Thursday 29 September 2011

The Fall of Rome - A Template of End-Time Events?

Throughout my book, I show how history has a tendency to repeat itself in cycles. Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation was fulfilled when Antiochus IV Epiphanes set up an altar to Zeus in the Temple of Jerusalem, thus igniting the Maccabean revolt (at the preterist level of interpretation), but it also had ongoing significance for the early Christians in the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the erection of a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount by the emperor Hadrian. As I argue in my earlier post "The Abomination of Desolation", another important aspect of the realisation of this prophecy can be found in the fact that there are exactly 1,260 years between the period when construction began on the Dome of the Rock on the site of the Temple of Jerusalem in 688 and the date of the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 (at the historicist level of interpretation). So if we view this on a symbolic level, where the Temple Mount represents the wider nation of Israel, then "gentiles" really did trample on this holy ground for a period of 1,260 "days" as foretold in Rev 11. Also the prophecy of the abomination of desolation may have another futurist level of interpretation which has still to be revealed during the reign of the Antichrist, when 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". (2 Thes 2:3-4)
The prophecy of the Woman adorned with the Sun in Rev 12 is similarly based on the historical event of the Nativity of Jesus, when the Holy Family fled into the desert to escape from the wrath of King Herod. But the prophecy of the Woman adorned with the Sun is also framed in the Book of Revelation as an eschatological event, where the Virgin Mary would once again appear at the end of time to crush the head of Satan and usher in the Second Advent of her son Jesus (see my earlier posts, "The Fall of Satan", "The Woman Adorned with the Sun" and "Our Lady of Egypt").
A further instance of history repeating itself can be found in the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem itself - during the infamous date of Tisha B'Av (the ninth of the Jewish month of Av). The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians on Tisha B'Av in 586BC, and on the exact same date the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD. Tisha B'Av is thus now remembered in Judaism as a day of mourning, and a number of other calamities occurred for the Jewish people on this date (see the link to the wikipedia article above).
It seems that another example of history repeating itself is yet to unfold in the future. Just as the fall of Rome (which was "Babylon" for the early Christians) occurred after the conversion of the empire beginning with reign of Constantine, so it appears that fall of the modern "Babylon" will occur after the Second Pentecost restores Christianity to its rightful place in Western civilisation. As the Third Secret of Fatima states, the hand of God's judgment is stayed through the intercession of Our Lady to allow for period of penance.

"...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!'"

But the judgment is already set and must occur after the fullness of God's people has been brought into the fold through the gift of the Second Pentecost (see the article on this subject here). I argue in the book that the fall of the end-time "Babylon" will occur after this period of peace, which will heal the Church of the Great Apostasy it is currently enduring. This peace will not last long however... I believe that the collapse of Cumbre Vieja and subsequent mega-tsunami will come about after this great spiritual revival, much in the same way Rome was destroyed after its conversion to Christianity, when its past sins returned to haunt it (see my earlier post "Mega-tsunami"). This event will ultimately lead to the demise of the U.S. as a superpower, and pave the way for the coming of the Antichrist, who will exploit this political vaccum and time of economic turmoil to rise to global prominence. Without its chief ally and protector, the state of Israel will become a prime target for the surrounding Arab nations. The Bible states in a number of areas that the battle of Armageddon will be precipitated by an end-time invasion of Israel.  

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them... (Rev 20:7-9)

It is likely that the Antichrist, in his role of "Destroyer", will be the prime instigator of this final world war. I will cover this topic in some more detail in the next few posts.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Our Lady of La Salette

The appearances of Our Lady of La Salette are undoubtedly the most controversial of the Church-approved Marian apparitions. Our Lady appeared to two shepherd children tending flocks around the mountaintop village of La Salette, near Grenoble in France on 19th Sept, 1846, and divulged to them a two-pronged message, part of which was to be made public, and the other was to be kept secret until an unspecified point in the future. In imagery reminiscent of the Mater Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows), the two children, Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, saw a strangely-attired woman seated on a rock with her head in her hands, weeping bitterly. Our Lady first gave the children a message which was to be made public, and during the course of this revelation she confided a secret to each child. The public message contained various prophecies (such as impending famine due to the potato blight sweeping through Europe at that time, which was to have particularly dire consequences for the population of Ireland) and warnings about the current condition of humanity.

Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news.
 If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it. For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.
However much you pray, however much you do, you will never recompense the pains I have taken for you. Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for myself; and they will not give it to me. It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy. Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.
If the harvest is spoilt, it is all on your account. I gave you warning last year with the potatoes but you did not heed it. On the contrary, when you found the potatoes spoilt, you swore, you took the name of my Son in vain. They will continue to decay, so that by Christmas there will be none left. Ah, my children, do you not understand? Well, wait, I shall say it otherwise.
If you have wheat, it is no good to sow it; all you sow the insects will eat, and what comes up will fall into dust when you thresh it. There will come a great famine. Before the famine comes, the children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and will die in the hands of those who hold them; the others will do penance by the famine. The walnuts will become bad, and the grapes will rot.
[Here the two private messages were given to Mélanie and Maximin.]
If they are converted, the stones and rocks will change into mounds of wheat, and the potatoes will be self-sown in the land. Do you say your prayers well, my children?
[Both answered: "Not very well, Madam."]
Ah, my children, you must be sure to say them well morning and evening. When you cannot do better, say at least an Our Father and a Hail Mary. When you have time, say more. There are none who go to Mass except a few aged women. The rest work on Sunday all summer; then in the winter, when they know not what to do, they go to Mass only to mock at religion. During Lent, they go to the meat-market like dogs. Have you never seen wheat that is spoilt, my children?
["No, Madam", they replied.]
But you, my child [to Maximin], you must surely have seen some once when you were at the farm of Coin with your father. The owner of the field told your father to go and see his ruined wheat. You went together. You took two or three ears of wheat into your hands and rubbed them, and they fell to dust.
Then you continued home. When you were still half and hour's distance from Corps, your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: "Here, my child, eat some bread this year at least; I don't know who will eat any next year, if the wheat goes on like that."
[Confronted with such precise details, Maximin replied: "Oh yes, Madam, I remember now; just at this moment I did not remember."]
Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people.

After an initial period of investigation by the local authorities, the apparitions were declared to be worthy of belief by the bishop of Grenoble in 1851, which legitimised devotion to Our Lady of La Salette. Under instructions from Cardinal de Boland in 1851, Melanie and Maximin wrote down the content of the secrets, which were then sealed in envelopes and transmitted to Pope Pius IX. These secrets were to remain buried in the Vatican secret archives for nearly a century and a half, until they were finally unearthed by Fr Michel Corteville in 1999, who working together with the famous mariologist Fr Rene Laurentin, eventually revealed the messages to the public in 2002 in their book Découverte du secret de La Salette, (Discovery of the Secret of La Salette, Fayard, 2002).
Here we find that Melanie's secret was considerably shorter than the later versions which were published in 1858 and 1873, and the famous 1879 version which foretold that Rome would become the "seat of the Antichrist". Although there were some purported "leaked" versions of Maximin's secret in circulation from the late 19th century onwards, in reality it was not published until after its discovery in 1999. We can see the original secrets given to Melanie and Maximin in 1846 (which they would later confine to paper in 1851) below:

On September 19, 1846, we saw a beautiful Lady. We never said that this lady was the Blessed Virgin but we always said that it was a beautiful Lady.
I do not know if it is the Blessed Virgin or another person. As for me, I believe today that it is the Blessed Virgin. Here is what this Lady said to me:
"If my people continue, what I will say to you will arrive earlier, if it changes a little, it will be a little later.
France has corrupted the universe, one day it will be punished. The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand."

Maximin Giraud

(She told me to say it some time before.)
My Most Holy Father, your holy blessing to one of your sheep.
Grenoble, July 3,1851.



Secret which the Blessed Virgin gave me on the Mountain of La Salette on September 19, 1846.
Mélanie, I will say something to you which you will not say to anybody:
The time of the God's wrath has arrived!
If, when you say to the people what I have said to you so far, and what I will still ask you to say, if, after that, they do not convert, (if they do not do penance, and they do not cease working on Sunday, and if they continue to blaspheme the Holy Name of God), in a word, if the face of the earth does not change, God will be avenged against ungrateful people and the slaves of the demon.
My Son will make his power manifest! Paris, a city soiled by all kinds of crimes, will perish forever. Marseilles too will be destroyed in a little time. When these things happen, the disorder will be complete on the earth, the world will be given up to its impious passions.
The pope will be persecuted from all sides, they will shoot at him, they will want to put him to death, but no one will be able to do it, the Vicar of God will triumph again this time.
The priests and the Sisters, and the true servants of my Son will be persecuted, and many will die for the faith of Jesus-Christ.
A famine will reign at the same time.
After all these calamities have arrived, many will recognize the hand of God on them. They will convert, and do penance for their sins.
A great king will go up on the throne, and will reign many years. Religion will re-flourish and spread all over the world, and there will be a great abundance. The world, glad to be lacking nothing, will fall again into disorder, will give up God, and will return to its criminal passions.
[Among] God's ministers, and the Spouses of Jesus-Christ, there will be some who will go astray, and that will be the most terrible.
Lastly, hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist will be born of a Sister, but woe to her! Many will believe in him, because he will claim to have come from heaven, woe to those who will believe in him!
That time is not far away, twice 50 years will not go by.
My child, you will not say what I have just said to you. (You will not say it to anybody, you will not say if you must say it one day, you will not say what that it concerns). Finally, you will say nothing more until I tell you to say it!
I pray to Our Holy Father the Pope to give me his holy blessing.
Mélanie Mathieu, Shepherdess of La Salette, Grenoble, July 6, 1851.

The fact that Melanie later issued expanded versions of her secret with a considerable amount of material not found in the original version of the secrets has fuelled the already numerous criticisms abounding about her rather controversial character. Melanie was the subject of much criticism following her publication of the later versions of the secret, not least because the 1879 version claimed that Rome would become the seat of the Antichrist. It was most likely because of this one highly volatile sentence that this version of the secret was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1880. This precautionary measure is understandable in light of the abuse of this version of the secret by schismatic Traditionalist Catholics in the wake of Vatican II. The truth of this matter is that it is still universally acknowledged that whatever the status of the later versions of the secret, the version given to the children in 1846 and written down in 1851 still has official Church approval. The reason the later version was placed on the Index was a matter of prudence intended to impede the ammunition it would provide for schismatics, rather than a complete repudiation of Melanie's revelations.
So should the later versions of the secret of La Salette also be considered as an authentic part of the message of La Salette, and not merely the personal invention of Melanie Calvat? It is not altogether impossible that Melanie wrote down a condensed version of the secret in 1851, which would later be expanded upon by the guidance of Our Lady herself. If we look at the appearances of Our Lady to Sr Lucia for example, we find that the apparitions continued throughout her life. Whilst the secrets of Fatima had been divulged to the children in 1917, the message of Fatima continued long after. It was in these later Pontevedra apparitions to Sr Lucia that we find elements now intrinsically linked to the message of Fatima itself, such as the the first Saturdays devotion.
This would explain Our Lady's words to Melanie above (in the 1851 version) that "If, when you say to the people what I have said to you so far, and what I will still ask you to say", which imply that there would be a continuation of the message at some point in the future.
Melanie is frequently cited by critics as an egocentric, disobedient figure, fallen from her original grace and influenced by anti-Catholic Protestant apocalypticism. However Melanie herself displayed supernatural phenomena associated with true mystics, such as displaying the stigmata after the secrets were first written down in 1851. Only truly holy individuals experience phenomena such as this. She also witnessed to the authenticity of her visions by receiving a religious vocation and entering a convent. Her conflicts with the later bishop of Grenoble (who it should be noted was opposed to the First Vatican Council's decisions concerning papal infallibility) may be attributed to political circumstances. As Melanie was a pro-Bourbon royalist, this immediately set her in opposition to Mgr. Jacques Ginoulhiac, the bishop of Grenoble from 1853, who apparently wished to curry favour with the Bonapartists and Napoleon III by obstructing the mission of the seer. Melanie's misfortunate relationship with her local ordinary recalls to mind the trials of St Padre Pio, who was also treated badly by some Church authorities.
So unless we are to discount Melanie as a complete fraud (which would mean we should also dismiss her original accounts of the apparitions at La Salette), we must seriously consider the possibility that the later versions of her secret also have validity.

Friday 23 September 2011

NFC Technology and the Mark of the Beast

Phylactery cases found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls finds at Qumran

There have been a few other websites recently that seem to be discerning that the implementation of NFC technology in cellphones could fulfil the prophecy of the mark of the Beast. This realisation seems to be coinciding with Google’s recent announcement of a “mobile wallet” which plans to incorporate every credit card normally carried about in your wallet into mobile handsets, thus eliminating the need for the cumbersome amount of plastic usually required (see here). If successful, this innovation will effectively spell the end for credit cards. An article in the Christian Post seems to be picking up on this potential for NFC technology (see here), which has also been highlighted by the popular American preacher Jack Van Impe. Yet the fact that these chips will not be embedded in the skin remains a major stumbling block for Christian Fundamentalists who have become so convinced that the mark of the Beast will be a permanent and irremovable device placed in the human body that it obscures any other possible fulfilment of this prophecy. They therefore seem to view this technology as a "foreshadowing" of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast rather than its actual fulfilment. 
Yet the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast was undoubtedly intended as a parody of the Jewish practice of wearing phylacteries.

Although it was originally instructed that phylacteries should be worn on the hand (see Deut 6:8), it eventually became customary to hide them from view on the upper arm in order to escape accusations of flamboyancy. It appears that some competitive Jews attempted to outdo each other with bigger and better tefillin even at the time of Jesus, leading to a sharp rebuke from the Lord:

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. (Matt 23:5-7)

The fact that the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast was based on the practice of temporarily wearing box-shaped devices on the hand or forehead makes it almost inescapable from comparing it with the modern use of WAP cellphones, which are now poised to replace credit cards as a form of commerce and further the cause of a "cashless society" (see my earlier post on this subject here). The phylactery wasn't a permanent mark - it was a symbol of the Jews love for God which was outwardly displayed during prayer services. In direct contrast, the mark of the Beast is symbolic of the godless inhabitants of the earth's love for themselves.
Instead of prayer, it is now customary to engage in exercises devoid of human or spiritual relationships. We now guiltlessly project our own ego into electronic devices whilst ignoring those people who are truly present in our lives. Our "friends" are now a few words on a souless device with no need to maintain a face-to-face personal relationship, and instead constitute a distraction from praising the Triune God. If the correct balance is not struck, we risk losing true family and friends to relationships with what are essentially inaminate objects.
Anyway, I digress... The fact is, while many are now waking up to the fact that mobile phones and NFC technology fulfill the prophecy of the mark of the Beast, they still do not grasp the full significance of this realisation.  They are still not aware that the letters www (which symbolise the world wide web and are the central dynamic of WAP and NFC technology) are the equivalent of six-six-six in the Hebrew language (see here), and that the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast foretold that it would be worn temporarily as a box-shaped device - not some permanent brand or tattoo displaying allegience to Satan. Instead, the Book of Revelation states that the inhabitants of the earth would be duped into recieving this device through deception (see for example Rev 19:20, which suggests that the people of the world would be unwittingly swindled into acceptting this reality, rather than openly embrace it).
It is not easy to disregard the various prophecies which suggest that this event would occur simultaneously with the end-time expulsion of Satan from heaven, and the turn of the millennium (see my earlier posts on "The Fall of Satan" and "The Year of the Dragon"), especially in light of the various heavenly signs that were predicted to accompany the fulfilment of this prophecy (see the post "Signs in the Sky").

Thursday 22 September 2011

The Apocalyptic Locusts

In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I argue that the demonic horde of locusts described in Rev 9 foretold the event of military airplanes and the timing of their first appearance during the First World War.

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 of a great furnace, and the sun and air were darkened from the smoke from the shaft.  Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions. In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle.  They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.  (Rev 9:1-10)

These iron-clad flying creatures of war appear at the first woe of the Apocalypse - which I equate with the First World War. The other two woes are two further world wars - the Second World War, and the world war still to come. Together with the Cold War, these are the wars and rumours of wars mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels that were prophesied to take place before the Great Apostasy (where the love of many would grow cold and Christians would fall away from the faith), and the Second Pentecost (when the Gospel would be spread throughout the world before the coming of the end):

 " will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matt 24:6-14)

The appearance of the locusts on the earth are announced by a star which falls to earth, which I equate with the Tunguska event in 1908 (since the Tunguska event occurred contemporaneously with the US Signal Corps' commission of the Wright brothers to deliver the world's first military aircraft). As well as having metal plating ("breastplates of iron"), these flying "war horses" have teeth like lion's teeth, which I compare to the Shark's teeth nose art found on aircraft such as the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk: 

The locusts also have "crowns of gold", which can also be explained by decorative nose art, such as that depicted on the propeller in the image below:

They also have "faces like men's faces", which could be accounted for by the visible face of the pilot in the cockpit.

And the hair like women's hair could also be explained by nose art. Petty girls, often depicted with long flowing hair, were one of the most popular form of nose art during the Second World War.

The noise created by these locusts (the sound of many chariots rushing into battle) also pretty accurately describes the sound made by jet engines.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

The Abomination of Desolation?

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

The prophecy of the abomination of desolation is one of the most enigmatic recurring themes of the Bible. The abomination of desolation described by Jesus in the Gospels was based on a prophecy found in the Book of Daniel which warned that a sacriligious structure would be erected on the site of the Temple of Jerusalem. The original (preterist) meaning of this prophecy found in the Book of Daniel undoubtedly referred to the defilement of the Temple precinct by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who erected an altar to Zeus in the Temple, and compelled Jews to offer sarcifices of pigs (the most unclean of creatures according to Jewish tradition). But for Jesus, this prophecy would also have other future applications that would be relevant for both the Early Christians, and also for Christians living at the time of the end. 
When asked by his disciples how they would know that the end-time was drawing near, Jesus curiously directed their attention towards the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation.

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”...
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
(Matt 24:1-3;15-22)

In the Book of Daniel, a precise date was given for when the abomination of desolation would be set up:

...from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.  (Dan 12:11)

The Book of Revelation gives the duration of the abomination of desolation as also lasting a "time, times, and half a time". But curiously deviates from Daniel's reckoning of 1,290 days and instead gives a figure of 1,260 days (or 42 months).

Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Rev 11:1-3)

 Most scholars would agree that the main reason for this differential was John's use of a solar calendar, while Daniel was using a luni-solar calendar. But there may also be an alternative explaination.  The Gospel of Luke states that this time period of the abomination of desolation, when the Temple and Jerusalem would be trampled underfoot by gentiles, would be finite in duration. This would imply that after this time period, there would be a restoration when the Holy Land would be restored to its rightful state.

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.   Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.  Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!  For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.  They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  (Luke 21:20-24) 

The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is intimately linked to a future Jewish restoration in the teachings of Jesus (as I go into more detail in the book).  But this future Jewish restoration could not take place until "the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled", which according to the Book of Revelation would be 1,260 "days".
According to the rules of the interpretation of prophecy first outlaid by Tyconius in the 4th century AD, a day could also be interpreted as a year in prophetic thought. So the time period when the times of the Gentiles would be completed could also be 1,260 years, and then the Holy Land would be restored to its rightful state. But when do we caculate this time period from?
In the book, I argue that as the only permanent structure standing for a sufficent time period on the site of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in Islam) would be a perfect candidate for the "abomination of desolation".
The Book of Daniel gives the first clue that the Dome of the Rock is indeed the abomination of desolation by stating  that the time period between when the daily sacrifices are taken away until the abomination of desolation would be set up would be 1,290 "days" (see Dan 12:11, cited above). If we calculate this time period as starting from the period of the Babylonian exile (when Babylon first invaded Judah and effectively interupted the daily sacrifices), then caculating 1,290 years on from the date of the first deportation of Jewish exiles to Babylon in 598BC, we arrive at the year 691AD - the year of the completion of the Dome of the Rock! (Remember to subtract 1, since there is no year "0" in the Anno Domini system). Also if we calculate 1,260 years on from when construction first began on the Dome of the Rock in 688 (when the Gentiles first began to trample the Temple underfoot?), we arrive at the year 1948 - the year of the creation of the modern state of Israel! So it seems that the period of the Gentiles was indeed finite in nature, as 1,260 years after construction first began on the Dome of the Rock, the "times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled at the time Israel was restored to the Jews. Therefore the grounds of the Temple complex in Jerusalem appears to symbolises by wider extension the nation of Israel itself. Here, the Book of Revelation seems to foretell that the nation of Israel would be restored 1,260 years after the gentiles would first begin to erect a religious structure on the site of the Holy of Holies.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Mega-tsunami Update: Recent seismic activity in the Canary Islands - Cause for Alarm?

Recent earthquake activity in the Canary island of El Hierro

There has been some fears voiced recently that the "earthquake swarm" centring around El Hierro in the Canary Islands over the past few weeks could boost magmatism in the local vicinity and possibly lead to an eruption at Cumbre Vieja (see here). 
Personally I wouldn't worry that an eruption at Cumbre Vieja is imminent. When it does eventually occur, this event will dramatically change the global political landscape, which I argue in the book will create the perfect conditions for the rise to power of the Antichrist. Without the protection of its chief ally, the modern state of Israel will become vastly more vulnerable to the surrounding Arab nations, and an invasion of the Holy Land would be all but inevitable. In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I argue that this event, combined with the influences of the Antichrist, will ultimately lead to the battle of Armageddon - a nuclear conflict that will consume humanity.
Just as Christ brought salvation to the world and reversed the effects of the Fall, the Antichrist will attempt to undo this work by destroying the work of His creation (hence the appellation "destroyer" given for this figure in the Apocalypse). Like Hitler, the Antichrist will rise to power during a time of turmoil, and use his position to bring about the destruction of humanity. But just as Christ was resurrected from the dead after his death on the Cross, so too will humanity be restored to eternal life during the General Resurrection and creation of the new heaven and new earth (cf. Rev 21), which can only take place after the world is destroyed by fire.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet 3:10-13).

In the end, the work of the Antichrist is futile - creation is restored anew and dwells forever in the presence of the Lamb, while the Dragon, Beast and False Prophet are consigned to the lake of fire (Rev 20:10).
In the book I argue that the Cumbre Vieja megatsunami is assoiciated with a prophecy attributed to St. Patrick (which can be dated back to the 7th century) that Ireland would suffer from a catacylismic flood seven years before the end of the world:

These are the three prayers of Patrick, as they were delivered to us by the Hibernians, entreating that all should be received on the day of judgment, if we should repent even in the last days of our life.
That he should not be shut up in hell. That barbarian nations should never have the rule over us. That no one shall conquer us, that is the Scots (Scoti was the ancient Latin term for the Irish rather than the Scotish), before seven years previous to the day of judgment, because seven years before the judgment we shall be destroyed in the sea, this is the third. (Tírechán)

However there are a definite set of events that will precede this catastrophe, not least of which is that of the Second Pentecost. The "huge mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea described in Rev 9 and recapitulated again in Rev 16 brings about the downfall of "Babylon" - the last world empire. However before this tulmultous event there will be the grace of the Second Pentecost, which will see one last flourishing of the Catholic faith. Since this spiritual revival has yet to happen, we should feel safe that the threat posed by Cumbre Vieja lies still some way in the future.

Friday 16 September 2011

Our Lady of Akita and the Japanese Tsunami

The recent events in Japan were too close to the publication date of my book to be included in the text, so I have decided to add some musings on these events here.  In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I discuss how the Marian apparitions in Egypt have been attempted to be explained scientifically by corresponding them with unusual weather phenomena such as so-called "earthquake lights" or St Elmo's fire. Earthquakes and fires of heavenly origin are often described in the Bible as phenomena associated with theophany:

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
(Psalm 18:7-12)

The passage in the Book of Kings concerning Elijah's flight to Horeb is another good example of this phenomena during a theophany:

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (1Kings 19:11-13)

It is not entirely impossible that "science" (to be used in quotation marks because science still cannot explain earthquake lights or St. Elmo's fire) can be reconciled with the metaphysical in regards to these phenomena. Unexplained lights that coincide with earthquakes have been observed for the past century by meteorologists, but they have been occurring since long before. The writers of the Bible undoubtedly interpreted such phenomena as supernatural or even Divine in origin.
The case of the Marian apparitions of Egypt simply cannot be put down to unusual weather phenomena, given that they have all taken place on the roof of various churches in locations throughout Egypt associated with the Holy Family's escape from Herod.
It is interesting that the phenomena known as "earthquake lights" occurred in Tokyo during an aftershock following the Japanese Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 which caused the Fukushima nuclear reactor to go into meltdown.

The Tohoku region of Japan contains six prefectures, one of which is that of Akita - the location of the apparitions of Our Lady to Sr. Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in 1973. During these apparitions, which are officially approved by the Catholic Church, Our Lady foretold a terrible fate of humanity's destruction by fire.

If men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the Bishops and the priests.

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

The demon will be especially implacable against the souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.

...Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able to still save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in Me will be saved

In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I argue that the battle of Armageddon will follow shortly after the megatsunami generated by the collapse of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands (see the earlier post on the megatsunami here). The political landscape would be considerably different in the wake of this disaster, which will undoubtedly see the collapse of the US as a world power. In the book I argue that this could create a power vacuum which would be ripe for the rise to power of the Antichrist, who in turn will bring about the battle of Armageddon - a nuclear conflict which will bring about the demise of humanity. I also argue that the megatsunami will be part of the wider effects of the "eschatological earthquake" described in the Bible, which centres on Jerusalem and accompanies the appearance of the Sign of the Son of Man.

Could the connection between Our Lady of Akita, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and following nuclear disaster forewarn of these future events - a nuclear conflict brought about by the eschatological earthquake centred on Jerusalem and the related Cumbre Vieja megatsunami? Interestingly, another unusual light phenomenon occurred over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem less than two months prior to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on January 28th 2011. This "UFO" event was captured on video-camera from multiple angles around the city. Could this provide a bridging connection?

Sunday 11 September 2011

The Great Monarch

The coronation of Charlemange

According to various prophecies, the reign of the Angelic Pope is closely associated with that of a great Catholic Monarch who helps to restore Christendom to its rightful state after a period of apostasy. In my book, I argue that the prophecies of the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch are connected with the Two Witnesses of Rev 11 (see the post The Two Witnesses for more details). In prophetic tradition, it is these two figures who are foretold to inaugrate the Second Pentecost. The Great Monarch (who is alternatively labelled the Last World Emperor) is styled after Charlemagne - the first Holy Roman Emperor who helped to unify Christian Europe in the 8th century AD. The earliest reference to a prophecy of the coming of a Great Monarch who would establish an era of peace before the coming of the Antichrist is to be found in the Latin version of the Tiburtine Sibyl (which is estimated by scholars to date anywhere between the 4th to 7th centuries AD). The Latin Tiburtine Sibyl models this Last World Emperor after Constantine the Great - who established Christianity as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire:

Then will arise a king of the Greeks whose name is Constans. He will be king of the Romans and the Greeks. He will be tall of stature, of handsome appearance with shining face, and well put together in all parts of his body. His reign will be ended after one hundred and twelve years. In those days there will be great riches and the earth will give fruit abundantly so that a measure of wheat will be sold for a denarius, a measure of wine for a denarius, and a measure of oil for a denarius. The king will have a text before his eyes that says: "The king of the Romans will claim the whole Christian empire for himself." He will devastate all the islands and the cities of the pagans and will destroy all idolatrous temples; he will call all pagans to baptism and in every temple the Cross of Christ will be erected. "Then Egypt and Ethiopia will be eager to stretch their hands to God." ~ Whoever does not adore the Cross of Jesus Christ will be punished by the sword. When the one hundred and twelve years have been completed, the Jews will be converted to the Lord, and "his sepulchre will be glorified by all." In those days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell with confidence. At that time the Prince of Iniquity who will be called Antichrist will arise from the tribe of Dan. He will be the Son of Perdition, the head of pride, the master of error, the fullness of malice who will overturn the world and do wonders and great signs through dissimulation. He will delude many by magic art so that fire will seem to come down from heaven. The years will be shortened like months, the months like weeks, the weeks like days, the days like hours, and an hour like a moment. The unclean nations that Alexander, the Indian king, shut up (i.e., Gog and Magog) will arise from the North. These are the twenty-two realms whose number is like the sand of the sea. When the king of the Romans hears of this he will call his army together and vanquish and utterly destroy them. After this he will come to Jerusalem, and having put off the diadem from his head and laid aside the whole imperial garb, he will hand over the empire of the Christians to God the Father and to Jesus Christ his Son. When the Roman empire shall have ceased, then the Antichrist will be openly revealed and will sit in the House of the Lord in Jerusalem. While he is reigning, two very famous men, Elijah and Enoch, will go forth to announce the coming of the Lord. Antichrist will kill them and after three days they will be raised up by the Lord. Then there will be a great persecution, such as has not been before nor shall be thereafter. The Lord will shorten those days for the sake of the elect, and the Antichrist will be slain by the power of God through Michael the Archangel on the Mount of Olives.

In a strong echo to the Two Witnesses of Rev 11, other early prophecies of the Great Monarch (such as that of Pseudo-Methodius composed circa 7th century AD) also suggest that the Great Monarch would end his reign in Jerusalem:

When the Son of Perdition has arisen, the king of the Romans will ascend Golgotha upon which the wood of the Holy Cross is fixed, in the place where the Lord underwent death for us. The king will take the crown from his head and place it on the cross and stretching out his hands to heaven will hand over the kingdom of the Christians to God the Father. The cross and the crown of the king will be taken up together to heaven. This is because the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the common salvation of all will begin to appear before him at his coming to convict the lack of faith of the unbelievers. The prophecy of David which says, "In the last days Ethiopia will stretch out her hand to God" (Ps. 67:32) will be fulfilled in that these last men who stretch out their hands to God are from the seed of the sons of Chuseth, the daughter of Phol, king of Ethiopia. When the Cross has been lifted up on high to heaven, the king of the Romans will directly give up his spirit. Then every principality and power will be destroyed that the Son of Perdition may be manifest...

In a further allusion to the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Great Monarch is foretold in yet another prophecy (which can be traced back to the monk Adso during the 10th century) to lay down his crown on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem - the place where the "two olive trees" of Revelation are slain by the Antichrist.

Some of our learned men say that one of the Kings of the Franks will possess anew the Roman Empire. He will be in the last time and will be the greatest and the last of all kings. After he has successfully governed his empire, he will finally come to Jerusalem and will lay aside his sceptre and crown on the Mount of Olives. This will be the end and the consummation of the Roman and Christian Empire.

 This prophecy seems to describe the abdication of the Great Monarch, but it also implies a theme of martyrdom. The king willingly gives up his temporal power in the place the Lord was crucified - the same location where the Two Witnesses are put to death by the Antichrist. It simply cannot be coincidence that these two prophesied restorers of Christendom parallel the Two Witnesses of Rev 11.

See also the related posts:

The Second Pentecost
The Two Witnesses
The Angelic Pope 
St. John Bosco's Dream of the Two Pillars
St. Malachy's Glory of the Olives
Prophecies of the Martyr-Pope