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!

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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.

What exactly do you think Jesus got up to during those 30+ years for which there’s no scripture?

Q: What exactly do you think Jesus got up to during those 30+ years for which there’s no scripture?

A: Jesus was simply waiting for “the fullness of time” to arrive, so he could begin his public ministry.

Nazareth was also the last place the forces of evil would have looked for him, since no prophecies were written about the place.

John 1:46 And Nathanael said to him: Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Philip saith to him: Come and see.

Photo courtesy Bob & Fran B.