to save some of the treasures of her sect at the sacrifice of her private fortune. Houses were entered, and householders who did not immediately hand over all their possessions were slaughtered with their families. Some 5,000 prisoners, Christians and Jews as well as Muslims, were taken to be sold as slaves. A long line of horses, asses and camels carried the loot to the ships in the harbor and there having performed their task were killed. The whole city stank with the odor of human and animal corpses.”
This author said, “The Crusades were the pope’s work.” The Crusade philosophy has made Catholic popes the bloodiest religious leaders ever!
Still, most people try to hide from this frightening reality. That is the main reason why the worst Catholic crusade is yet to come. Mankind refuses to believe the truth and believe God.
The world so quickly forgets. And because they do, the massive bloodshed continues. The Catholics did these appalling, despicable deeds before the world. But has anyone heard them repent before the world?
There is good news: Jesus Christ will personally stop the next crusade! Sadly, however, that will only occur after the worst suffering ever on this Earth (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21-22).
More than one crusade has been launched from Cyprus. Will we see the last crusade launched from there as well? Is history about to repeat itself?
Turkey, just north of Cyprus, has been a strong member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) for many years. Yet, a German-led European Union (EU) rejected them from joining the EU—even though they have been applying since 1963, when there were only six members! Nine new countries have joined since then, and 11 more are on the waiting list.
Cyprus is also on the list to join the EU. Their chances look good.
Why has the EUconsistently rejected Turkey? Is it because Turkey is predominantly Islamic?
The EUis prophesied to be ultimately comprised of ten nations, or groups of nations, dominated by Catholicism. Already the EU is being called the Holy Roman Empire. It has traditionally been the enemy of the Muslims.
And why does it look like tiny Cyprus will become a member of the EU? Is the EU already thinking about Cyprus as a launching pad from which to protect its Jerusalem interests?
We don’t know if Cyprus will become a member or not. But you can be certain that the EU is thinking about how to protect the holy places in and around Jerusalem. They have thought like this for almost 2,000 years!
There is a real crisis in Cyprus today. Some people fear a war between Greece and Turkey, who share the rule of this island. Greece became the tenth member state of the EU in 1981, and Russia has already sold missiles to Greece, whose intention is to bully Turkey with them.
At a conference in Cyprus in July, Dr. Osman Metin Ozturk explained that while EU membership of Cyprus would support the interests of Greece and the EU, it would stall U.S. and nato interests.
Here is what Christopher Lockwood, diplomatic editor in Nicosia, wrote in the Daily Telegraph, March 30, 1998: “The EU has maneuvered itself into a position where it may soon have to take a bitterly divided island, with a propensity for violence and even war, into its bosom.
“It has poisoned relations with Turkey, a crucial nato ally; made a solution to the Cyprus problem harder to achieve than ever….”
Why would Europe risk such serious problems, even warfare, over this tiny island?
Even the people building the EU don’t fully understand what is happening. There is a spirit and force behind these events which the world does not see. “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Rev. 13:3-5).
If this world truly understood what is happening in Europe, they would be trembling in fear.
Does this great evil spirit being, Satan the devil, have plans for Cyprus? Is there a final crusade planned to be launched into the Middle East from there? This evil spirit being knows Bible prophecy and what the future holds.
The beast will hold power for three and a half years, and then Christ will destroy that evil empire forever! We are entering the worst times ever, but they will lead into the best news we could ever receive!
Final Crusade Prophesied
One of the main tourist attractions in Jordan is the Crusader castles. The Catholics built most of them to war against the Muslims and control Jerusalem. These castles are stark reminders of the bloody past—and a far more bloody future!
The Jews have Jerusalem now. But not for long. Both Muslims and Catholics have designs for Jerusalem. These two great powers are about to clash again—go head-to-head in the final crusade over Jerusalem!
In 1997, Iran conducted major war games code-named “Road to Jerusalem.” Between 150,000 and 500,000 soldiers participated.
What could be more provocative? They are advertising their strategy to the world. Few people understand this Muslim passion for Jerusalem and its holy sites! They are the kind of passions that cause war!
Iran will undoubtedly lead what the Bible calls “the king of the south” (Dan. 11:40). This power will be comprised of the radical Islamic movement. Iran is working fiercely to lead this radically militant religion.
Iran has virtually destroyed the peace process single-handedly. But still, the world continues to talk about peace. Iran and radical Islam don’t want peace, and words won’t deter them.
Joseph de Courcy once wrote this in the Islamic Affairs Analyst: “Subscribers should be in absolutely no doubt about this. From Iran’s support for subversion in Bahrain, through its improving ties with Egypt, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Islamist revolutionaries in Khartoum, to its close strategic alliance with Moscow, everything has the same ultimate purpose: the liberation of Jerusalem from under the Zionist yoke.”
The U.S. has tried to isolate Iran. Almost no other nation supports America. This attempt has failed. The U.S. is fighting against Bible prophecy.
Iran has nuclear bombs. They believe America can be neutralized by terrorism—perhaps nuclear terrorism.
Here is what Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said in 1996: “We know but one word: struggle, struggle. Jihad, jihad, jihad. When we stop our intifada, when we stop our revolution, we go to the greater jihad, the jihad of the independent Palestinian state with its capital Jerusalem.”
Jihad is the Arab cry for holy war. They will get their war. But it will not be holy. It will lead to the worst suffering this planet has ever experienced!
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Dan. 11:40). This king of the south is undoubtedly the Iran-led radical Muslims. They are strong and are pushing others around in the Middle East.
Soon they will push at the king of the north, the so-called Holy Roman Empire—the same religious power that was behind the Crusades. And that push will surely revolve around Jerusalem.
Just 20 years ago, nobody could have even imagined two world powers coming out of the Middle East and Europe. But God knew exactly what would happen. Nobody but God could have inspired these prophecies. Everybody can see these two great powers today.
Just look at what is happening in Europe—and has been for years. The present pope is working feverishly to revive the Holy Roman Empire. Twenty years ago, in Spain, November 9, 1981, he said this: “It can be said that the European identity is not understandable without Christianity and that it is precisely in Christianity that are found those common roots by which the Continent has seen its civilization mature: its culture, its dynamism, its activity, its capacity for constructive expansion in other continents as well; in a word, all that makes up its glory….
“Find yourself again. Be yourself. Discover your origins, revive your roots. Return to those authentic values which made your history a glorious one and your presence so beneficent in the other continents.”
During the Inquisition, over 50 million innocent people were killed in the name of “Christianity”! That’s right—50 million! And you can add many millions more as victims of the Holy Roman Empire. Shouldn’t the whole world fear a pope who would say, “Discover your origins, revive your roots. Return to those authentic values which made your history a glorious one”? Those “origins” and “roots” and that “history” caused many millions of people to die!
In Revelation 17, God paints a vivid picture of a great church as a lavishly dressed harlot, holding sway over the nations. God sees things as they truly are! Let’s look at God’s view: “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Rev. 17:6). God sees this whore “drunken” on the blood of the saints! Is killing God’s saints “glorious”?
The Holy Roman Empire will come at the king of the south like a whirlwind. Will there be a surprise attack from Cyprus? Will we see the final crusade launched from there? A whirlwind comes suddenly. So it doesn’t appear the attack will be launched from Europe.
We must understand the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades to understand the Catholic passion for Jerusalem. They have a long history of spilling rivers of blood over Jerusalem.
Notice what their first action is after they are victorious. “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:41). They “enter” into the glorious land, or the Holy Land. The Hebrew indicates this is a peaceful entry—not forced.
The Jews appear to invite them in as peacekeepers. But it leads to a great double-cross, prophesied in Ezekiel chapter 23. (Write for our free booklets The Ezekiel Watchman and Hosea.)
This betrayal will lead to a disaster where no stone is left on top of another stone at the Wailing Wall (Matt. 24:1-3). Those are Christ’s own words!
The Jews should remember the history of the violence and bloodshed by the Crusaders. Then perhaps they would choose differently.
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Dan. 11:42-43). Other countries are going to fall to this great power too.
Twice it mentions that Egypt will not escape. For over two decades, Egypt has been the most moderate nation in the Middle East. Iran has pushed them toward their camp. That is because Egypt fears terrorism and their own radical Muslims. We have seen that happen before our eyes, just as God prophesied it would!
The Good News
At that point in prophecy, the Holy Roman Empire will face disaster. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (v. 44). The Russians and Chinese will prepare for war with Europe. The Europeans will see it happening and strike first. They will, however, be defeated.
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (v. 45). Notice, the religious leader will move his headquarters to Jerusalem—and not just for protection. He could go to many other cities that would be safer. But this will be a religious act of faith. Jerusalem is considered to be his most holy place on Earth—the “center of the universe.” Still, he will come to a most ignominious end. Nobody will be there to help him.
There should be no chapter break between Daniel 11 and 12. The story flow continues to illustrate that this religious war will trigger a nuclear World War iii.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1). There has never before been trouble like this. God promises to protect His people physically. Otherwise, they would perish in a nuclear nightmare.
As bad as this news is, it leads to the best news this world has ever heard! “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (v. 11). The daily sacrifice is referring to God’s work. That work will be taken away—removed when God takes His people to a place of safety (Matt. 24:15-16; Luke 21:20-21). That must happen because the abomination of desolation, or the king of the north, is going to conquer America and Britain—unless they repent. But when that happens, you will be able to start counting days to the return of Jesus Christ. He will end these “holy wars” forever.
Any child should understand that the fruits of these “holy wars” have been diabolical! There is no excuse for America and Britain not knowing the truth. God has been sending His message in power for over 60 years! They have rejected it repeatedly. That is why they now must suffer so intensely. Finally, God will get their attention and lead them to peace, full joy and abundance.