Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Third Secret: The Centenary of Fatima and the Sign of Jonah


And what are we in comparison with those believers and saints who shall then exist, seeing that they shall be tested by the loosing of an enemy with whom we make war at the greatest peril even when he is bound?
(St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God, XX:8)

Certain events took place last year which my mind is still grappling to come to terms with. In 2017, some key components of my research on the subject of Catholic eschatology was suddenly propelled into the limelight, and a number of rather extraordinary events unfolded which gave me considerable pause for thought. It should be helpful to recap some of these events below in order to gain a sense of perspective (more for myself than anyone else). After my blog post The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan was plagiarised by the hugely popular Protestant prophecy preacher Pastor Mark Biltz and subsequently went viral, racking up millions of views on YouTube, I attempted to contact several journalists in an attempt to bring to light that this material originated from my research, rather than Pastor Biltz.

Biltz's original video plagiarising my work in November 2016 can be seen below, and was later massively popularised by his publishers World Net Daily and Pastor Steve Cioccolanti, whose YouTube channels commands massive influence in the field of Protestant Rapture theology/dispensationalism.

I had wanted to correct the fact that this material had been stripped of its roots in Catholic eschatology and completely missed the key point as to what I was attempting to communicate. The core message I wanted to highlight was the fact that in Matt 12, the sign of Jonah is mentioned by Christ in the same context as the "binding of the strong man". In his monumental text The City of God, the Church Doctor St. Augustine of Hippo demonstrated that this passage was directly related to the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium in Rev 20: The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold, he says, on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed. (St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX:7) My central hypothesis was given the fact that the First World War Eclipse of 21st August, 1914 had directly crossed the site of ancient Nineveh, much like the Bur Sagale Solar Eclipse of 763BC (the original "sign of Jonah") this was a major sign announcing that the tumultuous events of the 20th century were directly related to period of the unbinding of Satan for the "little while" described in Rev 20: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time... When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. (Rev 20:1-3, 7-9) The release of Satan to gather the nations of the world together for war at the end of the "thousand years" (i.e. the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers) is exactly what was implied by the prophetic vision of Pope Leo XIII concerning the century of Satan's greater power, which remains my most popular blog post at over 90,000 pageviews. The only publication to respond to my correspondence attempting to highlight Pastor Biltz's plagiarism of my work was the online edition of the British tabloid The Daily Star. They were more interested in my research concerning the potential future fate of America reflected in the message of Fatima though, and decided to concentrate on this subject, rather than flagging up Biltz's plagiarism of my work. This was the first time any of the material in my book concerning the threat of a mega-tsunami event generated by the lateral collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands has been covered by the mainstream media. You can read the full article here Even though this story was sensationalised in a typically crass fashion (as you would expect from a tabloid newspaper), and there were a number of glaring factual errors (such as the claim that Sr. Lucia was blind and that she has already been canonised), the basic gist of my material was communicated to a wide audience. Soon after this article was published, the story was then also circulated by the popular Greek newspaper Protos Thema (here) and a number of YouTube videos repeating this subject sprang up in various different languages (see here for a video in Russian with over 45,000 views, or here for a video in Chinese with over 37,000 views). Around the same time on 3rd October, 2017, I made what was undoubtedly my greatest breakthrough in my writing career, when my first article was published on Vatican Insider at La Stampa, showing that the "Filial Correction" of Pope Francis by 250 Catholic theologians had breached the guidelines outlaid in the CDF document Donum Veritatas: On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian (see here). Vatican Insider is arguably one of the most influential publications in the Catholic Church, since it is run by the famous Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, a key aide and personal friend of Pope Francis. My friend and fellow expert on Catholic eschatology Stephen Walford was famously granted a 45-minute private audience with Pope Francis in recognition of the importance of his articles on Vatican Insider (see here), and was extended the extraordinary privilege of having the Holy Father provide the preface for his recently published book Pope Francis, the Family and Divorce: In Defence of Truth and Mercy. My first article on Vatican Insider was quickly attacked by The Remnant Newspaper (see here and here), and also by Life Site News (see here and here). My two other articles on Vatican Insider on the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church (here and here) remain among the best defences against the accusations of Pope Francis (or any pope) falling into formal heresy by issuing heretical documents as part of the authentic papal magisterium. Although a brief and rather weak attempt at critiquing my research on the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church in Vatican Insider was made by Fr. Brian Harrison here (an emeritus professor of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico), there hasn't been any other credible attempt to challenge the content of these articles, since doing so would effectively deny a dogma of the Catholic faith which must be firmly held by all believers. Turning back to my material on the Third Secret being covered by The Daily Star, I have to emphasise categorically that I did not attempt to indicate that the tsunami seen by Sr. Lucia during the 1944 Tuy apparition of the Virgin Mary would occur on the centenary of the Miracle of the Sun in October 2017. The Daily Star merely put its own spin on my writing to give that impression. The timeline I present in my book clearly theorizes that this event will only occur at the end of the period of the restoration of the Church foretold in both Sacred Scripture and private prophecy, just before the rise to power of the Antichrist. The period of the restoration of the Church under the ministry of the Two Witnesses, referred to as the renovatio mundi in Medieval prophecy, is still clearly to take place in the future, and can only occur at the end of the "short time" given to Satan alluded to in the vision of Pope Leo XIII. Most Catholics would agree that we are living in the age of apostasy which was foretold to take place towards the end of the world, when the love of many would grow cold because of increase of evil (which can be put down as a consequence of the unbinding of Satan): You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matt 24:6-14) As Jesus states in the Olivet discourse, at the end of this period of trial for the Church the Gospel would then be preached throughout the world during the period of restoration, and only then would the end of the world come about with the appearance of the Antichrist as the "abomination of desolation". The destruction of the eschatological world power referred to as "Babylon" in the Apocalypse occurs immediately before the rise to power of the Antichrist, after which the "ten kings" hand over world dominion to the Beast:

Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. (Rev 18:21)


“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
(Rev 16:12-18)
So according to this scenario, any potential mega-tsunami threat caused by the collapse of Cumbre Vieja is still years in the future after the Church has been restored and purified to prepare itself for the coming of the Bridegroom, and I don't care to speculate on exact dates for any such event. The 1944 Tuy apparition is when Sr. Lucia was instructed to write down the contents of the Third Secret, and is thought by many to intimately related to the secret itself. The Daily Star article covering my research was first published on 18th Sept, 2017, quickly followed by an article on Protos Thema on 19th Sept. By weird coincidence, a seismic swarm occurred at Cumbre Vieja just three weeks later, beginning on October 7th, 2017 sparking fears of an imminent eruption at La Palma. This was the first sign of any volcanic activity at Cumbre Vieja since its last eruption in 1971, and was just a week after the ominous date of Michaelmas/Yom Kippur on 29th Sept, 2017 - which was the central feature of the "40 day" countdown highlighted by Pastor Mark Biltz in his various YouTube videos plagiarising my material on the sign of Jonah. Biltz's plagiarism of my material on the sign of Jonah was picked up by Pastor Steve Cioccolanti in the below YouTube video, and subsequently went viral in the run-up to the Great American Solar Eclipse. The below video alone has over a million views, and there were multiple other videos created on this subject, each attracting millions of views apiece. Biltz even appeared on the massively popular Jim Bakker show a number of times promoting my research on the sign of Jonah, ensuring that it became a veritable phenomenon on the approach to the eclipse itself. Once I contacted Pastor Cioccolanti and presented him with the evidence that this material originated from my research, he then issued a number of videos highlighting the fact that Pastor Biltz had plagiarised my work in order to promote his book God's Day Timer (which of course fails to mention anything about the sign of Jonah being related to the Bur Sagale Eclipse, or the First World War Eclipse). Despite the fact that Pastor Cioccolanti flagged up Biltz's plagiarism of my work in a video with over 200,000 views, (watch above from the 5 minute mark), Pastor Biltz has still refused to apologize or even acknowledge that he directly lifted the material on the sign of Jonah from my blog. Although my material on the sign of Jonah was robbed of its connection with the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium by Pastor Biltz, he did manage to promote my research on this subject to an audience of millions in the approach of the Great American Solar Eclipse. America experienced a dizzying array of natural disasters during the course of the 40-day period in the wake of the solar eclipse, and anyone who took heed of Biltz's videos saw the hand of God in these events, including Pastor Cioccolanti (see the video below, with over half a million views). I find it completely mind-binding that at this precise time period, the greatest scare concerning apocalyptic events (besides the North Korean Nuclear Crisis) had centred upon the exact subject of the threat presented by Cumbre Vieja. Once the seismic activity at Cumbre Vieja ignited fears of a possible volcanic eruption in October 2017, The Daily Star then published another number of articles referencing my research on Sr. Lucia's 1944 Tuy apparition here and here.
It seems beyond coincidence that this seismic activity at Cumbre Vieja took place just before the centenary of the Miracle of the Sun on the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary - since the Virgin Mary had repeatedly requested that the shepherd children of Fatima should pray the Rosary every day for the conversion of sinners. Recourse to the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of sinners lies at the core of the message of Fatima. As Cardinal Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) stated in The Message of Fatima: The first and second parts of the “secret” of Fatima have already been so amply discussed in the relative literature that there is no need to deal with them again here. I would just like to recall briefly the most significant point. For one terrible moment, the children were given a vision of hell. They saw the fall of “the souls of poor sinners”. And now they are told why they have been exposed to this moment: “in order to save souls”—to show the way to salvation. The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: “As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1:9). To reach this goal, the way indicated —surprisingly for people from the Anglo-Saxon and German cultural world—is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The fact that this seismic activity took place at this particular date - just immediately after the details of the 1944 Tuy apparition was widely popularised in the secular media (with its message reaching tens of thousands of people), in the immediate aftermath of the 40-day period of repentance being communicated to millions of Christians worldwide, seems to be a sign that the contents of the vision seen by Sr. Lucia is indeed related to a volcanic collapse at this precise location. As I note in some detail in the post The Canary Islands and the Seven Burning Mountains of Enoch, the exact location of the seven "burning mountains" standing at the entrance to the underworld at the ends of the earth in the Book of Enoch was clearly based on the description of the Canary Islands in Greek mythology - which was the fabled location of the Isles of the Blessed. Given the fact that the Book of Enoch was a known source used by the author of the Apocalypse, this means that the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea described in Rev 8:8 can be triangulated to the location of the Canary Islands. The fact that this seismic activity at Cumbre Vieja took place almost immediately after the 40-day period associated with the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 demands that we pay close attention to a possible link between the "sign of Jonah" sequence of eclipses beginning on 21st August 1914 (marking both the beginning and the end of the period of the unbinding of Satan), acting as a warning concerning the tsunami seen in Sr. Lucia's 1944 Tuy vision. Anyone who has paid close attention to this blog and the comments section at the end of each post will know that what I had really speculated was that at the end of the 40 day period corresponding with the Hebrew month of Elul after the 2017 Solar Eclipse, America would face the prospect of nuclear war but would ultimately be spared, just like the ancient Ninevites were spared from destruction after Jonah had announced the city's destruction. This is precisely what was indicated in the Third Secret of Fatima - that the hand of the angel with the flaming sword would be stayed by the rays issuing from the hands of Our Lady to allow for a period of penance during the restoration of the Church: The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-F├ítima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. 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. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
Tuy-3-1-1944
When the Third Secret was first published in 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger had indicated that the flaming sword should be interpreted as the threat of nuclear war: Let us now examine more closely the single images. The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. (Cardinal Ratzinger, Theological Commentary, The Message of Fatima) So the threat presented by the angel's sword is intimately related to nuclear war, and the Third Secret thus foretold that the world would be spared from nuclear war due to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. The fact that the world came to the brink of nuclear war precisely at the end of the 40-day period connected with the 2017 solar eclipse on the centenary of Fatima during the North Korean Nuclear Missile Crisis in late September of that year, makes it almost certain that the world was only spared from the threat of chastisement due to Our Lady staying the hands of the angel with the flaming sword. The rumblings at Cumbre Vieja immediately after this thus appears to be a further warning confirming the threat of God's judgment if humanity continues to turn its back on Christ. The radical turnaround from the North Korean Nuclear Missile Crisis, with President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un in June 2018, appears to indicate that some form of divine intercession has been at play during the centenary of Fatima. It would thus seem safe to attribute the remarkable nature of this climbdown to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, since the prevention of nuclear war was clearly foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima. The fact that the feast of Michaelmas on the 29th September 2017 was highlighted by the 40-day countdown from the solar eclipse gives a further indication of the threat of judgement from the angel with the flaming sword. It is interesting to note that Michaelmas had overlapped the Jewish Day of Atonement on this particular year. A feast day which is also alluded to in the Third Secret of Fatima, with the two angels sprinkling the blood of the martyrs making their journey towards heaven. The theme of the sprinkling of blood alludes to the actions of the Jewish High Priest on the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, who sprinkled the blood of sacrifice on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel; and the Ark was itself adorned with the two cherubim represented in the Third Secret. We can only hope and pray that the Church will soon be restored as the "little while" given to Satan finally draws to a close. The appearance of the "sign of Jonah" is intimately connected with the binding and unbinding of the "strong man" of Matt 12, which according to St. Augustine of Hippo, occurs at the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. in the sixth thousand of years or sixth millennium (the latter part of which is now passing), as if during the sixth day, which is to be followed by a Sabbath which has no evening, the endless rest of the saints, so that, speaking of a part under the name of the whole, he calls the last part of the millennium — the part, that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world — a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time.
(St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX:7) As I discuss at some length in my book, the timing of the Sabbath Millennium can be firmly dated to the 20th century using the biblical chronology established by the Church Doctor St. Bede the Venerable. My strict adherence to the Augustinian model of eschatology as a means of interpreting the significance of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium in relation to Pope Leo XIII's vision concerning the events of the 20th century is the primary reason I have come to loggerheads with the followers of Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. The followers of Fr. Iannuzzi promote the millenarian eschatology of Joachim de Fiore, which was refuted by St. Thomas Aquinas and condemned by the Church. In his various books on this subject, Fr. Iannuzzi attempts to align himself with the Protestant dispensationalist understanding of the Millennium, which is essentially millennialist/millenarian in nature. According to Fr. Iannuzzi, Satan will only be bound at some point in the future during a millenarian age of total world peace on earth, rather than being bound through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross to facilitate the spread of the Gospel. Hopefully the Church authorities will soon confute the heretical eschatology of Fr. Iannuzzi in order to confirm that Catholics must adhere to St. Augustine of Hippo's understanding of the Millennium of Rev 20, since the Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns all forms of millenarianism as the "deception of the Antichrist": The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. the Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. (CCC 676)

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Our Lady of Knock, Jacob's Ladder and the Short Time of Satan




When Pope Francis visited Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018, his visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Knock coincided with one of the most remarkable attacks on a pontiff by a high-ranking member of the Catholic hierarchy in recent Church history. Archbishop Vigano, the former papal nuncio to the United States, had alleged that Pope Francis played a pivotal role in covering up the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Cardinal McCarrick, and called on the Holy Father to abdicate from the papacy. 

As we shall see, the fact that this accusation against Pope Francis was timed to directly coincide with his visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Knock appears to be of major prophetic importance concerning the end of the period of Satan's greater foreseen in the vision of Pope Leo XIII. The whole point of Satan's period of greater power is framed so that at the conclusion of this diabolical assault against the Church, the Devil could then stand before Christ's representative on earth and point to the stains that have sullied the papal cassock. The role of "Devils advocate" in this instance, as a figure within the Church who would point to these stains, seems to have been undertaken by Archbishop Vigano. 

Throughout the course of my previous research on this subject, I have attempted to explain how the symbolism of the Knock shrine heavily alludes to a scene in the Divine Throne Room described in the third chapter of the Book of Zechariah. Alongside the story of Job and the description of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20, Zech 3 forms the immediate scriptural basis for the vision of the period of Satan's greater power foreseen by Pope Leo XIII. One of the most striking images of Zech 3 is that of the High Priest Joshua being accused by Satan in the Divine Throne Room - which is the primary location suggested by the symbolism of the Knock apparition itself.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD was standing by.

And the angel of the LORD solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 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. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”
(Zech 3)

The above vision of the sullied robes of the High Priest Joshua (representing the pope as Pontifex Maximus) being removed and replaced with clean garments described in the Book of Zechariah is also heavily alluded to in St. John Bosco's March of the 200 Days: 

Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is Hers. Like mist She shall scatter Her enemies. She shall vest the Venerable Old Man with all his former garments. There shall yet come a violent hurricane. Iniquity is at an end, sin shall cease, and before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on the earth. The great Minister shall see the Bride of his King clothed in glory. Throughout the world a sun so bright shall shine as was never seen since the flames of the Cenacle until today, nor shall it be seen again until the end of time...
(Biographical Memoirs)

I have written about the importance of the 1879 Irish apparition in relation to the Divine Throne Room before in the post The Prophetic Symbolism of Our Lady of Knock, and its significance plays a key role in my book as a marking point of the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals - which I argue is specifically linked with the beginning of the short time given to Satan at the end of the "thousand years" described in Rev 20. In turn, I linked the short time of Satan described in the Apocalypse with Pope Leo XIII's famous vision of the period of Satan's greater power, which began at the turn of the 20th century, and concludes around our own time.

It will be worth recapping the most important aspects of my material on Our Lady of Knock before moving on to take on board some new considerations which also help to bolster my theory that this apparition is directly associated with the period of Satan's greater power - which was announced to Pope Leo XIII between 5-7 years after this apparition took place. The Knock apparition itself clearly alludes to the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals described in Rev 5, since it is central focus lies on the Lamb of Revelation, with an image of St. John (the author of the Apocalypse) directing the attention of his audience to an open book he holds in his hands (the scroll of Revelation?). In Rev 5, the Lamb is permitted to open the scroll sealed with sevens, which sets in motion the events of the Apocalypse itself - beginning with the unleashing of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

As I argue at length in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, the release of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are summoned fourth by the Four Living Creatures, is recapitulated later in the Book of Revelation by the four angels who are bound at the River Euphrates in order to kill a third of "the people". Once we compare this verse with the various other scriptural allusions contained in this passage, we find that it is a third of the Jewish people who are to be killed by the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (see the earlier post on this subject here).

As I demonstrate in the book, it is quite likely that Pope Leo XIII had himself connected his famous prophetic vision of a period of greater power being given over to the Devil with the period of the unbinding of Satan described in Rev 20. Furthermore, it is quite likely that Pope Leo XIII also connected his consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the year 1899 with the impending period of Satan's greater power. Pope Leo XIII had himself described this consecration as the "greatest act of my pontificate", and took this action in direct response to a request made by Christ to Bl. Mary of the Divine Heart. Below is a short excerpt from Wikipedia concerning the events which eventually led to the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

On June 10, 1898, her confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Sister Mary of the Divine Heart had received a message from Christ, requesting the pope to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart. The pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on January 6, 1899, she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honor of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the pope and stated that Christ had assured her that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart. Theologian Laurent Volken states that this had an emotional impact on Leo XIII, despite the theological issues concerning the consecration of non-Christians.

Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and Church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum sacrum, Leo XIII decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on June 11, 1899. In the encyclical Leo referred to the illness about which Sister Mary had written, stating: "There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design: We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all Good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease."

Pope Leo XIII also composed the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart and included it in the encyclical. Pope Pius X later decreed that this consecration of the human race performed by Pope Leo XIII be renewed each year.

According to St. Augustine, there were two possible interpretations of the duration of the Millennium. St. Augustine viewed that starting point of both possibilities as beginning from the original binding of Satan, which was won by Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The second suggestion made by St. Augustine is the line which is usually associated with amillennialism - that the binding of Satan would last for a symbolic thousand year period lasting from the time of Christ right up until near the end of the world. St. Augustine's first suggestion is a lot more specific though, and can even be used to determine the general time period in which the unbinding of Satan would take place. The first proposal forwarded by St. Augustine (indicating that he gave this interpretation precedence) was that the binding of Satan won by Christ on the Cross would last until the time of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers, when he would be released for his "little while".

The Early Church Fathers were convinced that the biblical chronology yielded a prophetic significance relating to a "Great Week" of millennia. St. Peter had described the timing of the end of the world in the context of a day being equated with a thousand years, which taken to its natural conclusion, would point to a prophetic week of millennia:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Pet 3:3-8)

Many Church Fathers had proposed that the timing of the Sabbath Millennium (or sixth millennium in the biblical chronology) could potentially be used to establish the date of the return of Christ. St. Augustine put an additional twist on this concept, and forwarded the novel suggestion that the timing of the Sabbath Millennium was instead actually related to the "thousand year" period mentioned in the Apocalypse concerning the period of the unbinding of Satan:

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold, he says, on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed.

Now the thousand years may be understood in two ways, so far as occurs to me: either because these things happen in the sixth thousand of years or sixth millennium (the latter part of which is now passing), as if during the sixth day, which is to be followed by a Sabbath which has no evening, the endless rest of the saints, so that, speaking of a part under the name of the whole, he calls the last part of the millennium— the part, that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world— a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time
. (City of God XX:7)

Here, St. Augustine opines that the end of the “thousand years” mentioned in Rev 20 may be equated with the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. This view was subsequently largely overlooked, since many of the Church Fathers held that the Sabbath Millennium would come to an end circa AD500, at the end of a six thousand year period after the biblical date of creation determined by the chronology of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament (the LXX). As the original various dates calculated for the end of the Sabbath Millennium circa AD500 came and went without any possible applications for this first interpretation, St. Augustine’s second proposal (that the thousand years symbolises an indefinite period extending from the time of Christ to the unbinding of Satan towards the end of the world), became the most widely accepted version of the amillennialist approach.
However, writing in the 8th century, the Church Doctor St. Bede the Venerable noted that the reckoning of the biblical chronology yields a vastly different result when using the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, differing by a period of around 1,500 years from the date of creation (Anno Mundi). St. Bede proposed that this version of biblical chronology, which he used to revise the date of creation to circa 3952BC, was the most accurate, since it was derived from the “Hebrew truth” of the original Jewish Bible, rather than its Greek counterpart. St. Bede’s method for determining the chronology of the Hebrew Bible was further refined by the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher, who working from the various genealogies given in the Bible, established the date of creation to 4004BC.

If we view the primary value of this date to be prophetic in nature (rather than providing us with a literal date for creation), this revised version of the biblical chronology has enormous implications for St. Augustine’s first suggestion concerning the meaning of the end of the “thousand years” in Rev 20 and how this ties into the patristic idea of a Sabbath Millennium. It puts the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the “thousand years” directly within the scope of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of the Devil being granted a time of greater power in order to test the Church.

Given the fact that St. Bede the Venerable was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th century on Nov 13th, 1899, it invites us to ponder whether this action was linked in any way to this saint’s influence on the revision of the Anno Mundi calendar. The prophetic implications of Bede’s chronology cannot be overstated. Not only did it recalibrate the timing of the conclusion of the Sabbath Millennium to the modern era, but once combined with St. Augustine’s hypothesis presented above, it could also be used to indicate that the period of the unbinding of Satan would begin to unfold in the modern era. Is it possible that Pope Leo XIII was aware of these implications? If the Holy Father had interpreted his famous vision within the context of the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20, we could conclude that his raising of St. Bede to the status of Church Doctor on the very eve of the 20th century was a deliberate action intended to reflect his influence on determining the prophetic significance of the Sabbath Millennium to fit in with this exact timeframe.
The timing of the appearance of the Knock apparition in such close proximity to Pope Leo XIII's vision of the period of Satan's greater power is also noteworthy in itself.  As we shall see, the Knock apparition has additional layers of depth which connects it directly with one of the primary scriptural influences which is alluded to in the vision of Pope Leo XIII.

Very few attempts have been made to explain the symbolism of the Knock apparition, which is ripe in apocalyptic imagery. One of the major interpretative keys to understanding the symbolism of the Knock apparition is the depiction of the angels ascending and descending upon the Paschal Lamb. This imagery is directly lifted from the dream vision experienced by the Patriarch Jacob, who saw a ladder reaching up to heaven with angels ascending and descending upon it:

Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel,[d] but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” 
(Gen 28:10-22)

In the Knock apparition, the imagery of Jacob's Ladder was substituted by the Lamb of God, showing that the gateway to Heaven is only made possible through the Paschal Sacrifice won on the Cross at Calvary. The account of Jacob's pillow is already important in Irish folklore, due to the claims that Jacob's pillow stone was brought to Ireland by the Prophet Jeremiah, and was linked to the Stone of Scone. According to some apocryphal accounts usually associated with British Israelitism, Jacob's pillow stone was used to crown the kings of Ireland before being brought to Scotland by Robert the Bruce in the 13th century. The legends concerning Jacob's pillow being brought to Ireland are most likely of little or no importance to the understanding the links between the Knock apparition and Jacob's dream however. Instead of looking to obscure Irish legends for explaining the imagery of the Knock apparition, we find that the most salient motifs are rooted elsewhere in Sacred Scripture, most notably in Rev 5 and Zech 3 - the latter of which forms one of the primary scriptural sources for the prophetic vision of Pope Leo XIII (alongside the story of the Prophet Job).

In Rev 5, there is a strong allusion to the significance of the mysterious stone with seven eyes described in Zechariah 3, in the fact that the Lamb of Revelation also bears the curious attribute of seven eyes (which represents the sevenfold spirit). So the Lamb of the Apocalypse is undoubtedly associated with the stone with seven eyes described in the Book of Zechariah, and it is this capacity which can see the area of overlap between the Lamb and the stone of Jacob's pillow in the Knock apparition.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

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. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped
(Rev 5)

With its vision of angels ascending and descending upon the Lamb of God, the Knock apparition thus ties together the stone of Jacob's pillar with the stone with seven eyes in Zech 3 - which is further revealed as representing the Lamb with seven eyes in Rev 5. The cues provided by the Knock apparition thus provides us with an interpretative key to understanding the opening of the seven seals described in the Apocalypse, which is recapitulated in the period of the unbinding of Satan described in Rev 20. The material contained in chapter 3 of the Book of Zechariah concerning the bringing forth of the stone with seven eyes therefore provides us with several additional insight into the unfolding of prophetic events during the short time of Satan, which is focused on the sullied robes of the Pontifex Maximus and Satan's accusations being levelled against Christ's Vicar on earth.

As I have already explained in the post Pope Benedict XVI on the Chronology of Apocalyptic Events, the soiled garments of the Jewish High Priest Joshua in Zech 3 is alluded to in the visions of St. Hildegard of Bingen. Here the defilement of the Church in the period of apostasy towards the end of time was represented pictorially as stains on the gown of the Bride of Christ, and Pope Benedict XVI specifically linked these visions with the modern sexual abuse crisis and certain comments made by Sr. Lucia on the significance of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima:

We were all the more dismayed, then, when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.

In this context, a vision of Saint Hildegard of Bingen came to my mind, a vision which describes in a shocking way what we have lived through this past year. “In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 1170, I had been lying on my sick-bed for a long time when, fully conscious in body and in mind, I had a vision of a woman of such beauty that the human mind is unable to comprehend. She stretched in height from earth to heaven. Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven. She was dressed in a dazzling robe of white silk and draped in a cloak, adorned with stones of great price. On her feet she wore shoes of onyx. But her face was stained with dust, her robe was ripped down the right side, her cloak had lost its sheen of beauty and her shoes had been blackened. And she herself, in a voice loud with sorrow, was calling to the heights of heaven, saying, ‘Hear, heaven, how my face is sullied; mourn, earth, that my robe is torn; tremble, abyss, because my shoes are blackened!’

And she continued: ‘I lay hidden in the heart of the Father until the Son of Man, who was conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. With that same blood as his dowry, he made me his betrothed.

For my Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh and open as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape. And Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests. They tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold; my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them. Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’

And I heard a voice from heaven which said: ‘This image represents the Church. For this reason, O you who see all this and who listen to the word of lament, proclaim it to the priests who are destined to offer guidance and instruction to God’s people and to whom, as to the apostles, it was said: go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15)” (Letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his Priestly Community: PL 197, 269ff.).

In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal.

Now notice the similarities here between the words of the Holy Father and those of Sr. Lucia during her interview with Fr. Fuentes:

Sister Lucy also told me: "Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that offends God the most, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them."

"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God."

A connection between these words of Sr. Lucia and St. Hildegard's vision of "filth" within the Church clearly seems to have been on Pope Benedict's mind here, since he uses basically the same themes and symbolism during his visit 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."

Cardinal Ratzinger again alluded to St. Hildegard's writings describing the current state of the Church as a woman whose garments are soiled in his famous Way of the Cross sermon in 2005, just before he ascended the papacy:

"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 soiled garments of the Jewish High Priest being replaced in Zech 3 (who in an eschatological context represents the figure of the Roman Pontiff) should thus be compared with the visions of St. Hildegard of Bingen, which are intimately related to the purification of the Church at the end of time. However the stains on the garments of the Bride of Christ in St. Hildegard's visions and on the Pontifex Maximus in Zech 3 represents the sins of priests, and do not reflect the sinfulness of the pope being accused, or indict him in any way for heresy (which would contradict the doctrine of indefectibility). In fact the accusations levelled at the visible head of the Church by the Devil are a satanic deception aimed at destroying the Church from within - a deception which is rebuked by the Archangel Michael, after which the time of purification begins.

The fact that this recent accusation against Pope Francis by Archbishop Vigano occurred at a time when the Holy Father was making pilgrimage to an apparition site representing the Divine Throne Room depicted in Rev 5, which is in turn intimately connected with the prophecy of Zech 3 and the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals is surely replete with prophetic significance. 


It is no coincidence that Christ's discourse on the binding of the "strong man" occurred in the immediate context of the appearance of the "Sign of Jonah" in Matt 12 (which originally took the form of a total solar eclipse over ancient Nineveh just before Jonah's arrival into the city). Or that the start of the First World War at the beginning of the period of Satan's greater power coincided with the appearance of yet another solar eclipse crossing the site of ancient Nineveh on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, on 21st August, 1914. The fact that the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers was preceded by a century of genocide foretold in the vision of Pope Leo XIII leaves us with little room for doubt that the siege of the camp of the saints at the end of the thousand years mentioned in Rev 20 began to unfold at the opening of the 20th century.

The current age of apostasy we are enduring is the fruit of Satan's unbinding at the end of the thousand years, during which he has managed to blind the minds of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel (2Cor 4:4), and the love of many had grown cold because of the increase of evil (Matt 24:12). This evil has manifested itself most prevalently within the Church itself in the form of the clerical sexual abuse scandal, which has turned baptised Catholics away from the pews en masse, and sullied the wedding gown of the Bride of Christ.


Now just over a year on from another total solar eclipse which took crossed America on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, on 21st August 2017 - the centenary year of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the most shocking accusations against a reigning pontiff by a high-ranking prelate in the Catholic Church took place at the site of the Knock apparition - which represents the Divine Throne Room seen in Zech 3. This accusation has rocked the Catholic Church in America, and is symptomatic of the wider rebellion that is being plotted against the Holy Father by many high-ranking officials in the Church hierarchy. Just as the sullied robes of the Jewish High Priest are removed and replaced with fresh linen after Satan makes his accusation against him, we can only hope and pray that we are on the cusp of the purification of the Church which is promised to take place before the coming of the Antichrist. 

As Pope Francis has himself addressed the bishops yesterday, on 11th Sept 2018:

“In these times, it seems like the 'Great Accuser' has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The 'Great Accuser', as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, 'roams the earth looking for someone to accuse'. A bishop’s strength against the 'Great Accuser' is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”







Sunday, 22 April 2018

Update on the route to my PhD

I've decided that my best option for obtaining my PhD is by studying at home in Queen's University Belfast under the tutelage of Prof. Gordon Campbell. Prof. Campbell is one of the world's leading experts on the Book of Revelation, so it makes sense to avail of the opportunity to receive such academic tutelage in this field. Prof. Campbell is a member of the non-denominational Irish Biblical Association (IBA), which I am interested in joining. The IBA is composed of Ireland's leading biblical scholars (both Catholic and Protestant), so I think membership of this group will provide a brilliant resource for my future scholarly research.
In order to gain access to the doctoral program at Queen's, I will need to secure a Master of Research post-graduate degree first (MRes). Given that my area of focus for my PhD is most likely going to be in biblical studies, I will need to continue learning both Greek and Hebrew in greater depth.
Thanks to your generous support, I already nearly have enough money to cover the fees for a part-time MRes degree starting this year. I'm hoping to be able to study full time, but will know better about the feasibility of this later in the year. So I wish to thank you all for making this possible for me. I will be permanently grateful for each of you who donated, as you have brought me this life-changing opportunity. I hope to have your continued support throughout the course of my doctorate.

https://www.gofundme.com/unveilingtheapocalypse

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Genocides of the 20th Century


Ezekiel's vision took place at the Chebar Canal, which runs into the River Euphrates. The main concentration camp of the Armenian Genocide was established at the confluence here in the modern Deir-ez-Zor district.



As I argue at considerable length in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that Pope Leo XIII personally believed that his prophetic vision was concerned with the Millennium of Rev 20. Pope Leo XIII's vision, which he witnessed around the year 1886, was chiefly concerned with the imminent arrival of a period in which Satan would be granted greater power. A prophetic experience which proved only too real with the unfolding of the wars and genocides throughout the course of the 20th century.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus refers to the binding of the "strong man" in the same context as His prophecy concerning the Sign of Jonah:

Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house." (Matt 12:22-29)

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
(Matt 12:39-41)

So the appearance of the Sign of Jonah and the binding of the "strong man" (which took place during Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross and His descent into Hades on Holy Saturday), are very closely associated events.

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:31-33)

According to the amillenialist view elaborated by St. Augustine of Hippo, it was through the victory of the Cross that Satan was bound throughout the course of the "thousand years", or Millennium of Rev 20:

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Rev 20:1-3)

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Rev 20:7-9)

St. Augustine of Hippo taught that Satan was bound by Christ in order to allow the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, which had allowed Christianity to become the world's largest religion. However, he also expected the Devil to be unleashed upon the world once again at the end of the "thousand years", during which time Christianity would suffer serious repression leading to an age of apostasy. St. Augustine equated the "thousand years" of Rev 20 with the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. A week of millennia which would last from the biblical date of creation right up to the end-time itself. The Early Church Fathers had calculated this period from the Greek text of the Bible to end around the year 500AD; but as I note in my book, this period can be accurately dated to around the turn of the 20th century, once we take into account St. Bede the Venerable's recalibration of the chronology of the Bible, which he did by using the original Hebrew text.

In my previous blog post The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan, I have already detailed how the Sign of Jonah was an actual historical event which took place during the ministry of the prophet himself, which consisted of a total solar eclipse that appeared over the site of ancient Nineveh. Known as the Bur Sagale solar eclipse, this event is thought by some theologians to have occurred sometime in and around the prophet's entrance into Nineveh described in Jonah 3, and was pivotal in bringing about the repentance of the ancient Ninevites. It is of crucial significance then that the beginning of the period of Satan's greater power foreseen in the vision of Pope Leo XIII was similarly timed to coincide with a total solar eclipse which traversed the site of ancient Nineveh. This was at the start of the First World War, on 21st August, 1914 - the feast day of Our Lady of Knock. A Marian apparition that specifically announced the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals by the Lamb of Revelation, which sets the entire events of the eschaton into motion with the release of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse described in Rev 5-6:

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:


“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

(Rev 5:1-10)

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
(Rev 6:1-8)

The significance of the Four Living Creatures is key to understanding the meaning of the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals and the unleashing of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In order to unravel the mystery behind this portion of the Apocalypse, we must turn to the Book of Ezekiel. It is here that we find that the Four Living Creatures are closely associated with a very precise location centred on the River Euphrates, which was identified with the Chebar Canal:

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.


Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. (Ezek 1:1-20)

Many theologians have identified the Chebar Canal with the River Khabur in the Deir-ez-Zor district in modern Syria, which became the site of the largest concentration camp during the Armenian Genocide, which was perpetrated at the very start of the First World War in April 1915. Between 1915-1923, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were exterminated by the Turkish government, providing a future template which their close allies the Germans would use to implement the Jewish Holocaust. The key architects of the infrastructure used to exterminate the Jews during the Second World War had witnessed the Armenian Genocide first hand, and directly lifted the systematic slaughter devised by the Turks to annihilate a third of the world's total Jewish population.





As I argue in my book, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are one and the same as the four angels bound at the River Euphrates, who are released at the opening of the seals of Revelation in order to kill a third of "the people":
Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of [the people]. (Rev 9:13-15)

The Four Horsemen are released at an exact time which had been prepared for them, which I propose is one and the same as the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Sabbath Millennium - which can be calculated from the text of the Hebrew Bible. We are told that the four angels that are released in order to kill a third of the people are bound at the River Euphrates, which we know was the location of Ezekiel's vision of the Four Living Creatures at the Chebar Canal. And it is the Four Living Creatures who summon the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at the opening of the first four seals of the Apocalypse. 

It is interesting to note that the River Euphrates had been dammed in the years just preceding the First World War, during the construction of the Hindiya Barrage between 1911-1913:

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 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 9:13-14)

The drying up of the Euphrates is mentioned in the same context as the appearance of the apocalyptic locusts, which occurs at the opening of the Abyss by the angel given the key to Hades, which ties us back into the period of the unbinding of Satan described in Rev 20:

And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. (Rev 9:1-3)

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Rev 20:1-3)

It is no coincidence that the Wright Brothers had began to develop the first aircraft within a year of Pope Leo XIII's consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1899, which had paved the way for the world's first military airplane being developed in and around the same time as the Tunguska event of 1908 - which is the single most famous event of a star fallen to earth in recorded history. As I argue in my book, the invention of military aircraft is the most plausible explanation of the symbolism of the "apocalyptic locusts" which rise at the opening of the Abyss which takes place at the end of the Millennium of Rev 20. 

All of the above combined prophetic signs indicate that the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers did indeed coincide with the vision of Pope Leo XIII and the short time of Satan described in Rev 20. As we shall discuss in more depth in the next post, the fact that Armenia was the world's first Christian kingdom ties in with the prophetic symbolism of the Kingdom of God as the kerygma of Jesus' ministry. The proclamation of coming of the Kingdom and Christ's casting out of unclean spirits was the ultimate sign of the binding of Satan and the inauguration of the millennial reign of Christ through the victory achieved at the Cross at Calvary. 

But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. (Matt 12:29-30)