Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

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?

Advertisements

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: