Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘coming soon’

Coming Soon: Chapter 10… A Brief Look Back

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 11, 2015

How are those prayers coming for the 54 day novena coming?

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“Each year, more than 1 million abortions are performed in the U.S. Not only that, but one could argue that the United States, more than any other country in the world, has contributed to the international spread of abortion… as murder, abortion is a sin that cries out to God for punishment (see Gen 4:10). Making matters worse, it involves the murder of a completely innocent and helpless child by the will of [their] own parents.

“It’s a wonder, then, that the United States…still exists! I suggest that the only reason we haven’t been wiped off the face of the earth is because, again, now is a time of mercy. Truly, God is showing unbelievable restraint and mercy. He’s giving us some time to REPENT and CRY OUT for mercy… eventually something has to give…There’s a reason Mary is on the move, leading the second greatest push for her consecration here in America.” (Fr. Michael Gaitley, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, pg 184, emphasis added by me.)

We have sinned and are in bondage to our sin...

We have sinned and are in bondage to our sin…

A RETURN TO A FAMILIAR NUMBER – 144,000

Rev 14: 1 Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

A quick review of the number – 144,000 from Revelation chapter 7, verses 4-8, and Barber p108:

The number is the representation of the lost tribes of Israel who live in the Gentile lands thanks to the first dispersal of the people when judgment fell on the Northern kingdoms of Israel back in the 722BC by Assyria. And though in 587BC Babylon took the South, with Babylon, captives were taken and thus a remnant few were able to return some 40+ years later to rebuild Jerusalem. The North never did return and it is them whom the 144,000 represent. But as we’ve said before, the Bible has layers of meaning which is why a literal translation is often not possible. So, here is a new layer of meaning to that same number.

HISTORICAL

IJD – Jerusalem is about to be leveled by the Roman legions because the occupants of the land have abased themselves to a degree of wretchedness that only God’s judgment can purify.

Yet at the same time, not all of the people were in this sad state. There were still those who adhered to the Message of the Messiah and lived out the Law – of which the Messiah, Jesus, was the fulfillment of. This re-mention of the 144,000 reminds the reader that:

“…not all have bowed to the beast and received his image. Some are marked with the sign of the Lamb.” (Barber, 178)

So let’s get really specific here. Who are these new representatives and what clues do we have in the text to give us this answer? Let us read on, dear friends!

Rev 14:2-3 And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.

 

Rev 6:9

multitudes before the throne of God ~source: Google Images

Music playing, voices raised in song and praise, before the THRONE of God, surrounded by His “four living creatures” and the “elders” – which we know from Sacred Scripture are the 12 Apostles (see Mt 19:28).

So they are celebrating “something” before the THRONE of God with the Bishops and Angels… HOLY MASS! That must mean these are no ordinary folks, and actually the verse does say:

“No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand”

This would make perfect sense if one examines the Traditional form of the Mass – the Latin form – because there are parts that only the priest says and only he knows what he says. The rest of us are not privy to those specific parts.

In the new form of the Mass, the same does still apply to special parts that only the priest says, but thanks to (bad/good) formation in Seminary, we do often hear what he is saying and are now in a way “privy” to what the priest alone says.

Regardless, the passage points in that direction that this new segment of the “number” are set aside for priestly duties. But let’s read on before we jump to conclusions…

Rev 14:4a It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste;

A clear definition of masculine virginity… okay, another point for them being priests…

Rev 14:4b it is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes;

They are true followers of Christ… another point…

Rev 14:4c …these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.

They are the “first fruits” and “spotless”, set apart for God’s purposes? Sure sounds like it. Oh, then, Consecrated = spotless, set apart, made sacred for God alone… Kind of like a fulfillment of the Mosaic Law:

“All male children who open the womb the first time shall be consecrated to God.” ~Exodus 13:1-2

 

The Apocalypse: "the book of the heavenly liturgy...standard for [Church's] own liturgy." ~Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), "The Spirit of the Liturgy", c.2000.

The Apocalypse: “the book of the heavenly liturgy…standard for [Church’s] own liturgy.” ~Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, c.2000.

Male and chaste, set aside for God, redeemed from mankind, spotless and worshiping before the THRONE of God… that clinches it!

“This, therefore, depicts the Church as the ‘kingdom of priests’ established by Christ. This image is further strengthened by the fact that they are given the role of the Levitical priests, who sang in the temple of God.”

Not only that, but the passage also further suggests in keeping with the Mosaic Law:

“…the saints are called the ‘first fruits’. In the Old Testament the first fruits were to be an offering to the Lord (cf. Ex 34:26). Those who ‘have been redeemed’ have offered themselves to God as a sacrificial offering.” (Barber, 180)

So this new part of the 144,000 remnant few fulfill the Davidic set-up where David established the priesthood of his kingdom – a prefigurement to the Kingdom of Christ (see Lk 1:31-33) – where there were twenty-four divisions of priests to serve AND sing in the temple (see 1Chron 24-25; Barber, 84).

ON THE TOPIC OF PRIESTLY CELIBACY

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the celibate priesthood and whether or not the Church should follow suit with the Protestant churches and allow her priests to marry.

I just like to point out a few obvious things: First: It was the forefathers of the Protestant churches that broke away from the ONLY Church Christ established – the Universal (Catholic) Church. Therefore, they are currently in heresy, and Christ promised that His church would never fall into heresy (cf. Mt 16:18c).

Second: It was Jesus Himself who established the celibate priesthood:

Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed You.” …

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you… everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, or fathers and mothers or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundred fold, and inherit eternal life. ~Mt 19:27, 28a, 29

Many of the Apostles had families, businesses and property. Peter certainly stands out as example of this since we read that Jesus used his house in Capernaum as His base of operations while He preached. And that during that time Jesus even healed Peter’s mother-in-law from what reads like a high fever (cf. Mt 8:14-15), to which she was so grateful that she waited on Him. The next verse tells of people bringing their sick to Peter’s house so that Jesus might cure them.

Remember the story of the paralytic who was lowered on a stretcher through a roof ? That was Peter’s roof they dismantled (see Mk 2:1-12)! So those who had families, they left their families to follow after Jesus. They did not marry new wives and begin new families. They remained chaste and many died a martyr’s death.

Third: “Christ Himself foretold of the ministry of celibate men in the Church saying, ‘there are some who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom” (Mt 19:12). Eunuchs were usually entrusted with the wives of the king in the ancient world (cf. Esther 2:14). Following this tradition, Catholic priests remain celibate, as to them the Bride of Christ, the Church, is especially entrusted. (Barber, 181; see also Lk 18:28-29 and 1Cor 7)

This brings up a final point, not related to Celibacy, but more to do with the priesthood:

Jesus did not establish this priesthood with any of the women who also followed Him. And there were quite a number of women, as Luke’s Gospel account tells us, who did follow Jesus as He preached:

…and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out [incidentally, this proves she was not the woman caught in adultery in Matthew’s Gospel.] and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for them [Jesus and the 12, see verse 1] out of their means. ~Lk 8:2-3 (emphasis added)

A woman is not a man, and cannot be “a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom”, therefore, women cannot be priests. And those who are have joined the ranks of the heretics and may God have mercy on their souls! And woe to those priests who have traded their priestly celibacy to engage in adultery and/or sodomy. Your souls are also in grave jeopardy. But I digress…

 

"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

HEAVEN’S WARRIORS

These celibate men, set aside for God, have also another connection with Ancient Israel in her soldiers. According to Leviticus 15:16; Deut 23:10; 1Sam 21:5; 2Sam 11:11, soldiers who were to go into battle were forbidden to have sexual relations, they had to remain chaste if Israel were to have success on the battlefield. And like these soldiers:

“…the saints in heaven…represent God’s arm, which fights against the enemy on earth through the celebration of the heavenly liturgy. The prayers of the saints effect the judgments from God that are then sent to destroy the enemy.” (Barber, 181)

Continue Reading… So what about the wicked?

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Coming Soon Chapter 10…The Creation of Beasts, Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 8, 2015

Rev 6:2; Rev 13

Rev 6:2; Rev 13

And Now it begins… A MUST READ before delving into this read as Mark and I, once again, almost parallel in our writings.

A profound thought…

Gen 1:24 says, “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds; cattle and creeping things & beasts of the earth according to their kinds,’ and it was so… And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them [plural – male and female] have dominion over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’… And it was so… And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and morning, a sixth day.”

Mankind was made a little less than God…

What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.” ~Ps 8:4-5

That means what it says, God gave sovereignty to mankind over His creation allowing mankind to essentially “rule” creation. To aid him in this duty and responsibility, God gives mankind the Angels of heaven to serve and help man in this endeavor.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For He will give you His angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.” ~Ps 91: 9-12

"How you have fallen from heaven..."

“How you have fallen from heaven…”

Now, who was Satan? Was he not an angel? Did he not have the privilege of being in the presence of God? Of course he was and did! So, that would mean that Lucifer – when he was an angel of light – would have to do as the other angels of light did… Serve mankind! …Keep man’s feet from stumbling… Do what he can to keep mankind safe…

Not only that, he would have eventually had to WORSHIP the God-Man, Jesus. I think this may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. For Satan would have none of it. No service to mankind, and definitely NO WORSHIPING the God-man. So his war against mankind began in earnest with his determination to NEVER serve or worship any man, God-man or man, ever!

Now war broke out in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.” ~Rev 12:7-8

And [Jesus] said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven… ~Luke 10:18

Conversely…

The ‘beast’ is a symbol of sinful humanity. Adam [and Eve] were created on the sixth day with the ‘beasts’(Gen 1:24-31). God set up the seventh day as the goal towards which Adam was to strive… to enter into God’s rest. [But] by failing to choose God’s ways, Adam remained in the ‘sixth day’ … the day of the beast, and… the number of the beast … At the most basic level, “beast” symbolizes man’s falleness. (Barber, 169)

Which is why Sacred Scripture is applicable to all times and eras. But we do need to REMEMBER, that John wrote his apocalypse for the readers of his day, so now we must also look at the historical application.

Two Prophets of God - One Message...

Two Prophets of God – One Message…

Revelation 13: 1-3,And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems upon its horns and a blasphemous name upon its heads. And the beast that I saw [singular] was like a leopard, its feet were like a bears, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder. (emphasis added)

INJD: First thing to note is John’s use of the Prophet Daniel’s passages that will concern the four beasts that will over-take Israel in the days preceding the Messiah. Thus,the Beast seen here is a combination of all the Beasts seen by Daniel.”(Barber, 170, cf. Dan 7:4-7)

We also know that it is not yet Satan himself, but a mere representation of, in that he rises out of the sea…Remember the biblical term of “sea” represents the Gentile nations; and receives his power and authority from the great dragon, who is Satan.

This [also] shows the beast as an instrument of the devil – a kind of demonic agent.” (Ibid.)

Further, the four beasts were a sign to Daniel of the four nations who would come to oppose Israel: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and [Ancient] Rome. This beast in Revelation signifies [Ancient] Rome.” (Barber, 171)

**For a full description see: Dan 7:4/ Rev 13:2; Dan 7:5/ Rev 13:2; Dan 7:6/ Rev 13:2; Dan 7:7/ Rev 13:1** (See Chart in book)

Continuing INJD: This particular passage had a great significance for the Jews and Christians at this time. There was a great persecution of both, though the Christians more widely so throughout the Roman Empire, under the Emperor Nero – who was known to be ‘not all there’. Remember the history, he set fire to the city of Rome and then blamed it on the Christians in 68 AD, and there are far more documented behaviors of him that would make Hitler blush (see Barber, pp 5-6).

Further, Nero was the 6th king in the line of Caesars, and his name in Hebrew was 666. But if that’s not enough to make a person shake, the final connection regards a part in the passage that states:

Rev 13: 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder.”

One of the heads seemed to have a mortal wound...

One of the heads seemed to have a mortal wound…

Nero killed himself in 68AD by running a sword through himself (yuck!) thus:

the Julian line ended when Nero killed himself… this threw the Empire into chaos and a state of civil wars.” (Barber, 172)

Even though the “head ” of the Julius Caesar had received “a mortal wound ”:

the Empire recovered with the rise of Vespasian, regained its stability, and continued its dominance of the ancient world.” (Ibid)

Which confirms the second part of that verse:

“…but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder.

So picture it. The leader, the most gruesome of the Caesars kills himself sending the Roman Empire into chaos and what one would logically conclude to be the end of the empire. Yet the empire revives itself and becomes even stronger than before. An exaggeration? Not even close! In fact, for the ancient world it was an odd miracle that the Empire did not die but strengthened, including in its persecution of the Church. Which is why we read next…

Rev 13:4 “Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’”

This further aligns with the pagan world-view that the Roman Empire could be considered something of a ‘god’ since it seemed to be undefeatable. Thus any good pagan would want to stay on the “good-side” of such a beast, and state worship was the result. As Barber points out:

…the worship of the beast describes the widespread custom whereby Roman emperors were worshiped as gods. As we saw in Revelation 2-3, many temples were erected throughout Asia Minor for this express purpose.” (Barber, 173)

For the pagan world, this is nothing new – for Satan cannon create, all he can do is borrow what exists and twist the truth.

On the one hand, we have the TRUTH of the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14), who dwelt among us and would rule the kingdom of His father, David (Lk 1:32)…

Then on the other hand the great destroyer who was a liar and a murder from the beginning (Jn 8:44), whose own destructive path got him kicked out of heaven forever (Lk 10:18; Rev 12:9); giving Satan a definite desire for revenge which could explain his choice of influencing the ancient Roman Empire and its emperors.

“And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child… [he] was angry with woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus .” ~Rev 12:13, 17

Barber makes a really good comparison here between this “wanna be-ast” and the Lamb of God demonstrating very clearly how:

[Ancient] Rome, therefore, embodies a world power, which sets itself up as an evil substitute for Christ. Its close association with the dragon… shows that [its] dominion comes from Satan.” (Barber, 173)

It worked great signs... and by the signs which it was allowed to work...it deceives those who dwell on earth...

It worked great signs… and by the signs which it was allowed to work…it deceives those who dwell on earth…

Will the REAL Christ Please Stand Up?

The key to the “Anti-Christ” is exactly that, he will be anti – Cristo, he will “appear” Christ-like, but his “fruit” will always be rotten (Mt 7: 17-18), so his efforts will always bring death and destruction. Thus we see the following comparison:

  • Lambs authority (Rev 5:7, 12); Beast’s authority (13:2)
  • Lamb rules over all people (Rev 5:9); so too does the Beast in his time (13:7)
  • The cherubim and twenty-four elders worship the Lamb (Rev 5:14); while men worship the Beast (13:4)
  • Lamb appears as “one who has been slain” (Rev 5:6); the Beast has a mortal wound but still lives (13:3, 12, 14)

Both followers receive a mark on the forehead – Christians (Rev 7:2 – our Baptism); the Beast’s followers (Rev 13:16the mark of the beast forehead or hand – can buy and sell… money is the root of all evil???)

Which leads into the most interesting aspect of all of this, the question of who has the authority? Ancient Rome was quite powerful, and its influence was felt throughout the entire ancient world. Yet its power was superficial when compared with that of the Son of God.

Only Jesus has the authority to forgive the sins of men on earth (see Mt 9:2-8), to make disciples into Apostles (see Mt 10:1-5), to heal the sick, cure the blind, cast out demons and raise the dead (Mt 10:8; 9:20-22, 27-30, 32-33, 35; 12:22), and to establish His Church among men (Mt 16:17-19).

Yet Satan works diligently to convince mankind that he has a kingdom, and it’s all the kingdoms of the earth combined with authority (Lk 4:5-7), which he will give to whomever bows down to him in worship. And in doing so, he contradicts the true King of Heaven and Earth putting himself in the category of “a self-appointed god” – Oh hey! Isn’t that the New Age deception as well?

Jesus’ response needs to be ours:

“Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall love the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’” ~Mt 4:10

Up Next!

Chapter 10: Part II – Time to Get With It!

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