Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for January, 2013

Coming Soon: Chapter 7, Ransome Captive Israel…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 27, 2013

"Clothe yourselves with humility...Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.

“Clothe yourselves with humility…Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Wednesday, Week II, Evening Prayer: READING: 1Peter 5:5b-11 (emphasis added, with commentary)

In your relations with one another, clothe yourselves with humility, because God “is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness.”  Bow humbly under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may lift you high.

“The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for youStay sober and alert.  Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, solid in your faith, realizing that the brotherhood of believers is undergoing the same sufferings throughout the world.

“…since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of FAITH and LOVE, and for a helmet the HOPE of SALVATION.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with Him.” (1Thess 5:8-10, emphasis added)

The God of all grace, who called you to His everlasting Glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish those who have suffered a little while

Dominion be His throughout the ages! Amen.

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

Index of Terms

Coming Soon: Chapter 7: Ransom Captive Israel

israel in exile

Revelation 7: 1-17, emphasis added

Revelation 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.  Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.’”

There is a lot of symbolism in this passage.  This passage is also the lead-in to a well know non-Christian group that believes that only 144,000 will be saved.  But before we become carried away with speculation, let us take this passage a verse at a time.

Model of the Temple of Jerusalem

Model of the Temple of Jerusalem

Reading “four angels…four corners of the earth is TEMPLE terminology.  Consider the following passage from Ezekiel 45:18-20…

Thus says the Lord GOD: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and the posts of the gate of the inner court.

You shall do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance; so you shall make atonement for the temple.”

The “four corners” refers to the altar on which sacrifice is made.  The temple is where the altar resides.  Therefore, the Ancient Israelites understood that as dwellers on earth they were in essence living in God’s Holy Temple, and by following His commandments, they were pouring “out their lives in sacrificial love” (Barber, 106) to Him who created them.

Thus, those who were living in this manner were then protected from the “four winds” for a brief period of time.  Until such a time as a seal could be placed on their foreheads (See footnote 2 for more insight). 

BUT FOR US, THIS SEAL ALREADY EXISTS… IT’S CALLED BAPTISM

Notice the miraculous appearance of the Rosary in this picture from Spain...

Notice the miraculous appearance of the Rosary in this picture from Spain…

 

The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental character or ‘seal’ by which the Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood and is made, a member of the Church according to different states and functions.

This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is INDELIBLE; it remains forever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.”

(CCC§1121, emphasis added…Guess that squelches another non-Christian practice of Mormons baptizing for others; not that they baptize correctly to begin with.)

CONTINUING…

Revelation 7:2 …another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God…

The “rising of the sun” gives the reader an idea of a great light coming upon the earth… sound familiar?

In Him was life, and the life was the LIGHT of men. The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:4-5)

Jesus Christ is that rising Light!  His birth, and later His death & resurrection, continues to bring that LIGHT to those who would believe in Him.  Now an angel comes with that seal of the Living God, “from the rising sun, to place that seal on the heads of the righteous.  As Barber points out…

The ‘sealing of the saints’ [comes] from Ezekiel 9”…

…where Ezekiel had the task of walking through Jerusalem which was steeped in pagan worship.  He was instructed to place a mark on the foreheads of all “who sigh or groan” at the sight of the abominations. 

These would be spared the coming chastisement when God’s angels would then pass through that same city and slay all who did not bare the mark – young or old, male or female. (See Barber, 106)

There is no pity on those who reject God.  They give the Lord no choice.  They ask for, and are granted, His divine wrath. 

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine...

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

A SMALL ASIDE…

When I originally read this chapter and took my notes in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I began to ask a question, which lead to a dialogue with my Savior…

We are reaping what we have sown, are we not O Lord?

You are indeed, My child.  Mankind has chosen himself as ‘creator’ and ‘redeemer’.  There is nothing more I can do to prevent his immediate demise.

And what about those who are returning to You with their whole hearts, desiring You with prayer and supplication?

They have pleased Me exceedingly.  But there are some sins which cannot be remitted.  Punishment for those sins will take place.  My Justice demands it.  Those who are in My friendship will see Me face to face.  And those whom I’ve called to remain, will remain surrounded by My LOVE.  They have nothing to fear, but they will see much.  To them say: PRAY! Pray! pray!… Col 4: 2-5

——————————————–

RETURNING TO THE CHAPTER…

So in other words, and Barber seems to agree with this, God will NEVER abandon His children.  Though they might see physical harm, it is the spiritual that is in reference here…

God protects His Church from a greater threat.  As Jesus said, ‘[D]o not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.’“(Mt 10:28). (Barber, 107)

THE MYSTERIOUS 144,000

Revelation 7:4-8 And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel,…twelve thousand of the tribe of Judah…of the tribe of Reuben…thousand of the tribe of Gad… of the tribe of Asher… of the tribe of Naphtali… of the tribe of Manasseh… of the tribe of Simeon… of the tribe of Levi…of the tribe of Issachar… of the tribe of Zebulun…of the tribe of Joseph… sealed out of the tribe of Benjamin.” (emphasis added)

FIRST… These ARE of the tribes of Israel not some RANDOM “great multitude” that will rule on earth.  We know this because John “later says that a ‘great multitude’ [are] in heaven [see] Rev 19:1.” (Barber, 108). 

Thus dispelling the claim of another non-Christian group – Jehovah’s Witnesses – that claim differently regarding the 144,000.  This also demonstrates their disregard for Sacred Scripture in their manipulation of it.

SECOND… There were assigned, by Christ, 12 Apostles (Judas Iscariot later to be replaced by Matthias, see Acts 1:26); representatives of the 12 Tribes of Israel (see Mt. 19:28), and will sit with Him to judge the nations. 

Now for a little basic multiplication: 12×12=144, and 12 x 12 x 1,000 = 144,000…

John seems to show that the twelve tribes are those restored in the Church, under the twelve apostles.  One thousand is a number symbolizing completeness.” (Ibid., emphasis added)

THIRD… the question is, “Are the 144,000 all Israelites?” or “does John see…the Church as the replacement of Israel?” (Ibid.) 

Are we talking in symbols again and this is something to represent God’s people?  Or what???  To answer this question, Barber takes us back into the OT promise – Israel’s restoration, beginning with a little early history of God’s Chosen People.

The HISTORY of ISRAEL … A BRIEF ONE

"And King David Ruled..."

“And King David Ruled…”

 

1000 BC: David rules all 12 Tribes

930 BC: The Northern Tribes break away and calls themselves: House of Israel or Ephraim; while the Southern Tribes are called the House of Judah (this is where the term “Jew” comes from, but more on that later.)

722 BC: Assyrians conquer the Northern Kingdom and carries them off to “scatter them among the nations”, and I might add, to never be seen again in Israel.

586 BC: Babylonians conquer the Southern Kingdom and carries them away BUT only to be in exile… one day they will return to their homeland.

538 BC: Southern Kingdom, the House of Judah, returns from exile and reestablishes the nation.

However, despite the Northern Kingdom disappearing from the face of the earth, Prophets often proclaimed that God would one day restore all of Israel:

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel [Northern Kingdom], and the house of Judah [Southern Kingdom]. (Jer 31:31… See also Is 11: 11-13, Jer 30:3, & Hos 11:8, 10-11)

PROPHECY AND PROMISE FULFILLED

"Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle..." Romans 1:1

“Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…” Romans 1:1

And how did God accomplish this?  By sending out one of His most stubborn and learned Jews in His service – the Apostle Paul! 

The conversion of Saul (aka Paul, see Acts 9) is a rightfully celebrated feast in the Church (celebrated this past Friday, Jan 25th), because this was the one man that Christ assigned to take the Gospel Message beyond the House of Judah and into the Gentile nations WHERE the LOST HOUSE OF Israel resides, see Acts 26:7.

Remember, they were scattered to the “four winds” of the earth with the Assyrian conquest, as was Assyria’s practice in those days when they conquered nations – Assimilate!  Desecrate the culture and make them take on your own.  It became Paul’s mission to preach to those wayward peoples that once belonged to the House of Israel.

For “Paul explains to the Romans how all of Israel would be saved:A hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved’, (Romans 11:25-26).  The restoration of the tribes represents the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Israel.” (Barber, 111, see Footnote 8 for more insight)

"...a great multitude which no man could number..."

“…a great multitude which no man could number…”

So this great multitude now has a face.  It’s not just a random 144,000 people who “got lucky” and were “saved”.  NO, it is the Gentiles and the Lost House of Israel that lives among them.  So when we read…

Revelation 7: 9-10 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (emphasis added)

We can clearly understand that this vision of John’s is truly the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore and save all Israel as well as those desiring to come along for the ride.

Remember the description in Revelation 5 when the Seven Seals were soon to be broken?  Remember the description of those who were present? 

Verse 5: “Weep not…the Lion of the tribe of Judah… has conquered…” Compare this with Rev 7:5 that begins with the “tribe of Judah”.  Revelation 5:6, “I saw a Lamb standing”; Revelation 7:9, “a great multitude…standing…before the Lamb”; Rev 5:9, “didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation”; Rev 7:9, “from all tribes and peoples and tongues”; Rev 5:12, “Saying with a loud voice ‘worthy is the Lamb…’ ”; Rev 7:10, “and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God…and to the Lamb! ” (see Barber, 112)

SO IF I WERE TO ASK YOU…

“Who are the 144,000 spoken of in John’s book of Revelation?” 

What would you answer? 

If you answer anything other than, “The Gentiles and the Lost House of Israel”, then you need to go back a read this all over again. 🙂

DidYouKnow

 INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT TIDBIT

Remember when I said something about the origin of the term “Jew”?  Well guess what!  Not all Israelites are Jews.

HUH? What do you mean?

That’s right!  Return to the small History lesson above.  Which house returns from exile? 

The House of Judah! 

Correct!  And history marks this as, “The return of the Jews to their homeland.”  So to be a Jew, you must come from the House of Judah – also known as Judahites. 

Those not from this house are, therefore, considered Non-Jews. Interesting, huh? 🙂

Oddly enough, this comes up again in Jesus’ time when His ministry brings Him to the people of the North, known as Samaritans …

The inhabitants of Samaria, a mixed [people] descended from intermarriage of Israelites and Assyrian colonists. The enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans was so great that travelers between Galilee and Judea often had to cross the Jordan into Peraea for safety. Pilate was deposed because of his severity to the Samaritans. In various uprisings [these people] was almost exterminated, and only a small remnant survives today.” (Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church CD-ROM, emphasis added)

This also further dispels erroneous opinions that this “lost tribe” settled in America somewhere.  Who comes up with these things??? … and why???

CONCLUSION

Revelation 7:13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’”

They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb”, their robes are WHITE, they “have come out of the great tribulation”, and these details are what WE have to pay attention to as they APPLY DIRECTLY to US!  How???  Very SIMPLE…

HOLINESS IS THE KEY!!!

"Resist the devil... solid in your faith..."

“Resist the devil… solid in your faith…”

If we seek after God in all things, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” then we will be satisfied beyond our wildest dreams, “and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Mt 6:33) 

The Prophet Daniel confirms this…

Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined…” (Dan 12:10)

And God shall reward His Faithful Children…

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat…” (Rev 7:16)

WHY? Because…

…the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and He will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:17)

The Prophet Isaiah wrote about this hundreds of years before Christ’s appearance when he spoke of Israel’s restoration and the salvation of the nations…

…they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for He who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them…for the Lord has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted.” (Is 49:10, 13b)

SO IN THESE LAST DAYS we NEED to SEEK after God’s HEART and desire the holiness that It contains, so that WE can BECOME HOLY as HE IS HOLY…

You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God AM HOLY.” (Lv 19:2b, emphasis added)

The promised restoration of Israel is also a promise to us in a RESTORATION of another kind – Healing!  Healing only begins when we seek after God with our whole hearts and come before Him sinful and sorrowful.

…just as God was able to save Israel, which seemed to be lost and forsaken…so too God is able to save any sinner – no matter how far he wanders away.” (Barber, 115…See also the Lk 15:11-32)

God does this through His Sacraments that He established through His Son, Jesus, while He was on this earth, and in particular, within the sacrament of Confession aka Reconciliation.

[St.] Thomas Aquinas explained that just as God uses ‘matter’ in all the sacraments to give grace – bread, wine, oil, etc. – in the sacrament of Confession, God transforms our very sins into vehicles of grace. [This grace] teaches us to hate sin even more…[so our] sins – now forgiven – bring us closer to God.” (Ibid.)

Because with each instance of forgiveness, grace flows, and unity with our Creator becomes a lived reality.  For as St. Paul tells us…

…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through the righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By NO MEANS! How can we who died to sin still live in sin?” (Romans 5:20b –6:1-2, emphasis added)

Don’t you know that when we are baptized – in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – we are “baptized into Christ Jesus” and therefore are also “baptized into His death?” 

Thus, with our baptism and death to sin we also experience the resurrection of Christ and the “glory of the Father” so that “we too might walk in newness of life.” (cf Romans 6:3-4)

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2Cor 5:17-18, emphasis added)

Seek ye first the Will of the Father and all these things will be given to you besides! (cf. Mt 6:33)

UpNext

Chapter 8: The Seven Trumpets and the Seventh Seal

Recommended Reading:

The Spiritual Desert
Understanding the Signs
What Does it Mean to be Reconciled?

Book Study:

Chapter 6 Part I and Part II

Chapter 5 Part I and Part II

Chapter 4: Part I: Revealing the Son of Man
Chapter 4: Part II: Coming on the Clouds

Chapter 3: Heavenly Liturgy and the Holy Mass

Chapter 2: 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture

From Mark Mallett:

A WARNING from the Past
Global Revolution
So, What Do I Do?

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Coming Soon: Chapter 6, Part II: Six of the Seven Seals

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 22, 2013

Umm..yeah...sure...

Umm..yeah…sure…

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Wednesday, Morning Prayer: Psalm 36 (emphasis added with commentary)

Ant. 1 : O Lord, in Your Light we see light itself

Sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart.  There is no fear of God before his eyes.  He so flatters himself in his mind that he knows not his guiltIn his mouth are mischief and deceit.  All wisdom is gone.He plots the defeat of goodness and he lies on his bed.  He has set his foot on evil ways, he clings to what is evil.

Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven; Your truth to the skies.  Your justices is like God’s mountain, Your judgments like the deep.  To both man and beast You give protection.  O Lord, how precious is Your love.  My God, the sons of men find refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

I TRUST completely in my God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  He will protect His faithful servants – has He not already done so by removing us from the presence of evil?

I TRUST in Him to continue to provide for all my needs: Physical as well as Spiritual

They feast on the riches of your house; they drink from the stream of Your delight.  In You is the source of life and in Your Light we see light.

Keep on loving those you know You, doing justice for the upright hears.  Let the foot of the proud not crush me nor the hand of the wicked cast me out.  See how evil-doers fall!  Flung down, they shall never arise.

Lord God, You ARE IN CHARGE.  Nothing has happened that you did not permit.  Strengthen your faithful servants in time of doubt and distress.  Keep us every mindful of YOUR FAITHFULNESS, may we ALWAYS SEEK Your perfect and Holy Will.  In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen.

Ant. 1 : O Lord, in Your Light we see light itself.

Index of Terms

"Seven Seals means this is a Covenant Document." Michael Barber

“Seven Seals means this is a Covenant Document.”       ~Michael Barber

THE SEVEN SEALS

Revelation 5: 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.

Did you know that the number seven – as well as meaning “completeness” and perfection” – is also used in covenant terms.  So when the scroll is “sealed with seven seals”, this would indicate that this scroll is a covenant document.  Barber reminds us that a Covenant is NOT THE SAME thing as a contract, and he reminds us of this for ONE VERY IMPORTANT REASON…

A CONTRACT = an exchange of goods and/or services between people

A COVENANT = the total giving of SELF, and in this case, the TOTAL GIVING of GOD to His people

A little Aside…

It’s this GIVING of SELF that makes the full understanding of Marriage so important.  When a MAN and a WOMAN stand before God to make a COVENANT with each other, they are in all reality GIVING of themselves TO ONE ANOTHER without holding anything back

This isn’t a means of “adult satisfaction”, as Bishop Thomas Paprocki said during a radio interview.  He continued to say that we are not here to just receive sexual and emotional satisfaction. 

“Marriage is meant to be an exclusive and permanent relationship between one man and one woman with the potential for life being present.” 

He also reminded us that Marriage is not man-made.  It is a matter of God’s Natural Law and therefore it not ours to change.

God in turn BLESSES this union with children and contentment that does not exist in the single state and CANNOT EXIST in a homosexual union.  The TOTAL GIVING which children can result is the EXACT GIVING that exists between the Three Persons of the Godhead – Procreative LOVE (Jn 1: 1-5).  Man with man and woman with woman can give nothing except sexual excess and unnatural relationships. PERIOD. 

On that note, I return to God’s TOTAL GIVING…

God GAVE HIMSELF when He established the NEW Covenant with NOTHING LESS than His OWN BODY and BLOOD (cf. Lk 22: 19-20), by becoming man (cf. Jn 1: 1-3, 14), and taking on our sins (cf. 1Peter 2:24), so that He could bring us back to the Father (cf. Jn 14:6)

Covenants, therefore, involve the forging of a bond that is so strong that it forms FAMILY TIES [cf. Gal 3: 27-29; Rom 8:14-17], making sons and daughters, husbands and wives… In this we see that what God does reflects who God IS.” (Barber, 89, emphasis added)

And it is in Christ that these covenants are fulfilled: that is man’s original calling to DIVINE SONSHIP – Lk 3:38; 2Sam 7:14; and Adam’s calling to be A PRIEST-KING – Gen 2:15; Ps 1104.  Christ – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Divine Godhead – in fulfilling these covenant callings opens wide the doors to the New Covenant:

The Davidic covenant is an earthly blueprint of how God planned to fulfill His promises of old, as the nations come to know Yahweh through the son of David.” (Ibid.)

God made a promise to Abraham and to his descendants – Gen 22:18; Ps 72:17; He called them to be a priestly-nationEx 4:22, 19:6; Ps 89:27, 110:4. (See Barber, 90)

Therefore only He can break open the Seven Seals (covenant bearing scroll; Rev 5:5), bringing God’s covenant design to completion and coming together in the sacrifice of the Cross…

...an offering of sinas a lamb that is lead to the slaughter. (Barber, 91; see Isaiah 53:10, 7)

Revelation 6: 1-8

Revelation 6: 1-8

THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SIX SEALS: THE FOUR HORSEMEN

Is it true that DISOBEDIENCE produces discontentment and trouble?  I think a resounding “YES” is the answer.  The breaking of the Seals are none other than a result of DISOBEDIENCE from the children of God who have BROKEN His commandments.  The BREAKING of the seals IS our DISOBEDIENCE.

Revelation 6: 1-8 speak of the first four seals, each accompanied by a horse and its rider.  Did you know, you can find its sister-passage in the Old Testament book of the Prophet Zechariah?  It’s true!  Zechariah 6: 1-8, gives an account of four horseman – ridden by God’s angles – ready to go out to the four corners of the earth.

These horsemen are sent out to enact God’s judgment and the…

“…havoc they wreak seems to summarize the curses that Moses warned Israel would be triggered if they broke the covenant and were unfaithful to the Lord God. (Barber, 93-94, see also Lev 26: 14-28; Deut 28: 15-68)

This returns us to chapter four – How John Sees the Son of Man.  Do you remember the prophecy that was contained within (Isaiah 11:4 & Lev 26:25)?  See how Leviticus reappears when talking about the consequences of DISOBEDIENCE against the commands of God.  They who turn away from God (America especially) WILL HAVE the covenant curses upon them!  What are they?

Plagues and starvation (Lv 26:16), slavery and terror (Lv 26: 16-17), crop failures (Lv 26:20), sudden terror from wild animals (Lv 26:22), desolation of population (Ibid.), war (Lv 26:25) and pestilence in the large cities (Ibid.), when food is available it will NOT satisfy (Lv 26:26). 

But these are not the worst of the judgment!  If unrepentance continues, the last and final curse will be so terrible it will seem surreal to those remaining!  Read and PAY ATTENTION, for this is the fulfillment of Rev 16, as the cups of God’s Wrath are poured out as the final means of chastisement for our wayward and stubborn hearts…

And if in spite of this you will not harken to Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I will walk contrary to you in FURY, and CHASTISE you myself SEVENFOLD for your sins.

You shall eat the flesh of your sonsand your daughters

And I WILL DESTROY your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and CAST YOUR DEAD BODIES upon the dead bodies of your idols; and My soul WILL ABHOR you. 

And I will LAY YOUR CITES WASTE, and will make your sanctuaries desolate,…

…and I will DEVASTATE THE LAND, so that your enemies who settle it shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter your among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you; and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be waste.

(Lev 26: 27-33, emphasis added)

If that suggests to you that the coming of these four horsemen are just a taste of the chastisement still to come, you would be right!  What we are going to see in Revelation 6 is only a shadow of what is to come if mankind does not repent of this PRESENT evil.

InJD…

Jesus warns His disciples ahead of time as to what would occur, and it matches up exactly with what John witnessed in Heaven, which then further match up with the warning from Leviticus:

Mt 24 & Rev 6:

Wars (Mt 24:6; Rev 6:1-2); International Strife (Mt 24:7a; Rev 6:2-4); Famine (Mt 24:7b; Rev 6:5-6); Persecutions (Mt 24:9-13; Rev 6:9-11), and Earthquakes & de-creation (Mt 24:7c, 15-31; Rev 6:12-17).

These same passages are found in Mark’s and Luke’s gospels thus making the similarities beyond coincidence. (See Barber, 95; see also footnote 24)

InOD

To say that the same is NOT occurring in our day would be plain ignorant!  History is known for its repetitiveness and especially when mankind is so foolish as to make the same mistakes.  So as we read, knowing that these things occurred in John’s Day, so too will they repeat themselves – in some form or another – in our day.  Nothing can be more certain of that!

Deceit

FIRST SEAL: DECEIT!

Revelation 6:1-2 The appearance of the first horse and rider: “And I saw…a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

An interesting thought concerning this passage, Barber brings it up in his book as well.  We know from the Catechism passage that all of this chaos will proceed the lawless one… Do you remember this passage from the Catechism?

“The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquityin the form of a religious deception…” (Excerpt, CCC§675, emphasis added)

Notice how similar verse 2 sounds to Rev 19:11…

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.”

I said similar because in Rev 19:11, we are TOLD this is the Son of God, Jesus, who IS Faithful and True.  But the rider in Rev 6:2, had no such description attached to him. Leading us to conclude that he’s certainly not the same person, but MADE TO LOOK like the same person.  And for those who cannot tell the difference, they will probably follow along blindly thinking he is the Christ…

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible even the elect.” (Mt 24: 23-24)

“offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truthby which man glorifies himself in place of God and of His Messiah come in the flesh.” (Excerpt, CCC§675, emphasis added)

There is nothing remarkable about him. He is simply one of the four. Therefore, this should probably be understood in terms of a ‘false Messiah’, who comes before Christ and leads people astray.” (Barber, 96)

War

SECOND SEAL – WAR!

He rides out to conquer… which means then the second horseman will…

And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword.” (Rev 6:4)

Do you feel like a second Civil War/Revolution is coming, both for the United States and for the world at large?  If you haven’t already read Mark’s post on the subject, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT…

InJD…

Revolution and Civil unrest was almost the norm and caused concern in more than one quarter…

Josephus recounts how civil unrest abounded at this time in Palestine, as Romans, Jews, Syrians, and others broke out in violence against each other.  Likewise, Roman historians report that civil unrest in Rome was so great, it was thought that Rome itself would collapse and be conquered.(Barber, 96; sound familiar – Gaza strip, 2014?)

Famine

THIRD SEALFAMINE!

Revelation 6:5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!’

This passage is chock-full of meaning!  First, the “balance in his hand”, is a common reference from the Old Testament in that it was the instrument of choice for measuring out food purchased in the market places.  AND, it is also a symbol for famine.  As Barber explains…

since it is then that food needs to be carefully weighed and measured out, as the price of it skyrockets” (Barber, 97)

Sound familiar?  Notice how high food prices are today for the basic commodities?  And this is only the beginning!

‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius’, represents this kind of superinflation. These prices translate to mean that a whole day’s work would only earn enough bread to last one man for one day.” (Ibid.)

Anyone remember their history?  This was the EXACT SAME situation in Germany just before the NAZI party took over… 

The year 1923 was one of crisis for the republic. In January French and Belgian troops occupied the highly industrialized Ruhr area because of German defaults on reparations payments. The Weimar government responded by calling upon the Ruhr population to stop all industrial activity.

The government also began printing money at such a rate that it soon became virtually worthless; by the fall of 1923, wheelbarrows were needed to carry enough currency for simple purchases as inflation reached rates beyond comprehension.

In 1914 US$1 had equaled 4 marks. By mid-1920, US$1 was worth 40 marks, by early 1922 about 200 marks, a year later 18,000 marks, and by November 1923 — 4.2 trillion marks. In addition, the country was racked by strikes, paramilitary street violence, and rumors of planned uprisings by both the left and the right. In August, in the midst of this chaos, President Ebert asked Gustav Stresemann, head of the DVP, to form a new government to resolve the crisis.”

(Germanculture.com; found 1/15/13, scroll to end of page)

Now, if my readers here in America do not see that this is happening RIGHT NOW in our country, all I can say is, WAKE UP!!!

Back to scripture and its layers of meaning…

Because Oil and wine are “not to be harmed”, the reader can understand that there is a time limit on this famine.  Specifically, wheat is traditionally “harvested during Pentecost ” in John’s day, “during the spring harvest ”.  While oil and wine were usually harvested much later during “the Feast of Booths”.  Thus we can determine that, “the famine is severe but does not last the whole year.” (Barber, 97, emphasis added)

Barber also points out the significance of oil and wine not affected as these are the elements used in the sacramental life of the church.  Thus the Sacraments will remain untouched…for now.  Remember the warning in Leviticus:

And I will LAY YOUR CITES WASTE, and will make your sanctuaries desolate,…

And this very truth will appear later in John’s Revelation, chapter 16…

Death

THE FOURTH SEAL …DEATH

 Revelation 6: 8 “And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

Barber shares some extra insight here…

The color of this horse, usually translated ‘pale’, is chloros in Greek… It is better translated ‘green’ and should probably be understood in terms of a sickly color.” (Barber, 97)

Okay, so with the rider known as “Death and Hades”, and since it’s given power to “kill with the sword and famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts” a fourth of the earth… Hey!  Is any of this sounding familiar?

Plagues and starvation (Lv 26:16), slavery and terror (Lv 26: 16-17), crop failures (Lv 26:20), sudden terror from wild animals (Lv 26:22), desolation in population (Ibid.), war (Lv 26:25) and pestilence in the large cities (Ibid.), when food is available it will NOT satisfy (Lv 26:26).”

We can clearly say that this rider brings DEATH without a doubt.  I read recently where there is a show titled, 1000 Ways to Die, and though I have no intention of watching it, I think right here we have more than one way that DEATH will visit the wayward children of God – believers and unbelievers alike.  The righteous and unrighteous… for ALL will experience these in one way or another.  Not to mention the chaos and civil unrest that comes with it.

Mt 24:21

Mt 24:21

InJD…

Jewish historian Josephus wrote about Jerusalem during this time, just before the Roman’s sacked the city…

The madness of the seditious did also increase with their famine, and both those miseries were every day inflamed more and more; for there was no corn … robbers came running into and searched men’s private houses… a table was nowhere laid for a distinct meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked, and ate it very hastily.” (Barber, 98)

Not a pretty picture.  Things were becoming worse for these people and insanity seemed to be the run of the day.  Death was released upon the stubborn people, and intrinsic evil seemed to rule the day.  How much like TODAY this is and will continue to BECOME…

Communion of Saints...

Communion of Saints…

FIFTH SEAL: SAINTS AND THEIR BLOOD

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne

Question: Besides including the thousands of Christians who have laid down their lives for Christ in the past decades, and those Christians who TODAY are doing the same in Syria, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East; could not this also apply to those UNBORN CHILDREN who also have NO SAY in their death.  Who have been brutally MURDERED while in their mother’s womb by burning (saline) or drawn and quartered (they do pull off the limbs and suck them out one at a time).  Could not their blood be added to this cry?

Revelation 6: 10they cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before Thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?’ 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

I ask this question because they are “under the altar”. The altar of ??? you might ask.

Well, in the Temple the altar is where the sacrifice of animals took place for the sins of the people (Lev 9:8), so it stands to reason these souls who have been slain – that is have in essence “offered their lives in sacrifice to God”  – would be under His mighty altar. 

This IS MY BODY...

This IS MY BODY…

THE SAME ALTAR where the Lamb who was slain re-presents Himself over and over to the Father for us, His children…

But here’s the really important part…  If the number of those slain for the love of Christ needs to reach a certain number – and the 50+million murdered babies isn’t enough to suffice – how much MORE will the severity of God’s wrath be when the numbers ARE COMPLETE?! 

John learns that these saints must wait until ‘the full number’ of martyrs is killed, illustrating that God is holding back His judgment, which will eventually be poured out all at once [coming later in the bowls of Rev 16] .” (Barber, 99, emphasis added)

Revelation 6:17 says…

“…for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?

speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a Just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day!  Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrathThe angels tremble before it” (St. Faustina Diary, excerpt No. 635)

"Adoration of the Lamb" By Jan van Eyck (1390-1441)

“Adoration of the Lamb” By Jan van Eyck (1390-1441)

THE SIXTH SEAL: THE WRATH OF THE LAMB

Revelation 6:12 When He opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; 14 the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

And not one soul will be able to hide from this judgment…

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb’” (Rev 6:15-16)

InJD…

If you remember the story in Luke of the Magi searching for the Babe (Mt 2: 1-12) they were paying attention to what was going on in God’s Heavens.  The ancients were avid watchers of the heavens, and why not?  They didn’t have any modern lighting – as we do now – to block their view. 

Besides, what else would they be looking at as they lay on their roofs during the hot nights of summer and fall?  The heavens and all the stars within were part of their world.

So to have the heavens shaken, “sun became black” and the “full moon became like blood”, while the “stars of the sky fell”, and the “sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up”, is just as good as saying “you’re time is up!”  (see Barber 99, 100; Is 34:4)

Another Aside…

Did you know there was a blood moon after Christ’s crucifixion (See Lk 23:44-45, NAB), because there was a solar eclipse at that sixth hour?  Whenever there’s a solar eclipse the moon rising will always be “blood red”.  So you can bet, whenever that happened, ancient people took that as a BAD OMEN.

Back to business…

Withevery mountain and island…removed from its placeJohn tells us what I said above and what Barber says below…

 “…there will be no place left to hide… ‘Mountains’ and ‘islands’ were places of refuge during troubled times…Therefore those who ‘hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains’ will also be judged.” (Barber, 100)

While there is still a little time left:

Get to Confession!  Participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass with your whole heart, free from sin, and eager to receive Christ in the Eucharist! 

Because the Holy Mass…

this WORSHIP is powerful AND effective…Ultimately, the Mass IS the ANSWER to all the world’s problems – not politics, not government programs, NOT social action.  In the Mass, we truly go to battle.  As we reverse the sin of Adam and offer ourselves in the life-giving LOVE with the Lamb who was slain, we DEFEAT the devil, who seeks to enslave us through the selfishness of sin.” (Barber, 101, emphasis added)

And boy, hasn’t Satan done a good job of that?!  Get to Confession and REPENT!!!  Please heed the warning… Our TIME is SHORT!!!

UpNext

Coming up Next…

Chapter 7, Ransom Captive Israel

Recommended Reading:

Chapter 6 Part I

Chapter 5 Part I and Part II

Chapter 4: Part I: Revealing the Son of Man
Chapter 4: Part II: Coming on the Clouds

Chapter 3: Heavenly Liturgy and the Holy Mass

Chapter 2: 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture

From Mark Mallett:

Images Moving Hearts
The Hard Truth Part V
A WARNING from the Past

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