The Feast of Pentecost as a prophetic “marker”

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Moses and the Tablets of the Law

by Doug Lawrence

The wind and fire of the Holy Spirit hovered powerfully over Mount Sinai – where Moses had remained for the last 40 days and nights.

The Children of Israel concluded that no man could survive such an event, so they assumed Moses had died, and promptly returned to their old Egyptian ways, coercing Moses’ brother Aaron to make for them an idol – the infamous “Golden Calf”.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Moses shortly turned up alive – complete with the stone tablets of the Law, which God himself had written. Other details aside, the Children of Israel had now become the People of the Mosaic Covenant – and the Law.

It was Pentecost, about 1450 B.C.
The “vehicle” of our salvation
now had a set of “training wheels”
and a “road map”!

* * * *

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The Prophet Jeremiah

Almost a thousand years passed, and the Israelites had once again succumbed to idolatry. This time it wasn’t a golden calf – but rather, the false gods of their neighbors – and they were totally unwilling to repent.

The Prophet Jeremiah was sent to help get them back on track, but they refused to hear him. So God permitted the Babylonians to come in, sack Jerusalem, and destroy the Temple.

The Babylonians carried off the Temple furnishings, sacred vessels and the surviving Israelites into Babylonian captivity, where they would remain for a time, until the Babylonians themselves were conquered by the Persians.

It was Pentecost, about 586 B.C.
The remnant of the Children of Israel

weren’t quite sure where things were going from here,
but it wasn’t looking very good!

* * * *

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King Cyrus Returns the Sacred Vessels

King Cyrus of Persia – the new ruler of the former Babylonian Empire – was suddenly “moved” by the Holy Spirit – deciding to permit the Israelites to return to Jerusalem, so they could rebuild both the city and the Temple.

Cyrus also financed the entire operation – as well as restoring to the Israelites all of the plundered Temple furnishings and sacred vessels – so everything might be ready for the arrival of the coming Messiah.

The sacred scriptures are not clear
about the exact day this particular event occurred, 

but based on the context, I’m going to estimate the date
as the Day of 
Pentecost, around 539 B.C.
and things were definitely looking up!

* * * *

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The First Christian Pentecost

The Risen Christ had bodily ascended to Heaven ten days earlier. Mary and the Apostles were gathered in the upper room of the Jerusalem Cenacle – the same place that Jesus had earlier instituted the New Covenant in his blood – at the Last Supper – and the place where the New Covenant (Catholic) Church would soon be born.

All were fervently waiting and praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit – and the “power” Jesus had promised to them. Inside, it sounded like wind and thunder – soon to be complemented by descending “tongues” of fire. To those in the streets, it would have looked more like a reenactment of the supernatural events that took place above Mount Sinai, almost 1500 years earlier – which it was!

Since this was in fact, 50 days after Passover (technically, the Feast of First Fruits, some three days after) – in the Hebrew, Shavuot – in the Greek, Pentecost – the day when all observant Jews come to Jerusalem, specifically to celebrate Moses’ reception of the Tablets of the Law, from God – something like this would not have gone unnoticed.

Then the apostles came out into the street to explain.

Acts 2:5-12 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. (7) And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? (8) And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? (9) Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, (10) Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, (11) Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. (12) And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this?

It was the Day of the first Christian Pentecost, about 33 A.D.
Salvation had come to the world,
and the world rejected him.

Salvation had been killed, and had risen again.
But Salvation would not be denied,
so all the promises of Jesus Christ were duly fulfilled. 

* * * *

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Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem

While he still walked the earth, Jesus had sternly cautioned them:

Mark 13:1-2 And as he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him: Master, behold what manner of stones and what buildings are here. (2) And Jesus answering, said to him: Seest thou all these great buildings? There shall not be left a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.

The Roman General Titus and his legions had nearly encircled the city of Jerusalem – but they inexplicably stopped short – for one whole day.

Those “in the know” – mostly Christians – took good advantage of the reprieve – hastily abandoning the city – much as Lot had narrowly escaped the sudden destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But now it was Sunday, the encirclement was complete and the siege was on. Over the next six months – apparently just in time for the fall Feast of Tabernacles – the Temple would be burned to the ground and totally destroyed, hundreds and thousands of Jews would be killed, the sacred Temple vessels would once again be carried off, and Jerusalem would never be the same.

The siege began on Pentecost, 70 A.D.
Many of those who walked with Jesus Christ
“this generation” – 
Mark 13:30
were still alive to witness the events.

It marked the definitive end
of the Jewish Temple Worship System,
and the budding Church would now reach out

in the name of Jesus, not just to the Jews,
but to the whole world.

Within the span of some 500 years,
against all odds, the Roman Empire,
along with most of the known world,
would be converted to Christianity.

When the Roman Empire eventually fell,
The Catholic Church would be there
to rebuild Western Civilization,
in the image of Heaven.

* * * *

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Jesus Christ at the Second Coming
(Image: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)

Revelation 10:5-7 And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And he swore by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things which are therein, and the earth and the things which are in it, and the sea and the things which are therein: That time shall be no longer. (7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets.

No one except God the Father knows the day or the hour Jesus will finally and triumphantly return – so I don’t intend to even try to set any kind of date – but based on all of the above – and the fact that – according to the Bible – the last 6 months of the 42-month final tribulation period is where most of the major “action” is – I offer the following, for your consideration:

The “Grand finale” of the “End of the Age” will likely begin on Pentecost and continue for six months – right up to the time of the old Feast of Tabernacles – which according to the old calendar – is also when Jesus Christ arrived here on earth – the first time – as a helpless infant.

From the looks of the above picture – and the account in the Book of Revelation – Jesus will not be coming back like that, again.   Instead, he will come again in power and  glory – to render judgment for sin – and things will go something like this:

Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened: and behold a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight. (12) And his eyes were as a flame of fire: and on his head were many diadems. And he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. (13) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD. (14) And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. (16) And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:12-13 Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every, man according to his works. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

Related Link

The gratuitous “secret” of our redemption: Jesus Christ – the “New Adam” – is also the new, divine and perfect Head of all mankind.

Thanks to his finished work on the cross at Calvary, Jesus Christ, eternally enthroned in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father, already personifies the supernatural reality of human perfection …
a state of being which all Christians hope to achieve, according to the power of God’s grace.    

(616 – From the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

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We know this is true because Jesus is not a mythical figure.
Jesus Christ is in fact, a real, well documented, 
historical person.

 Jesus fulfilled every Messianic Bible prophecy, to the letter.

No one else has ever done so. No one else ever will.

Jesus demonstrated the power of God by His perfect, sinless,
earthly existence, by His (truly) charismatic personality,
and by His miracles.

No one else has ever done so. No one else ever will.

Jesus demonstrated His divinity
and His mastery over the power of death
by raising Himself up again from the dead,
just as he said he would.

No one else has ever done so. No one else ever will.

Who is she who comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array? (Song 6:10)

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The popes of the past century have recognized this assault and spoken of it in prophetic terms encouraging the Church to read the signs of the times in the light of its eschatological journey towards the new heaven and new earth.

A decisive moment in the spiritual combat was when the Blessed Virgin entered into the battle fray in the nineteenth century with her apparitions at Rue du Bac in Paris, and thereafter at La Salette and Lourdes in France, and in many other places all around the world, some of which still await the approval of the Holy See.

These supernatural events could, in a sense, open the pages of the Book of Revelation with more clarity, as in chapter twelve, narrating the confrontation between the “Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1), and a “great red dragon” (12:1-17). It is the same Woman mentioned in Genesis when God cursed the serpent saying: “I shall put enmities between you and the Woman, between your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head” (3:15). Mary is, indeed, the Woman of Genesis and the Woman of the Apocalypse. The Marian era that is reaching its climax now is shrouded in the mystery of Divine providence.

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The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: Proper worship and acceptable sacrifice, 24/7 and 365, all around the world, until the end of time.

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MASSsacred

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Prophetic event? Marian Shrine at Lourdes, France is inundated by flood waters.

Rescue teams helped hundreds of pilgrims escape waterlogged hotels on Saturday after heavy rains led the Gave River to overrun its banks — and even wash up into the town’s famed grotto, where many Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared to a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

Link

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child. And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert, unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

And the serpent cast out of his mouth, after the woman, water, as it were a river: that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. And the earth helped the woman: and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:12-17)

A verse by verse explanation of Matthew 24 – Christ’s prophecy about the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

Jerusalem encircled by the Romans – Pentecost 70 A.D.

In Matthew chapter twenty-four [v.3] The disciples came unto him privately, and asked Christ TWO different questions:

1)when shall these things be? [the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem prophesied in Matt. 24:2]

2) what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered, starting with the first question, saying to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you”[Matt 24:4]. When we compare the the words of Christ’s prophecy to the History of the distraction of the Temple, we note the incredible accuracy of Christ’s words.

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Related info

Late summer and early fall sequence of Jewish high holy days may serve as supernatural “markers” for coming end time events

Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem

by Doug Lawrence

CNS reports: Pope Benedict offered his “heartfelt best wishes” for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, in the telegram released to reporters by the Vatican Sept. 20.

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I’m not trying to stoke “end of the world” fever here, and I’m not attempting to predict the day or the year Jesus will return. All I’m doing is correlating the ancient Hebrew feast days with the old and new testament scriptures, in order to calculate what time of the year we’re most likely to see Jesus, again.

See if you can follow the logic:

Near as I can figure, John the Baptist … Jesus’ cousin … was born at or around Passover … sometime in April.

Jesus was six months junior to John, which would put the actual date of his birth (Christmas) around late September/early October.

That coincides with the end of the high holy days … the feast of Sukkot … which is typically celebrating by living outside, in tents and other types of temporary shelters. (The shepherds may not have been alone, when they were out there in the fields, tending their sheep.)

It’s quite common for God to mark out the time for future events, through past events. So … if  God chose to sanctify a particular day in late September/early October for Jesus’ first coming … why couldn’t he do pretty much the same thing for his second?

Then we have what Jesus correctly predicted as the “end” of the ancient Jewish world … the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the Temple … which began in the spring, on Pentecost, in the year 70 AD, followed some six months later by the fiery destruction of the Temple, in the fall … right around the end of the high holy days … punctuated by a trumpet blast (St. Paul’s “last” trump … St. John’s 7th?)

Those familiar with the scriptures will note many corrollaries between these events and still to come end time events, as detailed by Jesus, St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John, and many of the old testament writers.

If you’re “into” this type of thing, here’s a few comprehensive links for you:

“Deep” background

16 End Times

17 Scriptures for the End

18 What Do We Do Now?

19 A Catholic Look At the AntiChrist

This Week’s Ask Alice: The Bible – Word of God?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Rational Asks: Why do you Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God?

Alice Answers: We Catholics and our Christian brothers and sisters believe God is the ultimate author of the Bible.

We believe that God inspired the human authors of the Bible, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to accurately write His words.

Many verses in the Bible proclaim God as the Divine Author of both the Old and New Testaments.

“All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching — for reproof, correction and training in holiness so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

All Scripture is fulfilled in Christ. Jesus’ own words and deeds are recorded in Sacred Scripture.

The Bible contains a myriad of quotations and teachings from our Lord. In addition, Jesus himself quoted passages from the Old Testament. When He was hungry and being tempted in the desert, Jesus responded to Satan,

“Scripture has it: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)

While theologians contend that the Bible is the compilation of 40 men who were unknown to one another, ranging from kings to a tent maker, each wrote with a single purpose: to unite people with God, for eternity. Throughout its pages the Bible provides eye-and-ear-witness testimonies to the empowering word of God.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

To believe, as Catholics do, that the Bible is the word of God is an act of faith. Faith is believing what we cannot see or hear, that which cannot be scientifically proven.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: In addition to faith, we Christians also have tradition and fulfilled prophecy to back up our beliefs.

TRADITION

To put it very simply, tradition is the means by which the Holy Spirit guides and inspires the People of God, from age to age.

Before the Old Testament of the Bible was written, it was faithfully preserved by means of tradition. Before the New Testament was written, the truths contained therein were preserved and disseminated, via tradition.

The entire Canon of Scripture has in a very real sense, been inspired, preserved, set down in writing, defined, confirmed, proclaimed, translated and distributed, by means of Catholic Church tradition.

Why do we say this? Simply because nowhere can we find any specific written or even verbal instructions from God, ordering anyone to write down and/or otherwise record his collective words and/or commands.

About the closest we come to this is Moses’ receipt of the Ten Commandments, in stone, and his subsequent written codification (on paper) of several hundred related statutes and ordinances, known collectively as the Mosaic Law, which was first used to help govern the Israelites throughout their desert wanderings.

We know from scripture that, for some 40 years, Moses often spoke to God, “face to face”. If Moses decided to begin writing things down … and God permitted it to be done … then it must have been OK. (Moses wrote the first 5 books of the what we Christians refer to as the Old Testament.)

Later Hebrew prophets and scribes would choose to do likewise … as would the Holy Spirit inspired leadership of the early Christian church.

This is tradition, in action!

Until the complete Bible was set to writing and finally confirmed by the Catholic Church, it was constantly preserved via oral and written tradition, with the aid of some very distinctive, practical and effective cultural accoutrements, which were part and parcel of both the Hebrew and Christian ways of life.

We know and refer to this as the Judeo-Christian Tradition.

PROPHECY

Another reason people of the Christian faith believe the Bible is the Word of God is the fact that about one third of the Bible is prophetic … accurately predicting very specific persons and events to come, often hundreds or even thousands of years in advance.

People living in our times have the unique ability to identify and correlate specific Bible prophecies with their subsequent fulfillment in what is now past human history.

Some 300 ancient yet very specific Bible prophecies (relating to the divine person-hood, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) were perfectly fulfilled in the 4 days between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, alone.

Many, many more biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, and still more are thought to apply to the future … many of those centered around the “end times” and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

See:

Proof from the Bible that Jesus Christ is God

What Everybody (especially Christians) Should Know About the Bible

Catholic Prophecies for the End Times

  Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should.”

I had profiled several believers before May 21. The day after, most didn’t answer the phone. Those who did wouldn’t talk on the record. But one man, his voice quavering, said he was still holding out hope that they were one day off. Another believer asserted that their prayers worked: God delayed judgment so that more people could be saved, but the end is “imminent.”

Tom Evans was contrite. Evans is on the board of Family Radio, the organization led by Harold Camping, who calculated and promoted the May 21 date.

“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should,” he says.

It’s very hard for us to say, ‘Boy, was I stupid!’ The more committed a person is to their prophecy, the more likely they are to justify that action, and to try to convince people that their belief was in some way right or good. – Elliot Aronson, psychologist

Camping has yet to make a statement, but Evans hopes they will not recalculate and announce a new date for Judgment Day. After all, they’ve done that at least once before — in 1994 — and he believes they’ve learned a lesson.

Link

Some “deep background” on Saturday’s “End of the World” prediction

by Doug Lawrence

While I fully expect to still be blogging, come Sunday … the folks behind the widely disseminated prediction of the imminent end of days, purported to be coming up on Saturday, May 21, may actually have a few things figured out correctly … at least in a very approximate sense.

Looking back at the way God chose to accomplish certain critical events in the past … such as the day Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the date of the destruction of the 1st temple, the time of the 1st coming of Jesus Christ, the date of the first Christian Pentecost, the date of the encirclement, cutting off and invasion of Jerusalem, and a few months later, the destruction of the 2nd temple … all point to a likely time frame for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and the final conclusion of the end of this world age, to begin on Pentecost Sunday, and wrap up around the date of the old Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall (which coincides with the likely, actual date of the first Christmas … Christ’s first coming.)

The above also pretty much dovetails with the final 5 months of world cataclysms, as detailed in the Book of Revelation.

So … do I think the world is going to end, this coming Saturday? Absolutely not!

In truth … as Jesus rightly pointed out … no man knows the hour or the day. Only God the Father knows that. Catholics meanwhile, are advised to concentrate on more mundane and practical matters, such as the state of our personal soul.

But when the actual, God-appointed time of the end does finally arrive (and if you happen to still be alive, here on earth) I suggest you look for things to begin to come to a head on or about Pentecost Sunday … finally wrapping up in late September, about 5 months hence, with the return of Jesus Christ, the Eternal King of the Ages.

And that will certainly be something to see!

Tuesday of Holy Week: The fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem.


Tuesday of Holy Week According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus again returns to Jerusalem where he is confronted by the Temple leadership for what he did yesterday. They question his authority. He also teaches extensively using parables and other forms. There is the parable of the vineyard (cf Mt 21:33-46), the parable of the wedding banquet, (cf Mt. 22:1). There is also the teaching on paying taxes (cf Mt 22:15) and the rebuke of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection (cf Mt. 22:23). There is also the fearful prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem if the inhabitants do not come to faith in him. He warns that not one stone will be left on another (cf Mt 24). Continue to pray with Jesus and listen carefully to his final teachings just before his passion.

Matthew 24:1-14  And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple. And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you, there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed. And when he was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the consummation of the world? And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you. For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ. And they will seduce many. And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass: but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And there shall be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in places. Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be scandalized and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations: and then shall the consummation come.

Link

Thought provoking 60-minute Fatima video once again available (free) on-line.


Click here to watch “Heaven’s Key To Peace”

In the Fullness of Time…


All was in readiness for the coming of our Lord, which event, according to signs and prophecies, must be near at hand. Four hundred years before the Birth of Christ, Malachias, the last of the prophets, could not restrain his joy at the near approach of the Messias. He told the Jewish priests that the Temple should soon be closed for ever, and the fires on their altars extinguished, for that their offerings had ceased to be pleasing to the Lord of Hosts. He said: “I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will not receive a gift at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, My name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation. For My name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

Nothing remained to be accomplished, save the prophecy of Jacob to his son Juda. This last sign was not delayed. The Jewish people, torn and weakened by continual dissensions among themselves, called in the Romans to decide their quarrels, and the Romans, a great and powerful nation, settled the dispute by taking possession of all Judaea, and placing on its throne Herod, a stranger, a satellite of the Roman emperor. Thus was the sceptre departed* from Juda, and that event ushered in the Redeemer of the world, the desired of the nations.

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Interesting stuff about the priesthood and the pope.

Moses (R) and Aaron (L)

When God made Aaron, the brother of Moses, the first high priest, he officially set up the office of priest in perpetuity (a man so ordained would remain a priest forever and the office of the priesthood would continue forever):

Exodus 29:9 – 11 To wit, Aaron and his children, and thou shalt put mitres upon them; and they shall be priests to me by a perpetual ordinance.


The high priest was endowed with awesome responsibilities, special powers and extraordinary authority. A high priest normally served for life (until later times, when that was changed). He was in charge of all the other priests, as well as the administration of the Tabernacle or Temple. When he died, his office was to be handed down to his successor:

Exodus 29:29 – 30 And the holy vesture, which Aaron shall use, his sons shall have after him, that they may be anointed, and their hands consecrated in it. He of his sons that shall be appointed high priest in his stead, and that shall enter into the tabernacle of the testimony to minister in the sanctuary, shall wear it seven days.

It was also normal for the high priest to prophecy. His prophetic words were considered to come straight from God. This was true even for corrupt high priests (like Caiphus, who condemned Jesus):

John 11:49 – 53 But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death.

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The Classic Haydock Bible Commentary on the Book of Revelation

St. John the Apostle and Evangelist – Symbol: Eagle

It is certain much the greater part of the ancient fathers acknowledged both that it was a part of the canon, and that it was written by St. John, the apostle and evangelist. See Tillemont, in his ninth note upon St. John, where he cites St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenæus, St. Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Athanasius., Eusebius, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, &c.

It was written in Greek to the churches in Asia[Asia Minor], under Domitian, about the year 96[A.D. 96] or 97, long after the destruction of Jerusalem, when St. John was banished to the island of Patmos, in the Ægean Sea.

It is by some called the prophecy of the New Testament, and the accomplishment of the predictions of all the other prophets, by the first coming of Christ at his incarnation, and by his second coming at the end of the world.

As to the time when the chief predictions should come to pass, we have no certainty, as appears by the different opinions, both of the ancient fathers, and late interpreters. Many think that most things set down from the fourth chapter to the end, will not be fulfilled till a little time before the end of the world. Others are of an opinion, that a great part of them, and particularly the fall of the wicked Babylon, happened at the destruction of paganism, by the destruction of heathen Rome, and its persecuting heathen emperors.

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Deep background

On the Feast of the John The Baptist: A Strange and Wonderful, Though Long Delayed Answer

Birth of St. John the Baptist

To understand the moment we must go back in time to approximately 1900 BC. The place is a hillside called Moriah where Jerusalem would later be built. Abraham has been commended there by God where he has been told to prepare to kill him in sacrifice. Upon arriving at the foot of Moriah the text says,

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”  ”Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. ”The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb…? (Gen 22:6-8)

Do not miss the great foreshadowing here: A long promised son, about to die, carrying wood upon his shoulders ascending the very hillside where Jerusalem and Golgotha will one day be located. Yes this is a wondrous foreshadowing.

And then comes the great question to his Father: “But, Where is the Lamb?” Yes, indeed, where is the Lamb who will die so that I don’t have to? Where is the Lamb whose blood will save my life? Where is the Lamb?

Now you know the rest of that story. An angel stopped Abraham and then pointed to a ram, with it’s horns in the thicket. And you may be excused for saying, “Aha, God did provide the Lamb. End of story.” But truth be told, this ram, this lamb cannot really save Isaac. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb 10:4) Isaac’s death is merely postponed and then it is off to Sheol with him where he will lie and wait for the True Lamb who alone can give eternal life.

And so, that question got wafted up on to the breeze and echoed down through the Centuries that followed: “But, where is the Lamb…..where is the Lamb?”

And now we are standing by the banks of the Jordan River 19 Centuries later and John the Baptist sees a full grown man coming toward him and says a very strange thing: “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” (Jn 1:29) Yes, there is the  true Lamb who alone can take away our sins. John the Baptist supplies a strange and wonderful, though long delayed answer to a question Isaac asked 1,900 years before. Where is the Lamb?  THERE is the Lamb!

Happy birthday of John the Baptist.

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The prophet Ezekiel, the closed Eastern Gate, Jesus, and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Many ancient theologians such as Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine (and most of the Eastern Fathers) interpreted Ezekiel’s prophecy about the Temple’s closed eastern gate as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. According to Ezekiel, only the Messianic lord/king/priest could enter through this eastern gate of the Temple.

“Then He brought me back
to the outer gate of the Sanctuary,
which faces East;
and it was shut.
And He said to me,
“This gate shall remain shut;
it shall not be opened,
and no man shall enter by it;
for the Lord, the God of Israel,
has entered by it;
therefore it shall remain shut.
Only the Prince may sit in it
to eat bread before the Lord;
He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate,
and shall go out the same way” (Ezek 44:1-3).

As the Catholic Church teaches, the Blessed Virgin Mary is perpetually a virgin – she did not have relations with Joseph after Christ’s birth in accordance with the prophecy of Ezekiel: “and no man shall enter by it; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.”

God entered creation through her womb and it was hallowed in this profound mystery. The “Prince” who is Jesus “sits in it to eat bread before the Lord.” Christ was nourished in the darkness of her womb. He gained the flesh and blood that He would offer on the cross to His Father. The “bread” reference refers to Bethlehem (which means “house of bread”). It also points forward to the supersubstantial bread of the Holy Eucharist which is His flesh and blood.

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Did the Wise Men Know Hebrew Prophecy?

From the desert caves near the Dead Sea to the ruins of an ancient temple in Jordan, the story of the Messiah was etched in stone and written on parchment hundreds of years before Jesus was born.

Read the whole, remarkable story

More… including the present whereabouts of their mortal remains

Submitted by Doria2

The Anti-Christmas Crowd Has Reason On Their Side, While All We Catholics Have, is God.

The anti-Christmas crowd has reason on their side.

It’s not rational for God, the Supreme Being of the entire universe, to care about the lowly inhabitants of an insignificant planet.

It’s not rational for God to condescend to becoming one of us.

It’s not rational to believe that one person could (at the very same time) be both fully God and fully man.

It’s not rational for God to choose a “putrid backwater” of the ancient world, then known as Roman occupied Palestine and Judea, to be the home of his divine son.

It’s not rational for God to choose a lowly Jewish maiden (the sinless, Virgin Mary) to be the mother of his son.

It’s not rational for God to ask the maiden’s consent.

It’s not rational for God to wait patiently for that consent.

It’s not rational to believe that a woman might conceive a child without benefit of some type of physical sex act or medical procedure.

It’s not rational for humans to believe in angels (or devils).

It’s not rational for a lowly human to even consider being part and party to such an unimaginable, boldly metaphysical, wholly unlikely and totally unparalleled event.

It’s not rational for the here-to-fore unseen, unknowable, ineffable God to expect anyone of sound mind to agree to take part in such a thing.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born after the usual nine months of gestation, without loss of the woman’s virginity.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born in a stable, because no room was available elsewhere.

It’s not rational for “Kings of the East” to set out on extended pilgrimage based primarily on their limited understanding of ancient and obscure Hebrew prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that the same Kings were guided to their destination by the appearance of a mysterious, dedicated, still unexplained and unidentified heavenly light (star).

It’s not rational for the Son of God to have to flee the country of his birth in order to foil an assassination attempt on his person, by an earthly king.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be raised by a decidedly “middle-class” foster-father, in an indistinct and virtually unknown little town called Nazareth, and to eventually become a carpenter.

It’s not rational for a married couple to voluntarily and permanently fore-go sexual relations with each other.

It’s not rational to believe in Scripture/Bible prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that one man could, during the course of his short, thirty-three years of earthly existence, perfectly fulfill all of the hundreds of Bible prophecies that were written about him.

It’s not rational to believe that the atoning death of the Son of God at the hands of sinful mankind, could somehow ultimately result in the successful reconciliation of mankind with God.

It’s not rational to believe that God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten Son: that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

It’s not rational to believe that it is possible for a man to raise himself up again from the dead.

It’s not rational to believe that, having risen, that same man could give us his glorified flesh and blood to eat, as true food and true drink, and as the antidote to eternal death and hell.

It’s not rational to believe that a little group of eleven apostles and a few hundred disciples could establish one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church that would eventually convert the pagan Roman Emperor, then the entire Roman Empire, and one day, go on to encompass most of the known world.

It is not rational to believe that having reconciled the world to God by his life, death and resurrection, that Jesus Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end.

It may not be rational, but the bulk of the above events have already occurred and passed into history, while our Christian faith informs us that the last will also truly come to pass, in God’s good time.

Merry Christmas!

More on this here

The Foundation of Israel in 1948 … Prophecy fulfilled?

Q: The Foundation of Israel in 1948 … Prophecy fulfilled?

A: Many would think so, and many have gone to great lengths to make it so, but the fact remains that the artificially reconstituted modern day nation of Israel has little in common with the original “Chosen People” of God … except for their continuing persecution of Christians.

Fact is, all the promises God made to Israel were kept when he conducted them into the promised land, gave them their sovereignty, and eventually their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

God “owes” them nothing more.

The Christian Church is now the “People of God” in the world, heir to all the promises of Christ … and the only “holy nation” worth being part of … for Jew and Gentile, alike.