Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Coming Soon… Chapter 10: What about the Wicked?

"The days are coming, says the Lord..."

“The days are coming, says the Lord…”

SO WHAT ABOUT THE WICKED?

Rev 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water.”

Judgment, proclamation, and the preaching of the Gospel… but it is “a gospel that the people reject” thus bringing judgment upon themselves. This passage then connects directly with the Prophet Isaiah:

“…who first coined the term ‘Gospel’ or ‘good news’

In Isaiah 61:1, 2, he speaks of the Spirit of the Lord anointing his head and giving him the job of proclaiming the gospel in “good tidings to the afflicted” and to “proclaim liberty to the captives”, but also to proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God” which strikes terror to the hearts of the unrighteous. To the righteous it is salvation, deliverance. To the other it is condemnation and judgment. But as Barber is quick to point out:

“It should be no surprise that this angel brings judgment. This angel is spoken of in the same terms used to describe the angel who announced the three woes in Rev 8:13.” (Barber, 182-3)

When one looks at that passage, one should also notice the similar language used: Loud voice, fly midheaven, and directing their message to unbelievers. And where do these unbelievers reside? In Jerusalem, of course! Because this book we now have was originally written for John’s audience in his day, and 70AD is fast approaching. In fact:

“Jerusalem is given the title, ‘Babylon’, the name of the most wicked cities in the Old Testament.” (Barber, 183)

John’s letter continues the next verse with (Rev 14:8): Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion.”

Note the similarities in this next section between Ancient Jerusalem (InJD) and these United States today:

“Jerusalem was to be the capital city of God’s holy people, acting as God’s light to the nations. In failing in her vocation, the inhabitants of Jerusalem scandalize the people of the world, giving them an example they shouldn’t follow. As Jesus taught, ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’(Mt 18:6).(Barber, 183)

The United States founders were religious men who believed in the Father of all Creation and in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. They wrote our founding documents with their faith clearly spelled out in black and white, leaving no room for doubt that they were indeed Christian men. Even George Washington himself consecrated America to God and His service the day of his inauguration. (See first presentation of America’s Judgment).

Since then, the United States has become the largest exporter of Murder of the unborn, pornography, and now homosexuality seen as “normal”. We have become what Jerusalem was before its destruction. We are as the scripture reads:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion.” Rev 14:8

Now, if this lead to Jerusalem’s end, what makes us think the same will not happen? Once we were a “land of the free and home of the brave”, a place of refuge for those persecuted and downtrodden. Yet now we have become worse than those countries from which our ancestors fled. Persecution of those who hold to the truth has begun. Babylon will fall!

“The words of the angel also recall Isaiah 21:9. There the prophet describes the fall of Babylon in terms of the destruction of its idols. In a certain sense, the temple itself has become an object of idolatry for those who choose it over Christ, the true Temple.” (Barber, 183)

How many in this country have placed the football dome/field above Christ’s dwelling place as their place of worship on Sundays? How many of our school children are prevented from reading their bibles in school on their own time? How often have we placed our government about the only true governance of the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Babylon will fall!

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great…”

It has already occurred in God’s eyes, therefore we cannot avoid it. So what will be the fate of those who have chosen a lesser god in place of the only true God? It’s not pretty…

Rev 14:9-10 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of His anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

Sounds like fun, huh? “Tormented with fire and sulfur” “drink the wine of God’s wrath”Yeah, sounds like what I want to experience for all eternity… NOT! But that is what will happen to those who continue to reject God and His mercy and choose instead the things of this world and its false gods promoting all kinds of un-natural behavior as “normal”?

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

“Forever and ever” are the words we read. This means it will never ever end, and those who make this their future will be in torment always!

Does this mean those who hold to God’s Word will have smooth-sailing during this time? Not likely, and we already know both from History and from our current events that those who choose God will need to prove their faith by enduring persecution from those who have rejected the Faith.

Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

But this isn’t a punishment! It’s in fact, a TRUE BLESSING! What’s the goal of every human being on this planet? To get home to our true home, yes? Well, by having our faith tested even to the point of death is a ONE WAY TICKET HOME!

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

 

This IS MY BODY...

This IS MY BODY…

I pray daily and offer part of my Eucharist for those who are dying for the Love of Christ at the hands of the modern Assyrians. I pray for their strength, their joy, and their confidence that in the next moment they’ll be in the arms of Love Who will say to them,

“Well and good, faithful servant! Enter into My kingdom where I have prepared a place for you.” (see Jn 14:2-3)

“Actual victory is found not in earthly vindication, but in entering into God’s Triune life in heaven.” (Barber, 189)

For those of us not called to that type of martyrdom, we certainly are called to the martyrdom of “dying to self ” because we know the TRUTH and that TRUTH calls us to:

“…live every day, every moment, of [our] lives…as an offering to [God] the Lord… [and] learn to die to [our] own selfish desires and be transformed according to the Will of Christ.” (Barber, 185)

It’s in this daily practice that we too can enter into the victory of the saints:

“[We] recognize that this world is not meant to be our home… It is very tempting to evaluate our success by this world’s standards… Christians must always be on guard. [We] must avert [our] vision from the deceptive beauty of the harlot (Babylon) and look down to see the beast she is riding on.” (Barber, 189, 190)

One excellent way is through mortification. The refraining from or giving up of something we particularly enjoy doing or consuming. But here is the key to making this act as effective as possible: It MUST be done out of PURE LOVE.

By that I mean we don’t say, “What’s in it for me?” or “Oh, if I do this then I gain that.” No. Such an act is not mortification for the sake of your soul’s salvation. Instead it is just another act of selfishness with a thin disguise of charity.

Such acts will be revealed for what they are especially when we stand in the presence of Him who is the LIGHT. As St. Josemaría Escríva remind us:

“Where there is not mortification, there is no virtue.”

“Mortification is the practice of making small sacrifices to God in an effort to, as [St] Paul said, to put to death the desires of the flesh (cf. Gal 5:24).” (Barber, 185)

  • Maybe turn off the TV for a week in order to purify your mind from the daily junk and make that an act of mortification.
  • Maybe spend some extra time in daily prayer and/or reading of the Sacred Scriptures?
  • If you’re a fan of microwave popcorn, maybe choose not to purchase any for the next month and make this an act of mortification.

When your body craves the foods you have given up (and it will), take that craving and offer it back to God asking Him to apply it to the Kingdom. Little things like this, when offered with Love behind them, can have a huge impact in the Kingdom and in your own soul.

“…at a Spiritual level, this points to Christ’s calling to love Him more than oneself. This is expressed through small sacrifices.” (Barber, 185)

When we look at Rev 14: 14- 15:8, it speaks of the judgment of man by the Son of Man with the help of His angels firstly upon Jerusalem – as again this pertains to John’s Day.

But then secondarily to us as we face our need for His saving mercy as God pours out His judgment on a “stiff-neck people” and “faithless generation” that we have become.

And since God’s wrath will affect both the righteous and the unrighteous, we – as believers – need to be always ready, always desiring to be in a state of grace, always vigilant against the attacks of Satan and his dominions.

“In Chapters 13-15, God allows Christians to be killed by the beast. They suffer and die with no recognizable deliverance. Does this mean that goodness has been defeated? No. … By [offering] their lives, the saints are truly victorious – perhaps not in the eyes of this passing world – [because] their victory is real and eternal.” (Barber, 189)

When we embrace Christ’s calling to be holy as My Father in heaven is holy (cf. 1Peter 1: 14-16), then we, too, will experience a kind of martyrdom and thus His VICTORY! We need to be Holy in that we seek to always do the Will of the Father, above and beyond our own will. In this we will live in Holiness – which is not, I do stress, NOT the human idea of “perfection”.

WHAT IS HOLINESS? How will we recognize it?

Holiness will contain humility, lowliness, and a love for neighbor that will fulfill Christ’s commandment completely (see. Mt 22:39). Something every Christian should desire with their whole heart and then strive to do.

“So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” (James 2: 17-18).

Up Next: Chapter 11: When He Reigns He Pours (I just love Barber’s puns!)

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