Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Mark of the Beast, Eternal Sin, and the Message of the Third Angel

The lower central section of Michelangelo's fresco The Last Judgment

For many Christians, the most unsettling aspect of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is the idea that a person could forfeit their eternal soul by being "branded" in some way with the number 666 (which the text explicitly reveals is a gematria code for the name of the Antichrist). Yet the notion that anyone's soul could be permanently and irreversibly condemned to eternal torment before they have even met their death is in direct contradiction with the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that all sins, without exception, can be forgiven in the sacrament of confession (as long as the penitent is truly contrite, and resolves not to sin again):

"There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. "There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin."
(CCC 982)

The closest Catholic theology comes to the concept of eternal sin is in reflecting upon Christ's identification of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the only transgression which cannot be forgiven:

"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
(Matt 12:31-32)

However the Catechism elaborates on the nature of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as an eternal sin, and places this within the context of the obstinate refusal of a person to repent of their sins, in a state of resistance which persists right up to the point of death:

There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss. (CCC 1864)

Pope John Paul II explains the position of the Magisterium on blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as being equated with the ultimate refusal of grace in his encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem:

Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable? How should this blasphemy be understood ? St. Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is "unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place."
According to such an exegesis, "blasphemy" does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the "convincing concerning sin" which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the "coming" of the Counselor - that "coming" which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ's Blood: the Blood which "purifies the conscience from dead works."
We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in "dead works," in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this "non-forgiveness" is linked, as to its cause, to "non-repentance," in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. 
(Pope John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem Article 46, 18th May, 1986)

So according to Catholic theology, the only sin which leads to eternal damnation is the ultimate rejection of God in extremis, which the Catechism equates with blasphemy against the Holy Spirit - who works to fulfill the Lord's desire that all men should be saved (1Tim 2:4). Given that the Church teaches that all sin can be forgiven in the sacraments of baptism and reconciliation, we must accept that this forgiveness extends even to the future scenario when people will knowingly and freely accept the mark of the Beast - as long as they repent of their actions and are absolved by a confessor.
The widely popularized misconception which holds that anyone who accepts the mark of the Beast faces automatic and irreversible eternal damnation, is solely due to the influence of Protestant theologians during the Reformation. Following the concept of predestination forwarded by John Calvin, a prevailing worldview in Protestant theology is that it is impossible for someone to inherit damnation once they accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, since they have been granted irresistible grace (which can be summarized by the maxim "once saved, always saved").  Conversely, according to Calvinism, it is equally impossible for someone who has already been predestined to hell to eventually break this path to destruction in order to achieve salvation. This view attempts to explain the repercussions behind the omniscience of God, and asserts that if He knew everything that would happen throughout the course of human history in advance of the act of creation, then God must have predetermined every event that has taken place in the universe. Needless to say, the Calvinistic model of predestination (or double predestination), which teaches that God has already preordained not only the fate of elect, but also those who are damned, has some serious implications for upholding not only the omnibenevolence of God and the universal salvific will, but also the reality of individual freewill.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church expressly condemns the Calvinistic idea that God predestines anyone to eternal damnation:

God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance"... (CCC 1037) 

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace... (CCC 600)

For Catholics, human nature is inherently wounded by original sin, and we are constantly in need of God's grace - which we receive through the sacraments. No one is impervious to sin (apart from the Virgin Mary, who by a singular grace was conceived free from the stain of original sin), and anyone is free to accept or refuse God's grace at any point in their lives. Given that the Catechism teaches that no-one is predestined to hell, and that reconciliation with God can be attained at any point in a person's life, the notion that anyone can be lost forever by accepting the mark of the Beast is incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The idea that someone can be forever condemned to hell, without any hope of forgiveness, belongs squarely to a Calvinistic concept of salvation. But since this view of predestination is still held by a large number of Protestants, we can see why such a level of fear is attached to the prophecy of the mark of the Beast in some of the most popular books dealing with the end-times.
Taking the above considerations in mind, we are prompted to contemplate exactly are the spiritual repercussions for accepting the mark of the Beast from a Catholic point of view. First and foremost, in order for any particular action to have any canonical penalties, it has to be first defined by the Magisterium, since it is the Church that binds and looses sin on earth.:

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
(John 20:22-23)

As the Catechism states:

In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head." The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God. (CCC 1444-1445)

In other words, the mark of the Beast can only ever be whatever the Church will identify it as, and any canonical penalties would only ever apply once the Magisterium has defined them. Building on this scenario from one of the most popular theories on what form the mark of the Beast will take, if a Catholic decided to have a mircochip implant fitted into their hand or forehead tomorrow in order to buy and sell goods, and the Church remained silent on the matter, then there would be no canonical penalties for doing so. As such, there would be no spiritual consequences for accepting this microchip, since it is only the Church that can bind or loose sin on earth. However if the Church was to later teach that accepting such a microchip implant was in fact the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and that anyone who does so would be barred from receiving communion, then receiving mircochip implants would at that point have a canonical penalty which could prevent someone from attaining salvation if they continued to use it despite the ruling of the Church. They would thus be cut off from receiving the graces bestowed by the sacraments until they repented of their sin, made a resolution never to use such a device again, and sought absolution from a priest. And if they were to die before they repented of their actions, they would be automatically excluded from the beatific vision. Microchip implants would always have been the fulfillment of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast, but the canonical and spiritual penalties would only apply once the Church has made an official decree. The faithful who had been deceived into accepting the mark would then be forced either to choose to make reparation and cease to use this technology altogether, or continue to use it and render themselves unable to approach the sacraments until they repent of their actions.
Given that we are compelled to believe that the prophecy of the mark of the Beast will one day come to pass (during the final trial of the Church and the age of the Antichrist), we are also compelled to believe that the Church will one day make such a decree, and identify exactly what the mark of the Beast is by imposing a canonical penalty for using it. In fact, it appears that the eventual pronouncement of the canonical and spiritual repercussions for accepting the mark of the Beast by the Church is part of the prophecy itself. Whilst Rev 13 describes how the prophecy of the mark of the Beast comes to fruition (when the False Prophet causes the inhabitants of the earth to be "marked" with the number 666 on the hand or forehead), the spiritual consequences of accepting this mark are not divulged until Rev 14, when the third angel announces that anyone who receives the mark will "drink the wine of God's wrath":

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
(Rev 14:9-13)

Up to this point, we are told that the False Prophet causes everyone, from all walks of life, to receive the mark of the Beast:

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
(Rev 13:16-17)

Not only does the False Prophet cause all to accept the mark of the Beast, but we are also told that everyone would be deceived into doing so - meaning that anyone who had received the mark of the Beast up to this point had done so unwittingly. It is only at the proclamation of the message of the third angel that we are made aware of the consequences of accepting the mark of the Beast, and informed that anyone who accepts it afterwards will be faced with eternal damnation if they do not repent of their actions. The message of the third angel is further described as "a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus", meaning that now they have been made fully aware of their situation, the followers of Christ are thus asked to reject the mark of the Beast, and face the extreme hardships that doing so will entail. A voice is then heard in heaven declaring "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on", which forms a deliberate contrast from the fate of those who die without repentance from having received the mark. The call for the endurance of the saints occurs earlier in the Apocalypse, in Rev 13:10, which describes the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist:

Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
(Rev 13:7-10)

It is worth noting then that the various angels described in the Apocalypse can often symbolize actual figures in the Church. For example, many scholars believe that the oracles to the angels of the seven churches of Asia Minor in Rev 2-3 where most likely originally addressed to the bishops of the respective churches. As such, these oracles addressed to bishops contemporary with St. John contained a prophetic message that transcended the situation in their first century AD context. A famous episode of a historical figure being equated with an angel of the Apocalypse is when St. Bonaventure claimed that St. Francis of Assisi was the angel of the sixth seal - who seals the servants of God on their foreheads (which is a prophecy of the Second Pentecost). So in all probability, the message of the third angel is actually a prophecy of a Church figure (most likely a pope) making an authoritative proclamation which identifies the exact nature of the mark of the Beast, and the canonical penalties that accepting it will incur - an event which we have already established as an essential component in bringing this prophecy to fulfillment.
If (as is commonly believed) mircochip implants are involved in the fruition of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast, the only way it could be definitively established as such is if the Church official proclaims it to be so. However I believe it is far more likely that the Church will eventually identify the mark of the Beast as the current use of internet enabled cell phone technology - which is already set to be the future of all electronic commerce. And if the Magisterium does eventually declare this to be the mark of the Beast, then it actually will be - since it is only the Church that binds and looses sin on earth. There is absolutely no scriptural evidence whatsoever that the mark of the Beast will take the form of a microchip implanted invisibly beneath the skin. And as we have already discussed at length in other posts (such as The Mark of the Beast?), the current use of cell phone technology already meets all of the criteria needed to identify it as the mark of the Beast - which can be summed up as follows:

Transactions through cell phones via NFC technology is widely recognized by economists to be the future of electronic commerce.

All such commerce will be conducted over the worldwide web (www) - which has the numerical value in Hebrew of six-six-six.

Worldwide cell phone penetration already stands at around 91% (see here) - which means most people in the world already own one.

St. John's concept of the mark of the Beast was based on the Jewish practice of wearing phylacteries - small boxes containing portions of Scripture worn on the hand or forehead - i.e. an external object, similar to how a mobile phone is worn.

The Greek word translated as "mark" χάραγμα (charagma) can equally be translated as "crafted or sculpted object".

Cell phones have an innate capacity for evil, and have already had a negative influence on society. The fact that they are currently used for governmental mass surveillance programs shows the immense benefits such technology will provide for the next global dictator (i.e. the Antichrist), who will exploit this to its fullest potential.

With the immanent release of Google Glass, cell phone technology can be worn directly on the forehead.

People would be deceived into accepting the mark of the Beast - meaning they would not be aware of its true nature:

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. 
(Rev 19:20)

Given their views on predestination, and the erroneous opinion that even accepting the mark in ignorance irrevocably damns a persons soul to hell for eternity, Protestants will be a lot less inclined to accept that the prophecy of the mark of the Beast could already be fulfilled in shape of modern smart phone technology. If the Church does eventually identify cell phones as the fulfillment of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast (and there is certainly enough evidence for it to do so already), then it is not hard to imagine the huge impact such an event would have for the lives of faithful Catholics, who would be immediately faced with immense economic hardship. Whatever the case may be, we can be certain that the Church will one day make a certain and final decision in this regard - the truth of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is Divinely revealed. And when it does so, the prophecy of the message of the third angel will finally be fulfilled - meaning that ordinary Catholics will either reject the teachings of the Church, or be faced with open persecution by the world's governments...


Anonymous said...

The most sinister aspect of security state tech is that it's larger goal is not simply about controlling commerce or gaining a one up on enemies of the state. Ultimately, the aim is to control and subjugate the souls of millions to the will of a few. Technology that knows a person inside and out and offers some false form of love and community, with full consent of the recipient.

mariana said...

Fascinating article Emmett. It opened my eyes to thinking that the aim of global control today is a secular one. If one wants to buy and sell under the European Union one needs to follow the secular laws of the organization. May the mark be with those who don't fight secularism?

mariana said...

What did God make on his sixth day of creation? He made man. Father Gobbi told us the mark of the beast is humanism. It is man's law over God's laws. Man over God. The idea of technology being the mark of the beast is quite primitive. We have evolved as Catholics to the New Testament. Our Catholic religion is spiritual in meaning, so Scripture should not be taken literally. Technology is a tool used by the human mind and human action. We sin and may use technology to sin, but it doesn't mean the mark is a device. A phone, computer, or chip are objects that can't sin. The mark is in all of us who sin. Do we not sin with our minds and actions? Well, the forehead and hand are symbolic to our mind and actions. The number of the beast is 6, and the name of the beast is man. For the sin we commit in our souls, brings out the beast in all of us.

Anonymous said...

"so Scripture should not be taken literally."

Really? May I ask which parts should not be taken literally?

Christ said "This is my Body." Should that not be taken literally?

Adam was made from the dust of the Earth. Should that not be taken literally?

That's an outrageous statement to make. If Scripture isn't to be taken literally, then everything we believe means nothing.


Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Mariana,

There is definitely a spiritual layer of interpretation to the mark of the Beast (known as the idealist view). The Book of Revelation speaks to the Church in every age. On this level of interpretation, those who accept the mark of the Beast represent those who have rejected the grace of God throughout the ages, and should be equated with everyone whose names are not written in the Book of Life (Rev 13:8). But it would be a grave mistake to reduce the prophecies of the Bible to a spiritual layer of meaning. We do not expect a "spiritual" Second Coming of Christ - our faith teaches us that it will be literal. As well as having an idealist (spiritual) interpretation, the Apocalypse also has preterist, historicist and futurist layers. The mark of the Beast has definite physical properties, since we are told that no one will be able to buy or sell without having it - i.e. it will be something fully visible to all, and anyone without it won't be able to participate in commerce.
Also the neutrality of technology in philosophical terms has been called into serious question. The nuclear bomb is not neutral, nor were the Nazi gas chambers. They have only one purpose - mass destruction of human life. The first of Melvin Kranzberg's six laws of technology is that "Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral." As Marshall McLuhan famously stated "the medium is the message" - technology is an end in itself, and is not just a means that be used for good or ill.
As the Book of Genesis makes clear, the use of technology is the chief result of the fall - it is the fruit of Satan's promise when he tempted the first couple to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so that their eyes would be opened, and they would "become like gods". It is exactly this promise that modern technology offers to humanity - the ability to live like gods here on earth, by developing artificial "eternal life" by connecting our consciences with computers. Once humanity began to develop technology in the distant past however, eventually converging upon the power to destroy worlds was inevitable. God will never allow mankind to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. If we attempt to do so, we will instead be consumed by the flaming sword protecting the path to Eden - a sword we have fashioned ourselves.

mariana said...

Thanks Emmett, for making it so clear and easy to agree with you that God will never allow mankind to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. As Catholics we look for the meaning that the Scripture passage in Genesis meant to convey, we just don't look at the words on the Bible and take them face value. We are not literalists. "We recognize metaphors in the Bible in which we take literally - for they are metaphors - and not as literalist statements of what is happening." Figuring out the "literal" interpretation of Bible passages, can sometimes be difficult. But the Bible clearly teaches there will be "a Second Coming, an Antichrist, a conversion of Israel to Christ, a definitive judgment of all people, a fulfillment of the kingdom that has already begun in the Church, and a time of trial which the Church must endure." It is our interpretations on how these truths will come that may be different. And that's okay. We all have a right to interpret how the events will come, as long as we are obedient to the Magisterium. Emmett you would be so interested in reading about this visionary who died awhile ago. Her name is Maria Esperanza of Betania. And she spoke so futuristic on technology. She said, in a world where science is in tune with spirituality, there will be great events and conquest. If science embraces humility, respects God, and opens itself to the Holy Spirit, whom she claims will unleash hitherto unimagined inventions, including technology that will eventually neutralize radioactivity. And this can only happen if man decides to follow God. Unfortunately, what we see today with our scientific culture is the opposite. We dabble in science that kills human life. This is the dark side of obeying Satan to conspire against God, and eating the apple from the Tree of Life. Science today is not for man's well being, but for Satan's. And Maria Esperanza said, because of this unfortunate path we have freely chosen, the world will go through a cleansing. God help us! I do still believe certain technology is "a means that can be used for good or ill." A nuclear weapon may be the only thing that can save the planet earth from potentially deadly asteroids. And gas stoves can cook delicious food. But killing embryo's in order to clone a human being, well, that's just the apple of Satan's eyes. It is Satan's goal to mark our souls again like he did with original sin. For Satan, the apple, like embryonic stem cells used for cloning is the evil means that justifies the end. But it is our free will and not the means that chooses to sin. In the end, it man's free will of what he does with his mind and actions that brings about the mark of the beast. Sorry Emmett, I still feel it's spiritual in meaning, like original sin. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Emmett, I wanted to call to your attention this article in Wired magazine about Ray Kurzwell.

I wonder, do you think he or another scientist in sympathy might be a forerunner of Antichrist?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insights that clarify a "before and after" the mark. I agree. People would readily be martyred on the spot if the mark's unveiling was that obvious. It seems much more likely that is already here. However, I am extremely weary that The Church wll come out against it, not under the current circumstances anyway, :(.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Mary-Louise,

Yes, I have a particular interest in Ray Kurzweil and the Transhumanist movement, and have some unfinished material on this subject that I have been meaning to put up on the blog at some point. When the Antichrist arrives, I believe this will be his ultimate goal. To install himself as an actual immortal "god" right here on earth:

"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."
(2Thes 2:3-4)

I believe that Satan has chosen to transfer his great power and authority to the Antichrist at the precise moment in history when the potential for humanity to be immortalized on earth is within reach. The Devil seeks either to establish his own kingdom here on Earth forever, fulfilling his promise to make people become "like gods", or to force God's hand into destroying the Earth altogether before this point can actually be reached.

Jamey said...

Mariana, the raw materials used in technology are not inherently evil but the combination of where the original impulse of the thought and materials used can make it so. Thought plus materials leads to technological product. So I think you have to consider the source of the technology. If demons have given the information to scientists via thought streams then that particular technology will not be neutral and ultimately the effects will be disastrous. Since there is a link between the spiritual and physical dimensions, a physical object that can impact the harmony and balance of ones body as well as mind will be evil.

Re that Esperanza prophecy I think if God is eventually going to shower the world with blessings if anything we will have a situation as Howard Storm wrote in his book - that is minimal technology but God given gifts of being able to teleport, pray a plant to grow in 5 minutes, comprehend foreign languages, immediate healing via prayer of anyone severely injured, people spending most of their time raising kids and with family, a transformed digestive system where we only eat raw vegetable diet etc.

btw give me the "primitive" Catholicism any day. Such Catholicism sanctified society.

Jamey said...


Sr Lucia believed the entire world would be under the dominion of a communist regime, she had a pretty reliable source of information. We see things in motion on so many fronts how Russia has spread her errors and are living and breathing it. Governments are exercising far too much control in areas they shouldn't and not exercising controls in areas they should, all essentially due to shoddy Godless philosophies prevailing. I think it was the famous Russian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said without God anything is permissible, how much wisdom in that one line. Salza was saying the seer from Quito saw the Catholic church in the second half of the 20th century engulfed in a huge demonic smoke, by extension imagine how much the rest of the world is? So from all this we may well end up with a regime that was borne of Russia spreading her errors in a world of people with pretty much no idea what is going on. The Government or entity who could conquer the world may not call themselves communist but essentially will be totalitarian and its policies presented under the guise of Masonic twisted principles of universal brotherhood and equality. From this they could well institute the mark of the beast as you posit. The world is in a phase where there is an always increasing demand for "accountability", eg I worked for a government health department and there was an increasing trend of governance and tracking everybodies elses work despite the exhorbitant costs of doing so, it was extremely crippling and some crazy stuff would go on. The mark of the beast using mobile phone technology tracking all transactions could well be the full fruits of such a mindset fully extended and with the world in a massive demonic haze.

mariana said...

Jamey, I meant by primitive to be the physical lamb being sacrificed in the Jewish temples vs. the fulfillment of today's sacrifice of Our Lord as the lamb in the altar. I prefer our Catholic version of rituals. And all knowledge in Science comes from God. We just need to follow a moral path to the means of our technological ends. It is always about the welfare of all men.

KP said...

Emmett, what do you think about the anti-Christ being a false Jewish Messiah? I'm trying to find any speculation on your blog about the origins of the anti-Christ, but you don't say much about it, except a brief mention that he may be from Europe and invade Israel. ("The Sibylline Oracles and the End-time Flood")

I've always thought that the Jews will at first accept the anti-Christ as their Messiah. Jesus mentions to the Jewish leaders who were rejecting Him in John 5:43 "I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him."

I'm trying to think how the future may play out. I hope for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart hopefully occurring in 2017, though we don't know exactly what that will entail. But aside from that, we may soon see Israel going to war with Iran and the surrounding nations over the nuclear program. And if the Jews are victorious there, they may see one of their leaders as their Messiah. And they expect the Messiah to rebuild the Temple. The plans are already there to do this, they just have to defeat the Muslim nations somehow first.

What do you think of this? Has this ever crossed your mind? How would this fit in with Church approved prophecies and apparitions?

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks Anon,

You're quite right, no Christian would accept the mark if they knew what it was. And the text states that EVERYONE would be deceived into accepting it. So it is not something that would be immediately obvious (like a literal brand). Rather it would be subtle enough to leave room for doubt. It is only after the announcement of the third angel that we learn the consequences of accepting the mark of the Beast. Interestingly, in the only place in the Apocalypse that speaks of those who reject the mark, is another prophecy which appears to relate directly to a vision of the Church leadership, who are described as "those with the authority to judge" (i.e. the ones holding the keys of St. Peter):
"Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands."
(Rev 20:4)

If we view this a vision of a pope (or a succession of popes), which at the same time is also a prophecy of the martyrdom of the Catholic faithful, then this is almost identical with the Third Secret:

"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'. 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 the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and 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, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions."

Remember that Sr. Lucia singled out Rev 13 in relation to the Third Secret...

Jamey said...

Mariana said:

"And all knowledge in Science comes from God."

I am not sure about this - I think the demons have an understanding of how the universe works, I think this is part of the preternatural and they are highly intelligent. I think many of the things we see in science are the result of the diabolical for example contraceptive & abortive medication, cloning, IVF, genetic modification, etc. To be honest I don't think humans have the natural intelligence by themselves to do and create many of the things they have but have help from higher intelligences but often from the dark side. It starts with pride and rejection of God. As I think Emmett alluded I think much of it also ties in to the false promises the devil made in the Garden of Eden that we shall be like Gods.

"We just need to follow a moral path to the means of our technological ends."

I agree with this.


Interesting thoughts KP, I think it is very worthwhile keeping an eye on the Middle East as well as world economic situation. As Bishop Williamson said no matter how bright and clever the politicians and diplomats are, when sin is at the level it is a war will happen.


Emmett, I have read that Sr Lucia identified the 3rd Secret with Rev 8-13. Is there anywhere specifically to Rev 13 alone?


Jamey said...

For those interested:

"Most importantly, Bishop Fellay has announced a fourth Rosary Crusade with the goal of offering 5 million rosaries to Our Lady for the intentions of:

- To implore from the Immaculate Heart of Mary a special protection for the traditional apostolate;

- For the return to Tradition within the Church;

- For the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the consecration of Russia.

We will be offering soon on this website instructions on how you can join this new Rosary Crusade."

Emmett O'Regan said...

I'll answer your question first Jamey, before moving on to KP's. Yes, the Third Secret, which depicts the final Passover of the Church, is directly related to the final persecution of the Antichrist described in Rev 13:7-10.

"Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints."

This passage is recapitulated in Rev 20:4.

Anonymous said...

I once saw a series of videos of a Catholic theologian from Steubenville University speak on end time events. He summarized the probable course of events leading up to the Antichrist based on Catholic theology and credible known prophecies from Catholic sources. I am reiterating this from memory and may be off a bit but the gist of it was this, as I recall:

All approved prophecy on the subject has its fulfillment destined to occur by or before mid-century (I am not sure how he determined this).

There will be 2 chastisement periods. The first chastisement will be manmade in the form of worldwide conflict or war, and will be very short but brutal. Untold millions will perish.

The worldwide conflict will end suddenly with the onset of the Era of Peace. I do not recall what he said causes this but I believe it might have been the Illumination of Conscience.

The period of peace will last 25 years and will coincide with the Great Evangelization. He quoted Bible verses that describe this period and its length.

During the period of peace, the AC will come into manhood and initiate his destruction across the world. This will be met with a divine chastisement. I do not recall how this was described in the video but assume it is described in the Book of Revelations.

I do not recall where the theologian placed the 3 days of darkness, but I think it was after or during the divine chastisement.

Emmett I am wondering if this is consistent with your predictions? I have not read much of your material so I am not familiar with your perspective on the topic.

Interestingly, this scenario means it is still possible for a brief worldwide conflict to ensue before 2017, with 2017 being the start of the Era of Peace. Twenty-five years after that is 2042, which leaves 8 years for the period of the AC to unfold before mid-century. If this were all to occur, I would think the AC would have been building his framework and staging his people during the Era of Peace.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi KP,

The idea that the Antichrist will be Jewish is an old one, mostly based on the expectation that he will attempt to exactly mimic the ministry of Christ. The Early Church Father St. Irenaeus was a great influence in this regard, who noting that the tribe of Dan did not appear in the list of tribes in Rev 7, went on to speculate that the Antichrist would be from the tribe of Dan. St. Hippolytus held similar views. We have to remember that this is still just speculation though, as opposed to actual private revelations. Personally, I think that the Antichrist will be from a political background, and venture from there into the religious arena, rather than vice-versa. Church approved private revelations are virtually silent on the background of the Antichrist. Fatima seems to single out Russia as a danger - being the rod which God would use to punish the world, etc.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Anon,

Would that be Mark Miraville from Steubenville University? Yes it kind of fits in with my view. Only I would hold that the chastisement of wars is already over (with WWI and WWII) and that the era of peace is immanent. I don't think there will be another great war before the era of peace. The next, and final world war - that of Armageddon, takes place after the era of peace, when the Antichrist rises to power after the time of the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch/Two Witnesses. A 25 year period for this era of peace is a reasonable assumption - this was given in Melanie's unapproved portion of the secrets of La Salette.
You're right that the Antichrist would be starting to rise to power during the era of peace, since we know he is a contemporary of the Two Witnesses.

Anonymous said...

Emmett, I do not know if the theologian was Mark Miraville from Steubenville University. It was a long time ago.

I have often wondered about whether WWI & WWII could be the minor chastisements. But I also wonder how the Antichrist gains traction for a following during the Era of Peace.

I know some theorists say the Antichrist will rise to prominence and power during the minor chastisement (wars), which gives him a stage on which to launch his worldwide dominion. Then the Era of Peace would follow his subsequent demise, after which Gog and Magog would rise and the major chastisement destroys them. Clearly this is not in line with your viewpoint.

But I always stumble over the first scenario when I try to understand how the Antichrist rises out of an Era of Peace and expansion of the Church? That doesn't seem logical on its surface. Perhaps you can elaborate on that question that always lingers for me.

Jamey said...

Emmett, apologies my question probably wasn't clear enough - did Sr Lucia in any of her books primarily identify the Third Secret with Chapter 13 alone of Revelation?

Emmett O'Regan said...

No, as you state above, she singled out chapters 8-13. But in doing so, she gave a definite area of focus for our times. It is interesting that she included chapter 13 in this selection though, which deals almost exclusively with the mark of the Beast.

Laurel said...

Might want to look at 1 Kings 10:14
I believe that is the only other place where the number 666 is found. For me, that the number should make the first of only two scriptural appearances in that particular historical setting is quite startling.

Jamey said...

Emmett, I don't intend to start another war here but came across this on Louie Verrechio's blog that may be of interest to traditionalist readers here regarding Sr Sasagawa and an SSPX priest and her thoughts on the TLM. If true it will confirm what many of us suspected Sr was thrown out due to modernist churchmen (Jesuits) not liking what she stood for. Most of what happened in Akita has been wiped out.

"Speaking of the SSPX, Fr Chazal recently said in a sermon that he met with visionary Sister Agnes of Akita and apparently she was thrown out of the convent for being faithful to tradition (apparently she received the stigmata so she couldn’t receive communion in the hand). Fr Chazal apparently offered mass for the nun (who now wears a full traditional habit) and Sr Agnes said of the Tridentine mass, “this is the true mass”. Thought it really interesting since I had always wondered what the good nun had been up to since the apparitions, I thought it might interest other readers, this section of the sermon starts around the 21:55 mark.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emmett, I apologize if you have already dealt with this question in another post; I was wondering if you had any insights about the flurry of prophecies that are surfacing about a Pope who will turn the Church into an all-inclusive protestant type mega church. Some of these prophecies are attributed St. Francis. Are any of these creible in your eyes?


Jamey said...

With parallels to your work Emmett some worthwhile points from Bob Sungenis' exegesis on the Apocalypse relating to Rev 12 - 13 as connected to the Third Secret.

"After being cast out of Heaven Ap 12:17 tell us that the Dragon is embittered and enraged. He now goes to make war with the rest of the Women's offspring, since in order for Satan to have even a partial victory he must deceive the individuals who run the Church."

(The Apocalypse of St John, Robert Sungenis, pg 268).

I think the above is particularly related to Pope Leo XIII's vision, 1960 and the Third Secret, the Church "engulfed in demonic smoke" (Quito), the smoke of Satan entering the temple (Pope Paul VI), and the liturgical and theological mayhem witnessed the past 50 years.

"Apocalypse 12 began with a symbolic account of Satan's attack against Christ (Ap 12:1-5). Having failed that Satan pursued the Church (Ap 12:6-16). Having failed that, he pursues the individual members of the Church (Ap:12-17). Apocalypse 12 however stops abruptly without any resolution to the conflict. Will the Dragon succeed in devouring Christians or will they survive? In Apocalypse 13 the story is continued. It will do so by recapping what transpired in Apocalypse 12 and then add, in stark detail the attack of the Dragon on the individuals within the Church. In short Apocalypse 13 gives the details of Ap 12:17. Similar to Apocalypse 12 however Apocalypse 13 will have no resolution but will instead lead into Apocalypse 14 which will end the Fifth Drama with Judgment Day and an end to the action which was set in motion in 12:1."

(ibid, pg 274).

"In Ap 13:7 we read that the Beast "makes war with the saints". These "saints" are the Christians living on earth (not to be confused with the saints in heaven who the Beast blasphemes). These are the same Christians to whom John referred in Ap 12:17 as the Dragon that "went to make war with the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." "

(ibid, pg 282)

I think what is being discussed is in connection to what Sr Lucia mentioned in 1957 that the devil was about to wage a decisive war against the church and in particular priests. Once again this connects up with Leo XIII's visions and 1960 Fatima Third Secret.

Jamey said...

Sungenis like Emmett believes the Mark of the Beast will be a specific physical item. He talks about some of the things we already see, for example:

"The Second Beast makes it extremely difficult for anyone to live on the earth without submitting to his world system. He does so by controlling, as much as possible, the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, etc) which one normally obtains through an exchange of goods or barter. As John notes the Beast tries to control the world "so that no one can buy or sell unless has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name" (Ap 13:17). Once he controls the worlds system, he controls the movement of good or services, and can literally control life or death. We see this control demonstrated today in the inordinate amount of nations who suffer without sufficient commodities of food, water, medicine, housing, etc. Today the nations must more or less sell their souls to the world system and accept abortion, contraception, homosexuality, divorce and many other hedonistic and godless practices in exchange for food and protection."

(ibid, pg 295).

The above reminded me of Fr John O'Connor relating the US (I think under Clinton) providing aid to poor foreign countries provided they accept abortion.

Then the following:
"Although the Beast's quest is to put everyone under his restrictions with his "mark", and although he is quite successful in bringing most of the world's people under control, he cannot put everyone under his spell. The Church and her Christians find ways and means of circumventing the devil's grip. We are "in the world, but not of the world".

As noted in Ap 12:15-16, although the Dragon spewed out a flood to drown the woman, the earth drank up the flood and the woman escaped. The same is the case with "buying and selling", which represents the world system....Although the Beast is often successful in harming the Woman's children, he does not have absolute control. Indeed the Church survives, and will survive until the end." ibid 295 - 296

So Bible Bob thinks quite a few of us will find ways to survive without being marked although there will be terrible hardships as Emmett mentions.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Anon,

The prophecy of a "destroyer pope" attributed to St. Francis of Assisi is almost certainly a bogus work concocted by the heretical Franiciscan Spirituals. The below material is taken from a contributor on the Fisheaters forum:

"...there may be an issue with the reliability of this prophesy in general. The intro to the book in the OP says this book is a translation for devotional purposes of Luke Wadding's compilation published in 1650 (technically it is a translation of an 1848 German translation of Wadding's work). The problem is, according to Fr. Paschal Robinson's introduction to his 1905 translation of St. Francis' works, the Wadding work contains spurious texts found in second-hand sources. Robinson specifically mentions Mark of Lisbon's compilation as being especially problematic in this regard.

The biggest offender in regards to producing spurious material were the Spirituals, a grouping of heretical sects of Franciscans (including the Fraticelli, Celestines, etc.)--this text may be from them given specific events of their history. Unfortunately, after St. Bonaventure's death, the Franciscan order became a mess with a lot of division. The Spirituals accused the Franciscan order of betraying their rule and the Church at large for abandoning the Gospel. After certain controversies with Rome, under St. Celestine V's reign they were actually given permission to do what they wanted without interference. When he resigned, Boniface VIII was elected and papal opposition to their order was renewed and they were excommunicated. They in turn rejected his rise to the papal throne as uncanonical. From his election through the papacy of John XXII, who definitively condemned their heresy that absolute poverty was necessary for sanctity and that the Church could not own property (and who they called a heretic and antichrist), severe measures were taken to stamp them out, the Dominicans playing an important role in this as inquisitors. A relative many were burned at the stake during this period.

The prophesy in the OP fits these events (if the events are viewed from the Spirituals' point of view) pretty much exactly. There was a major split in the Franciscan Order. They were considered schismatic and heretical when they believed it was the mainstream Order and Church who had fallen into error. They were "persecuted" by a Pope elected under unusual circumstances (which they expressly declared uncanonical) and by another who they called antichirst, and they were put to death by the authorities as a result of their resistance. This gives me a suspicion that some Spiritual may have concocted this prophecy to legitimize their actions--it just fits too perfectly.";wap2

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the background on those Franciscan prophecies. Ok, I just have one more question. Considering the times we're lving in, do you anticipate there being room for another conclave before the great chastisement?

Emmett O'Regan said...

Given that we have yet to see the full benefits of the Second Pentecost, I would say we have at least a few decades left before the Great Chastisement. So yes, in all likelihood there could be several more conclaves. The only prophecy that would suggest otherwise is the list of popes attributed to St. Malachy. But I'm extremely wary of putting too much scope into that one.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks for that info Jamey btw... Very interesting!

mariana said...

Very interesting Jamey, yes, I do agree with much of what Bible Bob says. Although, I still believe the mark of the Beast is not a physical object as most Protestant's believe. I agree more with Father Stefano Gobbi's locutions and Our Lady's messages towards what the meaning of the mark means. He quotes Catherine Emmerich's belief in that hell emptied itself in the last 50 years, before the year 2,000. According to Gobbi, the practice of praying the prayer of exorcism to St Michael in Mass lasted until the reform of the liturgy. He says, the world turned pagan, materialistic, atheistic, and the idols became pleasure and money for society in general, because of that major change in the Mass. He tells us Our Lady professes humanity can no longer rise if the great mercy of the Lord does not raise it. He explains, "how Baptism has worked a prodigy in our lives because it erased the original sin from us; it removed from us that MARK which kept us under the slavery of the Satan. It freed us from slavery and it communicated to us the very life of God through sanctifying grace." We are reminded even though we live in this pagan world, we must not live for pleasure; we must not live for sin, for selfishness, for impurity. We must live for God. There was no mention of an object being the mark of the beast. Instead,Gobbi said, "the will of God is our sanctification. We must observe the Commandments and live the Christian virtues." Living in sin is the Mark. Gobbi warns us Satan's cohorts will deceive us. "Signs and wonders," says Our Lord, "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." "God shall send them a strong delusion - not that they may be excused, but condemned, those, who believe not in the truth, that is, the true Christ, but take pleasure in unrighteousness, that is, in Antichrist." Liberalism has certainly done an injustice to Christianity. How many Liberals today, laugh at and offend Christian principles? In fact, Jamey is right, most major political parties in Europe have to adopt socialist policies in order to appease the powerful Marxist influence over European politics. Now, Gobbi says, we are not living the End of the world, but the End of Time. This refers to the present time, which is possessed by the evil one. We are living the triumph of Satan. These decades of tribulation are years where we carry the weight of the Cross. Gobbi believed that not to far in the future, "Jesus will give a glorious manifestation of Himself which will be visible to all. This will coincide with the Great Triumph of the Divine Mercy - a Second Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit will transform the hearts and souls of all, who will see themselves in the light of divine truth, bringing them to convert and return to God. A Eucharistic reign will come and will be above all a reign of grace, of sanctity, of love, of peace and of communion." This to me sounds like the "Warning," which Sister Faustina spoke about. Gobbi said, "an extraordinary event will certainly occur and could be considered a chastisement due to sin and evil. It will be a general triumph. It won't be the end of the world, but will be the end of power of evil, a new beginning of a new world in which Christ will reign." Personally I do believe the great mercy of the Lord has to be through an event that will shake all of humanity back into the arms of God again.

mariana said...

Freemasonry, Islam and Communism are all working together to achieve world domination. I believe Archbishop of Bologna - Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, when he proclaimed that the Antichrist may be alive. Father Gobbi said, the Antichrist as a person will not come suddenly, but rather his coming will be the fruit made ripe by all of the three above which has prepared it.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Emmett! And to all faithful readers/commentators here at the site.

I happened to read this(see below) yesterday at Extinction Protocol. Emmett and longtime readers understand the ramifications of seismic activity in the Canary Islands for the world at large. May God bless us with His mercy and grace during these trials.

Pax Christi,

December 23, 2013 – CANARY ISLANDS - The new earthquake swarm under the island’s central-SE sector continues. So far, about 120 quakes of magnitudes above 1.8 including a handful of possibly felt ones (up to magnitudes 3.2) have occurred since yesterday morning. Preliminary GPS data suggest a new phase of uplift has started as well, which supports the idea that a new magma intrusion is occurring at the base of the upper crust beneath the volcanic island. A new earthquake swarm started under the island on December 22nd. The earthquakes are located at about 15 km depth under the southeastern central part of the island. IGN recorded more than 40 quakes with magnitudes up to 3.2 so far. Whether the earthquakes are related to new magmatic intrusions at depth is a unknown but a possible scenario. –Volcano Discovery

KP said...

Wow, Jennifer, that's crazy.

That's scary for me, because I live in NYC. We're planning to move to NJ soon, so hopefully I could be far enough inland that we'll be safe if anything happens. Either way, I'll just hope and pray that my family and I are in a state of grace at the time!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, blessings, KP. I am your fellow neighbor in Eastern PA. Happy New Year.


Jonathan said...

Have you heard of Vincent Ferrer, who maintained he was "The Angel of the Judgement" mentioned in the Apocalypse (Apoc. 14:6-7)?