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Bible Prophecy and Modern Prophecy Explored

 

 

 

BIBLE PROPHECY AND

MODERN PROPHECY EXPLORED

 

by

CHRIS FRANCIS

 

 

DEDICATED TO THE MERCIFUL HEART OF GOD

 

 

ACKNOWLEGEMENT

Grateful thanks to John O’Connor

 

 

Copyright: Chris Francis 2015

Distributed by Shakespir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOREWORD

When I started reading prophecies in the 1990’s, I felt quite annoyed that no one had brought them to my attention before. I also noticed that the books were aimed at catholic readers – with no explanation for non-Catholics. This book is written with the aim of helping people to catch up – to read in one volume the vital array of modern prophecies, and the various predicted events. Some effort is made to explain unusual concepts for non-Catholics. Modern prophecy and Bible prophecy are placed together, so it can be seen that they complement each other. (It is important to know the correct sequence of events – beware of false prophets who create confusion.)This book takes you from the Tribulation – which is imminent, to the end of Revelation.

CHAPTERS

1. INTRODUCTION……

2. INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE AND PROPHECY

3. JESUS PREDICTS HIS SECOND COMING

4. SOME PROPHECY & DISCUSSION……….

5. WHAT IS GOD LIKE? ……………………….

6. ANGELS, DEVILS, AND EARLY MANKIND…………

7. PACTS MADE BETWEEN GOD AND MANKIND

8. THE MISSION OF JESUS………………………………….

9. PASSOVERLAST SUPPERNEW COVENANT……………….

10. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT……………………………………………..

11. THE CHURCH OF JESUS……………………………………………

12. THE BOOK OF REVELATION (THE APOCALYPSE)……………

13. SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE………………………………….

14. MESSAGES OF LOVE, MERCY, AND JUDGEMENT……………

15. PROPHECY AND THE GLORIOUS CROSSFRANCE………

16. THE APOSTASYPROPHECY BEING FULFILLED..………….

17. INTRODUCTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY…………….

18. THE VIRGIN MARY VERSUS SATAN…………………………….

19. BEFORE THE SECOND COMING – A DOGMA…………….….

20. PROPHETIC SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS.….

21. WHAT ELSE HAS THE VIRGIN MARY TOLD US? ………………

22. GARABANDAL & MEDJUGORJESECRETS TO BE REVEALED

23. TRIBULATION & GOD’S RESCUE PLAN (THE WARNING)…….

24. THE ANTICHRIST…………………………………………..

25. POLITICAL & SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR ANTICHRIST...

26. ORDER OF EVENTS/GREAT MONARCH & POPE………………

27. FALSE PROPHET, FALSE CHURCH,CHASTISEMENT………..

28. THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS………………………………

29. THE NEW ERA………………………………………………………

30. THE LAST JUDGEMENT…..……………………………………….

 

EPILOGUE:

HEAVENLY REQUESTS DURING PERIOD OF PEACE…….

THE TRUE FACE OF JESUS & THE TURIN SHROUD………………….

PRAYERS…………………………………………………………………

NUMBERED NOTES…………………………………………………….

SUGGESTED READING…………………………………………….

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

Introduction

 

Millions of people in the world today, believe that we are living in the times that precede the Second Coming of Jesus. It is clear that we have been experiencing events that were prophesied in the Bible. Other people point out that the end of the world has been predicted many times in the past. That is true, but the end of the world is not being predicted here, and that will be explained further. The current situation, is that only now in our times, nearly all the relevant Bible prophecies have been fulfilled.

Furthermore, during the past 200 years there has been an impressive build-up of modern prophecy, which should be taken into account. These messages are calls from a loving God, which warn, encourage, and point out what is going on. They have become ever more urgent, telling us that time is short.

 

Evidently Jesus wanted people all down the centuries to be in a state of readiness for his return. He wanted us to ‘stay awake’ and not become lax in following his teachings. The disciples of Jesus spoke of the end times, and were hopeful that he might return in their day. The end time that they did in fact witness – which was prophesied, was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. This meant the end of a thousand years of Jewish religious practice, which had been centred on the Temple.

 

Jesus prophesied that the Jews would one day return to Palestine. That was fulfilled in 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel. It is one of the signs that had to take place before the Second Coming. Out of thirteen recognised signs, eleven have been or are being fulfilled. The two that are still awaited are: the realisation by the Jews that Jesus really was the Messiah; and the rise of Antichrist. These topics will be explained in later chapters.

 

Another well known sign, is that the teachings of Jesus will be proclaimed to the whole world. Knowledge of Jesus has now been achieved world-wide through missionary effort, and modern communication – including the radio.

 

Did Jesus expect the world to be fully Christian before he returned? That was the ideal, however in a sad moment he commented: “When the Son of Man comes will he find any faith on earth?” (Gospel of St. Luke chapter 18 verse 8).

The Bible tells us in fact that there will be widespread apostasy preceding the return of Jesus. ‘Apostasy’ means in this case, a rejection and desertion of Christianity by Christians. In the West this has been escalating for over a century. It is the widespread lack of faith that will make the rise of Antichrist possible…

 

The prophecy concerning Antichrist catches some people’s imaginations. This is a man who will take over religious and political control in the world. He will require a religious power base and a political power base. Both of these have been in preparation for many years, and will be ready for the appropriate time.

 

We should be aware that modern technology provides the means for a huge hoax to take place. The Bible tells us that Jesus will appear in the sky: “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire…” (2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 7). It is apparently possible to bounce laser beams off a satellite, and form holographic images in the sky. The image of a figure surrounded by flames, could be made visible to a large part of the earth’s population. This would be so impressive that most people would be convinced that it was Jesus. In the book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, Constance Cumbey explains how the wrong people are organised for just such an event.

 

However the time for Antichrist is not imminent. What is going on, is the hidden preparation for a World Government, of which he will be the World Leader. This preparation will include turbulent events which are imminent, but they will be followed by a time of peace. It will be the period of peace that was prophesied at Fatima in 1917. Later on, things will go wrong as people forget Christianity again, and this will allow Antichrist to come to power. His reign will last for 31/2 years. It will be terminated through extraordinary intervention from Heaven. The point to remember – is that he comes before the return of Jesus.

 

Meanwhile, something unusual has been going on around the world in the past 50 years. In nearly all denominations a ‘Pentecostal’ experience has taken place – meaning unusual spiritual gifts and blessings. This experience became known as Charismatic Renewal, and it is supposed to prepare the world. Countries that have been very receptive to this, include India and China – surprisingly! And therefore China has the fastest growing Church in the world.

Also, for 200 years within Catholic Christianity, an enormous number of apparitions, prophecies, and phenomena, have been part of this unusual experience.

 

These signs are for everyone, and that is why they are published in this book. They are not widely known, due to indifference on the part of the media. Moreover an attitude of scepticism in Western society, has prevented the wider spread of God’s blessing.

 

So why aren’t our Church leaders preparing us for these times? Well that depends.. some denominations are in a great state of anticipation. Others approach these matters on a wait and see basis. Some ministers have become worldly and dislike the whole idea of prophecy; they are usually not aware of all the evidence.

 

In the Catholic Church, the warnings and expectancy of Church leaders have been mainly ignored. During the past 150 years, various Popes have made their concerns clear. In 1976 at a Eucharistic Congress in the USA, two years before he became Pope, John Paul II said the following:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation that humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of American society, or the wide circles of the Christian community realise this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, between Christ and the anti-Christ. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is therefore in God’s plan and it must be a trial which the Church must take up and face courageously.”

(This is from the book Antichrist by Fr. Vincent Miceli S.J.)

 

In 1950 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (USA) a well known speaker and author, expressed the following: “We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces of the Mystical Body of Christ, and the mystical body of the Antichrist, are beginning to draw up their battle lines for the catastrophic contest.” (From The Thunder of Justice by T. & M. Flynn.)

 

Catholic prophecies that support the above opinions, are being carefully examined by the Vatican. That is the role of the Church – to be open and attentive to the Holy Spirit. It is understood that God will draw our attention, and throw light on Bible prophecy, as it becomes necessary. Jesus told his apostles that it was the Holy Spirit who would have the task of enlightening the Church: “I still have many things to say to you, but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth… and he will tell you of the things to come.”

(John chapter 16 verses 12 – 13)

 

The ideas expressed so far, and in the next paragraph, may sound very strange to some people, but they will be explained gradually in this book. The way that God deals with us, is not meant to be difficult, or only for a few people who understand. God is kind and loving, and he helps us at every step, as we learn to respond to him.

 

If you had previously thought that the Second Coming of Jesus would bring the end of the world, could you suspend your beliefs for a while? There was a widely held opinion that Jesus would return, that the Final Judgement would take place, and the world would end. Bible symbolism was seen as fitting in with this view. However that is not the only school of thought, and the Church remains open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

Theologians – experts, have been assessing valuable prophecies which point to: the return of Jesus in power; a period of extraordinary blessing and peace (with Jesus in Eucharistic glory) prior to the Final Judgement.

There is a theological theory that the Church (the Mystical Body of Christ) will live out its own ‘passion and resurrection’. In other words the Church will suffer and appear to die, but with the return of Jesus it will rise to a new life.

In modern prophecy, the period of new life is called the New Era of peace. (It corresponds to Revelation chapter 20 verses 3-6)

 

This is how the early Church saw it: “Now you must repent and turn to God.. so that the Lord may send the time of comfort. Then he will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus, whom heaven must keep till the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets.” (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 3 verses 19-21)

 

For beginners, this book is best read chapter by chapter – because it gives explanations, and builds up the whole picture. When you reach the later chapters it should all make sense. Let’s hope!

 

 

CHAPTER 2

Introduction to the Bible & Prophecy

 

Why should we listen to what the Bible has to say? For those who are not familiar with it – the Bible is extraordinary, and powerful, and inspired by God, putting us in touch with him in a unique way. This is particularly the case with the writings about Jesus Christ. It has been tried and tested for over 2,000 years, and continues to have a profound effect upon people of every nationality. The Bible’s earliest stories reach back into the dawn of history. We are told that all mankind descended from two original parents (known as Adam and Eve) and the science of this is mentioned in a later chapter.

 

The Bible was written almost entirely by Jews (Hebrews or Israelites as they were also known). The authors were all kinds of people, with all sorts of occupations. We say that God inspired their writing. That is why their work was selected and preserved. The individuality of the writer is there, but that ordinary person managed to reveal God’s message. Should we take every word literally – for example was the world created in six days? No it wasn’t, and that is why we need guidance, because there are different styles of writing. Did Jesus cure the sick, cast out demons, walk on water, and rise from the dead? Yes he did – that was literally true.

 

How did things get going? God took one man – Abraham – who was a descendant of Noah. He lived around 1,800 B.C. back in the Bronze Age. From Abraham there grew a family, then a tribe, then a nation. The Bible is not intended to be a history book, yet it gives a vivid record of those early times. Abraham came originally from Ur, which was in present day Iraq… The epic stories were passed down faithfully from one generation to the next. The Hebrews began as a small insignificant tribe, they were originally nomads in the area of Palestine. Throughout their history the Jews were surrounded by great empires, yet most of those empires are forgotten. None of them, not even the Greeks and Romans, left a book that has influenced and shaped the world in the way that the Bible has done. This cannot be explained in human terms.

Instead of the word Bible, people sometimes use the term Scripture or the Scriptures. The actual book is divided into two parts, and the larger part is the Old Testament, which covers the time before Jesus Christ. These writings are the basis of the Jewish faith. People are surprised that they contain a lot of fighting and violence, but it is because they record the turbulent early history – when tribes constantly fought over territory.

At the back of the Bible is the New Testament; this covers the life of Jesus, his teaching, and the writings of the early Christian leaders. (This is where a newcomer should start to read.) Jesus was a Jew, and so were his followers, for it was the Jewish nation that God had chosen for an especially close relationship. God told them about himself, and how he wanted them to live. The plan was, that after the time of Jesus, the Jews would take his message to the whole world. Unfortunately many Jews did not understand their mission, they carried on in the old ways, and have done so to the present day.

 

During the times of the Old Testament the Jews were regularly spoken to by God, through his prophets. After the time of Jesus however, all that stopped. Instead, the inspirations and prophecies were given to the followers of Jesus, and that is how it has remained. God did not discard the Jews, but the long-standing invitation was for them to recognise Jesus as the Messiah. Their faith however, remained the source of their national identity, in spite of being exiled from their country for 1,800 years.

 

So why doesn’t everybody turn to the Bible? Probably because it has different levels of understanding. If you read it with no awareness of God, then it will read like a text book. However as a person’s faith grows – so they can see more in it – especially the New Testament. As they progress further, it speaks to the inner spiritual life of the person, and puts them more in touch with God. Finally it becomes positively exciting, as a person’s spirit opens up to a revelation of God that was previously hidden. The best way for us to read the Bible, is to ask the Holy Spirit each time to open our mind and heart, so that we can see the deeper meaning.

 

A word of explanation for anybody new to the Bible, is that it contains a number of sections or ‘books’. Each section has a title or an author, and there is a guide at the front of the Bible telling you where to find it. The ‘books’ are divided into chapters and then into verses. When we quote from the Bible, we put the title or author, the number of the chapter and the number of the verse, and then it can easily be found. The quotation that will now follow is from the New Testament, one of the letters of St. Paul (the letters used to be called epistles).

First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 19 – 21. A short way of putting that is 1 Thessalonians ch. 5 v. 19 – 21.

In this book it would be written 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21.

(People familiar with the Bible reduce Thessalonians to Thes. At the back of a Bible there will be a list of these abbreviations.)

So here St. Paul gives some advice concerning prophecy: “Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. But test all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes. 5:19-21)

 

How much trust can we put in Bible prophecy? Well there are different styles of prophecy, and it is a wide topic. However, we can see quite clearly in the Old Testament, that many prophecies were given by God, and they did come true. Some were plain and obvious, others were hidden and only understood after the event. This was the case with Jesus Christ, whose birth and death had been predicted hundreds of years earlier. It was not until his virgin-birth, and his crucifixion and resurrection, that older prophetic passages became clear. In the New Testament, the accounts of the life of Jesus are called the gospels, and they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These writers draw our attention to the various prophecies that were being fulfilled during the life-time of Jesus.

 

When it comes to our own period of time, we must look carefully at Bible prophecy. One cannot take just one section and draw a conclusion (e.g. Matthew chapters 24 – 25). No – the Bible must be considered as a whole. Prophecies from the Old Testament and New Testament must all be assessed together, when trying to predict our situation. Similarly with ‘modern’ prophecies: we should look at past and present, and prophecy from around the world. It is like a jig-saw puzzle; God gives a piece of information here, and a piece there. He wants to hold our attention.. Of course modern prophecy must coincide with Bible prophecy, if it does not – then it is false.

You may be surprised at how far in advance some ‘modern’ prophecy is given – sometimes 200 years. We cannot complain that we had no warning!

 

For our purpose, we need to know that some Bible prophecies can apply to more than one situation. This is because history repeats itself, and similar situations arise. It also occurs, because the Bible is inspired by God, and in his wisdom he can foresee all things. An example of this is a passage from Isaiah: it was written around 540 B.C. and prophesied the release of the Jews from captivity in Babylon (present day Iraq). It also applied to the first coming of Jesus. Now it applies to the Second Coming of Jesus, but with a difference.. Part of it says:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

Here ‘Jerusalem’ originally referred to the Jewish nation.

After the time of Jesus however, ‘Jerusalem’ was taken to refer to the new Jerusalem, which is the Church – all Christian people.

It is the Church which has to prepare the way for the Second Coming of Jesus:

“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low.. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ …See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:1-11)

 

The most difficult prophecy to interpret, is found in the apocalyptic literature. This is a style of writing used by some Old Testament prophets. It is in parts of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, and especially in the Book of Daniel. The style was also used by St. John, in the Book of Revelation (called the Apocalypse) which is in the New Testament. A code of symbolic language was used, which can appear confusing or frightening to us, until the spiritual meaning is understood.

When people use the term Apocalyptic or the Apocalypse, they are usually referring to the period before the Second Coming of Jesus. St. John’s description of this period is very dramatic.

 

Do events take place because they were prophesied? That would vary, the good things – like the birth of Jesus, were pre-planned, and prophesied. Plus he had a particular mission to fulfil. Usually however, things are prophesied because God knows they are going to happen. God exists outside of ‘time’, he knows the past, present and future. Since he can see the future, he is able to tell us beforehand. But we mustn’t be fatalistic and think that life is pre-ordained.

For example God did not plan for Judas to betray Jesus, no – that was his own choice. Jesus was going to die at that time anyway. However God knew what Judas would do, and therefore it was prophesied.

 

God did not plan the coming of Antichrist: if we look around we can see how we invite the situation… the empty churches, the decline in morals, the fascination with the occult. God has warned us in the Bible, and he has been warning us for very many years through Christian prophets. The point is, that bad people plan bad things, and if the others don’t bother with God, then his protection is not available.

 

The word prophecy does not always mean ‘telling the future’. It can also be a forth telling by God; which is to say – words of love, direction, warning, which are intended for every generation. A lot of modern prophecy also takes this form of communication from God. He wants to communicate in our times, in our language, about things that concern us.

 

In conclusion, Bible prophecy can be trusted as long as we interpret it in accord with established Church teaching. St. Peter wrote the following:

“At the same time, we must be most careful to remember that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy, is never a matter for the individual. Why? Because no prophecy ever came from man’s initiative. When men spoke for God, it was the Holy Spirit that moved them.” (2 Peter 1:20 – 21)

 

CHAPTER 3

Jesus predicts His Second Coming

 

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ “

(Matthew 23: 37-39)

 

These were the words of Jesus as he became increasingly upset, because the Jewish leaders would not listen to him. The expression ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Lord’ was the greeting reserved for the Messiah. Jesus uses it here to predict his own Second Coming in glory. (The word Messiah means Saviour-King.)

 

An important teaching from St. Matthew’s gospel now follows. Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, plus the events surrounding his Second Coming. He combined the descriptions of these two situations, because there were to be similarities between them. Some of the prophecies apply both to the Jews and to our own times. Back in those days there was the threat of the Roman Empire; in our time there will be the empire of the Antichrist.

For us the Coming of Jesus will put a stop to Antichrist.

 

“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ He asked. ‘I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’

 

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us’ they said ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth-pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

 

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

 

At that time if anyone says to you: ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will appear, and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you ‘There he is, out in the desert’ do not go out, or: ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

 

Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:1 – 42)

 

There is a similar description in the gospel of St. Luke (17: 22 – 37 and 21: 5 – 36) and in the gospel of St. Mark (13 : 1 – 27).

St. Luke also includes the following: "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city." (Luke 21: 20- 21)

 

The Temple in Jerusalem was a magnificent building, and each day sacrifices were offered to God. At three holy times in the year, Jews would come from all over the Roman Empire, in order to celebrate and give honour to God. Most Jews hated the fact that Israel had been conquered and made part of the Roman Empire. They considered the Jewish nation to be a theocracy – meaning that it should be living by God’s rules alone, and not the rule of Rome. Eventually the freedom fighters caused so much trouble to the Romans, that the Empire organised an invasion in 66 A.D. The followers of Jesus remembered the above prophecy, and so the Christians moved out of Jerusalem to the town of Pella.

 

The siege of Jerusalem commenced in 70 A.D. during the Feast of Passover, and it ended in a terrible blood-bath. The Temple was desecrated and destroyed, and from that time onwards the Jews were no longer able to offer sacrifice to God. Their religious practice was limited to the synagogues, where they prayed and read the Scriptures (Old Testament). The significance of this will be explained later, because just as prophecy passed to the followers of Jesus, so did the offering of sacrifice pass to them. The sacrificial feast of Passover was not lost; rather it took on a new and dynamic Christian form.

 

When Jesus said: “This generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.” He was referring to the events surrounding the destruction of the Temple, and he was proved correct. A ‘generation’ was 40 years, and Jerusalem was destroyed 37 years later in 70 A.D.

 

As for the comment of Jesus: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation…’ “ it is one of those prophecies that applies more than once. The abomination referred to the desecration of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, by the Romans. It also refers at the ‘end of the age’ to the desecration of Christian worship, which will be caused by the Antichrist.

 

Notice that the expression ‘the end of the age’ was used by the disciples when they asked ‘what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?’ They had expected Jesus’ Second Coming and the end of the age – to be in their own life-time. They had not understood that the particular ‘end’ they would experience, would be the dramatic end of the Temple era.

 

Jesus gave us plenty of signs to look out for at the end of the age -prior to his Second Coming. There will be dramatic effects within nature, which will be a powerful warning. He described them as follows: "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." (Luke 21: 25)

 

The times will be marked by wars, famine and earthquakes; plagues are also mentioned in St. Luke’s gospel. Christians will be persecuted for their beliefs. We can say for our own period of history that these signs have been evident. Jesus reassured us with the following words:

“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21: 28)

 

Jesus said that he would return to earth, after his teachings had been spread throughout the world. This is expressed in St. Matthew’s gospel as: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24: 4) It may not be apparent just how far Christianity has reached. Over the past 2,000 years it has been preached in every country of the world; whether people choose to convert is another matter. Some countries that were Christian, later converted to Islam, which was founded by Mohammed in the 7th century. In Japan people hide their Christian faith for social reasons. In China Christianity is hidden for political reasons. There will be further world-wide evangelisation in due course.

 

A prophecy concerning the return of the Jewish people to Israel, is in St. Luke’s gospel: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21: 24)

 

Jesus also makes it clear that there will be false Christs, and false prophets. The ultimate false Christ will be the Antichrist, and the ultimate false prophet will be the individual who helps him. These people are described symbolically in the Book of Revelation, mainly in chapter 13. The actual term ‘false prophet’ is used in chapter 19 verse 20. Jesus warns us not to be deceived by these people, because his Coming will be sudden: “As lightning that comes from the east is visible in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

However we will get a warning before this happens: “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…” His sign is of course the Cross – which will be visible to “all nations.”

 

Some people are of the opinion that we just won’t know when Jesus will come again, and therefore they close their minds to the whole idea of it. They point to the words of Jesus quoted by St. Matthew: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

 

However, Jesus also said the following:

“Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap.” (Luke 21: 34) Clearly Jesus did not want that day to be sprung on us, and that is why he gave such clear warnings, and told us to read the signs of the times.

 

Throughout the Old Testament, God always warned the Jewish people when they were going off track, because he did not want to resort to punishing them. The prophet Amos wrote: “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) We should therefore not be surprised, that God in our times is attracting our attention and warning us, through many signs and prophecies.

 

After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. by order of the Emperor Vespasian, many Jewish priests and prisoners were taken away. The nation struggled back to its feet, and eventually opposed the Romans again. By the year 135 A.D. the Romans were exasperated, and the Emperor Hadrian decided to destroy the nation completely. The Jews were forced to leave their homeland, and they scattered throughout the world for the next 1,800 years.

 

Jesus taught his followers to appreciate the writings of the later Jewish prophets. They learnt to see a deeper meaning in them, and realised that God had been leading the nation into greater spiritual awareness. This vision was not shared by the Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah. They preferred to wait for a Messiah who would bring them power and prestige. Down the centuries, the exiled Jews favoured the early writings from the time of Moses and King David, where their religion carried the promise of a powerful Jewish nation. This hope persisted right to the 20th century, when in the name of Zionism the ancient area of Palestine was claimed by the Jews. They wanted the territory that had been occupied for a brief time by Kings David and Solomon around 1,000 B.C.

 

Not surprisingly, in the new state of Israel the teachings of Jesus were banned on and off. However some Jews in the past 50 years, have acknowledged that Jesus really was the Messiah. They do not call themselves Christians, but rather Messianic Jews.

 

In his Letter to the Romans St. Paul writes about the Jewish people. He expresses concern for them because they are his own people, and he points out that Christians received everything through the Jews:

“..They were adopted as sons, they were given the glory and the covenants; the Law and the ritual were drawn up for them, and the promises were made to them. They are descended from the patriarchs and from their flesh and blood came Christ who is above all, God for ever blessed!” (Romans 9: 4-5)

St. Paul prophecies that in the end, the Jewish people will accept Jesus and be converted:

“There is a hidden reason for all this, brothers, of which I do not want you to be ignorant.. One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well.” (Romans 11:25-26)

 

After the creation of the new Jewish state, Pope Pius XII in his Easter message in 1957 – said that the signs predicted in the Bible that would usher in the Antichrist, had been fulfilled.

 

He was no doubt referring to the prophecy in Luke 21:24 (page 14).

Fortunately God allows time for the unfolding of history, which means time for us to become aware of what is going on.

 

CHAPTER 4

Some Prophecy & Discussion

 

This chapter includes some prophetic insights from holy people in previous centuries. It also examines obstacles which prevent people from having an open mind towards Christianity.

 

Sister Bouquillion (19th C.) of Belay in France wrote:

“The beginning of the end shall not come in the 19th century, but in the 20th for sure.” 1

 

Lactantius (3rd C.) predicted:

“After the birth of Antichrist, most people will possess something that they stole…mankind will neither know law, order, nor discipline.” 2

 

Blessed Bernhardt Rembordt (18th C.) predicted the following:

“God will punish the world when men have devised marvellous inventions that will lead them to forgetting God. They will have carriages without horses, and they will fly like the birds. But they will laugh at the idea of God, thinking that they are clever. There will be signs from Heaven, but men in their pride will laugh them off. Mankind will indulge in voluptuousness, and lewd fashions will be seen.” 3

 

St. Gregory the Great (6th C):

“Churches will be empty and dilapidated, priests will have little zeal for souls, and pious people will be few. Most people will be given up to all imaginable vices.” 4

 

Sister Jeanne le Royer (18th C) had the following vision:

 

“One day I found myself in a vast plain alone with God. Jesus appeared to me, and from the top of a small hill, he showed to me a beautiful sun on the horizon, he said dolefully:

‘The world is passing away, and the time of my Second Coming draws near. When the sun is about to set, one knows that a day is nearly over, and that the night will soon fall. Centuries are like days for me. Look at this sun, see how much it still has to travel, and estimate the time that is left to the world.’

I looked intently and it seemed to me that the sun was to set in two hours.

Jesus said : ‘Do not forget that these are not millenaries, but centuries, and they are few in number.’

But I understood that Jesus reserved to himself the knowledge of the exact number, and I did not wish to ask him more.”

 

“I saw in the light of the Lord, that the Faith and our holy Religion would become weaker in almost every Christian kingdom. God has permitted that they should be chastised by the wicked, in order to awaken them from their apathy. And after the justice of God has been satisfied, he will pour out an abundance of graces on his Church, and he will spread the Faith.. in those countries where it had become tepid and lax.” (The above sounds like the Tribulation, which is explained later.)

 

“One day the Lord said to me: ‘A few years before the coming of my enemy, Satan will raise up false prophets who will announce Antichrist as the true Messiah, and they will try to destroy all the Christian beliefs. And I shall make the children and the old people prophesy.’ ” 5

 

In the earlier part of the 20th century, Archbishop Fulton Sheen (USA) made the following observation:

“Wild and gloomy times? Small wonder that people are shaken and confused! The signs are everywhere. The signs of our times point to a struggle between absolutes. We may expect the future to be a time of trials and catastrophes.. Revolution, disintegration, chaos, must be reminders that our thinking has been wrong, our dreams have been unholy…

A crisis must come, in order to prevent a false identification of the Church and the world. Our Lord intended that his followers should be different in spirit from those who were not his followers… but though this is the Divine intent, it is unfortunately true that the line of demarcation is often blotted out. Mediocrity and compromise characterise the lives of many Christians… We are influencing the world less than the world is influencing us. Since the amalgamation of the Christian and pagan spirit has set in, since the gold is married with an alloy, the entirety must be thrown into the furnace so that the dross may be burned away.” 6

 

As it says in the above passage ‘..our thinking has been wrong, our dreams have been unholy.’ In Western society the decline in Christian belief with a loss of Christian values, has developed since the 17th century. It did not happen by chance, but was positively promoted. ‘Mankind’ was now placed at the centre of the universe, and God was pushed to one side. New philosophies made it sound like a good thing. Atheism was introduced, and Humanism brought new ways of expression, so that God was ignored.

 

In the 19th century Bishop Pie of Portiers in France, wrote the following:

“At no time in the history of the world have we seen such universal rebellion against God as today. All grasp weapons against him. Never has man dissolved so entirely every covenant with God, and been so completely against him. ‘Go away from us, leave us.’ That is what modern nations say. ‘We don’t want a God, we will do all against him and do all without him.’ That is what the modern nations, with France in the lead do. The State must be anti-cleric, atheistic, purely worldly.’

And God takes them at their word and leaves them to their defiance and self-will, until they, in their madness, tear one another to pieces and cover Europe with blood and ruin. Then God will come again, though armed: then will all see that he is the Lord of the world, created by him, out of which they tried to expel him.” 7

 

These days the rejection of God has become so widespread that it is seen as normal. The Holy Name of Jesus Christ, which was once treated with honour and respect, is now used as a swear-word. Most people do not know any better, and they regard religion as something old-fashioned.

It’s a strange situation, because Christians try to tell the world that we are children of God, and destined for eternity in Paradise. And non-believers keep saying: ‘No, no, we are just animals, life is meaningless – and that is far superior!’

 

The aim of Christianity is to help us develop the right relationship with God. Jesus taught his followers to call God ‘Abba’, which is the word that Jewish children use for daddy or father. He showed how we can get to know God better and better, and experience him in a way that gives us peace and happiness. We are supposed to let God help us change, so that when we die, we pass easily into the next life. St. Paul was given a glimpse of Heaven and he said: “I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.” (Romans 8:18)

 

At the present time people are distracted by materialism, and the cares and worries of life. Many are too busy for religion, and they seem to think that it will add a burden to their lives – which is a pity because Jesus made it clear: “Come to me you who labour and are over burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

Currently a big obstacle for many people, is that they think science and religion are opposed. We see wonderful programmes on television which reveal the vast expanse of the universe and its evolution. Non-believers tend to assume that Christianity is set in the past, and cannot accommodate these findings. Yet people of all religions become scientists! The Vatican Observatory contributes to the world-wide study of astral physics. And it was a catholic priest, the brilliant mathematician Fr. George Le Maitre who first proposed the Big Bang theory in the 1920’s. He was a contemporary of Albert Einstein – who took a while to accept the theory. The astronomer Edwin Hubble in 1929, provided the evidence to support the findings of Fr. George Le Maitre.

 

These days, scientists can say with some certainty that the material universe had a beginning. That is also the case when multi-universes are proposed, or oscillating universes – they must have a beginning. The maths and physics won’t work any other way. All this has been disappointing to atheist scientists, who guessed that the universe was infinite both in time and space.. and they misled people.

 

Christianity gives us the right foundation from which to examine the universe. Religious belief reminds us that life on earth was not a chance occurrence; and that mankind is not an insignificant speck. Furthermore, we know that the human brain is more amazing and complex than any star!

We could be overwhelmed by the size of the universe, except that we know it is no more difficult for God to create a planet, than to create a flower. God takes pleasure in creating – that much is obvious. Other worlds, and other universes? Yes, not a problem. But if other worlds have creatures with the ability to think and pray, then they would have the same perception of God – because it is the same God in every corner of the universe. Life on other planets would have their own story of getting to know and love the same Creator.

 

And all the stories in Science Fiction? The science may be good, but the rest is stories, and people are paid to think them up!

 

Again – it’s a strange thing, Christianity is full of accounts of beings which dwell in another dimension (spirits) yet can materialise in our dimension; but non-believers cannot see how exciting this is. They try to trivialise the topic. Yet this should be the next barrier for science to examine..

 

What about Evolution?

 

The theory of Evolution is not an obstacle to most Christians, but it does challenge some people’s common sense..

 

Scientists tell us that 99% of all the life forms that existed on earth – are now extinct. What happened, was that 95% of life was wiped out 250 million years ago – through noxious gases. Then 65 million years ago, 70% of life was wiped out by the effects of an asteroid - at the time of the dinosaurs. Apparently only burrowing mammals and other hardy creatures were left. Then Ice Ages came and went – which scientists did not previously realise. So this all adds up to an unfavourable picture for evolution..

 

What T.V. scientists neglect to tell people, is that there is micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Micro(small) evolution, is what happens within a group of creatures. For example take bears: there are all kinds, sizes, and colours. They changed to suit their surroundings, so the polar bear is white, the panda black & white, the forest bears are brown – they adapted to the environment. The changes in colour, size, shape, are micro-evolution. The breeding of animals uses micro-evolution. In the end though, dogs are always dogs, bears always bears, they don’t evolve into anything else.

 

What is difficult to comprehend is macro(big) evolution, where we are told that every creature on earth came from the sea, and descended from fishes. They supposedly evolved into amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc. They tell us that this took place over billions of years – which it didn’t. The earth may be 3 billion years old, but the earliest sea fossils are from around 500 million years ago.

 

Simple observation shows that there was not enough time for Natural Selection to take place, and produce the vast array of life which has existed. An experiment described in Prof. Richard Dawkins’ book Evolution shows that it can take a million years for just a change in diet to be incorporated through Natural Selection (in the Fruit Fly).

 

What seems to be in question here, is the interpretation of data. After all we cannot look around and personally see any evidence of macro-evolution – why aren’t there more fish coming out of the sea – why did it stop? What we see, is creatures that are perfectly suited to their habitat. If their habitat changes then they die!

If it is correct as some scientists think – that life could be traced back to just one original life-form in the sea, then it would be amazing. But given the shortness of time, the only way it could have happened, is if evolution was the intrinsic plan, the original design of the Creator.

 

 

Another modern obstacle to Christian belief, a completely different topic – is the fascination with reincarnation. This is usually associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, and it was also quite common in pre-Christian societies. These faiths do not have the notion of forgiveness from the Creator. The idea of individual forgiveness and acceptance by God, only came about with Christianity. It was part of the ‘good news’ brought by Jesus Christ (the word gospel means good news). Jesus Christ is the only true incarnation of God. We find that he is the only person whose life was prophesied hundreds of years earlier. He claimed to be God, and rose from the dead in order to prove it – being seen by hundreds of people (1 Corinthians 15:6). He had the power to forgive our sins, and prepare us for the next life.

 

The man-made religions do not have a Saviour who can do that. Religious people in the East and in earlier times, were aware that they should improve themselves. Their solution they thought, was to try again and again, believing that their spirits came back into different human (or animal) bodies. Eastern people take this theory seriously and attempt to live good lives. A disadvantage of this system however, is the belief that poverty, sickness and deprivation – have been deserved (it is karma). Some rich people conclude that the sick and the hungry, are paying for their bad deeds of a past life, and they do not feel inclined to help them.

 

Some Western people now claim to have memories of a former life, but this is usually due to an active imagination, plus the power of suggestion. In some instances however, there is more to it, and a strange ‘memory’ may intrude into a person’s mind. There is a Christian explanation for this – some people are very sensitive to spirits, and the whole experience can be stopped by the appropriate prayer action.

 

The idea of reincarnation gained acceptance in the 1960’s, when Eastern religions were introduced in the West. This, together with the introduction of drugs, promoted the New Age movement. This movement is mentioned again in a later chapter. It marked a return to the use of pagan practices, such as horoscopes, clairvoyance, channelling (spirits), fortune-telling, talismans, charms, faith-healing, Eastern gods and meditation using drugs, etc.

 

The current interest in the occult and the revival of pagan activities, should cause us to be concerned. In the Old Testament God showed his disapproval of such things. As Western societies reject Christianity in favour of materialism, liberalism and paganism, we witness a serious revolt against God. This is the ‘apostasy’ that is mentioned in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Later on, widespread spiritual confusion will allow the world leader whom we call Antichrist, to be accepted by the majority of people.

 

This man who is possessed by Satan, will pretend to be good and able to help the world. It will be a deception, and fortunately his bad influence will be short-lived. St. Paul wrote about him:

“Then the wicked one will appear, whom the Lord is to sweep away with the breath of his mouth, and destroy in the splendour of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

 

 

CHAPTER 5

What is God like?

Before proceeding any further with the events that lead to the Second Coming of Jesus, it seems sensible to go over the basic beliefs of Christianity. Our foundation has to be correct, in order to build up a picture of what is going on, and why certain things will happen. There has been so much betrayal and distortion of the Christian faith in recent years, that many people have become confused about it.

 

First of all we need to be clear concerning the nature of God, and the fact that God consists of three Persons. That is why we use the term the Holy Trinity. When Saint Patrick was trying to explain this to the early Celtic tribes, he picked up a stalk of shamrock and showed them how it consisted of three leaves. In this way he got across the idea that God is one and yet three. God is referred to as: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What is really difficult for us to imagine, is that God had no beginning he always existed, and he will never end. We also cannot imagine what God looks like. However we get to know him without seeing him, because the deepest part of us is our spirit, and it can open up to an intimate relationship with God.

 

If we can understand a little about the nature of God, it will help us to understand our own existence. The Christian mystics have had faint glimpses of the nature of God, and the scholars try to put it into words – but God is so far beyond us, that he remains a mystery. Briefly however, we are told that the First Person of the Trinity generates Love, this Love is known as the Second Person, and the Love that passes between them is in turn the Third Person. This is why we say that God is Love. The description sounds as if the First Person existed first of all, but that is not so, the three Persons have always existed and always been equal. They are distinct, and yet united as One. God enjoys perfect harmony, peace, and happiness. The Will of God is dynamic and infinitely powerful, and it brought about creation. The universe exists because God creates it, if God stopped creating – then the material universe would disappear…

 

God exists everywhere – as St. Paul said: “In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts of the Apostles 17: 28) If we think about the size of the universe, and realise that God is present in every corner of it, then we start to appreciate his magnitude! When God revealed himself to the early Jews, they tried to put it into words: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.” (Psalm 139: 7-10)

Since God exists in perfect bliss and self-fulfilment, we cannot help wondering why he should have wanted to create human beings. The answer apparently lies in the Love of God, which is creative and wants to share itself. It is interesting to notice that God produced a faint image of himself in the human family – because the love between a husband and wife gives rise to a third love, which is the child.

 

Another way in which we resemble God, is that he gave us the gift of immortality. This means that we will exist forever, for eternity. In the Bible, in the book of Wisdom it says: “Yet God did make man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature.” (Wisdom 2: 23) The part of us that will go on existing for eternity is our spirit.

(In Catholic usage ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ mean the same thing. The Church Council of Constantinople in 869 A.D. banned the making of a distinction, because it led to confusion.)

 

Each spirit is created by God at conception. In the Bible it says: “The Lord who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundations of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him.” (Zechariah 12:1) Psalm 139 expresses the following: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Yes we are ‘wonderfully made’, and sometimes we need to remember how special we are.

 

God designed us so that we could share eternity with him. It is the same me that will pass through death, and ‘wake up’ in a purely spiritual environment that will feel like ‘home’. We will recognise each other, but we will not exist as families, because that phase will be over. Our attention will be directed to God, whom we will experience as absolute perfection and happiness, as we are drawn into his Love. Because God’s Love is dynamic and active, we will experience change and variety in ways that we cannot even imagine.

 

For people who are spiritual, there is a foretaste of Heaven that can be experienced now – as St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth: “We teach what scripture calls the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him. These are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2: 9) We know from saintly people that just an extra touch of God’s Love puts them into a state of ecstasy, during which they are not even aware of their surroundings. They then spend the rest of their lives longing for Heaven…

 

When God revealed himself to the ancient Jews, they wrote about it in their prayer-poems, the Psalms (pronounce as Sarms). We should take note of what God is like, because that is how he wants us to be. In order to join God in his perfect bliss, we have to become like him, so that there is no obstacle to his Love, and nothing unpleasant in Heaven. “But you O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86: 15) “God is so good, so upright.. all God’s paths are love and truth.. ” (Ps. 25:8, 10) “The Lord upholds all those who fall, and lifts up all who are bowed down.” (Ps. 145: 14)

 

We are capable of developing all the characteristics of love, and that is another way in which we were created to be like God. Of course our efforts are always feeble, and God understands that. He wants us to change for the better, and not let our good potential go to waste – therefore he helps us whenever we will let him.

 

As mentioned previously, God chose a small, backward tribe of Hebrews (Jews) to start off the revelation of himself. He showed them his power and his love, and came to be seen as a fatherly figure: “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel… He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities… As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” (Psalm 103: 7, 10, 13)

 

In reality God is neither masculine nor feminine. However in dealing with us a masculine identity was chosen, so that we could relate in a way that is familiar to us. God who is spirit, has both the gentleness and patience that we associate with a mother, and the strength and protectiveness of a good father. The father image also represents his power and authority. The Bible expression to ‘fear God’ means to have respect for him.

 

The Hebrews also saw God as their saviour. This was because he brought them out of their slavery in Egypt, where they were being badly treated. To place this period in history, we might assume that some Hebrews worked in the Valley of the Kings where Tutankhamen was buried around 1,340 B.C. The great Exodus took place in the century after that.

 

The Exodus was the escape – when the Hebrews followed Moses and finally reached the ‘Promised Land’. That land was the region later known as Palestine. It was situated on trade routes, that passed between the three continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe. For that reason it was frequently invaded by surrounding nations. The Hebrews were always turning to God for help, and they continued to regard him as their saviour. King David expressed their feelings as follows: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out ‘Save us O God our saviour; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.’ “ (1 Chronicles 16: 34 – 35)

 

The Hebrews were not aware that God was Three Persons in One. However they could distinguish the activity of God’s Holy Spirit, which is the Third Person. The Second Person was not revealed to them, he was included in their inspired writings, but they did not understand what it meant. The nearest they got, was to realise that they should hope for a Messiah.

 

The Second Person was finally revealed, when he combined the Divine Nature of God with the human nature of man… then entered his own creation as Jesus Christ. Jesus was to demonstrate that God is a saviour not only from human enemies, but a saviour from spiritual danger as well.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

Angles Devils & Early Mankind

 

If we now consider the nature and activity of the fallen angels (evil spirits) we will see why the Second Person of the Trinity chose to enter creation, as Jesus Christ. Part of his aim was to save us from the influence of evil. Some explanation of the nature of evil, will also show the purpose of the coming of Antichrist.

 

Most of us go through a period of disbelief in the existence of Satan, and the demons. We assume that mankind is sinful by choice, and there is no need of any other explanation for it. It may require an encounter with evil in a dramatic way, in order to make us change our minds. The word occult means ‘the hidden’, and it refers to the various practices that involve or invite evil spirits. There is a whole area of study called demonology. We may have thought it was a mediaeval preoccupation, but no – there is too much solid evidence.

 

Perhaps it is worth mentioning here, that Adolf Hitler, his close colleagues, and elite followers, were deeply involved in occult practice. Hitler was a sixth ray initiate.1 (There are seven rays of occult initiation.) The German S.S. Officers were required to swear an oath of allegiance to Satan.2 Hitler committed suicide on an important occult festival – Walpurgis Night. These days Satanism and witchcraft are increasing, and those involved in them are intelligent people, who would not waste their time on mere fantasy.

 

So where did Satan come from, and what is the extent of his power? Satan is a fallen angel. We understand from the Bible, that God created the angels before creating human beings. They are spirits, and exist in a different dimension to us. Satan (Lucifer) was originally one of the most powerful and beautiful angels. People speculate as to which type he belonged. There are thought to be nine types of angels, and each one serves God in a different way. Some names are familiar, such as the Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim. There are also the Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Sovereignties, and of course the Guardian Angels. Yes, we each have a Guardian Angel. Spirits are neither male nor female, but we usually refer to them as masculine.

 

The early Jews were well aware of angels and they are mentioned in Psalm 103: “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.” (verses 20 – 21)

 

When angels are represented in art, they all tend to look the same, but in fact they are individuals of great intelligence and power. Some of them act as messengers from God, and on such occasions they are able to take on a visible appearance. How they really look is beyond our ability to know. When we pass into the next life we will be similar to the angels, as Jesus said: “The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead, do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God.” (Luke 20: 34 – 36)

 

The angels share God’s love for each one of us, and they are able to help us in various ways. They know God’s concern that not one person should be lost through sin. When we read the following words of Jesus, we can almost imagine them cheering us on: “I tell you there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” (Luke 15:10) And: “I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.” (Luke 15: 7)

 

After the angels had been created by God, they were given some kind of test of their loyalty and love. God tests his creatures, because the essence of love is that it is freely given. This is why angels and human beings have been given free-will, so that we can choose whether or not to love God, and have a relationship with him. Not that everybody feels this love, but they express it through their actions.

Now since the angels exist in a different dimension to us, we cannot understand what went on, but we have hints of it in the Bible. We know that a large number of them rebelled against God: “Now let me remind you of the angels who had supreme authority but did not keep it, and left their appointed sphere: he has kept them down in the dark, in spiritual chains, to be judged on the great day.” (Jude 1: 6)

 

The leader of the rebel angels has various names, one of which was Lucifer, which means ‘Brilliant star’. Unfortunately he was proud, and tried to oppose himself as a rival to God. In the Book of Isaiah it says: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cast down to the ground, you who mowed down the nations! You said in your heart: ‘I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne higher than the stars of God; I will sit on the Mount of Assembly, in the far recesses of the north. I will climb up above the clouds; I will be like the Most High!’ But down to the netherworld you go, to the deep recesses of the Pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

(This quotation about Lucifer, is one of those sections in the Bible which has more than one application. In the original it is about the king of Babylon. It is also about Antichrist – who thinks he can ascend to heaven.)

When Lucifer fell from glory he was given the name Satan, which means the adversary (the enemy). Jesus told his followers: “I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10: 18)

 

The word devil means ‘a slanderer’. It is used for Satan and the other fallen angels. The name devil suits them, because when they lost all their good qualities they became bitter and hateful. The fallen angels retained their power, but now it was to be used for evil.

 

When God wanted to give the first human beings a test, to see how much they loved him, he allowed Satan to tempt them. This is described in the account of Adam and Eve, in the first book of the Bible which is called Genesis. Here we find two accounts of the creation of the world. The first one was adapted from the Babylonian version; it tells us that everything that was made by God ‘was good’. The second account includes Adam and Eve and their encounter with Satan. Some people would argue that this was not an historical event, and that human beings came about through evolution.

 

The theory of evolution is not an obstacle to the Christian faith. The important point for Christians, is that at a stage of development God created the human spirit – which is immortal. There were two original parents, who gave rise to one enormous family – the human race. This belief has been supported by the science of genetics, which has shown that humanity can be traced back to just one original mother. This piece of research is known as The Eve Theory.

 

We do not know how much historical truth there is, in the description of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. It is usually regarded as an inspired allegorical story. This means that it is telling us something at a deeper level. It tells us that human beings are different to animals: that they are capable of having an intimate relationship with God. They originally had extraordinary spiritual gifts and awareness. Living so closely with God, there was no such thing as evil. However the time came for their free-will to be put to the test. We are told that Satan in the form of a serpent encouraged them to rebel. In the story, God had said: "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16 -17)

“ ‘You will not surely die’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ “ (Genesis 3:4 – 5)

 

We are told that our first ancestors believed Satan, and gave in to pride and self-seeking, and they abandoned God’s love in the process. As soon as they turned from God, they experienced a spiritual ‘death’. Their first act of disobedience lost them their innocence: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3: 7)

 

This spiritual ‘death’ and loss of innocence has marked the rest of the human race, because what was lost could not be passed on to the next generation. And the right to Heaven could not be passed on. This episode is known as ‘the Fall’ of mankind. The spiritual gifts were gone, and the descendants were born in a spiritual darkness, which we call ‘Original Sin’. This lack of closeness to God meant that there was no pure love, and no clear understanding of how to live. We were created to live in love and harmony with God, and with each other, and the many ways in which we fail to do that – are called ‘sin’.

 

The next generation in the story involves the sons of Adam and Eve, who are called Cain and Abel. Here we see that sin is a threat to both ourselves and other people. Cain was jealous of Abel, and God said to him: “Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?” (Genesis 4:6-7) Cain did not master sin, he gave in to it and killed his brother Abel. This part of the story shows how we will always have good and evil set before us, as a choice. When we choose good we choose spiritual life, and are on the way back to God. When we choose evil it is a spiritual death, as we move away from God.

 

The original plan of God did not include physical death, there would have been some means of passing from the earth to the heavenly existence. Adam and Eve chose to take the risk of death when they went against God. The Bible points to Satan as the one who caused death, for it says in the Book of Wisdom: “Yet God did make man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature; it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover.” (Wisdom 2: 23-24)

 

Through his own rebellion Satan lost all love for God, and became full of malice and rivalry. He cannot harm God directly, so he gives offence indirectly, through influencing us. Each one of us is precious to God, and our rejection of him, and worst of all our spiritual death, causes God tremendous sadness. It means that when we die, we go to Hell for eternity. Satan is called ‘the accuser’ (Revelation 12:10) because his favourite way of separating us from God, is to accuse us – to convince us that we are no good, worthless, sinful, and unlovable. This method works well – how many people feel too unworthy to approach God… By contrast, the real situation is that our weakness and sinfulness attract God’s mercy. He sees us as we are, but continues to love and forgive us. We have been given a whole lifetime, in which to turn to God and sort ourselves out – it is never too late.

 

Another tactic of Satan is to seduce us with the illusion of power and knowledge. This is the basis of the occult. To this day people have been attracted by the promise of hidden knowledge and power. They by-pass God, and are impressed with the effects of the occult. This includes divination, spiritualism, horoscopes, Tarot cards, ouiji boards, spirit guides. It is the same temptation that Satan offered to Adam and Eve, when they were told “your eyes will be opened..” Such activities may seem harmless, but as many vulnerable people know, they can lead to an entanglement with evil spirits. The effects of evil are experienced as frightening paranormal events, and also as personality changes – with depression, fears, anger, moral decline, aggressive behaviour, etc.

 

The worst aspects of the occult, are Satanism and witchcraft. Satanists have some rituals, which seek power through human sacrifice. (Furthermore, these days around 20% of murders have a Satanic connection. And Satanism is not illegal !)

Nowadays no distinction is made between white and black witchcraft. Both obtain their power through evil spirits. All their activities are intended to impress people, and lead them away from God.

 

The fascination with the occult and involvement with spirits, dates back to when our earliest ancestors turned away from God. They had lost their spiritual vision, and were soon prey to evil influences. These days we can see how primitive tribes have a mixture of good and bad practices. They try to honour God as they know him, yet their rituals are usually occult. (Most early societies had their form of witch-doctor, who invited spirits, and used spells and curses.)

 

At around 1,200 B.C. when God was about to give the Promised Land (Palestine) to the Israelites, the societies occupying that territory mainly belonged to the Baal religion. In common with many early religions, the Baal idols were regarded as gods. The people feared them, and saw themselves as slaves to the gods. They had come to believe that the gods required human sacrifice, so they even sacrificed their own children. There were also rituals that represented the sacrifice of children. In fact human sacrifice was practiced world-wide in early times; even the Greeks and Romans did it for a while. Tribes were called barbarians because they still offered human sacrifice.

St. Paul was to explain that all these gods and totems served as disguises for evil spirits: “The sacrifices that they offer, they sacrifice to demons who are not God.” (1 Corinthians 10: 20)

 

The reason why the Israelites were given the Promised Land was because of its strategic position. And God made it clear to Moses, that he was going to drive out the tribes who were living there, because he found their occult practices so offensive: "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist, or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you." (Deuteronomy 18: 9 -12)

 

Unfortunately the Israelites disobeyed God, and down the centuries they were seduced by the local pagan practices, and worshipped their idols. A great offence to God was that pagan places of worship (including even those of the Greeks) had male and female prostitution going on. We can see an example of this pagan practice today in southern India, where there are 30,000 prostitutes who were dedicated as children to the goddess Yellamma.

 

 

It has always been Satan’s method to deflect our attention away from true belief in God, and he uses every possible means. The human instinct to seek ‘the spiritual’, is all too easily corrupted. St. John wrote: “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1John 3:8) The devil however, is making a come-back through pagan practices. These days people reject Jesus Christ, in favour of Eastern cults, New Age beliefs, Druid practices, psychic healing, witchcraft and Wicca (a re-invented form of witchcraft). There is a whole economy now, based on occult practices… Even the craft of Freemasonry is said to be occult (on their web-site).

 

New Age writers are blatant in telling their readers that you yourself are God. And weren’t Adam and Eve told: ‘ you will be like God.’ The New Age movement is in a later chapter, because it is preparing the way for Antichrist.

St. Paul wrote: “The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times there will be some who will desert the faith, and choose to listen to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from the devils..” (1Timothy 4:1)

 

All the occult practices risk an entanglement with evil spirits. One reason why people get hooked and deceived, is that those involved can be really pleasant people. And they say things which sound okay, for example ‘Go towards the light, or ‘serve others’. Such nice people surely couldn’t be involved in anything evil? Well yes they could – without realising – because the devil does not mind how nice or loving people are, provided they stay away from Jesus Christ.

The person who does Tarot cards will be really caring; the clairvoyant on the phone will be interested in you; Transcendental Meditation may have inspiring people; the Reiki practitioner will be kind; the medium will be helpful, and so on. The net is wide, and it all appears harmless. We are told that there are friendly spiritual forces in the universe, just waiting to communicate and help us. This is the basis for some ‘healing’ methods. But unfortunately there is a price to pay, and the gulf between us and God gets wider.

 

There are only two types of spirits: good and bad. And God’s Angels are not waiting around for us to tell them what to do! Jesus referred to Satan as ‘the Father of lies’, and deception is what characterises evil. St. Paul told us: “If Satan himself goes disguised as an angel of light, there is no need to be surprised when his servants too, disguise themselves as the servants of righteousness.” ( 2 Corinthians 11:14)

 

The Church gives us just three Angels from whom we can ask assistance – and that is because they are in the Bible. They are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Plus we each have a guardian angel. The only reason for turning to angels normally, is to ask for help in being better Christians. St. Michael we ask for assistance when in spiritual danger. Caution is being expressed here, because it is a New Age fashion to call up angels; only they are not angels.!

 

Evil can be enticing, and it takes us away from God with things that appear to be a quick-fix, or to be exciting. However as mentioned already, it is the vulnerable people who pay the price, and get in a psychological and spiritual mess.

 

The solution to the situation remains the same as ever; and St. Paul taught: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

(rulers, authorities, and powers here refer to levels of evil spirits)

 

And St. James wrote: “Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8)

 

Remember that the one prayer which Jesus taught, contained words of exorcism, and if used frequently it will have an effect:

“Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day the things that we need. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us. And do not put us to the test, but deliver us from the evil one. Amen” ( )

 

The seduction of people into occult practices, is the spiritual preparation for Antichrist. He himself will be quite a magician, a ‘healer’, and a deceiver. He will be an impressive figure and will charm everyone.

For anyone who feels disturbed by the occult, there are some everyday prayers at the back of this book.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

Pacts Made Between God and Mankind

 

It was a great disappointment to God that our first ancestors rejected him and went against his wishes. Having lost their spiritual gifts, it was not possible for them to get back to their former relationship with God. Mankind was spiritually confused, and could barely distinguish right from wrong. It was going to be a long and difficult path to bring people to know God again. There was no possibility of achieving this by ordinary means, and meanwhile humanity was being led astray by the influence of evil. The divine plan of action, was to prepare for the Second Person of the Trinity to enter creation. It was an incredible act of love and compassion: mankind could not ‘see’ God, so God was going to come to us in a human form. Ultimately God himself would pay the price for our sin, by dying for us.

The first stage of the plan, was when God chose Abraham who was descended from Noah. With Abraham God made a covenant, which means a pact or agreement. It was common for the people of that society to take oaths, and make covenants. In doing so God invited Abraham into a binding relationship, not in a legal sense, but more in the way that family ties are binding. Abraham and his descendants were to be bound to God in a unique way, for the rest of their history.

 

In this chapter we hope to grasp the idea of a covenant or pact between God and mankind, because there were to be two more major covenants. One was made through Moses, and the other through Jesus Christ. Both of these covenants affect us to this very day. A covenant that is broken or rejected brings consequences. We are about to experience in our own times, the effects of having rejected God’s covenants through apostasy (rebellion).

 

The truth of this covenant situation can be seen from history – the evidence of the pact made between God and Abraham is there before our eyes. God said to Abraham: “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you, for the generations to come: to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan (Palestine) where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7 – 8)

As a sign of their acceptance of the covenant, Abraham and his descendants were told to be circumcised. This was an ancient practice in the East, and it took on a new meaning for the Hebrew people.

 

Abraham’s grandson Jacob went to live in Egypt with his twelve sons (one of them was Joseph who had the coat of many colours). At first things went well, but many years later as their numbers increased, the Egyptians felt threatened, and they decided to control the Hebrews through slavery. What was originally a family had grown to form a large tribe. After a while, God decided that it was time to take this Hebrew tribe and form a new nation. Moses was chosen to lead the escape from Egypt.

 

In the Sinai desert God made a covenant with the people. Moses later reminded them of it: “He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the Lord directed me at that time, to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow, in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 4:13 – 14)

 

God’s part in this covenant was that he would give to the Israelites the Promised Land (Palestine), protect them and make them prosperous and happy. Their part in the pact, was that they should keep the Ten Commandments. The Commandments are the guide to heaven. God was instructing them (and all mankind) in how to live correctly, so as to prepare for life in eternity. Through Moses God said:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God…

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not murder.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not commit adultery.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not steal.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife… or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:1 – 17)

 

This was not intended to be a legalistic relationship, it was meant to be based on mutual love. Moses explained:

“Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 – 7)

 

(‘Israel’ was a name that God had given to Jacob, later on it was used for his descendants.)

 

When the Israelites kept the Commandments, and were faithful to the covenant, then God protected them and made them prosper. When they turned away from God and became unjust and dishonest, then God withdrew his support and their enemies were victorious. Since Israel was situated on trading routes and was always being invaded, the long history of battles formed a vivid lesson for the people. In those days the outcome of battles was thought to be due to the power of the gods. An army looked to its god to win the battle, and a fight between two sides was in effect between two gods. This is why in the Psalms, God is so often praised for being above the gods of the enemies (e.g. Psalm 96).

 

The history of the Jewish race, was intended to be a unique spiritual teaching for the rest of humanity. Meanwhile as they struggled on, the Jews were being prepared for the ultimate blessing – when God himself would come into their midst. Through prophecy they were led to expect a ‘Messiah’, and in Greek this word translates as ‘Christ’. Messiah and Christ both mean ‘anointed’. In the Old Testament the priests, prophets and kings were anointed with oil, and consecrated for their work. The great Messiah would have the status of all three: he would be a Priest, a Prophet and a King. However the Jews did not realise that he would also be Divine.

 

In St. John’s Gospel it says: “Yes God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Why is the First Person of the Trinity called Father, and the Second Person called the Son of God? – Because the son-and-father relationship has meaning for us. The nature of God is far beyond our understanding, but here it is presented in a simple way that we can grasp. Jesus is a role model for us: the relationship that exists within the Trinity, is what we are supposed to copy through watching him. Jesus loved the Father, and we should do the same. As soon as we try to follow in our own small way, God reaches out to accept us as sons and daughters.

 

The idea of the Divinity taking on human nature, was something too great for the Jews to comprehend. However in other pre-Christian societies it was quite common for kings and leaders to claim that they were divine. All such cases proved to be false – but it goes to show that the possibility of union between the Divine and the human, is present in human consciousness. Similarly folk myths about a virgin birth, prepared people’s minds for the real virgin birth of Jesus. This event was prophesied by Isaiah:

“The Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Immanuel means ‘God is with us’. We sometimes spell it as Emmanuel.

 

Approximately 1,200 years after the Israelites fled from Egypt, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her:

“ ‘You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.’ “ (Luke 1:31–35)

 

 

The name Jesus means ‘saviour’. We see from this passage that he was conceived through the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Trinity. And St. Matthew wrote that Mary ‘was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit’ (1:18) In other words a miraculous birth.

 

For people who have difficulty in grasping the idea of Jesus.. notice that the previous quotation says that he will be called Son of God. Also that he was conceived – not by the Father, but by the Holy Spirit. God is trying to explain it to us: that Jesus is Divine, and that his humanity was created through the Spirit – the Spirit that also ‘hovered over the water’ in Genesis (1:2). And as explained already, he is to be known as the son of God for our sakes, so that he talks in words that we understand.

 

(Is that clear? If you were one of those people who said – God doesn’t have a son. That’s right, he is called the Son. However the relationship that Jesus describes, is in essence like that of father and son.)

 

The Incarnation – the taking of a human form, did not mean that the Second Person of the Trinity was cut off from the Godhead. The Three Persons operate individually, but are always united as One. Jesus had both human nature, and Divine nature. Within his Divine nature the Father and Spirit were also present. This was foretold through the prophet Isaiah: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9: 2 & 6)

And: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power..” (Isaiah 11: 2)

 

The ancient Jews continually failed to keep the covenant that had been made with God. The ultimate failure was when they rejected Jesus and his teaching, and had him put to death. In this they rejected God himself, and broke the covenant in a serious way. Not long afterwards the Temple, the centre of their religious practice, was destroyed. Within a century the entire nation was exiled.

 

At the end of his life, Jesus made a new covenant between God and mankind. For his followers there was no need to observe the original covenant made with Abraham. The early Christians therefore stopped the practice of circumcision. The old covenant of circumcision, plus the strict diet and regulations, had kept the Jews apart from other people. The new covenant of Jesus was going to create a world-wide family, a spiritual kingdom into which all were invited.

 

 

CHAPTER 8

The Mission of Jesus

 

The first disciples of Jesus were described as “belonging to the Way” (Acts 9:2). This was because Jesus called himself “the Way the Truth and the Life” (John14:6). He does not merely show the way, he is the Way. He also told his followers: “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32) And: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) He promised: “I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) All these claims made Jesus unique, and within three short years his mission was established.

 

During those three years as a public figure, Jesus achieved the following:

He made a new covenant (pact) between mankind and God.

Founded a Church, which would maintain the covenant.

He revealed the nature of God.

Exposed Satan, and liberated us from his power.

Took the consequences of sin and evil upon himself, and opened the way to Heaven.

Taught us how to live in harmony with God and each other.

Established his spiritual kingdom in the world.

 

The first appearance of Jesus was of course his birth at Bethlehem, in a cave that was used to stable an ox. God came to us as a small baby, so that we should not fear him. The shepherds were chosen as the first people to honour him; they represented the shepherds (priests) who were to serve him down the centuries. From then on the life of Jesus was poor and humble. He had to wait until the age of thirty before he was old enough to become a rabbi.

The only occasion that he revealed his Divinity before that, was at the age of twelve when Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Festival of Passover. He took this opportunity to spend three days in the Temple “..sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.” (Luke 2:46-47) When his mother questioned him about this he replied: “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” (Luke 2:49)

The term rabbi means ‘my master’ and it was used for distinguished scribes – the doctors of the religious Law. In the time of Jesus, the best rabbis would attract followers and have schools of religious study. The Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the rabbi were learned by heart – by repetition. The students who were best at remembering were called ‘repeaters’, and they became authorities on the teachings of their masters. In a similar way, Jesus selected his followers and gave them his teachings. The twelve apostles would have been the first ‘ repeaters’, the keepers of the ‘body of repetition’ (in Christian terms – the Kerygma). They in turn taught others, who also conveyed the teachings.

We see from the gospels that another 72 followers (disciples) learned the teachings of Jesus, and they were sent out in pairs to the towns and villages. In the Acts of the Apostles, it says that many disciples gathered at the Feast of Pentecost after the death of Jesus. This was the beginnings of the early Church.

 

Most rabbis concerned themselves with interpreting the long and complex Law of Moses. They gave instruction on its every detail concerning diet, cleansing, ritual, etc. Jesus took a different course: he taught the basics of how to put the Ten Commandments into practice. For example: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you… Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.”

(Luke 6: 27-28 ; 35-38)

 

When he was asked “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus chose simply to quote from the first Commandment, and one sentence from the book of Leviticus: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37 – 40)

 

Jesus further explained himself as follows: “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.”

(Matthew 5: 17 – 18)

The last sentence above, was prophetic: everything that has been commanded by God, is going to be accomplished. Before the world ends, people will live according to God’s ways.

A similar prophecy is contained in the prayer that Jesus taught his followers, which we call the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer. A modern translation from St. Matthew’s gospel is as follows:

“Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts (sins) as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one.” (6: 9-13) We can be sure that these words of Jesus will have their fulfilment. In the new Christian era that is approaching, the Father’s name will be held holy, his kingdom will come, and all that he wants will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…

 

When Jesus went everywhere preaching, the things that he said were confirmed as true, because of the miracles that he worked. He clearly had the authority and the power that he claimed: “He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.” (Matthew 4: 23)

 

Gradually Jesus showed that his miracles were a sign of his Divine nature: “..the works my Father has given me to carry out, the same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36) And: “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (John 14:11) Also: “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.” (John 14: 9)

 

It is important to remember that Jesus had two natures: human and Divine. Sometimes, as in the example above, he spoke from his Divine nature. At other times, Jesus spoke from the limitation of his human nature. An example of this, was when he commented on his Second Coming: “But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father only.” (Matthew 24: 36)

 

As we read the gospels, we get a fascinating insight into how the three Persons of the Trinity function together – as One. Jesus did nothing without being in harmony with the Father. On the one hand he said that he was obedient to the Father. On the other hand, the Father always fulfilled the requests of Jesus.. And the Holy Spirit was a gentle presence who touched people’s minds and hearts, and took part in the miracles.

It was part of Jesus’ teaching – that we are invited to unite closely with God, and share in that intimacy of the Trinity.

 

Jesus referred to Satan as ‘the prince of this world’ and ‘the ruler of this world’ because of his evident success, and the way that humanity had lost sight of God. As he travelled the country, Jesus set people free from demonic possession and oppression: “Jesus went about doing good, and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.” (Acts of the Apostles 10:38)

Jesus made it clear to his enemies, that to oppose his teaching was to take sides with Satan: “Do you know why you cannot take in what I say? It is because you are unable to understand my language. The devil is your father, and you prefer to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all. When he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar, and the father of lies. But as for me, I speak the truth and for that very reason, you do not believe me.” (John 8:43-45)

And: “You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)

 

On several occasions Jesus raised dead people back to life. This demonstrated that his power extended beyond this life. If he had the power to raise the dead – he also had power to forgive sins, and to give new life in eternity. After his friend Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus called him out of the tomb, and he came out wrapped in his grave clothes. Jesus said: “I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live..” (John 11: 25)

 

Jesus taught that the alternative to what he offered was very serious. To choose evil and not to ask forgiveness, would mean eternity separated from God. He explained the point: “You have learnt how it was said: ‘you must not commit adultery.’ But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you, than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you, than to have your whole body go to hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30)

Jesus was not recommending that we should damage ourselves, he was trying to make us realise the importance of the choices we make. Hell was not intended for us, our place is in Heaven, but we have been given the freedom to choose.

 

As time went on, Jesus prophesied that he was going to die: “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them: ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be turned over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.’ The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” (Luke 18: 31-34)

 

By this time the apostles realised that Jesus was the Messiah, and they hoped that he would publicly reveal himself and become a powerful leader. Like all Jews, they expected the Messiah to restore the fortunes of Israel, to overcome its enemies, and make it a mighty nation. Instead of this, Jesus was going to fulfil the prophecy given to Zechariah: “They will look on me, the one they have pierced..” (Zechariah 12:10) This foretold his crucifixion.

 

Jesus the Messiah was going to establish a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one. He was going to lead the way to Heavenly glory, not earthly glory. When our first ancestors opposed God, and experienced a spiritual ‘death’, they lost the right of access to Heaven. No human soul was in Heaven, everyone who had died since that early time was in a state of waiting. The ‘place’ of waiting was called Sheol in Hebrew, and Hades in Greek – which means the ‘unknown region’.

What had been lost could not be restored by human effort. The right to Heaven, could only be regained as a gift from God – but first the split between ourselves and God had to be mended. To satisfy Divine Justice, God himself would mend the rift, by becoming man and standing in our place. He would demonstrate that he had taken the punishment for our sins.

 

All life has a good deal of pain and hurt. Jesus chose to suffer alongside us. He accepted all that evil could inflict on him: the pain, the insults, the rejection. He took it all, and made it into something beautiful. Down the centuries, people experiencing all kinds of suffering have been comforted by this knowledge. “And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God, and brought low. Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh burdened him with the sins of all of us. Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth…” (Isaiah 53:4-7)

(Yahweh is a Hebrew word for God, pronounced as yarway.)

 

Through his death, Jesus was able to prove God’s love for us: “Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Jesus led the way: he did not ask more from his followers than he was prepared to do himself. And his followers were persecuted in a similar way..

Furthermore, the death of Jesus provided a lesson that the world cannot forget. It demonstrated for every individual, the seriousness of sin and evil. Our indifference to the state of our own soul, puts us in real danger. The Cross continues to remind us that we need a saviour to help us out of trouble.

 

Finally, we discover through the Cross the extraordinary humility of God. Jesus continually taught people to give up their ego: to let go of anger, resentment, pride, etc. To do that requires strength and humility. He gave the ultimate example. The reward was the resurrection – and that of course is waiting for all of us.

 

Jesus was condemned by the Jewish religious leaders, because he undermined their position. They found their excuse to hand him over to Pilate the Roman governor, when the people began to call him the Messiah. They claimed that this could lead to a rebellion against the Romans.

For centuries the Jews had expected their Messiah to make his appearance at the time of Passover. Therefore it was just before Passover that the crowds started to acclaim Jesus. He did intend to reveal his mission at this great religious festival, when most of the Jewish nation would be gathered at Jerusalem. However, it was not to be in the way that they expected.

 

Some Jews were easily roused to fight the Romans, and with that excuse the High Priest Caiaphas pronounced the following: “ ‘It is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.’ He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God.” (John 11:50-52)

 

There is a crucial connection to be made between the death of Jesus, and the annual Jewish event of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). On that occasion special prayers and a ritual were carried out, in order to wipe away the sins of the whole nation. During the ritual the High Priest placed his hands on the head of a goat, known as ‘the scapegoat’ (Leviticus 16:10). Then he confessed “..all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites.” The goat was then led away into the desert, which symbolised the removal of the sins from the nation: “The goat will carry on itself all their sins.” (Leviticus 16: 21-22)

 

Jesus took upon himself the sins not only of Israel, but of all humanity. He became our ‘scapegoat’, and made atonement on our behalf. This was predicted centuries earlier in the Book of Isaiah, when God said: “By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself…for surrendering himself to death and letting himself be taken for a sinner, while he was bearing the faults of many and praying all the time for sinners.” (Isaiah 53:11-12) “If he offers his life in atonement… through him what Yahweh wishes will be done.” (Isaiah 53:10)

The word ‘atonement’ simply means at-one-ment, the state of being at-one. In other words Jesus brought about reconciliation between God and mankind. His supreme act of love made sinful mankind eligible for Heaven. All the deceased peoples of the world, who had been kept waiting, were now released. Jesus had predicted these things: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5: 24 – 29)

 

The proof of Jesus’ words came about when he died, because St. Matthew records that dead people were now seen to have been raised: “And when Jesus had cried again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:50-53) What an extraordinary time this was! It demonstrated that the good Jews had been released from Sheol, and were going to enter Heaven.

On the third day, the ultimate proof of the Divinity of Jesus – was to be his Resurrection from death. St. Paul said about it: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

(1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

 

The followers of Jesus could now be happy at the thought of dying, knowing that it would lead to Heaven.

 

CHAPTER 9

Passover – Last Supper – New Covenant

 

Why did Jesus choose to die during the Festival of Passover? We need to know – in order to comprehend the most important act of Christian worship. It has been the heart of the Catholic Christian message for 2,000 years. That is to say – the Eucharist (Holy Communion) which in its true and original form is a daily miracle. In the future, it will become the focus of attack by the Antichrist. Hopefully this chapter will explain why the Eucharist is so important.

 

The explanation that follows will try and show how -

a) The Jews offered sacrifices to God.

b) Jesus was going to replace those sacrifices; he was going to make himself the Sacrifice to God.

c) He would make a new covenant between us and God

(for covenant – see chapter 7).

d) The covenant would remain in place, provided people continue to offer the Sacrifice.

e) The Jewish Temple – the only place that Jewish sacrifice was offered, would be replaced by mini temples (churches) all over the world.

 

This chapter may appear complicated, but if you read straight through to the end it should become clear.

 

The Jewish Festival of Passover developed into the Christian festival of Easter. What we now call the Last Supper, was then the main Passover meal. The Jews had observed this religious feast for over 1,200 years, in memory of their release from slavery in Egypt. It was the most important event of the year. Through Moses, God had instructed the Hebrews to sacrifice a lamb, to mark their door-posts, and to roast and eat it. They then waited in readiness during the night. Meanwhile the angels of God inflicted the 10th plague upon the Egyptians, whose door-posts were not marked. The Hebrews then made their escape, and followed Moses through the desert towards the Promised Land. Later generations of Jews celebrated these events during the Passover meal.

 

It was now the intention of Jesus to set mankind free from its slavery to sin and Satan, and lead the way to the promised land of Heaven. He carried out his plan during this holy time, when the Jews remembered God’s favours. After their release from Egypt, God had made a covenant (pact) with the Israelites, and formed them into a new nation – then a kingdom. Now Jesus was to make a new covenant, and invite everyone into his spiritual kingdom.

This new covenant between God and mankind, had been foretold through the prophet Jeremiah: “The time is coming – it is Yahweh who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah, not like the one I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. They broke my covenant although I was their Lord. This is the covenant I shall make with Israel after that time: I will put my Law within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 3: 31-33).

 

Through Moses, God had established the various sacrifices with which he wanted to be honoured by the Israelites. This was the normal practice: nearly every primitive society at that time, offered sacrifice to its gods. During the period until the arrival of Jesus, the Jews were to offer sacrifices of what they had produced: animals – for example a lamb, oil, grain (bread), wine. In certain rituals the Jews were allowed to eat part of the sacrifice, and in that way they took part in the offering.

 

Down the centuries, by communicating through the Prophets, God brought the people into a more spiritual relationship. He explained that he was more interested in their behaviour, than in their offerings. However, the sacrifices pre-figured the supreme sacrifice that was to be offered by Jesus Christ. When Jesus first appeared by the river Jordan, John the Baptist was inspired to say of him: “There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1: 29)

 

A dictionary definition of ‘sacrifice’ is: ‘the giving up of something, for the sake of something else.’ Early societies gave up various offerings for the sake of making their gods happy. Jesus was going to give up his life for the sake of our salvation. He was to become our Saviour.

 

According to Jewish custom, a day was not counted from midnight to midnight as we do; it was counted from sunset to sunset. Therefore the evening of the Last Supper – the Passover meal, took place for the Jews on the same day as the crucifixion. To appreciate what Jesus was doing, it is useful to keep this in mind.

It is also worth knowing that Jerusalem is built on Mount Zion and Mount Moriah; Moriah was the place where Abraham was put to the test. As Jesus sat down for the Passover meal, he was close to the historic setting where the covenant with Abraham had received its final blessing. He was surrounded by the Jewish nation (which had gathered for the Festival) and in this we are reminded of Moses, through whom the second great covenant had been made. Jesus was now going to make the new and ultimate covenant. It would include not only the Jews, but all people of all times, bringing them into a relationship of love and forgiveness with God.

 

For this occasion Jesus wore a white linen garment, the robe of a priest, which was the Passover custom at that time. It was the one night of the year during which the Jewish people could act as priests, and take part in the sacrifice. Each household made an offering of a lamb at the Temple, and then it was brought home and roasted for the meal.

 

The Passover ritual required four cups of wine. The drinking of each cup was identified with one of the promises that God had made to Moses, as follows: “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord and

(1st cup) I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. (2nd cup) I will free you from being slaves to them, (3rd cup) I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement. (4th cup) I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.’ “ (Exodus 6:6-7)

Jesus was now going to express himself through the Passover ritual.

 

St. Luke recorded the Passover meal (the Last Supper) as follows: “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them: ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.’

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said: ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying: ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying:

‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’ “ (Luke 22: 14-20)

This was how Jesus instituted what we now call the Eucharist or Holy Communion. He literally changed the bread and wine into his own sacred flesh and blood. The outward appearance did not change, but the inner reality did. This sounds extraordinary until you understand the full picture (keeping in mind that he is God).

 

Jesus used the third cup of wine, the ‘cup of redemption’ to do this. He established the new covenant – and it was sealed there and then, with his own blood. – In those days a covenant was ratified with the blood of sacrifice (Hebrews 9: 18-22; 13: 20). The literal blood of sacrifice would come later that same day at the crucifixion. What Jesus was doing at the Last Supper, was anticipating that sacrifice. On Mount Calvary there was no Temple priest to offer the sacrifice of Jesus – he was both the victim and the high priest – he offered himself on the cross. The ritual which began at the Supper was completed on Calvary – the covenant was ratified..

 

Is this making sense? Within the custom and practice of primitive mankind, God wanted to make a love-pact; he wanted to bond mankind to himself. He also wanted to take on himself our punishment, and re-open Heaven. And he would leave us with a devastating reminder of all this – the Cross. So the Last Supper is forever linked to the death of Jesus on Calvary. Remember what he said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

St. Paul wrote: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

(1 Corinthians 11: 26)

 

So Jesus carried the cross to Calvary, and there he offered himself in sacrifice to the Father. While the priests in the Temple were making their Passover ‘sin offerings’ to God, Jesus gave the ultimate gift of his life for all our sins.

St. Paul wrote: “For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

And St. John wrote: “..He sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.” (1 John 4:10)

 

St. John who was an eye witness, recorded the last moments of Jesus as follows:

“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said: ‘It is accomplished.’ With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

(John 19:28-30)

 

So that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus had taken a sip of wine.. Some Bible experts interpret this as the 4th cup of wine of the Passover meal. It is said that Jesus was completing the Passover ritual, having offered himself meanwhile as a sacrifice. He then pronounced: “It is accomplished.” The new covenant was established. The 4th Passover cup of wine carried the promise: “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” (Exodus 6: 7)

 

St. Paul wrote: “How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom, to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:14-15)

 

At the Last Supper Jesus told his apostles to ‘do this in remembrance of me’. What did he mean by that? It may help to know a little about the ancient practice of offering sacrifice to God. In certain rituals, the Jewish people were allowed to eat some of the sacrifice, and as mentioned – in that way they took part in the offering. This particularly applied to the Communion Sacrifices. These included Thanksgiving offerings which expressed gratitude for blessings received. And the Greek word for ‘thanksgiving’ is Eucharist.

The words ‘Communion’ and ‘Eucharist’ are of course familiar. We see that these offerings expressed gratitude and devotion to God.

 

Clearly Jesus wanted to leave a new and perfect form of sacrifice for his followers to offer to God. The invitation that he gave to eat and drink, enabled them to take part in the offering. He did not leave them a dead sacrifice however, because in Hebrew the words ‘flesh’ and ‘blood’ refer to the whole person. He was giving them himself in a new and dynamic way, a way that could be repeated again and again.

 

What is interesting here, is that when the catholic priest is about to say the vital words of consecration, he calls for the Holy Spirit. Now once more, the power of God’s Spirit will come into action, it will come upon the bread and wine and transform them into the sacred presence of Jesus. (Reference to Luke 1:35).

 

You have to admit that this is amazingly simple and effective. The disciples of Jesus went out into a world where animals, and even humans were butchered to please the gods. The new message was that God himself had been butchered, and he didn’t want any more killing of any kind. The only sacrifice he wanted, was this simple but miraculous offering. And it worked.

 

Of course Jesus suffered, died, and redeemed us only once. As St. Paul said: “..we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

The important word to use here is ‘re-actualise’ (in Hebrew zikkaron). Jesus left us the means to reactualise his sacrifice on the Cross – to bring it into the present time. That is how it was understood by the early Church.

St. Paul wrote: “The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:16). Jesus gave to the apostles the means of re-offering his sacrifice, and it was passed down the centuries as the most vital responsibility of the priesthood.

The catholic priest ‘stands in’ for Jesus, repeats his words, and makes the sacrificial offering on our behalf. The service is called the Mass (the gathering). And it takes place at an altar. All this was familiar to the early Church, and St. Paul reminded them that Jesus “..has a permanent priesthood.” (Hebrews 7: 24). Jesus completes the offering in Heaven (Hebrews 8:1-3).

 

When we participate through eating and drinking, we receive Jesus in a unique way. He comes to us in both his human and Divine nature: body, blood, soul, and Divinity. The Resurrection of Jesus is central to this teaching, because it is the risen, glorified body that we receive. As mentioned, the bread and wine do not change outwardly except in miraculous instances. The miracles do occur now and again, to boost our faith. When received in the right spirit, this living Presence of Jesus has a profound effect in our soul.

 

The early Church was in no doubt about these teachings. In the 2nd century St. Justin Martyr wrote:

“This food is known among us as the Eucharist, we do not receive these things as common bread and common drink, but as Jesus Christ our Saviour being made flesh by the Word of God.”

 

In the 4th century St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote : “Since then he has declared instead of the bread ‘This is my Body’, who after that will venture to doubt? And seeing that he has affirmed and said ‘This is my Blood’ who will raise a question and say it is not his Blood?”

 

At the end of the 4th century St. Ambrose commented:

“Why then do you look for nature’s order in Christ’s body, since the Lord Jesus was himself brought forth of a virgin beyond nature.”

(Summa Theologica III)

 

St. Francis of Assisi in the 12th century said:

“He shows himself to us in this sacred bread, just as he once appeared to his apostles in real flesh. With their own eyes they saw only his flesh, but they believed that he was God because they contemplated him with the eyes of the spirit. We too, with our own eyes see only bread and wine, but we must see further and firmly believe that this is his most holy Body and Blood, living and true.” (Admonitions 1)

 

At the Last Supper Jesus was putting into effect a teaching which he had expressed around the time of a previous Passover (John 6:4). On that occasion he had just performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish. The event revealed his Divine power, and pre-figured the miraculous ‘food’ of the Last Supper. It also prepared the people for the extraordinary things that he was going to say, for example:

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (John 6: 27)

 

Also: “ ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’

Jesus said to them: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you can eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’ “ (John 6: 51-57)

 

These were very strong words for anybody to accept, and they were especially difficult for the Jews, who did not even eat meat with blood in it. “On hearing it, many of his disciples said: ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’ Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them: ‘Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.’ “ (John 6:60-63) “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6: 66)

 

Jesus had tried to explain that it was the spiritual dimension to his flesh and blood that mattered, however he did not take back any of his words. He meant what he said, because he knew what was going to take place in the future – at the Last Supper. His Resurrection would then confirm and complete his message.

 

Jesus connected this teaching with the Last Supper, when he referred to Jeremiah’s prophecy about a new covenant (3:31-33):

“It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. ..I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6: 45-48, 51)

 

What exactly did the new covenant mean in all this? We have seen already that a covenant or pact made by God involves an input from both parties (God and us) and that it forms a close bond. The instruction that Jesus gave the apostles was:

“Do this in remembrance of me.” They fulfilled their part in the covenant by meeting together, and repeating the sacrificial ritual that he had shown them.

St. Paul explained the practice of the early Church as follows:

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying: ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgement on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11: 23-29)

 

God’s part in the covenant is his promise of forgiveness and eternal life. This is expressed in St. Matthew’s account of the Last Supper: “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28). And Jesus had previously declared: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6: 54)

 

Jesus intended that each of his followers should be able to participate in his sacrifice, and receive all the blessings available. In this way the covenant would be renewed in every generation. The keeping of the covenant has in fact been the source of power and inspiration in the Church. The early catholic monks spread far and wide, offering the Mass, and praying to Jesus in the Eucharist. Gradually the pagan nations realised that here was a greater power than their occult practices.

The following prophecy of Jesus was gradually fulfilled:

“Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world (Satan) is to be overthrown. And when I am lifted up from the earth (crucified) I shall draw all men to myself.”

(John 12:31-32)

 

 

 

CHAPTER 10

God the Holy Spirit

 

The writing of the Gospels was not undertaken in the lifetime of Jesus. He established his Church before anything was ever written down. By the time of his death, many close followers (disciples) had learned how to pass on Jesus’ teachings. It did not occur to them to write things down, because that was not the practice of the time. Instead they gave personal instruction and formed new leaders. St. Paul was the first one to write letters (epistles) in which he gave encouragement, and explained the teachings.

 

It does not seem possible that a group of ordinary men, with such simple methods, could have overturned world history. Christianity was to effect greater changes than for example, the Industrial Revolution. At our present point in time, it is difficult to appreciate the difference that it made.

 

The explanation for the rapid spread of Christianity, was of course the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the Trinity. During his preaching, Jesus did not mention the Holy Spirit very much; he concentrated on revealing the Father. It was at the Last Supper that he prepared the apostles for their big encounter with his Holy Spirit, whom he called the Advocate (which means ‘one called alongside’). Jesus said:

“..it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you.” (John 16:7)

And: “.. that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive, since it neither sees nor knows him, but you know him because he is with you, he is in you.” (John 14:17)

 

The last statement was remarkable for the apostles to hear, because in the Old Testament it was rare for someone to have the Holy Spirit ‘in’ them. Jesus continued: “.. the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

And: “I still have many things to say to you – but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth… and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.” John 16: 12-14)

 

It had been part of the mission of Jesus, to make the Father known to people. Now it was going to be the task of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus known: to glorify Jesus. This he has continued to do in every generation, for 2000 years. We are unable to experience God, or to grasp a single spiritual truth, without the Holy Spirit to give us enlightenment. If we want to know Jesus – we must ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts. St. Paul said:

“..no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12: 3)

 

St. Paul understood these things very well, because he had the most stunning experience of the Holy Spirit. He had never been a follower of Jesus, he was educated as a Pharisee and was strongly committed. Paul (formerly Saul) hated the break-away Jews, who were becoming Christians after the death of Jesus. At the age of 24 years he was helping to persecute them.

 

One day while travelling to Damascus, a brilliant light suddenly shone around him and he fell to the ground. Then he heard the voice of Jesus saying: “ ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you Lord?’ he asked, and the voice answered ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me.’”

Then he was given instructions on where to get help in Damascus, because he had been blinded by this event. “For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.” Finally Ananias arrived and said:

“Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here, so that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts of the Apostles chapter 9)

 

Within three days Paul was totally transformed, and he immediately started to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, to the amazement of everybody. He had been chosen, blessed, and enlightened by the Holy Spirit to such a degree that his teaching outshone that of the apostles, who had spent three years in the company of Jesus.

To the Church in Corinth he was to write:

“..we teach what Scripture calls: the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man; all that God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

And: “..we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us.”

(1 Cor. 2:12)

 

The means of receiving the Holy Spirit was first of all through baptism, as Jesus had explained to the Pharisee Nicodemus:

“ ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.’ “ (John 3:3-5)

 

Baptism is the normal Christian initiation into a relationship with God, which has the effect of wiping out past sins, including Original Sin. Most people when they are baptised as adults, have a beautiful experience of the Holy Spirit. It is described as light, warmth, peace, walking on air, etc. The early Jewish Christians wore their white Passover robes when they were baptised, in order to symbolise their passage from the ‘slavery’ of sin, to the new spiritual life.

 

Ritual cleansing and immersion in water, was something familiar to the Jews. Excavations outside the Temple in Jerusalem uncovered 760 baths, which were used for cleansing before entering the building. Christians later modified this practice by providing blessed (holy) water, for blessing themselves before entering a church. It was a reminder of the water of baptism.

 

Christians are assured of a new spiritual life through their baptism. Later when they are ready for it, they receive a ‘laying on of hands’ (Confirmation) as described in the Acts of the Apostles. This brings a further in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the possibility of the ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit. Within Christianity the potential for gifts and blessings is extraordinary.

 

Can non-Christians experience the Holy Spirit? The answer of course is yes, but his action is limited. In the Old Testament we see God’s concern for the pagans as well as the Jews (e.g. the story of Jonah). The three Kings who came to honour Jesus at his birth, were from pagan countries, but no doubt they had been inspired by the Holy Spirit. God wants every person on earth to know him, and we recognise his presence in the lives of good people of all religious faiths.

However, there has only been one Incarnation of God, and it is by responding to Jesus, and by following his teachings, that we do what God has explicitly asked. He wants mankind to be one united spiritual family, all aware of their Saviour, and aware of the new covenant.

 

St. Peter taught: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:12)

Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity and “..the world was made through him..” (John 1:10)

It is therefore through him, that we will reach unity with God in Heaven. Jesus explained: “No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Those people who have not known Jesus, will be judged according to their beliefs and conscience (Romans 2:13-15). For them too, the means of entry to Heaven is through the Divinity of Jesus (whether they realise it or not).

 

To grasp the possibilities offered by the Holy Spirit, it is best to examine the Acts of the Apostles. This gives a vivid account of the difference that the Holy Spirit made to the followers of Jesus. When Jesus was arrested the apostles fled in terror, and St. Peter denied that he even knew him. After he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to the apostles, which gave them a shock – for they had not understood his mission, and were still confused. During forty days he continued to appear to the apostles and disciples.

St. Paul tells us that Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred brothers together.” (1 Cor. 15:6) Finally they witnessed his departure to Heaven. “..He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” (Acts of the Apostles 1: 9)

 

Before leaving, Jesus told the apostles:

“And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

 

Fifty days after the Feast of Passover, was the Feast of Pentecost, which was a thanksgiving for the early harvests. Once again the Jewish nation came to Jerusalem in order to offer sacrifice in the Temple. Jews came from various parts of the Roman Empire, where their ancestors had settled and adopted other languages. God chose this occasion to display the action of the Holy Spirit. The twelve apostles and the disciples were still nervous, but they gathered together for the festival:

“When Pentecost day came around, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting. And something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Now there were devout men staying in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language?’ “ (Acts 2:1-8)

 

St. Peter told them about the death and resurrection of Jesus. “Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles: ‘What must we do, brothers?’ ‘You must repent’ Peter answered ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself.’ “ (Acts 2: 37-39)

 

Pentecost is counted as the day that the Church came to life: the apostles and disciples were transformed, and were no longer fearful or unsure of themselves. They had received the ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit. If you remember, our first ancestors (Adam and Eve) had lost their spiritual gifts when they disobeyed God. Now that Jesus had mended the rift with God, the gifts (charisms) could be widely given.

 

St. Paul explained the nature of the gifts: “The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person, is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit… and another the gift of faith… another again the gift of healing… one the power of miracles, another – prophecy; another the gift of recognising spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.” (1 Cor. 12:7-11)

 

Just as Jesus had promised, his followers were now able to do what he had done. One day a beggar who had been crippled from birth, asked Peter and John for money, and Peter said to him:

“ ‘I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!’ Peter then took him by the hand and helped him to stand up. Instantly his feet and ankles became firm, he jumped up, stood and began to walk, and he went with them into the Temple, walking and jumping and praising God.” (Acts 3: 6-8)

“So many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles.. that the sick were even taken out into the streets, and laid on beds and sleeping-mats, in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past. People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.”

(Acts 5:12, 15-16)

 

The Acts of the Apostles is an interesting read – describing the activities and problems of the early years. Needless to say St. Paul had most of the spiritual gifts, but he explained how the true follower of Jesus was to be recognised by an example of love:

“If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness – to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”

(1 Corinthians 13:1-7)

 

Yes the early Christians knew that they should learn to love as Jesus had loved. The Holy Spirit removes the scales from our eyes and reveals spiritual truths.. Down the centuries, when people were enthusiastic and lived their faith, then the special gifts of the Spirit were given to them. Many saints for example had extraordinary spiritual gifts – in addition to those listed by St. Paul. They could read souls, read minds, see angels, levitate, bilocate, exorcise, etc.

 

The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to deal with pagan practices, and with people who had power that comes from Satan. There was Simon the magician (Acts 8:9-13). Also the slave-girl who told fortunes (Acts 16:16-18). “Some believers too, came forward to admit in detail how they had used spells. And a number of them who had practised magic, collected their books and made a bonfire of them in public.” (Acts 19:18-19)

 

Since God’s Holy Spirit dwells within people, within their spirit, the early disciples explained the following: “Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)

 

If we don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit, we will take this advice:

“So from now on, there must be no more lies: you must speak the truth to one another, since we are all parts of one another. Even if you are angry, you must not sin: never let the sun set on your anger or else you will give the devil a foothold. Anyone who was a thief must stop stealing; he should try to find some useful manual work instead, and be able to do some good by helping others that are in need.

Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only grieve the Holy Spirit of God – who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.

Try then, to imitate God, as children of his that he loves, and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God. Among you there must not be even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity: this would hardly become the saints! There must be no coarseness, or salacious talk and jokes – all this is wrong for you; raise your voices in thanksgiving instead.” (Ephesians 4: 25 – 5: 4)

 

It was evident that the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life brings about the qualities of: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5: 23) A person also comes to realise that they are a child of God, and that they can call him ‘Abba’ (daddy or father): “The proof that you are sons, is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries ‘Abba, Father’. And it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave anymore; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.” (Galatians 4:6-7)

These were very new ideas to the various pagan people of the time, who had believed themselves to be the slaves of their gods.

 

The Roman Empire gave the disciples the means to travel widely. They spread the knowledge of Jesus throughout the Middle East, the Mediterranean, north Africa, parts of Europe. Thomas got as far as Persia and India, and Bartholomew reached Ethiopia. Furthermore the Roman soldiers who were Christians, spread the teachings wherever they went. However it was not an easy task: at home the disciples were persecuted by the Jewish authorities. Within the Empire, from the time of Nero there was intermittent persecution: it was forbidden to convert Roman citizens, because the Emperor was supposed to be a god. St. Alban was an early martyr in Britain, he was a Roman soldier.

 

The Acts of the Apostles records the dangers and difficulties that the Church experienced during the first thirty years. The blessing of the Holy Spirit accounts for the heroism and success of those early days. On one occasion when the apostles were taken prisoner and threatened with execution by the Jews, a wise Pharisee made the following observation: “What I suggest therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord. But if it does in fact come from God, you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5: 38-39)

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Comment: Some people think that St. Augustine of Canterbury was the first missionary to Britain. In fact there were bishops and dioceses among the Britons by the 4th century. Unfortunately they were driven west into Wales by the invading Angles, who worshipped Wotan, Thor, and the Norse gods. It was these people whom Augustine was sent to convert. The Britons joined the Christians in Wales, and formed the Celtic Church – loyal to Rome. St. Patrick was a Celt, and he took the Faith to Ireland in 431 A.D.

 

CHAPTER 11

The Church of Jesus (How the Church Developed)

 

In the Bible, St. Paul refers to the Church as the body of Christ. He says that Jesus is “..the head of the Church, which is his body..” (Ephesians 1:22-23). This shows how Jesus still wants to be intimately involved. His Church brings the presence of Jesus, and the action of the Holy Spirit, into every corner of the world. The term body of Christ is taken to include all the Christian churches. Before long, we hope that there will be one united body of Christians. Meanwhile the more respect and solidarity between Christians the better. To promote this, it may be helpful to look at how the original Church developed.

 

The persecution of the early Church by the Jews, eventually forced St. Peter to move the headquarters from Jerusalem to Antioch in Syria. This was where the followers of Jesus were first referred to as Christ-ians (Acts of the Apostles 11:26). It was a bishop of Antioch – St. Ignatius, who later coined the term ‘catholic’ to describe the Church. The word catholic means universal. Ignatius was martyred in the 2nd century.

 

According to the historian Eusebius, St. Peter next moved to Rome, where he was the bishop for 25 years. He continued to be the accepted leader of the Church, and early writers referred to him as the Prince of Apostles. Jesus had given him first position, and had changed his name from Simon to Cephas in the original Aramaic language (John 1:42). Cephas – means rock. (We are familiar with the Greek translation, which is Peter.) Later on we realise why Jesus did this, because he said:

“..you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Sheol will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

 

Why did Jesus make the point about building his Church on the ‘rock’ that was Peter? Because the Jerusalem Temple was built on a massive rock – which everyone knew, and it was significant to the Jews. Peter was now to be the foundation rock of Jesus’ new Church.

Jesus also mentioned giving Peter keys. This echoed a similar expression that God had spoken through the prophet Isaiah. At that time, God was referring to Eliakim when he was raised to authority in the king’s absence:

“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Isaiah 22:22)

Now Peter was to gain full authority in the absence of Jesus, when he finally departed. God does not leave his people without a leader: Peter’s position was similar to that of the leaders in the Old Testament, such as Joshua. The successors of Peter – the bishop of Rome – continued to be leaders and guardians of the Church. There is a line of bishops (later known as Popes) 267 of them so far, dating back to St. Peter. It was Linus who succeeded Peter; his name is mentioned in the Bible, in Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy (4:21).

 

Naturally Jesus continues to be the true head of his Church. And in all spiritual matters, the leaders seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (The issue of the infallibility of the Pope, applies to the few occasions when the Church needs to have a particular teaching clarified and expressed officially. Such a teaching would have existed since the earliest times of the Church, and it would be in harmony with the Bible. The Pope publicly claims his authority, and pronounces that the teaching is correct and official. In other words it is a dogma. This happens very rarely.)

 

In 64 A.D. the Emperor Nero began to persecute the Christians in a most sadistic way. St. Peter was martyred in about 67 A.D. in Rome. St. Paul was beheaded there, shortly afterwards. Ultimately all the apostles were put to death, except for St. John. The Emperor Domitian tried to have him killed, but he survived. The Church was persecuted by the Romans on and off until the 4th century, and the majority of Saints from that period were martyrs.

 

The apostles did not write an account of Jesus for many years, partly because they thought that he would soon return to them. They assumed that they were living in the ‘end times’, about which they had been told. However it was the end times of Jerusalem and the Temple, which they were going to experience.

An early formula of the Christian faith, is the Apostles’ Creed, which was composed during the first century. It was affirmed and expanded upon, at the Church Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. That version is called the Nicene Creed, and it has been recited in catholic churches ever since those days.

 

St. Mark wrote the first gospel, he did it in Rome under the direction of St. Peter, in about 65 A.D. The gospels of Matthew and Luke are thought to have been written about 70 and 80 A.D. St. John’s gospel was published after his death in 98 A.D. The early Church did not possess a Bible as such; it took many years for that to develop. The Jewish writings of the Old Testament were available, but the teachings of Jesus were spread verbally. When the apostles and St. Paul wrote letters of instruction, these were copied and passed around.

 

The system of bishops was widely developed by the end of the first century. The apostle James – the cousin of Jesus (nephew of St. Joseph) was the first bishop of Jerusalem. Zaccheus the tax collector (Luke 19:2) was the first bishop of Caesarea. The original bishops had close lines of connection with the apostles, and could guarantee the oral tradition. The first recorded Synod of Bishops took place about 170 A.D. (The role of the bishop is to maintain the teaching of the true faith within their area, and to ordain priests, etc.)

 

By the time the original disciples died, there was quite a collection of Christian writings in circulation. It became necessary for the bishops to evaluate and organise the situation. Early in the second century the writings were collected, discerned, and a selection was kept that expressed the faith accurately. However different regions favoured different writers. It was not until the Church Council of Carthage (397 A.D.) under the leadership of St. Augustine, that the final choice of New Testament literature was made. The selection was then taken to Rome, for the discernment and approval of Pope Siricius. The content of the New Testament has remained unchanged ever since that time.

 

During the early centuries there were holy men who received the faith either directly, or indirectly from the disciples of Jesus. They prayed, studied and helped to formulate the early beliefs. They are known as

the early Church Fathers. In the development of any doctrine since then, the Church turns to both the Bible, and to their writings, in order to discover the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 

Many people are unaware of the origins of the Bible and the Catholic Church, and yet the two are inseparable. The Church selected the New Testament writings. The Old Testament, New Testament, and tradition, have formed the teachings of the Catholic Church. St. Paul refers to tradition as follows: “..stand firm and hold to the traditions that we taught you by word or by letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

 

The Church and the Bible exist because of the action and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To say that God protects the Church, includes the fact that he protects it from its own members.. Nothing but God’s influence and protection can account for the extraordinary 2,000 year existence of the Catholic Church. There have sometimes been bad Popes, bad priests, and bad generations, but in spite of all that, the Church has continued to preserve the true Christian faith.

 

The Church is a living proof of the new covenant made by Jesus at the Last Supper (see chapter 9). However, God deals with the Church much as he dealt with the Jews in the Old Testament. When the Church is holy he raises it up, and when it becomes lax he purifies it – by means of prophets, or through persecution. (Currently the Church is lax, it has had many recent prophets – but they have been ignored; so what we are now facing is persecution.)

 

From the very beginning, the source of unity within the Catholic Church, has been the sacred Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (Holy Communion). The original Jewish Christians continued to observe the Jewish Sabbath (on Saturdays) but in the evening when the Sabbath was over, they would gather for the Christian celebration. This was a community meal and prayer service, which included the sacrificial ritual of the Last Supper. The event became known as the Mass (the gathering).

 

The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist bound together Christians of all nationalities in one Church. This lasted for 1,000 years. Over the centuries however, the Eastern (Greek) Church had developed its own identity. In 1,054 A.D. due to disagreements, a split from Rome occurred. The Eastern Church then made its headquarters in Constantinople (now Istanbul). It became known as the Greek Orthodox Church. As it spread into other countries, further division took place, such as the Russian Orthodox Church. Unity was lost, but the Orthodox Churches preserved the true faith. The Catholic and Orthodox members are allowed to share the same Eucharist.

 

When the original Christian community grew in size, it had to think about the construction of buildings in which to offer the new Sacrifice. The Temple in Jerusalem was the natural example to follow. In the Jewish religion the Temple was the only place where sacrifice could be offered. Throughout the rest of the country, the synagogues were simply used for prayer and instruction. However the design of the synagogue was based upon the Temple – not literally but symbolically. The synagogue therefore became the model for the new Christian buildings.

 

To this day the traditional Catholic church resembles the Temple: with the porch, the nave and the sanctuary representing its divisions. The altar rail represents the balustrade between the Temple priests’ Court and the Holy of Holies. The sanctuary lamp never goes out – like the ever-burning lamp in a synagogue, and in the Temple. The synagogue sanctuary has steps and a rostrum or pulpit. The catholic sanctuary does too.

In addition, the church has an altar for offering the holy Sacrifice. There is also a small ornate Tabernacle (cupboard) where the consecrated Eucharist – the sacred Presence of Jesus, is kept and honoured. Either outside or inside the Tabernacle there is a small curtain, which represents the veil of the Holy of Holies. The use of incense in church, originated in the Temple. The robes of the catholic priest represent the robes worn by the Temple priests. The gestures of the ritual are symbolic, and relate to Temple practice. (From How Christ Said the First Mass by Fr. J.L. Meagher)

 

The style of the Mass developed in the early years of the Church, when prayers were added to the ritual given by Jesus at the Last Supper. The prayers mostly came from the Bible, or were references to the Bible. In the 4th century St. Ambrose had the task of arranging the essential prayer-form to be used throughout the world. The format has not changed a great deal since then.

Latin was the universal language within the Roman Empire, plus it was the language of education in the West for centuries – therefore it was used in the Church. These days of course, the Mass is said in the local language.

The offering of sacrifice to God, must include with it the offering of ourselves and our personal sacrifices (Hebrews 13:16). This is done symbolically during Mass, when a drop of water (representing the people) is added to the wine in the chalice. As a community at Mass, we also offer to God a “..sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name.”

(Hebrews 13:15)

The parallels between church and Temple remind us that God himself designed the Jerusalem Temple (1 Chronicles 28:19). The design was both lavish and practical (Exodus chapters 35 – 40). God had wanted to make people aware of his greatness, and to encourage an attitude of respect and worship. Catholic churches are ornate because the Temple was ornate; this helps to raise the mind out of everyday existence. At church, people go on their knees before Jesus, for St. Paul wrote:

“..at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth..” (Philippians 2: 10)

 

In church Jesus is experienced in three ways:

(1) Through his Word (the Bible). (2) He is received intimately in Holy Communion. (3) We sense his spiritual Presence there with us, just as he foretold: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18: 20)

 

God gave the Jews a calendar of holy days and rituals (Leviticus chapter 23). Similarly the Catholic Church organised a calendar of holy days, which mark events in the life of Jesus. For example Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and many more (in the Middle Ages, people had the holy days off work, which is how the word holiday came about.)

 

A unified system of Christian belief and practice existed until the 16th century. It seems appropriate to mention the change which then occurred, because it explains the current situation in the world. The change was dramatic, and the effects are still experienced today. What took place was a religious revolution – known as the Reformation.

At that time, the Catholic Church was in a low spiritual state, following too much involvement in political issues. A catholic monk in Germany – Martin Luther, wanted to bring about changes, and in 1538 he finally broke away and founded his own Lutheran Church. It should be added that Luther did not act alone: he was part of a movement – the Rosicrucian Order (see the Internet).

Later Henry VIII broke away from Rome and founded the Church of England. John Calvin was a Frenchman, he followed Luther and then went on to develop Calvinism – which gave rise to the Puritans among others. The Scotsman John Knox studied under Calvin in Geneva; then he returned to Scotland and founded the Scottish Presbyterian Church. All these Churches were called Protestant because they ‘protested’ against the Catholic Church. In the course of time they sub-divided, and there are now many Protestant denominations world-wide.

 

A most important change in Christian belief had taken place. The new Churches rejected the whole idea of sacrifice associated with the Last Supper. In the early days when Protestants took over the Catholic cathedrals and churches, they threw out the altars, and the service was radically changed. These days there is sometimes an outward similarity between the services. However for the non-catholic, the Communion Service is a symbolic commemoration of the Last Supper. There is no connection with Calvary, no Presence of Jesus, and no sacrifice is offered to God. In other words the new covenant is not maintained.

 

Another lasting change from the Reformation which should be mentioned, is the difference between Catholic and Protestant editions of the Bible. Martin Luther translated the Bible, and in doing so he removed a number of Books from the Old Testament (this includes the Book of Wisdom which was quoted in chapter 6). Luther wanted to comply with the Hebrew version of the Old Testament. Long ago the Hebrew-speaking Jews had rejected any ancient writings which were only available in the Greek translation. However this Hebrew selection of Books was made after the time of the apostles. The early Church debated this issue at the time, and came to the conclusion that in spite of being expressed in Greek, the writings were inspired by God. Moreover, some of the Books had clearly influenced the authors of the New Testament.

Interestingly, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, parts of some Books were actually found in an early Hebrew form. These days some Protestant editions of the Bible include the Books, but refer to them as the ‘Apocrypha’, which implies a lesser status.

 

A further change brought about by the Reformation, has had enormous effect. This was the rejection of the traditional teachings of the Church. As mentioned, the faith was originally passed on by word of mouth, and not every detail was written down in the New Testament. As St. Paul said: “..stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.” (2 Thes. 2:15)

The details of teaching which were not included in the New Testament, were however included in the writings of the early Church Fathers. Having said that – every Church doctrine can be found even in a simple form, in the Bible. However, this was discounted by the Reformers. Hard-line Protestants to this day, will only accept the Bible as their source of teaching. Other Protestants are pleasantly surprised by the richness of the faith expressed by the early writers. They find that the teachings of the Catholic Church were defined at a very early stage.

 

When the Reformers claimed ‘the Bible alone’ as their means of information, they also claimed the right of each individual to interpret it as they pleased. They would acknowledge no authority. This is what led to the many divisions between believers.

 

Something else that was lost at the Reformation, was the ritual of the seven Sacraments. A Sacrament is called an outward sign of inward grace. These are special encounters with Jesus, which take place at different stages of life. They are: Baptism, Confession, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders (priests), and the Sacrament of the Dying.

 

PURGATORY

 

Martin Luther of course abandoned belief in Purgatory. He promoted the idea that once saved, a person remained saved. Certain passages of the New Testament were interpreted to mean that anyone who acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord – would go straight to heaven (e.g. Romans 10:9-11). People were happy to believe that of course, but it wasn’t very realistic because Jesus himself was strict, and he spoke clearly of punishment.

 

The word Purgatory means a place of purgation (cleansing). It came from the early Latin Church, and updated the words commonly used in the Bible – which are Sheol in Hebrew, or Hades in Greek.

Sheol translates as the place of the dead. It was thought to be a place of waiting, and there was the possibility of punishment (cleansing). It was the main word used for the after-life by the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament (e.g. Psalm 16:10).

 

The modern Jewish New Testament is translated by Messianic Jews (Christians) and the Commentary endeavours to explain the Hebrew. Throughout this Jewish translation, the word Sheol is used. This demonstrates how confusion arises in other translations of the Bible, because instead of Sheol, other expressions are used – such as: the grave; the land of the dead; the netherworld; the cords of death. In other words the concept of a distinct place or state, of after-life, becomes too vague.

 

When the Bible was written in Greek, Sheol became translated as Hades. Hades then also acquired the meaning of Hell, which adds to the confusion. (It is more confusing when Concordances do not even contain ‘Sheol’, or only translate it as Hell. No wonder people get in a muddle over Purgatory.)

In the New Testament, Jesus is consistent in making a distinction between Sheol – the place of the dead, and Hell for which he used the term Gehenna (a place of burning which never goes out) as in Matthew 5:22. Jesus also referred to Hell as ‘the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Mat. 25:30)

 

With hindsight we can see that Sheol (or Hades) was a holding place for the dead (Acts 2:27; 1 Peter 3:19; Romans 10:7). When Jesus Redeemed mankind, those in the holding place, were finally released to Heaven.

If you remember, that was why dead people came out of their tombs, after Jesus died on the Cross (Matthew 27:51-53). They were witnesses to the truth of his claim to be Redeemer.

 

Where in the New Testament does it say that Sheol was closed down? It wasn’t, Jesus continued to use the concept in his teaching (Matthew 11:23; 12:40; 16:18; John 2:22; Luke 16:23 – which shows it to be a place of punishment; Rev.1:18).

 

In parables his listeners understood exactly what he meant; for example when Jesus told the story of the cruel servant, the king says: “‘I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over _*to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt._ [*-] , if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35) And where will be the place of punishment – (Sheol).

 

In another story: “.. the master of that (bad) servant will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful… (Another servant) will receive a severe beating… From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” (Luke 12:46-48) Where will this happen – (Sheol).

 

And : “..the judge will turn you over to the bailiff, and the bailiff will throw you in jail. !” (Luke 12: 57-59)

Where will you be detained – (Sheol).

 

Jesus was not just making social observations in the above. In all these stories, his listeners knew that he referred to punishment from God in the after-life, in Sheol. The crime in each case, was how we mistreat other people.

 

Many Christians say Ah, but the thief who died on the cross with Jesus, was told he would go straight to Paradise (Luke 23:43). There are two points here; one is that the man had genuine remorse and total faith in Jesus. The other point, is that he was doing his Sheol (purgatory) on the cross. Our sufferings in this life can count as expiation (penance/purgatory) if we have the right spirit of acceptance. And that applies to anybody.

 

When people throw out the idea of Purgatory (Sheol/ Hades) they don’t seem to have given much thought to all the sinners who do not have faith in Jesus Christ. What happens to them? Purgatory is a safety net. Our Lord Jesus died in order to save us from Hell, not save us from punishment when it is deserved.

 

Somehow there’s a popular belief in the West, that if you haven’t killed anybody, then you go straight to Heaven! It’s extraordinary, how 2000 years of Old and New Testament revelation from Almighty God, is totally ignored.. Jesus said: “not everyone who says to me ‘Lord Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

In fact the New Testament does tell us that Sheol (Hades/ Purgatory) comes to an end.. But it is not until the Last Judgement. In Revelation we are told: “Death and Sheol gave up the dead in them, and they were judged.. Then death and Sheol were hurled into the lake of fire.” (20: 13-14) That means some people will be in Sheol (Purgatory) right up to the Last Judgement, and then it will be disposed of.

 

Since the time of the early Church, people have believed that when they die, they will have their particular judgement before God (Hebrews 9:27). Some will go straight to Heaven, some straight to Hell, and the majority will need to be purified (purged of their sins) in Sheol if you like – but Purgatory says it better. At the Last Judgement, we will all be judged publicly – to show God’s mercy and fairness, then we will continue our existence in Heaven or Hell.

 

During the centuries before Jesus, the Old Testament Jews had gradually come to an understanding of the afterlife. So that by the time of the Maccabees in the second century B.C. we find that they made sin offerings on behalf of the dead, as follows:

He also took up a collection.. and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honourably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sins.” (2 Maccabees 12: 43-45)

This is the teaching that was handed on to the early Church. It shows the kindness of Almighty God, who allows us to pray and help people in Sheol (Purgatory).

 

 

The Church of Jesus is no longer one united body; however most people these days regret the divisions, and sincere efforts are being made to find common ground. In present day catholic prophecy, Jesus frequently comments on the divisions in his Body – the Church. He says for example, that Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants have to bend in order to bridge the gaps between each other. Jesus says that he will bring about unity himself in a dramatic way.. Meanwhile he asks for a unity of fellowship, based on mutual love and respect.

 

 

CHAPTER 12

The Book of Revelation – The Apocalypse

 

So where do the last few chapters, and the past 2,000 years bring us? They bring us to the Book of Revelation, which is also called the Apocalypse. This is the last book in the Bible. It takes its name from the opening line: “The revelation of Jesus Christ..” It is called Revelation for short. According to tradition it was written by St. John the apostle, the author of one of the gospels. However you would never guess that it was written by him, because the style is so different. Apocalyptic writing was a literary form, which used symbols and strange images to get across a message. For anyone who has not read Revelation, it cannot be recommended as easy to follow. In fact parts of it are quite disturbing, if you do not have a good Commentary to interpret the meaning.

 

This chapter will try to give an overview, showing some of the religious and historical background. It will mainly focus on the early period, because prophecy which affects our times will be dealt with in other chapters. The last section however, will examine the judgements which may affect our times. If it all becomes too complex for some readers, it may be best to give up and move on to the next chapter.

 

The apocalyptic style of writing, with the use of images, allows for different interpretations. This is good from the spiritual point of view, because it can hold a message for different generations. It can be surprising however, to discover the range of interpretations that are made by modern commentators..

 

The Apocalypse became a well known word, because it was sensationalised by the cinema. For example the ‘four horsemen’ of the Apocalypse, and the number 666 associated with the Antichrist, have figured in various films. In reality however, the Apocalypse is deeply spiritual, and it is full of hope for anyone who wishes to follow Jesus Christ.

 

The Book is in the form of a long vision, which St. John tells us he experienced on the island of Patmos. Patmos was a Roman penal colony, and John was there for having “preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus.” (Revelation 1:9) He opens by saying:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw: that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:1-3)

 

The Apocalypse was primarily a revelation from Jesus Christ to his persecuted followers. They had been suffering at the hands of both the Jews and the Romans. It reinforced their faith in him, and reminded them that he was both God and Saviour. It sums up prophetic messages given to various Old Testament prophets, and takes a good deal of its imagery from those writings. In such a short Book there are said to be at least 500 references to the Old Testament.

As it says: “..the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7) The time was right, for the Jewish Christians to be reminded of the prophecies that would affect them. Many of those prophecies would again be relevant at the end of the age (our times).

 

John’s vision took place on a Sunday: “..it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me..” (Rev. 1:10) This is significant because the Lord’s day – the day of the week when he rose from the dead, was when the Christian community came together. They celebrated the memorial of the Last Supper, which is to say the Sacrifice of Jesus the Lamb of God. Jesus became real for them, as described earlier in chapter 9 of this book. Revelation is very much concerned with what Jesus achieved through his death and resurrection. He is the Lamb of God, who died as a victim, but in doing so opened the way to Heaven. His resurrection was a foretaste of his power, and a promise of his return in glory.

 

In the first three chapters of John’s vision, Jesus gives clear messages to seven church communities in ‘Asia’ (which is present day Turkey). He shows that he knows every detail about them, and he encourages or criticises them, as appropriate. Although it is Jesus who speaks, John did not see him as Jesus of Nazareth, he saw him as different visions.

 

The ‘seven churches’ is an example of the way that numbers have a meaning in the Bible. For the Jews, the number seven was the most important number. One explanation for this, is that in the Book of Genesis, God was said to have created the world in six days, and he rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). Number seven is therefore the number of completion and perfection. It is used throughout the Old Testament. In this example, the seven churches represented the whole Church at that time.

 

Some of Jesus’ comments in this section, have been relevant down the centuries, for example: “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:1)

And: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3: 20)

And perhaps surprisingly: “I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:14-15)

In chapter 2, the Jews who oppressed the Christians are called “the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev.2:9)

 

Jesus also speaks of having a “..sharp, double-edged sword.” (Rev. 2:12) it is described as coming out of his mouth – which sounds strange. However his ‘sword’ represents the word of God. The same expression is explained in the Letter to the Hebrews : “The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely… it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts.” (4:12)

 

The ‘letters to the seven churches’ is the first section of Revelation, and the easiest part to read. After that John says: “Then in my vision, I saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future.’ “ (Rev. 4:1)

 

The above passage raises the issue of prophecy, and the period that was indicated as ‘the future’. There are those who believe that the prophecy of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century after Jesus. Others claim that it means the whole period of history between the resurrection and the Second Coming of Jesus. Another theory is that it was entirely a forecast of the distant future – the time surrounding the Second Coming. The right answer seems to be a combination of these views: certain prophecies clearly took place during the first century, others are obviously still awaiting fulfilment. Down the centuries we have seen persecutions, followed by renewal of the Church – which is a theme in Revelation. There have also been types of ‘the beast’ (antichrists) who have tried to push God aside and take his place. Recent examples of these would be Lenin in Russia, and Chairman Mao of China.

 

So what were the main prophecies about? A theory that carries a lot of weight, explains that the primary prediction was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, which took place in 70 A.D. It was carried out with great cruelty by the Romans (the Jewish nation was finally dispersed in A.D. 135). Because the apocalyptic style used Jewish symbolism, Jewish mythology, and a knowledge of the Scriptures, it seems obvious that it was intended for a Jewish audience. This helps to confirm the theory that St. John experienced his vision before 70 A.D. However his various writings were not in circulation until many years later.

 

There is a secondary prediction, since some of the prophecy applies more than once. It concerns the period prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. Revelation speaks of the coming of Jesus in power, and his victory over his enemies, especially ‘the beast’ (Antichrist). Satan is banished for ’1000 years.’ It describes the Church as being renewed, and full of the Holy Spirit. There is a period of perfect harmony – which some believe is the new era described by present day prophets. These points will be discussed in more detail, in later chapters.

 

In summary, the message of Revelation describes two endings. It predicts the end of the Jewish era which was based on Temple worship. And it predicts the end of the age, prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. In doing so, it resembles the discourse of Jesus in St. Matthew’s gospel – quoted in chapter 3 of this book. If you remember, Jesus’ prophecies concerned these two endings. Revelation expands upon and embellishes those prophecies.

Revelation includes other teachings, and one could say that it takes the form of several short stories. It does not describe things in their exact order of happening, therefore we cannot look for a sequence of events. In order to interpret correctly, it is vital to have some knowledge of the history of the early period. Plus we need to be aware of the prophecies which are contained in the Old Testament.

For our era, modern prophecy helps to throw light on the situation.

 

Here is an example of how the historical background is needed, in order to understand the message given to the early Christians. John saw a vision: “..a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.” (Rev. 17:3)

An angel then explained to John: “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. ” (17:9-11)

 

Confused? This is what it probably means: the seven hills indicate Rome (which is built on seven hills). The five kings who have fallen are Emperors, most likely: Augustus, Tiberias, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. Another one is alive – Vespasian, who reigned from 69-79 A.D. He did not treat the Christians too badly. He was followed by his son Titus (who was sent to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D). He became Emperor for a “little while” 79-81 A.D. The eighth king is Domitian 81-96 A.D. who was as bad as Nero, and spread the persecution of Christians throughout the Empire. It was as if Nero “the beast who once was, and now is not” had returned. Domitian went to “his destruction” – he was assassinated.

 

If the above is correct, then St. John’s vision took place during the time of Vespasian – who followed Nero. Many believe that it did pre-date the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. One indicator is that the number 666 is thought to have referred to Nero, who was the first Emperor to cruelly persecute the Christians. He had both St. Peter and St. Paul put to death around 67 A.D. The Book of Revelation would have been written just after his reign. “If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” (Rev.13:18) In Jewish numerology, each letter of the alphabet corresponded to a number. When the letters of Caesar Nero are added up, they make 666.

 

It should be explained that in some people’s opinion, Revelation mainly prophesied the downfall of the Roman Empire. Certainly it refers a good deal to Rome, and to the demands of the Emperor (chapter 13). People could not buy or sell unless they worshipped Nero, which the Christians refused to do. The way they submitted to cruel deaths is legendary, and Revelation is full of encouragement for future generations of martyrs. However, from the time of the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, Christianity was (usually) promoted within the Empire. Constantine built an eastern capital called Constantinople (now Istanbul) and the Empire was divided in two. By the time Rome was eventually destroyed in 476 A.D, it was not the tragedy that is predicted in Revelation (chapter 18). That description better fits the downfall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

 

As mentioned, there is frequent use of Jewish symbolism in Revelation, and especially use of the number seven. The list of sevens includes the following:

Seven Angels the Jews believed that there were seven Archangels.

Seven Seals seven seals were used to close the parchment of a covenant, after it had been witnessed.

Seven Trumpets – as used in the Temple ritual.

Seven Bowls – also used in Temple ritual.

Seven blessings – from God, spread throughout Revelation.

 

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus (26:18-33) we find that three times God made it clear to the Israelites, that he would punish them seven times if they did not respect and obey him. That is to say three sets of seven. In Revelation there are similarly three sets of seven judgements. They are associated with the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Bowls. These judgements are contained in chapters 5-16 in Revelation. They indicated the vengeance of the Romans in 70 A.D. (As mentioned, an interpretation of the judgements for our times is at the end of this chapter.)

 

Some background information may now help to show how the Jewish nation fell from God’s favour, and was punished by the above judgements.

Back in the time of Moses, God found it necessary to make these threats, because the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. God knew that they would be lead astray by the pagan religions of the area, and tempted to follow their practices of occult beliefs, temple prostitution, and child-sacrifice. God’s requirement was simply that they should keep his Commandments, and not break the covenant which he had made with Moses.

He promised them a long list of blessings if they would be faithful to him, and live in harmony (Leviticus 26:3-13). As we know, the Jews disobeyed and turned to paganism many times. Much later God accused them through the prophet Micah: “..you who loathe justice and pervert all that is right, you who build Zion with blood, Jerusalem with crime. Her princes pronounce their verdict for bribes, her priests take a fee for their rulings, her prophets make divinations for money (fortune telling).” (3: 9-11)

 

The Jews even brought their pagan idolatry into the very Temple of Jerusalem. The prophet Ezekiel had a vision about it (Ez. chapter 8).

 

What had happened, was that when they were slaves in Egypt, the Hebrews had learned idolatry and occult practices from the Egyptians. The Egyptians were the most highly developed in all aspects of occult craft. Their methods had spread far and wide – as far as India. The Jews kept renewing their fascination with pagan gods, and the occult. Down the centuries they formed the basis of their own occult system – later called the Cabala (or Kabbalah). God’s reaction to all this, was to withdraw his protection, and finally in the 6th century B.C. the Jewish nation was taken in captivity to Babylon. Like Egypt, Babylon was renowned for its occult development.

 

While in captivity, the Jewish occult system was put into writing and was initially called the Babylonian Talmud. It was the educated people who did this. Among the new class of Pharisees, some led a double life: they had one foot in the occult, and one foot in the Jewish religion. In general, the Pharisees lost the understanding of their religion; they turned the Law of Moses into a strict and empty set of rules. It was no longer the means of bringing people closer to God. The heart of religion – the love of God, was missing.

 

This state of affairs persisted until the time of Jesus. He was kind with everyone except the Pharisees, because he knew their hearts, and he accused them: “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires… he is a liar and the father of lies… whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.” (John 8:44-47)

 

The whole time that Jesus tried to preach, the Jewish leaders opposed him. He said of the people: “If I had not performed such works among them as no one else has ever done, they would be blameless; but as it is, they have seen all this, and still they hate both me and my Father.” (John 15:24)

Finally Jesus prophesied with great sadness: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you desolate…”(Mat. 23:37-38) Here ‘Jerusalem’ represents the whole Jewish nation.

 

Jesus predicted the persecution of his young Church, and he accused the Pharisees: “Serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape being condemned to hell? This is why, in my turn, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some you will slaughter and crucify, some you will scourge in your synagogues and hunt from town to town; and so you will draw down on yourselves the blood of every holy man that has been shed on earth… I tell you solemnly, all of this will recoil on this generation.” (Matthew 23: 33-36)

 

During the early years of the Church, the Romans were not much problem – it was the Jewish authorities, the Pharisees who gave most hindrance to the growth of Christianity. So things did all recoil on that generation. In less than 40 years, Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled and the Romans invaded, and destroyed the city and the Temple.

 

It is difficult for us to realise what an important phase of history was going on at that time. The Jews had been the Chosen Race, and they were determined to stay that way. With the benefit of hindsight we can see how they went wrong.

But what difference should Jewish history make to us? – As we learn how the Jewish era came to an end, we realise that there are similarities with the decline of our own era. Our societies have failed God: we have placed our trust in ourselves – in science and technology, and have made our own idols. We too have rejected our Saviour, and discarded God’s plans for our well-being. We too are fascinated with the occult: with clairvoyants, spiritualism, horoscopes, Wicca, and yes – the same Cabala. How many are listening and preparing spiritually for the Second Coming of Jesus?

 

When the Jews rejected Jesus and had him crucified, the covenant (pact) between God and the Jewish nation was broken. This was made clear when at the point of Christ’s death, the huge curtain in the Temple that protected the Holy of Holies “..was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:51). Only God could have done that. The Temple sacrifices had become worthless; they were now replaced by the Sacrifice of Jesus himself. With the breaking of the covenant, the Jews were no longer under God’s protection, and eventually they lost even their homeland.

In our times, the new covenant made between God and mankind at the Last Supper (see chapter 9 of this book) is severely strained. All peoples were invited into a special relationship – having been redeemed by Jesus Christ; but see how the majority prefer to go their own way. Many Christians do not even understand the covenant that was made. We offend God through our indifference; and the acclaim that will be given to the Antichrist will be the final insult. Like the Jews, we have had so much warning: through the Bible, and through prophets.

Back in the early times, the Jews were the main persecutors of the Church until Nero came on the scene. In fact it is thought that Nero had been influenced by prominent Jews in Rome.. In his madness, Nero had Rome set on fire, and then he put the blame on the Christians, which caused them to be hated.

In Revelation, the power of the Roman Empire is sometimes represented by “a beast which came out of the sea..” (13:1-8). “It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race, people, language, and nation, and all people of the world will worship it…” (13:7-8) At the time, this referred to Emperor worship.

“ For forty-two months the beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies, and to do whatever it wanted…” (13: 5) This probably refers to the persecutions by Nero, which lasted for 31/2 years. The Roman invasion of Palestine also lasted about 31/2 years, from 66 -70 A.D.

 

Notice the period of 31/2 years, which occurs in various passages of Revelation, and the Book of Daniel. It is referred to as 42 months as above; or 1,260 days (Rev.12:6) or “..a time, two times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25). Sometimes it appears to be intended literally. Other times it is clearly symbolic: it is the number seven divided in half, which is imperfect and indicates a period of misfortune.

(Furthermore, 31/2 years symbolised a time of persecution, ever since the reign of the Syrian despot Antiochus Epiphanes IV. He had oppressed the Jews for that length of time (167-164 B.C.) and had caused the Temple to be defiled, as described in I Maccabees 1-4.)

So the 31/2 years was significant for the Jews, and it will be significant for the time of Antichrist – who will reign for that period .

 

In St. John’s vision the three sets of seven judgements mentioned earlier, are described in vivid symbolism – associated with the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Bowls.

After that we are given an image of the Jewish nation that is familiar from the Old Testament. In those days when God was angry with the nation for abandoning him, he would refer to it as a ‘prostitute’ (a harlot). In Revelation it says: “Come I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery..” (17:1-2) So the prostitute or harlot in Revelation, refers to the Jewish nation.

 

Why a prostitute? In the Old Testament God tried to express how much he loved his Chosen People, and the best description he could use was the love of a husband for his bride: “…You shall be called ‘My delight’ and your land ‘The Wedded’: for Yahweh takes delight in you, and your land will have its wedding. Like a young man marrying a virgin, so will the one who built you wed you, and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.” (Isaiah 62:4-5)

The Jewish nation therefore became known as the ‘Bride of Yahweh’ (Yahweh being a Hebrew word for God). Consequently, when the people turned away from God and worshipped foreign idols, God accused them of being unfaithful. He called them ‘adulterers’. The use of the words ‘adultery’ and ‘fornication’ in the Old Testament, should usually be interpreted as idolatry.

Through the prophet Ezekiel God said: “How weak willed you are, declares the Sovereign Lord, when you do all these things acting like a brazen prostitute.” (Ez. 16:30)

“You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your husband! Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favours.” (Ez.16: 32-33) This refers to the fascination the Jews had for pagan gods.

 

The seriousness of turning from God to occult practices (which invoke the devil) cannot be over-stressed:

“..for the land has committed the vilest of whoredom by turning away from Yahweh.” (Hosea 1:2)

“..You played the harlot.. you formed male idols and gave yourself to them..” (see Ezekiel 16:15-29)

“Zion the faithful city has become a harlot.” (Isaiah 1:21)

 

(Note: Since the Reformation in the 16th C. and the writings of Martin Luther, some Protestant Christians have wanted to call the Catholic Church the prostitute / harlot. Ironically, Martin Luther was a Rosicrucian and he used their emblem of the Rose Cross, which is a rose-coloured cross set on a white rose. This was the white rose of the occult Cabala. In other words, Luther followed the way of the Pharisees, and did all he could to destroy the Sacrifice of the Mass, the new covenant, and the Church.)

 

In other ways that the Jewish nation went astray, it was called ‘Sodom’ (Isaiah 3:9). Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon, were three places from which the Chosen People needed to be delivered by God in the Old Testament. However, those very names were to be used against Israel itself, in the Book of Revelation. This was because the new people of God – the Christians, were the ones who now needed to be delivered from the Jews.

 

Jerusalem is identified as the great city in Revelation (not Rome). In chapter 11 it says: “…their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified.” (11:8)

Later it says: “The woman you saw (the prostitute) is the great city which has authority over all the rulers on earth.” (Rev 17:18) Jerusalem represents the Jewish nation in the Old Testament; the nation had been given spiritual authority by God. (e.g. Daniel 7:27)

 

A further indication that the prostitute/ great city refers to Jerusalem, is that the prophets were killed there: “That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down…In her you will find the blood of prophets..” (Rev.18: 21, 24) Jerusalem is called Babylon, an insult which also refers to the occult practices of the Pharisees.

 

St. John saw that the “..woman was riding a scarlet beast which had seven heads and ten horns and had blasphemous titles written all over it.” (17:3) The ‘woman’ represents Jerusalem, and the ‘scarlet beast’ the Roman Empire. This passage refers to the relationship between the Jews and the Empire. The most powerful group in Jewish society at the time was the Sadducees, and they pursued a close relationship with Rome. They were given power and influence, and in return avoided any confrontation with the Empire. The High Priest Caiaphas who condemned Jesus, was a Sadducee. However, Revelation predicted that “The time will come when the ten horns and the beast will turn against the prostitute.” (17:16) This came true as we know: Rome did turn against Israel, and Jerusalem was set on fire.

 

St. John then records: “A new voice spoke from heaven, I heard it say: ‘Come out my people, away from her, so that you do not share in her crimes and have the same plagues to bear. Her sins have reached up to heaven.’ ” (18:4-5) This reminds us of how Jesus warned his followers, that they should one day leave Jerusalem: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that it will soon be laid desolate…for this is the time of vengeance..” (Luke 21:20-22) The Christians did leave, and found safety at Pella.

 

It was in 65 A.D. that the Jews rebelled, and the Romans sent their army which was cruel and ruthless. When it finally reached Jerusalem, the Temple was pulled down, and thousands were killed. The elite of Sadducees were wiped out, the priesthood was finished, and the survivors were taken prisoner. As mentioned – the terrible punishment by the Romans, was the fulfilment of various ‘judgements’ in Revelation.

 

The prophecy concerning Jerusalem continued: “..there will be mourning and weeping for her by the kings on the earth who have fornicated with her, and lived with her in luxury. They see the smoke as she burns…They will say: Mourn, mourn for this great city, Babylon, so powerful a city, doomed as you are within a single hour.” (Rev.18:9-10) Jerusalem was on the trade routes between Egypt, Asia, and Europe, and its markets were full of international goods, which equalled those of Rome. Therefore the loss of the city was truly mourned by many countries.

 

Another point is that: “The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again.” (18:22) These were the instruments played in the Temple; they are mentioned in the Psalms, and it is true that they were not used again for Temple ritual.

 

Jesus had told his disciples: “So when you see the disastrous abomination of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place, then those in Judea must escape to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15-16). The ‘disastrous abomination’ in this instance, refers to the Roman desecration of the Temple. They put up their Standard, pulled down the veil of the Holy Place, and offered pagan sacrifice, prior to destroying the building. The Jewish way of life had come to a tragic end. For the Christians however, it meant that the Church could grow without further hindrance from the Jewish leaders.

 

Revelation anticipates the new-found freedom from Jewish oppression: “Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgement for you against her.” (18:20).

 

After the downfall of the ‘prostitute’, Revelation gives us a striking image of the Church. The Jewish nation had been called the ‘Bride of Yahweh’ in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Church became known as the ‘Bride of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 11:2). Again, this is intended to show that the love of Jesus for his followers, is as deep as that of a man for his bride. With the collapse of the Jewish system, the spiritual reign of Jesus Christ could spread. God then expresses his love for the Church. The Christians had deserved this, following years of persecution and martyrdom:

“Alleluia! The reign of the Lord Our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.” (Rev.19:6-8) Jesus is called ‘the Lamb’, which brings to mind his Sacrifice.

St. John’s vision continues: “The angel said ‘Write this: happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’ and he added ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.” (19:9) The early Church Fathers interpreted the “wedding feast of the Lamb” to mean the Eucharist (Holy Communion). Here we have the intimate presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, at the centre of his Church.

 

St. John’s vision commenced ‘On the Lord’s day’ (Rev.1:10) and it contained various elements of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The angel said ‘Happy are those who are invited’, and we are all invited.

 

With the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of Temple sacrifice, the term ‘the new Jerusalem’ came to be applied to the Church. Prophecies in the Old Testament which referred to the Jewish nation, were now also applied to the Church (in a spiritual sense). This is important in understanding Revelation chapter 21, which includes: “I saw the new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven, adorned as a bride prepared for her husband.” (21:2). This prophecy will reach a fulfilment in the new era, and it is discussed in a later chapter.

 

The Temple of Jerusalem was replaced by the new ‘temple’, which is the Christian community – the Church. As St. Peter said:

“On drawing close to him (Jesus) you also became living stones built into a spiritual temple..” (1 Peter 2:5)

Christians were the new People of God, with blessings that compared to those of the Jews: “You are a chosen race, a community of priests – kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made his own to proclaim his wonders.” (1 Peter 2:9)

 

Finally, if it seems that God was hard on the Jews, it may be reassuring to know that elsewhere in Revelation the twelve tribes of Israel are valued and mentioned positively (7:4-8, 21:12).

———————————————————————

 

COMMENT The following information comes from

Make Yourself an Ark by Rev. Andrew O’Brien.

 

Did the ancient Jews see the error of their ways, and change? No, the leaders still valued the Babylonian Talmud – the Cabala. Being pagan and occult, it contained spiritualism, witchcraft, reincarnation, magic, disordered sexual practises. When they were finally expelled from Palestine, the Jewish leaders found themselves at ease with the occult practices of the Romans. In the 4th century the Emperor Julian tried to re-build the Jerusalem Temple to please the Jews – but the effort failed.

In the Middle Ages, the Cabala re-introduced witchcraft and magic in Europe, especially among the upper classes. Early scientists used occult theories, which was how they fell out with the Church.

 

The false theories of Gnosticism (secret knowledge) came from the Cabala. St. Paul warned against this false knowledge (1Timothy 6:20-21) and so did St. John (1 John 19-21). These days the Cabala and Gnosticism are central to the New Age movement – which urges its followers towards One World Government, and occult initiation.

 

In Revelation, the occult false Jews were referred to as ‘the synagogue of Satan’ (2:9). Did they fade away with time? No, they went from strength to strength. They wrote the Gnostic gospels – for example of ‘Thomas’ and ‘Judas’, written between 150 – 180 A.D.

Is the Cabala still used by Jews today – yes, only you can’t call them true Jews. Its use was limited to the leaders until the 14th century, when printing became possible. After that it spread more widely. Today for example, it forms the basis of the strict Hassidic sect.

In 679 A.D. the numbers of Jews greatly increased, through the conversion to Judaism of the Khazar people of southern Russia. They later spread through north Europe and Russia. Their descendants are these days referred to as Ashkenazi Jews. This group favours the Cabala and it includes the Hassidic sect. The powerful ‘Jewish’ bankers, industrialists, Oil producers, Film and media tycoons, include many Ashkenazim. These ‘Jewish’ bankers financed Adolf Hitler through their Bank for International Settlements (B.I.S.) and the Zionist Rockefellers provided Nazi Germany with its oil, through their Standard Oil Co. (See also Hope of the Wicked by Ted Flynn, Maxkol Pub.)

The Jewish author Arthur Koestler in The Thirteenth Tribe explains how it is the aim of the Cabala / Zionist Jews to achieve One World Government. He also pointed out that Ashkenazi Jews had no right to claim Palestine, nor does anti-Semitism apply to them.

 

Fr. O’Brien writes as follows:

“The French scholar Deschamps, in his work The Secret Societies and Society.. states: ‘Gnosticism, Manicheaism, the Albigensians and the Templars— these are the sources whence Freemasonry has sprung.’ (p. 282) and he notes: ‘Jewish influences were active among these heresies.’”

 

And: “the London Jewish World of February 9th 1883 stated:

‘The great ideal of Judaism is that the whole world shall be imbued with Jewish teachings, and that in a Universal Brotherhood of Nations—a greater Judaism in fact—all the separate Races and Religions shall disappear.’”

‘Jewish teachings’ means the Cabala, and the world is imbued -

 

The visionary Maria Valtorta (see the Epilogue) was told by Jesus: “Satan is the Captain of those armed forces which began in Jerusalem, within the Sanhedrin, among the caste of the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees. Armed forces which found their ensign in Judas; armed forces which became larger and larger over the centuries of persecutions against Christians. Like avalanches they have overburdened themselves with newer and newer elements.. demagogic doctrines, political parties, and new forms of government; and they will climax with the Antichrist..” (from The End Times).

 

Maria was also told: “Seek the Knowledge (gnosis) that makes no mistakes, the one contained in my teaching. This is the one that enables you to behave so that Heaven may be yours.”

Back to Revelation and something which people wonder about – which is the three sets of seven Judgements.. They were associated with the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Bowls (used in the Temple). How are they likely to affect people in our times?

 

Let’s commence with the opening of the 7 Seals..

Seals 1 – 4 are the four horsemen, which represent heresy, war, famine, death (Revelation 6:1-8). All of them have been very evident in our times.

Seal 5 reveals the spirits of the martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11). Probably martyrs from the Tribulation (a later chapter) here it shows how God comforts them (7:13-17).

Seal 6 is an apocalyptic description of the Day of the Lord (Rev. 6:12-17). It is the judgement of the earth, at the Second Coming of Jesus. (It connects with the 5th & 6th Bowls in Rev. 16:10-16.)

Seal 7 when this seal is opened, there is silence in Heaven for ‘about half an hour’ (Rev.8:1). The silence is thought to announce the coming of God.

 

The Angels with the 7 Trumpets.

 

Some of these sound like natural disasters.

Trumpet 1 “When the first angel blew his trumpet, there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth.” (Rev. 8:7) Could this represent an impressive volcanic eruption?

Trumpet 2 “..something like a great mountain was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea was turned into blood.” (Rev. 8:8) Could this represent an eruption or earthquake which causes a mountain to split and fall in the sea?

Trumpet 3 “ ..a great star fell from heaven, like a ball of fire, on a third of the rivers and springs. The star is called Wormwood..” (Rev. 8: !0-11) The water was turned bitter.. Wormwood in the Ukraine language is Chernobyl. Was the Chernobyl nuclear disaster big enough to get in the Book of Revelation..??

Trumpet 4 “When the fourth angel blew his trumpet, a third of the sun, the moon and the stars was affected. Daylight decreased one third..” (Rev. 8:12) The repetition of ‘one third’ in these trumpets should not be taken literally. It must have a symbolic meaning.

Trumpet 5 “I saw a star fall from heaven to earth. The star was given the key to the depths of the abyss..” (Rev. 9:1) The star represents Satan, and the abyss means Hell. Locusts (? demons) come out from hell, their leader is called Destruction. This looks like an episode of warfare.

Trumpet 6 This colourful section again looks like warfare: “The heads of the horses look like lions’ heads, and fire, smoke and sulphur come out of their mouths. Then a third of humankind was killed by these three plagues: fire smoke and sulphur..” (Rev. 9:17-18)

 

(Maria Valtorta was told by Jesus: “It seems as though my angels are the ones bringing the plagues. In reality, you are the ones.”)

 

In the next section it says: “Then the seven thunders sounded their own message… ‘Keep the words of the seven thunders secret and do not write them down.’ ” (Rev. 10:4)

The above secrets (in my opinion) possibly include the episode of persecution – called the Tribulation by modern prophets. It won’t last long, and it will be brought to a stop by an act of God. This is explained in later chapters. An angel goes on to say: “..as soon as the trumpet call of the seventh angel is heard, the mysterious plan of God will be fulfilled according to the good news he proclaimed through his servants the prophets.” (Rev.10:7)

 

Trumpet 7 “The seventh angel blew his trumpet, then loud voices resounded in heaven: ‘The world has now become the Kingdom of our God and of his Christ. He will reign for ever and ever.’” (Rev. 11:15) This statement is prophecy which applies more than once, even in our times. It can be applied to the occasion of the Illumination of Consciences which follows the Tribulation (later chapters). Plus it applies ultimately to the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

(To Maria Valtorta Jesus explained that where Revelation appears to be disjointed and out of sequence, it is because themes are repeated and gain in their depth.)

 

Now the seven Bowls (or cups, as they are also called).

“Then I saw another great and marvellous sign in the heavens: seven angels brought seven plagues which are the last, for with these the wrath of God will end.” (Rev. 15:1)

 

In his book Catholic Prophecy – prophecy which is for everyone of course – Yves Dupont makes some points which may be significant. The effects of some of these ‘plagues’ are similar to the plagues of Egypt, at the time of Moses (c.1,200 B.C.)

Yves Dupont explains that at that point in history, a comet passed close to the earth – as shown in various ancient records. He writes: “When the tail of the Exodus comet crossed the path of the earth, a red dust, impalpable like fine flour, began to fall. It was too fine to be seen, which is why it is not named in Exodus (7:21) but it coloured everything red, and the water of the Egyptians was changed into ‘blood’. The fish died.. It is for this reason that the Egyptians had to ‘scratch the earth’, that is to say, to open new wells. A similar occurrence was recorded in various parts of the world. After the fine rusty pigment fell over Egypt, there followed a coarser dust – ‘like ash’, this is recorded in Exodus, for then it was visible. This ash irritated the skin.. They scratched themselves and sores formed.. After that ash-like substance came a shower of fine sand, then coarse sand, grit, gravel, small stones, large stones.. The narrative of Exodus confirms this..”

 

You may like to compare the foregoing information with Revelation:

 

1st Bowl: “The first angel went to empty his bowl on the earth, and.. painful sores appeared on the people who bore the mark of the beast and had bowed before its image.” (Rev. 16:2)

2nd Bowl: “The second angel emptied his cup into the sea which turned into blood..” (Rev. 16:3)

3rd Bowl: “The third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and springs which turned into blood.” (Rev. 16:4)

4th Bowl: “The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun and its heat began to scorch people..” (Rev. 16:8)

5th Bowl: “The fifth angel emptied his cup on the throne of the beast, and suddenly his kingdom was in darkness..” (Rev.16:10) It is explained in later chapters how darkness will be a feature of the Day of the Lord. So by this time all the bad things will be nearly over..

6th Bowl: “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates; then its water was dried up.. spirits of demons.. go to the kings of the whole world to gather them for battle on the great day of God, the Master of the universe.. Then they assembled them at the place called Armageddon in Hebrew.” (Rev. 16:12-16)

Armageddon is discussed in chapter 13 of this book.. for the Jews it recalled a great defeat in their history (2 Kings 23:29). In our times it again spells defeat, this time for Antichrist and his followers during the Day of the Lord, when God will cleanse the earth.

7th Bowl: “The seventh angel emptied his bowl into the air… Great hailstones from heaven, as heavy as stones, dropped on the people..” (Rev. 16:17-21)

Almighty God allows our punishment – due to how we reject him. However he is willing to limit the degree of the problems which people will face. He is waiting and watching for our response. Will we form prayer groups, and pray our way through the difficulties, or will we cling to our sins. In Revelation an angel calls out: “Give God glory and honour, for the hour of his judgement has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the seas and all the waters.” (14:7)

 

If we think that God is unfair, he reminds us, in the same manner that he accused the Jews – that we have been unfaithful. The Church is the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7) and in serious sin Christians have ‘fornicated’ with Satan.

 

Through Maria Valtorta Jesus says:

“I have said that to obtain true peace, and not a mere pause in war, you people have to remove from your midst what is fornication with Satan.. I have told you with pressing words in these end times. But you have not changed. In fact you have turned fornication with Satan more and more into your lifestyles. You have put everything before God.. Death to souls and death to flesh. Destruction of spirits and destruction of things.

Your growth in Satan is shocking. Soon you will reach the fullness of age in which he has nothing more to teach you, and then Hell will be able to farrow its son, the Antichrist..” (From The End Times.)

 

Let’s remind ourselves of other words of Jesus:

“Now when you see the first events, stand erect and lift up your heads, for your deliverance is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

 

 

CHAPTER 13

Signs of The End of The Age

 

The expression the end of the age, refers to the period prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. A prophecy of Jesus concerning that period, is given in chapter 3 of this book (Matthew 24:1-42). As mentioned there, Jesus was responding to the questions put to him by his disciples. They wanted to know when the Temple would be destroyed, and what would be the sign of his coming again. Jesus gave both answers together, because the two events were to have some things in common.

 

The destruction of the Temple marked the end of the Jewish era (based on sacrifices), and Jesus’ Second Coming will mark the end of the current era. The signs to indicate both episodes would include: false prophets, disturbance of nature, famine, persecution of Christians, and the spread of the gospel. In the prophecy of Jesus, the menace that threatened the Jews was the power of the Roman Empire. The menace that we will experience later on, is the empire of the Antichrist.

 

Jesus also warned: “…there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) According to the Jewish historian Josephus, who lived at that time, strange phenomena happened during the five years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.1 In 66 A.D. on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) at 3 o’clock in the morning, a bright light shone around the altar in the Temple. It lasted for half an hour, and made the place as bright as day. During the same Festival, at 12 midnight the East Gate of the Inner Sanctuary opened by itself. This Gate was so massive that it normally took 20 men to move it.

The following month an event occurred that was recorded by both Josephus and another Jewish historian Tacitus. From before sunset a vision was seen in the sky, consisting of hundreds of chariots encircling the city. A loud voice was heard; lightning flashed and lit up the Temple; and the great doors of the Holy Place slammed closed. During the Feast of Pentecost, one evening 24 priests heard voices in the air which said: “We are now departing”. A star which looked like a sword, hung over the city for a year. A comet was seen in the sky for a whole year.

According to Josephus, the people did not read the signs and repent, but in fact were very unruly. Jerusalem was in the control of freedom-fighters, who followed three false ‘messiahs’. They fought each other, and burned each other’s food supplies, which caused famine. All this eventually made them easy prey for the Roman army.

 

Jesus had given his disciples the impression that he was going to return soon. Clearly he wanted them, and every generation after them, to be spiritually prepared. In Revelation (the Apocalypse) Jesus said seven times: “I am coming soon.” What did he mean by that? Perhaps the events described above, and the destruction of Jerusalem, were a coming in Judgement for the Jews (? Rev. 18:8)

 

St. Matthew records Jesus as saying: “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and when he does he will reward each one according to his behaviour. .. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his Kingdom.” (Matthew 16:27-28) Bible commentators tell us that two different sayings were combined here. The second part apparently refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, for when that took place it made way for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom. The first part refers to the Final Judgement.

 

Have we had any signs in our time, which tell us we are at the end of the age? Jesus said: “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.” (Luke 21:25). In 1997 the comet Hale Bopp arrived without much warning. However, it had been predicted in 1990, when Jesus appeared to a teenage visionary in Ecuador, South America. This was Patricia Talbot,2 who was told by Jesus that mankind was being prepared for his Second Coming. He said that a sign of the times, would be a comet passing close to the earth…

 

On July 16th 1994 the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 began to crash into the planet Jupiter. This was a significant date for catholics: it was the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Carmel was a holy mountain in Israel situated near Nazareth. This was where the prophet Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Those prophets prayed to their gods, but they received no help. When Elijah prayed to the true God, he sent down fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18:17-39). So we conclude that the date of the comet was intended to alert us. Two days later on July 18th 1994, a prophet in the U.S.A called Cyndi Cain, claimed to have been told by God: “…Therefore I solemnly tell you: this celestial event is truly a sign I have chosen to give. Yes it is a warning but not the Great Warning, the latter event is coming soon. By this present sign I permit those of open, loving hearts to recognise the power of my hand.” 3

 

Other sorts of signs, are the religious statues and pictures that have been weeping all over the world, reminding us that God is offended by the way we treat him. (See weeping statues on the internet.) In St. Luke’s gospel, when Jesus’ followers hailed him as the Messiah the Pharisees objected. Jesus’ response to them was: “I tell you if these keep silent, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40). Little did we know that God would put those words into effect, so that we who reject him these days, would be embarrassed by the sight of real tears coming from stone, wood and plaster…

 

In Revelation, St. John recorded the following:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Rev.12:1)

Some Bible commentators say that ‘the woman’ represented the early Church, and the twelve stars indicated the twelve apostles. In our time however, ‘the woman’ represents the Virgin Mary who is a ‘sign’ for the end of the age. Her role in God’s plan is discussed in a later chapter. Here it is worth mentioning that when she appeared in Guadalupe (Mexico) she was standing on a crescent moon. At Fatima (Portugal) she had twelve stars around her head, and was ‘clothed’ in the famous ‘miracle of the sun’, which was witnessed by 70,000 people.

A further sign, is that a version of the above miracle of the sun, has been seen in a variety of places, by thousands of people, in recent years. It happens either at holy sites of apparitions, or on religious holy days. The sun changes appearance, sometimes changing colour, it may turn into a white disc which resembles the Communion host. It may rotate, send out flashing light or flashes of colour which light up the sky. Sometimes it appears to move around. The effect is breath-taking, and it can be watched for a long time, say twenty minutes. The vision is miraculous because no damage is caused to the eyes, in spite of looking directly at the sun.

 

Everywhere that the Virgin Mary appears, she recommends praying the rosary (which is a meditation on the life story of Jesus). Another miracle that has been occurring in recent years, is an effect on people’s rosaries. Believe it or not, rosary chains have been turning gold colour. They are usually made of nickel, and in cases that have been verified by jewellers, this metal has become gold-plated. It is a very interesting development, because down the centuries alchemists tried to turn base-metals into gold. This was usually associated with occult beliefs. Now God is using this powerful sign to draw our attention to prayer, and to the messages of the Virgin Mary

(The author has seen a dozen such rosaries, and other religious items, in the process of changing colour. These and other signs, could be confirmed by most people who have visited Medjugorje – the topic of a later chapter.)

 

In the first chapter of this book, a world-wide Pentecostal experience was mentioned. Through the prophet Joel, God had promised a new experience of the Holy Spirit, as follows: “…I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men see visions.” (Joel 3:1-2 in Catholic numbering; Joel 2:28 in Protestant numbering). The extraordinary ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit have been experienced to some degree throughout the history of the Church. They are described in St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians 12:7-11. However it is only since the 20th century that this could be described as a world-wide phenomenon.

The experience was first known as Pentecostalism – because it was like a new Pentecost. As it spread throughout the denominations, it became known as Charismatic Renewal (charism means gift). The gifts include knowledge, prophecy, healing, ‘tongues’, discernment of spirits, etc. This action of the Holy Spirit was intended to counteract the spiritual darkness in the world – as it did at Pentecost. It has been a sign for the New Era of peace, when the spiritual gifts will be enjoyed by everyone.

Unfortunately in the Western countries – for various reasons, this blessing has not grown as it should.

 

Catholics experienced Charismatic Renewal, plus they became aware of even more spectacular activity of the Holy Spirit. This was the many apparitions and messages, which are intended to prepare the earth for the Coming of Jesus. The Vatican has been flooded with reports of apparitions from nearly every country in the world. Some are of Jesus Christ, but the majority are of the Virgin Mary – who says that she has the task of preparing our hearts for the return of Jesus. Some authentic apparitions are described in later chapters.

 

Jesus warned his disciples that in the end: “There will be great earthquakes, and plagues and famines here and there…” (Luke 21:11) During the past fifty years the world experienced famines, and great disturbances of nature – with every catastrophe imaginable. All these disasters should have made people realise that something was radically wrong with the world. It should have turned our attention back to God in repentance. Unfortunately Revelation is accurate where it predicts: “No, they did not repent of their crimes, or their sorcery, or their sexual immorality or their theft.” (Rev. 9:20-21)

In the Letter of Jude it says: “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” (1:18)

 

St. Paul was encouraging however, when he wrote the following: “But it is not as if you live in the dark my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief… God never meant us to experience the Retribution, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, so that alive or dead, we should still live united to him. So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.” (1 Thes.5:4, 9-11)

 

In a later chapter of this book, there is a list of accepted signs from the Bible, which must take place prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. Eleven out of thirteen signs have been, or are being – fulfilled.

There are other signs which are awaited by some Christians, but not awaited by catholics.

 

There is therefore a need to clarify things. The most widely proclaimed event is called the Rapture. It is preached by Protestant T.V. evangelists; the topic has sold millions of books; and it is widely believed by evangelical Christians. But sad to say, it is a completely false theory, based on the misinterpretation of the Bible.

 

There are two mistakes: first the idea that Bible prophecy is fulfilled according to time periods, known as dispensations. This focuses particularly on the future of Israel: it concludes that ancient prophecy will still be fulfilled, and that Jesus will not return until the greatness of Israel is restored. It promotes the idea that the Temple should be re-built. In that way it denies New Testament teaching, and preserves the separation of Jews and Christians.

 

The second mistake, is the idea that before the Second Coming, Christians will be raptured – caught up into the sky to join the Lord. The expression rapture is translated from the Vulgate (Latin) version of St. Paul’s writing (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). The theory is, that before the Day of the Lord (Chastisement) the true followers of Jesus will be lifted up from the earth, out of trouble. They expect to join Christ, and return with him at the Second Coming, in order to reign with him on earth.

 

The idea of the Rapture was first proposed by an American pastor – John Nelson Derby – in the 1840’s. Other Bible passages have been interpreted as confirming this viewpoint (e.g. Matthew 24:30-31, and 24:40-41, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, and Revelation 3:10 and 4:1).

 

The trouble here is wishful thinking. Plus there are people who wanted to make money in selling the books.. Many seem to think they will be raptured before Antichrist, and they somehow feel that it is right that they should be spared the trial..

 

The real picture of how things will be, is that everyone goes through the trial, no exceptions. It will test all people in their faith and love of God. Jesus said: “..but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

There will be many martyrs (Matthew 24:9). It is the martyrs at the end of the age, who will return with Jesus – as it says in Revelation: “I saw all those who had refused to worship the beast or its image, or receive its mark on the forehead or on the hand. They returned to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4) These martyrs are the saints that St. Paul refers to “..on the day that Jesus, our Lord, will come with all his saints.” (1Thessalonians 3:13)

 

The ‘rapture’ quotations mentioned already, from Matthew (24:30-31) and St. Paul (I Thes. 4:15-17) are wrongly interpreted, because both passages clearly refer to the actual Second Coming of Jesus. And the Second Coming is the final event: it is after the Antichrist, and after the Day of the Lord – when the earth will be cleansed of all evil. Jesus will not return to a world where there is hatred or violence. He is coming to establish the perfect Kingdom of peace and love.

 

The Day of the Lord is contained in a later chapter of this book (it corresponds to the Chastisement in modern prophecy). At that time, it is the evil people who will be taken, and the good people left: “So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Of two men in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Of two women grinding wheat together at the mill, one will be taken and the other left.” (Matthew 24:40-41). Those who promote the rapture, mistakenly quote the above, but as explained – this will be the time of cleansing the earth.

Elsewhere Jesus spoke of people being ‘weeded out’: “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (Matthew 13:40-41)

 

The idea of the Rapture can make people complacent, and they don’t oppose the evil in the world. Sad to say – that when it does not happen, there will be a lot of disillusioned and demoralised people around.

Meanwhile, modern prophecy contains the reassurance that God will keep us safe in spirit during the period of trials. When Jesus finally does return, those who have been faithful will no doubt have a spiritual experience of rising to meet him (in rapture)… By then it will be the ‘new heavens and the new earth.’

 

 

A striking image in Revelation, is the battle of Armageddon (16:14-16). Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew Megiddo. There was a city of that name, which overlooked the great valley of Megiddo – the route from Egypt to Syria. It was the site of many battles, and one in particular was lost there, when the good King Josiah was killed in 609 B.C. (2 Kings 23:29-30). This was an important memory for the Jews, and it was used in Revelation to signify a great defeat. The Jews had their great defeat at the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D.

 

Some Christians expect a final military battle to take place in the area of Megiddo, in present day Israel. In Revelation it says:

They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” (16:14)

Then they gathered the kings together, to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (16:16)

 

In modern times it is unlikely that the Bible is describing a military battle. This is because the adversary is God himself, as described in Revelation chapter 19 (11-21). This is the Day of the Lord – or as it says above ‘the great day of God Almighty’. This is the end of the reign of Antichrist. Armageddon symbolises the final confrontation between good and evil upon earth: all evil influences will be removed.

(That’s not to say there won’t be battles in Israel – that is always possible. But the Megiddo area is where the Israelis have their underground nuclear armaments, so it will be off-limits !)

Another sign from Revelation, which some people are waiting for – is the ‘two witnesses’ (11:3-6). It is thought that they will be the prophets Enoch and Elijah, who were taken away physically in the Old Testament. There is anticipation among some Christians that they will return in the flesh before the end.

In fact it is more likely that the witnesses represent Moses and Elijah (see 11:6).

There is nothing in modern catholic prophecy which explains the two witnesses. No Old Testament prophets are expected to reappear. These days the expression is taken to have a purely spiritual significance, for example the writings True Life in God contain the following: “..only a remnant of you pay attention when I speak.. I have spoken through weakness and poverty (prophets).. through them I have been sending you the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Moses – those two witnesses dressed in sackcloth – to prophesy and remind you of my Law, before my great return.” (Vassula Ryden)

 

The rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple is a project which some Christians are very naïve about. Like the Jews, they take the Old Testament prophecies literally, and think that Israel is going to be a great and blessed nation. They don’t understand that Israel will only be great, when it accepts Jesus Christ as the Messiah. And Jesus does not have any use for the Temple.. he told the Samaritan woman: “..the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” (John 4:21)

Naturally the Jewish roots of Christianity remain as important as ever “..salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22). However Jesus himself had no future plans for Israel (Ephesians 2:14-18). The writings of ancient prophets which originally referred to the Jews, were later re-interpreted as God’s words to his Church. The Church is the new ‘Jerusalem’ and the new ‘Israel’. Sion is now the heavenly city, or interpreted as the Church.

 

According to the earliest Christian tradition, Antichrist will have a Jewish mother (see a later chapter). The Jews will accept him as their Messiah. The Jerusalem Temple will be built, but it will be the centre of the occult system of the Antichrist. St. Paul wrote of him: “He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

 

It is currently on the Internet, that the wealthy Zionist Rothschild family, have been investigating the means of rebuilding the Temple.

 

The Rothschilds lead a large inter-married group of Ashkenazi Jewish bankers, which controls the wealth of the world. This was researched by Prof. Carroll Quigley in his book Tragedy and Hope. These bankers own the Federal Reserve Bank, the World Bank, the I.M.F. and the Bank of International Settlements (B.I.S.) in Switzerland.

They made their money for centuries through financing wars and revolutions. That is why there were so many wars! (This is explained in Make Yourself an Ark by Fr. Andrew O’Brien.) They are the people from whom our governments borrow incredible amounts of money. By manipulating the interest rate, they can force governments to obey their directions. This concentration of the world’s wealth, in the hands of just a few people, is another sign of the times – by the way!

In 2004 the Jewish Sanhedrin was re-formed. One of its goals is to re-build the Temple. Unfortunately, the site of the original Holy of Holies is now covered by the Moslem mosque called the Dome of the Rock. It is the second most important mosque in the world. Not if, but when the Dome of the Rock is destroyed (during conflict?) we can be sure that the Christian West will get most of the blame. Especially with high-profile Christians calling for a new Temple, and promoting the Jewish cause.

 

CHAPTER 14

Messages of Love, Mercy and Judgement

 

The transformation of the Jewish system of belief into Christianity, was marked by a whole new relationship with God. At the Last Supper, Jesus had tried to explain this deeper relationship to his disciples: “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me… On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them – are those who love me. And those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” (John 14:18-21)

Jesus was going to ‘reveal’ himself not only to the disciples after his resurrection, and not only in the spiritual sense – but down the ages he was going to appear to many people. His first such appearance was to St. Paul on the road to Damascus. According to legend, Jesus also appeared to St. Peter as he was fleeing from persecution in Rome. As a result, St. Peter turned back to Rome and accepted his martyrdom.

The first part of this chapter explains some theory about spiritual experiences. A lot of people have had experiences – good or bad. It is part of life, and some people are more sensitive than others. We should not go looking for experiences though, because that can lead to the occult (see chapter 6).

 

Basically, the term vision or apparition is used when Jesus becomes visible. And the person who ‘sees’ is called a visionary or seer. When Jesus said: “And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) he meant it in more ways than one. Sometimes people experience his presence or touch, and do not see him. Others hear him speak to them clearly. The Catholic Church has always experienced this very close union with Jesus. In each generation he has maintained an intimacy – through appearing to both saints and sinners. Of course when such occasions are intended to be shared with the whole world, they have to be carefully examined.

 

Some people may find it difficult to accept that Jesus continues to communicate and to appear. Yet why shouldn’t he? When God became man he opened up whole new possibilities. When he lived in Palestine, Jesus mixed with everyone, and spent much of his time among the outcasts and sinners. Having shown such love and care, why should we be surprised if he continues to keep in touch with us? Furthermore these manifestations involve the Holy Spirit, who blesses the mind and heart of the person concerned.

 

Many non-catholic Christians distrust the idea of visible contact from Jesus, and the Virgin Mary and saints. This is based on the Old Testament teachings, when God warned against dealing with spirits (e.g. Deuteronomy 18:11). The calling-up of spirits as part of occult practice, has always been opposed by the Catholic Church. However the possibility of contact from good spirits (angels, saints, the Virgin Mary) was expressed by St. John the apostle: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..” (1 John 4:1) In other words they could be from God.

 

Since there is a risk of deception, the Church tests any claims that are made. Most contact from Heaven is intended for the benefit of the individual, or their community. In these cases the local priest deals with it. The first test is to see if there is any conflict with the Bible or Tradition, and if so – it would not be genuine. When someone claims to have had an apparition or a message which is intended to be shared, it comes under the care of the local bishop. He may set up a Commission of Enquiry. If it is important enough, it is referred to the Vatican.

 

The Church must discern whether the event was true or false. There are four possibilities: it could have been imagined; it could have come from an evil deception; it could have some natural explanation; or it could be genuine. Evil spirits are capable of imitating all that is good; they can imitate the ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit: with healing, prophecy, ‘tongues’, phenomena… They don’t mind how much love or kindness exist, as long as they can cause a distraction or confusion. And they can appear in any shape or form. This is why St. Paul warned: “Satan himself goes disguised as an angel of light.” (2 Cor.11:14)

It may be surprising to know that even saints have been deceived by spirits. It’s a complex business, and it requires experience. The history of the Church is full of extraordinary spiritual phenomena.

 

It usually takes years for the Church to examine and come to a conclusion concerning a major spiritual event. Most people have heard of Lourdes, but it took years for that place to pass all the tests. Extreme caution is used. The Church does not add any new ‘message’ to the established teaching – because nothing can be added to what is contained in the Bible and Tradition. The value of a message or prophecy, is that it promotes a deeper spiritual understanding. It may contain words of teaching or warning.

 

Any apparition or message is referred to as ‘private revelation’, and belief in it is optional. By contrast the Bible is called ‘public revelation’ – and everyone knows it is inspired by God.

 

A most important apparition of Jesus, and one that is still significant for our times, took place in 1674. Jesus appeared to a French nun called St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. He explained to her how his Heart was on fire with love for mankind. St. Margaret Mary saw Jesus with his Heart – the symbol of love – surrounded by flames. It was a wonderful sight “..more resplendent than the sun and transparent as crystal.”

She wrote: “This was as it were, a final effort of his love. He wanted to bestow upon mankind during these final centuries, such loving redemption, in order to snatch them from the control of Satan.” 1

 

This vivid image of the heart is in keeping with the Bible, where we find many times that the ‘heart’ is used to express the deepest part of a person. The great act of love of Jesus – his death for us on the Cross, was summed up by the final piercing of his Heart. (John 19:34)

 

The experience of St. Margaret Mary, accounts for the pictures and statues of Jesus with his Heart in flames (plus a small cross). The image is called the Sacred Heart; it’s a constant reminder of how God feels about us, and an invitation to love him in return.

He made various promises of blessings for people who would honour his love, shown in this very human way. For example: “I will bless every place where a picture of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.” And: “Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and ocean of infinite mercy.”

 

In the 1990’s the visionary Patricia Talbot of Cuenca, Ecuador, was told by the Virgin Mary: “Place the Heart of Jesus in your homes, for it will keep you united and in peace.” 2

 

A short prayer that expresses our response is: ‘Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you’. If the idea of a picture of Jesus still seems strange, remember that he understands our human needs. It is so long now since he was on earth, and people’s faith has grown weak. This picture is like sending a snapshot of himself – a reminder that he is really there.

 

The love of God that is within the Heart of Jesus, is made available to us, most importantly in the Eucharist (Holy Communion). This is the Real Presence of Jesus, who is worshipped in catholic churches (see chapter 9). He is at the very centre of the life of the Church.

 

God has spoken of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to various holy people, from the time of St. Margaret Mary to the present day. Ultimately it has been revealed that the New Era will be known as the reign of the Sacred Heart. In other words, the love of God through the Heart of Jesus, will spread peace and happiness throughout the world. The prophet Cyndi Cain was told:

“…I am God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the most Blessed Trinity. I suffer each day at your abominations. Heed my words, cease your godless ways and the Reign of my Sacred Heart shall come. I love you. I bless you. Come, come now!”

(9 July 1993) 3

 

Here are some further examples of what Jesus has said

concerning his loving Heart.

 

During the 1920’s he spoke many times to Sister Josepha Menendez, for the benefit of sinners. He said:

My Heart is your refuge. My Heart takes comfort in forgiving. I have no greater desire, no greater joy than when I can pardon a soul… you cannot know how my Heart exults in forgiving faults that are of pure frailty. Never think that I should cease to love you because of your miseries (sins) not so, my Heart loves you, and will never forsake you.

…I will shower my mercy on the world to wipe out its ingratitude. My reign will be one of peace and love, and I shall inaugurate it by compassion on all. Such is the end I have in view, and this is the great work of my love.” 4

 

Sister Benigna Consolata (died 1913) was told:

I stoop down to a soul that humbles itself… My love-glowing Heart has so great a hunger and thirst for poor sinners, that it cannot restrain itself from hastening to meet a soul when it begins to return to its God.”

 

Love and mercy, are as it were, the ‘breathing’ of my Sacred Heart. I am love… the greatest pain one can inflict on my Heart is to doubt my goodness. Not only is my Heart compassionate towards sinners, but it rejoices the more there is to repair, provided it finds no malice. I would transform a soul, even one full of misery (sin) if it were only willing to let me do so. The pleasure I take in a trusting soul is inexpressible. A soul should never be afraid of God, because God is ever eager to show the soul his mercy. The greatest pleasure for the Heart of your Saviour, is to lead as many sinners as possible to the Eternal Father. These are my glory…these are my jewels.” 5

 

An important development for our times, was a revelation of the mercy of God: this time Jesus speaks of the flames of mercy, which he wishes to pour on souls. It was during the 1930’s that the world was reminded of its great need of God’s mercy, through a Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska, who died in 1938. Jesus appeared to her frequently, giving her messages which she recorded in her spiritual Diary. These were tested and finally released by the Vatican in 1978; they are published as Divine Mercy in My Soul. The importance of the messages, is that they encourage us to turn to Jesus, in preparation for his Second Coming.

 

St. Faustina was told: “In the old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the whole of mankind. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force me to do so. My hand is reluctant to take the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the day of Mercy.” (Diary section no.1588)

.. Write down these words my daughter. Speak to the world about my mercy; let all mankind recognise my boundless mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of Justice.” (848)

The Virgin Mary spoke to St. Faustina: “Your lives must be like mine – quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the Second Coming of God.” (625)

And: “Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully in the inspirations of his grace! I gave the Saviour to the world; as for you, you have to 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 Saviour, but as a Just Judge…” (635)

 

In the Bible, Jesus predicted that his sign (the Cross) would appear in the sky shortly before his Second Coming (Matthew 24:30).

St. Faustina was told: “Write this: before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of Justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and feet of the Saviour were nailed, will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.” (83)

The ‘day of Justice’ mentioned above, appears to refer to the ‘Chastisement’ (punishment – explained later). It corresponds to the ‘day of the Lord’ in the Bible, which takes place after Antichrist. At that time all evil will be removed from the earth, ready for the return of Jesus. Meanwhile we must live one day at a time, and realise that God does not like to punish us, he prefers to forgive. It is up to us whether we listen to him and respond..

Jesus told St. Faustina: “In return for my blessings, I get ingratitude. In return for my love, I get forgetfulness and indifference. My Heart cannot bear this.” (1537)

 

Jesus appeared to St. Faustina on one occasion, with two rays of light streaming from his heart, he told her:

Paint an image according to the design you see, with the signature: JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU! .. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies here on earth – especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as my own glory.” (947-8)

(Here ‘enemies’ refers to the devil.)

 

The Divine Mercy image – as it is known, is widely circulated. Jesus is dressed in white – the robe of a priest, which he wore to Calvary. The two streams of light from Jesus’ heart are red and white, and they represent the blessing that came from his heart (the blood and water) when he was crucified (John 19:34). “These rays shield souls.. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him..” (299)

To venerate a picture (or a statue) means to give respect and love to whomever it represents. The whole supernatural realm is a mystery to us, but a picture can make a small part of it seem real. It is something that we can relate to in our everyday lives. Our eyes are on the picture, and our heart is reaching out to Heaven. Obviously we do not ‘worship’ the actual picture or statue, that would be both ridiculous and sinful. (Exodus 20:4-5)

Jesus asks us to honour his picture, because it will remind us daily of his presence and his mercy. He will take this as an act of trust, and as he said: “I desire trust from my creatures… Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the boundless depths of my mercy.” (1059)

 

The Divine Mercy picture of Jesus is a reminder of the various messages given to St. Faustina. He gave other reminders, which are intended to bring us close to him as we await his Second Coming. For example, he especially asked for remembrance at 3 o’clock each day. This Jesus called ‘The Hour of Great Mercy’ for the whole world. It was at 3pm that he died. At that moment we were redeemed, and for the first time in history, Heaven was opened to mankind.

Jesus said: “I remind you my daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in my Mercy, adoring and glorifying it… In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others, for the asking. It was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice.

My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it. If you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, my Heart which is full of mercy. And should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a brief instant…” (1572)

 

A lot of people have put aside the thought of the crucifixion of Jesus. They focus on the resurrection, and only use a plain Cross (without the body). Yes – Jesus is risen, but no – he doesn’t want us to forget what happened. Since Jesus is God, everything that he said and did has an eternal importance. His choice to stand in our place, and take the punishment we should have – is not just a fact of history. It is something we should have feelings about. At Pentecost when the good Jews had it all explained to them by St. Peter: “they were cut to the heart.” (Acts 2:37)

 

In the last message, Jesus asks for the ‘Stations of the Cross’. This is a specific meditation on his final hours, as recorded in the Bible. An alternative would be to slowly read those passages in the Bible, to imagine the scene, and to come to a deeper relationship with Jesus. In his sufferings St. Faustina said: “..Love and sin have met.” (408) This may sound like a morbid thing to do, but paradoxically the bond that it creates between ourselves and Jesus, adds to the peace and happiness of our lives. As Jesus said: “..the contemplation of my painful wounds is of great profit to you..” (369)

 

Jesus also asked for particular prayer, and he attached great blessings to it. This is the Divine Mercy Chaplet; it is printed at the end of this book. It is a good prayer to say at 3 o’clock, St. Faustina was told:

Unceasingly say the Chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he recites this Chaplet only once, he will receive grace from my infinite mercy..” (687)

When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, and unlimited mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of my tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of my Son.” (811)

(Here ‘Passion’ means the sufferings that Jesus went through.)

 

The Chaplet is said on rosary beads. It is a repetitive form of prayer, which allows the mind to meditate on the topic. To meditate means to think over, to ‘see’ in the mind’s eye. For example, to follow Jesus as he carries his Cross.

 

Another form of prayer, is prayer of the heart, and it is very pleasing to God. This is when we talk to him in our most normal way. After all, God gave us the gift of communication, and he wants to hear from us! He knows what we are thinking, so we may as well be totally honest. In our mind we can tell him everything.

 

Jesus said: “..Speak to me about everything in a completely simple and human way, by this you will give me great joy.. This simple language of your heart, is more pleasing to me than the hymns composed in my honour. Know my daughter, that the simpler your speech is, the more you attract me to yourself. And now, be at peace close to my Heart..” (797)

 

Since God’s mercy marks this period, and prepares us for the Second Coming of Jesus, he has requested a special holy day – an occasion for his Mercy to be honoured. It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

 

St. Faustina was told: “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of my tender mercy are open… The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (699)

 

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy. I demand the worship of my Mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast, and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image, I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of my mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works.” (742)

 

For some readers this chapter will have been unusual. Evidently Almighty God feels that we need all these expressions of mercy. It seems that the world has grown so far away from him, that many are in danger of being lost.

 

CHAPTER 15

Prophecy & The Glorious Cross – France

 

We are familiar with the idea that Jesus was called the Son of God, and in Jewish terms that made him equal to God. Frequently however, Jesus would refer to himself as the Son of Man and this distinguished him as the Messiah. The term is found in the Old Testament writings of Daniel (7:13-14). In the following messages from Dozule, Jesus calls himself Son of Man, and this stresses the apocalyptic nature of what he has to say.

 

A Cross is frequently seen in modern apparitions, but nowhere as importantly as at Dozule in France (pronounced Doz-oo-lay). This is a village in Normandy, not far from Lisieux. During the 1970’s a housewife – who had previously stopped going to church – claimed to experience supernatural events. The Bishop took an interest in this, and the parish priest later declared his personal belief in what took place. Meanwhile witnesses have given evidence, and restrictions have been lifted, so we await the verdict of the official Enquiry (which often takes decades).

 

The Dozule events have stood the test of time: inspiring prayer and dedication. Supernatural phenomena throughout the years, have kept the messages alive in people’s minds. The housewife was Madeleine Aumont, aged around 40 years. She had 50 experiences mainly of Jesus Christ, but a few of St. Michael the Archangel. The following is Madeleine’s introduction, starting with her return to church attendance in 1970. The day was the first Sunday after Easter (now known as Divine Mercy Sunday – see chapter 14). ‘Communion’ was explained in chapter 9.

 

After Communion and while returning to kneel at her place: “Something happened inside me; something that I couldn’t explain… I felt almost faint… it was as if I were drunk, but drunk with joy and happiness… it seemed to me that I had just discovered another world.” The following Sunday the same thing: “An interior joy came over me; but this time I felt a presence, a presence that did not come from this world… the presence of Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit. A supernatural force came over me… a gentle presence… the world no longer existed and neither did my body. There was only God in me and I in God.”

The following week: “In my spirit, everything sings praise to the Lord: the flowers, their scent, the trees, the morning dew. All that exists, and all that lives is the breath of God, for here on this earth everything sings praises to the Lord… Before, I doubted God’s existence and my life was uninteresting and dismal, with five children to raise and not enough money… but since April 12^th^ 1970 I have felt the resurrection of my spirit and soul, the material cares of my life are gone, and interior peace resides above all that exists on this earth… Heaven is at the end of our earthly life…”

 

March 28^th^ 1972 – a few days before Good Friday.

My husband was leaving for work at 4.30 am.. I got up.. I watched the sky and the clouds racing by.. Suddenly I noticed out on the horizon.. A dazzling light. It lit up the entire horizon almost like a flash of lightening during a storm. But this light stayed, whereas lightening only lasts for a second.

(Madeleine was afraid, went back to bed, then got up again.)

A few moments later, I again saw something forming in the sky at the same spot.. Once this Cross was formed it was immense, marvellous to behold, more brilliant than daylight.. There was only the Cross. Christ wasn’t there. And on the little hill, the entire scene had the form of Calvary. A few seconds later, I heard these three words: ‘Ecce Crucem Domini’ (‘Behold the Cross of the Lord’ – in Latin). These three words resounded as if in church.. It seemed to me that they were spoken to the entire world, and that our planet would have rocked at the sound of that solemn voice…

Then I heard someone talking beside me. That voice was so gentle; no one on earth had ever spoken to me so slowly and gently. I thought it was Jesus. I heard: ‘You will make this Cross known and you will carry it.’ A few seconds longer and everything suddenly disappeared…”

 

It is sometimes very difficult to carry the cross. That is, to accept all of the misery, sadness, cares, and problems of everyday life, all of the suffering. Yes that is very difficult. But when one is sure that Jesus exists, that he is alive and that he is there at every moment of our lives, when we can actually feel his presence, then that has to soften all….”

 

The Cross was seen on a bare hill called the High Butte, just outside Dozule. The following November it appeared again, and Madeleine heard: ‘Repentance, repentance.’ And then, a few seconds later: ‘It is time to save all those sinners who do not love Jesus.’

..This voice spoke very gently to me and seemed very sad. This Cross was marvellously beautiful with a pure brightness to which no light here on earth could ever compare, not the light of the sun, nor the most beautiful electric light. This heavenly light does not hurt the eyes; it only dazzles one’s spirit… I wished I could die, to be in that Light of God so as to contemplate it forever.

Oh, all of you who read these lines: do penance, purify yourselves, it is time to save your spirit, it is time to turn yourselves toward Jesus. I beg you, Jesus is asking you. Do not say ‘It is too late.’ Do not say ‘I’m too old, I’ve wasted my life.’ Do not say ‘I have sinned too much.’ Do not say ‘Too bad… we’ll see.’ It is never too late to turn to Jesus. Jesus is kind. He will forgive you, even at the very last minute of your life…”

Soon Jesus will come to save the world by the Cross that I saw with my own eyes. It is by this Glorious Cross that all sadness, all suffering, and all misery will be put to an end. Then it will be the end, there will be peace and immense happiness. We will discover all these wonders of God in the heavenly light which never sets.”

 

On the third occasion that Madeleine saw the Cross she heard words in Latin which meant: “I heard a voice from heaven say to me.” Madeleine did not understand Latin. Jesus frequently spoke to her in Latin, so that it would help to convince her priest that she was genuine – she was able to remember all the words. The rest was spoken in French:

Tell the priest to have the Glorious Cross erected on this spot, and a sanctuary built at its base. Everyone will come here to repent and to find peace and joy.”

 

On the fifth occasion: 20/12/1972, Madeleine heard – “Tell the priest that the Glorious Cross erected at this spot, is to be comparable to Jerusalem.” (Meaning that it should reach to the same height above sea level as Mount Calvary.)

 

On the seventh occasion, while outside church, the Cross appeared, and then “A human form took its place …never had I seen anything so beautiful; his head tilted and his hands outstretched toward me as if to welcome me. And I heard a very gentle voice say to me:

Do not be afraid. I am Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man risen from the dead.’ A few seconds later, this same voice said to me (in Latin): ‘Oh Madeleine, whom a happy fate has made spouse! Announce the wonders of him who called you from darkness into his marvellous light.’ (‘spouse’ has a spiritual meaning.) …Everything is so wonderful, so grand that I cannot express what I felt through my entire being, even to the depths of my soul. My whole person could feel Jesus, full of love, gentleness and light…

What joy, what pleasure we will have when we are able to contemplate ‘Jesus for Eternity.’ If the world only knew, if the world had seen, if the world were to see. And the world will see, one day in the not too distant future. And that day, the entire face of the earth will be totally dazzled, seeing ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man’ resplendent with light – come on a cloud in all his grandeur; as I saw him with my own eyes.

Yes everyone will see him, and it is for that reason that it is time for you to convert. It is time to lift up your heads. You can still be saved.. Be sorry from the bottom of your hearts, say a small prayer and Jesus will be pleased… Don’t think for a minute that I am one of God’s favourites. God loves all of his creatures. He is the One who gave us life. Without the breath of God, we would be nothing. There would be nothing.”

 

On another occasion when Jesus appeared, he asked for a prayer to be said by the people, followed by a decade of the rosary:

Jesus dictated the Prayer to me…all the while his look seeming very sad and very distant..

Mercy my God, on those who blaspheme you: forgive them, they know not what they do. Mercy my God, for the scandal in the world: deliver them from the spirit of Satan. Mercy my God, on those who run away from you: give them an appreciation for the Holy Eucharist. Mercy my God, on those who will come repentant to the Glorious Cross: may they find there Peace and Joy in God our Saviour.

Mercy my God, so that your Kingdom may come – but save souls, there is still time, for the time is drawing near, see I am coming. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

(After the decade of the rosary) Lord, pour out on the whole world the treasures of your infinite Mercy.’

Then Jesus told me: ‘Be so kind as to repeat this: _*You are my friends if you do what I command you._ [*When you witness in my Name, be so kind as to repeat this.’]”

 

When Jesus is there, I am no longer on earth. I do not see or think about anything around me. It is a marvel for one’s eyes and spirit, which cannot be explained… For all those who doubt, I can affirm the existence of a world other than the one that you see.”

 

Why should such events be taking place in a village in Normandy? Why a huge Cross? These points will be discussed further on.

 

On another occasion Jesus said:

The Glorious Cross erected on the High Butte must be comparable in its vertical dimension to the city of Jerusalem. Its arms must extend from East to West. It must be very bright. This is the Sign of the Son of Man. Have someone dig 100 metres from the site of the Glorious Cross, in the direction of its right arm, and water will flow from there. You will all come to wash there as a sign of purification.

Always be joyful, do not lament over the general cataclysm of this generation, for all of this must happen. Then the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. And the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled. Everyone will strike his breast. Only after the evangelisation of the entire world, will I return in Glory.”

 

Another day St. Michael the Archangel gave direction concerning the basin that was dug: “..Come here in procession everyone, and do not be afraid to wash in this dust-filled water, for know that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. But your soul will be purified. This water is not a spring. It is water that seeps from the ground…”

To form a procession is a biblical thing to do, and so is washing – which symbolises spiritual cleansing.

 

Another time Jesus said: “Blessed those who give their hearts to the Supreme Being alone, for my Father is only kindness. He forgives the greatest sinner in his last moment of life. Tell those who are dying, repentant, that the greater the sin, the greater my Mercy. At the very moment the soul leaves the body, it stands in this splendid Light. Tell them that – Words of Jesus.”

 

1/3/1974. Jesus said: “She who sees me also sees my Father… Rejoice, for the time is near when the Son of Man will return in Glory… Satan will be destroyed and only peace and joy will remain.”

 

Madeleine’s experiences normally took place in the company of people, in church or chapel. First she would see a light in front of the tabernacle, or the exposed Blessed Sacrament, and then the figure of Jesus would appear. Jesus would ask her to repeat out loud what he said– for the benefit of witnesses.

 

5/4/1974. On this occasion Madeleine was told: “Have no doubt. Get up, touch my hands.” “I got up. Jesus put his left hand out to me, then the right. So I took each hand in the two of mine. He told me: ‘Doubt no more. A spirit has no hands and no flesh.’

Jesus is really living, risen, in the flesh, I touched his hands. They are hands of flesh like ours. They are warm. It was wonderful.”

 

May 31st 1974. St. Michael the Archangel appeared and told Madeleine that she was going to have visions of the life of Jesus. He listed them (in Latin) in the form of a prayer: “Through the mystery of your Incarnation. Through your Nativity. Through your Baptism and Holy Fast. Through your Cross and Passion. Through your Death and Burial. Through your Holy Resurrection. Through your admirable Ascension. Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Through Him whose name reigns eternal, deliver us from all evil, Lord.”

 

Madeleine saw lovely scenes at each meditation. At the resurrection scene, Jesus appeared to her and revealed his wounds from the crucifixion. He said:

I am Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man risen from the dead. Look at my wounds.. Jesus asks that the prayer he taught you, be announced to the entire world.. That each year a solemn feast be celebrated on the day when Madeleine saw the Cross for the first time.. All those who come full of confidence, to repent here, will be saved in this life and for eternity. Satan will have no more power over them.. In truth I tell you, my Father has sent me to save you, and to give you peace and joy. Know that I am love and compassion.”

St. Michael added: “God reproaches the priests for their slowness in accomplishing their task, and for their incredulity… A great calamitous drought will fall upon the entire world. The priests must read the Message attentively, and scrupulously respect what has been asked of them.”

 

1/11/1974. Madeleine did not see Jesus, but the Blessed Sacrament was sparkling with rays. He said:

Tell the nations that God has spoken through the mouth of his servant. He revealed to her that the Great Tribulation was near, for she saw the Sign of the Son of Man which rose out of the East and flashed instantaneously in the West. The Sign of the Son of Man is the Cross of the Lord. I tell you in truth, the time has come for the world to repent, for a universal change is near, such as has never been since the beginning of the world, nor will be again.

When the calamitous drought predicted falls upon the whole world, only the basin that God had you dig will contain water, not for consumption, but for washing yourselves as a sign of purification. And you will all come to repent at the foot of the Glorious Cross, which God has asked the Church to erect. Then at that moment, all of the nations of the earth will mourn, and it is at this Cross that they will find peace and joy.

After these days of trial, the Son of Man himself will appear in the sky, with great majesty and power, to gather the elect from the four corners of the earth. Blessed the repentant, for they will have Eternal Life..”

..If man does not erect the Glorious Cross, I will make it appear, but there will be no more time.”

 

28/2/1975 – Friday 3pm: “Tell the priest: I want to pour my Mercy into human hearts, first on those who know the Message, and afterward on the entire world.”

 

14/3/1975 – Friday 3pm: “Persevere without fear of the mocking and slander which will be directed against you … the priest can witness that the Invisible Presence is reflected on your face.” After her encounter with Jesus, Madeleine’s face would shine and reflect the glory which she had seen. This reminds us of Moses who had to cover his face because it shone too brightly, after he had encountered God on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 34:34)

 

In 1975, on Good Friday March 28^th^ Jesus appeared while Madeleine was in church. He dictated the earlier prayer again, and when he reached ‘Pour your Mercy into human hearts’ Madeleine records:

At that moment I saw a globe on which he had set his feet… From the palms of each of his hands came white and red rays… He told me: ‘Tell them this: Know that Jesus of Nazareth has triumphed over death, that his reign is eternal, and that he is coming to conquer the world and time… Jesus asks that each year a solemn feast be celebrated on this day.’

 

The date March 28^th^ was when Madeleine first saw the Cross. It is celebrated each year by thousands of people at Dozule. Jesus also said: “You live in the times when each event is the sign of the written Word..” (Bible prophecies.)

Sin came into the world because of man. That is why I ask man to erect the Glorious Cross. Tell them that afterwards I will return in Glory, and you will see me as my servant sees me.”

11/4/1975 – Friday 3pm. “Tell the priest: I desire that the whole world know the Message. The priests should speak openly and without fear, for nothing must be hidden which should be revealed.”

 

4/7/1975 – Friday 315 pm. “..Please understand this: during the days that preceded the Flood, people didn’t suspect anything until the flood came and carried them all away. But today you have been warned; you are living in the times when I told you there will be all sorts of upheavals on the earth. Iniquity (wickedness) which is the cause of misery and famine… phenomena and signs in the heavens and on earth..

I tell you, this young generation will not pass away before that happens. But fear nothing… You heads of the Churches, I tell you in truth, it is by this Cross set over the world that nations will be saved. My Father has sent me to save you, and the time has come when I must pour my Mercy into human hearts… My Message must not be left in the obscurity of a drawer, but must be Truth and Light for the entire world.”

 

5/12/1975 – Friday. Jesus appeared in the chapel, and Madeleine described the event: “It was so beautiful – what inexpressible gentleness. I didn’t see anything anymore, only Jesus of Love. I was no longer in the chapel. Nothing existed anymore; I didn’t think about anything, I no longer felt my body, I thought it was death and that there was nothing left but my spirit united to the spirit of Jesus. I think that this is what one must feel when one is dead. Jesus told me: ‘Say aloud what you see.’ … With his left hand, Jesus pulled back his robe from his Heart. From his Heart come red and white rays. His right hand is held out toward us. I repeated each sentence that He dictated with such gentleness:

The flames of my Heart are burning me. More than ever, I want to pour them out on each one of you. This is what I promise the whole of humanity, once they know my Message and put it into practice…’” Jesus then gave a list of nine blessings.

The appearance of Jesus, was of course exactly how he was seen by St. Faustina Kowalska – as the Divine Mercy image. And the list of nine blessings corresponded to the Novena intentions, which were given to St. Faustina Kowalska.

Jesus then said: “I promise to all those who come to repent at the foot of the Glorious Cross, and who say the prayer I taught them every day, that in this life Satan will have no more power over them.. My Father, whose goodness is infinite, wants to save mankind which is on the edge of the abyss. Through this ultimate Message you must prepare yourselves.”

 

Commencing on Christmas Day 1975, Jesus appeared for nine days and led Madeleine in the prayers of the novena. On each occasion he drew aside his robe, and the red and white rays were seen coming from his heart, his right hand was held towards us. The novena, consists of the list of blessings, plus prayers.

———————————————-

 

At this point we should stop, and look at the details in these messages which resemble those given to St. Faustina Kowalska. That is to say, the messages of Divine Mercy given to the Polish nun in the 1930’s, which were described in chapter 14. What Madeleine just saw, was exactly what St. Faustina saw: it was the Divine Mercy image of Jesus. And bear in mind that Faustina’s Diary was suppressed for twenty years, and not translated or published at that time.

Jesus said the same thing – that the flames of his Heart were burning; which is to say the burning love and mercy he longs to pour out on us – if only we would let him. This also reminds us of the messages of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – in chapter 14.

 

The theme of many messages is Mercy, and the main prayer given by Jesus, is a plea for Mercy on all people.

The content of the Novena, mirrors the Divine Mercy novena.

Jesus nearly always appeared to Madeleine on Fridays – the day of his death – the day that he saved us. He usually appeared in the 3 o’clock hour – the hour of his death – the hour of great mercy. Frequently it was the first Friday of the month, which again brings to mind the Sacred Heart messages. (The significance is that Jesus is thought to have died on a first Friday.)

 

And remember that Madeleine’s first spiritual experience took place on Divine Mercy Sunday, after she had been lapsed from church.

————————————————

 

(All the messages are taken from the booklet *Dozule*.)

7/7/1978 – Friday. Madeleine had a vision of Jesus seated at a table with open books on it. “The book that I hold in my hands is the Book of the Living, which my Father has given me the power to open, and it is on this blessed and sacred mountain, the site chosen by him, that all things will be renewed. It is here that you will see the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. And here will appear God’s dwelling place among you…”

 

Why was the Cross to be erected in France? Why a village in Normandy? And why such spiritual favours?

 

France has been blessed with some of the most profound and well-known apparitions – including Jesus’ revelations of his Sacred Heart. If on the map of France you connect the apparition sites of Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin, Paris, La Salette, – they form the letter M. Dozule is situated at the top of the M, so we have t

M

This won’t mean anything to most people! However, it is an important symbol that was given by God in 1830, and it has now been drawn on the map of France. (This will become more clear in chapter 18.) But why France, and not Jerusalem or Rome? We don’t know what will happen to those places in the course of events. Antichrist will reign in both Jerusalem and Rome, prior to the Second Coming of Jesus – so that may have disqualified them.

France was chosen for spiritual blessing early in its history.

King Clovis was a protector of the young Church; and in our times the great Monarch will be French. This is in a later chapter.

 

The Glorious Cross in its height, links us with Mount Calvary in Jerusalem. (It is not yet built –this would have been done by the lay people, but Almighty God requires it to be built by the official Church.)

We wait obediently for the Church’s verdict on the above apparitions, meanwhile it seems as if the three revelations of the Sacred Heart, the Divine Mercy, and the Glorious Cross – form a sequence.

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Through another French housewife (anonymous) Jesus requested smaller versions of the Glorious Cross to be erected all over the world; these messages have the Imprimatur. There are now 2000 such Crosses around the world, 500 of which are in France. They are called the Cross of Love. Jesus said that he will be present with each Cross, and certainly they are a source of signs and blessings.

 

CHAPTER 16

Apostasy – Prophecy being Fulfilled

 

The Bible tells us that the Antichrist – the ‘lawless one’ – will have his moment, prior to the return of Jesus: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

 

One of the pre-conditions for the rise of Antichrist, is a widespread rejection of Christianity by christians (called apostasy). St. Paul refers to it as ‘the rebellion’: “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to him… Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1,3)

 

The rejection of Christianity has been building up in the West for over two centuries. There are various reasons for this, one of which has been the distortion of Christian beliefs and values. It has now reached the point where even those who call themselves Christians – are denying Jesus Christ. In the media, so-called Church leaders have said that the Resurrection of Jesus did not take place, and that he did not work miracles. Some say that he was not Divine; others say that he was God – but did not realise it (!) The teaching of Original Sin is denied, and so is the existence of Satan and evil spirits. Therefore the role of Jesus as Saviour is denied. The idea of Hell has been either dismissed, or it has been described as merely unpleasant. And so it goes on, as the words of St. Paul are fulfilled: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

 

The Church from its earliest days had to resist distortions of the true faith. The disciples and then the early Church Fathers, had to debate every point of belief. This was how the various doctrines became explicit. The responsibility of passing on the traditional teaching was seen as a sacred duty (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

 

In 1634 the Virgin Mary appeared to a nun in Ecuador, South America. Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres was Abbess of a convent in Quito, and on one occasion she was told: “In the 19th century – towards its end – and throughout the greater part of the 20th, many heresies will abound in this land, which will then be a free republic. The precious light of the faith will become extinguished in souls, due to the almost total corruption of tradition. At that time there will be great calamities, both physical and moral, public and private.” 1

 

In the past, the enemies of Christianity were quite easy to detect, and the Church was able to stand firm against them. The present situation, with the worst attacks coming from within, was foreseen by Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890): “I thank God that I am living in an age when the enemy of the Church is outside, and I know what he is doing and I’m able to face him. But there is coming the time when the religion of reason will get inside the Church, and replace the religion of revelation, and then the enemy will be inside and outside, and the poor Christians of that day will be caught between the cross-fire. I thank God that I don’t have to face that cross-fire.” 2

 

To understand the present-day situation, we have to look back and see how the belief system was changed at the Reformation. This took place in the 16th century, when the Protestant Churches came into being. One does not doubt the sincerity of the people involved, but there had come about a change in attitude. Prior to the Reformation the Christian faith was a set of beliefs, based on the Bible and on tradition. It could be traced back to the beginning of the Church. It was the responsibility of every catholic bishop to ensure that the faith was passed on intact within his diocese. In the new Protestant system however, any individual was free to make their own interpretation of the Bible. This led to varieties of Christianity with varieties of belief. The result is now over 22,000 different ‘Churches’ worldwide.

 

As modern science and philosophy developed, atheism came into being. This was something new, because it had hardly occurred to people to doubt the existence of God. In the 18th century, the theories of Rationalism and Humanism developed. These gave rise to the religious theories of liberalism. The errors of liberalism were later called ‘Modernism’ by Pope Pius X. He wrote an Encyclical (letter to the Church – Pascendi Dominici Gregis) in 1907, saying[_:_]

“We define Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies… It means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone, but of all religion.”

Fr. Vincent Miceli S.J. in his book Antichrist describes the origins of Modernism in the following terms: “1. Its religious ancestor is the Protestant Reformation. 2. Its philosophical parent is the Enlightenment. 3. Its political pedigree comes from the French Revolution.”

 

Pope Pius X wrote: “The whole system, with all its errors, had been born of the alliance between faith and false philosophy.” One of the false philosophies to which he referred, came from Immanuel Kant – a Lutheran who died in 1804. His theories were popular, and they were used to undermine religion. They can be summed up as follows: a. There can be no certitude in our knowledge. b. Truths (so-called) are in a constant state of flux. c. The instincts and passions are to be valued above the mind and freewill.

 

The theory of Modernism is based on the humanist principle that ‘Man is the measure of all things’. God is cut down to a size that fits human understanding. Religious experience is limited to, and judged by human reason. Everything must be ‘rational’. Religion is explained in terms of science and history. Modernism starts with a blank sheet, with no belief in God; it finds the cause of religion within human nature, in its need for the divine. In Modernist terms, religious sentiment which is felt in the consciousness is described as revelation. Therefore ‘religious consciousness’ becomes important for them (whatever it means?) It is supposed to have come about more or less by evolution. They say that Christianity was an experience in the consciousness of Christ, and it arises in our consciousness too (!)

 

When Modernism is applied to the Person of Jesus Christ, he is judged by science and history – neither of which admit to the supernatural.3 Therefore any notion of his Divinity is rejected. What we know about Jesus comes mainly from the Bible, however any biblical evidence that is not purely historical, is rejected. The life of Jesus is subjected to logic: it is not accepted that he could have said anything out of the ordinary. The modernist puts himself into the position of Jesus, and then considers what he would have done under similar circumstances. The reputation of Jesus, and the things that he is credited with saying, are explained away as being the idealism of his followers.

 

For the modernist there are two sets of history: the history of faith, and real history. Therefore there is the Christ of faith, and the Christ of history; the Christ of faith is not real, but just exists in the mind of the believer. The Gospel of St. John for instance, would be described as pure imagery. The prophetic Books of the Bible are said to have no rational foundation. The Church is viewed by the modernist historian in terms of the theory of evolution.

 

Yet Modernism goes further, it places mankind and not God at the centre of religion. The primacy of man is identified with the primacy of God. For some modernists the true meaning of the Gospel is economic rather than spiritual. For them the kingdom of God after death is not important, what matters is now, and salvation means liberation from political oppression and economic exploitation.

 

The sense of personal sin is lost, it is not considered relevant from the historical point of view. It is seen as inappropriate for the Church to give moral guidance, since it is supposed to be at the service of the world, and should conform to each generation. The individual behaves according to his own conscience, without reference to any rules – such as the Ten Commandments.

 

No wonder in 1846 Pope Pius IX wrote: “These enemies of Divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion, – as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.” (Encyclical Qui Pluri 9/11/1846)

 

It hardly seems credible that intelligent Christians would accept Modernist theories. Perhaps the number of outright modernists may not be many, but unfortunately they have been around for a long time. They have written many books, and have occupied positions of influence. In the past they got their ideas across in stages, rather than by making direct onslaughts, which could be challenged. The ideas are expressed in subtle, intellectual ways, and a person need only accept one false idea in order to slip into error. The effect of Modernism is to drain Christianity of its vitality. In the traditional Churches many congregations wonder why religious belief has been watered down, and has become so uninspiring. Our Lord Jesus is now an embarrassment to some Ministers, as they try to avoid mention of his Divinity…

 

It is interesting to notice the coinciding attacks made on Christianity by the theories of Modernism, and those of Communism. Modernism was applied with subtlety and was mostly disguised, whereas Communism was open and aggressive. In both cases propaganda was used against the Church, and it had the desired effect. Both methods hit their mark, and resulted in a huge loss of faith in the East and the West.

 

A comparison can be made between Modernism and the New Age movement (which has nothing to do with God’s new era) this movement will be discussed in a later chapter. In New Age theory there is no such thing as sin or guilt. The whole cosmos is said to be in a state of evolution, and that includes our spiritual nature. A ‘bad’ person is just someone at an early stage of evolution. Others have already developed a ‘higher consciousness’.

 

Within New Age theory, Jesus Christ is said to be an historical figure only. To be ‘Christ-conscious’ is to develop a similar higher consciousness like him. Both Modernism and New Age theory are based on Pantheism i.e. the belief that God is an impersonal force that is present throughout nature. This implies that God is not distinct from humans, but is contained within each person. Some modernists would explain this by saying that divine action is one with the action of nature. Others might say that by the Incarnation of Christ, our individual natures have become mixed-in with the Divine nature. It is claimed that in dealing with people – we are dealing with God, therefore there is no need to worship God. New Agers talk about our god-consciousness, and the development of our ‘god-within’.

 

In both theories love is important, especially in New Age – which is what makes it sound relevant and appealing. It does not appear to mean loving to the point of self denial, in helping people. It seems more of an attitude of indulgence, and acceptance. An absence of sexual morality in both theories amounts to – do as you please, as long as you can justify it to yourself .

 

It may be helpful at this point to re-affirm what Christians do believe. We are taught that God created us to be in a relationship with him, and that we invite him into our lives. He respects our free-will and does not come unless invited. The human spirit is able to unite with the Spirit of God – he dwells in us to a greater or lesser degree. It is intended that we should share in the divine nature, but it is a gift, and we must show that we want it. St. Peter explained as follows:

“In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature, and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice.” (2 Peter 1:4)

As explained so far in this book: Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity – he is God incarnate.

 

It has been difficult for clergy not to be tainted by the influence of Modernism. In countries like America and parts of Europe, there is an obvious division in the Church. Those who accept Modernist ideas to some degree and flout traditional teaching, are called ‘liberals’. Those who adhere to the established teaching are known as ‘traditionalists’. The sad thing is that ‘liberal’ priests undermine the Church with apparently good motives and dedication. For modernist theologians however, the ultimate aim is the complete dismantling of the Church. One wonders how many ‘liberals’ think about that being at the end of the slippery slope… The few who have lost faith in the most sacred teaching – the Sacrifice of the Mass, are working towards a unity with ‘liberal’ Protestants. The result would be a lifeless ‘christianity’ open to the influence of Antichrist.

 

The overall course of events is no accident of history. The plan to swamp Christianity with ‘liberal’ / rational theories dates back to the 18th century. As mentioned, the Enlightenment influenced Protestant Christians. In Catholic Europe the Alta Vendita had the task of spreading the same theories. This was the highest Lodge of the Carbonari – the governing centre of European Freemasonry. A booklet called The Alta Vendita published by TAN, explains how their plan – the Permanent Instruction, fell into Church hands. In response Pope Pius IX wrote his Syllabus of Errors in 1864.

 

By the 20th century, the combination of Communism, Rationalism, Liberalism and later New Age theory, produced whole societies of confused people. And the Church failed to live up to its mission..

 

Later chapters explain how an episode of disruption will soon occur, followed by peace and the spread of Christianity world-wide. It will last for some years prior to Antichrist. So it will be up to us to ensure that the mistakes in this chapter are not revived. It is spiritual confusion that will make Antichrist seem acceptable.

 

CHAPTER 17

Introduction to the Virgin Mary

 

Before embarking on further prophecies that apply to our times, some explanation is needed concerning the role of the Virgin Mary. Unfortunately she has become a sign of division between catholics and protestants. There is misunderstanding about the part that Mary should play in our lives. Catholics are much to blame for this situation, because they do not give enough explanation about their beliefs. Anyone reading the Bible can see that the Blessed Virgin is not given a great deal of prominence there. It is therefore reasonable to wonder why she has received so much acclaim. Catholic belief is however based on the Bible, and in the next few pages some main points will be examined.

 

For many catholics it has become obvious that the Virgin Mary has the task of preparing the earth, for the Second Coming of Jesus. Over the past century, nearly every country in the world has been blessed by her apparitions and messages. Has all this received the recognition that it deserves? The answer is ‘no’, because due to the state of apostasy in the world (last chapter) the supernatural is played-down, and even scorned. However the truth will prevail, and hopefully an appreciation of Mary, will lead to an awareness of the ‘signs of the times’.

 

A title given to Mary that most people find confusing is ‘Mother of God’. It is used in the second part of the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer: ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.’ The reason why Mary is called Mother of God is because she is the mother of Jesus, and he is God. This title was instituted at the Church Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. It came about because some people had been wrongly saying that Jesus was two persons in one – human and divine. They also said that the Virgin Mary was the mother of the human person only. The Council had to make it clear that Jesus was one person with two natures. He had both Divine nature and human nature, right from the time of conception. In order to confirm this teaching, Mary was officially called Mother of God (Theotokos in the Greek).

 

The source of this particular teaching in the Bible is St Luke’s gospel. After Mary had conceived Jesus, she went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was pregnant carrying John the Baptist:

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!’ “ (Luke 1:41-45)

The Holy Spirit inspired Elizabeth to call Mary ‘mother of my Lord.’ The Hebrew word for ‘Lord’ would have been Adonai, which was a title used for God.

 

Notice also from the above passage, how Mary is called Blessed. Her response to Elizabeth’s greeting, is a prayer of praise to God (which is based on the prayer of Hannah, mother of Samuel in the Old Testament, Samuel 2:1-10) Mary says:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.. He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46-48) So this is why the Church has always referred to Mary as Blessed.

 

Mary is human like ourselves, but she has an important difference. We were born with Original Sin (chapter 6) Mary was conceived without sin. For this reason she has the title the Immaculate Conception. Jesus Christ was Mary’s Redeemer, just as he was for the rest of humanity. We receive that saving grace at Baptism. Mary however received the grace at her very conception. It was given to her in advance, so that she would be untainted by sin, and therefore worthy to carry God himself. This was the traditional belief passed down since the time of the Apostles. The Bible source is St. Luke’s gospel, where the Angel Gabriel said to Mary:

“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) Another translation is: “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”

The Greek word that causes the difference in translation is ‘kecharitomene’, which refers to one who has been transformed by God’s grace. Here it is used in the past form, meaning that Mary had already been transformed.

 

A further understanding from the Angel’s greeting, is that Mary had remained without sin: as a young woman she was still ‘full of grace’ and God was with her.

Since she is so pure and loving, Mary is described as having an Immaculate Heart.

 

The first Protestant Churches came into existence in the 16th century, as a result of the Reformation. The leaders of that movement, had no problem with the idea of Mary being without sin (e.g. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli). Martin Luther’s writings contain the following:

“God has formed the soul and body of the Virgin Mary full of the Holy Spirit, so that she is without all sins, for she has conceived and borne the Lord Jesus.” 1

 

The early Protestant Reformers did not change the traditional beliefs about Mary. They were changed later during the 18th century, when the philosophy of Rationalism came to be applied to religion. The Lutheran scholar Basilea Schlink explains:

“The majority of us (Protestants) have drifted away from the proper attitude towards her (Mary) which Martin Luther had indicated to us on the basis of Holy Scripture… Because Rationalism accepted only that which could be explained rationally, Church festivals in honour of Mary and everything else reminiscent of her, were done away with in the Protestant Church. All biblical relationship to the Mother Mary was lost, and we are still suffering from this heritage.”

(from Mary the Mother of Jesus by Basilea Schlink)

 

Another similarity between Catholic teaching and that of the Protestant Reformers, concerns the fact that Mary remained a virgin for the whole of her life. Devout couples sometimes had an agreement of chastity within marriage. (This was particularly the case with the Essenes.) The suggestion that Mary could have had other children, did not arise until the 4th century. At that time it was successfully refuted by St. Jerome, who was a Bible scholar. The suggestion upset people, because they knew that the brothers and sisters of Jesus, as mentioned in the Gospels – referred to his cousins and their wives.

 

Here is the explanation: firstly the Hebrew language has no word for cousin. Secondly, it is an Eastern practice to this day, to refer to cousins as brother or sister.

Mary was married to St. Joseph, and his brother Clopas (also called Alphaeus) was married to another Mary. The two Marys were sisters-in-law and are mentioned together in St John’s gospel (19:25). Clopas and his Mary had 4 sons: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55 & 27:56). Two of those sons joined Jesus in his mission and became apostles: that’s James and Judas. (This Judas is referred to always as Jude, so as not to confuse him with the Judas who betrayed Jesus. His Letter is in the New Testament.) James became the first Bishop of Jerusalem. The other cousin-brothers Joseph and Simon were married, so their wives were referred to as the sisters of Jesus.

 

Martin Luther wrote: “It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a virgin.” 2

Zwingli wrote: “I esteem immensely the Mother of God, the ever chaste, Immaculate Virgin Mary.” 3

John Calvin claimed: “Helvidius has shown himself too ignorant, in saying that Mary had several other sons.” 4

John Wesley: “I believe that he (the Son of God) was made man… by the singular operation of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who as well after as when she brought him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.” 5

 

There was no tomb marked as belonging to the Virgin Mary, because according to tradition her body was taken up to Heaven. This was not in the manner that Jesus ascended by his own power. In Mary’s case she is said to have fallen into a deep sleep, and her body was lifted away. Since she was free from sin, Mary did not have to go through the process of dying (Romans 6:23). Her body was assumed into Heaven. That is what should have happened to all humanity, but the sin of our first ancestors spoiled God’s plan. The event is known as the Assumption of Mary. The early Christians believed that the following Bible passage was a confirmation that Mary had been raised, and honoured by God:

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with twelve stars on her head for a crown.” (Revelation 12:1)

 

Catholics and non-catholics differ in their view of the place that Mary should hold in our lives. The Protestant Reformers respected Mary, but they did not see her as having a particular role to play. For them there was no question of turning to her in prayer. Catholics do of course pray to Mary, but they use the term ‘prayer’ in a particular way. To pray to Mary, means to speak to her – to share worries and concerns, to express affection, and to give thanks. We ask Mary to pray for us, in the way that we would ask our friends to pray. Since she is so intimate with God, her prayers are frequently answered.

 

A relationship with Mary takes place in private. The Catholic church service – the Mass, is entirely devoted to God. God alone is worshipped and adored. It would be a sin, and contrary to Catholic teaching to worship Mary. Very occasionally – on particular holy days, the Blessed Virgin is given public honour and reverence – in thanksgiving. The aim of the event however, is the time spent in prayer to God. (These however are the events which get caught on television !)

 

Jesus lived a humble and hidden life, and so did his mother. If we try to imagine Mary, she must have had a wonderful personality. Jesus – who is God, had the choice of whom to have for his mother and companion on earth, and no doubt he chose the best! Jesus had a good sense of humour, Mary probably did too, and with God’s blessing on her, she must have been full of love and happiness. Mary would have been kind and generous – always sharing her belongings and food with the poor, and looking after the sick, and the children. Her life was hard: she gave birth to Jesus in a stable, and afterwards they had to flee and live as refugees in Egypt. Mary later suffered the loss of her dear husband Joseph. Eventually she endured the worst torment that any mother could face, watching her beloved Son being put to death. Mary persevered however, and was an inspiration to the early Church. St. John looked after her during that time, and no doubt she had a strong influence on his spiritual awareness. This may account for the deeply spiritual nature of John’s writings – the Gospel and Letters.

 

In order to grasp the role that Mary can have in our lives, it is important to have the correct understanding of God. If we think of God as being like a human king or ruler, then we would expect him to guard his power and his wealth, and to forbid any rivals. However, as Jesus took so much trouble to explain – God is different, he came to earth in order to raise us up, and give us a place of honour in his Kingdom. To fail to understand Mary and the Saints, is to be ignorant of how God operates.

 

When it comes to contact with those who have died (i.e. the Saints) some people quote the Old Testament instructions given by God, for example: “Let no one be found among you… who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:11) This is a teaching that the Catholic Church follows and takes very seriously. It is why the Church is so cautious in examining spiritual phenomena. The issue of spirits is discussed in chapter 6. The existence of evil spirits and ‘unrested’ human spirits, should not however prevent us from appreciating God’s reward for his Saints.

 

In the New Testament the term ‘saint’ was used for the members of the first Christian communities. Gradually it became evident that certain people were extra holy: they still exerted a good influence – through signs and miracles – after their death. The term Saint then became limited to such people.

 

These days the Catholic Church requires a long period of assessment before calling anybody a Saint. Miracles must occur in order to prove that the person is in Heaven – and that God is pleased for them to be honoured. The title Saint means that we may appeal to that person, for their prayers and their help – with the assurance of God’s permission to do so.

 

Jesus loves to see his Saints honoured, because they are signs of his victory over evil. Our experience of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, gives us a glimpse of the after-life. They reveal the truth of the Bible, where it says that God will give us a share in his power and glory when we reach Heaven. This is expressed in the following passages: “Ours will be the inheritance of God and we will share it with Christ; for if we now suffer with him, we will also share glory with him.” (Romans 8:17)

“I will let the victor sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and took my place with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21). In recent years, various Saints have appeared to visionaries all around the world. They offer advice and encouragement, and assure us of their prayers. This is seen as another ‘sign of the times.’

 

Martin Luther had an affection for the Virgin Mary all his life, and kept a picture of her. He wrote: “One cannot grasp spiritual things unless images are made of them.” And: “Nothing else can be drawn from the words: ‘Thou shalt have no strange gods before me’ except what relates to idolatry. But where pictures or sculptures are made without idolatry, the making of such things is not forbidden.” 6

 

These days, usually only catholics keep religious pictures and statues – they are regarded as daily reminders of the spiritual side of life. They have no value in themselves, but are visual aids to prayer. God understands the human need to see and to touch – in other words to feel close. Down the centuries he has kept our faith stimulated, by allowing signs and miracles associated with certain images. (For example the weeping crucifix of Limpias, Spain.) The image then draws us deeper into the mystery of our relationship with God.

 

Something else that needs explanation, is the way that the Blessed Virgin has many titles, such as: Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, etc. It is by each title that people recognise where she appeared, and what message God wanted us to know. Statues and pictures of Mary are frequently copies of the way that she appeared at a particular place.

Only part of Mary’s mission was accomplished on earth. God still required much more of her: he wanted the Blessed Virgin to be a spiritual Mother to all mankind (as indicated in Revelation 12:17). Furthermore he wanted her to be an opponent to Satan. This Mary could be, since she had always resisted Satan, and had never sinned. God’s plan existed from the very beginning. At the fall of Adam and Eve, Mary’s role was foretold when God addressed the serpent (Satan) as follows:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) The Church refers to the Virgin Mary as the ‘new Eve’. Where Eve had failed, Mary succeeded, and she became the perfect mother to the human race. Eve did not set us a good example, whereas Mary is the perfect role model.

 

The above quotation from Genesis, is open to two interpretations from the Hebrew. It can also mean ‘..she will crush your head’. The Church uses both translations, since both are true. We will see how Mary has been filled with God’s blessing and power, in order to oppose Satan.

 

The term ‘woman’ is used by Jesus when addressing his mother in the Gospels (John 2:4; 19:26). (In our society to call someone woman would not be respectful, however in Hebrew it was normal.) In this way, Mary is identified as the ‘woman’ in Genesis. It also identifies her as the ‘woman’ in Revelation, who is about to give birth, with the dragon (Satan) nearby (Rev.12:1-6).

Thus the first book of the Bible (Genesis) and the last book (Revelation) both speak of the womanher offspring – and Satan. We see how this struggle persists in our own times: for Satan tries to undermine the beautiful things that Jesus and Mary accomplish.

 

CHAPTER 18

The Virgin Mary Versus Satan

 

RUE DU BAC

The drama which took place here in Paris in 1830, is said to mark the beginning of the end of the age.^1^ From this time on, there is an unfolding of events and messages which indicate the approaching Second Coming of Jesus.

At a convent in the Rue du Bac,2 we were given a memorable image (picture) of Mary’s role, and her superiority over Satan. It was experienced by a nun called St. Catherine Laboure. One night she felt drawn to go to the Chapel, and there she encountered the Blessed Mother. Apparently Mary sat on a chair, and Catherine knelt at her feet, and they talked together for some time.

 

Another evening St. Catherine saw two different visions: one was of the Blessed Mother standing on the globe of the world. In her hands was a small globe with a cross on top. Under her foot was the head of a snake (Satan). This appears to represent the final stage of the ‘battle’ between Mary and Satan.

 

The second vision, was of Mary with her arms extended, and with twelve stars around her head. This reminds us of the ‘woman’ in Revelation: “…with twelve stars on her head for a crown.” (12:1). She was surrounded by an oval shape, around which was written: ‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’ Another oval then appeared, and there was seen the letter M with a cross on top. Below it were two hearts. One heart had a circle of thorns – representing Jesus’ crown of thorns. The other was pierced by a sword, representing Mary’s heart – ‘pierced’ by seeing her Son on the cross. (Luke 2:35)

 

St. Catherine was told to have a religious medal made, using the oval designs front and back. Many blessings were promised to people who would wear the medal, and ask Mary to pray and protect them. There have been so many thousands of miracles, that it has since become known as the Miraculous Medal.

 

The use of religious medals is a catholic practice. Things like medals, rosaries, holy water, and holy oil, are blessed by a priest. They are part of a Christian’s spiritual armour. Through the priest, God gives a blessing which remains, and it helps to give protection. These are visible reminders of the spiritual dimension to our lives. They are not magic, and do not cause us to neglect our prayers. During these difficult times, it will be important to have as much protection as possible. (And the best protection for everyone, is to read the Bible, and praise God in their hearts.)

 

From this time on, the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary were to become a theme in apparitions. The hearts represent their mutual love and loyalty, and their love for us.

 

If you remember, in chapter 15 which is about the Glorious Cross, the symbol t was mentioned. Now you can see how it comes from this

M

vision and the Medal. It was explained in chapter 15 how this particular symbol has been drawn on the map of France.. The symbol represents the relationship between Jesus and Mary, and now it shows their claim to the country of France. This information is relevant for the future.

Historically, King Clovis was baptised by St. Remigius at Reims in 496 A.D. and this brought the early Frankish people into the Church. He was a loyal defender of the young Church, which had lost the protection of the Romans. Since that time, Almighty God has taken an interest in the kings of France – even raising up Joan of Arc to defend the throne. It was recorded by churchmen at the time, that Clovis had a vision and prophesied that the last monarch from the French line, would be powerful and re-establish God’s Empire.

Some French kings have been disloyal, nonetheless modern prophecy tells us that a great Monarch will come – at a time when Europe is in a mess. This story will be taken up again.

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LA SALETTE

In 1846 Our Lady appeared to two children in the French Alps, at La Salette. They saw her weeping over the sins of mankind. This was the same year in which Pope Pius IX produced his Syllabus of Errors. In it he condemned the false propositions of modern philosophies, and secret societies – particularly Freemasonry, and Communism. (The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848.)

 

In 1851 the Vatican declared the apparition to be authentic, but the message was not officially published. The Virgin Mary had given young Melanie Calvat a long prophetic message, and told her that she could make it public in 1858. In 1879 the message received the Imprimatur (the declaration by a bishop that it contains nothing contrary to the Faith). As usual the Church is cautious in promoting prophecies; this one is particularly long, complex, and apocalyptic. Some of it was fulfilled by the end of the 19th century.

 

The message demonstrates Mary’s part in rallying us against evil, during the end of the age. Here are some extracts:

“A forerunner of the Antichrist, with his troops gathered from several nations, will fight against the true Christ, the only Saviour of the world. He will shed much blood, and will want to annihilate the worship of God, to make himself be looked upon as a god..”

“Nature is asking for vengeance because of man, and she trembles with dread at what must happen to the earth stained with crime..” “It will be during this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew nun, a false virgin who will communicate with the old serpent, the master of impurity; his father will be a bishop.”

“The seasons will be altered, the earth will produce nothing but bad fruit..”

“The demons of the air together with the Antichrist, will perform great wonders on earth and in the atmosphere, and men will become more and more perverted. God will take care of his faithful servants and men of good will. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and all peoples of all nations will get to know the truth..”

“May your zeal make you famished for the glory and the honour of Jesus Christ. Fight, children of light, you the few who can see. For now is the time of all times, the end of all ends..” 3

 

In Russia, people used to think that Lenin was the Antichrist: his mother was Jewish, he tried to destroy Christianity, and the Communists revered him like a god. What is possible however, is that he was the ‘forerunner’ who is mentioned.

 

Another extract that has been relevant in recent times is:

“May those in charge of religious communities be on their guard against the people they must receive, for the devil will resort to all his evil tricks to introduce sinners into Religious Orders, for disorder and the love of carnal pleasures will be spread all over the earth.” This makes us think of the priests and nuns who have caused shame within the Church in past years. If only people had listened.

Ever since that apparition, La Salette has been a place of pilgrimage. People receive there the blessings of repentance, and renewed faith, plus miraculous conversions frequently occur.

 

The other visionary was a boy called Maximin Giraud, who had his own message from Our Lady. It is said to consist of two parts: there is the part which he wrote down, which was short. Then he was allegedly told to do something, which he accomplished when he was older…On two occasions he made a point of approaching the Count of Chambord, who was a favourite with the royalists who wanted to restore the French throne. They wanted to make him Henry V of France. Maximin however, told the Count that he brought a message from Our Lady – that he was not to take the throne, because there was a true heir whose descendant would be made king one day. The Count was a good man, and there were witnesses, so the bid for the throne was never made.

The ‘true heir’ will supposedly become the great Monarch.

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AMSTERDAM

The Dutch visionary Ida Peerdeman, saw many visions during the period 1945 to 1984. They included 55 apparitions of Our Lady.4 In 2002 the Bishop of Haarlem, Holland, pronounced the apparitions to be supernatural in origin. The visions were frequently of an apocalyptic nature, and they continued to express Mary’s offensive against Satan.

Mary referred to herself as ‘the Woman of all Nations’. The reason for this title, is that God wants to identify Mary as ‘the woman’ (found in Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12:1). This reveals her role – which was explained in the previous chapter.

 

In addition to this, we have Mary at Calvary where Jesus spoke to her from the Cross saying: “Dear woman, here is your son.” And to St. John “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27) Jesus was giving Mary and John to each other. However since he chose to do it publicly, the Church interprets ‘here is your mother’ to apply to all peoples. Ida Peerdeman was told: “When Jesus was leaving (dying) – in one final act, the Lord Jesus Christ gave Miriam or Mary to the nations, gave her as the Woman of all Nations.” (Miriam is the Jewish form of Mary; and it means beloved.)

 

The Blessed Virgin requested a particular prayer to be said for the world. She also asked for one of her apparitions to be painted as a picture. It has Mary standing before a cross, on the globe of the world, with her arms outstretched. In 1996, the Bishop of Haarlem gave approval to the title ‘The Woman of all Nations.’ He re-affirmed permission for the use of the prayer which is as follows:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth. May the Holy Spirit dwell in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. And may the Woman of All Nations be our Advocate. Amen”

 

The messages given to Ida Peerdeman include the following:

 

“Satan is not banished yet. The Woman of all Nations is now permitted to come in order to banish Satan. She comes to announce the Holy Spirit.” (31/5/55)

“How thoroughly Satan holds the world in his clutches – only God knows. He now sends to you, to all the nations, his Mother, the Woman of all Nations. She will vanquish Satan, as has been foretold. [_*She shall place her foot upon Satan’s head._][”*] (31/5/55)

“The Woman was bound to bring her prayer over this diabolical world. For the Holy Spirit has still to descend upon the nations. Understand this message well. Say my prayer then nations – that the Holy Spirit will really and truly come.” (4/4/54)

“You must all say the prayer I have given you. The Woman of all Nations has been sent especially at the present time, in order to defeat the spiritual decline and degeneration. All of you who are in spiritual need, turn to the Woman of all Nations and she will help you.” (5/10/52)

“..All who pray before the picture and ask the help of Mary ‘the Woman of all Nations’, will be given grace for soul and body, in the measure that the Son wishes.” (31/5/51)

“Why is Mary asking you to do this? It is because she is sent by her Lord and Creator, so that by means of this prayer and this title, she may save the world from a universal calamity.” (10/5/53)

“The powers of Hell will break loose. But they will not prevail against the Woman of all Nations.” Ida Peerdeman added: “While she spoke these words, I saw a brilliant light radiating from her in all directions.” (3/12/53)

“The Church – the sheep – have been dispersed, and still more will take to flight. The Woman of all Nations however, will bring them back into one fold.” (19/3/52)

“You must realise why I come as the Woman of all Nations. I come in order to rally all nations in the Spirit, in the Spirit of Truth. All men must learn to find the Holy Spirit. Strive after justice, truth and love. Do not reject your brothers… A heavy responsibility rests upon the people of these times.” (8/12/52)

“Pass this on: Christendom, you do not know the great danger you are in. There is a spirit out to undermine you, but the victory is ours.” (15/8/50)

“ ‘You women, must set the example. Come back to your womanliness.’ Now the Lady looks at the men and says: ‘I have one question for you men: where are the soldiers of Christ? More I need not say.’ “ (10/12/50)

 

“Seek and ask only for the true Holy Spirit. There is at the moment a war of ideas. It is no longer races and nations that are at issue, the fight is for the spirit. Have no doubt about this.” (11/2/51)

The Virgin Mary made it clear that evil is now trying to win the hearts and minds of people. We need to realise that this is more serious than any other disaster – because if people reject God, they go to Hell for all eternity.

 

“The enemy of Our Lord Jesus Christ has worked slowly but effectively. His posts are manned. His work is almost finished. Nations, take warning: the spirit of untruth, lies and deceit, is carrying many away. The decisive day is beginning…Great threatening dangers hang over the world. The Churches will be undermined still more.” (8/12/52)

“Try to understand the times in which you live, and what the struggle is about. Realise that it is a spiritual battle. This is the time of the spirit…the true Spirit will triumph, providing that all of you co-operate… The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit now want to make his Church great. Make sure you understand your doctrine. It was necessary for the Woman to come and say all this. Remember the first and principal Commandment: Love. That embraces everything.” (5/10/52)

“When the time of the Lord Jesus Christ will arrive, you will see that the false prophets, wars, dissensions and disputes will disappear. This time is going to come and there will be peace, true peace. Peoples, this true peace is the Kingdom of God, and it is closer than ever. Let these words be clearly understood.”

 

In these messages there are hints of things to come, which will be examined in later chapters. The messages do not conflict – each episode will take its course, for example the Church will be under threat, and later the Church will triumph.

The messages were of course given to Ida Peerdeman in Dutch. In that language to refer to someone as woman is not impolite. You may find elsewhere, that the English translation uses the word Lady instead, because people do not want to be disrespectful. So Mary is also called the Lady of All Nations.

 

These messages have inspired the creation of a new Order of priests and nuns. They are called the Family of Mary Co-redemptrix, and so far their outreach is mainly in East Europe.

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GUADALUPE, Mexico

This was an early event, but it has a new importance.

It demonstrates in a dramatic way, how the Virgin Mary has power from God against Satan. It took place in Mexico in 1531. In those days the Aztec Indians lived in fear of their god Quetzelcoatl – the feathered serpent. They used to kill great numbers of neighbouring tribal people, and offer them as sacrifices to the god.

Here we are reminded of what St. Paul taught: “..the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons..” (1 Corinthians 10:20). The Spanish authorities stopped the killing, but the people of the area remained under the influence of the serpent, and were not interested in Christianity.

 

After some years the Blessed Virgin appeared to a poor Christian Indian called Juan Diego.5 She looked like a young Indian woman, and was dressed as an Aztec. Her words included:

“Am I not here who am your Mother?” The local bishop was cautious, and told Juan Diego to ask for a sign. On her next appearance Mary agreed to this, and suddenly Juan saw that he was surrounded by beautiful rose bushes, growing from the desert. He was wearing the local ‘tilma’, which is a poncho style cloak made from the cactus plant. He picked the roses and carried them in his tilma to the bishop’s office. When he opened the cloak, and let the roses fall to the floor, the bishop went down on his knees in amazement. He saw not only the roses, but also a picture of the Blessed Virgin imprinted on Juan’s tilma. This tilma exists to the present day, in perfect condition. It is kept in the Cathedral of Mexico City, where anyone can see it.

In the early days however, it was displayed in a small chapel. The Indians flocked to see the picture, two million of them visited the chapel and touched the tilma – yet it remained undamaged.

 

The Spaniards did not realise at the time, that Mary was dressed in the style of an Aztec princess. There were stars on her cloak, and she stood on a crescent moon. Under her foot was a serpent. The Aztecs recognised every item of the image, and knew that they had been rescued by a heavenly princess. They lost their fear of the serpent Quetzelcoatl, and wanted to become Christians. Within a few years, nine million had been baptised.

 

This image is known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the story took on a new significance in recent times. The tilma should have disintegrated within twenty years – yet it was miraculously preserved. When it was examined scientifically in the 20th century, no explanation could be found for the picture, because no paint or identifiable substance had been used. It is just a miracle. The biggest surprise however, was when the eye of the image was examined with a microscope. There in the pupil of Mary’s eye, is the reflection of the scene in the bishop’s office back in 1531. The bishop is on his knees, there is a desk, and two other people can be seen. This was a stunning discovery, which God had reserved for our technical and cynical generation !

 

Another point about the Guadalupe image, is that features of the Aztec costume worn by Mary, indicated that the wearer was pregnant. This was surprising, and it has led to the image becoming the emblem of the catholic Pro-Life movement. All kinds of phenomena have happened in recent years, associated with the picture of the Virgin. Most importantly, women who have had abortions have received emotional and spiritual healing.

 

Abortion is possibly the most serious, widespread sin of our age. It is serious because God creates the human spirit at conception. The Bible shows the truth of this, where John the Baptist, still in the womb of his mother recognised the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary. Elizabeth said: “…the child in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44). Abortion is a sin that is shared by society as a whole – because it is legalised and encouraged. It is one reason why God is going to chastise the world – because we have now claimed the right to stop human life – and in vast numbers due to promiscuity.

Fortunately as always, those who have been involved can ask for forgiveness.

 

CHAPTER 19

Before the Second Coming – A Dogma

 

This is a short chapter, it is included because the contents will one day arouse interest.

In recent years millions of catholics around the world have written to the Vatican. They have requested that the Pope should declare a final dogma (official teaching) concerning the Virgin Mary. Why this concern? Partly because this teaching will improve the general understanding about Mary, but also because it is understood that Jesus will not return until it is achieved. This was told to Ida Peerdeman who featured in the last chapter.

 

God is displeased with the way that the Blessed Virgin has been rejected from the hearts of people, over the past few centuries. Since she is his gift to us, this rejection is an obstruction to God’s will. Through various visionaries, we have been told that Our Lady must receive the respect that is her due. Jesus will not tolerate anything else – for he himself loves and honours her. We may need to remember how Mary has a unique relationship with the Holy Trinity. She is the sinless daughter of the Father, the ‘spouse’ of the Holy Spirit (having conceived by the power of the Spirit – Luke 1:35) and of course she is mother of the Son.

 

Down the centuries it has been apparent that the Blessed Virgin serves God in three particular ways: she is a mediator, an advocate, and co-redemptrix. These terms may be unfamiliar to some people, but it is useful to understand what they mean.

 

A mediator is a go-between (mediatrix is the female version). As applied to Our Lady, God uses her as a channel of blessing. The Bible tells us that there is only one mediator between God and mankind, and that is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). However when we pray to Jesus for each other, we in our turn become a mediator. Unfortunately most of us are poor channels of blessing – for we are clogged up with sin. When we pray for people, the result can take a long time. (Of course if we took prayer more seriously, and also fasted, then we would see better results – assuming that we pray for something of spiritual benefit.) We find that God has given us the Blessed Virgin to help us in our weakness. When we ask Mary to pray to her Son, then we usually find that things happen more quickly and effectively. The blessing is from Jesus, but he allows his mother the pleasure of giving it to us.

 

An advocate is somebody who speaks on our behalf, and promotes our cause. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as ‘the Advocate’ in some translations of the Bible (John 15:26). Jesus himself is our advocate (1 John 2:1) because he continues to pray for us to God the Father. Each one of us can be an advocate, in pleading for people who are in spiritual danger. Our Blessed Lady is an advocate for each one of us, and for humanity as a whole. That is typically the part of a mother – to plead for her children. Jesus listened to his mother at the wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1-10), and experience shows that he continues to do so. God likes to be persuaded to be merciful, and he chooses above all, to favour the prayers of the Virgin Mary.

 

There is only one Redeemer of the human race – Jesus Christ. The trouble is however, that people do not respond to him, their minds are closed and they continue to sin. When our prayers help a person to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, then we co-redeem. – We have been part of the process of redemption. (The word co means with.) We achieve this by offering to God not only our prayers, but also our works, joys, and sufferings – of any kind. In other words we make an ‘offering’ out of each day-to-day situation. In this way a sort of bank of blessings is maintained, for the benefit of other people.

 

St. Paul expressed it as follows: “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24) What is still lacking in order for Christ’s death to have its full effect – is that everyone should want Redemption. It is God’s design that we are closely bound to each other, as one human family, helping each other to desire Heaven by our prayers and offerings. In that way, even our suffering is no longer seen as a waste of time. (Of course we pray for God’s help and for healing, but meanwhile we transform suffering into something useful.) It is a cross that we carry in imitation of Jesus.

 

The Virgin Mary is called co-redeemer (co-redemptrix is the female version) because her prayer softens hearts, and turns them towards her Son. Furthermore, she is co-redemptrix in the unique sense that Mary co-operated with God in bringing our Saviour into the world. At the very end she was there, standing by the cross, praying and offering her personal anguish for the sake of sinners.

It is anticipated that the Catholic Church will formally pronounce Mary to be Mediatrix, Advocate, and Co-redemptrix. As mentioned, it will be made a dogma. A dogma is a central teaching that is handed on to the next generation. It is so vital that it must be accepted by everyone who wishes to be part of the Church. It is not something new, but is a belief that has always been held. At different points in history, beliefs become challenged, and it is necessary to make them formal – so that everyone knows what is correct. The Virgin Mary has suffered a loss of dignity, more so in recent years, and God now wants the situation to be put right.

 

To Ida Peerdeman in Holland, Mary revealed God’s desire for her title to be declared. The dogma will be a decisive factor; initially it will cause dissension, but the end result will be a blessing on the world. Mary gave the following messages: “I do not come to bring a new doctrine. The doctrine is already there..”

“..it is the wish of the Father and the Son to send me into the world in these times as the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.”

 

“Satan is still the prince of this world. He keeps his grasp on everything. That then is why the Woman of all Nations had to come now, into these times. For she is the Immaculate Conception, and therefore also the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.” 1

 

CHAPTER 20

Prophetic Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus

This chapter explains thirteen Bible prophecies which should be fulfilled, prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. Eleven are currently being fulfilled. Most of them have been discussed elsewhere in the book.

1. The Jews return to Palestine

The following words were spoken by Jesus concerning the Jews: “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

The word Gentiles refers to non-Jews. The time of the Gentiles was over, when in 1948 the Jews claimed Palestine, and created the State of Israel.

 

2. The End of an Empire

In the Old Testament Book of Daniel (7:7-8, 23-24) it indicates that Antichrist will come after the destruction of an Empire, and the formation of ten kingdoms.

It is explained in a later chapter, that In 1973 the Club of Rome divided the world into ten geographical / economic areas, which were referred to as kingdoms.

At that time the Communist Soviet Empire was still in existence. It was the worst, most destructive Empire the world had ever seen. Through Marxist atheism its bad influence extended world-wide, and appeared to fulfil Daniel’s prophecy of an Empire.

 

In 1989 the Soviet Empire was deliberately dissolved. Why? So that the East European countries could join the European Union. The people behind the scenes wanted to proceed with the ten kingdoms, and Europe would lead the way. We can now see that the ten kingdoms will in fact be called Unions. They are geographical areas which will become united: we already have a Chinese Union and Russian Union.

In the future there will be an African Union, Arab Union, South American Union, and so on.. The North American Union is already planned, consisting of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.A.

(See Hope of the Wicked by Ted Flynn.)

So Daniel’s prophecy is being fulfilled. Various prophets mention the secret societies, which are putting these things in place. In a later chapter, we see how the ultimate aim is a federation of ten Unions under a World Government. This will form a new Empire. And it will have a World Leader..

 

Some early Church Fathers, and theologians, thought that a Roman Empire would come to an end, prior to Antichrist. This will in fact happen, in the sense that a great Monarch will appear at a time of disruption in Europe. He will head a ‘holy Roman Empire’ for some years. This may sound incredible, but the world will be a different place at that time; the evidence is in a later chapter.

 

3. People become wicked

When describing things at the end of the age Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

St. Paul wrote: “But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Sadly as television reaches around the world, spreading its violence, bad language, and promiscuity, people’s cultural values and standards are being lost. The above description is becoming increasingly accurate.

 

4. There will be upheaval in the world and in nature

Jesus said: “Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there.” (Luke 21:10-11)

During the past century, the world experienced the greatest number of major wars in history. There was famine, the plague of Aids, and huge disturbances of nature.

With regard to the incredible world-wide upheaval of nature – it reminds us of the words of St. Paul: “From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth…” (Romans 8:22) Nature is currently in revolt against the way mankind has mistreated it. However, the apparent disorder will ultimately give birth to the new era of peace and harmony, during which nature will flourish.

5. Elijah will come

Jesus said: “Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be.” (Matthew 17:11)

In the Old Testament, through the prophet Malachi, God said:

“Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes..” (Malachi 4:23 in R.C. Bibles; 4:5 in Protestant Bibles.)

 

The above does not refer literally to the prophet Elijah from the Old Testament. It refers to a type of Elijah, someone who is a powerful witness to God. John the Baptist was an Elijah-type who prepared the way for Jesus in Palestine. An angel had told his father Zechariah: “..He will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him (God)… preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.” (Luke 1:17)

Much later Jesus explained this to his disciples:

“I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased, and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands. The disciples understood then that he had been speaking of John the Baptist.”

(Matthew 17:12-13)

 

In our times, God is sending the Virgin Mary to prepare the way for the Second Coming of Jesus. Nearly every country in the world has an account of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, during the past century. The Vatican has been overloaded with all the information. Our Lady reminds us to turn away from sin and choose God, in order to be saved. It is appropriate that Mary should be given this task by God, since as the mother of Jesus she made preparation for him to come into the world the first time.

As the return of Jesus approaches, Our Lady asks every person on earth to be ready in their heart for his Coming. In this way, Mary is another Elijah-type and she fulfils the prophecy made by Jesus that “Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be.” (Matthew 17:11)

Like John the Baptist, she is preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.

6. There will be signs in the sky

Jesus said: “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.” (Luke 21:25)

The first major sign occurred at the apparition site of Fatima in Portugal, in October 1917. A miracle of the sun took place; it was the most impressive miracle in the history of the Church. It was witnessed by 70,000 people. These days a modified version of the miracle is being seen by people all over the world. This and other signs are described in chapter 13.

 

7. There will be persecution of Christians

Jesus predicted: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith, and will betray and hate each other.” (Matthew 24:9-10)

 

The worst persecution of Christians in history, took place in the 20th century under world-wide atheistic Communism. There will be more problems during the Tribulation (later chapter, but this will be followed by a good time of peace.)

A final persecution will happen when the Antichrist takes power. It will be vital to keep the true Christian faith during that time. Fortunately his reign will not last long.

 

8. There will be an outpouring of God’s blessing

These words were given through the prophet Joel:

And afterwards, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 3:1-2 in R.C. numbering ; Joel 2:28 in Protestant numbering.)

The above words were quoted by St. Peter at Pentecost, and they have renewed importance in our times. During the past century, the extraordinary activity of the Holy Spirit has been called a Pentecostal experience. It was mentioned earlier in chapter 13.

The prophet Joel was describing the blessing, which will follow the day of the Lord, so the ultimate fulfilment of the above prophecy will take place in the new era of peace

 

9. There will be false Christs and false prophets

Jesus said: “At that time if anyone says to you ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.” (Matthew 24:23-24)

 

We have plenty of false prophets in the world.

The most significant false Christ is a man calling himself Lord Maitreya. He is best known within the New Age movement, where he has a large following. He claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus; the Maitreya Buddha; and for Hindus – Lord Krishna.

It is explained in a later chapter that the ultimate false Christ will be the Antichrist. The ultimate false prophet is the person referred to as the ‘false prophet’ in Revelation. He too is discussed later.

 

10. The great Apostasy

A widespread apostasy or rebellion against Christianity, prepares the way for the Antichrist. St. Paul calls him the ‘man of lawlessness.’ He will rise to power before the Coming of Jesus. St. Paul prophesied:

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you brothers, not to become unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2 Thes. 2:1-3)

 

Chapter 16 deals with the topic of the current state of apostasy in the world, i.e. the rejection of true Christian belief. Christianity will revive, but people have lost their deep Christian roots. How committed will they be when it comes to the time of Antichrist..

 

11. Christianity must be preached in the whole world

Jesus said: “This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as a witness to all the nations. And then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

This has now been achieved – inasmuch as everyone has heard of Jesus, the outlying places having been reached by radio.

There are events approaching however, which will cause people of all faiths to acknowledge Jesus. The gospel really will be proclaimed around the world – to all the nations. This is preparation for the Second Coming, and people will then make an informed choice between Jesus and Antichrist.

By that time however, Christian zeal will have diminished again, and with sadness Jesus prophesied: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)

 

THE FOLLOWING TWO IMPORTANT SIGNS REMAIN TO BE FULFILLED

 

12. The Jews will convert to Christianity

St. Paul taught concerning the Jews, that they had lost God’s favour only for a time. He explained the situation by saying that the Jewish nation was like an olive tree, which due to its unbelief had been cut off – the branches had been cut off, and Christianity had been grafted on. However the original root of the Jewish faith was still there, and one day the original branches would be grafted back. That is to say that Jews and Christians will one day be united in recognising Jesus as their Saviour. St. Paul prophesied:

“One section of Israel has become blind, but this will only last until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well.” (Romans 11:25-26)

 

How can this be expected to happen? Well the genuine Jews who do not use the occult Cabala (chapter 12) are likely to convert along with other people, as they see prophecy unfold. This may not take very long.

Unfortunately, many Cabala ‘Jews’ are likely to remain on their course for wanting a World Government, and their World Leader (see Make Yourself an Ark by Fr. Andrew O’Brien). We know from the early Church Fathers, that Antichrist will be acclaimed as the Messiah by the Jews. His occult Empire will have its headquarters in Jerusalem. So these people are expected to only convert at the Second Coming of Jesus. (This is what some Church Fathers actually thought – such as St. John Chrysostom.)

 

At this point in history, we ought to make the above distinctions.

 

13. The rise of Antichrist

St. John taught: “You were told that an Antichrist must come.”

(1 John 2: 18) Antichrist is the topic of a later chapter.

 

CHAPTER 21

The Virgin Mary and Further Messages

 

An African word for ‘mother’ translates as she who hears when I call. That seems to sum up very well the way that people all over the world feel about the Virgin Mary. As we saw in the previous chapters, it was God’s plan to give her as Mother to the whole human race – to all nations. People of every religion are instinctively aware of that. God loves all his creation – all of humanity, and so does the Blessed Virgin. Since the earliest centuries, Mary has appeared to all kinds of people – to saints and sinners. In particular she appears where there are problems or distress.

 

The apparitions that are described in this chapter, have all received official recognition from the Catholic Church. In chronological order, they become more apocalyptic as time goes on. It is interesting to notice how the Virgin Mary appears differently in each vision. The variety and perfection of her appearance, reveals the love that God has for her. He presents her to us as an experience of the wonder of Heaven. It is typical that every visionary is struck by the beauty of Mary’s looks and personality, and they are drawn by her tremendous warmth and affection. Mary is a little taste of Heaven, a foretaste of the awesome love of God. All visionaries become impatient to leave this earth – because it no longer feels like ‘home’ to them. They just long to go to Heaven.

 

Lourdes, France (1858)

This is one of the best known apparition sites, it is near the Pyrenees. The Blessed Virgin appeared there, to a young girl called Bernadette. Part of her message was a request for people to pray the rosary, and to make amends for their sins (do penance). This call to prayer is Mary’s preparation of the world..

 

What makes Lourdes significant however, is that Our Lady told Bernadette: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This was at the time when the beliefs of the Church were under attack from Rationalist philosophy. The Church had found it necessary to formulate the teaching that Mary was ‘conceived without sin’ – that her soul was Immaculate (see chapter 17). This was an ancient belief, but in 1854 it was made a dogma (an essential belief).

At Lourdes God confirmed that the teaching was correct. Furthermore he gave the Virgin Mary world-wide recognition, by making Lourdes a centre of spiritual and physical healing. Millions of people still go there each year.

 

There is another development to the story, in that when St. Bernadette died her corpse did not corrupt. She had lived as a nun in Nevers, and some years after she died her remains were examined – because she was considered to be a saint. Her body was found to be in good condition, with the skin all intact. Pilgrims visit her convent where her body is on display in the chapel. This miracle was another proof from God, that the Truths of the faith are correct.

(There is a book called The Incorruptibles by Joan Carroll Cruz, which gives an account of many holy people whose bodies did not decay. Recently the extraordinary saint Padre Pio, who died in 1968 was exhumed. He had the visible wounds of Jesus for 50 years, and many spiritual gifts; anyway he was incorrupt, and has been on display in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy since 2008. These miracles are signs for a materialistic world – God tries to help our unbelief.)

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Knock, Ireland (1879)

The village church of Knock was dedicated to St. John the Baptist (who had prepared the way for the first coming of Jesus, in Palestine). Outside the church there took place an apocalyptic vision, seen by 15 parishioners. Our Lady appeared there as a Queen, wearing a crown; her eyes and hands were raised to Heaven in prayer. St. Joseph was on one side. St. John the author of the Book of Revelation, was on the other side, and he held an open Bible. Nearby was an altar with a large cross, a lamb standing above the altar, and angels present. There was no movement, and no word was spoken. Clearly our attention was meant to be drawn to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which was indicated by the altar, the cross, and Jesus represented as the Lamb. We are also reminded of Revelation (chapter 5) in which Jesus the Lamb of God fulfils his mission.

Knock became the foremost Shrine in Ireland; and people receive in particular the grace of repentance (sorrow for their sins).

 

In 2009 attention again focused on Knock. Three times during that year, a visionary in another part of Ireland, predicted a supernatural event at the Shrine. Each time thousands of people gathered, and what occurred was the ‘miracle of the sun’, plus individual visions. It is rare for an event to be predicted in advance. This matter is in the hands of the local bishop for discernment.

Why Knock, and why now? It appears that Heaven wants to draw our attention again to the meaning of Knock – which is the Mass, and the Book of Revelation. The Mass is the ‘perpetual sacrifice’ that is mentioned in Daniel (12:11). Revelation reminds the Church that it will be persecuted. We know that in the near future, the priests and therefore the Mass will be under attack for a while.

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Fatima, Portugal (1917)

The village of Fatima got its name from the time when the Moslems of North Africa had invaded Spain and Portugal. A leader in the Christian army fell in love with Fatima, the daughter of a Moslem. They married and lived very happily until Fatima died. Her husband was so heartbroken that he went to live in a monastery, but he took her coffin with him, and had her buried nearby. The village developed, and was named after her.

Fatima is also the name of the daughter of Mohammed, the founder of Islam. When God chose this village, perhaps he intended the message to reach the people of the Islamic faith…

 

The Virgin Mary appeared to three children from the village, who were looking after some sheep. Lucia was ten years old, Francisco eight, and Jacinta six. The previous year, an angel had appeared to them, bringing the Blessed Sacrament (the host and chalice – chapter 9). On that occasion they had all knelt in adoration. The Angel also taught them the following prayers:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love you! I ask pardon of you for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love you.”

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world. In reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which he himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of his most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of sinners.”

 

The first apparition of Our Lady was on May 13th 1917. These days, on each May 13th about a million pilgrims gather at Fatima, to celebrate the memory of that occasion. The date of the 13th is significant, because it reminds us of Queen Esther in the Old Testament. Esther pre-figured the Virgin Mary, which means that she was a Mary-type. There was a star on the front of Mary’s dress when she appeared, and Esther means star. Queen Esther is famous because through her influence with the foreign King Ahasuerus, the Jewish people were saved from destruction. This took place on the 13th of the month (Esther 8:12).

The Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima on the 13th of each month, from May to October. In a subtle way, God was revealing to us the important role played by Mary during the end of the age. He responds to her prayers, as she asks for us to be saved from evil and destruction.

 

On July 13th the Blessed Virgin gave the children a message, which contained the three Secrets of Fatima. The three parts were revealed at different times. The guardian of the Secrets was Lucia, because the two other children died while still young. In the first part, Our Lady asks for self-sacrifice. Some years later when Lucia was a nun, Jesus appeared to her and explained exactly what was meant by that: “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfilment of their duties in life, and the observance of my Law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.”

 

For readers who are new to all this, the messages may become too complex. Decide if you need to pass on to the next visionary..

 

The first two parts of the Secret now follow. There is a description of Hell, which is frightful. We may need to remind ourselves that Jesus died in order to save us from that fate. Anyone who calls on his name will be saved. Our Lady said:

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: [_*O Jesus it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary._][”*]

 

Lucia wrote: “As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration; now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke; now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:

‘You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God, that he is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.’ 1

 

The Fatima apparitions took place during the First World War. The Church leaders did not take the Message seriously (liberalism was having its influence – chapter 16). People did not cease to offend God, and the Second World War broke out as predicted, while Pius XI was Pope. The ‘night illumined by an unknown light’ took place on 25/26 January 1938. Extraordinary lights were seen in the sky over north America and Europe. Scientists thought that it must be an unusual Aurora Borealis (northern lights) but it was seen as far south as Gibraltar. Later that year Germany invaded Austria.

There was another extraordinary night on August 22nd 1939; eye-witnesses described it as unique displays of red light. It was the night that Russia and Germany agreed their non-aggression pact – which allowed Hitler’s troops to march into Poland.

 

In 1929 Sister Lucia had a vision representing the Holy Trinity, with the Virgin Mary. Mary said: “The time has come in which God asks the Holy Father (the Pope) in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.” This was a test for the leaders of the Church, and tragically they failed. Later Popes made ‘consecrations’ of sorts, but none did it properly. History is showing that Russia will not be converted, and will remain a threat, until the Consecration is achieved.

 

The Third Secret of Fatima was finally revealed in 2000. The vision is in the apocalyptic style. Lucia had written the following:

“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand. Flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire, but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand. Pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’

And we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it: a Bishop dressed in white – we had the impression that it was the Holy Father (the Pope). Other bishops, priests, men and women Religious, going up a steep mountain at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks, as of a cork-tree with bark. Before reaching there, the Holy Father passed through a great city half in ruins. Half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way.

Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him. In the same way they died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs, and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.” 2

 

It has been said, that this vision predicted the millions of martyrs who would die under Communist regimes, plus the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) explained this on catholic television (EWTN). He added however, that it was possible the vision could have a further fulfilment later on.

The fact of the apocalyptic style points to Revelation. Here we find Angels who give warning. The ‘blood of the martyrs’ makes us think of Revelation 6:9-11. There, the martyrs indicated the early Church members, who experienced the great persecution (7:14) of Nero. In modern times, there is still persecution (or tribulation) to come world-wide; caused by the enemies of the Church, who are preparing for Antichrist. As always, they want to get rid of the Mass.

 

In the prophecy, bullets and arrows are fired at the Pope. Where would arrows come from? Well the first horseman of the apocalypse, rides a white horse and carries a bow (6:1-2). This rider represents heresy (because he poses as the Rider in Rev. 19:11). We know the enemy wants to dismantle the Church, and replace it with heresy..

 

A ‘great city’ is also mentioned, and it has significance in Revelation. It referred originally to Jerusalem (Rev.11: 8). Since the Christian era began however, the Church has been called the new Jerusalem. Therefore ‘a great city half in ruins’ could refer to the Church half in ruins. The prophecy undoubtedly refers to the Tribulation – when a Pope is expected to die; and fortunately that episode will not last long.

(The Tribulation is in a later chapter: it will lead to the period of peace, with the great Monarch and a great Pope. This is before Antichrist.)

 

For the final apparition at Fatima on October 13th 1917, the Blessed Virgin had promised a miracle, which would prove to the world that her words were true. As that day dawned, 70,000 people experienced torrential rainfall and biting winds. The children saw Our Lady as usual. They also saw a vision of Jesus holding his Cross; then a vision of St. Joseph carrying the child Jesus; and finally Mary appeared again – this time as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Then all the people saw a vision of the sun. It appeared as a silver disc, and its light did not harm the eyes. It threw out beautiful multi-coloured lights, and appeared to move around in the sky. Then it began to spin, like a ball of fire. Suddenly it grew bigger and bigger, and looked as if it was hurtling towards the earth, and the people panicked. Then it stopped, retreated, and returned to normal.

As the people looked around, they realised that all their wet clothes were dry, and that the deep mud was dry too. The event is known as the ‘miracle of the sun’. The miracle consists in the fact that no one’s eyes were damaged from looking directly at the sun.

 

In 1967 in a Letter to the Church (Signum Magnum) Pope Paul VI identified Our Lady at Fatima, as ‘the woman clothed with the sun’ (in Revelation 12:1). That event had marked the beginning of the signs in the sky, as predicted in the Bible (Luke 21:11).

 

At Fatima (and other places of apparition) a small cloud was seen, which seemed to carry the Virgin Mary into view. In the Bible a ‘cloud’ is frequently associated with the Presence, or the power of God. For us it seems like a reassurance that God is present within the situation.

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Akita, Japan (1973 – 1981)

In 1984 Bishop John Shiro Ito of Niigata, with the approval of the Vatican, declared various spiritual events to be of supernatural origin. The visionary Sister Agnes Sasagawa experienced personal miracles, and received several messages for the world. Interestingly, in her convent chapel there is a wooden statue, which was carved to represent Our Lady of All Nations. Miraculous events associated with the statue, helped to confirm that the messages previously given to Ida Peerdeman in Holland, were very important. (See chapter 18)

 

By this time, mankind had failed to respond to the various apparitions of Our Lady, around the world. Her warnings and requests for prayer, had been largely ignored. The important apparitions at Garabandal, Spain (1961-65) had been semi-investigated, but not promoted. That is why the following messages from Mary will sound very strong; they show how Satan made progress during a period of apathy within the Church. (Don’t give up however, because other messages that follow, are encouraging.)

 

“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity… with the rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests”

 

“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church, in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). *Churches and altars will be sacked._ [*The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”] [_3]

 

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Betania, Ecuador, South America (from 1976)

The visionary Maria Esperanza (d. 2004) had mystical experiences all her life; she saw her first vision at the age of 5 years. She wanted to become a nun, but St. Theresa appeared to her and said that God wanted her to marry. While a young woman, Our Lady told her about a holy site of land – a New Ark of Salvation. Many years later Maria and her husband bought the exact spot – a few acres with a spring and a river. It is called Betania. On March 25th 1976 Our Lady appeared to Maria there, for the first time. On March 25th 1984, 150 people also saw the Blessed Virgin. Since then she has appeared regularly, and has been seen by thousands of people, including the local Bishop.

Following an official Enquiry, Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo declared the events to be authentic, and to have a supernatural character. Betania has become a place of healing and conversion, still attracting many thousands of pilgrims.

 

Maria Esperanza was given several messages, in which Our Lady declared herself to be ‘Reconciler of Peoples and Nations’.

The messages include:

I am the refuge of sinners, and the help of all Christians…”

“I my children, will remain faithful until the end, following in the footsteps of my Divine Son..”

“You must have a hunger for God, and a hunger for his gifts, and for this Mother who continues to give herself each day, in every part of the world so that people may be saved.” 4

 

In his book The Bridge to Heaven Michael Brown quotes Maria as saying: “We have to be united more than ever, because Jesus is coming. His coming is near. Perhaps I will not live to see this, but the Lord is coming.”

Maria said that Jesus told her: “I am coming to pasture my sheep.” “My little daughter, will these my children be ready to receive me?”

Daughter of mine, when I come it will not be just for you. All peoples will see me.”

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Kibeho, Rwanda, Africa (1981 – 1983)

In 2001, apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three young women, were declared authentic by the Church. (Other visions were claimed, but only the above received approval.) The messages were a call to prayer, love, humility, repentance, fasting. Alphonsine – a teenager, said that the Blessed Virgin asked for preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus: “We have to suffer with Jesus, to pray and be apostles to prepare for his return.” 5

 

Anathalie was also a school-girl, she stressed the importance of confession and the rosary, and the acceptance of Mary as a guide on the road leading to Jesus.

 

Marie-Claire was aged 21 years. She said: “We must meditate on the Passion of Christ and the deep sorrow of his Mother. We must recite the rosary, and the beads of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady (the Dolour Rosary) to obtain the graces of repentance.”

Marie-Claire was given the special task of reviving the prayers of the Dolour Rosary world-wide. Her last vision was on September 15th – the date when the sorrows of Our Lady, are remembered throughout the Church each year. In 1988 the local Bishop dedicated a Shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows. There are already many blessings attached to the Dolour Rosary, but a new one is this: whoever says it on nine consecutive days (a novena) with the intention of helping someone haunted by evil spirits – Our Lady will get rid of the evil.

 

A sad fact about Kibeho, is that some girls saw a terrible vision of the genocide which later took place in 1994. The messages were a warning, and if people had paid attention to the Blessed Mother, that horror could have been much reduced.

In 1983 a young pagan boy called Segatashya was working in a field near Kibeho – and he claimed that Jesus appeared to him. He said that Jesus confided the following: “The world is full of hatred. You will know my Second Coming is at hand when you see the outbreak of religious wars.”

The boy became a Christian and took the name Emmanuel. He said that Jesus also told him: “Tell them to purify their hearts because the time is near.”

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San Nicholas, Argentina (1983 – 1990)

The Virgin Mary appeared regularly to Gladys Quiroga, a poor housewife living in San Nicholas. The local Bishop, Msgr. Castagna, set up a Commission of Enquiry. Finally, with the approval of the Vatican, the events were declared to be of supernatural origin. On the 25th of each month – the date of the first apparition, the Bishop would lead processions and Masses which were attended by up to 50,000 people. Miracles of healing took place. The apparitions and messages of the Blessed Virgin have been an inspiration to the whole of Argentina.

In 1990 the Bishop signed the Imprimatur for the publication of the many messages. In most of them, there is a recommendation to read particular Bible passages.

 

Concerning the return of Jesus, Our Lady said:

Jesus came down to earth because of love, and his Second Coming also shall be for love, to his greater glory. Open your hearts and let him enter. Alleluia!”

 

Concerning Satan: “There are so many mad passions in existence everywhere, my children, that blindness holds many people in its power. Sin exceeds all measure, with the devil seeking distraction so as to reign supreme over the whole world. But the Lord does not want you to be defeated, but rather to be the victors: go out and vanquish the evil that surrounds you. In God there is victory. Read Revelation 21: 6 – 8.”

“The Lord has set up a sign for these times: the Woman adorned with the sun. (Revelation 12: 1) She is the hope to which her children must cling. The Mother is keeping her eyes on you; you must set your eyes and your hearts on God. All glory be to him.”

“My daughter, how much hatred there is enclosed in mankind, how much mistrust and despair! They feel this for lack of faith and love, because God is absent from their hearts. Those children will perish if they continue in ignorance. It would be enough only to ask for love of the Lord; it would be enough to ask the Lord for help and he would transform them. Remember that God protects. Glory be to the Everlasting Father.”

 

Occasionally Jesus would appear, and he said the following: “In the past, the world was saved by Noah’s Ark; today the Ark is my Mother. Through her, souls will be saved because she will bring them to me.”

“My heart keeps count of every soul, my heart desires the salvation of all souls and loves them, even the sinners.”

 

An important point which Jesus made is: “My Mother must be heard in the totality of her messages.” The messages given around the world, build up to make a picture of what the future may hold, and they reveal God’s concerns for our spiritual welfare. To just rely on one visionary is to limit the Holy Spirit.

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The final part of this chapter will be unfamiliar to some people, and for others it will be a reminder –

 

In earlier centuries the Virgin Mary promoted two means of spiritual protection – one was the rosary, and the other the brown scapular. The rosary had developed gradually, then in 1205 A.D. Mary appeared to Saint Dominic and asked him to spread the use of it. (At that time it was Heaven’s method of opposing the Albigensian/Cathar heresy – by praying for the people involved.) It is a means of saying prayers while meditating on the life and death of Jesus, as described in the Bible. When we pray with meaning, it is very powerful. This form of prayer protects the home, and protects individuals from evil influence.

 

Then in 1251 A.D. Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in England. He was a monk of the Carmelite Order, which originated in the area of Mount Carmel in Palestine. Simon had gone there to join the Order, but when the country was invaded by Moslems, the monks had to flee (which gave rise to the Crusades). The Carmelites have a particular respect for the prophet Elijah, because Mount Carmel is where God answered his prayers in an impressive way (1 Kings 18:36 – 38).

Carmel is considered a holy mountain, and since it is near Nazareth, no doubt the Virgin Mary went there. Anyway, God is evidently pleased with that Order of monks and nuns. They still wear a brown habit, part of which is in the form of a scapular, meaning that it hangs down the front and the back, with a hole for the head. Our Lady told St. Simon that whoever died wearing this habit would be entitled to great blessings (provided that they led a good life).

Two hundred years later, when ordinary people wanted a share in these blessings, a miniature form of the scapular was devised, which is worn out of sight. It is blessed and worn as a sign of commitment; if done properly then spiritual protection is assured. Through the centuries, very many miracles have been associated with the scapular. In the apparitions of the past century, notice how Our Lady particularly promotes the rosary and the brown scapular.

 

All these phenomena show how much Almighty God appreciates the Virgin Mary – and he wants us to appreciate her too.

 

CHAPTER 22

[* Garabandal and Medjugorje- Secrets To Be Told *]

 

In this chapter two places of apparition will be described, which have not yet received official recognition by the Catholic Church. In such cases, the people involved always express a willingness to accept the final decision of the Church. Meanwhile, there has been popular acceptance by people around the world, including many priests and bishops. In the Bible, Jesus pointed out that we judge a tree by its fruit, and so we can similarly assess a situation by the ‘fruit’ that it produces. This is partly how the Church decides whether an apparition is true or false – has there been good fruit? In this case we mean: has it led to more prayer, and holiness among people? Through the events at both Garabandal and Medjugorje, millions of people have found great blessings, and both places have stood the test of time.

These two apparitions of Our Lady contrast strongly in the substance of the messages. At the first site – Garabandal, the messages were very strong and quite alarming. Sadly, they have turned out to be realistic. At Medjugorje on the other hand, the messages have been mainly gentle and encouraging. The visionaries in both places were given ‘secrets’, which had to be kept until the right time. It is anticipated that it won’t be long before these secrets are revealed. The existence of secrets has made it difficult for official Church approval to be given. However, in the case of Garabandal, Pope Paul VI gave his blessing in various ways. And Pope John Paul II was privately very supportive of Medjugorje.

 

GARABANDAL

This a village in the Cantabrian Mountains of northern Spain. In 1961 it was very poor, and cut off from the outside world. The visionaries were four young girls: Conchita, Mari-Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz. They were aged between ten and twelve years. Initially it was the Archangel Michael who appeared to them. After a number of silent visits, he finally told them that the Virgin Mary would be coming. This was the start of a series of apparitions which continued until 1965. The Blessed Virgin appeared over 2,000 times. The girls enjoyed a very close and happy relationship with her: they would talk about themselves and their life in the village. Mary encouraged them in saying the rosary, and asked them to pray slowly and thoughtfully. On many occasions Our Lady would remain silent, looking around the crowd of people present – she explained that she was looking at her children. Sometimes she gave messages for certain individuals.

 

The girls would go into a state of ecstasy, during which they did not respond to any stimulation. Their bodies became very heavy and could not be moved. Many extraordinary things took place, and many blessings were received by the people – through holy items which were touched by the Blessed Virgin.

 

Our Lady appeared wearing a white dress, a blue mantle (cloak) and a crown of small golden stars. On her right wrist she carried a brown scapular. This caused her to be known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Garabandal (see chapter 21). The first appearance was on a holy day – the Feast of the Visitation, July 2nd 1961. There were 12 stars on Mary’s crown, which remind us again of the words from Revelation: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Revelation 12:1)

 

The apparitions at Fatima in Portugal took place on the 13th of each month, from May to October (chap. 21). The final apparition at Garabandal, was on November 13th 1965. The date appears to be a subtle link between the two places. The Fatima visionary – Lucia, was told by Our Lady that the Third Secret could be revealed to the world in 1960. Pope John XXIII decided not to reveal it. It was the very next year that Our Lady began to appear at Garabandal. Her messages and warnings were relevant to that Secret.

 

The first public message was made known on October 18th 1961. The young visionaries conveyed it as follows: “We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.” 1

The word ‘chastisement’ means a punishment that is intended to make us change our ways. On September 14th 1965, the eldest visionary Conchita explained: “If we do not change, the chastisement will be terrible – in keeping with what we deserve.” On December 10th 1965 she recorded: “..the Blessed Virgin had told me that Jesus is not going to send the chastisement to discourage us, but to help us and to reprimand us for not heeding him.”

The second public message should have been given by Our Lady, but she told the children that it would make her too unhappy to do it. It was therefore given on her behalf by the Archangel Michael on June 18th 1965:

“As my message of October 18th (1961) has not been complied with, and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over. Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition, and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask him for forgiveness with sincere hearts, he will pardon you. I your Mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings. I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think about the Passion (sufferings) of Jesus.”

 

At the time, this message seemed hardly believable. However shortly afterwards, following the Church Council known as Vatican 2, the liberal element in the Church made great headway. There is little doubt that this had an undermining effect (see chapter 16) and it partly accounts for God’s displeasure. The messages and predictions of the Blessed Virgin, at places such as Garabandal – are intended to keep the Church on course. During her apparitions, the Blessed Virgin repeatedly asks for prayer to be said for priests. It is not difficult to realise that the Church leaders are under the heaviest attack from evil.

On July 20th 1963 Conchita heard Jesus speak to her, and she recorded: “Concerning priests, he told me that we should pray much for them so that they may be holy and fulfil their duty properly, and make others better.” Jesus said: “May they make me known to those who do not know me, and may they make me loved by those who know – but do not love me.”

 

The girls received other information which they described as best they could. On January 1st 1965 Conchita was told about a ‘Warning’, an event which will affect the whole world. Similar prophecies have been given to people around the world. This will be discussed in the next chapter.

Another message given to Conchita, concerned a tremendous Miracle that will occur at Garabandal. She has the responsibility of announcing the date, eight days beforehand, so that people may go to watch it. It will be visible in the open country behind the village, near some pine trees where the Virgin Mary often appeared. After the Miracle, a ‘Sign’ will remain. It will be possible to televise the sign, so that people everywhere may believe in what took place. These various messages are included in the next chapter; they form part of God’s ‘rescue plan.’

 

One night the children also had visions of a turbulent episode, which they called the Tribulation. This appears to be the time of persecution of Christians, especially catholic priests, which was foretold by earlier prophets. It was foretold especially at Fatima, in the Third Secret (chapter 21). One of the girls – Mari Loli, wrote: “The Blessed Virgin has explained to us that this great Tribulation.. will arrive because there will come a time when the Church will seem about to disappear. It will undergo a terrible trial..”

(Letter to Fr. G. Morelos, 1967.) This will be discussed later.

 

As mentioned, the final apparition at Garabandal occurred on November 13th 1965. On that occasion Conchita was told by Our Lady: “Conchita, I have not come for your sake alone. I have come for all my children, so that I may draw them closer to our Hearts… Talk to me Conchita, talk to me about my children. I hold them all beneath my mantle.” (That means us.)

 

When the apparitions finished, the girls went through a phase of disbelief in themselves. They later understood that God had allowed this to happen, to prevent them from becoming proud. Our Lady continued to speak to Conchita once a month, but did not appear to her again. All four girls eventually married, and three of them went to live in America. Conchita and family later moved to Fatima in Portugal.

 

With regard to the Church position on Garabandal – as often happens in such cases, the local clergy were sceptical. There then followed a long period of confusion, which was caused partly by the verdict of the psychiatrist who headed the medical investigation. He claimed – after scant investigation, that there was a natural explanation for what took place, according to psychological theory. (Anyone who has seen original film material, would find that hard to believe.) Many years later (1983) this psychiatrist, Dr. Luis Morales Noriega, made a public statement in which he retracted his original judgement, and defended the reality of the apparitions.

In 1986 a fresh Commission of Enquiry was started. In 1987 all restrictions at Garabandal were lifted. Those concerned, still await the final outcome of the Church investigations. In 1965 young Conchita had written: “The Virgin Mary likes it very much that we spread the message, and she promised to reward everyone; but obedience to the Church must always come first because this will give more honour and glory to God.”

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MEDJUGORJE

This village is in former Yugoslavia (Bosnia – Herzegovina). The Virgin Mary first spoke to some teenagers there, on June 24th 1981. That date is the Feast of St. John the Baptist.. We assume that Almighty God was reminding us how Mary has a similar task to St. John – to prepare the way for Jesus. Medjugorje is extraordinary, because the Blessed Virgin has appeared to the young people every day since 1981. (30 years so far.) She declared herself to be Queen of Peace, and her plea from the beginning was for prayers for peace.

The names of the visionaries are Ivan, Mirjana, Ivanka, Jacov, Marija and Vicka. In 1982 the Virgin Mary began to reveal secrets to them. There are ten secrets in all. Mirjana was the first one to receive all ten, and when that happened her visions stopped. Next was Ivanka, and then Jacov. However Our Lady continued to visit them at least once a year. The remaining three visionaries have been told nine secrets. When all ten have been revealed to each one, then Our Lady will stop appearing and the secrets will take place.

 

The first two secrets are advance warnings, and will prove that the Blessed Mother was genuinely appearing. The third secret will leave a visible, miraculous Sign at Medjugorje – which will be permanent. It sounds as if it will be similar to the sign at Garabandal.

 

Mirjana has the task of revealing each secret (one week in advance) to a local priest Fr. Petar Ljubicic. He will then pray for four days, and publish the secret three days before it happens.

There is no indication of how long it will take for the secrets to be accomplished. It is likely that the first three will occur quite close together.

 

The author Jan Connell interviewed Mirjana, and asked her if the Blessed Virgin had spoken about the Second Coming of Jesus. Mirjana replied: “That is part of the secrets. I would not like to talk about it.” (Queen of the Cosmos page 18.)

Medjugorje has proved to be unique in the history of the Church. And over 30 million pilgrims have travelled there from all over the world. Many of them receive an extraordinary blessing, and they return home with a sense of urgency to serve God. The blessing from Medjugorje is helping in an enormous way, to prepare the earth for the return of Jesus. Moreover, healings of all kinds, conversions, religious vocations, are the daily good effects. Thousands of priests and dozens of bishops go there, and are spiritually renewed.

 

God gives many tokens of love at Medjugorje: the ‘miracle of the sun’ is regularly seen, and rosary chains frequently turn gold colour (see chapter 13). Many individuals see visions, and various minor phenomena happen. Most importantly, people come away with a deep sense of peace, an enhanced love for God, and a desire for prayer. As usual, Our Lady asks for the rosary to be said each day. Furthermore she requests fasting on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday. This self-sacrifice is to compensate for the sins of the world.

 

Once a month, Our Lady gives a message that is intended for the whole world. The following are samples of the monthly messages, and of those given privately to the visionaries:

“If you knew how much I love you, you would cry with joy.” 2

“Begin by calling on the Holy Spirit each day. The most important thing is to pray to the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit descends on earth, then everything becomes clear and everything is transformed.”

“Dear children! I want the Holy Mass to be the gift of the day for you. Go to it, long for it to begin, because Jesus gives himself to you in the Holy Mass.” (30/3/84)

“Today I ask you to read the Bible in your homes every day. Keep it in a special and visible place, where it will always remind you to read it and to pray..” (18/10/84)

“You should do everything out of love. Accept all annoyances, all difficulties, everything with love. Dedicate yourselves to love.” (9/3/85)

Whole sections of the Church could be cured, if the believers would go to confession once a month.” (26/12/83)

“Dear children! Today I invite you to put more blessed objects in your home and may every person carry blessed objects on themselves. Let everything be blessed. Then, because you are armoured against Satan, he will tempt you less.” (18/7/85)

“I would like to ask all the people to pray more and more with me these days. I would like them to fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays! Pray the whole rosary every day..” (14/8/84)

“The true fast consists in giving up all your sins, but you must also renounce yourselves, and make the body participate in it.”

“The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer, one can stop wars, one can suspend the laws of nature.”

“Dear children, you forget that I rely on your sacrifices to help you and to drive Satan away from you. It is for that reason that I again invite you to offer your sacrifices to God with a deep reverence.” (18/9/86)

“I beg you to surrender all your past life to the Lord, and all the evil that has been deposited in your hearts. I want each of you to be happy, but with sin nobody can be happy.” (25/2/87)

“Dear children, dedicate your life only to Jesus and he will give you everything you are seeking. He will reveal himself to you completely. Dear children, Satan is strong and is willing to test each one of you. Pray that he may neither be able to injure you, nor block you on your way to holiness. Through prayer, grow more towards God from day to day.” (25/9/87)

“Be converted! It will be too late when the ‘sign’ comes. Beforehand, several warnings will be given to the world. Have people hurry to be converted.” (25/4/83)

Our Lady described Purgatory: “There are different levels, of which the lowest is close to Hell, and the highest gradually draws near to Heaven. It is not on All Souls Day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory. There are in Purgatory souls who pray ardently to God, but for whom no relative or friend prays on earth. God allows them to benefit from the prayers of other people. It happens that God permits them to manifest themselves in different ways, close to their relatives on earth, in order to remind people of the existence of Purgatory and to solicit their prayers so as to come close to God – who is just but good. The majority go to Purgatory. Many go to Hell. A small number go directly to Heaven.” (10/1/83)

Concerning Heaven, Our Lady said[*:*] “We go to Heaven in full consciousness: that which we have now. At the moment of death, we are aware of the separation of the body and the soul. It is false to teach people that we are re-born many times and that we pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body.” (24/7/82)

 

CHAPTER 23

The Tribulation and God’s Rescue Plan

 

The last chapter gave an indication of events which will show conclusively that God exists. This refers to the Warning, the Miracle at Garabandal, and the permanent Signs. They will be discussed further.

However, prior to those amazing events, we expect a time of tribulation or trial. This has been predicted by various prophets and is expected to consist of revolution, war, persecution of Christians – especially priests. The persecution was also predicted at Fatima, in the Third Secret (chapter 21). The situation will not last long; it will be brought to a stop by an act of God, which will have a profound effect on the world.

This act of God we now recognise as the Warning – it is also known as the Illumination of Consciences.

At the time of printing this book, the tribulation appears to be quite imminent.

 

Here is what some holy people have predicted. You will notice that the events have not yet taken place – we have been given a lot of time to remedy things. And notice that the trial does not last long. (They are taken from Trial, Tribulation and Triumph by Desmond A. Birch, unless otherwise stated.)

 

Bishop G.M. Wittman (d.1833) “The Passion of Jesus will be renewed in the most dolorous manner in the Church, and in her Supreme Head (the Pope). In all parts of the world there will be wars and revolutions.. bishops and priests will be persecuted.. it will seem as if the enemies of Christ and of his holy Church.. were about to triumph over her. But the priesthood will remain firm and resolute.. Secret societies will work great ruin, and exercise an extraordinary monetary power.. The faithful sheep will gather together, and in unions of prayer will offer potent resistance to the enemies of the Catholic Church.”

 

St. John Vianney (d.1859) “…They.. will attempt to kill all the priests and all the religious. But this shall not last long. People will imagine that all is lost, but the good God shall save all. It will be like a sign of the last Judgement.. Paris shall be demolished and burnt in earnest, but not entirely.. there shall be a limit beyond which the destruction shall not go.”

We can see why God has removed his protection from the Church – in the same way as he removed his protection from Israel.. It is because Church members have been unfaithful to the sacred teachings (chapter 16).

 

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (17th C.) a priest, wrote in his Apocalypsis:

During this unhappy period, there will be laxity in divine and human precepts.. the clergy will not respect the laws of the Church.. the precepts of morality.. and religious dogmas are clouded..”

..Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere.. But God will permit a great evil against his Church: heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly, they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates, and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything.”

 

He also expressed concerns about Islam: “Are we not to fear, during this period, that the Mohammedans will come again, working out their sinister schemes against the Latin Church?”

 

When everything has been ruined by war, when catholics are hard-pressed by traitorous coreligionists and heretics, then the hand of Almighty God will work a marvellous change, something seemingly impossible according to human reason.. All nations will adore God their Lord according to catholic teaching.. for Divine Power will bind Satan for many years until the coming of the Son of Perdition (Antichrist)..”

 

Fr. Nectou S.J. in 18th century France wrote:

When those things come to pass from which the triumph of the Church will arise.. there will be such a terrible crisis that people will believe that the end of the world has come.. but the wicked will not prevail. They will indeed attempt to destroy the whole Church, but not enough time will be allowed them, because the frightful crisis will be of short duration.. When all is considered lost, all will be found safe. This disaster will come to pass shortly after the power of England begins to wane. England in her turn will experience a more frightful revolution than that of France..”

It will be like a little general judgement.. The triumph of the Church will then be so complete that nothing like it has been seen before.”

Pope Pius IX (d. 1878) predicted: “Since the whole world is against God and his Church, it is evident that he has reserved the victory over his enemies to himself.. thus it appears they cannot be brought back to God in any other way, except through an act which cannot be ascribed to any secondary agency, and thus all will be forced to look to the supernatural, and cry out: ‘From the Lord is this come to pass, and it is wonderful in our eyes!’ There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The Church will suffer exceedingly.”

 

Pere Lamy (d.1931) a French mystic commented:

Peace will be given back to the world, but I shall not see it.. War is big business.. When peace is given back to the world, big business will shrink to smaller proportions and will stay there.. the world will have to be re-evangelised..”

 

Pope Pius X (d. 1914) wrote: “I saw one of my successors taking to flight over the bodies of his brethren. He will flee to a place for a short respite where he is unknown, but he himself will die..”

 

Ida Peerdeman (chapter 18) experienced the following: “I clearly see the land of Italy before my eyes. It is as if a terrible storm were breaking out. I am forced to listen, and I hear a word: ‘Exile’ ”

 

We obviously wonder who it is that will cause such havoc, and the next three messages enlighten us. It will be the fulfilment of the Shelepin Plan, devised by the Soviets – and explained in a later chapter.

 

Sister Elena Aiello founder of the Calabrian nuns, wrote the following in 1959: “Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the dome of St. Peter’s. Italy will be severely tried by a great revolution, and Rome will be purified in blood for its many sins, especially those of impurity. The flock is about to be dispersed, and the Pope will suffer greatly.”

 

In 1960 the Blessed Mother told Sr. Elena: “If the people do not recognize in these scourges (of nature) the warnings of Divine Mercy, and do not return to God with truly Christian living, another terrible war will come from the east to the west. Russia with her secret armies will battle America, and will overrun Europe.. Italy also will be harassed by a great revolution.”

In 1961 Sister Lucy of Fatima explained to Fr. Augustin Fuentes: “God will chastise the world very soon.. Russia is the scourge.. to punish mankind, if we through prayer and the sacraments, do not obtain the grace of their conversion.. What most afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is the fall of the souls of religious and priests.”

 

Sr. Anna Ali of Kenya (see Epilogue) was told by Jesus in 1987:

Italy, the nation favoured by God! All its regions have the communist seal. She betrays my Heart.. Godless nations will be the scourge chosen to punish disrespectful and unscrupulous humanity. Communism will rejoice for a time because of the godless. Freemasonry in the churches.. their ignoble hearts offend me and my Father. Red brigades who infiltrate the government are accomplices in violence. With tears in my Heart I am calling everyone to pray..”

I need them to hear and know that it is mankind who brings upon itself punishments, famine, war and the threat of Divine Justice.”

 

At every World Youth event that Pope John Paul II attended, he asked the young people if they were prepared to be martyrs..

 

Pope John Paul II was questioned at Fulda in Germany about the 3rd Secret of Fatima. His response was published in the Oct. 13th 1981 issue of Stimme des Glaubens. It included the following :

We must prepare ourselves to undergo trials before long, trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers it is possible to mitigate the coming Tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed… We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to his Holy Mother, and we must be attentive to the prayer of the rosary.”

 

In the Glorious Cross messages (chapter 15) Jesus told Madeleine:

Tell the nations that God has spoken through the mouth of his servant. He revealed to her that the great Tribulation was near… I tell you the truth, the time has come for the world to repent, for a universal change is near, such as has never been since the beginning of the world, nor will be again.” (See Matthew 22:21)

 

Venerable Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (d.1635) lived in Quito, Ecuador. She received many prophecies, and some were intended

for the 20^th^ century, including the following from Our Lady:

The sacred Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised.. The demon will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way.. to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation, corrupting many of them. Those who will thus scandalise the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and the enemies of the..Church – who will fall upon all the priests.”

 

The Blessed Mother requested a statue to be made, of herself with the Infant Jesus, it is called Our Lady of Good Success. The origins of the miraculous statue, and the devotion, were intended to come to light at the end of the 20th century. This was intended to be “for the consolation and support of.. the faithful of that time.”

So Almighty God kindly reminds us that the outcome of the difficult times, will be great success for the Church.

Our Lady of Good Success pray for us!

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The previous chapter introduced the great WARNING that God is going to bring about. With the insights of the prophets who have been quoted, we can see how it will occur following a period of crisis. The full significance of the Warning was not understood, until it was explained by the Virgin Mary at Garabandal in Spain (1961-65). Other modern prophets have also been given insights. It appears to be God’s Rescue Plan, because it will change the heart of the world.

 

To explain things further: the Warning will be experienced at the same time by everybody on earth. It will only last a few minutes, but it will seem much longer. When it happens, we will all see the state of our soul – as if we were standing before God.

It will fulfil some Scripture passages, for example St. Paul’s prediction

..he will light up all that is hidden in the dark, and reveal the secret intentions of men’s hearts..” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

It will be the Holy Spirit in action: “And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin because they do not believe in me..” (John 16:8-9)

The Warning will stop the persecution of the Church (Matthew 24:22) it will bring a blessing on those who suffered. The following passage reveals this event, if ‘the Church’ – the new Jerusalem, is inserted:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to the Church, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.. _*And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it._ *For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ (Isaiah. 40:1-5)

 

The Warning is also known as the Illumination of Consciences. It may sound like a frightening experience, however its effect will be good, and people will want to know God and love him. It will cause society to change for the better. The following quotations describe this event, they have been selected in order to give as full an explanation as possible.

 

Heede, Germany (1937) Four young girls reported visions, in which Jesus told them: “..Mankind will experience my love and my power. I will show them my Justice and my Mercy.. a minor judgement. I will make myself known to mankind. Every soul shall recognise me as their God.” 1

 

St. Faustina Kowalska (d.1938) was a Polish nun to whom Jesus appeared many times. She features in chapter 14 of this book. St. Faustina experienced a foretaste of the Warning, and she recorded it in her spiritual Diary: “Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not realise that even the smallest transgressions (sins) will have to be accounted for.” 2

 

Maria Esperanza (d. 2004) lived in Venezuela, South America. She featured in chapter 21. On one occasion the Virgin Mary told Maria: “There is coming the great moment of a great day of light, the conscience of this beloved people must be violently shaken, so they may put their own house in order, and offer to Jesus the just reparation for the daily infidelities that are committed.” 3

 

Matthew Kelly was a student in Australia when God started to speak to him. In due course he was able to spread God’s messages around the world. In 1993 he was told about the Warning, and the following are extracts from it:

“Poor souls, all of you, robbed of the knowledge of my love. Be ready for this judgement of mine. Judgement is the best word you have to describe it, but it will be more like this: you will see your own personal darkness contrasted against the pure light of my love… All those who love me will join to help form the heel that crushes Satan… Pray now more than ever and remember that the world’s standards are a false indication of my Justice. I am your God, and while I am perfectly merciful to those who repent, I am perfectly just to those who do not… Do not judge your actions, or other’s actions. You are unable to judge. You are incapable of judging, because you cannot read a person’s heart. You must love me with your whole heart, with your whole mind, and with your whole strength… You are sons and daughters of mine. Does not a father look after his children? I send this message to spare you from any pain I can, but the pain you experience by seeing the darkness of your soul, is an act of love on my part. Do you not see that this will return many souls to a fuller love of me? This will save many souls from the fires of Hell.” 4

 

Cyndi Cain (USA) had mystical experiences for many years. Concerning the Warning, Jesus told her: “The moment comes when the Father shall permit each of you to see your soul as he sees it. Then shall unity come; but also the great battle Prepare now. Love, honour, worship and reverence me…” 5

 

Jacinta Gonzales was one of the four young girls who conversed with the Virgin Mary at Garabandal. She has stated: “The Warning is something that is first seen in the air, everywhere in the world, and immediately is transmitted into the interior of our souls. It will last for a very little time, but it will seem a very long time because of its effects within us. It will be for the good of our souls, in order to see in ourselves our conscience… the good we have failed to do, and the bad that we have done… the Warning is for everybody because God wants our salvation. The Warning is for us to draw closer to him and to increase our faith. Therefore one should prepare for that day, but not await it with fear. God does not send things for the sake of fear, but rather with justice and love. He does it for the good of all his children, so that they might enjoy eternal happiness and not be lost.” 6

 

Conchita of Garabandal was told about the Warning on January 1st 1965, and she wrote: “The Blessed Virgin told me on the first of January, that a Warning would be given before the Miracle, so that the world might amend itself… it will draw the good closer to God, and it will warn the wicked that the end of times is coming, and that these are the last warnings.”

 

(To Conchita the Blessed Virgin also made it clear that ‘the end of times’ did not indicate the end of the world.)

 

This phenomenon is an important feature in the end of the age scenario. In the Didache, which is the earliest written teaching in the Church – from around 100 A.D. it says: “Then there will appear the signs of truth. First, the sign of the open heaven..”

Where does prophecy of the open heaven occur in the New Testament? It is in Revelation: “Then the sanctuary of God in the heavens was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant of God could be seen inside the sanctuary.” (Rev. 11:19)

The above two quotations appear to be explained by the following message, given by Jesus to Vassula Ryden in 1991:

The whole world will be inundated by distress upon seeing the Ark of the Covenant, my Law.. When the heavens will tear open like a curtain, ripped in half, showing them how they flung my Glory for a worthless imitation (of Holy Communion) .. When that Day comes I will show the world how wicked it was, how they befriended the Rebel (Satan) and dialogued with him rather than with the Holy One.. My little children, you who are sad now will rejoice later on.”

 

To the prophet Maria Valtorta Jesus said:

When you least think about it, I will make known a sign to you. You will fall before it.. That sign is me. When I appear, not on earth – the time has not yet come – but when I appear spiritually to the children of wrath and to the father of annihilation; your weapons and his will drop like dust when the wind dies down.”

(Vassula Ryden and Maria Valtorta are in the Epilogue.)

 

As if to confirm the information about the Illumination of Consciences, various ordinary people have already received moderate experiences of it. They are surprised – to say the least.

 

In September 1965 Conchita of Garabandal explained:

“The Warning will be like a revelation of our sins, and it will be seen and experienced equally by believers and non-believers, and people of any religion whatsoever.”

In December 1965 she recorded: “..(Jesus) will send the Warning to purify us, so that we may better appreciate the Miracle, by which he clearly proves his love for us, and hence his desire that we fulfil the message.”

 

What about the MIRACLE that is mentioned? All we know is that it will be the greatest miracle that has ever been seen on earth. In other words, enough to convince this unbelieving generation. It is predicted to take place at Garabandal, and Conchita recorded the following:

“I am the only one to whom the Blessed Virgin spoke of the Miracle. She forbade me to say what it will consist of. I can’t announce the date either until eight days before it is due to occur. What I can reveal is that it will coincide with an event in the Church and with the feast of a saint, a martyr of the Eucharist; that it will take place at eight-thirty on a Thursday evening; that it will be visible to all those who are in the village and surrounding mountains; that the sick who are present will be cured and the incredulous will believe. It will be the greatest miracle that Jesus has performed for the world. There won’t be the slightest doubt that it comes from God and that it is for the good of mankind. A Sign of the Miracle, which it will be possible to film or televise, will remain forever at the pines.”

 

In 1971 Conchita said that she was now permitted to inform us, that the Miracle will take place on or between 8th-16th of March, April or May. It will be during the twelve months following the Warning.

Concerning the SIGN that will remain after the Miracle, in 1965 Conchita said:

“The Sign that will remain forever at the pines, is something that we will be able to photograph, televise, and see, but not touch. It will be evident that it is not a thing of this world, but from God.”

 

So we realise that God is giving us every opportunity and encouragement to believe in him. The vast majority of people will want to respond to his love. Concerning the healing of the sick that will take place on the occasion of the Miracle – it should be remembered that Garabandal is in a mountainous region. Due to the terrain, there is very little parking available at the village. Most parking will be at Cosio, which is 4 miles down the road..

 

A fourth prophecy was given at Garabandal, which concerns the CHASTISEMENT (punishment). The first public message: “…if we do not change, a very great Chastisement will come upon us.” These days, people are of the opinion that a degree of punishment is inevitable, because the world has turned even further away from God. However the extent of it, can be influenced by the response that we make to the Warning and the Miracle, and by the general resistance to the Antichrist. The Chastisement will take place at the end of the time of Antichrist – it will destroy him.

 

The Chastisement should not be confused with the natural disasters taking place – which people refer to as chastisements.

In 1965 Conchita wrote: “…the Blessed Virgin told me that Jesus is not going to send the Chastisement to discourage us, but to help us and to reprimand us for not heeding him.”

 

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In the last chapter it was explained that the Virgin Mary was giving ten secrets to the visionaries at Medjugorje. One of the visionaries called Mirjana is going to announce the secrets before they happen. She knows all the dates.

How do the secrets of Medjugorje compare with the above information?

The first three secrets are warnings, and they do appear to correspond to the timetable of Garabandal.

The third secret or warning, will leave a permanent Sign at Medjugorje.

 

We don’t know what the secrets consist of, but we know they take place against a background of tribulation. Michael Brown describes that in his book The Final Hour.

 

In Queen of the Cosmos Janice Connell asks the visionary Vicka if the permanent Sign will occur in her lifetime. She responds ‘Yes’.

Then Janice asks: “What happens to those people who don’t really believe enough right now to convert, and want to wait until the permanent sign comes?” Vicka: “ For those people it will be too late. The Blessed Mother says – that is why God is giving so much time for these apparitions – so that all may come to conversion. She wants to make certain that all people have this opportunity..”

 

It is never too late to turn to God. But these days we don’t know when disaster may happen – it could be before we decide to turn to God. In that way it may be too late.

 

Another indication that the first three secrets of Medjugorje, and the Garabandal prophecies occur around the same time, is as follows. In Spark from Heaven, the Mystery of the Madonna of Medjugorje the author Mary Craig quotes Mirjana – the visionary who will announce the secrets:

..the time of purification will end with the third warning, that is to say, with the visible Sign to the world. When this Sign appears, no one will any longer doubt that God truly exists..”

What Mirjana calls ‘the time of purification..’ corresponds to the persecution of the Church and priests. The Church will be purified. Through the Warning, the world will be purified. We have heard already, that after the Warning no one will doubt that God exists. There will then be a period of world peace.

 

Mirjana goes on to say that the encounter with divine reality will be a total shock for those “who have not already turned toward God. But for those who have done so, it will be a time of great joy.” What she appears to describe is the effects of the Warning!

 

Since Mirjana is so well informed, one cannot help wondering if the third Medjugorje secret corresponds to the Illumination of Consciences, as described by all the people in this chapter.. followed by the permanent Sign left at Medjugorje.

 

The Garabandal visionaries were not told to reveal the time of the Warning (only the Miracle). So it looks as if we might depend on the Medjugorje visionary Mirjana, to inform us. And if that is the case we will want to make sincere repentance – and encourage others.

Some people think that the ten secrets will take place in quick succession, but that’s not the case. The first three warnings will occur, and after that we don’t know the time-scale.

 

The great Miracle is only prophesied to take place at Garabandal. The permanent Sign will be left there after that event.

 

It is important to know also, that other major places of apparitions around the world, will also have permanent Signs. Our Lady told Patricia Talbot of Ecuador in 1990: “..I will leave a great Sign in this place, and in all those where I have been.”

The Signs will always be there, to prove that God exists and loves us. It will be a reminder for the younger generation. 7

This may or may not be useful information, but in the book Garabandal – Der Zeigefinger Gottes by Albrecht Weber, the young Garabandal seer Conchita states: “The Pope will go to Russia, to Moscow. As soon as he returns to the Vatican, hostilities will break out in different parts of Europe.”

 

CHAPTER 24

The Antichrist

 

The word Antichrist is familiar to most people, however they do not have a clear idea of what it means. The earliest Christian scholars – known as the Church Fathers, were unanimous in their belief that this would be a unique man. It was the tradition handed down from the apostles and disciples. He is expected to achieve world-wide leadership, and to attract worship. His deep involvement in the occult, will have caused him to be ‘possessed’ by Satan. In that way he will use extraordinary ability to attract and control people. This person is called Anti-Christ, because he will do everything in his power to oppose Jesus.

 

It is said that Antichrist will be accepted by the Jews, and declared to be their true Messiah. Jesus said: “I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” (John 5:43)

Those words have traditionally been thought to apply to the Antichrist.1

 

The take-over by Antichrist will start very subtly. He will pretend to be a good and caring person, who offers a solution to the world’s problems. Like Hitler he will appeal to the masses, and develop a great following. St. Paul gave a clear warning; he called him the ‘lawless one’ :

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 3:12)

 

The actual word Antichrist only appears in the First and Second Letters of St. John. There it says: “You were told that an Antichrist must come.” (1 John 2:18). John also explains that in a general way anyone who denies Jesus is an antichrist. The other sources of information in the Bible, are the Book of Daniel and Revelation (the Apocalypse). The early Church Fathers drew from various Bible passages, and from the verbal teachings passed down by the apostles and disciples. Some extracts from their writings give useful information – as follows:

 

St. Jerome (331 – 419 A.D.) translated the Bible into Latin. At that time, Latin was an everyday language for people who lived within the Roman Empire. He wrote: “Satan will exercise his influence over all the powers of Antichrist, both over those of his body and of his soul – namely over his will, his intellect and his memory.” 2

 

St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235 A.D.) wrote: “…for three years and a half, Antichrist will reign upon the earth. And after this, his kingdom and his glory will be taken away. And by reason of the scarcity of food, all will go to him and worship him. He will put his mark on their right hand and on their forehead, so that no one may put the sign of the honourable cross upon his forehead with his right hand, but his hand is bound… And his seal upon the forehead and upon the right hand, is the number six hundred three score and six.” (666)

In every respect that deceiver seeks to make himself appear like the Son of God. Christ is a lion, and the Antichrist is a lion. Christ is King of things celestial and things terrestrial, and Antichrist will be king upon earth. The Saviour was manifested as a lamb; and he too will appear as a lamb, while he is a wolf within.”

 

St. Hippolytus taught that Antichrist will order everything that reminds us of Jesus Christ, to be destroyed. This includes the places of pilgrimage in the Holy Land (Israel). Furthermore during the 31/~2~ years that Antichrist reigns as world leader, he will prohibit the Catholic Mass and the Sacraments.3

“Finally men will seek help from Antichrist, and because he will not be able to aid them, they will come to the realisation that he is not God. When finally they understand how grossly he has deceived them, they will seek Jesus Christ. 4

 

Origen (d. 254 A.D.) “But that king (Antichrist).. will also be a prophet of lies; and he will constitute and call himself God; and power will be given him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. 5

 

St. John Chrysostom (d. 407 A.D.) was Bishop of Constantinople (Istanbul): “The world will be faithless and degenerate after the birth of Antichrist. Antichrist will be possessed by Satan, and be the illegitimate son of a Jewish woman from the East.” 6

 

St. Irenaeus became Bishop of Lyon, France, in 177 A.D. He was a student of St. Polycarp, who had been taught by St. John the apostle. He wrote: “The Antichrist will deceive the Jews to such an extent that they will accept him as the Messiah and worship him.” 7

 

St. Ambrose was Bishop of Milan in the 4th century. (He influenced St. Augustine in his conversion to Christianity.) He taught that the Antichrist will attempt to prove from Holy Scripture, that he is the Christ. 8

 

St. Cyril was Archbishop of Jerusalem (d. 386 A.D.[_)_]

“…since the true Christ is to come a second time, the adversary (Satan) makes use of the expectations of the simple, and especially of those of the circumcision (Jews); and he brings in a certain man who is a magician, and who is quite expert in sorceries and enchantments of beguiling craftiness. This one… shall falsely style himself Christ. By the name of Christ he shall deceive the Jews, who are expecting the Anointed; and he shall seduce the gentiles by his magical illusions… And he shall perpetuate such things for three years and six months.” 9

“…He shall through his great power, deceit, and malice, succeed in decoying or forcing to his worship two-thirds of mankind; the remaining third part of men will most steadfastly continue true to the faith and worship of Jesus Christ.” 10

 

St. Hilary (d. 449 A.D.) “Antichrist will teach that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, but is the wickedest of all criminals.” 11

 

St. John Damascene (d. 770 A.D.) was the final Church Father. “He will be known as Antichrist, who shall come about the end of the world. His mother will proclaim she gave birth to him while remaining a virgin. He will reign from ocean to ocean. Antichrist shall be an illegitimate child, under the complete power of Satan. God, knowing his incredible future perversity, will allow the devil to take a full and perpetual possession of him from his very sinful conception.” 12

 

St. Anselm (11th C.) was a Doctor (scholar) of the Church.

He wrote: “His wisdom and eloquence will surpass all possible realisation known or imagined. He will know by heart all the Sacred Scriptures and possess a perfect knowledge of all the arts.” 13

 

As mentioned, much of the detail about Antichrist is contained in Daniel and in Revelation. Both writings use the apocalyptic style, which means that they contain symbolism, and are difficult to interpret. Daniel for example has a vision of four beasts emerging from the sea, these represented four empires. The fourth beast was very powerful, and it had ten horns. (In Jewish symbolism the ‘horn’ usually indicated a king.) Another little horn grew among them, and displaced three of the others (Daniel 7:2-8).

 

This strange description can apply to two periods in history. It applies to the time of Antichrist, and back in those days it referred to the Empire of Alexander the Great (d. 323 B.C.) and his successors. At that time the ten horns represented kings of the Seleucid dynasty. The ‘little horn’ was Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who came to power after killing several rivals (during 175-163 B.C). He was a cruel dictator who persecuted the Jews for approximately 31/~2~ years.

 

The Antichrist is expected to appear at the end of an Empire. This we gather from the interpretation that Daniel was given concerning his vision:

“The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise (Antichrist) different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints..” (Daniel 7:23-25)

It seems fairly obvious, that in our era the kingdom that ‘will devour the whole earth’ was a prediction of the Communist Soviet Empire, and the various regimes which it controlled. It had devastating effects world-wide: untold millions died from oppression and slave-labour. Within capitalist countries, millions of people were corrupted by the atheism of Marxist theory. Communism has been just part of the plan, which prepares the way for One World Government.

 

Before the Soviet Union released its grip, the next phase of world re-organisation was in progress. In 1973 the Club of Rome had published a confidential report called Regionalised and Adaptive Model of the Global World System. In it the world was divided into ten political / economic regions, and at that time they were referred to as ‘kingdoms.’ In other words, the above prophecy from Daniel is already in the process of fulfilment. And in Revelation it was prophesied:

“The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast (Antichrist). They have one purpose, and will give their power and authority to the beast.” (Rev. 17:12-13)

 

At La Salette in France during 1846 (see chapter 18) the Virgin Mary warned us: “..there will be a series of wars until the last war, which will then be fought by the ten kings of the Antichrist, all of whom will have one and the same plan, and will be the only rulers of the world.”

 

Various authors14 have shown the source of the power and influence behind both Communism and Capitalism. They are two sides of the one coin. The ‘Cold War’ was promoted in order to divide and impoverish the world, through the arms race.

 

The ex-K.G.B. Russian defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, wrote a book called New Lies for Old (1984). He explained that from 1958 the Russians devised a new approach, called the Shelepin Plan. It was a long term strategy which extended into the 21st century. Through proclaiming the peace and reconciliation of perestroika and glasnost, they intended to lull the West into a false sense of security. Meanwhile they would use Western technology and hard currency in order to arm. In Hope of the Wicked Ted Flynn explains all this, and shows how there is a long term plan to bring the whole world into Socialism.

In 1989 the Soviet Union was dismantled, and this was part of the Plan. It released the East European countries, so that they could join the geographical area of the European Union. Russia retained other satellite countries, as part of a Russian Union.

So the ten political / economic regions (kingdoms) turned out to be Unions. And the trail-blazer for the world, was the European Union. Later, we can expect to see the North American Union, consisting of Canada, U.S.A., and Mexico. – That is why the assets of the U.S.A. are being stripped. Already we have the Chinese ‘Union’, Russian ‘Union’, a potential African ‘Union’, the Arab League… The process will continue, and eventually ten Unions will come together under a One World Government (the New World Order). This World Federation will have a supreme leader – who will presumably be the Antichrist. (He will of course have some other title !)

 

In Revelation it says: “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads…” (13:1). The ten horns (kingdoms) we have just examined. In our era, the ‘seven heads’ appeared to represent the G-7 nations which for years were the most financially powerful group within the United Nations (USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan).

In 1992 the American visionary Jim Singer claimed to be told by God: “..The beast has laid his vicious seven heads in the lands that you know as the G-7, while its body continues to crush my children in Russia.” Here God used the same symbolism as in Revelation. ‘The beast’ appears to refer to the power behind the One World movement. The nations involved have been wrongly influenced in their use of power. (These days it’s the G-20 nations, however the above message still appears to be relevant.)

 

It should be clear that Antichrist is not coming to power on his own. He will be the final player in a drama that has had long and skilful preparation. Through his occult experience, and willingness to serve,

the Bible tells us that: “The dragon (Satan) gave the beast (Antichrist) his power and his throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2). By ‘possessing’ this person, Satan will attract worship, and that is the whole idea: he will deflect worship from God to himself:

“Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast…” (Rev. 13:4)

It continues: “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies, and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling-place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain..” (Revelation 13:5-8)

 

The ‘Lamb’ of course refers to Jesus Christ, and he wants us all to resist this deception, and reach our true destiny which is Heaven. Later on it says that the forces of evil “…will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings..” (Revelation 17:14)

 

Before or after Antichrist comes to power, it is expected that a world-wide system of identification and financial control will be introduced. This will consist of personal micro-chips being inserted under the skin (chips as currently used in SMART cards). This situation will be explained in the next chapter. It says in Revelation that everybody was obliged to:

“..receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…” (13:16-17).

It also says that the mark “..is the name of the beast, or the number of his name… His number is 666.” (Revelation 13:17-18)

 

In our times, people anticipate that 666 will be a feature of the numbers that each person will have on their micro-chip. The numbers are thought to consist of three sets of six digits: 6 – 6 – 6.

(See example in the next chapter.)

 

(In chapter 12, it was explained that various prophecies in Revelation applied both to the period in which they were written, and to the period before the Second Coming of Jesus. For example ‘the beast’ was originally the Emperor Nero. He was the first Emperor to persecute the Christians. He insisted on being acknowledged as a god, and this was linked to the ability to purchase. Christians were put to death for their refusal to call him a god. In Jewish numbering the words ‘Caesar Nero’ add up to 666.

The significance of this number is found in Jewish symbolism: number 7 represents perfection, number 6 therefore falls short of perfection. Here it represents someone who tried to be 7, but did not make it. Nero tried to be a god. Antichrist will challenge God, and demand to be worshipped. – Ultimately both of them fail.)

 

Jesus warned us that prior to his Coming, there will be false Christs and false prophets: “At that time if anyone says to you ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect..” (Matthew 24:23-24) The Antichrist will be a false Christ. That was made clear in the quotations from the early Fathers of the Church.

A false Christ who currently has a world-wide following of people involved in the New Age Movement, is somebody calling himself Lord Maitreya. He is Middle Eastern in appearance, and wears a turban when in public. He claims to be the re-incarnation of Jesus Christ, as well as the Maitreya Buddha, and the Hindu – Lord Krishna. (According to the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, there should be a future Buddha known as Maitreya.)

 

The good news is that prior to Antichrist there will be a period of world peace. This follows the apocalyptic event known as the Illumination of Consciences (the Warning of Garabandal) in chapter 23. This is the period of peace predicted by Our Lady at Fatima (chapter 21).

 

This time of peace was also predicted at La Salette; however Our Lady went on to say that people would become complacent and forget Almighty God. She warned us that: “Rome will lose the faith and will become the seat of the Antichrist.”

This message received the Imprimatur from a bishop, which means that it is not contrary to the Faith. – Surely forewarned is fore-armed, it would be really stupid to make those mistakes again !

 

If we feel disheartened at the thought of what lies ahead, then we must remind ourselves that Jesus is always with us[*:*]

“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)

History has shown that the power of God’s Spirit shines through, whatever the circumstances. There were seventy years of awful persecution in the Soviet Union – yet faithful Christians were tremendously blessed. At the time of Antichrist, people will cope with a mere 3^1/^~2~ years.

 

 

We should also be encouraged by the predictions of the Virgin Mary at La Salette – where she confirmed that goodness would grow in spite of the evils of the time. The language is quite apocalyptic:

 

“God will take care of his faithful servants and men of good will. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and all peoples of all nations will get to know the truth…

May your zeal make you famished for the glory and the honour of Jesus Christ. Fight, children of the light, you the few who can see. For now is the time of all times..

Now is the time, the abyss is opening. Here is the king of kings of darkness, here is the beast with his subjects, calling himself the saviour of the world. He will rise proudly into the air to go to Heaven… He will fall, and the earth…will open up its fiery bowels; and he will plunge for eternity with all his followers into the everlasting chasms of Hell.

And then water and fire will purge the earth and consume all the works of men’s pride, and all will be renewed. God will be served and glorified.”

 

All will be renewed. God will be served and glorified. The earth will be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus, and the extraordinary new era of peace – which is in a later chapter.

 

CHAPTER 25

Political and Spiritual Preparation for Antichrist

 

In order to achieve world control, the Antichrist will require a political power base, and a spiritual power base. Secret societies have been striving for over 500 years, to put these foundations in place. They promoted revolutions, wars, Communism, Nazism, in order to gain power and re-organise the world. This book can only touch on the topic. There are books recommended at the back, which give the full drama of how the world has been shaped.

First let us look at the political angle. In the last chapter it was said that we are heading towards One World Government. This is what the expression the New World Order indicates. Various organisations have been quietly working towards it; and it is widely funded in secret. The umbrella organisation for bringing us into the New World Order, is the World Constitution and Parliament Association (W.C.P.A.). It has raised 49 issues of world-wide concern, which supposedly indicate the need for One World Government. Over 20% of the members of the W.C.P.A. belong to the United Nations. 1

In 1973 the Club of Rome published a confidential report called Regional and Adaptive Model of the Global World System. In it, the world was divided into 10 political / economic regions, which at that time were referred to as ‘Kingdoms’ 2. For anyone familiar with Antichrist-prophecy in Daniel and Revelation, the ‘ten kingdoms’ is very important. The significance was explained in the last chapter.

In 1977 the W.C.P.A. sponsored a meeting of the World Constituent Assembly. At the meeting, a Constitution for the Federation Earth was adopted. This laid much of the groundwork for One World Government. The Constitution was signed by 135 participants from 25 countries.

The membership of these organisations comprises U.N. officials, politicians, World Bank and I.M.F. officials, members of the World Future Society, Bilderbergers, New Age N.G.O.s etc.

In his book The Age of Consent George Monbiot explains that the planned World Parliament would have three chambers: an elected House of Peoples; an appointed House of Nations; and a House of Counsellors. (Mr. Monbiot is a socialist who writes in favour of a World Parliament, but likes to criticise the above version of it.)

Christians have been warning for a long time, that the United Nations is preparing for World Government. It is thought however, that the U.N. will in fact give way to the W.C.P.A. when the time comes.

Why aren’t we all aware of these things? Because it is the elite who participate, and ordinary people will find out later on. The media is well controlled by the wrong people, and has been for a long time. In the U.S.A. for example, 80% of the media is owned by just 20+ individuals. The idea of World Government is presented as the solution for stopping wars. What the elite don’t seem to realise, is that the wars were started for the purpose of attaining world government !

As long ago as 1842 Alfred Lord Tennyson – a Freemason, knew the overall situation. He wrote: “Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furled.

In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.” Locksley Hall.

The overall plan is far progressed. Europeans have shown that people are willing to give up nationalism in favour of economic convenience. They gave up their currencies in favour of the Euro. And now they have accepted a European Parliament.

Most important, is the situation of world finance. It was pointed out in chapter 13, that the most powerful financial institutions in the world are owned by a select group of people. Prof. Carroll Quigley had unique access to files and records when researching his book Tragedy and Hope; he came to the conclusion that the Rothschilds were the dominant banking dynasty of the world. Subsequent researchers have confirmed that, and have uncovered the various wars and revolutions that were financed by the Rothschilds and their colleagues. A book already mentioned, which explains all these things is – Make Yourself an Ark by Fr. Andrew O’Brien; he quotes Prof. Quigley as follows:

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands – able to dominate the political system of each country, and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the Central Banks of the world, acting in concert by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.” (Tragedy and Hope p. 324)

 

Professor Quigley noted on page 325 of Tragedy and Hope that the power of the Bank of England was recognized by qualified observers. He quotes from one, Reginald McKenna who had been Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1915-1916, and who as Chairman of the Board of the Midland Bank, told its stockholders in 1924: “I am afraid the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can, and do, create money. And they who control the credit of the nation, direct the policy of Governments, and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”

The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank came into existence in 1913, having been secretly planned and promoted by representatives of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and J.P. Morgan & Co. Meanwhile the Bank of England was under the long-standing influence of merchant bankers, including the Rothschilds. From 1914 the Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, used the financial power of the U.S.A. and U.K., to force the major countries of the world to go on the Gold Standard. This would be operated through Central Banks, free from political control. Professor Quigley shows how they planned to deal with all issues of international finance. He wrote: “The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements (B.I.S.) in Basel Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s Central Banks, which were themselves private corporations.”

The I.M.F. and World Bank are an extension of the above situation. They caused untold harm in poor, developing countries. The rich countries are currently being systematically impoverished. Economic decline and the collapse of some banks, will allow greater centralisation and control of the world finance. The control will be in the hands – not of politicians, but of the world financiers. Nearly every country in the world is now in debt to them.

How the world got into this state is interesting. The book Hope of the Wicked by Ted Flynn contains a lot of research, and explains all the power structures that have been put in place. He also lists the banks which have controlling stock in the Federal Reserve System, they are as follows: Rothschild Banks of London and Paris; Lazard Brothers Bank of Paris; Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy; Warburg Bank of Hamburg and Amsterdam; (Lehman Brothers of New York); Kuhn, Loeb Bank of New York; Chase Manhattan Bank of New York (Rockefellers); Goldman, Sachs Bank of New York. (page 224)

We can be sure that the world will be steered in the direction of the ten kingdoms (Unions) which were discussed in the last chapter. Each will have its Central Bank. This will be a stage towards One World Government.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is also enlightening; written in the late 1800’s, there is a copy in the British Museum Library. In Russia, people were imprisoned just for owning a copy. It was said to be fake, but it is surprising how much turns out to be accurate.

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Another topic raised in the last chapter, concerned the use of a silicon chip, as used in computers. This type of micro-chip is already in use, attached to a plastic card – which we call a Smart Card This is the credit card, with which most people are familiar. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Satellite Monitoring And Remote Tracking. The chip is capable of receiving and transmitting information via cell-phone towers and satellites.

In Britain the Identity Card which has been proposed, would have a similar micro-chip. It is capable of carrying all our personal information: finances, Tax record, N.I. details, police record, medical record, etc. Some Christians have warned about this development. It is claimed that the micro-chip will ultimately carry full information about us. And the next step would be for the chip to be inserted under a person’s skin – so that it is with them at all times. It will then be possible for a satellite to track that person’s movements and whereabouts.

A Company based in Florida called Applied Digital Solutions, is marketing a micro-chip that goes under the skin. It has been called Digital Angel. This micro transceiver is able to send and receive data through a Global Positioning Satellite. It is powered bio mechanically by the muscle movements of the body.

Micro-chips are already being used to tag animals. In the U.S.A. they have been tested and implanted in military personnel, and were used in the Gulf War. In some States they are used to tag prisoners. They have also been introduced experimentally with new-born infants.

There is another micro-chip which is powered by a lithium battery. It is re-charged through the temperature changes in the skin. The forehead and the back of the wrist/hand, give the most rapid changes in temperature, and the chip can be inserted in either place.

Background information on the development of the micro-chip (lithium battery) has been provided by Dr. Carl W. Sanders.3 He worked for 32 years in design engineering and electronics in the USA. In 1968 he became involved in a project to design a micro-chip for medical purposes. As senior engineer in charge of the project, he saw how the aims of the research changed. This was at the direction of the funding body. A new area of research investigated the ability of an imbedded micro-chip to change a person’s behaviour. This could be done by altering the chip’s electrical frequency. The Phoenix Project produced a Rambo chip that was used on Vietnam veterans. It caused extra adrenalin to flow…

The CIA became increasingly involved in the direction of research. Now the interest was in producing a chip that could carry total identification of a person. This included a person’s international digits, fingerprints, and facial image, etc. Dr. Sanders also claims to have attended meetings in which One World aims were discussed. Talks held in Brussels and Luxembourg involved the possibility of uniting world finance. In 2000 Dr. Sanders was awarded the Nobel Prize, for his part in developing the micro-chip.

Dr Sanders’ experiences coincide with what we hear about enormous computers in Brussels and the U.S.A. (There may be others.) Apparently they are capable of handling all the finance for the world’s trade. Part of the master-plan is that a computer will allocate an account number for every individual in the world. The number (their international digits) will be used for that person’s financial transactions, etc. It will include a national code and local code.

The numbers will consist of three sets of six digits:

For example: 6 5 4 3 2 1 – 7 8 9 4 7 5 – 2 6 7 4 0 1

(6) (6) (6)

This has been researched by Dr. Mary Stelwart Relfe in her book When Your Money Fails (USA).

If our financial information is stored on the micro-chip, it could be read by a radio frequency scanner (as they do in shops). The scanner would be passed over the hand or forehead, and payments automatically deducted. In that way, cash would no longer be used for purchases. If we want to buy a car, or a pint of beer, the method would be the same. The chip would also serve as our passport, driver’s licence, etc. At first glance this may seem like a good idea – however the individual would not be in control of all that is stored. It is open to abuse and State control.

These days the micro-chip is so small that it will pass through an injection needle. The American President, under the Emigration Control Act of 1986 Section 100, has the authority to decide upon the type of identification to be used in that country. Congress has considered Bills which would implement the identification of babies, using micro-chips. In Virginia thousands of babies have already got the chip.

The Book of Revelation tells us that everyone will be obliged to worship the Antichrist, and they will be marked on the right hand or on the forehead. Without this mark they will not be able to buy or sell (Rev. 13:15-17). The mark “..is the name of the beast or the number of his name… His number is 666.” (Rev. 13:17-18) As we have seen, the international digits are a form of 6 6 6. Christians point out that the ‘mark’ appears to correspond to the micro-chip. It will alienate a person from God: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too will drink the wine of God’s fury..” (Rev. 13:9-10) In recent prophecies we have been told to resist the ‘mark’, and trust in God, for he will support us through the difficult period.

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Now let us consider the spiritual platform of the Antichrist, which has various strands. The New Age Movement is an important part of the picture. This gives the impression of being a loose-knit collection of people who read the same sort of books, and use the same jargon. They speak of consciousness-raising, spirit-guides, karma, astral travel, transcendental meditation, the Global Village, cosmic influence, etc. They are usually well-intentioned people who are searching for the spiritual side of life. The Movement however, is a vehicle for the resurgence of pagan practices and beliefs in society (chapter 6). These are the activities that God condemned in the Bible, because they are occult, which means ‘hidden’ – and in the sphere of the devil. (Deuteronomy 18:10-11) They include horoscopes, the Tarot, divining, clairvoyance, charms, consulting spirits, etc. The pagan belief in reincarnation has also been re-introduced. This rejects the Christian message that we can be forgiven, and enter Heaven, through the saving love of Jesus Christ.

The book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow by Constance Cumbey, and various other books, have exposed the underlying values of the New Age Movement, and its world-wide organisation. New Age followers believe that Lucifer (Satan) is misunderstood by Christians. They say that he is a divinity, and the source of light, who promotes love and wisdom. They are told that there will be world-wide Luciferic initiation for those who wish to enter the coming ‘New Age’. During this initiation each person will be given a mark or number…

It is interesting how Satan mimics God. Now we find that he is offering people a bogus ‘New Age’. This imitates the wonderful new era of peace that is promised by God. The followers of Satan prefer to use the name Lucifer. This was supposedly his name in Heaven, when he was a magnificent angel. It means ‘bringer of light’.

How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cast down to the earth… You said in your heart… I will raise my throne higher than the stars of God… I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

(Some modern Bibles do not use the word Lucifer but translate it as Daystar or morning star.)

 

New Agers speak of ‘following the light’. However it is Jesus Christ who is the true light, as he said: “I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, also John 1:6-9)

 

New-Age followers reject the Jesus who is worshipped by Christians. Their belief is that he was a man, who had ‘raised-consciousness’ or ‘Christ-consciousness’. He is said to be one of many ‘Christs’, – Masters of Wisdom who reincarnate down the centuries.

In the New Age system, God is an impersonal, unknowable force, which is present within nature. He is not distinct from ourselves. The aim of New Age practice is to discover that we are part of God, we are divine, we are creators. (Isn’t this the same old lie that was used with Adam and Eve?) They do not believe in sin, Hell, or Heaven, but regard life as a process of evolution and reincarnation. Everyone is said to have the choice of developing their ‘god-within’.

 

They are promised a New World Order, a One-World Federation in which national boundaries will be unimportant. A new ‘planetary citizenship’ will give them the opportunity to actualise their ‘god-potential’. (Not that all people will be equal in this set-up – some will be more ‘evolved’ than others, and therefore more superior.)

 

Where do these ideas come from? They are based on the ancient Jewish Cabala 4 (occult writings); on the ancient Jewish heresy of Gnosticism 5; and on Hinduism. There are similarities between these three sets of belief, and they are blended together in the theories of Theosophy. The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 by a Russian woman Helena Blavatsky, who was living in London. She had been influenced by Freemasonry when living in Italy, and some of these beliefs are held in common with Freemasonry.

The most important Masonic writer of the 19th century was Albert Pike; in Morals and Dogma he wrote: “Masonry is a search after light: the search leads us directly back, as you see, to the Cabala… Lucifer, the son of the Morning! It is he who bears the light…” The writings of early Theosophists formed the core theories and guidelines of the New Age Movement. The Movement was launched in the 1960s, after western societies had been flooded with mind-expanding drugs, and Eastern mysticism. According to the research of Constance Cumbey, this was not a coincidence.

How does Satan (Lucifer) convince people that he is harmless? St. Paul explains in the Bible: “…Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) He would not be able to attract the good members of our society, by showing his evil side. Instead they are drawn to the apparent idealism of New Age theory. The end result however is what matters, and the theory produces people who despise Christianity, who do not have a personal relationship with God, and who deny that Jesus Christ is God and Saviour. This of course is exactly what Satan wants! In the book The Beautiful Side of Evil, Johanna Michaelsen describes her own experiences with spirits and psychic surgery, and New Age practices. Her confused problems lasted for years, because she could not see the harm in it.

How can New Age theory actually do harm? Unfortunately New-Agers, and most other people, do not realise that the writings of Helena Blavatsky were popular reading in Germany before the First World War. Her influence was wide-spread, and Adolf Hitler was an enthusiastic admirer. In her book The Secret Doctrine Blavasky wrote about the fifth race in human civilisation, which she termed ‘Aryan’. The influential Freemason Albert Pike, in his Lectures of the Aryan (1873) expressed his belief in the concept of the ‘Aryan master race’. In 1875 he wrote: “Freemasonry was indeed a religion, because it was the original religion of the Aryans as written in the Vedas.” 6

In Hitler’s Germany, it was believed that the occult secrets of German Aryan ancestors had lived on in the secrets of the Knights Templars, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons. (Though Hitler feared and persecuted some Freemasons.) Throughout the country there grew the desire for a new culture, based on occult religion, devoted to purification of an Aryan race – which would have psychic powers. Those most deeply influenced were the S.S. Troops and the Hitler Youth.

Both Nazism and New Age theory, are a mixture of occultism, Gnosticism, Eastern religion, and the old ‘mystery teachings’.7 Both value the swastika. The Aryan swastika is the symbol of the 7th ray of initiation into occultism (Hitler was a 6th ray initiate). Within the New Age Movement there is a Seventh Ray Institute. The New Age rainbow has seven colours, representing the seven stages of initiation into the occult. It is called the bridge between Lucifer and humanity.

Hitler criticised Lenin’s Russia, but he also said: “There is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it.” 8 That was true – we know that the organisers of the Russian Revolution were Freemasons. To achieve their goals, both countries employed similar methods. In his book The Final Hour Michael Brown explains that it was Karl Marx’s intention to replace Christianity with naturalism or occultism. Why mention this? Because the theories which lay behind Nazism and Communism, live on. They have been given a different package that is all.

Fr. Andrew O’Brien explains all the above very well, in Make Yourself an Ark. And he quotes the September 1950 issue of the Masonic publication The New Age, in which C. William Smith wrote: “…the unification of all races, religions, and creeds…a new religion of ‘The Great Light’…and the American Race will be the Sixth Aryan Civilisation….for the dawn of the New Age of the World”.

New Age theory calls for a ‘new root Race’. Committed members of all religious faiths are regarded as an obstacle to this. In spite of the fact that 99% of religious people are peace-loving, New Agers blame religion for wars and divisions. They fail to see that political and subversive manoeuvres are usually the hidden cause. Anyway this is the excuse for writers such as the ‘medium’ Barbara Marx Hubbard, to blame religion for delaying the New World Order. It is said to hold back evolution of the universe towards godhood – which can only take place in conditions of peace.

Another New Age theorist Alice Bailey, in her Externalisation of the Hierarchy even proposed extermination of religious groups which impede the master-plan. (The writings of Alice Bailey are disseminated by a United Nations N.G.O. called World Goodwill.)

Barbara Marx Hubbard promoted a similar solution. In her book The Book of Co-Creation she explains: “Out of the full spectrum of the human personality, one-fourth is selected to transcend and one-fourth are destructive, defective seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a natural death. Now, as we approach the quantum shift from the creature-human to the co-creative human, – the human who is an inheritor of god-like powers, the destructive one-fourth must be eliminated from the social body.” To make her readers feel better she adds: “Fortunately, you are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of God’s selection process for planet Earth…”

The Transcendental Meditation leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, former guru of the Beatles, was equally blunt. He said: “In the Age of Enlightenment there is no place for ignorant people. Nature will not allow ignorance to prevail. It just can’t. Non-existence of the unfit has been the law of nature”.^9^ Hard-line New Agers can justify such attitudes, because they believe that people who die will be reincarnated, and hopefully achieve a ‘higher state of consciousness’.

The spread of New Age literature has accelerated world-wide in recent years. In the USA it is a billion-dollar business. The Movement is also promoted through Body Mind and Spirit exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and via some alternative therapists. The film industry has played its part – mainly in creating spiritual confusion. Even the Churches have been influenced. These days high profile people, including Company Directors, consult an astrologist before taking major decisions. Politicians or their wives have been known to consult New Age gurus for help. Princess Diana used a clairvoyant, so that boosted the Movement.

The New Age Movement fulfils St. Paul’s worst fears for people, when he said: “But the serpent, with his cunning, seduced Eve, and I am afraid that in the same way your ideas may get corrupted and turned away from the simple devotion to Christ. Because any newcomer only has to proclaim a new Jesus different from the one that we preached, or you have only to receive a new spirit…or a new gospel…and you welcome it with open arms.” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

In the guise of being a spiritual system, New Age theory fills a void in society. People are told that the Age of Aquarius i.e. the New Age (found in astrology) will mark the end of Christianity. They see themselves as part of a world-wide, evolutionary awakening into ‘higher-consciousness’. If they have any doubts about the theory, they are told to stop questioning and to avoid logic, because life is an illusion, and all reality is ‘one in being’. To develop the right mental framework, so-called ‘mystical experiences’ are encouraged. However these are self-induced by means of breathing techniques, meditation, drugs or alcohol.

New Agers learn not to make judgements about ‘good’ or ‘evil’. In their system as mentioned, even murder can be justified. For them there is no real death, therefore there are no victims. They could rationalise such a situation, by saying that the people involved knew each other during a previous life, and the person murdered was previously the murderer, so now the situation is ‘balanced’. The deaths of the Jews in the last war, could be interpreted as a useful ‘soul-learning experience’ for them.

In his book Inside the New Age Nightmare, the former New Age leader Randall Baer gives an interesting quotation. It is from Nobel prize-winning scientist Erwin Chargaff, who is known as the Father of Bioengineering: “I see the beginning of a new barbarism…which tomorrow will be called a ‘new culture’… Nazism was a primitive, brutal, and absurd expression of it. But it was a first draft of the so-called scientific or pre-scientific morality, which is being prepared for us in the radiant future.”

Randall Baer makes it clear that the New Age subculture should be understood as preparation for the rise of Antichrist. He explains: “Hitler’s Nazism was but a crude, primitive dress rehearsal for the slick, sanitised, and sophisticated plans of the false Messiah.” How can this be? Hitler, his close colleagues, and the S.S. Officers were deeply involved in black magic, and guided by Satan. Randall Baer quotes a friend of Hitler, Herman Rauschning, Governor of Danzig: “One cannot help thinking of him as a medium… beyond any doubt, Hitler was possessed by forces outside of himself… of which the individual named Hitler was only the temporary vehicle.”

The whole point about the occult and black magic, is that people open themselves to the influence of Satan. He has a plan of evil for the world. This, God permits because we reject the Love, the Life, and the help that He offers. The Antichrist is the pinnacle of the plan, he will be another ‘medium’ who will bring Satan onto the world stage. Through the rejection of Christianity and the acceptance of occult practice, people are already giving their support. It is only prayer and penance that can stem the tide of evil.

Finally, someone called Benjamin Creme who promoted the false Christ known as Lord Maitreya, wrote a book called:

The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (1980). In it he says: “The Master Jesus will take over the throne of St. Peter in Rome, the true apostolic succession will begin. This event is now imminent, following the declaration of the Christ… The new religion will be manifest, for instance through organisations like Masonry. In Freemasonry is embedded the core or the secret heart of the occult mysteries.”

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Another area of development that is paving the way for the Antichrist, is the unity of world religions. The World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) was launched in 1970. It is a U.N. Non-Governmental Organisation, with its international headquarters in Geneva. The aims of the WCRP included the promotion of a world ‘parliament’ of religions. The WCRP encourages planetary rather than national citizenship. In February 1995, the WCRP newsletter stated that its General Assembly acknowledged a new world community taking shape.

For years prior to the end of the Cold War, Communists were attending international inter-Faith conferences. They promoted one-world Religion. (Why?) In April 1991 in California, an organisation legally called The Tamalplas Institute was set up. Four months later there was a coup at the Kremlin. In December 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned. During Perestroika he had succeeded in gaining world-wide popularity. Anatoly Golitsyn in his book The Perestroika Deception, points out that by April 1992 the Tamalplas Institute was transformed into the Gorbachev Foundation. (Gorbachev remained a professed Communist.)

The Foundation is now located at the Presidio, the former military base in San Francisco. In 1995 the first State of the World Forum was convened there. Its goal was a five-year investigation into the “..fundamental priorities, values and actions necessary to guide humanity, as it develops the first global civilisation”.^10^ Those present included retired politicians, representatives of the Club of Rome, business men, members of One-World organisations, media people, New Agers.

Among other things, Gorbachev called for expanded power and responsibility to be given to the United Nations (global taxation, a U.N. Army, and an International Court). Under discussion was the redistribution of assets; and nuclear arsenals under U.N. control.11

Meanwhile, the international inter-Faith conferences had formed a Parliament of the World‘s Religions. In 1993 it formulated its Declaration. This recommends that religions in the new global society of planet earth, should behave well towards each other, and find their common values and standards of behaviour.

The second State of the World Forum in 1997, proposed the development of a humanistic global ethic. This was to be a set of basic values, shared by the world’s religions. The term ‘ethics’ is popular, because these values are considered changeable, according to society’s requirements. The subject of ‘global ethics’ is in line with the writings of Helena Blavatsky… Other topics discussed were: globalisation, environment, business – a global economic system, and education. Six hundred people were present, this time they included youth leaders.

Gorbachev declared: “The alternatives to the existing world order, can only emerge as a result of a new human dimension of progress… We envision a revolution of the mind, a new way of thinking.” 12

The WCRP and Gorbachev Foundation have helped to create yet another body: the United Religions Organisation (the U.R.) It was launched with the writing of its Charter in 1997. It is also based in San Francisco. The U.R. is intended to operate like the U.N. – with a General Assembly, a Security Council and a Secretary-General. Representatives will gather from the various world religions, including Occultism. The spokesman, Episcopalian Bishop William Swing favours New Age theory. He explained: “We are on the threshold of the first global civilisation…as we become one global unit, we have to find out where religion is in regard to our global tribe.”

He is concerned that religions “are the missing voice at the table of accountability in the world.” He considers the U.R. to be an “attempt to bring accountability to the religious forum.” 13

At that time, Prof. Hans Kung was President of the Global Ethic Foundation. He is called a catholic priest, however he is a modernist of the worst type (chapter 16) he works to dismantle the Church. He helped to draft the next phase of all this development. Fifty years after the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, in 1998 the Declaration of Human Responsibilities was formulated. The Interaction Council had organised the participation of ‘elder statesmen’ from around the world, in order to do this. This Declaration was endorsed by the Parliament of the World’s Religions. And various individuals from various religions signed their approval – however they did not appear to be official representatives.

The Responsibilities are expressed in various Articles, and it all sounds very civilised. However something like Article 15 could be used against Christians: “…the representatives of religions have a special responsibility to avoid expressions of prejudice… towards those of different beliefs.” To promote Christianity as the one true Faith instituted by God; or to criticise occultism for example – could be called ‘prejudice’…

With regard to Catholic involvement in the above organisations, a disunity exists. Whatever the original good intentions, it has become obvious that group values and ‘ethics’ are going to dominate the scene. World peace through uniformity will be proposed. This would be acceptable to Modernist / Liberal Christians, which includes some bishops and theologians within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict) warned that the Church “is not in a position to obtain peace by force…it should not transform itself into a sort of political peace movement..” Church leaders have “received no mandate for this” from Jesus. “..a peace established in this way would by its very nature be transformed into a totalitarianism.” 14

The New Age theorist Alice Bailey, predicted in 1919 that the “Church Universal” a union of Occultism, Masonry, and Christianity, “will appear towards the close of this century.” 15 Those catholics who take interest in both old and new prophecy, anticipate a future split in the Church. Some will remain faithful to the Bible, tradition, and the Mass. Others will be persuaded to join a world religious community, which will ultimately be led by the Antichrist.

Cardinal Ratzinger reminded us that the Antichrist “will present himself as a messenger of ‘peace and security.’ ” (a reference to I Thess. 5:3) and will be “..precisely the one who terms himself establisher of world peace.” 16

It is understood that the Antichrist will first appear to be a good and caring person. He will be extremely appealing and attractive. He will imitate the miracles of Jesus, by means of the power of Satan. As St. Paul said: “The coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) will be in accordance with the work of Satan, displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders…” (2 Thessalonians 2:9) Only later will his true destructive motives be seen.

As mentioned, the ultimate aim is that the whole world should worship the Antichrist, and thereby worship Satan, instead of God. This may sound unlikely, but let’s not forget how millions of people practically worshipped Hitler and Lenin. Lenin was also thought to be under demonic influence. They did not have the advantage of television, which will take Antichrist into people’s homes. It is likely that he will have an hypnotic effect on viewers. His image on TV may possibly be the ‘statue’ that is able to speak and is to be worshipped, which is mentioned in Revelation (13:15).

Why does God allow all this? Because mankind has turned away from him. He has sent prophets, visionaries, and great teachers, but to no avail. The Antichrist will be the final test: will we follow him, or be faithful to God and go into the new era of peace? To quote St. Paul concerning the Antichrist: “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth, but have delighted in wickedness..” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

How long to Antichrist? A lot has to happen first, as this chapter may have shown. We shouldn’t dwell on negative things though. God wants us to prepare our society for his wonderful return; we should wait in joyful hope for the Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Our responsibility is to pray for the young people, and to help them grow in faith.

What is recommended in various prophecies is that people should form prayer groups. That will help them to pray more, and to be stronger in the faith. In any case it’s a pleasant, communal thing to do. Different groups suit different people.

Obviously a Bible group is ideal, with people meeting at church or in each other’s houses. There are rosary groups: pensioners and the unemployed, can meet in the day for coffee and prayers. There is Mother’s Prayers: groups for women who pray for their (and all) children. Also Father’s Prayers, and groups for men. There are Divine Mercy groups. And of course the charismatic prayer group which includes bible readings, spontaneous prayer, meditation, singing etc.

If you don’t know of a local group to suit you, why not ask friends, or put a notice in the church newsletter, or phone a church to enquire.

 

CHAPTER 26

Prophecy Reveals the Order of Events, Including Great Monarch and Pope

 

This chapter features a range of prophecy from people who are widely respected and widely quoted. The intention is to clarify the sequence of events that can be expected to take place.

 

Before starting – a reminder about the distinction the Church makes between the prophecy which is in the Bible, and the prophecy which comes from individuals throughout history. The Bible is known as public revelation, and prophecy from individuals is called private revelation.

Chapter 2 explained that prophecy does not always mean telling the future. It can be a forth-telling from God, in terms of love, encouragement, direction.

When private revelation warns about the future – such as war or disaster, the revelation is usually given so that we can pray against it. The outcome will depend on our response. Therefore the inspiration given to individuals may or may not come true. So we say that private revelation is conditional.

By contrast, the prophecy in the Bible will come true. It is there however, to inform us and to encourage positive action. The degree of its fulfilment can be influenced.

 

Does God only use holy people for visions and messages? No, we are all sinners and God chooses anyone, for instance in 1947 an Italian man called Bruno Cornacchiola was a communist. He had a plan to assassinate the Pope, but the Virgin Mary appeared to him at Tre Fontane, in Italy. She carried the Bible, spoke with him for some time, and said that she was the Virgin of Revelation. Naturally if you have an experience like that, you are likely to change for the better! In general though, people feel more comfortable in believing someone with a good reputation.

 

In his book The Fatima Prophecies Thomas Petrisko shows how Heavenly messages have occurred down the centuries. They most frequently occur prior to difficult events, for example the French Revolution, the World Wars, the Russian Revolution, and other wars. In another book Call of the Ages Petrisko shows how different themes have emerged in the past century, and they will be important for the

future. For example the Hearts of Jesus and Mary (mentioned earlier).

 

With regard to visionaries, we should understand that their experience has been so profound that they believe they know the whole picture of what is going to happen. The reality is that they are aware of part of the picture. As mentioned, Almighty God knows how to keep us interested: he gives some information to one visionary, and some to another. It is like a jig-saw puzzle. In Argentina Gladys Quiroga was told by Jesus: “My Mother must be heard in the totality of her messages.” This book has tried to put the jig-saw together as much as possible, together with Bible explanation.

 

Some of the major visionaries are holy people who experience the wounds of Jesus. In other words they identify so closely with him, that they receive the privilege of sharing his sufferings – to help the world. The wounds are called stigmata, and the person is called a stigmatist.

 

The following information is arranged in what appears to be the chronological order. Some commentators have the order not quite right – the main point being, that there will be two periods of total peace. In his book Trial, Tribulation and Triumph Desmond Birch makes the strong point that Antichrist follows a period of peace. So there will be a period of peace after the Tribulation, and the era of peace (‘millennium’) will be after the Chastisement

 

The outline picture is therefore as follows:

 

HERESY APOSTASY SECRET SOCIETIES

ECONOMIC FAILURE REVOLUTIONS WAR

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS, ESPECIALLY CLERGY = THE TRIBULATION

THE WARNING MIRACLE PERMANENT SIGNS

PEACE FOR SOME YEARS WITH A GREAT POPE AND A GREAT MONARCH

GROWTH OF THE CHURCH HIDDEN GROWTH OF EVIL

ANTIPOPE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT RISE OF ANTICHRIST

MARK OF THE BEAST (MICRO-CHIP)

JEWS LEAD WORSHIP OF ANTICHRIST FORYEARS

CHASTISEMENT / ARMAGEDDON / DAY OF THE LORD

(GOD PURIFIES THE EARTH DURING 3 DAYSDARKNESS)

SATAN AND ANTICHRIST BANISHED TO HELL

NEW ERA OF PEACE (MILLENNIUM)

SECOND COMING OF JESUS WHO REMAINS IN EUCHARISTIC GLORY

SATAN RETURNS TO TEST THE WORLD

LAST JUDGEMENT

 

With regard to the economic problems – they no longer need prophets! However a young Italian woman – a stigmatist, called Debora from Manduria, Italy, said she was told in 1994: “England land of Henry, from which the most blasphemous heresies are coming, will be.. reduced to rags..”

(Her book is called Revealed Wisdom of the Living God.)

 

Maria Esperanza of Venezuela (chapter 21) was interviewed by Michael Brown in his book The Bridge to Heaven. She said in 1986: “There will be a revolution that will make people rise up against injustice.”

I hope Israel makes peace with the Muslims.. because there is a nation within those people that may provoke a war.. and comes Russia..” “Russia will act before the U.S.A. in a surprising way.”

 

Patricia Talbot of Ecuador was quoted by Sister Isabel Bettwy in I am the Guardian of the Faith (1990):

Pray for Russia, the United States, Czechoslovakia, and China. These are countries that will be involved in the third World War.” There are various warnings like this about world war or major war. So we must keep praying against it, and hope for the best.

 

In chapter 23 there was prophecy concerning persecution of the Church; it coincides with the invasion of Europe by Russia.

This difficult but short period is called the Tribulation. It will be brought to a close by the Warning (the Illumination of Consciences). The attack will focus particularly on priests. Why? Because the aim will be to stop the Mass – the new covenant, which is the ‘daily sacrifice’ mentioned in the Book of Daniel (12:11).

The Tribulation will be further fulfilment of the Third Secret of Fatima. No Pope has been martyred since the prophecy was given in 1917 (chapter 21) but it is anticipated to happen at this time.

 

Bl. Anna Maria Taigi (d. 1837) said:

Religious shall be persecuted, priests shall be massacred, the churches shall be closed, but only for a short time. The Holy Father shall be obliged to abandon Rome.”

 

Pope Pius X (d. 1914) wrote:

I saw one of my successors taking to flight over the bodies of his brethren. He will flee to a place for a short respite where he is unknown, but he himself will die..”

 

There is not likely to be an Antipope at this stage; there will probably be no Pope at all for a short time. After the Warning, during the period of peace, we should get the great Pope.

 

The following prophecies will be taken from Call of the Ages by Thomas Petrisko, unless otherwise stated.

 

The Tribulation was mentioned particularly at Garabandal. The young children had visions of both the Tribulation and the Chastisement. Mari-Loli wrote in 1967: “The Blessed Virgin has explained to us that this great Tribulation – which was not as yet the Chastisement – will arrive because there will come a time when the Church will seem about to disappear. It will undergo a terrible trial..”

 

At Kerizinen in Brittany France, Jeanne Louise Ramonet (d.1995, see the Epilogue) was told by Our Lady:

Will France, which is so dear to me and is today menaced by war, revolution and invasion, remain deaf to my requests and my warnings? …Let many and fervent prayers and devotion rise up from this place to me and I shall save France, I will protect France from the Russians. And these Russians, touched by a sudden enlightenment, will join in a new wisdom for the world.”

(The final sentence sounds like the Warning..) Taken from Kerizinen.

 

Sr. Anna Ali of Kenya (see the Epilogue) was told by Jesus in 1988:

The devil will cast its evil powers on the nations. In a given moment he will destroy the best part of my flock.”

Many revolutions will break out. The Church will suffer very much, but the punishment of the impious will not delay… finally evil will perish in the tremendous rigours of Divine Justice.”

 

Who might carry out the persecution of Christians world-wide? It seems fairly obvious that apart from Russia, the people who have been prepared for years to hate Christians – are the fundamentalist Moslems. What would provoke the Moslems? Damage to the Jerusalem Mosque known as the Dome of the Rock.

It was mentioned in chapter 13 that the Jewish Sanhedrin was re-established in 2004; it has the intention of re-building the Temple. Evangelical Christians who misinterpret parts of the Bible, publicly support the idea of building the Temple. In order to achieve the restoration, the very important Mosque would most likely be destroyed – during conflict? It would not be done by the Christians, but Christians would share the blame..

In Kibeho, Rwanda (chapter 21) a young pagan boy called Segatashya claimed in 1983 that Jesus appeared to him, and said:

..You will know my Second Coming is at hand when you see the outbreak of religious wars..”

Who else would engage in religious war, apart from Moslems? The majority are peace-loving, but their countries have been put under a great deal of pressure by the West.

 

Prophecies in chapter 23 showed the good outcome which will follow the Tribulation. The whole situation will turn around in favour of the Church, as described by Sr. Jeanne le Royer (d.1798):

I saw in God that Holy Mother Church will spread in many countries, and will produce her fruits in abundance to compensate for the outrages she will have suffered, from the impiety and the persecution of her enemies.. the poor people.. shall then be thrilled with a joy that God will infuse in their good hearts. The Church will become by her faith and by her love, more fervent and more flourishing than ever.. the Church will witness many amazing things, even on the part of her former persecutors, for they will come forward and throw themselves at her feet, acknowledge her, and implore pardon from God and from her, for all the crimes and outrages that they had perpetrated.. she (the Church) will welcome them as her own children.”

(From Trial, Tribulation & Triumph.)

 

The extraordinary reversal of events will come about through God’s rescue plan – which consists of the Warning, plus the Miracle and the permanent Signs (chapter 23).

When Conchita of Garabandal describes the Warning, she includes a cosmic event. She says that something will happen to cause a lot of light, and the experience will transmit interiorly to our souls. In his book The Final Hour Michael Brown quotes Conchita, who says that it will be: “Like two stars.. that crash and make a lot of noise, and a lot of light.. but they don’t fall. It’s not going to hurt us, but we’re going to see our consciences.” Conchita relates that the Blessed Mother announced this event by a word beginning with the letter A (in Spanish?)

 

The experience of light during the Warning is also recorded by other visionaries. Rose Quattrini of San Damiano, Italy (a pilgrimage site) said that Jesus told her in 1967:

I will soon come with a great light to convert many souls, and then Heaven and earth will tremble at my power. Then all the souls will see the light, and all hearts will be set aflame with love for me.”

(In Almighty God’s terms ‘soon’ can mean 50 years! Don’t forget that these messages have to spread around the world..)

 

Do we know when the Warning will occur? There is interesting ‘prophecy’ from a young woman (anonymous) in London. She had an awareness that there would be an occasion of strong solar activity (the sun does this every so often). In a vision she ‘saw’ a cosmic event during this solar activity. It seemed to cause two bodies in space to collide. She heard a loud crash which made her jump. The crash caused explosive light – in the vision. This woman knows nothing at all about Garabandal and Conchita’s description.

Scientists do anticipate increased solar activity in early 2013.

This was an unusual experience, it is included here, in case there is

some significance to it..

 

As explained, the Tribulation will be brought to a stop by the Warning. The Garabandal Miracle, and the permanent Signs will follow, and there will be a period of peace. This is no doubt the period of peace that was predicted by Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 (chapter 21).

It is also the peace predicted at La Salette in 1846:

Suddenly, the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all those given over to sin will perish.. And then peace will be made, and man will be reconciled with God.”

 

Many older prophecies say that there will be a great Pope, and a great Monarch. (The next few prophecies come from Trial Tribulation & Triumph.)

 

The Ven. Bartholomew Holzhauser in his Apocalypsis wrote:

When everything has been ruined by war, when catholics are hard-pressed by traitorous coreligionists and heretics, then the hand of Almighty God will work a marvellous change, something seemingly impossible according to human reason.”

There will rise a valiant King anointed by God. He will rule supreme in temporal matters. The Pope will rule supreme in spiritual matters. Persecutions will cease and justice shall reign. He will root out false doctrines. All nations will adore God their Lord according to catholic teaching.. for Divine Power will bind Satan for many years until the coming of the Son of Perdition..(Antichrist)”

There will be an Ecumenical Council which will be the greatest of all Councils.. atheism and every heresy will be banished from the earth. The Council will define the true sense of Holy Scripture, and this will be believed and accepted by everyone.”

A future Church Council was predicted by others, such as Sr. Jeanne le Royer: “The Church in Council assembled.. I saw in God a numerous assembly of ministers of the Church, who like an army in battle array.. shall sustain the rights of the Church and of her Head. They will restore the former disciplines.”

 

The Ecstatic of Tours – a French nun whose revelations were recorded in La Vielle de la Victoire du Christ, in 1882. She relates: “The Council will meet.. after the victory. But this time mankind will be obliged to obey; there will be only one flock and one shepherd. All men will acknowledge the Pope as the universal Father.. of all peoples. Thus mankind will be regenerated.”

 

Perhaps a future Council will decide to Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? This request was mentioned by Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 and formally requested in 1929. When the Church did not respond, Our Lady appeared again in 1931 and told the visionary Sr. Lucia:

..They will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late.”

 

The point is, that at Fatima Our Lady had said: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

The Consecration, conversion, and the period of peace, go together..

 

It should be explained that the Virgin Mary does not decide her own agenda: she does not just decide to come to earth and make requests! She is totally guided by the Holy Spirit, and only carries out the Will of God. It was the plan of Almighty God to make her a channel of blessing in this instance.

 

During the period of peace which follows the Warning, Russia will return to Christianity in a big way, and will try to compensate for all the harm done previously. Debora of Manduria (above) was told by Our Lady:

..one day the demons will abandon this nation, and she will become the most devout. She will be called Holy Russia. Remember, the last will be the first. ..she will take the wind of holiness to the other nations.”

 

The great mystic Anna Maria Taigi of Italy (d. 1837) stated:

Whole nations will join the Church shortly before the reign of Antichrist. These conversions will be amazing.. There shall be innumerable conversions of heretics, who will return to the bosom of the Church.. Russia, England and China will come into the Church.”

 

At Kerizinen in Brittany, Our Lady said:

…the Roman Catholic Church, will itself emerge from this baptism of blood renewed and rejuvenated. In place of those impious thrones there will stand two glorious thrones, one to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other to my Immaculate Heart. Thus the name of God will be glorified throughout the earth.” (From Kerizinen)

 

Prophecy concerning the Islamic faith is likely to be fulfilled at this time. Blessed Mary of Agreda (17thC.) wrote:

Before the Second Coming of Christ.. the power of Mary in the latter days will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign over the heathens and the Mohammedans..”

 

When the Church and the world is set in right order, the question will be – are we ready to provide for millions of people? Would we have enough Bibles, Catechisms, teaching materials? – Enough literature on prophecy, to guide society through the time ahead? If people don’t get the help they need, they will turn back to their old ways. Every parish should think about providing for all the people of their locality..

God will give us a level playing field: we don’t have to drift helplessly towards Antichrist.

 

The teenager Barnabas Nwoye of Nigeria (see Epilogue) was warned about the ‘Persecution’. He was then advised by Jesus:

My children, prepare yourselves for evangelisation: read all the messages and study the warnings. Read your Bible and stand eagerly to preach the devotion to my Precious Blood.”

 

Barnabas has a special mission to spread this devotion; it honours Jesus’ crucifixion and our deliverance from evil.

 

In this period of peace, the world will revert to being something like the Holy Roman Empire of old. (That Empire was brought to a close by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806.) This is mentioned – not to sound triumphant, but to point out that it fulfils prophecy. Some early Church Fathers, plus St. Robert Bellarmine, maintained that Antichrist would come at the end of an Empire – which was described as a Roman Empire or Kingdom.

 

For example St. Ephraem (5th C.) wrote:

Then the Lord from his glorious Heaven shall set up his peace. And the kingdom of the Romans shall rise in place of this latter people, and establish its dominion upon the earth, even to its ends, and there shall be no one who will resist it.

After iniquity (sin) shall have multiplied…coming forth from perdition, the man of iniquity shall be revealed upon the earth, the Seducer of mankind (Antichrist)..”

 

The following is attributed to St. Anselm (11th C.):

Certain Doctors truly say, that one of the kings of the Frankish Empire.. shall live in the last time and shall be the greatest and last of kings.. He shall be the last and consummate (Emperor) of the Roman and Christian Empire.. (After he lays down his crown)..according to the sentence of Paul, they say Antichrist shall come.”

This great Monarch was predicted in a similar way by Bernhardt Rembordt (18th C.)

..the man for whom the world has longed. He will be called a ‘Roman Emperor’, and he will give peace to the world. A good and happy era will follow. God will be praised on earth..”

 

At Kerizinen, Brittany, Our Lady told Jeanne-Louise Ramonet about the great Monarch:

There will be another war .. France is to be invaded and occupied by a Russian army.. I will come down to save France and raise her up again. Presently I shall give her a great leader, a King. She will then experience such a restoration, that her spiritual influence will be predominant throughout the world.”

 

I will cover these Breton lands with my protection visibly. From here must rise a new France, a Christian France governed by that Great Monarch, God’s special envoy, as defender of the Church and of liberty; under whose reign true justice will be rendered.” (Kerizinen)

 

Sister Marie of Christ the King (d. 1968, see Epilogue) was a native of Brittany, and was fully aware of God’s plan to raise a great Monarch. She was told by Jesus:

There will be a king who will be my image.”

 

Her following prayer was blessed by Jesus:

O Jesus, King of kings and Sovereign Ruler of all nations, remember your French nation, your people of predilection. Remember the mission which you have confided to her in the world. Remember the alliance which you have sealed with this nation at the baptism of Clovis, and which you have renewed at the consecration of each one of its Christian kings… Lord, just as in the times of Joan of Arc, give France a truly Christian king who, once consecrated at Rheims, will become your true Lieutenant in temporal affairs, and the Minister of your Holy Will, for the good of the whole nation, the Church, and all of humanity..”

 

Through Sister Marie, Jesus requested a Basilica in Paris dedicated to [* Christ the King- Prince of Peace- Lord of the Nations *]. Here all heads of State will come to honour his Kingship. He said:

My Face will reappear in this place after the Trial.” (From leaflets.)

 

At the time of the Monarch there will be the great Pope – he is sometimes referred to as the Angelic Pope.

Maria Valtorta was told about the Pope by Jesus: “The day is coming when, disillusioned with men, you will turn to the one who is more a spirit than a man, and who keeps just enough humanity to convince you of his presence. His mouth which I inspire, will speak words like those I would tell you, I Prince of Peace. He will teach you the infinitely precious pearl of mutual forgiveness… that only by loving one another as brothers and sisters can you no longer experience the poison of hatred and the tortures of war.” (From The End Times.)

 

At La Salette in 1846, Our Lady told the little boy Maximin Giraud that at the time of (tribulation):

..our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects. Then a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.”

 

Young Maximin Giraud featured earlier in chapter 18, because when he got older he fulfilled an errand for Our Lady. He told the Count of Chambord that he was not to be made king of France, because there was already an heir to the throne. (The last king was executed during the French Revolution of 1798.) The line of successors to the throne are said to have been in hiding, until one of them is called to take on the role of king.

 

In the Glorious Cross messages of Jesus (chapter 15) – at Dozule, the visionary Madeleine was told:

Always be joyful, do not lament over the general cataclysm of this generation… Only after the evangelisation of the entire world, will I return in Glory.”

The period of peace with the great Pope and Monarch, will bring about this evangelisation of the entire world. It will finally fulfil the prophecy of Jesus in St. Matthew’s gospel (24:14):

The good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world for all the nations to know; then the end will come.”

 

Unfortunately during the time of peace, not everyone will want to change (Revelation 9:20-21). That is how things will finally lead to Antichrist.

The period of peace and blessing, will give the world the opportunity to receive the seal of God (Revelation 7:3). This is said to be a sign on the forehead.

It was originally mentioned by the prophet Ezekial (9:4) where the sign was the Hebrew letter tau – which is a cross shape.

People receive the sign of the Cross on the forehead during (catholic) Baptism – ‘In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ In Revelation (14:1) it says that those saved in Heaven, had the name of Jesus (the Lamb) and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.. It shows how important Baptism is!

 

To Maria Valtorta however, Jesus explained: “What is the Tau sign made up of? ..It is not a material sign which will make you immune.. it will be written on your spirits. And it is your own works, your very selves, which will have carved during the life-time of each one of you, that sign which makes you worthy to be saved for Life..”

 

Through Maria Valtorta Jesus also gave advice, concerning how to behave during the period of peace:

All of you my children, set out on this new Exodus towards the new Earth which I promise to you, and which will be your actual Earth, though changed by Christian love. Separate from those who are idolaters of Satan, of the world and of the flesh. Without scorn leave them… But separate from them to avoid being contaminated by them. Love them with the love of redeemers, putting between you and them your faith in Christ as a bulwark. You are not strong enough to be able to live in their midst without danger… Imitate the early Christians. Learn to live in the world but set apart from the world, by virtue of your love for God.” (From The End Times.)

 

This is important advice: at the Warning (Illumination of Consciences) people will have a dramatic experience of Almighty God. It will change their lives, and they must keep that new faith alive: they mustn’t slip back into the old ways. God is giving them the strength to deal with the difficult times, and then carry on into the New Era – the new heaven and new earth. They will be like pilgrims heading for the Promised Land.

The importance of prayer-groups needs to be repeated. This is where people can develop spiritually, and give each other support.

 

At La Salette Our Lady described the peaceful situation following the Warning. It shows the risk of people getting complacent.

And then peace will be made, and mankind will be reconciled with God; Jesus Christ will be served, worshipped and glorified. Charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of the Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious in its poor but fervent imitation of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and mankind will make great progress in its faith, for there will be unity among the workers of Jesus Christ, and mankind will live in fear of God.

This peace among men will be short lived. Twenty five years of plentiful harvest will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the troubles on this earth.”

 

Unfortunately the bad people will secretly organise themselves again. World-wide economic failure was pre-planned, in order for banking to be more centralised, and controlled by an elite of Bankers (read Hope of the Wicked). That control will no doubt continue.

The plan to arrange the world in ten Unions (kingdoms) will continue.

 

At La Salette we were told that the last war will be “fought by the ten kings of the Antichrist, all of whom will have one and the same plan, and will be the only rulers of the world.”

 

Deborah of Manduria was warned about the “ten Emperors” of the Antichrist.

 

At Kerizinen Our Lady said: “Some years after this next war you will meet with another one, but after that the faithful servants of Christ will rejoice in a sweet and just peace..”

The great Monarch will die. Most probably, when the great Pope dies and is replaced, then things go really wrong. An Antipope has been prophesied for a long time (meaning one who is falsely elected). This topic is discussed in the next chapter. It seems likely that he will be the ‘false prophet’ who will prepare the way for Antichrist.

At La Salette we were told that “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.”

 

At Melleray, Ireland in 1985, Our Lady warned “If Ireland does not improve, the Devil will take over the Church.”

 

As explained earlier, Antichrist is expected to be World Leader of a federal World Government. (A federation of ten Unions.) Some early Church Fathers anticipated that his first power-base would be Babylon; this was derived from Zechariah 5:11. Under cover of the Iraq War, close to the ancient site of Babylon (in Iraq) the Americans have built a massive complex – calling it an Embassy.. It is built like a fortress, stands on 104 acres, and can accommodate 1,000 staff. It is ten times larger than any other U.S. Embassy. This does appear to be part of the One World agenda..

 

The whole aim of Antichrist will be to create a world pagan Empire, with occult practices. The Jerusalem Temple will be home to pagan ritual – as it was in former times, as described by the prophet Ezekiel’s vision (8:6-17). The idea is to reproduce the ancient pagan empires, like Rome. Egypt was foremost in its occult practices, and Egyptian gods have had a revival. A pyramid and the Eye of Horus are on the dollar note.

 

In some ancient pagan societies, the kings were worshipped. This is exactly what Antichrist will demand. Since he is ‘possessed’ by Satan, the world will find itself worshipping Satan.

(This is in Revelation chapter 13, where in apocalyptic language – Satan is called the dragon; Antichrist is the beast from the sea; the false prophet is the beast from the land.)

 

The mark or brand of the beast (the micro-chip) was explained in chapter 25. It will somehow give Antichrist control over people. Plus his face on television will no doubt have an hypnotic effect. Without the ‘chip’ people won’t be able to purchase. However it is hoped that during this time food will be miraculously multiplied, in order to sustain those who are obedient to God. (This has happened before.)

 

At Turzovka, Slovakia, in 1958 the Virgin Mary spoke to a peasant man Matus Lasuta. He had visions of what sounds like the time of Antichrist and the Chastisement. Our Lady told him: “My faithful will be without any kind of fear during the most difficult hours. They will be protected by the good angels and will be fed by Heaven.”

 

So Rome will be pagan for a time, but as we were told at La Salette: “Pagan Rome will disappear.”

 

After Antichrist has had his 3^1/2^ years, there will be a dramatic conclusion to his reign. This is when the Chastisement will come upon the world. It is explained in chapter 27 how the Chastisement, Armageddon, and the Day of the Lord, refer to the same episode. Evil will claim its final followers, and Almighty God will rid the earth of sin, during three days of darkness. That means an absence of light from the sun, moon, and stars, possibly caused by volcanoes. However it will all clear after the 72 hours are over.

 

The severity of the Chastisement depends on us, on how we respond to God’s blessing, and how faithful we are. To Gianna Talone in 1989, Jesus said: “My people, do not wait for the Chastisement for the beauty of my Father to be restored.”

 

Sister Natalie of Budapest, Hungary, a stigmatist, wrote:

The world has received the grace of this extension of time before the Chastisement, because the Heavenly Father has received with favour the reparation and self-sacrifice offered throughout the world.”

Sister Natalie received many messages in the 1980’s; they are published in The Victorious Queen of the World.

 

The 3 days of darkness will lead to the resurrection of the Church. It will be a new life, without the presence of Satan, and with a new intimacy with God. This is called the New Era in modern prophecy; it corresponds to the ‘thousand years’ in Revelation (20:1-6).

 

In 1993, when asked what would come later, Ivanka of Medjugorje said: “Heaven on earth!”

 

 

CHAPTER 27

False Prophet – False Church – Chastisement

We know that there will be false prophets during the end of the age. – which is to say – prior to the Second Coming of Jesus, and the new era. The ultimate false prophet however, is the man who will assist the Antichrist. He is a very important figure, who is described symbolically in Revelation chapter 13. (The actual term ‘false prophet’ occurs in chapter 19 v. 20) He appears to be an influential Church leader, and this chapter is written with that point of view in mind.

 

Remember that the things in this chapter will not happen for a number of years. First there will be the Warning – the Illumination of Consciences, followed by the period of peace with a great Monarch, and a great Pope. It is when that Pope dies that things can go wrong.

 

The strongest opponent of Satan is the Catholic Church. It is strong because it maintains the new covenant – through the holy Sacrifice of the Mass (chapter 9). Its leaders – the Popes, have consistently given warnings, and exposed the growing evil in the world. Against the tide of popular opinion they have proclaimed Christian values. It stands to reason therefore that if Satan is to succeed, the Catholic Church must be totally undermined. The most effective way to do that, will be to influence the Papacy. Some people are of the opinion that the false prophet will be a false Pope (i.e. an Antipope, one who has been falsely elected). That idea will be examined here.

 

In the strange language of Revelation (the Apocalypse) the false prophet is described as the “..beast coming out of the earth.” (13:11) “He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.” The interpretation, is that he appears to follow Jesus (the Lamb of God) but the things he says prove he is a follower of Satan (the dragon).

The ancient Jewish High Priests used to wear head-gear (a mitre) that resembled two horns. Later, the catholic bishops adopted head-gear with two ‘horns’ – front and back, to represent the fullness of their priesthood. The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, and he wears the same head-gear – in other words – two horns. It’s an interesting observation..

At the end of his life, Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest followers – Judas Iscariot. Could it be that in the end of the age, the Body of Christ – his Church, will also be betrayed? In Psalm 41 it says: “Even my closest and most trusted friend, who shared my table, rebels against me.” (verse 9) At the Last Supper Jesus quoted from that particular verse (see John 13:18). Is the same verse a prophecy that applies more than once in history? Will Jesus and his Church be betrayed once again, by somebody who has been trusted?

 

St. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to come upon the scene. He was the final great prophet of the Old Testament era. The false prophet will prepare the way for Antichrist, and therefore he will be in a position of influence.

 

What have the saints and prophets been inspired to tell us about this topic?

Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerick was a German nun who had many visions in the 1820’s. She wrote: “I see that when the Second Coming of Christ approaches, a bad priest will do much harm to the Church. When the time of the reign of Antichrist is near, a false religion will appear, which will be opposed to the unity of God and his Church. This will cause the greatest schism (split) the world has ever known.” 1

 

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179): “..when the new Pope is elected (immediately before Antichrist) this Cardinal will kill the Pope before he is crowned, through jealousy, he wishing to be Pope himself; then when the other Cardinals elect the next Pope this Cardinal will proclaim himself anti-Pope, and two thirds of the Christians will go with him.” 2

 

At La Salette in France, 1846 (chapter 18) the Virgin Mary gave warning that: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.”

Take heart however, because in the same paragraph she also said: “God will take care of his faithful servants, and men of good will. The Gospel will be preached everywhere..” 3

 

A recent prophet, teenager Barnabas Nwoye of Nigeria (see Epilogue) said that Jesus told him in 1997: “My children, the possessed Cardinal will fight to rule my Church. Children, during that time the Holy Mass will be banned.”

And: “Pray and never give up. The time of the wicked is at hand. The time when he will rule my Church. My children the wicked man is now in my Church. He is planning with his agents to capture the highest throne in my Church.”

In the writings of Maria Valtorta (see Epilogue) Jesus explains that towards the time of Antichrist: “.. then the idol-shepherd will come, who will be and stand, where his commanders tell him.”

(reference to Zechariah 11:16-17)

 

St. Paul reminded the early Christians concerning Antichrist: “You know what prevents him from appearing until his due time. The mystery of sin is already at work, but he who restrains it at present has to be taken away. Then the wicked one will appear.” (2 Thes. 2:6-8) Down the centuries, God’s appointed leader – the Pope, has been an obstacle to evil. (Not that all Popes have been good.) Antichrist cannot proclaim himself and demand worship, while there is a Pope to rally the people. Therefore the above passage could be interpreted as referring to the Papacy.. which has to be taken away for the wicked one to appear.

 

There is a prophecy in Zechariah which is usually applied to Jesus: “Strike the shepherd and let the flock be scattered!” (13:7) The Pope is shepherd of the whole Church, and this prophecy could be applied again. During the time of Antichrist there won’t be a true Pope in office, the two cannot co-exist – so the flock would be scattered.

 

In chapter 25 it was pointed out that behind-the-scenes, people are forming the basis of a united world religion. Furthermore, for years liberal (modernist) catholics have been holding conferences, in order to oppose the teachings of the Church. Some have been influenced by the New Age movement. They would like to dismantle the Church and make it more ‘modern’. After the great Pope has died, an Antipope would no doubt lead things back in that direction.

Following the Warning, there will be a lot of new catholics around the world. Their roots in Christianity will not be very deep, and they may easily be led astray.

 

What does the Bible tell us about the false prophet? In Revelation it says: “He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast (Antichrist)

And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do, on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth…” (13:12-14)

 

Remember – in chapter 1, it was explained that the appearance of fire coming from the sky, can be achieved by means of satellites and holographic images. It could be seen from a large part of the earth, and would deceive many people.

 

All these possibilities may sound disturbing, but we should remember that good people will have become zealous for God – after the Warning and Miracle, which were explained in chapter 23. It is best to know what is coming, in order to be prepared – that is why God gives us prophets!

Before his crucifixion, Jesus knew that his apostles were going to feel lost, so he told them: “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:35-36)

Perhaps we should take these words as also applying to ourselves. We have the time now to improve our relationship with God. And Jesus reminded us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

 

The beliefs and practices of a false church and false Pope, will ultimately be occult. The New Age influence will be revived. In chapter 25 it was shown that a lot of preparation has already gone into this. In the end, all genuine Christianity will be suppressed – because Satan wants to rid the world of belief in Jesus Christ. Catholic prophets warned of this years ago, but at the time it hardly seemed possible.

 

Blessed A. Katherine Emmerick (d. 1824) is an important prophet (during her life she experienced the wounds of Jesus – the stigmata). Her visions were long ago, but they have since been a warning to the Church. Here we see an overview of the situation:

“I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted to it, in order to be united and have equal rights..” (22/4/1823)

“..It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests…who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps.” (12/4/1820)

I see that the false church of darkness is making progress, and I see the dreadful influence it has on people.” (10/8/1820)

“I saw the secret sect (Freemasonry) relentlessly undermining the great Church. Near them I saw a horrible beast coming up from the sea.” (October 1820) 4

The term ‘beast from the sea’ comes from Revelation, and it represents Antichrist.

 

International Freemasonry has a history of undermining the Church. A catholic is automatically excommunicated if they become a Mason. The Church of England now also says that it is not compatible with Christianity.

To Sister Anna Ali (see Epilogue) Jesus said: “All the great evil concerns are in the hands of Freemasons.. Satan marches triumphantly in the midst of their ranks.”

 

Sr. Jeanne le Royer (18th C.) was quoted in Chapter 4. Here she says: “One day the Lord said to me: ‘..The closer to the reign of Antichrist, the more will the darkness of Satan spread over the earth, and the more will his followers increase their efforts to trap the faithful in their nets.”

“When the reign of Antichrist draws near, a false religion will appear which will deny the unity of God and will oppose the Church. Errors will cause ravages as never before.” 5

 

Ida Peerdeman in Amsterdam (chapter 18) said that Our Lady warned the clergy to be: “..on guard against false doctrines, especially in what concerns the Eucharist.”

The most important aim of Satan – as always, is to destroy belief in the real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist). This is a Catholic teaching, handed down from the time of Jesus. The background information is in chapter 9. The basic belief is that when the priest says the prayers of Consecration during Mass, the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. (The living Jesus is present, and he unites with us in a special way.) As at Calvary, he is offered as a sacrifice to the Father. And as at the Last Supper, we take part in the sacrifice through eating and drinking. The Mass is therefore the highest form of worship, and has a most powerful effect. It is the most effective antidote to evil. When we open our hearts to Jesus in that unique way (plus Confession) then we become resistant to evil. St. Augustine wrote: “We do not change this food into ourselves as we do with our bodily food; but Jesus Christ changes us into himself.” 6

(We grow in his love, peace, and joy etc.)

 

In Catholic churches people go on their knees before the Divine Presence of Jesus: “Before me every knee will bow..” (Isaiah 45:23) Gathered around Jesus in this way, and worshipping him daily, the Church remains united. It is no wonder therefore, that Antichrist will outlaw the holy ritual of the Mass.

 

Satan will raise up the Antichrist for two reasons: firstly to put a stop to the Mass. Secondly he will serve as a medium, to be possessed by Satan, so that he can be worshipped and have world control. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is – in our era – the daily sacrifice that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel. There it says: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290 days.”

(Daniel 12:11, see also 11:31.)

 

You may remember that Jesus quoted those words, when he said: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…” (Matthew 24:15-16)

This was a prophecy that applied more than once. Jesus was warning the Jews – because the Romans were going to destroy the Temple, and desecrate the Holy Place with their own pagan ritual. His followers remembered the prophecy and fled from Jerusalem. Jesus was also warning our own generation, because for us the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ has its meaning. It refers to whatever sacrilege the Antichrist will introduce, instead of the Mass. The problem will last for up to 1,290 days, which is about 31~/2~ years. It will be essential to reject this deception: to split away and find loyal priests who are offering the true sacrifice of the Mass.

 

Another part of Daniel’s prophecy that can be applied to the time of Antichrist is: “With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.” (Daniel 11:32)

If you remember, in chapter 9 it was explained that during the ritual of the Last Supper, Jesus made a covenant (pact) between mankind and God. That pact is maintained by the offering of his sacrifice – which is the Mass. The covenant is violated through disbelief and rejection of the Mass. It is up to us to strengthen the covenant, by promoting the daily sacrifice of the Mass – knowing that God takes it all very seriously.

 

Antichrist will of course alter Church teaching, and relax the moral code. This will be popular with people who have already disregarded the Ten Commandments. Other issues, such as the ordination of women as catholic ‘priests’, and permission for priests to marry, will also find favour among those who don’t understand.

 

It says in the Book of Daniel: “He will consider changing seasons and the Law.” (7:25) In our times that would include changing the Church calendar, which currently celebrates the life of Jesus – through Christmas, Easter, and various holy days. People already try to deny Christmas..

How is it that people will comply with the wishes of the ‘false prophet’ and the Antichrist? Yet again it is what St. Paul said: “If Satan himself goes disguised as an angel of light, there is no need to be surprised when his servants too, disguise themselves as the servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) Initially they will deceive the world, by appearing to be well intentioned.

Eventually people will become disillusioned, and realise that Antichrist is an impostor (St. Hippolytus). At La Salette Our Lady said: “Pagan Rome will disappear.”

 

St. Paul had a lot of experience of adversity, and said: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

St. Paul also said: “This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it.” (Ephesians 5:16)

 

We know from the Bible, that after Antichrist and the ‘false prophet’ have their time of influence, they will be disposed of: “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast, and worshipped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur (Hell).” (Revelation 19:20)

 

 

DAY OF THE LORD’ = ARMAGEDDON = CHASTISEMENT = THREE DAYSDARKNESS

 

What you have read so far, may be enough for some people. The next section will be of interest to those who like to follow Bible prophecy. It deals with the final stage, before the Second Coming of Jesus and the new era.

 

As mentioned, when the true Catholic Mass is abolished, it will have serious consequences. The new covenant, the pact between God and mankind will be broken from our side. This will be the final insult, and God will have little choice left but to punish the earth. (He punished the Jews when they broke their pacts with him.)

Things will reach a climax with the events known as the Chastisement. From all descriptions it corresponds to the ‘day of the Lord’ in the Bible (for example Isaiah 13:9-11).

 

In the Old Testament the ‘day of the Lord’ was a term used for punishment from God. It was usually expressed as a judgement of the Jewish people, for their unfaithfulness. However the descriptions are so extraordinary, that we get the impression the ‘day of the Lord’ is also pointing to an ultimate episode… There will be a judgement of the whole earth, the whole human race – in order to put things right. Because of the descriptions in Revelation and elsewhere, people used to think the day of the Lord must mean the end of the world. However we learn from modern prophecy, and this point should be made clear – that it will be a punishment. It won’t be the end.

 

But don’t we deserve this? Haven’t we been unfaithful.. and hasn’t God been insulted in every way possible. How could Jesus return to a world where children watch pornography, where violence is our entertainment, where his name is used as a swear-word, and so on. We are all to blame, in the sense that we tolerate these things, we don’t pray against them, and we certainly don’t warn people that their souls are in danger. (See Ezekiel 3:18-21)

 

St. Faustina Kowalska (d.1938) is known as the prophet of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her so many times that he was offering mercy to the world. This was in preparation for his Second Coming. He said: “I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force me to do so. My hand is reluctant to take the sword of justice. Before the day of Justice I am sending the day of Mercy.” (See chapter 14)

 

From various prophecies, this Chastisement / Day of the Lord is expected to be a 3-day episode, in which there will be darkness over the whole earth. It will include a show-down between good and evil. In effect it appears to correspond to “..the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14) which refers to Armageddon (16:16). (See chapter 13 of this book).

Amidst a physical shake-up of the earth, a spiritual battle will take place: evil will make its final claims, and all those who continue to oppose God will be lost. Then all evil spirits will be wiped from the earth.

 

This is the time when Jesus said that he will send out his angels: “The Son of man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin, and all who do evil.” (Matthew 13:40-43)

 

In Revelation, this triumph of God is depicted by the appearance of the rider on the white horse (representing Jesus): “Then I saw heaven opened and a white horse appeared. Its rider is the Faithful and True; he judges and wages just wars.. His name is the Word of God (Jesus Christ). The armies of heaven clothed in pure white linen follow him on white horses.. this title is written on his cloak and on his thigh: King of kings and Lord of lords… Then I saw the beast (Antichrist) with the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to fight against him who rides on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured with the false prophet who served it…The two were thrown alive into the fiery lake… Then an angel came down from heaven.. He seized the monster, the ancient serpent, namely Satan or the devil, and chained him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 19:11–20:2)

This is not a literal battle, it is the apocalyptic style of describing the defeat of God’s enemies.

At La Salette (1846) the Virgin Mary predicted:

“…water and fire will purge the earth and consume all the works of men’s pride, and all will be renewed.”

We should focus our sights on ‘all will be renewed’, because this is the purification of the world – ready for the Coming of Jesus and the new era of peace.

 

To Maria Valtorta (d.1961) Jesus said:

Before the apparition of my glory, east and west must be purified to be worthy of the appearing of my Face.” (from The End Times).

 

We must keep in mind, that Jesus will not return until after 3 days of darkness. In the Bible we see how darkness is a feature of the ‘day of the Lord’, for example: “Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light – pitch dark, without a ray of brightness?” (Amos 5:20)

The prophet Joel spoke three times of the darkness, including:

The sun and moon become dark, the stars lose their radiance. The day of the Lord is near.” (Cath. 4:14-15, Prot. 3:14-15)

 

Isaiah wrote: “The day of the Lord is near…. The stars and constellations at night will send forth no light, the moon will not shine; in the morning the sun will be dark as it rises.” (Is. 3:6,10)

 

In the prophet Micah it says: “Therefore it shall be night to you without vision, and darkness to you without divination. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them.” (3:6)

 

In Revelation when the 6th Seal is opened: “The sun became black as a mourning dress..” (6:12) And later it says: “The fifth angel emptied his cup on the throne of the beast (Antichrist) suddenly his kingdom was in darkness.” (16:10)

 

When Jesus was describing the end of the age to his apostles he said: “The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Matthew 24:29)

If for example, an asteroid entered the earth’s atmosphere, the falling debris would burn, and look like falling stars. It could also bring about darkness over the earth, caused by volcanic eruptions. Some people think a comet would cause these effects.. Fortunately however, we have been told by various catholic prophets that the darkness will only last for 72 hours. Afterwards the world will be renewed.

 

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (d. 1837) was an Italian housewife who had amazing spiritual gifts. She foretold: “There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights… It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles… During these three days people should remain in their homes, pray the rosary and beg God for mercy.” 7

 

Sr. Mary of Jesus Crucified (d. 1878) founded a Carmelite convent in Jerusalem. The Vatican has started the process of making her a Saint. She predicted: “During a darkness lasting three days, the people given to evil will perish…” 8

 

Blessed Marie Julie Jahenny of la Fraudais, France (d.1941) was well known for her mystical experiences: “There will come three days of continued darkness. Only blessed candles made of wax will give light during this horrible darkness. One candle will last for three days… Neither wind, nor storm, nor earthquake will put out the blessed candles.” 9

 

Palma Maria d’Oria :^ ^“There shall be a three days darkness.. Blessed candles alone shall be able to give light..”

(From: Voices Visions & Apparitions by Michael Freze)

 

St. Caspar del Bufalo :^ ^“There will be destruction of impenitent persecutors of the Church during the three days darkness..” (From: as above)

 

Amparo Cuevas (a Spanish housewife and stigmatist) was told by Our Lady in 1987: “Take care to guard your blessed objects, my children. They will serve you when the day of darkness comes. During those three days and those three nights, those objects will shine, my child. They will shine no matter where they are.”

(From: as above)

 

Theresa of Vietnam in 1976 was told by Our Lady:

Repent, because the Great Purification is coming.”

And Jesus told her: “My child, I have decided to show my power by three days and three nights of darkness. Mankind’s sins increase day after day.”

(From: Celestial Wonders in Red Vietnam.)

 

Barnabas Nwoye of Nigeria (see Epilogue) was told by Jesus:

I will send my justice to the world.. There will be darkness in the hearts of people, and in the nations of the world for three days.. I will refine the face of the earth. Then comes the Reign of my Glory when all shall be one in me.”

The prophet Hosea wrote:

Two days later he will bring us back to life; on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence. Let us strive to know the Lord. His coming is as certain as the dawn.” (6:2-3)

 

Through Moses, didn’t God tell the people to prepare themselves and be ready to experience him on the 3rd day..

Go to the people and have them sanctified.. and be ready for the third day. For on the third day Yahweh will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” (Exodus 19:10-11) Surely this foreshadowed the revelation of the Second Coming..

 

Why three days of darkness?

Because in the Bible three days’ darkness marked a time of transition (a time of change). These were wonderful events. For example, Jesus was in the dark of the tomb for three days – which was followed by his amazing Resurrection.

St. Paul was in the dark of blindness for three days – and by the end he was tremendously enlightened (Acts 9:1-21).

The ninth plague of Egypt was three days’ darkness, and shortly afterwards the Hebrews made their way to the Promised Land. (Exodus 10:21-23)

 

Another Bible comparison, is that God wanted the Promised Land to be purged (cleaned out) of all those who followed false gods. The Land was intended for his Chosen People (the Hebrews) so that the one, true God, would be worshipped by all.

In our times the whole earth is to be purged, and there will be true worship of God universally, in what we could call the new Promised Land.

 

CHAPTER 28

The Second Coming of Jesus

 

If you find the idea of the Second Coming and New Era too incredible, you may find it more helpful to read the next chapter on the new era before this one.

 

(There are schools of thought concerning the Second Coming of Jesus and the ‘millennium’ – the new era. They will be examined later. Unfortunately a confusion arises because people hear one view and then another. A view which is now out-dated, was that the Second Coming would be immediately followed by the Final Judgement. Then those saved, in their risen bodies on earth, would experience the ‘new heaven and new earth’. However this was formulated centuries ago, when people thought that the earth was at the centre of the universe, etc. With the progress of modern science, the theory lost its credibility. Furthermore, it did not fit with modern prophecy. The topic is difficult, and we needed the revelation of prophecy, in order to interpret the Bible correctly.)

 

For catholics, the only definitive teaching concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, is in the Creed: ‘He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his Kingdom will have no end.’ It will be seen that the Vatican currently allows the publication of prophecy concerning a new era – corresponding to the millennium. This is because “The Holy See has not yet made any definite pronouncement in this regard.” (Cardinal Ratzinger). The new era is expected to occur following the Second Coming of Jesus, and prior to the Final Judgement. We do not know how long it will last.

 

Further discussion on the theory of the millennium, and the issues that it raises, are saved for the end of this chapter.

 

Most people want to read the prophecies, and they now follow. Notice that some visionaries are told that everyone will see Jesus. However, the expectation is that he will remain day to day in the Blessed Sacrament (chapter 9) in a dynamic way.

 

Saint Faustina Kowalska of Poland – you may remember her messages in chapter 14. One of them came from the Virgin Mary: “Your lives must be like mine – quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the Second Coming of God.”

The whole purpose of the Divine Mercy revelation was spiritual preparation, Jesus said:

Let all mankind recognise my endless mercy. It is a sign for the end times, after it will come the day of justice.”

 

Gladys Quiroga of San Nicholas, Argentina (1980’s, see chapter 21) a stigmatist, was told by Our Lady: “Jesus came down to earth because of love, and his Second Coming also shall be for love, to his greater glory. Open your hearts and let him enter. Alleluia!”

 

Maria Esperanza of Betania, Venezuela, a stigmatist (chapter 21).

In the 1980’s Maria said:

We have to be united more than ever, because Jesus is coming. His coming is near..”

And Jesus told her: “Daughter of mine, when I come it will not just be for you. All my peoples will see me.”

 

Alphonsine of Kibeho, Rwanda, in 1981 said: “Mary has come to prepare the world for the return of her Son.. We have to suffer with Jesus, to pray and be apostles for his return.” (chapter 21)

 

At Kerizinen Brittany, in 1959 Our Lady said:

Give thanks to God who sends me to the earth to guide you towards him, and to prepare his reign. My mission is to multiply the children of light, and to gather the consecrated and the faithful in one heart and one soul, as at the time of Pentecost. – So as to usher in the most beautiful era ever seen on the earth, when God will reign as King of Love.” (From the book Kerizinen.)

 

In the Glorious Cross messages from Jesus, at Dozule in Normandy (1970’s, see chapter 15) we were told: “Rejoice for the time is near when the Son of Man will return in glory.”

Only after the evangelisation of the entire world, will I return in glory.” “I will return in glory, and you will see me as my servant sees me.”

 

The next few messages come from Call of the Ages by T. Petrisko.

 

Julia Kim of Naju, South Korea a stigmatist, was told by Our Lady in 1991: “He will come to you on clouds displaying his power, to build his glorious Kingdom. Prepare to greet him with trust, love and faith.”

 

Amparo Cuevos a Spanish stigmatist, was told by Jesus in 1988: “..the Messiah will come, first to redeem the world with Eternal Glory, and afterwards he will come to judge..”

In 1989 Amparo said that Our Lady confirmed:

My Son will become visible to all people of the earth.. Do not think my children, that my Son will not be visible to all mankind.”

 

To Mafalda at Oliveto Citra, Italy (1985) Mary said:

I will engage in the final struggle with Satan, which will conclude with the triumph of my Immaculate Heart in the world, and the coming of the Kingdom of God in the world.”

 

Marthe Robin (d. 1981) was an extraordinary French stigmatist, her Cause for Canonisation is in progress, she was told by Jesus:

In place of the throne of the beast, two glorious thrones will arise, one of my Sacred Heart and the other of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

This means that Jesus and Mary will be greatly loved and honoured.

 

Brother David Lopez of Texas, was very blessed at Medjugorje, and there he claims that Mary told him:

After the Purification (Chastisement) there will be spring. Everything will be green, and everything will be clean. The water will be crystal clear, even the water from the taps in the houses. There will be no contamination in the water, nor in the air, nor in the river.”

 

Maria Valtorta an Italian stigmatist (d.1961, see the Epilogue) is a most impressive visionary. Her extensive, inspired writings have been without flaw. Therefore her prophecy is hopefully as accurate.. it is possibly unique in that it extends right to the Final Judgement. The collection of messages from Jesus, is published with the title The End Times. It is not really suitable for the faint-hearted – being explicit about the future times. Some extracts will now follow:

 

Faithfully and lovingly wait for me and I will come to you with all my gifts. With the gift of gifts: Myself. I will come to redeem and heal. I will come to floodlight the darkness, defeat it and rout it. I will come to teach people to love and worship the eternal God, the Lord Most High..”

I will gather my saints, because a saint is whoever loves me and follows me obediently and faithfully. I will gather them from the four corners of the earth. And for the sake of their love I will forgive people’s iniquities (sins).”

Glory, glory, glory be to the Father, always glory to him, because from him every good comes – and the first Good is I, your Saviour. My reign is not of this earth, according to what reigning means on earth. But it is a Reign over the earth… I will have a real, manifest reign, not only spiritual as it is now – and over few. The hour will come when I am sole and true King of this earth, which I purchased with my Blood… I will evangelise, not as I once evangelised, but with new power..”

I will try to draw all of you to me by showering you with my gifts. Oh my gifts! They will be your delight… your bodies and more so your souls will be fed by my hand, Earth will seem to spring from a second creation.. Your God will work all the miracles to draw to himself the greatest number of living, because I am God of Mercy, of Forgiveness..

But do you think Maria, that so many miracles of Love and so many lights from the Spirit, will convert people to their eternal God? Undeceive yourself.. Instead of acknowledging my Goodness and loving me out of gratitude, they will avail themselves of the well-being I shall give them, to sink lower and lower into the abyss they like..”

 

In those days, as King of Justice and Wisdom, I will scatter the idols of false doctrines.. I myself will replace all the scholars, all the prophets.. because the last education must be free from imperfection, as it must prepare for the Last Judgement..”

The Church will end in holiness as it began in holiness. Liars, betrayers, idolaters will stay outside..” (see also Revelation 21:8)

 

Like a fine-meshed net I will drag behind my Light those who have reached spiritual awareness. But those.. the dead of the spirit.. they will not enter my Light. They will complete their self-corruption..”

 

It is surprising to discover that – in spite of the extraordinary blessings brought by Jesus’ Second Coming, and in spite of the absence of evil spirits – some people will prefer to be selfish and sinful.

 

The difference here however, is that the Church will remain holy and will not be affected by what goes on around. The good people will enjoy the blessings, and be faithful.

 

Now let’s turn our attention to Bible prophecy. Here we want to know if the Second Coming of Jesus will bring a new era of peace.

It’s a delicate area of discussion, because from the early centuries the Church was dogged by a heresy – known as ‘millenarianism’.

This was the theory that Christianity would successfully convert the world, and that Jesus would return in the flesh, to take over and rule the earth for exactly a thousand years. Part of the heresy, was the idea that the ‘saints’ would be resurrected, and would spend their time eating and drinking to excess. St. Jerome (d. 419 A.D.) was scathing about it, and he wrote: “(Those) who expect a golden and bejewelled Jerusalem from heaven, claim that these things would take place in a thousand year reign… that is to say those who long for earthly pleasures.. whose god is their belly.” 1

All this was a pity, because the earliest teachings of the Church had been undermined.

 

There is a useful book called The Triumph of God’s Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. The author is a Church historian, who does believe that there will be a new era; some of the following information comes from his book.

 

He quotes the catholic theologian Jean Danielou, who explains the situation as follows:

“Millenarianism, the belief that there will be an earthly reign of the Messiah before the end of time, is the Jewish-Christian doctrine which has aroused and continues to arouse more argument than any other. The reason for this, however, is probably a failure to distinguish between the various elements of the doctrine. On the one hand, it seems hard to deny that it contains a truth which is a part of the stock of the Christian teaching, and which occurs in the New Testament in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, in 1 Corinthians, and in the Revelation of John.

This truth is that of the Parousia: Christ’s return to this earth at the end of time to establish his kingdom, a belief which was attacked by Marcion, and which Tertullian rightly defended against him.”

(A History of Early Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicea)

 

One of St. Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians – mentioned by Jean Danielou – contains the following:

“This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus… on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people, and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed.”

(2 Thes. 1:7-10)

 

And the other Letter to the Thessalonians:

And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness, that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints.” (1 Thes. 3:13)

 

A Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians was also mentioned: “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:7-8)

In the Acts of the Apostles, there is a passage which makes it clear that the Coming of Jesus was expected to bring about a general change for the better :

“Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, and so that the Lord may send the time of comfort. Then he will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus, whom heaven must keep until the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:19-21)

The ‘time of comfort’ and ‘universal restoration’ sound like some promises made through the prophet Isaiah; for example 65:17-25.

 

When you examine the writings of the apostles and St. Paul concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, you get the impression that they were not certain of how things would happen. St. John wrote: “My dear people, we are already the children of God – but what we are to be in the future, has not yet been revealed. All we know, is that when it is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2)

 

St. Paul wrote: “For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)

They thought that Jesus would return in their own life-time. They knew there would be judgement, but the exact shape of events was vague. Some descriptions – like those above, do allow for the new era (millennium).

We can conclude that if Jesus had been specific, and told his followers that the delay would be two thousand years, plus a big mess to sort out, the early Church would have lost motivation !

Jesus wanted every generation to be alert and prepared, because during the end of the age, we understand that the Church will experience its own ‘crucifixion’. It will be plotted against by the followers of the Evil one. However in imitation of its Lord, the Church will rise to new life – which is the new era.

This is an interpretation of the gospels, which claims that the period Jesus spent after his resurrection, actually pre-figured the new era.

 

Marie Julie Jahenny the French stigmatist was told by Jesus (1882):

The world will be laid in its casket, but.. it will be resurrected in such glory as I was resurrected from my grave. The reign of my peace will be wonderful, and from the rising sun to the setting sun my Name will be praised and will be called on for help. This radiation will be a call to all the nations to come and find refuge in my Heart.. do not doubt the coming victory. If they doubt they offend me.”

 

In Revelation (the Apocalypse) we are told that Jesus will come in judgement (19:11-21) and Satan will be removed from the earth for a thousand years – a millennium (Revelation 20:1-3). The number 1,000 is sometimes used in the Bible, it symbolises a large and significant quantity. As mentioned, there are Christians who believe that the return of Jesus will immediately bring the Final Judgement. Other Christians claim that the ‘thousand years’ represents a period of full and perfect Christianity upon the earth.

 

Modern prophecy predicts the Second Coming of Jesus, and it speaks of judgement – but not the Final Judgement. From this we conclude that the Final Judgement does not concern our generation – we are only told what we need to know.

 

Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi quotes Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) when he informed an author, that the topic of Christ’s millenary reign is still open to discussion:

The Holy See has not yet made any definitive pronouncement in this regard.”

 

In his book Fr. Joseph writes that the expressions “‘the coming of Christ’, or ‘the return of Christ’, although allusive of his final coming in the flesh, are used in several Church-approved private revelations to indicate a spiritual descent of Christ, referred to by St. Bernard as ‘the intermediate coming of Christ’.”

 

Yes, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) wrote:

We know that there are three comings of the Lord. The third lies between the other two.. The intermediate coming is a hidden one; in it only the elect see the Lord within their own selves… in this middle coming, he is our rest and consolation” (page 79)

St. Bernard was being faithful to early Tradition.

 

(Fr. Stefano Gobbi on 24/12/1978, wrote of three comings:

the Second Coming in glory, and the Final Coming for the Last Judgement. This has the Imprimatur.)

 

The Church Father Lactantius wrote: “Therefore the Son of the most high and mighty God shall come.. but he, when he shall have destroyed unrighteousness and executed his judgement, and shall have recalled to life the righteous.. will be engaged among men a thousand years, and will rule them with most just command..”

(The Divine Institutes, Lactantius, Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1995)

 

Fr. Joseph refers to the above expression ‘(He) will be engaged among men a 1000 years.’ He says that it refers not to a physical reign, but to Jesus’ universal reign in the Eucharist. (See chapter 9 this book.) He also points out that during this temporal kingdom, when Christ reigns in the Eucharist, people will continue to work and sleep, to plant and eat.

Let’s now examine the idea of judgement. How does the Bible associate it with the Second Coming of Jesus? Will his Coming bring the Final Judgement, or a limited punishment / judgement of the earth? The point being made here, is that we can expect a punishment, and that the Final Judgement will be reserved for later.

 

It was in St. Matthew’s gospel that we got the strongest impression that the Coming of Jesus would bring the Final Judgement. In chapter 3 of this book, you can find Jesus’ description of the signs of his Coming (Mat. 24:1-42). In St. Luke’s gospel there is a similar account, and in St. Mark. But it is only St. Matthew who goes on to describe the Final Judgement (25:31-46). Why is that? If Jesus had given the whole explanation at one time, why wouldn’t it be included in the other two gospels.. The most likely explanation is that St. Matthew put it there for good effect.

Another point, is that Bible prophecy has to be evaluated as a whole: one prophecy cannot dominate the scene.

 

In chapter 27 of this book, it was explained that in the Old Testament the ‘day of the Lord’ meant a punishment from God. The descriptions are so extreme however, that they are thought to mainly refer to the time of the Second Coming. An example of the ‘day of the Lord’ is in Isaiah 13:9-11. Why we believe that description to be part of the end of the age, is that Jesus quoted from it, when predicting his Second Coming:

“The sun will be darkened, and the moon not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Matthew 24:29)

In the same passage of Isaiah, God goes on to say that he will -

“..punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty, and will humble the pride of the ruthless.” (Is.13:11)

 

In the Old Testament when the day of the Lord meant a judgement of the Jewish people, it was followed by a renewal. The impression from modern prophecy is the same for us: this will be a big shake-up, but it is not the end. It is a judgement but not the Final Judgement. It is a purification, and it will be followed by renewal.

 

In Jesus’ prophecy concerning his Second Coming, he tells us that: “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand-mill; one will be taken and the other left.” (Matthew 24:40-41) This appears to confirm the section in Isaiah, where it says that sinners will be destroyed: “See the day of the Lord is coming… to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.” (Isaiah 13:9) This will be a judgement against evil – but not all will be affected.

In another chapter of St. Matthew’s gospel, Jesus predicts:

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the _*end of the age._ *The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil… then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matthew 13:40-43)

 

In modern prophecy describing the Chastisement / day of the Lord, evil people will die, and so the above predictions will be fulfilled. This will happen during the three days of darkness (chapter 27).

Then the Coming of Jesus will bring into effect the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) The earth will truly become the kingdom of the Father.

So the Second Coming of Jesus commences with a Judgement of the earth. We must remember, that the world will have been under the occult influence of Antichrist – with many people worshipping Satan. It will need to be purified.

In Revelation we have a clear image of Jesus – coming to oppose his enemies. This is the day of the Lord, which is also referred to as Armageddon (16:14-16). It is apocalyptic writing, and not to be taken literally: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war… the armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses… on his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11,14,16)

(N.B. Since the purpose of this battle is to rid the earth of evil, there would be no point to it, if the next instant was the Last Judgement..)

 

It is no wonder that the early Christians looked forward to the Coming of Jesus as a time of ‘salvation’. In the Letter to the Hebrews it says: “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sins, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (9:28)

And Jesus explained to his apostles: “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

Some accounts of the Second Coming, describe Jesus as arriving on the clouds of heaven. The origin of this expression is to be found in the Book of Daniel, where it says: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven… He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. (7:13-14)

Jesus said of himself: “..they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

(Matthew 24:30-31)

 

This is the Parousia, a word which Jean Danielou used earlier. It means the Coming of Jesus to establish his Kingdom. (One Bible translation says that it will happen at the end of the age, another at the end of history, and another at the end of the world…Matthew 24:3) St. Paul’s understanding of the situation, was that he expected Jesus to come in his life-time; he reassured other Christians that when Jesus returned he would bring the ‘saints’ (as they are usually called). St. Paul wrote:

We believe that Jesus died and rose again; and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him (died). According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words… you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.. But you.. are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you.. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, 5:2,4,9-10)

 

The last words above were: “..whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” To be ‘awake’ means to be alive. This is a happy expectation of Jesus coming to dwell among his people. (It is in line with the comments of Jean Danielou earlier.) The event of being caught up in the clouds, and meeting the Lord, will presumably be a spiritual experience. Though of course the new era will be an extraordinary time..

The topic of the ‘saints’ who will be raised, is discussed in the next chapter (1Thessalonians 3:13 & Zechariah 14:5)

 

Jesus predicted that his Coming would be swift: “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27)

Do we expect Jesus to arrive in a particular place? That is a difficult question, because Jesus will not come in the flesh as he did at Nazareth. He will come and appear spiritually so that he is experienced by all mankind. However, many Christians expect Jesus to return to Israel. The reason for this is in the Acts of the Apostles: following his resurrection, Jesus went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, and from there he ascended to Heaven “..He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.. suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee’ they said ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ “ (Acts 1:9-11) (The men in white were of course angels.)

In the Old Testament there is the prediction: “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem… Then the Lord My God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” (Zechariah 14:4-5)

 

Regardless of how this event will unfold, the important thing to look forward to, is the new relationship that mankind will have with God, and that was also predicted through Zechariah: “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” (14:9)

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The expression ‘a thousand years’ (the millennium) does not occur in the Old Testament. It only appears in Revelation (20:2-7). However, we have noted that the 1000 symbolises a period of full and perfect Christianity. It was foretold in the Old Testament in different terms: as a time of extraordinary intimacy with God, and material blessings.

 

Nonetheless the term millennium remains a stumbling-block for some people. Over the centuries they have debated when the millennium should occur – in relation to the Second Coming, either before, after, not at all. In post-millenniumism they thought the Second Coming would be after the 1000 years of peace. In pre-millenniumism they thought the Second Coming would be before the 1000 years. In a-millenniumism there would be no 1000 years at all.

 

In his book The Triumph of God’s Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi gives some background information on the issue. He explains how the earliest Church Fathers, for example Bishop Papias, gained knowledge of the millennium (new era) from the Apostles. But unfortunately during the first century, Jewish converts called Chiliasts got things wrong: this was the beginning of millenarianism. By the second century things were worse, because there was the influence of the Jewish Gnostic heresy. The Gnostic Cerinthus was widely read, and he promoted the idea that Christ would reign in his physical form, for 1000 years, and people would indulge in gluttony and sexual pleasures.

In the 4th century there was an historian called Eusebius. He was good at history but poor at religion. He caused problems down the centuries by claiming that the idea of the millennium had come entirely from the Chiliasts and Gnostics. He was ignorant for example, of the working relationship between Papias and St. John who wrote the Gospel and Revelation. Papias was a bishop from 60-125 A.D., he knew people who had met with the other Apostles.

 

The early Church Fathers who also wrote about a holy millennium were St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, and Tertullian – they feature in the next chapter.

 

Problems with the idea of the millennium, arose again at the Reformation. Protestantism brought new false beliefs. In 1534 the Anabaptists set up their peculiar ‘new Kingdom of Zion’. There was postmillennialism from the Unitarian Daniel Whitby (d.1726) when 1000 years of peaceful Christian reign was anticipated, prior to Jesus’ return. In the 17th and 18th centuries ‘Pietism’ degenerated into carnal millenarianism (carnal pleasures). In pre-millennialism from the 20th century, Christ is expected to appear and to reign for exactly 1000 years. Among some Christians, this is combined with dispensationalism (chapter 13) in the massively popular error of the Rapture.

 

In the Catholic Church, some of the early ‘Pietist’ ideas caught on, and people wrongly believed as the Chiliasts – that Christ would come and reign visibly, in the flesh, for 1000 years exactly. Another misconception, was the idea that the 1000 years of the Holy Roman Empire (800-1800 A.D.) had fulfilled the millennium.

 

In his book, Fr. Joseph points out that it is mainly since Vatican II that some writers have wanted to dismiss the whole idea of a millennium. They use the opinions of Eusebius in order to discredit the beliefs of the earliest Church Fathers.

 

The ideas of St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) have also been used to oppose the millennium. He did give acceptance to the theory of a holy millennium (next chapter) but he opposed Chiliast theories. Augustine liked to use the 1000 years in a symbolic way. He said it could denote the period from the first coming of Christ, to the end of the world; an endless Sabbath-rest of the saints; or the 1000 years could represent the whole duration of the world. Fr. Joseph explains that it became popular to refer to the millennium as a mere symbol: an expression of the time from Jesus’ Incarnation to his final coming for the Judgement.

He also explains – in so many words – that the topic of the millennium is considered a minefield, and many scholars prefer to avoid it altogether. So the interpretation of the millennium as symbolic became the norm in intellectual circles, and any issues were thus avoided. Meanwhile the Traditional belief has been obscured.

 

Fr. Joseph makes the point that prior to Vatican II (1960’s) there were many approved books which:

..detailed the Church’s doctrines as pronounced by her Magisterium (official teaching). We discover the concept of a ‘millennium’, an ‘age to come’, an ‘era’ of peace, or ‘some mighty triumph of Christianity before the end’, treated at length and accepted as sound doctrine.”

 

CHAPTER 29

The New Era of Peace

 

Our expectation of the New Era of peace, comes from the Bible, the early Church Fathers, and from modern prophecy that is acceptable to the Vatican. It corresponds to the ‘thousand years’ in the Book of Revelation 20:1-6 (the Apocalypse). We don’t know how long the new era will actually last, because 1000 is a symbolic number – it indicates a period of full and perfect Christianity.

(The term should not be confused with the ‘New Age’ as described by the New Age movement. That theory is part of the deception of these times, and some explanation about it was given in chapter 25.)

 

This chapter is long, and the first 3 pages may look complicated. There is prophecy further along for those who are interested.

 

The earliest Christians anticipated that the Coming of Jesus would bring about a change upon the earth. This belief was handed down, and expressed by the scholars – the early Church Fathers. The theologian Jean Danielou explains how a transformation on earth was a common basic expectation. He refers to the writings of St. Paul: “1 and 2 Thessalonians show that it was the belief of Christians in Greece, since Paul is content merely to add some precision in detail, and assumes that his correspondents were expecting this earthly reign of Christ. Moreover, the doctrine underlies the various developments to be found in the Revelation of John.” 1

(A History of Early Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicea)

 

Jean Danielou also refers to one of the Church Fathers called Tertullian, who defended the teaching of “Christ’s return to this earth at the end of time to establish his kingdom.” 2

Tertullian wrote: “We do confess that a kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before heaven, only in another state of existence… After its thousand years are over… there will ensue the destruction of the world and the conflagration of all things at the judgement: we shall then be changed in a moment into the substance of angels, even by the investiture of an incorruptible nature, and so be removed to that kingdom in heaven.”

(Adversus Marcion, Tertullian, Ante-Nicene Fathers. 3[_)_]

 

St. Irenaeus lived 140 – 202 A.D. and was Bishop of Lyons. He was taught by St. Polycarp, who in turn had been taught by St. John the Apostle. He wrote:

“So the blessing undoubtedly refers to the time of his Kingdom, when the just will rule on rising from the dead; when creation, reborn and freed from bondage, will yield an abundance of food of all kinds from the heaven’s dew and the fertility of the earth, just as the seniors recall. Those who saw John, the Lord’s disciple, tell us that they heard from him how the Lord taught and spoke about these times… Days will come when vines will grow… And all the animals which use the products of the soil will be at peace and in harmony with one another.” (Adversus Haereses 4 )

(In the above, when it says ‘the just will rule on rising from the dead’, this refers to the ‘saints’ who die during the time of Antichrist.)

 

St. Augustine of Hippo, is mostly quoted as having been opposed to the idea of the ‘thousand years’. However it was the heresy of ‘millenarianism’ that he opposed (see last chapter). The following quotation shows another aspect to his thinking:

“Those who, on the strength of this passage (of Revelation 20:1-6) have suspected that the first resurrection is future and bodily, have been moved, among other things, especially by the number of a thousand years, as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period, a holy leisure after the labours of six thousand years since man was created… (and) there should follow on the completion of six thousand years as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years; and that it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz., to celebrate this Sabbath. And this opinion would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God.” (The City of God 5 )

 

The quotations given so far, raise some interesting points – which will hopefully be explained as we go along.

 

St. Justin Martyr (d. 165 A.D.) was beheaded in Rome. He had defended the Christian faith, and some of his writings were preserved, which include: “…We understand that a period of one thousand years is indicated in symbolic language.”

“But I and every other orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, followed by a thousand years… as was announced by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah and others. These are the words of Isaiah concerning the millennium: “ ‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth..

..They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 65:17-25) (From the Dialogue with Trypho. 6 )

 

Remember that as time went on, Christians realised that God’s words spoken to ‘Jerusalem’ and to ‘Israel’ could also be applied to the Church. In fact in our days they should be applied to the Church, which will include nearly all the peoples of the world. Through Isaiah, God predicts a time of peace, security and happiness.

[Some people think that the Jewish nation and the present city of Jerusalem will receive particular favour from God. However, that is not realistic: the Jews were asked to recognise Jesus as the Messiah 2000 years ago, and that is still what God requires of them (see Luke 16:16, Ephesians 2:13-16). According to St. Paul, the Jews will convert to Christianity at some point (Romans 11:25-26) but unfortunately during the time of Antichrist, they will treat him as the Messiah. They will re-build the Temple.. but it will be used for occult purposes.]

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Luisa Piccarreta Let’s now look at the inspired writings of this 20th century prophet. Luisa lived in southern Italy, she had very little education, and died in 1947, aged 82 years. For most of her life she was bed-ridden, and for 64 years she did not eat or drink – her only sustenance was Holy Communion (the Eucharist).

 

[This phenomenon is God’s way of showing that a miracle really does take place within Catholic churches – that the bread and wine become the living Presence of Jesus (his Body and Blood) and that he is truly the ‘Bread of Life’ – John 6:48-51. In Luisa’s case, her experience helps to confirm the authenticity of the messages from Jesus.]

 

The messages given to Luisa occurred over a period of forty years. The main work is 36 volumes – it was given the following title by Jesus: “The Kingdom of the Divine Fiat in the midst of creatures – Book of Heaven – The call to the creature to return to the order, to the place, and to the purpose for which it was created by God.”

In 1994, the process for making Luisa Piccarreta a Saint commenced, and in that year the Vatican allowed the publication of her writings. It must be said that they are not easy reading, not unless you are familiar with the catholic mystics. It is advisable to read selections – such as the title: “When the Divine Will reigns in souls.” 7

(The main volumes were later withdrawn, for re-translation.)

 

Through Luisa, God wanted to give mankind fore-knowledge, and even a fore-taste of the new era. He explained that mankind was going to recover sufficiently from the Fall of Adam and Eve (see chapter 6) so that the earth would become similar to the Garden of Eden. Until now people have tried to live according to God’s Will – with plenty of failure at keeping the Ten Commandments, etc. In the new era, people will be in such harmony with God, and so happy to live within his blessing, that their will – is going to be united with his.

 

Luisa was told: “..They will feel the life of my Will alive in them, its joys and happiness and its operative and creative power… living in this reality the creature will no longer feel alone..” “If creatures only realised how beautiful is their soul, how many divine gifts it contains, and that it surpasses all created things in beauty, power, and light… If they only realised this! Oh! How the creature would hold itself in the highest esteem, refusing to soil such an immense beauty with even the slightest fault..”

“I love creation so much, that I want them united with my Will to make them fertile, to give them a life of love. In this encounter I find release for my love.”

 

Jesus explained the following to Luisa: “My beloved daughter, I want to make known to you the order of my Providence. Every two thousand years I have renewed the world: In the first two thousand I renewed it through the Flood. In the second two thousand years, I renewed it by my coming to earth and by manifesting my humanity, from which radiated my Divinity in brief instances… Now we are nearing the end of this third two thousand year period, and there will be a third renewal. The general confusion in all things is but the preparation for this third renewal.”

 

Luisa is called ‘the herald of the reign of the Divine Will.’ This is because she herself was taught to live in God’s Will. The invitation was made for others to follow the same teaching, so that society would be aware that a wonderful era is approaching:

“This is why I want the sanctity of living in my Will. In these sad times this generation needs these suns (holy people) to warm it, to enlighten it, to nourish it. The lack of self-interest of these terrestrial angels, working only for the good of others, without the slightest self-interest, will open the way in everyone’s heart to receive my grace.”

“The sanctity of living in my Will, its effects, the worth that it contains, the final touch that my creative hand will give the creature to make him similar to me, is not yet known. This is why it is urgent that all that I have said to you be known. And if you do not do this you would, so to speak, restrict my Will and repress in me the flames that consume me; and cause me to delay the complete glory that creation owes me.”

 

Jesus further explained: “My daughter, you don’t need paths, nor doors, nor keys to enter into my Will, because my Will can be found everywhere… to enter, creatures need but remove the pebble of their own will. Although it lies within my Will, their will does not participate nor enjoy Its effects. It is alien to my Will because that pebble, a soul’s own will, hinders the flow of my Will, just as the rocks on a beach keep the ocean water from flowing everywhere. But if a soul removes the rock of its own will, in that very same instant it flows in me and I in it; and it finds all my goods at its disposal: power, light, assistance and everything it desires.”

 

Naturally the idea of abandoning ourselves to God’s Will in our lives, seems difficult. What we need is trust, and Jesus told St. Faustina Kowalska: “..The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to me, because I pour all the treasures of my grace into them.”

In order to trust, we need to know “..that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)

So in order to live in God’s Divine Will, we start by offering each day and asking for his help and inspiration – to live in his Will. The following is a suggestion: whether the day’s events seem good or bad, learn to say Thank you Lord – or – Praise you, and accept everything as if it comes from his hand. (Some of us only remember to say praise you after we’ve snapped.) But it’s surprising in how many situations, when you look back at the ‘bad’ thing that happened – that it had a good outcome. In that way, by accepting whatever comes, we learn to scale down our own will. It’s that dying to self, which Jesus recommended (John 12:24).

Another thing of course, is to stop the way of praying in which we ask God to do this and do that for us. We are pleasing him when we pray for good spiritual things, but with many requests it’s better to ask for his Will to be done.

 

Jesus told Luisa: “I am preparing the Era of my Will… They shall complete the love, the glory and the honour which all creation owes me; and I will give them astounding graces.”

 

The new era will fulfil the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father): ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

 

In Latin the words ‘Thy will be done’ translate as ‘Fiat voluntas tua.’ (Fiat means ‘let it be done’.) Jesus explained that the first Fiat of God – was Creation. The second Fiat – was Redemption. And now “Oh iniquitous (sinful) world… you are scheming… Yet I am preparing for you an era of Love, the Era of my Third Fiat! You will continue your efforts to banish me, but I will appear ahead of you, to confound you with Love… creatures become ever more perverse in evil! They will go to such lengths as to exhaust evil itself… Yet, while creatures are engaged in following their own way, I will see to it that my Fiat Voluntas Tua is heard and achieves its fulfilment; that my Will reigns on earth in an entirely new way.. Ah yes, I want to totally confound man with Love.” “My daughter, these three Fiats (Let it be done) are the Creative, the Redemptive, and the Sanctifying.”

 

“The generations will not cease until my Will reigns on earth… the Third Fiat will give creatures such grace that they will return almost to their original state. Only when I have seen man as he emerged from me, will my work be complete.”

We will soon experience the ‘period of peace’ that was prophesied at Fatima, and it will be a time of evangelisation (prior to Antichrist). We should take the opportunity of spreading, and practicing, the requests of our Lord – to live in his Will. Ideally people should gather for prayer, and to spread encouragement. The following books will help:

New and Divine Holiness for the Third Millennium by Hugh Owen.

The Splendour of Creation by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi.

 

 

We may wonder how the transition will take place, from our present sinful state – to a unity with God. In the Bible we are told that the ‘day of the Lord’ will be accompanied by fire. Fire represents justice, and we can expect it to be both physical and spiritual (1Cor. 3:11-15). The physical fire will destroy the evil of the world (we can all think of various evils which should be removed). The spiritual ‘fire’, will be the action of the Holy Spirit, purifying and transforming – like a quick Purgatory.

 

God spoke of fire as a means of refining, at the day of the Lord: “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them, I will say ‘They are my people’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” (Zechariah 13:9)

 

In Isaiah we read: “For by fire will Yahweh execute judgement..” (Is. 66:16).

Through the prophet Malachi, God predicted that following the fire: “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” (Ml. 4:2)

 

The ‘day of the Lord’ is explained in chapter 27. It will be well worth the experience – for the ultimate peace and happiness that will follow.

 

Some quotations from the New Testament may now help to confirm the content of this chapter. St. Paul wrote:

“And he (God) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:9-10)

 

St. Paul’s Letter to Titus: “We must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus.” (2:12-13)

 

St. Peter wrote: “..put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)

 

To the Colossians St. Paul wrote: “When Christ who is our life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in glory.” (3:4)

 

To the Romans St. Paul said:

“I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God.” (8:18-21)

 

In Revelation it says – concerning Jesus: “..You were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God, from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

This reminds us of a prophecy in the Book of Daniel – following the destruction of ‘the king’ (Antichrist) it says:

“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.” (7:26-27)

 

Now let’s move on to the Old Testament, where prophets foretold a wonderful era for the Jewish nation. At the time, this was an encouragement to re-build the homeland and Jerusalem, after years of oppression and exile. God promised blessings from his ‘holy mountain’ – which is Mount Zion, on which Jerusalem is built. Some of God’s descriptions are extravagant, and sometimes they clearly refer to more than just the Jewish nation. This was prophecy that applied more than once in history: in our times it applies to the ‘thousand years’ (the new era). For Christians, Mount Zion now symbolises the Church.

 

Quotations from Isaiah that refer to the new era include:

Cry out for joy and gladness, you dwellers in Zion, for great in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is. 12:6)

“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord – as the waters cover the sea.” (Is. 11:9)

Some descriptions are figurative, and not to be taken literally. For example: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat.” (Isaiah 11:6) This is meant to represent the peace and harmony that will exist upon the earth.

 

St. Justin Martyr said earlier, that Ezekiel had also prophesied concerning the ‘thousand years’. That would appear to be the following passage:

“I mean to raise up one shepherd, my servant David, and to put him in charge of them and he will pasture them; he will pasture them and be their shepherd. I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David shall be their ruler. I, Yahweh, have spoken. I shall make a covenant of peace with them… I shall settle them round my mountain; I shall send rain at the proper time; it will be a fertile rain. The trees of the countryside will yield their fruit and the earth its produce; they will feel safe on their own farms.” (Ez. 34:23-27) (Yahweh is a Hebrew word for God.)

When God spoke through Ezekiel, David the king had been dead for hundreds of years. Therefore we conclude that ‘David’ represented Jesus Christ.

Jesus was probably thinking of the above passage when he made a prediction. It can apply to the new era – when all mankind will recognise him as their Lord: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Because of this I give my life for my sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this fold. These I have to lead as well, and they shall listen to my voice. [_*Then there will be one flock since there is one Shepherd._][”*] (John 10:14-16)

 

Within Old Testament prophecy there is the realisation that God will draw very close to mankind, and will reveal ‘his ways’. For Christians, this was largely fulfilled by the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. However this appears to be prophecy that will ultimately apply to all mankind. For example:

“In the last days… many peoples will come and say ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths’… They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.” (Is. 2:2-4)

 

Prophecy given through Jeremiah will be fully realised:

“‘This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’” (Jeremiah 31:33-34)

This reminds us of prophecy in the last chapter, given by Jesus through Maria Valtorta:

In those days, as King of Justice and Wisdom, I will scatter the idols of false doctrines.. I myself will replace all the scholars, all the prophets.. because the last education must be free from imperfection, as it must prepare for the Last Judgement..”

 

Similarly Ezekiel’s prophecy will be truly fulfilled in the new era:

“..I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ez. 36: 25-27)

 

If you remember, a passage from Isaiah (quoted by St. Justin Martyr) began as follows: “Behold I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17) It was clearly implied here, that God is going to do something wonderful: a transformation of the world both spiritual and physical. Furthermore, people will not remember the sad and sinful times that went before. And we know it takes place here on earth – since the prophecy goes on to say:

“ ‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord ‘so will your name and descendants endure. From one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me.’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:22-23)

 

St. Peter referred to the above quotation from Isaiah. He said that it will take place following the ‘day of the Lord’ : “We wait for a new heaven and a new earth in which justice reigns, according to God’s promise.” (2 Peter 3:13)

(In modern catholic prophecy, the day of the Lord corresponds to the Chastisement.)

 

In Revelation, we find reference to the same passage in Isaiah’s prophecy. Then in apocalyptic language, we are told that the ‘new Jerusalem’ (the Church) will come down out of Heaven. This is a way of saying that the Church in the new era will be holy, and God will be wonderfully present.

(If you remember, the Church is called ‘the bride’ of Christ, because he loves his people with the intensity of a bridegroom.)

“Then I saw a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying ‘now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said: ‘I am making everything new!’ “ (Revelation 21:1-5)

 

In chapter 12 it was explained that the above new Jerusalem referred to the early Church. It is prophecy which applies more than once, and now in our times it describes the new era.

 

In this section of Revelation – chapter 21, you will notice that there are two descriptions of Jerusalem. The one above clearly shows how God is coming to his people in a new way – coming to dwell with them on earth. The Church prepared as a bride, is distinguished as the new Jerusalem; it is a new and holy Church on earth. And God will make everything new, as he promised in the Old Testament.

 

[The second description of Jerusalem in chapter 21 is different – now it is called the wife of the Lamb (Jesus). This does sound strange, but it’s the apocalyptic language. The implication though, is that this refers to the heavenly Jerusalem, to Heaven itself where the Church has reached its full maturity. This will be relevant in the chapter on the Final Judgement.]

As mentioned, the reference to a ‘thousand years’ is in Revelation, and here is the actual quotation. It follows on from the spiritual battle of Armageddon (the Chastisement) when evil is wiped from the earth and Antichrist and the false prophet are sent to Hell.

“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:1-6)

 

According to this prophecy, the people who die as martyrs by refusing to obey the Antichrist – will be resurrected at the new era. These martyrs are the ‘saints’ who will accompany Jesus when he comes, as St. Paul wrote: “May he strengthen you interiorly to be holy and blameless before God our Father, on the day that Jesus our Lord will come with all his saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

 

Concerning this period, the theologian Jean Danielou wrote[_:_]

“The essential affirmation is of an intermediate stage in which the risen saints are still on earth, and have not yet entered their final stage, for this is one of the aspects of the mystery of the last days which has yet to be revealed.”

(A History of Early Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicea)

 

Notice how in the last passage from Revelation – above, it clearly said that: ‘the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended’. In other words the Final Judgement takes place after the new era.

 

According to the Bible, the period from Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus, was 4,000 years. It does not matter whether this is accurate, the point is that it has a spiritual value. Add to that 2,000 years, which brings us to the present time (6,000 years). Among early Church members – as mentioned already by St. Augustine – there was the belief that the ‘thousand years’ in Revelation would be the final 1,000 year period (7,000).

 

Caecilius Lactantius (d. 317 A.D.) wrote: “Since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is 6,000 years. For the great Day of God is limited by a circle of a thousand years, as the prophet shows, who says[*:*] ‘In Thy sight O Lord, a thousand years are as one day’ (Psalm 89:4). And as God laboured during those six days in creating such great works, so his religion and truth must labour during these six thousand years, while wickedness prevails and bears rule. And again, since God having finished his works, rested on the seventh day and blessed it. At the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years; and there must be tranquillity and rest from the labours which the world now long has endured.

(The Divine Institutes, Lactantius, Ante-Nicene Fathers.)

 

The same theme is referred to in the Letter to the Hebrews, for example: “There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God: for anyone who enters God’s rest, also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)

 

At the Second Coming, we expect to see the vision of Jesus in his risen body. People will now be in much closer contact with Heaven. As time goes on, perhaps we will see Jesus on special occasions, but day to day it seems that we will have a dynamic relationship with him where he exists already – in the Blessed Sacrament. This is the Eucharist, where Jesus is present in a unique way in Catholic churches (chapter 9).

 

In the past century, phenomena of the Eucharist have increased enormously, at various holy sites. In the ‘miracle of the sun’ (see chapter 13) millions of people worldwide have watched the sun take on the appearance of a host. The early pagan people used to worship the sun. Now God is using it to display his promises and power. Various visionaries have seen phenomena of the Eucharist. Most importantly, Ida Peerdeman in Amsterdam saw phenomena for 25 years – which she recorded in Eucharistic Experiences. In Japan, Sister Sasagawa also had extraordinary experiences (chapter 21). All this has been preparing us for the new era.

 

Fr. Stefano Gobbi is an Italian priest who claimed to receive prophecy from the Virgin Mary (during 1972-1997). His writing is included here because it summarises the above points, and because it has the Imprimatur – which is to say that it does not offend Church teaching.

Our Lady says: “The triumph of my Immaculate Heart cannot take place except in the triumph of my Son Jesus, who will reign once again in the hearts, the souls and the lives of each person and nation.. His glorious reign will shine forth above all in the triumph of his Eucharistic Person, because the Eucharist (Holy Communion) will once again be the heart and centre of the whole life of the Church.” (176)

 

“The Holy Spirit will come down like fire, but in a manner different from his first coming. He will be a fire which will burn and transform everything; which will sanctify and renew the earth from its foundations. He will open hearts to a new reality of life, and will lead all souls to a fullness of holiness and grace. You will know love so great, and a holiness so perfect, such as you have never known up to now… Humanity will come back to being a new garden of life and beauty, and the Church a family enlightened by the truth, nourished by grace, consoled by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus will establish his glorious Reign. He will be with you and you will know the new times, the new era. At last you will see a new earth and new Heavens.” (357) 8

 

Here is a little more from other visionaries..

An Italian priest Msgr. Octavio Michelini (d. 1983) was told by Jesus: “My son I assure you once more of the hour of cleansing, after which a new sky, a new earth, and a new Church will arise. It will be obvious to all that my Mother, the Queen of Victory, will have intervened decisively. Obvious also will be my glory and my power, the glory of the true God and true Man. A new epoch in the history of mankind will have its beginning.” 9

 

Barbara Centilli in the U.S.A. (see Epilogue) formed a close relationship with God the Father, and received many messages. Here he explained about the new era:

It is all quite simple. Before, you took refuge in your Mother’s Immaculate Heart. She was truly in my Divine Will and so in me, and I in her. Now it is time to recognise that in being safely in her heart, you are in me, your Father. The process, a roadway leading to me. Mary your Mother, is in the Heart of my Son who is in my Heart – One contained in the Other. How is it possible? Through my Holy Spirit.”

 

And: “There is not much time, little one. Draw this world into the Heavenly Paradise of my Divine Will. Heaven and earth will touch..”

Mankind stands inside or outside my Will. There is no middle ground, no in-between… Let all know that their Heavenly Father awaits them – I am prepared for their homecoming. My wish is that not one of your brothers or sisters is lost along the way. Hold the Standard high. And do not hesitate to minister to stragglers. Coax them with my loving words that seep into the hardest of hearts.”

Do you not believe I have the Will to make all things new and good?”

(From The Face of the Father by Thomas Petrisko)

 

Sister Natalie of Hungary in the 1980’s wrote:

Jesus showed me in a vision that after the cleansing, mankind will live an angelic and pure life.. The Saviour showed me that unceasing love, happiness and divine joy will signify this future pure world. I saw the blessing of God abundantly poured out upon the earth. Satan and sin were completely defeated and took leave.. After the Chastisement.. everybody will know his or her duty; thus titles won’t be needed. The title of the priest will be ‘brother priest’, and even the Pope will be called ‘brother Pope.’

I saw that when the glorious peace arrives and love reigns, there will be only ‘one fold and one shepherd’. Mary the Mother of all believers, will guide the life of the souls.. Her Heart will direct the whole world till the arrival of the Last Judgement.”

(From The Victorious Queen of the World)

 

CHAPTER 30

The Last Judgement

 

The Last Judgement is not the topic of present day prophecy, and therefore we assume that it does not affect our generation. The people who experience the New Era, will no doubt receive prophecy that will guide them in those final years. It is included here in order to make the distinction between the time of the Second Coming of Jesus (the Parousia), and the time of the Final Judgement.

 

In the Bible, the last episode of history is described in Revelation as follows: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilise them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; they will come swarming over the entire country and besiege the camp of the saints, which is the city that God loves. But fire will come down on them from heaven and consume them. Then the devil, who misled them, will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur (hell) where the beast and the false prophet are..” (Rev. 19:7-10)

If you remember, the thousand years is a symbolic number: we don’t actually know how long the new era will last. Also, this is the apocalyptic style, therefore it should not be taken too literally

 

So that we are not left completely without information – there is one prophet who does have messages about the end times. This is Maria Valtorta who features in the Epilogue. The book of her writings called The End Times is complex, and best suited to priests.

 

The explanations in the book, add to the spiritual understanding of what will happen. They don’t throw any light on the way of life at that time, etc. The comments of Jesus from the book, firstly concern the new era:

That period of well-being of which Joel spoke (2:18-3:5) is the announcement of what a long time later, John spoke about in his Apocalypse.. I will try to draw all of you to me by showering you with my gifts. They will be your delight! You will not experience hunger, slaughters, disasters.. I will have my Spirit flood over you and penetrate into you, and give you the supernatural sight of God’s decrees. It will be the Kingdom of the Spirit, the Kingdom of God, which you ask for in the ‘Our Father’..”

 

But as people over the centuries did not welcome the isolated Voices which spoke about Good.. likewise people will be deaf, always deaf – except those marked with my sign – my most beloved friends who aim at following me.. When the last attempt has been made, Satan will come for the last time, and will find followers at the four corners of the earth, and they will be more numerous than the sand of the sea.”

 

The Satanic period will be.. short because for those living at that hour, the whole Church triumphant will pray amidst the lights of Heaven.. Those will be saved who.. know how to be shielded by the tabernacle from which all strength springs, because I am the Strength of the living, and whoever feeds on me with faith and love becomes one with my Strength…

And what more could I have done for you, O children of God who preferred to wander far away from the Father’s house, and sell your divine son-hood and daughter-hood to God’s Enemy? Do not say that I, powerful, could have prevented Evil from laying snares for you, and could have made you good by my authority. In that case you would have been less deserving than a blade of grass..”

 

I will undertake the last sorting-out of those living on the earth. And this will take place during the last unleashing of Satan. Then it will be seen who has the Kingdom of God within, and who has the kingdom of Satan within.”

 

Many think that from the moment of the end until the universal Judgement, there will be only an instant. But God will be good to the very end, O my daughter. Good and just.

Not all the people living at the last hour will be holy, and not all will be damned. Among the holy ones, there will be those who are destined to Heaven but have something to pay for.. Therefore (they).. will go into the purifying fire. Meanwhile, justice and the end will come for other planets, and one by one the stars shall die out in the sky..”

 

Time will cease and the Judgement will begin, the Judgement that forever divides Good from Evil after thousands of years of cohabitation on earth. Then God’s mystery shall come to an end. Then you shall know God. Everyone, everyone from earth, from Adam to the last born, gathered like grains of sand on the dune of the eternal country, shall see the Lord God, Creator, Judge, King.”

I shall come with my glorified body to gather creatures.. I shall judge in my brilliant appearance of glorified flesh – the bodies of those come to life again for the Last Judgement. I shall return forever to Heaven, after condemning to eternal death the flesh that did not want to become spirit. I shall return to Heaven as resplendent King of a resplendent people. In these, the work of the Father, of the Son, of the Spirit shall be glorified with the creation of the perfect human body, such as the Father made it in Adam. Beautiful with indescribable beauty; glorified with the redemption of Adam’s seed by the Son’s work; glorified with the sanctification wrought by the Spirit.”

 

Revelation contains the following description of the Last Judgement: “After that I saw a great and splendid throne and the One seated upon it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the Book of Life was opened, and other books. Then the dead were judged according to the records of these books, that is, each one according to his works.” (Rev. 20:11-12)

 

Other Bible passages which refer to the Last Judgement, mainly describe Jesus as being seated in order to judge:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.” (Matthew 25:31)

..When all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory..” (Matthew 19:28)

.. you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)

We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God..” (Romans 14:10)

 

The description which Jesus gave to the apostles, of the Final Judgement, is as follows:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate mankind one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right hand: “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

Then the virtuous will say to him in reply: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?”

And the King will answer: “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

Next he will say to those on his left hand: “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”

Then it will be their turn to ask: “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?”

Then he will answer: “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

 

St. Paul gives an explanation of the resurrection at the end of time (our belief in the resurrection of the dead is expressed in the Creed). He wrote:

Some of you will ask: How will the dead be raised? With what kind of body will they come?

You fools! What you sow cannot sprout unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body of the future plant – but a bare grain of wheat or any other seed, and God will give the appropriate body, as he gives to each seed its own body…

It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in decomposition; it will be raised never more to die. It is sown in humiliation, and it will be raised for glory. It is buried in weakness, but the resurrection shall be with power. When buried it is a natural body, but it will be raised as a spiritual body. For there shall be a spiritual body, as there is at present a living body…”

(1 Corinthians 15:35-44)

 

St. Paul also wrote: “Then the end will come, when Christ delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, after having destroyed every Rule, Authority, and Power (evil spirits). For he must reign and put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. As Scripture says: God has subjected everything under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-27)

 

In Revelation chapter 21 there are two descriptions of Jerusalem –which represent the Church. We noted already, that the first description is of the Church of the new era – it is the dwelling of God among men. (Rev. 21:1-8)

 

The second description should follow on from the Final Judgement (Rev. 20:11-15) because an angel says:

“‘Come I am going to show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Jesus).’ He took me up in a spiritual vision to a very high mountain, and he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, and endowed with the glory of God. It shines like a precious jewel the colour of crystal-clear jasper… Nothing unclean will enter it, or anyone who does what is evil and false, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:9-11, 27)

 

This is the fulfilment of the last chapters of Revelation, and the end of the Bible. It is the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22) it is Heaven itself. We see that, because the Church has reached full spiritual maturity – the mystical marriage. It is endowed with the glory of God.

 

The remaining passages of chapter 21 to 22:5 use symbolic language; after all – how could Heaven be described!

On the holy city’s twelve foundation stones are the names of the twelve apostles, and the city walls are said to be decorated with twelve precious stones. These particular stones were worn by the High Priest in the Temple, attached to his breast-plate. This reminds us of the spiritual origins of the Church.

Then the angel showed me the river of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” This represents the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit. “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face.. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.”

 

Heaven is for everyone – that was discussed earlier. But whether people realise it or not, Jesus Christ – because he is God and Saviour, is the means of attaining Heaven.

 

In Revelation, Jesus finally says:

Very soon now I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to everyone according to what they deserve. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life, and can come through the gates into the city.”

(Revelation 22:12-14)

 

EPILOGUE

Heavenly Requests and the Period of Peace

 

The period of peace follows the Warning (the Illumination of Consciences) and it comes before the rise of Antichrist. According to prophecy, it will be a unique episode in the history of Christianity. People world-wide will realise that Jesus Christ really is the Second Person of the Trinity, and they will want to practice the Faith.

 

This time of peace was predicted at La Salette in 1846, and Our Lady said it would last about 25 years. At Amsterdam (chapter 18) we were promised that the final Marian Dogma would bring true peace.

 

This chapter is about deep and rich truths of the Faith, which Almighty God wanted to convey to us through prophets – and which have been largely ignored. The world was not receptive, it was too busy being liberal, and materialistic. These deeper truths mainly concern Jesus Christ. Since he is God incarnate, everything about him is important, and we have not given devotion to all aspects of his Person. What does devotion mean? It’s when we think more often, and more deeply, about a spiritual topic. There are also messages concerning the Virgin Mary.

 

The following list gives an historical outline of the topics which Heaven requested us to appreciate more fully. Some have already been explained in this book – so the relevant chapter is indicated.

 

1674 The Sacred Heart of Jesus (chapter 14)

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Immaculate Heart of Mary (chapter 20)

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Holy Face of Jesus

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Holy Wounds of Jesus

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Sacred Head of Jesus

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p<>{color:#000;}. Living in the Divine Will (chapter 29)

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Immaculate Heart & the Consecration of Russia (chapter 21) First Saturday devotions

The Two Hearts united

1920 Christ the King – Lord of the Nations

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Holy Face of Jesus

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Divine Mercy & Image (chapter 14)

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p<>{color:#000;}. God the Father of All Mankind

1940 Final Marian Dogma (chapter 18) Lady of All Nations

1945 The 3 year ministry of Jesus

1950 The Two Hearts of Jesus & Mary

1972 The Glorious Cross (chapter 15)

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p<>{color:#000;}. God the Father – our consecration

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p<>{color:#000;}. Living a True Life in God, & Christian Unity

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p<>{color:#000;}. Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Hidden & Mystical Wounds of Mary

Living with the Holy Family

The Holy Innocents (aborted babies)

1992 Mary Mediatrix of All Graces

1995 The Precious Blood of Jesus

 

Readers who were not raised in the Catholic faith will find some of the above ideas very strange. That is why this chapter is placed at the end of the book. It may be worth trying to read the explanations however, because there are prophecies included. Furthermore, some topics are expressed in beautiful spiritual writing. There is only limited time in which to spread these devotions around the world.

 

The Precious Wounds of Jesus

This devotion was given to a French nun, Sr. Mary Martha Chambon in 1867. She wrote: “The triumph of the Church will be hastened by devotion to the five wounds and precious Blood of Jesus.”

Jesus had requested prayers to acknowledge the wounds of his crucifixion; they are said using Rosary beads. The prophet Isaiah reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe:

Yet ours were the sorrows he bore, ours were the sufferings he endured.. Destroyed because of our sins, he was crushed for our wickedness. Through his punishment we are made whole; by his wounds we are healed.” (53:4-5)

 

The Sacred Head of Jesus

Around the 1880’s a saintly English woman called Teresa Higginson was a stigmatist. Her humble life story and spiritual writings are described in: Teresa at St. Alexander’s Bootle by Allan Boyle, or By God’s Command by Bernadette Hurndall.

Some of her visions were apocalyptic. Their main content however, is a revelation of the human/ Divine nature of Jesus. He appeared to her, and explained how his Sacred Head was the seat of his soul and his Divine Wisdom. He wanted this to be recognised and honoured. Concerning the end of the age, Teresa wrote:

When these things have passed, there will be very few who do not have this sign upon their foreheads. The sign which marked the saved was the sign of his Wisdom which he said ‘should be duly and publicly worshipped.’”

Teresa was told to take note of Revelation (22:4) where it says: “They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads.”

 

The Holy Face of Jesus

This was a spiritual revelation given to two nuns. The first was Sr. Mary Peter, a Carmelite living in Tours (d.1848). Her story and spiritual writing is contained in The Golden Arrow (TAN).

Jesus made it clear to her that God is displeased with the way the first three Commandments are broken. These are: do not put false gods before Me; Sunday is the Lord’s day; do not disrespect God’s holy Name. Jesus explained that to dishonour God’s Name, is to repeat the dishonour which he received personally during his last hours. He said that a special respect should be given to his holy Face, in order to make amends for the disrespect of God’s Name. (Think how people swear, and misuse the names Jesus Christ and God.)

A prayer called The Golden Arrow (of love) was dictated by Jesus, for us to say.

A widower called Louis Dupont knew Sr. Mary Peter; after she died he made a shrine to the holy Face of Jesus in his home. There were so many miraculous healings, that people flocked to his house and Tours became famous. As a result Pope Leo XIII approved the devotion in a Papal Brief, in 1885.

In Revelation it says that people “ had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (14:2)

 

The second nun was Sr. Pierina de Micheli in Italy (d. 1945). Her experiences occurred at the time when the clear image of the holy Shroud was discovered; the holy Face was now visible for all to see. Jesus appeared to her, revealing the sufferings of his last hours. He said: “.. I have given my Heart as a visible object of my great love for mankind, and I give my Face as a visible object of my sorrow for the sins of mankind. I desire that it be honoured by a special feast on Shrove Tuesday. The feast will be preceded by a Novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, uniting themselves with my sorrow.”

 

Jesus also requested particular devotion on Tuesdays, plus a medal showing his holy Face. Our Lady told her: “This medal is an armour of defence, a shield of strength, a token of the love and mercy which Jesus wishes to give the world..”

Jesus said: “Rejoice my daughter because the hour approaches when the most beautiful work under the sun will be born.”

In the Old Testament it says:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace..” (Numbers 6:22)

Internet information is available at the Holy Face Association (U.S.A.). They publish The Treasure of the Holy Face of Jesus, etc.

 

The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Berthe Petit a stigmatist living in Belgium, received various messages from Jesus. In 1911 he told her:

The Heart of my Mother has the right to be called Sorrowful, and I wish this title placed before that of Immaculate… she has earned it by her identification with my sorrows, by her sufferings, by her sacrifices..”

Devotion and Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

To the Fatima visionary Sister Lucia, Jesus said:

..I want my entire Church to know that this favour was obtained through the Immaculate Heart of my Mother. So that it may extend the devotion later on, and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to my Sacred Heart.” (Letter 18/5/36)

 

In 1925 the Virgin Mary appeared to Sr. Lucia and said: “Look my daughter at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful people pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me: say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

 

Christ the King

During the 1920’s, a young French nun was given the name of Sister Marie of Christ the King. She had visions of Jesus dressed in fine robes, with a crown, carrying a globe on which rays from his Heart were poured out. Her calling was explained by our Lady: “You will be the reparatrix for the outrages committed against my Son who is the King..” “You will make his Kingship loved and you will bring about his Reign.” This little nun was then treated as an outcast by the Hierarchy all her life. She was told by Jesus that in Paris he wanted a Basilica constructed, and dedicated to Christ the King – Prince of Peace – Lord of the Nations. Here all Heads of State would come to honour his Kingship. A building was started, and later pulled down. Jesus told Sister Marie:

My face will reappear in this place after the Trial. My heart continually seeks to be known, to be loved by the whole of humanity as King, Prince of Peace and Lord of the Nations..” Jesus also dictated a Prayer to Christ the King.

This nun is also associated with prayer for the rise of the great (French) Monarch, descendent of Louis XVI.

 

God the Father of All Mankind

In 1932 something extraordinary occurred, in that God the Father spoke to a nun and appeared to her in human form. This was Mother Eugenia Ravasio, and the event was the only time in the history of the Church that a vision of the Father has been authenticated. It is published as The Father Speaks to His Children.

 

God the Father said many things, including: “Why are you so surprised by what I am saying? Did I not create you in my image? I did this so that you should find nothing strange when you talk on familiar terms with your Father, your Creator, and your God. For you have become the children of my fatherly and divine love through my merciful goodness.”

..do not think of me as that frightening old man whom men ` depict.. No, no, I am neither younger nor older than my Son and my Holy Spirit.. I would like everybody, from the youngest to the oldest, to call me by the familiar name of Father and Friend. For I am always with you..”

Know also that I wish to be known, loved, and above all, honoured. May everyone recognise my infinite goodness towards all mankind, and especially towards sinners, the sick, the dying, and all those who suffer. Let them know that I want only one thing: to love them all, to give them my grace, to forgive them when they repent, and most of all, to judge them not with my justice but with my mercy – so that all may be saved and numbered among my elect.”

The Father requested a feast day, on which he should be honoured as the Father of All Mankind. He also asked for a picture to be made, of how he had appeared: “I desire that the tangible sign of my invisible presence be a picture to show that I am really present.”

Barbara Rose Centilli is an American woman, with whom God the Father communicated in the 1990’s. (She had the support of her bishop). The Father again requested a feast day – on the first Sunday in August. He also requested an octave of prayer leading up to the feast, culminating in personal consecration to the Father. The messages are published as Seeing With the Eyes of the Soul by St. Andrew’s Productions.

 

The messages included the following: “Come to me my little ones. Come back to your Father who loves you. Night approaches and surely you will be lost. Approach now while there is light. Come by the Light. Follow my Son home. He gathers up my children… The return of my children is your Mother’s triumph. All my children must return unhindered to their one True God and Father. Then my Kingdom will have come on earth as it is in Heaven. This process will be gradual, but it must begin now..”

Make my presence known through the Consecration and Feast Day. I am coming. Prepare yourselves.”

It is what the Feast accomplishes – the return of my children to their Father! This cannot be accomplished with limited and temporary honour given to me at one Mass on one Sunday a Year. No, this is much greater than one act… this is the final step toward the new era, a new relationship with their Father and God.”

 

The Three Year Ministry of Jesus

The Poem of the Man-God is the title of revelations given to Maria Valtorta in Italy, in the 1940’s. Maria was an invalid & stigmatist, who was given visions and messages on the 3 year ministry of Jesus. Through Maria we have an extraordinary fly-on-the-wall experience of what happened from Jesus’ Baptism to his Ascension. Didn’t St. John say: “ But Jesus did many other things; if all were written down, the world itself would not hold the books recording them.” (John 21:25) That is why this writing is so long, it consists of 5 thick volumes. But it is so inspiring, so perfect, so full of accurate theology, that you don’t want it to end. Of course it has been checked for accuracy, and when Pope Pius XII read it he said:

It is magnificent. Get it printed, the people will understand.”

 

This writing does not detract from the Gospels, rather it fills out the background information, so that all the characters come alive. The Gospels contain snippets of Jesus’ sermons, whereas here we are able to sit among the crowd, and look and listen to all that took place. The character of Judas becomes clear: he was a rich and arrogant young man, who followed Jesus for the wrong reasons – thinking he would become a powerful Messiah. Jesus knew his heart, and spent endless time and effort in trying to help him change.

Mary Magdalene was a wealthy prostitute, accepted among Roman high society. Her sister Martha and brother Lazarus suffered greatly through her defiance. They were a rich and powerful family, their father having been Roman, and their mother Jewish. Lazarus died from a bone disease; his resurrection scene is very dramatic!

Some modern films try to portray Mary Magdalene as a young hippy companion of Jesus. Anyone familiar with Eastern society would know how that was impossible. Jewish women behaved then, in a similar way to our Moslem societies: they kept their heads covered with a veil in male company, and avoided being alone with men. When Mary Magdalene converted, Jesus sent her straight to his Mother, where she completely changed her ways. She was allowed to follow Jesus for a very short time, with the other women. In general the female disciples spent little time with Jesus, because his mission was too arduous. He and the apostles were always on the move, walking from town to village, across mountains, across rivers, sleeping anywhere.

 

This is modern writing (‘flowery’ in the beginning) it reaches modern people. All the nonsense of liberal tampering with the Bible, is swept aside and the record is set straight. Maria also received revelation on other topics, which is published in other books. The messages called The End Times have great breadth; she is probably the only prophet to give information right up to the Final Judgement.

When her span of writing was over and finished, poor Maria descended into a form of dementia. (Some Church members have tried to hold that against her.)

 

The Two United Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Down the centuries holy people have recognised the unity between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. To St. Brigid in the 14th century Mary had said: “Jesus and I loved each other so tenderly on earth that we were one Heart.”

Also: “Oh how gladly would I have allowed them to entomb me alive with my Son, if it had been his will! I can truly say that when my Son was entombed, there were two Hearts in one sepulchre..”

Since 1830 the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary have been displayed together on the Miraculous Medal (chapter 18).

 

Possibly the most important exposition of this devotion was given at Kerizinen, in Brittany, France. The visionary was Jeanne-Louise Ramonet (d.1995) an uneducated peasant woman. Her experiences lasted 27 years, from 1938-65. Initially Our Lady appeared, and gave messages on various topics. Then in 1955 Our Lady said:

Yes the times are grave. Nations and governments are united against God and Christ… But to rescue these nations without foundations, these peoples in utter rout, I request that the world be once more consecrated, but now to our Two United Hearts. Ah yes! Let your families, your nations and the whole world be consecrated in the very same consecration, to the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus, and to my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart: to our Two Hearts United in the Holy Spirit.

 

.. but this Reign will only begin to be realised universally when it is first in the interior of your own hearts. It is inside yourselves, in the secret sanctuary of your souls, that we want to place the foundation of our divine reign.”

 

Jesus then appeared wearing brown robes, his bare feet and hands had the stigmata. He said nothing, but he and Our Lady opened their mantles to reveal their Hearts (which were wounded). Their Hearts were then joined by the same sword and the same luminous rays. From the Heart of Jesus there also issued red and white rays, according to the Divine Mercy image (Chapter 14. The Divine Mercy messages were suppressed at that time).

From then on, when Jesus and Mary appeared together, their Hearts were joined by the same sword and the same luminous rays.

 

During another vision of Jesus and Mary, Our Lady said:

.. But to bring into being this double reign of Love, ask that an image of our Two Hearts thus united, be made… This remedy – the devotion to our united Hearts – will be the sign of the mercy which we will extend to the world in these last times. The souls who will contemplate the picture of our Hearts, will participate in our sufferings and will feel the need to love and make reparation.”

(In 1970 a picture was made, & in 1973 a medal followed. Both picture & medal have brought numerous conversions, healings, & blessings.)

The relevance of this devotion to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary, is that it prepares us for the New Era (the millennium). At that time the Heart of Jesus will be worshipped in the Eucharist, and we will acknowledge the Reign of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary united in the Holy Spirit.

 

Miraculous healings took place at Kerizinen from 1949, and in 1952 a healing spring of water appeared. In the small oratory there were crutches left behind, and hundreds of notices of thanks for healing. A large oratory has now been built. In 1975 the bishop and the local priest sent dossiers to Rome. The matter is still under consideration. In 1969 the Vicariate of Rome approved a Prayer of Consecration to the Two United Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

 

Another important aspect of Kerizinen, is that the visions and messages draw together features of other apparition sites. You could say that a summary of messages is presented. For example: the Sorrowful Heart of Mary; the devotion to the Sacred Wounds of Jesus; the Divine Mercy messages; the ‘miracle of the sun’ as seen at Fatima, took place. Then there is teaching which refers to the Tribulation; the Warning; the period of peace; the time of Antichrist; the new era. There is explicit reference to the Great Monarch. And there is profound teaching on the Eucharist.

 

In 1955 Our Lady requested an Association of the Children of Mary: “..It will be the work of my love. Its members should recite the meditated rosary daily. Their motto will be ‘EVERYTHING FOR JESUS THROUGH MARY’, and the purpose: to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus through my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, by practising the three great virtues of HUMILITY, KINDNESS, AND MERCY Those members will be the blessed of my Heart! ..They will eventually become so numerous that I will request the foundation of a Congregation of nuns of my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.”

(In the messages of Our Lady at the Rue du Bac, Paris, in 1830 (chapter 18) there was also a request for an Association of the Children of Mary. Jeanne Louise was not a member.)

 

Way of Divine Innocence

The Divine Innocence messages were given to an English woman Patricia de Menezes (of Surbiton, Surrey) from 198 . The visionary is a convert to Catholicism, who after her reception into the Church was surprised that the Virgin Mary spoke with her. In the early encounters, Mary taught Patricia the Faith in more depth. Later on, she revealed how Jesus the Divine Innocence wants to heal our personal ‘crucified innocence’. Which is to say, all the things in life which have hurt us. He also wants us to look after each other, as if we were members of the original Holy Family of Nazareth.

In that way, through reading the messages we come to a deeper understanding of how to value ourselves, and other people. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are the models.

In other mystical passages, Jesus also leads the soul into deeper communion with God.

 

The messages are not apocalyptic, but in this author’s opinion, they should be regarded as preparation for the new era. In the new era (after Antichrist and the Second Coming of Jesus) nearly everyone will live in the Divine Will. Human relationships will be pure and loving – like the Holy Family. And the Novitiate of the Holy Family starts now!

 

The Hidden and Mystical Wounds of Mary

Patricia de Menezes was also given teaching on Our Lady’s Hidden sufferings. Some of the early Church Fathers recognised that Mary during the remainder of her life, had experienced the invisible stigmata (the wounds of Christ). In our times, Jesus wants us to acknowledge this. He requested a feast in honour of the Hidden and Mystical Wounds of Mary, to be celebrated on August 17th.

 

The Holy Innocents

Prior to her conversion, Patricia had two abortions. It was now revealed to her, that God wants aborted babies to be recognised by the Church. They are little victims, who should be numbered among the Holy Innocents. This act of recognition and honour, will send a profound message to the world..

 

Study the Faith

A further request made to Patricia was that everyone should study the Faith to greater depth. Jesus encouraged people to do their studies in his Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. At Surbiton they do that, and Jesus calls it the Eucharistic University, because the Holy Spirit gives enlightenment to each individual.

Again, there is no apocalyptic reason given for the above study – but we know that following the Warning, whole communities will seek instruction in the Faith.

 

True Life in God

Almighty God wants every single person to have a relationship with him. He wants us to experience true life in God. Here he takes one woman – a nominal Christian who knows nothing of God – and he uses her as a model. He introduces himself, and the relationship is underway. This has gone on since 1985, and the writings are translated into 50 languages. The woman is Vassula Ryden, who comes from a Greek Orthodox background. Jesus gradually taught her how to converse with him, and how to develop a spiritual awareness. Though Vassula’s spoken English is not perfect, the messages develop into beautiful, poetic, high English. The books are called True Life in God.

 

Unity of all Christians

Jesus wanted Vassula to remain Orthodox, but to follow catholic religious practice. The Orthodox broke away from the Catholic Church in the 11th century, and fortunately the differences are not in beliefs, but in religious practice. These days Orthodox Christians may receive Holy Communion in catholic churches, which Vassula does. The important thing here is that God wanted to use Vassula, to promote unity between the Catholics and Orthodox. He stressed this very strongly, and it is a central part of her mission. The writings also appeal to Protestants, and so Vassula is an apostle of Unity. This Unity will finally flourish in the period of peace, and we must be ready for it.

 

In True Life in God there is teaching on all kinds of topics. Jesus asks us to substitute our own name for Vassula – so that we feel him talking to us. The Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary is one topic. The end of the age scenario is another topic, for example:

My little children, I shall not be long, I am already on my way of return… I am telling you this so that you may rejoice, because I too rejoice for this Day when Satan’s head will be crushed with my Mother’s heel. (Later on, at the Chastisement.)

 

Hear me: I shall pour out my Spirit on this evil generation, to entice hearts and lead everyone back to the complete truth, to live a perfect life in me your God. But be brave because there will still be a fire before my Day, so do not fear nor be sad, because without this fire the world’s face cannot change..”

Here Jesus refers to the ‘fire’ of the Holy Spirit; it will give the Illumination of Consciences (the Warning). He goes on to say:

..and when it comes, it will show the world how wrong it was. It will show its godlessness, its rationalism, materialism… in short, all those vices the world worships.”

And: “If you love me, you will continue to pray for the conversion of all my children who are unaware, and still live under Satan’s power… no one has yet loved me as much as I love you; but on the Day of Purification you will understand how little you have done, because I will show my Holy Face to you.”

Stand firm. Lean on my Heart and feel loved. Tell my children to consecrate themselves and their families to our Two Hearts. Consecrate yourselves so that I mark you as mine.”

 

Concerning Russia, following the Warning:

I will send you now to these who have taken me the Holy One, out of their sight. I will bring them a conversion and a salvation such as was never heard of before, nor seen before. I will rescue this nation, spare it and save it. In that day the song they shall sing to me will be like that on a wedding night. I will send you to them as a pilgrim. ‘I will make the blind walk along the road and lead them along paths. I will turn darkness into Light before them, and rocky places into level tracks. These things I will do, and not leave them undone.’ I will come to save them.” (Jesus quotes Isaiah 42:16)

 

Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist

An African nun Sr. Anna Ali of Kenya, claimed to receive messages from Jesus, and to see apparitions (in fact she took two photographs of Jesus.. He said: “I make myself visible in order to bring back souls.” 10/4/1988.) The messages are unusual in that they are repeated over and over, plus new incisive points are made. They are in the book On the Eucharist: A Divine Appeal.

 

In his messages Jesus expresses his sadness at the state of the world, and at how he is no longer valued in the Blessed Sacrament.

My great love for mankind keeps me a prisoner in the tabernacles (chapter 9) waiting and thirsting for all sinners.. I exist in the glorious triumphs of Heaven, while still on earth. In this mystery I give myself not to mankind as a whole, but to each and every individual in a simple way.. My Divinity is present in the consecrated Host, in every small particle.”

In the Sacrament of my Love.. I am very present, just as I am at the right hand of the Eternal Father.. It is my great love for mankind that keeps me in this form, and exposed to all humiliations.”

Acquire the habit of enjoying my Presence.”

I love every gesture you make with the intention of consoling me.”

I am never weary of sinners.. I delight to see you gaze on me.”

I beg you to be much concerned with the salvation of souls. I have nothing more precious than the souls of mankind.”

I implore to be exposed (in the monstrance) at least once a week.”

Speak in your own words as they come into your mind.”

Pray for my consecrated ones.. what pain that my warnings are not heeded by those whom I entrusted with souls.”

I love each soul as if it were the only one on earth.”

 

The Precious Blood of Jesus

These apocalyptic messages come from Nigeria; they include devotion to the sacred Blood of Jesus, and to the suffering Face of Jesus. They commenced in 1995 when the visionary Barnabas Nwoye was age 14 years. This was in Enugu State, and Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi O.P. gave the Imprimatur & is patron of the Precious Blood Apostolate. The devotions are available through Queenship Publications – they are African in style.

 

Barnabas writes: “When I rose, I saw the two Hearts separated by a Chalice. The one on the right was crowned with thorns, while the other was pierced with seven swords (the 7 sorrows of Mary). On top of the Chalice was a tongue of fire. As I was looking, Our Lady appeared and said:

My children this is the seal which Heaven builds in the hearts of mankind. Remain in the Father and the Father will remain in you.. I the Mother of Sorrow have come to.. share with you a message of love.. join me in the battle against the wicked dragon, all who are sealed with the Blood of the Lamb. Fight with me the heresies that destroy the foundation of the Church. Through the Blood of the spotless Lamb, the faith of the true Church, of the true doctrine, and of holiness will soon be restored.’

 

Jesus said: “Children I call you all to enter into the Gethsemane hour of prayer. I am there praying that your faith will not fail. Come and watch with me.” The hour from 12 midnight on Thursdays. “Remain in Gethsemane with me, so that your faith will not fall when the evil man comes.”

 

Another day Jesus said: “My children.. This Heart is still suffering much for you. Please children console me. Teach sinners the mystical love of my Sacred Heart, which led to the shedding of my Blood.. Heaven has chosen the third Friday of every month for adoration of my Precious Blood, the price of their redemption. Minister with the power of my Precious Blood on that day.”

 

Jesus explained to Barnabas how devotion to the Precious Blood is so important for these times. It gives spiritual protection, and will refresh us when things are difficult: “The joy of my Glory will continue flourishing inside all hearts where I build my tabernacle of love. I will let the ocean of my Precious Blood flow constantly inside their hearts, even in the greatest hour of dryness that will soon befall mankind.”

St. Michael said: “Adore the most Precious Blood all who are manipulated by the enemy, and you will be saved.” And: “Anyone who constantly consoles and adores Our Lord through this devotion, will not be lost. His lineage will be converted.”

 

Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces

There is another important apparition site in Nigeria, called Aokpe.

In 1992, Our Lady appeared to teenager Christiana Agbo; it was the start of a long relationship, and she became a stigmatist. There were various topics, including the 3 days’ darkness.

 

In 1995 Jesus also appeared, and gave the following teaching:

I have come to talk about Mary, and the ways she obtains graces for you. Your trust in Mary should be immense, knowing that by the decree of God her power is without limit. She is the special means of grace by which you can approach God more faithfully. All that I could give to Mary I have given her, and all that she was capable of receiving she has received in fullness. If you ask for her help, you will place yourselves in the very floodtide of Divine grace. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and channel of all graces. You receive nothing which you do not owe to a positive intervention on her part. She obtains everything for you.”

(The Aokpe Story by Fr. John Beirne has the Imprimatur.)

 

 

 

THE TRUE FACE OF JESUS AND THE TURIN SHROUD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it was difficult to believe all the miraculous things about Jesus in the last chapter, perhaps the holy Shroud will give a boost in faith. It is tangible, it has been subjected to every possible scientific examination.. and it still leaves scientists in awe. The details are as follows.

 

The image on the left is a photographic negative, taken from the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The shroud has been preserved within the Catholic Church for nearly 2,000 years, and it is now kept at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy. That is why it is known as the Turin Shroud. In 1977 the shroud image was enhanced, using the technology of NASA space station. With the use of a microdensitometer and VP-8 image analyser, the live face on the right was produced. If the Shroud had been a fake 2-dimensional painting, this image would have been blurred and distorted.

 

In 1988 the linen Shroud was subjected to a Carbon 14 test, to assess its age. It was later discovered that the sample of cloth which had been tested, contained cotton threads. This part of the Shroud had been mended by nuns in the Middle Ages, and the cotton had distorted the result. In 2005 a scientific paper was written by one of the original scientists, admitting an error in the Carbon 14 test. By adjustment of the figures, the Shroud is assessed to be around 2,000 years old. There is now no reason for people to doubt that the Shroud is genuine, because the medical evidence is overwhelming. Therefore when you look at the above picture of Jesus, this is how you might have seen him in Nazareth – 2,000 years ago!

 

The Shroud is 14ft by 3ft 7ins, it was folded in half to cover back and front. If you could see it, the markings are in tan colour, and not very distinct. It was not until 1898, with the development of photography, that the negative image revealed a clear picture of the body. And what caused the markings? No one knows, because there is no substance on the cloth, i.e. nothing has penetrated the fibres. Those who thought the Shroud was a fake, perhaps don’t realise that scientists have been unable to identify a natural explanation. There is no evidence of paint or pigment.

In Jewish practice, if a person died a violent death it was not required to wash the body before burial, so there are markings of blood, which left a mauve stain in a few places. The brownish colour of the body outline however is not caused by blood.

 

The Shroud shows clearly the body of a man nearly 6ft tall and weighing approximately 170 lbs. Medical evidence reveals that one shoulder is dislocated, and rigor mortis is present. There are signs that he was wounded in the head, i.e. by a crown of thorns. The body shows scourge (whip) marks with a criss-cross pattern, evidently done by two men standing on either side. One nail-hole is visible in the base of the hand – the wrist. There is a natural space between the bones of the wrist, and this was used by the Romans. It gave more support to the weight of the body. However such a method causes damage to the ligaments of the thumbs, which turn inwards – so the thumbs are not visible on the Shroud. With the feet, the left foot was placed on the right, and one nail was used.

 

Crucifixion was a particularly cruel execution, which the Romans had learned from the Persians. Usually a person was either scourged or crucified. Pontius Pilate had Jesus scourged in the hope that his enemies would be satisfied with that, but as we know from the Bible, they insisted that he should die. Crucifixion is so intensely damaging to the body, particularly the chest muscles, that a person cannot survive.

 

As mentioned, in 1977 the 3-dimensional image of the face was done. Only at that time was it possible to discover the presence of two coins placed on the eyes at burial, to keep the eyes closed. With computer enhancement, a litmus (astrologer’s staff) and four Greek letters can be seen. The letters UCAI are part of the name Tiberius Caesar in Greek. Coins with this design were minted by Pontius Pilate in 29-30 A.D. Similar coins are available for comparison.

 

In 1978 micro-traces were found adhering to the Shroud, in particular earthy residues which showed that Jesus had been barefoot. The traces on the feet consist of tiny rhomboid crystals of aragonite, a mineral composed of calcium carbonate with traces of strontium and iron, similar to that found in the soil of Jerusalem.

 

The mauve-coloured blood stains on the Shroud are perfectly preserved, with no traces of contamination, due perhaps to the inhibiting presence of aloes and myrrh which were used for embalming. The electron microscope can detect human red corpuscles. The blood belongs to group AB.

 

Concerning the history of the Shroud: 58 different varieties of pollen have been identified on the cloth. Of these, 45 are from Palestine, and many from the Middle East. Some are fossilised and do not exist today. Some are from France and Italy, and this coincides with the historical journey of the Shroud.

 

After exhaustive research, how do some scientists explain the cause of the brown Shroud image? Well science is unable to give a definite answer, but they speculate that some form of high intensity energy, interacting with perspiration, blood and embalming spices, may have caused the imprint.

 

And what was the high intensity energy? Was it the miracle of the Resurrection? The Resurrection was the coming back to life of Jesus, which proved that he was God – the Second Person of the Trinity. His followers had not understood that this was going to happen, and they were very shocked! Naturally they kept the burial shroud, for it would have been precious to them.

 

The early Church was persecuted on and off until the 4th century, and had to keep a low profile. However by 550 A.D. Turkey was a largely Catholic country, and there is historical record of a famous cloth there, with the imprint of the face of Jesus. It was visited by many pilgrims. From this time on, the icons of Jesus (eastern-style paintings) all resemble the face of the Shroud. In 640 A.D. Emperor Justinian II had coins minted with the same image from the Shroud.

 

There is much more to say about the evidence of the Shroud. However the main point is that it is revealing its secrets to the people of our generation, with our technology. And presumably that is what God intended.

 

PRAYERS

 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. 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

(The Apostles Creed) I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen

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THE DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET (Chapter 14)

 

Introduction – say one Our Father, Hail Mary, I Believe.

Then usually with a rosary, on the large beads say:

 

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

 

On the ten small beads say: For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat the large and small beads five times. Meanwhile thinking about the way Jesus suffered and died for our sins.)

 

In conclusion say three times: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

 

Prayers for use at 3 o’clock in the afternoon:

You expired Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelope the whole world and empty yourself out upon us.

 

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you.

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THE DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

 

If you say the Chaplet every day, then you may as well do the Novena at the same time – it is just a matter of adding the intention before you begin. It will please Our Lord –

 

1^st^ DAY Today bring to me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of my mercy. In this way you will console me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges me.

2^nd^ DAY Today bring to me the souls of Priests and Religious, and immerse them in my unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me the strength to endure my bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, my mercy flows out upon mankind.

3^rd^ DAY Today bring to me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of my mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

4^th^ DAY Today bring to me those who do not believe in God, and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during my bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted my Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of my mercy.

5^th^ DAY Today bring to me the souls of those who have separated from my Church, and immerse them in the ocean of my mercy. During my bitter Passion they tore at my Body and Heart, that is, my Church. As they return to unity with the Church, my wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate my Passion.

6^th^ DAY Today bring to me the meek and humble souls, and the souls of little children, and immerse them in my mercy. These souls most closely resemble my Heart. They strengthened me during my bitter agony. I saw them as earthly angels, who will keep vigil at my altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving my grace. I favour humble souls with my confidence.

7^th^ DAY Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify my mercy, and immerse them in my mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion, and entered most deeply into my spirit. They are living images of my compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of Hell.

8^th^ DAY Today bring to me the souls who are detained in Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of my mercy. Let the torrents of my Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by me. They are making retribution to my Justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the Indulgences from the treasury of my Church, and offer them on their behalf. Oh if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit, and pay off their debt for my Justice.

9^th^ DAY Today bring to me the souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of my mercy. These souls wound my Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out ‘Father, take this cup away from me, if it be your will.’ For them the last hope of salvation is to run to my mercy.

 

REMEMBER TO SAY THE NOVENA FROM GOOD FRIDAY – TO PREPARE FOR DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

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PRAYER THROUGH OUR LADY OF ALL NATIONS

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth. May the Holy Spirit dwell in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war.

And may the Lady of All Nations be our Advocate. Amen

 

THE GLORIA

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of goodwill. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God Almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. You take away the sins of the world receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen

 

ACT OF CONTRITION

 

O my God, I am sorry and beg pardon for all my sins. I detest them above all things, because they deserved your dreadful punishment, because they have crucified my loving Saviour Jesus Christ, and most of all, because they offend your infinite goodness. I firmly resolve, by the help of your grace, never to offend you again, and carefully to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen

 

 

 

HAIL HOLY QUEEN

 

Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy. Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb – Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. – That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

HELP AGAINST EVIL SPIRITS

 

IF A PERSON FEELS THAT THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH EVIL SPIRITS, THEN THEY NEED TO PRAY! OR GET OTHER PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR THEM.

THERE IS A NEED TO SAY SORRY TO GOD FOR HAVING SINNED, SO THE ACT OF CONTRITION IS IMPORTANT. THE OUR FATHERTHE LORD’S PRAYER, ASKS FOR DELIVERANCE, SO SAY IT FREQUENTLY. CALL ON THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS OFTEN. THE VIRGIN MARY IS POWERFUL AGAINST EVIL, SO USE HER PRAYER ABOVE.

WHEN MARY APPEARED IN KIBEHO, RWANDAAFRICA, SHE EXPLAINED HOW TO GET HELP AGAINST SPIRITS. THE PRAYERS THAT SHE RECOMMENDED WERE THE DOLOUR ROSARY (AND OF COURSE THE NORMAL ROSARY IS POWERFUL – ON THE INTERNET).

 

THE DOLOUR ROSARY IS A MEDITATION ON THE LIFE OF JESUS, AND ON HOW HIS MOTHER MARY SUFFERED AS SHE ACCOMPANIED HIM, FROM BEGINNING TO END.

THERE ARE 7 MEDITATIONSTHINK ABOUT THEM WHILE SAYING THE PRAYERS.

 

IN AFRICA THEY START: My God, I offer to you these beads of Sorrow for your greater glory, in honour of your holy Mother. I will meditate and share your suffering. I beg for the tears of true repentance for my sins.

 

Say 3 times: To me a sinner, and to all sinners, grant perfect repentance for our sins.

 

1. Simeon prophesies that a sword of sorrow will pierce Mary’s soul.

(See St. Luke’s gospel chapter 2, verses 25-39)

Say prayers: the Our Father and 7 Hail Marys

At the end say: Mary full of mercy, remind our hearts of the suffering of Jesus during his Passion.

 

2. Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus, flee to Egypt for safety

(See St. Matthew’s gospel 2:13-22.) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

3. Jesus is lost in the Temple

(See St. Luke’s gospel 2:42-51.) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

4. Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary

(See St. John’s gospel 19:16-29) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

5. Mary stands at the foot of the Cross

(See St. Matthew’s gospel 27:35-50) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

6. Mary receives the body of Jesus in her arms

(See St. Mark’s gospel 15:39-45) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

7. Mary accompanies the body of Jesus to the tomb

(See St. John’s gospel 19:39-42) Say prayers: (as in 1.)

 

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ST. ANTHONY’S BRIEF

 

Behold the Cross of the Lord. Flee you adversaries, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered. Amen

 

 

 

NUMBERED NOTES

 

Chapter 4

1. Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont. TAN Publications, USA. 2. Voices Visions & Apparitions by Michael Freze. Huntington 3. Catholic Prophecy (see 1.) 4. Voices Visions & Apparitions (see 2.) 5. Catholic Prophecy (see 1.) 6. The Thunder of Justice by Ted and Maureen Flynn. Maxkol USA . 7. The Prophets and Our Times by Rev. R. Gerald Culleton. TAN Publishers.

Chapter 13

1. Information on Josephus and Tacitus from cassette- tapes on the Apocalypse by Prof. Scott Hahn, USA.

He quotes from Chiltern’s Commentary on Revelation 2. The Thunder of Justice by Ted and Maureen Flynn. Maxkol. 3. A Call to Peace Mir-a-Call Centre, USA

Chapter 14

1. The Love of Christ as made known at Paray-le-Monial, written and published by Rev. Denis J. Cronin. 2. I am the Guardian of the Faith by Sr. Isabel Bettwy, Franciscan University Press, USA.

3. A Call to Peace, publication from Mir-a-Call Centre, USA.

4. The Way of Divine Love Sr. Josepha Menendez. TAN Publishers. 5. Leaflet: I Will Forgive a Million Times.. by Stephen Oraze.

Chapter 16

1. The Thunder of Justice Ted and Maureen Flynn. Maxkol USA.

2. From a cassette-tape produced by Keep the Faith USA.

3. A Catechism of Modernism Rev. J. B. Lemius. TAN Publishers.

Chapter 17

1. Martin Luther’s Works Weimar Edition. Transl. by William J Cole. 2. Ditto. 3. De Mariologia Et Ecumenismo E. Stakemeier

4. Protestants and Our Lady Bernard Leeming (1967).

5. The Truth about Mary: A Scriptural Introduction by Robert Payesko. Queenship Pub, USA 6. Martin Luther’s Works (see 1.)

Chapter 18

1. The Thunder of Justice Ted and Maureen Flynn. Maxkol USA. 2. A Woman Clothed with the Sun Ed: John J. Delaney Image Bks

3. The Thunder of Justice (see 1.) 4. Messages of the Lady of All Nations Editor: Josef Kunzli. Queenship Pub. USA.

5. The Wonder of Guadalupe Francis Johnson. TAN Pub.

Chapter 19 1. The Messages of the Lady of All Nations Editor: Josef Kunzli. Queenship Publishing USA.

Chapter 21

1. Fatima – in Lucia’s Own Words Editor: Fr. Louis Kondor. 2. From the Internet. 3. The Meaning of Akita John Haffert

101 Foundation, USA. 4. Apparitions in Betania, Venezuela

by Sr. Margaret C. Sims, CSJ. Medjugorje Messengers Pub. USA.

5. Kibeho Rev. Gabriel Mendryou. 6. An Appeal from Mary in Argentina Rene Laurentin. McCrimmon Publishing Co.

Chapter 22

1. Garabandal quotes are from: Our Lady Comes to Garabandal

Rev. Joseph Pelletier, Assumption Pub. 2. Medjugorje quotes are from: Dear Children.. Words from the Mother of God at Medjugore Pub: Marian Spring Centre, Surrey U.K.

Chapter 23

1. Call of the Ages Thomas Petrisko. Queenship Publishing. USA. 2. Divine Mercy in My Soul St. Faustina Kowalska. Marian Press

3. The Thunder of Justice Ted and Maureen Flynn. Maxkol USA.

4. Call of the Ages (see 1.) 5. A Call to Peace Mir-a-Call Centre. 6. All Garabandal prophecies from Our Lady comes to Garabandal Rev. Joseph Pelletier. Assumption Pub. 7. Call of the Ages (see 1.)

Chapter 24

1. History of Antichrist Rev. P. Huchede. TAN Publications USA

2. St. Jerome’s Commentary on the Book of Daniel chapter 7.

3. De Consummatione Saeculi. 4. Details Concerning the Antichrist Dr. Franz Spirago. Pub: R. Von Acken, Germany.

5. The Reign of Antichrist Rev. G. Cullerton. TAN 6. (Ditto)

7. Adversus Haereses Book 5, chapter 25.

8. St. Ambrose, In Lucam 21. 9. The Faith of the Early Fathers Vol. 1, Jurgens, The Liturgical Press, USA 10. Call of the Ages by Thomas Petrisko. Queenship Pub. USA. 11. De Trinitate 6.

12. The Reign of Antichrist (see 5.) 13. St. Anselm’s Elucidations. 14. The New World Order by Pat Robertson. Thomas Nelson Inc. Make Yourself an Ark by Fr. Andrew O’Brien.

Chapter 25

1. The Thunder of Justice Ted and Maureen Flynn Maxkol

2. En route to Global Occupation Gary Kah. Huntington House Toward a New World Order Donald McAlvaney Western Pub. Co.

3. Dr. Sanders became a ‘born again’ Christian. Having realised the ultimate direction of his work, he was disillusioned.

4. The occult theories of the Cabala probably originated in Egypt.

5. Gnosticism derived from the Cabala. Gnosis (knowledge) was claimed to be superior to the Christian faith. ‘Christian’ Gnostics claimed that Jesus disclosed secret wisdom to some specially chosen followers. This secret wisdom taught them that they were divine. Gnosticism denies the Incarnation of Jesus, his redemptive suffering, and resurrection.

6. The Origins and Teachings of Freemasonry Robert Morey.

7. Further information in Make Yourself an Ark by Fr Andrew O’Brien. This contains investigation into the occult power-base prepared for the Antichrist. 8. Ditto.

9. Inside the New Age Nightmare Randall Baer. 10. Quoted in the catholic publication Christian Order. March 1997, page 139.

11. February 1996 issue of Prophecy in the News magazine.

12. Christian Order June/July 1998, page 366. 13. Christian Order March 1997 page 137. 14. Ditto, page 144. 15. Ditto, page 145.

16. Ditto, page 145.

Chapter 27

1. The Thunder of Justice Ted and Maureen Flynn, Maxkol

2. Ditto. 3. Ditto. 4. Catholic Prophecy Yves Dupont, TAN

5. Catholic Prophecy (see 4.) 6. Behind the Mass The Riehle Foundation, USA. 7. The Thunder of Justice (see 1.)

8. Catholic Prophecy (see 4.) 9. The Thunder of Justice (see 1.)

Chapter 28

1. Trial, Tribulation and Triumph Desmond A Birch Queenship Pub.

Chapter 29

1. A History of early Christian Doctrine before the Council of Nicea. Jean Danielou, Darton, Longman and Todd. Westminster Press, USA. 2. Ditto. 3. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Henrickson Publishers, USA.

4. Adversus Haereses quoted in The Triumph of God’s Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times by Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi. St. John the Evangelist Press, USA. 5. The City of God Augustine of Hippo, Catholic University of America Press, USA. 6. Dialogue with Trypho (Quoted as in 4.) 7. Quotes of Luisa Piccarreta – from When the Divine Will Reigns in Souls. 8. To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons from the Marian Movement of Priests. 9. Call of the Ages Thomas Petrisko, Queenship Pub. USA.

 

 

SUGGESTED READING

 

18^th^ & 19^th^ CENTURY PROPHECIES

The Prophets & Our Times Rev. R. Gerald Culleton from TAN

Catholic Prophecy Yves Dupont from TAN

Prophecy for Today Edward Connor from TAN

MODERN PROPHECY

The Final Hour Michael Brown

Accounts of 25 modern apparitions by a journalist – fascinating.

Dozule Apparitions in France which relate to the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. Jesus reveals his Coming & requests a Glorious Cross

Call of the Ages (Queenship Pub.) Thomas Petrisko

Wide study of Our Lady’s apparitions, very readable.

The Fatima Prophecies (St Andrew’s Prod.) Thomas Petrisko

Chronological accounts of very many apparitions.

The Miracle of the Illumination of Consciences Thomas Petrisko

The Thunder of Justice (Maxkol Pub.) Ted & Maureen Flynn

Evaluation of the main themes of modern prophecy.

Our Lady at La Salette – full account plus Commentary

Kerizinen Important prophecy from France, includes great Monarch

The End Times – as Revealed to Maria Valtorta

True Life in God Teachings and prophecy given to Vassula Ryden

Divine Mercy – messages prepare for Second Coming Chris Francis

The Prayer of the Warrior explains evil influences. Michael Brown

 

WORLD SITUATION

Hope of the Wicked (Maxkol Pub.) Ted Flynn

Research into modern power structures, finance, etc. Brilliant.

Make Yourself an Ark Fr. Andrew O’Brien

Researches the power base of world control.

Now is the Dawning of the New Age New World Order D.L Cuddy

The Alta Vendita Masonic plans, 19th C. from TAN

A Catechism of Modernism Modern heresy explained. TAN

Protocols of the Elders of Zion – surprisingly accurate. Internet

From Babylon to Modern Banking Frank Sullivan

Short account of historical power structures for busy people.

Some are at: www.holyishisname.co.uk Amazon UK & Abebooks


Bible Prophecy and Modern Prophecy Explored

When I started reading prophecies in the 1990’s, I felt quite annoyed that no one had brought them to my attention before. I also noticed that the books were aimed at Catholic readers – with no explanation for non Catholics. This book is written with the aim of helping people to catch up - to read in one volume the vital array of modern prophecies, and the various predicted events. Some effort is made to explain unusual concepts for non-Catholics. Modern prophecy and Bible prophecy are placed together, so it can be seen that they complement each other. (It is important to know the correct sequence of events – beware of false prophets who create confusion.)This book takes you from the Tribulation – which is imminent, to the end of Revelation.

  • ISBN: 9781311045973
  • Author: Chris Francis
  • Published: 2016-02-22 16:40:35
  • Words: 118970
Bible Prophecy and Modern Prophecy Explored Bible Prophecy and Modern Prophecy Explored