Skip to comments.Pulling Back the Veil - An Overview of the Book of Revelation
Posted on 11/19/2018 7:43:58 AM PST by Salvation
In daily Mass we are currently reading selections from the Book of Revelationnot a bad choice as the end of the liturgical year swiftly approaches.
While many suppose that the Book of Revelation is merely about the end of the world, it is about far more; it is also about what is happening right now. It was not written only for the end of the ages but for all ages. It is a book of glory that discloses the victory Jesus has already won. Dont get lost in lots of exotic theories; Revelation is a prophetic book of glory.
Its title in Greek is Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Apokalupsis Jesou Christou), which literally means The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. It is as if Jesus is pulling back the veil to show us what is really going on. He shows us the great drama of history and tells us that He has already won the victory. He declares that we should not to lose heart while the dust settles, while the wheat is separated from the chaff and the harvest is brought in.
We are too easily mesmerized or terrified by our limited view of history. We think that life depends on which political party wins, or whether a cure is found for some disease, or whether nations of the world can reach rapprochementbut the battle is far higher and deeper than our tiny slice of time. It is far deadlier and concerns more dramatic issues than what will happen to the GNP of the U.S. or which of the latest political theories will prevail.
This is a great drama between good and evil. It concerns the fundamental issue of where you will spend eternity. Yes, there is a great and cosmic battle in which we are all caught up; it is happening all around us. St. Paul says,
For we do not contend against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the high places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm (Eph 6:11-13).
The Book of Revelation is speaking to the same reality. It unveils the true and cosmic battle. In so doing, it declares without ambiguity who the victor is: Jesus Christ our King, who has already won. There are only two kingdoms, two armies, two sides. You must decide whom you will serve: the prince of this world or the King and Lord of all creation.
Revelation opens with a vision of the glory of Jesus the Great Lord and Son of Man:
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea. Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead (Rev 1:10-17).
Yes, this is our Lord Jesus in His resurrected and conquering glory! At the name of Jesus every knee shall bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:10-11).
Yes, Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen (Rev 1:5-7).
The second part of the Book of Revelation calls the Church and us as individuals to repentance and perseverance. The cosmic battle reaches the Church and individual disciples. The battle is in the Church and in the heart of every person. Thus, the letters to the seven churches referred to in Revelations 1. We are not to lose the love we had at first. We must be willing to endure hardship and persecution. We are to reject the fornicators and all those who propose any sort of sexual immorality. We are to resist syncretism and every form of false religion. We must resist Satans deep secrets; we must not be in any agreement with his ways. We must resist sloth and not fall back. We must resist lukewarmness as well as every sort of pride and self-satisfaction. The Church, clergy and laity, must fight the good fight, must persevere. We must endure hardship, keeping in mind the reward that awaits the courageous and the eternal disgrace that is coming to cowards and to all those who embrace the world, the flesh, and the devil.
John is then caught up into Heaven to see the glory of God and the heavenly liturgy. He has revealed to him what must take place soon. Historically, the Book of Revelation pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem and to the end of an era. Down through the ages, empires and nations have crumbled; eras and epochs have come and gone. Only Gods Kingdom, as proclaimed and made sacramentally present by the Church, has survived or will survive.
Today we are arguably at the end of another era and epoch. The West is crumbling, and decadence abounds. Confusion about basic reality is so widespread that our current world can credibly be compared to a lunatic asylum. Even within the Church, voices that should speak out prophetically remain silenced by fear. There is among Church leaders, clergy, and laity a widespread softness and a feeling that the risk of speaking out is too great.
The message of the Book of Revelation is a strong antidote to times like theseto all times past, present, and future: be strong, be prepared, and be willing to suffer, realizing that no matter how powerful evil may seem, Jesus is the victor. We are swept up into a cosmic battle that is much larger than our current situation but that reaches us nonetheless. Dont think that you can sit on the fence; you must choose a side. Satan owns the fence and he is coming for you; he will say, You belong to me.
The seals, the bowls, and the trumpets of Revelation are but a further description of the cosmic battle and the wretched defeats that ultimately come to the defiant and disobedient. God will not leave unpunished those who despise His Kingdom and His holy ones. These seven ordeals times three are a call to repentance to those who survive. They are also a manifestation of Gods justice and ultimate authority over history.
A crucial battle comes in Revelation 12, when the red dragon with seven heads and ten horns besets Mother Mary, who is also an image of the Church. But the devil cannot prevail in the war that breaks out in Heaven. He is hurled to the earth, where he unsuccessfully pursues the woman (who is Mary and the Church). In a rage, he continues to pursue us. For the time being, the cosmic battle continues; Satan rages because he knows his time his short.
Satan is a big loser, but even losers have an uncanny ability to impress and dupe foolish, gullible people. Satan still makes empty promises and dangles passing pleasures before us. Sadly, many of the worldly and unspiritual fall prey to his lies. Mysteriously, God permits this until the full number of the elect is gathered in.
Then comes the end:
And fire came down from heaven and devoured Satan and his armies and followers. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Look! Gods dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new. Then he said, Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true (Rev 20:9-21:5).
Yes, it is good that we read the Book of Revelation. In it, the Lord is telling us what is really going on and what the outcome will be. He is telling us not to lose heart. In this world you shall have tribulation, but have courage, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Be not dismayed, fellow Christians. Do not be fearful of what is coming upon this world. Even if it is the end of the era or epoch, the Church has endured such sea changes before. Christ has already won the victory and has promised that the Church will remain indefectible. When the current foolishness has run its course, we will still be here preaching the Gospel, even if we have become a small remnant and are preaching from our prison cells!
Do not be fearful. Do not be a coward. Preach boldly and with love. Continue to shine the light of the gospel in the darkness. The gospel will win; it always wins.
Dont get lost in the details of the Book of Revelation and miss its message: victory in the midst of persecution and trial. It is a call to persevere. It is a pulling back of the veil to show us what the end shall be! Be strong, courageous, and certain. Jesus has already won the great victory in the cosmic battle. The dust is still settling, but know for certain that Jesus has won, and if you choose Him, so will you!
He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev 21:7-8).
Regardless of what you think is going on, this is what is really going on. Choose sides. I urge you to choose Christ with courage. Dont look back. Come what may, Viva Christo Rey!
Monsignor Pope Ping!
What I find most amazing in Revelation is that rocks and mountains are falling on the people and they still refuse to repent. What does that tell us?
Once again Pope, Charles shows us that Jesus would never leave us without a true pope.
Since we are now more than a year into Revelation Chapter 12, it seems prudent to put aside any nit-picking about the identity of some of the characters and focus on the part about “hold fast to what you were taught when you first believed.”
Look around you at the people who are leaving all churches and saying they don’t believe in God.
I don’t sign on completely to any of the traditional interpretive approaches to Revelation (preterist, historicist, futurist, dispensationalist, etc.) and take them all with a grain of salt. I think an eclectic approach is probably more correct. But, more and more I think the idealist approach rings the most true. I think the dispensationalist take is the least persuasive.
The Paradise Fire may not have been rocks falling on the people.
I wonder if they still disbelieve or believe?
Msgr. Pope does not mention the Mark of the Beast. Hmmm....
I’m just as amazed. The Word tells us “as in the days of Noah” and “as in the days of Lot” that the level of evil had become so great, and so is the case now, as Jesus told us it would become. We now have scoffers and blasphemers, rabid haters of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, among other things He said they would do, refusing to repent. Satan of course hates the Lord, and all who refuse Christ are allied with Satan. There is no grey area, no “middle ground”; you are either for Him, or against Him.
They would have no other god except themselves, them on their throne—even as they watch the world around them being hit by one horror after another.
An overview does not always have all the details such as the one you mention.
What the RCC author of this piece says nothing about, is the amillennialist interpretation of Revelation, of himself and his church.
So, of course he’s going to say Revelation is not about the end of the world, it is about “right now.” Amillennialists believe the church - i.e., the papacy - is supposed to be ruling the world...”right now.”
Up until the Protestant “back to the Bible” movement, their Amillennialism held sway, while they ruled Europe. But, since Revelation does not support their totalitarian interpretation, their view no longer holds sway.
Rome also is in error on Ch 12 being about Mary. If they insist on this it undoes their nonbiblical position on the Immaculate Conception.
But you know what? This is a really, really good overview. One of the best and most concise I have ever seen.
Personally, it speaks to my condition.
Kindly stop right there. The rest of your comment is apparently about what you "think" he said or what you "wish" he said, or what you "expected" him to say, because this is not what he said.
Re-read this paragraph and see if certain words jump out at you:
"While many suppose that the Book of Revelation is merely about the end of the world, it is about far more; it is also about what is happening right now. It was not written only for the end of the ages but for all ages."
As you can see, he is not excluding an end-of-the-world interpretation; he's saying it's not that only. He's saying it's all that AND MORE.
Interestingly,the Church has not dogmatically defined the issue of whatever-millennialism, pre, post, 'a', pre-trib, mid-trib, what-a-long-strange-trip, etc. Saints have a legitimate liberty to take, and HAVE taken, a range of positions, and you might want to keep that in mind.
If there is "a" Catholic perspective, it is the one given by Peter, who writes,
"But do not ignore this one fact, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slow about his promise
as some count slowness,
but is forbearing toward you,
not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance. . . .
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved,
what sort of persons 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 kindled and dissolved,
and the elements will melt with fire!
But according to his promise
we wait for new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.
since you wait for these,
be zealous to be found by Him without spot or blemish,
and at peace"
(2 Pet. 3:814)
I will not argue further about this.
Here I bow out of the discussion.
Can I have an Amen?
For starters...No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma [Immaculate Conception] can be brought forward from Scripture as noted per the catholic encyclopedia. Karl Keating, a Roman Catholic apologist and founder of catholic answers, admits in a debate with James White the Immaculate Conception is not found in Scripture.
However, even this from the CE is at odds with the following from Catholic Answers.
Catholic Answers gives this explanation for the dogma [emphasis mine]:
Since the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are not explicit [recall the Catholic Encyclopedia says No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma [Immaculate Conception] can be brought forward from Scripture], Fundamentalists conclude that the doctrines are false. Here, of course, we get into an entirely separate matter, the question of sola scriptura, or the Protestant "Bible only" theory. There is no room in this tract to consider that idea. Let it just be said that if the position of the Catholic Church is true, then the notion of sola scriptura is false. There is then no problem with the Church officially defining a doctrine which is not explicitly in Scripture, so long as it is not in contradiction to Scripture.
However, that is just what we have...the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception does indeed contradict Scripture.
This is evidenced in Revelation 12.
1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Rev 12:1-2 NASB
Roman Catholics claim verse 1 is about Mary....however, if v1 is about Mary then v2 has to be about Mary as well based on the structure of the sentence. This is where the Roman Catholic argument for this being about Mary runs into conflict.
If this is about Mary, v2 clearly notes "she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth."
In Genesis 3 we have the punishment for the woman for her sin which is imputed to the remainder of women.
16To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16 NASB
We also have this from Catholic Straight Answers in direct contradiction of Revelation 12:2.
The troublesome part is the middle Marys virginity in giving birth to Christ. We remember that one of the sufferings inherited because of original sin is that of child bearing pains: The Lord God said to Eve, I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children (Genesis 3:16). Since Mary was free of original sin by her immaculate conception, she would consequently be free of child bearing pain.
The Roman Catholic is now in a dilemma as there is a clear contradiction of Rome's position on this issue with Revelation 12:2.
Further, as part of the punishment the husband is to rule over the wife.
In Matthew we see Joseph take Mary into his household and she becomes his.
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL, which translated means, GOD WITH US. 24And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 NASB
In this passage we also see the Roman Catholic dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary discredited as the text indicates he, being Joseph, kept her a virgin until Jesus was born. After that they were free to consummate the marriage.
The Roman Catholic will likely try to appeal to the undefined "unanimous consent" of the ECFs. However, this appeal also fails as noted by the Catholic Encyclopedia.
In regard to the sinlessness of Mary the older Fathers are very cautious: some of them even seem to have been in error on this matter.
Origen, although he ascribed to Mary high spiritual prerogatives, thought that, at the time of Christ's passion, the sword of disbelief pierced Mary's soul; that she was struck by the poniard of doubt; and that for her sins also Christ died (Origen, "In Luc. hom. xvii").
In the same manner St. Basil writes in the fourth century: he sees in the sword, of which Simeon speaks, the doubt which pierced Mary's soul (Epistle 260).
St. Chrysostom accuses her of ambition, and of putting herself forward unduly when she sought to speak to Jesus at Capharnaum (Matthew 12:46; Chrysostom, Homily 44 on Matthew).
These are not light weights in Roman Catholicism.
For the Roman Catholic to continue to perpetuate this false dogma they have to read into Scripture something that is not there, ignore what is in the Scripture and then selectively cite only those ECFs favorable to their position.
That is eisegsis....reading something into the text that isn't there to support a belief.
Roman Catholicism hasn't defined a great deal of things in regards to the texts. Some estimate ~30 verses or so have been dogmatically defined.
That's pretty sad coming from the group claiming to have been around 2000 years and that claims to have given us the Bible.
On one hand you tell us the RCC has had no particular millennial view of Revelation, while on the other hand you use a passage from 2 Peter, to prove just the opposite. A very particular view, used by Amillennialists to prove there can be no coming of Christ (his second coming) to this earth to reign for a thousand years...because the earth will be “burned up.”
You can’t have it both ways.
Miriam/Mary brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. The angel Gabriel told her this. If one pays close attention to what God told the angel to say, it becomes obvious. There is no other woman qualified except Miriam/Mary.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.