Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Coming Soon…Chapter One

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 26, 2012

How well do you know your faith?

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of His Messiah come in the flesh. ~CCC§675 (emphasis added)

Make yourselves familiar with the above passage, because it will present itself throughout this study.  It is the central theme to which I will refer back to as this study progresses.

Important information here…

Yet, before I begin, there needs to be an Index of Terms so the reader has reference for abbreviations and text formation within this study.  This index will later appear in PDF format at the beginning of each study for the reader so they can access it without having to leave the study.

Index of Terms:

  • InJD = In John’s Day – referring to the history found in Revelation as it happened
  • InOD = In Our Day – applying this Living Text of Sacred Scripture to our own time and events
  • (Barber, pg#) = reference to where you can find the current quote in use in the book.
  • [ …] = when used inside a quote, these are my words and do not appear in the original text.  Most often used for further clarification and/or for a smoother read.
  • (Ibid.) = quote used is found on the same page as the proceeding quote.
  • ***REGARDLESS of the text and translation used (Holy Bible, RSV Catholic Edition); whenever God is in reference to the Pronoun will receive a capital letter in reverence to our Creator : i.e. Him, His, Himself.***

By Michael Barber

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

“Revelation” in Greek literally means “unveiling”.

In this book, we will take an in-depth look at the Apocalypse.  Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, we will move through this difficult and confusing book of the Bible.  Along the way, we will steer clear of fanciful interpretations by faithfully following the criteria laid out by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council for studying scripture:

The Content of Unity of Scripture: We will look at the Book of Revelation in the context of the rest of the Bible, seeing how its message fits into God’s fatherly plan (the oikonomia).

The Church’s Living Tradition: The Book of Revelation cannot be properly understood without seeing its relationship to the Church’s tradition, as passed on through her liturgy.

The analogy of Faith: As we consider the concepts and images presented in this book, we will remain faithful to the teachings of the Church, using them to guide us to faithful interpretation.

Rest assured: The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Scripture, and He helps us to understand Scripture as the Faith is passed on through the life of the church, particularly in her liturgy and in her teaching authority.  (Barber, introduction, xi, xii)

~Michael Barber©2005

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INTRODUCTION:

Having provided that, there is one other element that must be addressed and understood.  It is an element that Barber also thought required addressing and I’m very grateful for his thorough job!  That is, to confirm in the clearest of terms THAT the Apostle John DID INDEED write the Apocalypse.   You can find Barber’s complete evidence in the very first chapter.  I will just give the highlights in the parallel scripture passages as they are found in John’s Gospel and Revelation:

Gospel of John ……………….… Book of Revelation

Jesus as the WORD:                      Jn 1: 1, 14 ———————- Rev 19:13

Jesus as the LAMB:                     Jn 1:29, 36 ——————–  Rev 5: 6, 8, 12, etc…

Christian Worship as
something
done in the Spirit:                        Jn 4:23 ————————– Rev 1:10

Salvation as the gift
of “Living Water” :                      Jn 4:14 —————————- Rev 21:6

Jesus as the Giver
of true Manna :                             Jn 6: 48-50 ———————– Rev 2:17

Mother of Jesus as the
Mother of all believers:          Jn 19: 26-27 ———————- Rev 12:17

The Bridegroom and
the Bride:                                          Jn 3:29 —————————- Rev 19:7, 21: 2, 9

[The call to give our
lives even unto death
(martyrdom)]:                             Jn 12:25 —————————- Rev 12:11

Satan as “cast out” :                  Jn 12:31 —————————– Rev 12:9

Mother of Jesus
being called Woman:              Jn 2:4, 19:26 ———————– Rev 12: 1, 5

Jesus as the
True Temple:                              Jn 2:21 ——————————-  Rev 21:22

Christ as Shepherd:                 Jn 10: 1-16 ————————— Rev 7:17

One can understand, then, why those who lived closest to John knew him as not only ‘Saint John the Evangelist’ (the Gospel writer) but also ‘St. John the Revelator’.” (Barber, 4)

Not to mention that “Clement of Alexandria says that John wrote the Apocalypse while on the island of Patmos, where he had been banished by a ‘tyrant’ [that is Nero, emperor of Rome].” (Ibid.  See footnote 6 for more information.)

For a complete and chilling history of the cruelty of this emperor, see page 5.  It’s interesting to note that the many ‘beasts’ that have followed since Nero’s time have embraced the same type of cruelty in their contempt for mankind and their apparent wish to see mankind destroyed (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao) .  Something, I might add, that comes up later in the discussion of Satan and his same hatred for mankind.

Sacred Scripture

Which then also reiterates the TRUTH already stated that “Sacred Scripture is timeless”.  It applies to YESTERDAY, TODAY, and the DAYS TO COME.  Barber also makes this point with the event of the Passover.  He states, “There was once a real Passover in Egypt that saved Israel from real bondage – a Passover at which a real lamb was really slaughtered and eaten.  This HISTORIC EVENT PREFIGURES another moment in history – the sacrifice of Christ as the TRUE Passover Lamb, who died to SET US FREE from BONDAGE to sin.(Barber, 14, emphasis added)

So as we continue to read through John’s book of unveiling we are reminded that his writings may pertain to many of the events in our day BUT they also HAPPENED in John’s day to some extent as he prepared the Christians in Jerusalem for the coming destruction of the great city; so too does He prepare us for our own ‘destruction’ – that is the collapse of all that we know.

STUDY MAKE-UP:

The next two chapters provide background and give us a firm foundation for our study in this book of the “Unveiling”.  Read them well, because if you skip any parts, what follows will not make total sense, and you WILL find yourself thumbing back to the beginning to try and discover what you missed.

Also, I’ve had further reflection on these postings.  They may actually occur more frequently than originally thought.  I’ll try to include the next post date with each upcoming chapter to give everyone participating a “head’s up!”

ARE U READY?

Okay, this ends the Introduction.  If you have the book, take a look at the end of the book chapter questions.  Note, the Multiple Choice questions have the answers at the bottom of the page.  But see if you can answer them first without looking at the answers. 

The next page has the Discussion/Study Questions.  This is where this book study can take on an active side.  If you have the book, and if you’re interested – for this chapter and the chapters that follow – answer the questions Barber asks and then choose one that really caught your attention. 

Then, follow the link at the bottom of THIS page, and drop me a line with your response.  If a lot of people respond, I’ll pick the most thought provoking ones and post them on a separate page, with only your initials so as to keep a level of privacy, but so that you can recognize your own response.  If it’s appropriate, I’ll include my own response to those I post.  I hope many will consider participating.

My “to-do” list

FOR CHAPTER TWO:  Please read all of chapter 2 so that you have a “heads up” concerning the content; and so you can participate in the discussion questions that follow at the end of the chapter.  I guarantee it, the posts will have deeper meaning for those who read ahead.   

Introduction Discussion/Study Questions

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