Friday, 27 July 2012

Obama: Psalm 46 and the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

I just discovered that President Obama picked an interesting Bible reading for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks last year: Pslam 46 - one of the passages which I highlight in the post The Casting Down of Mountains as a prophecy of the effects of the future collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja, and subsequent Mega-tsunami that will destroy the east coast of the Americas.

It should be worth quoting the full Pslam below:

 God is our refuge and strength,
  a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
  though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
  though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
  the holy habitation of the Most High.
 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
  God will help her when morning dawns.
 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
  he utters his voice, the earth melts.
 The LORD of hosts is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
  how he has brought desolations on the earth.
 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
  he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
  he burns the chariots with fire.
 “Be still, and know that I am God.
  I will be exalted among the nations,
  I will be exalted in the earth!”

 The LORD of hosts is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

(Psalm 46)

Note here that the important phrase "the nations rage" - which is an allusion to some other highly significant biblical passages that are directly related to the battle of Armageddon. This apocalyptic phrase first crops up in Psalm 2, which speaks of the eschatological battle in terms that appear again in the Book of Revelation:

 Why do the nations rage
  and the peoples plot in vain?
 The kings of the earth set themselves,
  and the rulers take counsel together,
  against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
 “Let us burst their bonds apart
  and cast away their cords from us.”
 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
  the Lord holds them in derision.
 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
  and terrify them in his fury, saying,
 “As for me, I have set my King
  on Zion, my holy hill.”
 I will tell of the decree:
 The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
  today I have begotten you.
 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
  and the ends of the earth your possession.
 You shall break them with a rod of iron
  and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
  be warned, O rulers of the earth.
 Serve the LORD with fear,
  and rejoice with trembling.
 Kiss the Son,
  lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
  for his wrath is quickly kindled.
 Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
(Psalm 2)

 "The nations raged,
  but your wrath came,
  and the time for the dead to be judged,
 and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
  and those who fear your name,
  both small and great,
 and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
(Rev 11:18)

The above passage in Rev 11 which alludes to the raging nations in Pslams 2 and 46 is the third woe of the Book of Revelation, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet - which I suggest in Unveiling the Apocalypse refers to a third world war. It takes place after the martyrdom of the Two Witnesses, and should be considered to be the "fire from heaven" (symbolically poured forth from their mouths, just as Elijah called down fire from heaven to destroy his opponents) which is promised in reprisal to any harm that would come against them - as is warned in the Apocalypse:

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.
(Rev 11:4-5)

Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest in the Book of Zechariah are recognised to be the symbolic prototypes of the Two Witnesses of the Book of Revelation. And in the exact section that we find the reference to the "two olive trees" that stand before the Lord of all the earth in Zech 4, we are told that a mountain is made to collapse before Zerubbabel, who represents one of the Two Witnesses:

And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”
(Zech 4:1-7)

The very last verse in this passage helps us to identify the person represented by Zerubbabel here as the Elijah to come, who prepares the way for the coming of the Lord. We are told that he brings forth the "top stone" amidst shouts of praise - and in Zech 3:9 the "top stone" is identified as the Righteous Branch, the Messiah - a stone with seven eyes, just like the Lamb of Revelation, with the seven spirits of God sent out to all the earth at the Second Pentecost:

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.
(Zech 3:8-9)

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
(Rev 5:6)

Turning back to the third woe of the Apocalypse, which is related to the raging nations described in Psalm 46, we find another allusion to the downfall of Babylon and the collapse of the "burning mountain". The majority of scholars recognise that the phrase "for destroying the destroyers of the earth" in Rev 11:18 is a direct allusion to the destroying mountain of Babylon mentioned in Jer 51:25:

 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
 declares the LORD,
  which destroys the whole earth
 I will stretch out my hand against you,
  and roll you down from the crags,
  and make you a burnt mountain.

(Jeremiah 51:25)

So this parallel further strengthens the relationship between the mountains being moved "into the heart of the sea" in Psalm 46 and the burning mountain of Jer 51 and Rev 8:8, linking it to the third woe of the Apocalypse after the martyrdom of the Two Witnesses in Rev 11. And the theme of the raging of the nations in Psalm 46 and Rev 11 is continued in the eschatological battle described in Psalm 2, where the kingdoms of the world are gathered against God's Anointed One - the Messiah:

 Why do the nations rage
  and the peoples plot in vain?
 The kings of the earth set themselves,
  and the rulers take counsel together,
  against the LORD and against his Anointed...

(Psalm 2:1-2)

This is final gathering of the nations against the Anointed One, who the Psalmist tells us will speak to them in his wrath and break them with a rod of iron, is to be identified with the escahtological battle described in Rev 19, where Christ strikes his opponents down with the sword that issues from his mouth:

 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

(Rev 19:11-21)

The sword that comes forth from the mouth of Christ is the Word of God, through which the world was created. And just as the world was created through the Word, so too will it reach its consummation. It is the command to the angel with the Flaming Sword of the Book of Genesis, to assemble the armies of the nations and send forth fire from the heavens to consume them. A scene which is first mentioned in Rev 16, before being recapitulated again in Rev 20:

And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
(Rev 16:13-16)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them...
(Rev 20:7-10)

We also find reference to this eschatological battle in the Pauline epistles:

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
(2 Thess 1:5-8)

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
(2 Thess 2:8)

So by examining the significance of the various biblical allusions made in Psalm 46, we have yet again found several direct links between the Second Coming, the destruction of Babylon at casting of a burning mountain into the sea, and the battle of Armageddon. The exact sequence of events which I further elaborate on in the book, as a third world war being instigated by the Antichrist, who seizes the political vacuum left in the wake of the downfall of America following the devastating effects of the mega-tsunami caused by the collapse of Cumbre Vieja.

I'm sure Rabbi Johnathan Cahn would find the piece of synchronicity between Pres. Obama's 9/11 10th anniversary speech and the future chastisement of America worthy of note, since in his book Harbinger, he argues that the events of 9/11 were a warning of a worse disaster yet to befall the country if it does not turn from its sinful ways. As the story of Baalam in the Book of Numbers teaches us, God can put His words into the mouth of anyone He chooses. A fact which Cahn appears to pick up on in Harbinger, where he notes that certain events of post 9/11 America appears to be following the sequence of an obscure prophecy found in the Book of Isaiah. Cahn notes how the day after the attacks on the World Trade Centre, Sen. Tom Daschle quoted a passage from the Book of Isaiah, which speaks of Israel's act of defiance, describing their intent to rebuild stronger and better after the Northern Kingdom had been attacked by the Assyrians:

 The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,
  and it will fall on Israel;
 and all the people will know,
  Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
  who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
 “The bricks have fallen,
  but we will build with dressed stones;
 the sycamores have been cut down,
  but we will put cedars in their place.”

(Isaiah 9:8-10)

The Israelites did not see the attacks as a harbinger of the judgment that was to fall upon the nation by the rod of Assyria, which would take place due to its state of apostasy.  Instead of turning to repentance, the Israelites arrogantly promised to rebuild. Cahn points out that this context makes Sen. Daschle's use of this quote even more strange.

Cahn goes on to note that Sen. John Edwards used the same quote on the third anniversary, and that when the foundation stone was laid for the building of Freedom Tower, it was hewn similar to the dressed gazit stone spoken of in Isaiah. Then a sycamore tree that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks was replaced during a highly symbolic ceremony by a cedar. Also, in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament (the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible known as the LXX, which contains some variations of Scripture), the Israelites promise that they would build a tower upon the fallen rubble - just as Freedom Tower is being built right now:

The Lord has sent death upon Jacob, and it has come upon Israel. And all the people of Ephraim, and they that dwelt in Samaria shall know, who say in their pride and lofty heart, "The bricks are fallen down, but come, let us hew stones, and cut down sycamores and cedars, and let us build for ourselves a tower."
(Isa 9:8-10 LXX)

Cahn argues that just as the precursory attacks on the Northern Kingdom of Israel were a warning sent by God, telling of the nation's impending destruction by Assyria; so too the attacks on 9/11 herald a greater chastisement still to come. A chastisement that will ultimately lead to the nation's complete downfall.

 The people did not turn to him who struck them,
  nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.
 So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail,
  palm branch and reed in one day...

(Isa 9:13-14)

In the earlier post The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal, we already discussed how the events of 9/11 appear to be intimately bound up with the future chastisement of the USA. Given that the link to Isaiah 9 was made by the leaders of America themselves in the wake of the terrible tragedy of 9/11, it seems highly significant that on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the President of the United States unknowingly quoted a passage in the Bible that tells of the exact form the punishment will take - that mountains will be "moved into the heart of the sea", so that its waters swell, roar and foam. A passage which directly parallels the destruction of Babylon, caused by a burning mountain being thrown into the sea, as foretold in both the Book of Jeremiah and the Apocalypse.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Darwinism and the Great Apostasy

This post was originally intended to be a reply to a comment in an earlier post concerning evolutionism, but the text ended up too long, so I decided to post it on the main part of the blog instead. I believe that the discovery of the theory of evolution was a test of faith deliberately sent by God. The roots of modern atheism (and thus the Great Apostasy) can be traced back to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859. Christ himself foretold that there would be a time of testing before his return. Starting with the parable of the persistent widow (who represents the Church as the widow of Christ) concerning the importance of perseverance (the primary attribute of Job), Jesus concluded with the rather startling question:

"...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
(Luke 18:8)

This statement was made in the further background context of a discourse concerning the Great Apostasy before the Second Coming:

"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
(Luke 17:25-30)

So the basic point Christ seems to have made here, was that before the end of the world, there would come a period of testing, when Christians would have to undergo a time of trial - just like Job in the Old Testament. It is this time period that is cut short for the sake of the elect, with the coming of the Second Pentecost:

"And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days."
(Mark 13:20)

And it is this same era in which Satan would be unleashed "for a little while" (Rev 20:3):

"to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle..."
(Rev 20:8).

This time period, when Satan would be unleashed to deceive the earth, and gather its inhabitants for war, is to be equated with the "wars and rumours of wars" that Jesus foretold would precede his Second Coming (which I argue in the book is related to the two world wars of the 20th century), before the final eschatological battle:

"And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains."
(Mark 13:7-8)

When we look at the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII concerning the hundred years of Satan's power, we find that this too is styled after the trials of Job. And it is also interesting to note that in Melanie Calvat's later (unapproved) 1858 version of the secret of La Salette, she foretold that the gradual weakening of faith that would result in the Great Apostasy would begin in a time period very close to her own - which was around the same general time period of the publication of the Origin of Species.

"In the year 1864, Lucifer together with a large number of demons will be unloosed from hell; they will put an end to faith little by little, even in those dedicated to God. They will blind them in such a way, that, unless they are blessed with a special grace, these people will take on the spirit of these angels of hell; several religious institutions will lose all faith and will lose many souls.
"Evil books will be abundant on earth and the spirits of darkness will spread everywhere a universal slackening in all that concerns the service of God. They will have great power over Nature: there will be churches built to serve these spirits.
"'The vicar of my Son will have much to suffer, as, for a time, the Church will be the victim of great persecution: this will be the time of darkness. The Church will suffer a terrible crisis...

"As the holy Faith of God is forgotten, every individual will wish to be his own guide and be superior to his fellow-men..."
..."The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay. But now Enoch and Eli will come, filled with the Spirit of God. They will preach with the might of God, and men of good will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted. They will make great strides forward through the virtue of the Holy Spirit, and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist."

(See the earlier post on Our Lady of La Salette, to see why I believe that this later unapproved version may still have a certain amount of legitimacy).

On an interesting side note, Melanie foretold that neither Pope John Paul II (who is generally agreed to be the pope who cannot be killed by his would be assassins in the secret), nor his successor (Benedict XVI) would live to see the Second Pentecost that follows the Great Apostasy - which means that it predicts that this will take place during the pontificate of the next pope:

"The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I will be at his side to the end in order to receive his sacrifice. The wicked will make several attempts on his life, but they cannot harm him. But neither he nor his successor will live to see the triumph of the Church of God."

Turning back to the Great Apostasy, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that this must take place before the Second Coming of Christ, and will ultimately result in the appearance of the Antichrist - much as is predicted in the prophecy of St. Hildegard of Bingen:

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."
(CCC 675)

However we can remain hopeful in the fact that during his eschatological discourse on Mt. Olivet, Christ foretold that those who endure to the end of this Great Apostasy will be saved, when the Gospel will proclaimed to all nations during the Second Pentecost:

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matt 24:10-14)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Ragnarok: the End-Time Flood and the Giant with the Flaming Sword

The Giant with the Flaming Sword (1909), by John Charles Dollman

There are some interesting parallels between the major themes of Norse eschatology with the sequence of end-time events that I attempt to outline in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse. As we have already discussed in greater depth in the post The Date of the End-Time - 2012 or 2087?, Catholic theology teaches that other cultures and religions outside the Faith can be capable of genuine prophecy. So it is possible that exploring the end-time prophecies of different belief systems can help to shed light on eschatological events from a different perspective. Given that the Norse epics were composed relatively late in comparison to the eschatological texts of the major world religions, most scholars feel that they were influenced to a large extent by Christian eschatology. Indeed many extant Christian artifacts scattered throughout Britain (such as Thorwald's Cross and Gosforth Cross) bear syncretistic imagery depicting elements of Norse end-time mythology combined with certain Christian beliefs.
Chapter 51 of the Gylfaginning, found in the Prose Edda, tells how the wolf Sköll (possibly a representation of the god Fenrir) along with his brother Hati, consumes the sun and moon at Ragnarok - much like the widespread belief found in eastern cultures that solar eclipses were caused by a dragon attempting to devour the sun. The Norse believed that the sun resided in a heavenly chariot, and was constantly being chased by Sköll, and that at the end-time after the period of Fimbulwinter - when there would be three years without a summer (which sounds a bit like Ireland now at the moment:), the wolf would finally catch up on the sun and devour it.
If this tale of wolves consuming the sun and moon at the end-time refers to solar and lunar eclipses, then it would be a remarkable parallel to the biblical accounts of the eschatological astronomical phenomena we have already looked at in some depth in the post Signs in the Sky. Other events depicted in the Prose Edda speak of stars disappearing, great earthquakes and the collapse of mountains, which again strongly echoes the events I sketch out in the book. Then we are told that the great serpent of Midgard, Jörmungandr will cause the sea to violently swell over the land, before a final battle between the gods destroys the earth in a great conflagration (compare this with the post Mega-tsunami). During this battle, it is foretold that Surtr, a giant with a flaming sword, will engage in combat with the god Freyr. And at the end of this conflict, the flames issuing from the flaming sword of Surtr eventually consume the earth before the creation of the new order.
It is interesting to note that many scholars (such as Bertha Phillpotts, "Surt" in Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi, volume 21, pp. 14 ff.) believe that Surtr was a volcano god, and at least one academic on Norse mythology (Andy Orchard in the Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend) theorises that the imagery of Surtr was based on the angel with a flaming sword depicted in the Book of Genesis. We have already noted the depth of the symbolism behind the cherubim of Genesis in the post The Third Secret of Fatima and the Angel with the Flaming Sword. So once again, we have the theme of the world being destroyed after a great deluge, which will be brought about by fire falling from the sky. The relevant text of the Prose Edda can be found below:

Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was named Múspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes a flaming
sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the world with fire; thus is said in Völuspá:

Surtr fares from the south | with switch-eating flame,--
On his sword shimmers | the sun of the War-Gods;
The rock-crags crash; | the fiends are reeling;
Heroes tread Hel-way; | Heaven is cloven."
(Gylfaginning IV)

Then shall happen what seems great tidings: the Wolf shall swallow the sun; and this shall seem to men a great harm. Then the other wolf shall seize the moon, and he also shall work great ruin; the stars shall vanish from the heavens. Then shall come to pass these tidings also: all the earth shall tremble so, and the crags, that trees shall be torn up from the earth, and the crags fall to ruin; and all fetters and bonds shall be broken and rent. Then shall Fenris-Wolf get loose; then the sea shall gush forth upon the land, because the Midgard Serpent stirs in giant wrath and advances up onto the land. Then that too shall happen, that Naglfar shall be loosened, the ship which is so named. (It is made of dead men's nails; wherefore a warning is desirable, that if a man die with unshorn nails, that man adds much material to the ship Naglfar, which gods and men were fain to have finished late.) Yet in this sea-flood Naglfar shall float. Hrymr is the name of the giant who steers Naglfar. Fenris-Wolf shall advance with gaping mouth, and his lower jaw shall be against the earth, but the upper against heaven,--he would gape yet more if there were room for it; fires blaze from his eyes and nostrils. The Midgard Serpent shall blow venom so that he shall sprinkle all the air and water; and he is very terrible, and shall be on one side of the Wolf. In this din shall the heaven be cloven, and the Sons of Múspell ride thence: Surtr shall ride first, and both before him and after him burning fire; his sword is exceeding good: from it radiance shines brighter than from the sun; when they ride over Bifröst, then the bridge shall break, as has been told before...

...Odin rides first with the gold helmet and a fair birnie, and his spear, which is called Gungnir. He shall go forth against Fenris-Wolf, and Thor stands forward on his other side, and can be of no avail to him, because he shall have his hands full to fight against the Midgard Serpent. Freyr shall contend with Surtr, and a hard encounter shall there be between them before Freyr falls: it is to be his death that he lacks that good sword of his, which he gave to Skírnir. Then shall the dog Garmr be loosed, which is bound before Gnipa's Cave: he is the greatest monster; he shall do battle with Týr, and each become the other's slayer. Thor shall put to death the Midgard Serpent, and shall stride away nine paces from that spot; then shall he fall dead to the earth, because of the venom which the Snake has blown at him. The Wolf shall swallow Odin; that shall be his ending But straight thereafter shall Vídarr stride forth and set one foot upon the lower jaw of the Wolf: on that foot he has the shoe, materials for which have been gathering throughout all time. (They are the scraps of leather which men cut out: of their shoes at toe or heel; therefore he who desires in his heart to come to the Æsir's help should cast those scraps away.) With one hand he shall seize the Wolf's upper jaw and tear his gullet asunder; and that is the death of the Wolf. Loki shall have battle with Heimdallr, and each be the slayer of the other. Then straightway shall Surtr cast fire over the earth and burn all the world; so is said in Völuspá:

Hrymr sails from the east, | the sea floods onward;
The monstrous Beast | twists in mighty wrath;
The Snake beats the waves, | the Eagle is screaming;
The gold-neb tears corpses, | Naglfar is loosed.

From the east sails the keel; | come now Múspell's folk
Over the sea-waves, | and Loki steereth;
There are the warlocks | all with the Wolf,--
With them is the brother | of Býleistr faring.

Surtr fares from southward | with switch-eating flame;
On his sword shimmers | the sun of the war-gods;
The rocks are falling, | and fiends are reeling,
Heroes tread Hel-way, | heaven is cloven...

...Now goeth Hlödyn's | glorious son
Not in flight from the Serpent, | of fear unheeding;
All the earth's offspring | must empty the homesteads,
When furiously smiteth | Midgard's defender.

The sun shall be darkened, | earth sinks in the sea,--
Glide from the heaven | the glittering stars;
Smoke-reek rages | and reddening fire:
The high heat licks | against heaven itself.

(Gylfaginning LI, the full text can be found online here).

Many scholars (such as Hilda Ellis Davidson in her book Gods and Myths of Northern Europe) argue that this last part, telling of the "earth sinking into the sea" and flames and smoke billowing forth to reach the heavens, was inspired by a volcanic eruption witnessed on Iceland. So it is of some interest that this activity is associated with the flaming sword of Surtr, which eventually consumes the entire world.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Prophecy of St. Hildegard on the Great Apostasy

An Illustration from the Liber Scivias depicting St. Hildegard of Bingen receiving a prophetic vision.

I recently had a discussion with regular contributor Jamey Srdarov in the com box on the post The Abomination of Desolation which I thought would be worth posting up on the main part of the blog. As regular readers who take the time to read the com box will know, Jamey is a fervent supporter of Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), and is quite keen for its re-institution as the ordinary form of the liturgy (which I must confess, I would like to see also). During the debate, I was reminded of a prophecy made by St. Hildegard of Bingen concerning the state of the Church at the end-time, which I thought would be appropriate to mention so that everyone can read...
The exchange goes as follows:


Fr Stephen Somerville was a member of the Advisory Board of the International Commission on English Liturgy for translating the new post-Vatican II Latin liturgy into the English language.

Fr Somerville using scripture presents another angle linking the abomination of desolation to the end times this time in regard to replacement of the Tridentine Mass with the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI [NO].

Note to readers be wary of some of the other stuff on TIA, at times they unfairly go after recent popes at other points justifiably IMHO, a bit of a mixed bag.


I'm all for a return to the Old Latin Mass, and the re-establishment of the High Altars. I think it would be a great blessing for the Church. But I think it is a step too far to deny the validity of the sacraments in the NO. Not only does it sow the seeds of schism in a direct disregard for the express request of Jesus that "they may all be one" (John 17:20), but it also ignores Christ's promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt 16:18).
Christ said "behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20) - a promise to be eternally present in the Eucharist until the end of the world.
The use of a different language from Latin doesn't invalidate the eucharist. Less beautiful perhaps, but not invalid. Christ almost certainly would have said the first Mass in Aramaic.
The validity of the Eucharist depends on whether the priest was ordained in apostolic succession, and whether he was using the correct words (the personal holiness of the priest doesn't count, as was determined following the Donatist schism). For an ordained priest to invalidate the Eucharist, different words would have to be used, such as "this is a symbol of my body".
Fr Gobbi depicts such a scenario for the abomination of desolation in relation to the Eucharist. He seems to suggest that the Antichrist will install an anti-pope in Rome, creating a schism, with a large portion of Catholics following the anti-pope. Fr Gobbi appears to predict that the anti-pope will then take away the sacrifice of the Mass by asserting that the Eucharist is merely a symbol of Christ's body and blood. I suppose such a scenario would fit in with Melanie's later unapproved portion of message of La Salette, that Rome would "become the seat of the Antichrist", while the true pope would be forced into exile, as is suggested by other prophecies.
But I don't think that the NO is the abomination of desolation, even though it is an inferior version of the Mass.


Emmett, I don't think the NO is invalid for the reasons you mention. I also don't think Latin is the biggest issue with the changes of the Mass, I think the priest facing the people (back to the tabernacle) hence being man centred, the removal of high altars and the elimination of various prayers, not to mention the stripping off churches the sacred which has led to great irreverance. The loss of the sacred is killing our times.

Although he may gone too hard at times, I thought it interesting Fr Somervilles analysis that a certain abomination occuring in the temple, specifically regarding altars that would herald the end-time. Given the Masonic connections with the NO it is in a way an abomination and I believe has led to desolation, "There we have it: desolation means being desolate, being abandoned by good people, and worse, being abandoned by God and by His grace".

I think many people stay away from the NO because they realise there is something seriously defective with it. When I have been to NO there appear to be few devout people, the main body of people have departed by the time the final hymn is finished. In fact some Masses I have been to I can only describe as abominations with the stuff going on. Lex orandi, lex credendi. I think it takes a special grace to attend the NO and maintain ones faith well, or at the very least a very strong grounding in Catholic beliefs.

It is a sad time when most bishops seem hostile to the TLM. Our new bishop in Perth has pulled the plug on 3 trad vocations. Reading at Rorate people from all over the world commented on their dioceses being generally averse to the old Mass, something which made the Church what she is, the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.

"Pope Pius XII warned about the suicide of altering the faith in the liturgy. Something that is suicidal is neither healthy nor sane. When you consider the Masonic influences on the Novus Ordo Missae you realise the utter madness of continuing with it." Fr Paul Kramer

(Emmett again):

Before we go on to look at the prophecy of St. Hildegard, it should be worth noting that according to traditional Catholic theology, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit when acting corporately as whole - which is especially so in the case of ecumenical councils held in union with the pope. If Masonic influences were responsible for the changes to the liturgy made in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, then they could only have infiltrated the Church to such an extent with the permission of the Spirit. Perhaps the changes made to the liturgy and the TLM being taken away from the Church was a punishment for the apostasy of the majority of the laity, and a large part of the clergy. As the new Israel, the Church has always been judged as a lump - the sheep together with the goats; just as ancient Israel was judged collectively for its sins with the rods of Assyria and Babylon. Apostasy does not go unpunished, and perhaps the changes to the liturgy reflect the fact that the Church as a whole no longer gives adequate glory to God. The apostate Church may simply not be worthy enough to offer the highest form of praise to Our Lord, and will first have to be cleansed with the fire of the Holy Spirit at the new Pentecost.

In her most renowned work Scivias, St. Hildegard predicted that the Church would be in a terrible state towards the end of the world. The Church is depicted as a battered and bruised figure, and suffering being raped by the Devil, it subsequently gives birth to the Antichrist. But significantly, despite being in such a decrepit state following the assaults of the Devil weakening the faith of her children, thus giving rise to the birth of the Antichrist; the Church remains resolute, and is eventually restored in the Second Pentecost:

The image of the woman before the altar in front of the eyes of God that I saw earlier was now also shown to me again so that I could also see her from the navel down. From the navel to the groin she had various scaly spots. In her [genitalia] there appeared a monstorous and totally black head with fiery eyes, ears like the ears of a donkey, nostrils and mouth like those of a lion, gnashing with vast open mouth and sharpening its horrible iron teeth in a horrid manner.

From that head to the knees the image was white and red, bruised as with many a beating. From the knees to the two white transverse zones which crosswise seemed to touch the bottoms of the feet from above, the image appeared to be bloody. Lo, the monstrous head removed itself from its place with so great a crash that the entire image of the woman was shaken in all its members. Something like a a great mass of much dung was joined to the head; then, lifting itself upon a mountain, it attempted to ascend to the height of heaven. A stroke like thunder came suddenly and the head was repelled with such strength that it both fell from the mountain and gave up the ghost. After this a stinking cloud suddenly enveloped the whole mountain. The head was surrounded with such great filth in the cloud that the people standing by were struck with the greatest terror as the cloud stayed upon the mountain somewhat longer. The people standing there beheld it and struck with much fear said to each other: " Woe! Woe! What is this? What does that seem to be? Who will help us, unfortunate as we are? Who will deliver us? We are ignorant of how we have been deceived. Almighty God, have mercy on us. Let us, oh let us return. Let us prepare the covenant of Christ's Gospel, since we have been bitterly deceived." Behold, the feet of the aforementioned female image appeared to be white, giving out a brightness above that of the sun. I heard a voice from heaven saying to me: "Even though all things on earth are tending toward their end, so hardships and calamities is bowed down to its End, nevertheless, the Spouse of my Son, though much weakened in her children, will never be destroyed either by the heralds of the Son of Perdition or by the Destroyer himself, however much she will be attacked by them. At the End of time she will arise more powerful and more secure; she will appear more beautiful and shining so that she may go forth in this way more sweetly and more agreeably to the embraces of her Beloved. The vision which you saw signifies all this in mystic fashion."
(Scivias 3:11; Translated by B McGinn, Visions of the End, pp101-102)

It is interesting to find language in this prophecy which clearly echoes Cardinal Ratzinger's description of the "filth" within the Church, first made during his now famous Way of the Cross sermon on Good Friday, 2005:

"Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of His Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words!
How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the Priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!"

"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church... You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all."

The fact that St. Hildegard is one of the most revered saints in Pope Benedict's native Germany, helps to further cement the relationship between the "filth" described by the Holy Father and the "filth" depicted in the vision of the battered Church in Scivias. And it also reflects the Pope's connection of the Third Secret to the "sin" existing within the Church during his pilgrimage to Fatima in 2010:

As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice.

The "filth" that now pervades the Church, described by both St. Hildegard and Pope Benedict is a direct consequence of the apostasy we have been enduring for the past 52 years, since the passing of the date of 1960 mentioned by Sr. Lucia as when the contents of the Third Secret would be "better understood". It is from this date which marked the beginning of the sexual revolution, that we have witnessed the greatest decline in the two thousand year history of the Catholic Church, thus firmly establishing the Great Apostasy foretold in the New Testament:

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
(Matt 24:10-12)

As St. Paul tells us, the rebellion must come first, before the "man of lawlessness" is revealed, just as St. Hildegard predicted that the battered Church would give birth to the Antichrist.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
(2 Thess 2:3-8)

So it seems that the ultimate fruit of the Great Apostasy we are currently enduring is the revelation of the Antichrist himself. The falling away of the faithful, and the lack of adequate worship being offered to God ultimately leads to the appearance of the Son of Perdition - to whom Satan transfers his great power and authority once he is cast to earth:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
(Rev 13:1-2)

Yet St. Hildegard foretells that the people will eventually realise the depths of their delusion, and that the Church will be restored to her former glory - preparing herself in virginal linen to meet the bridegroom, who will bring the appearance of the Antichrist to nothing with the sword of his mouth:

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints...

...Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
(Rev 19:6-8, 11-15)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ezekiel's Vision of the Fall of Satan

There is yet another important biblical passage which links the casting of Satan to earth with the occurrence of the "signs in heaven" described throughout the Bible. As I point out in the book, the Bible frequently highlights the importance of the eschatological astronomical phenomena as a sign heralding the arrival of the end-time. In various places throughout Scripture, we are told that an important period during the end-time would be announced through a very rare combination of astronomical phenomena, which the Book of Revelation places at the opening of the sixth seal - when the saints are sealed in heaven, while the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is fulfilled on earth:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
(Rev 6:12-13)

These events includes the "sun becoming like sackcloth", or a total solar eclipse, combined with a "blood-moon" - which only occurs during a total lunar eclipse, and a major meteorite shower, when it would appear that a large number of stars would fall to earth. In the earlier post Signs in the Sky, we already discussed at some length how the occurrence of each of these signs all appeared at the turn of the millennium - which according to the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, was also the exact moment of the end of the hundred years of Satan's power. And Pope Leo's prophecy of the hundred years of Satan's greater power directly corresponds to the Devil being cast out of heaven by the Archangel Michael in Rev 12:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
(Rev 12:1-12)

In the post The Year of the Dragon, we have noted several prophecies which linked the turn of the millennium with the eschatological Fall of Satan (which is to be distinguished from his primordial fall from grace detailed in the Book of Genesis), when the Devil would be cast from the heavenly court to earth, upon which he transfers his great power and authority to the Beast that rises from the sea, and the inhabitants of the earth are given his mark:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
(Rev 13:1-3)

The Book of Ezekiel makes a similar connection between a dragon emerging from the sea at the moment of his defeat (corresponding to the head with the mortal wound, after it has been crushed through the intercession of the Woman Adorned with Sun, by the Archangel Michael Rev 12:7), and is also marked by the appearance of solar and lunar eclipses:

“Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:
“You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers. Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will throw my net over you with a host of many peoples, and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
And I will cast you on the ground; on the open field I will fling you, and will cause all the birds of the heavens to settle on you, and I will gorge the beasts of the whole earth with you. I will strew your flesh upon the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcass. I will drench the land even to the mountains with your flowing blood, and the ravines will be full of you. When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.

(Ezek 32:2-8)

This passage from Ezekiel parallels an earlier reference comparing the situation of the king of Tyre to the fall of Lucifer:

 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD:
 “You were the signet of perfection,
  full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
  every precious stone was your covering,
 sardius, topaz, and diamond,
  beryl, onyx, and jasper,
 sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
  and crafted in gold were your settings
  and your engravings.
 On the day that you were created
  they were prepared.
 You were an anointed guardian cherub.
  I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
  in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
 You were blameless in your ways
  from the day you were created,
  till unrighteousness was found in you.
 In the abundance of your trade
  you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
 so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
  and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
  from the midst of the stones of fire.
 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;

  you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
 I cast you to the ground;
  I exposed you before kings,
  to feast their eyes on you.
 By the multitude of your iniquities,
  in the unrighteousness of your trade
  you profaned your sanctuaries;
 so I brought fire out from your midst;
  it consumed you,
 and I turned you to ashes on the earth
  in the sight of all who saw you.
 All who know you among the peoples
  are appalled at you;
 you have come to a dreadful end
  and shall be no more forever.”

(Ezek 28:12-19)

The Book of Joel directly links the appearance of the eschatological astronomical phenomena at the defeat of Satan with the arrival of the Second Pentecost:

 “And it shall come to pass afterward,
  that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
 your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
  your old men shall dream dreams,
  and your young men shall see visions.
 Even on the male and female servants
  in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.
(Joel 2:28-32)

As we have already noted in the previous posts The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal, and The Third Secret of Fatima and the Angel with the Flaming Sword, the "blood and fire and columns of smoke" mentioned in Joel, appears to correspond with the Twin Towers attacks on 9/11, adding yet another dimension to the prophecies concerning the turn of the millennium. And when we take into account the various other prophecies which link the turn of the millennium with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary/Second Pentecost (such as is detailed in the posts John Paul II - The Triumph of Mary and the Great Jubilee, The Prophecies of La Salette and the Turn of the Millennium, St. John Bosco's Prophecy of the Turn of the Millennium, and The Third Secret of Fatima and the Turn of the Millennium), it seems fairly conclusive that we are on the brink of the era of peace promised by the Virgin Mary at Fatima. Although the Second Pentecost has not yet fully arrived, the event which will allow it to happen has already occurred at the millennial anniversary of the First Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Second Pentecost can only take place at the defeat of Satan, when the head of the Serpent is crushed and he is cast from heaven to earth. The Angel with the Flaming Sword has dealt a fatal head-wound to the Dragon that rises from the sea, and the time when Satan would be unleashed for "a little while" (Rev 20:3), has already ended (see the post Tunguska, Pope Leo, and the Opening of the Abyss). It is this moment that was prophesied in the Book of Daniel, when the Archangel would rise up against Satan, and the elect would be delivered from unbelief:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book."
(Dan 12:1)

We find some parallels to this verse in Jesus' eschatological discourse on Mount Olivet which also states that this tribulation period would be cut short for the sake of the elect, to allow for a period of conversion:

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
(Matt 24:21-22)

And a little further in the Gospel of Matthew, we are told that the end of this tribulation period would be marked by the appearance of the eschatological astronomical phenomena:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
(Matt 24:29-30)

It is after this period of tribulation that we find that the elect are allowed to wash their soiled robes in the blood of the Lamb at the opening of the sixth seal:

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
(Rev 7:13-14)

Now after the defeat of Satan in heaven, we await the renewal of the Church through the ministry of the Two Witnesses, when the "gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matt 24:14).