For centuries, the Catholic Church has clung to Augustine as presumably giving the Church the supreme apocalyptic model: the parable of the wheat and the tares. For them, this is all we need to know about the Church age:
Between pagan Rome and the end of the world antichrist, the age of the Church is like a field that is ever maturing, the good becoming better, and the bad becoming worse, and then, at some point, the bad overtakes the good, leading to the end of the world and the harvest.
I find this model woefully insufficient.
Since the Church enshrines the Gospels as the supreme Word of God, it is natural for them to say this parable directly from Christ’s mouth must contain the prototype apoclayptic mystery.
I firmly believe the Church needs to reconsider that a better Gospel model for the apocalypse is not merely this parable but “Amen, amen, I say to you, it shall all be fuliflled.”
Prior to Augustine, the ECFs tend to emphasize more the days of creation and the beast as the summary of salvation history, and not the wheat and the tares. It seems the Church went from one extreme to another: from chiliasm to amill.
What if the ECFs prior to Augustine are closer to the truth than Augustine? For does not the Church consecrate MOSTLY wine, and only a little water, instead of mostly water and only a little wine?
Therefore, I say this: chiliasm is like pure wine, amill is like mostly water and little wine, and the true solution is chiliasm tinkled with a little water, just enough that it is no longer chiliasm, but conformed to the mystics’ age of peace.
Behold, the supreme apocalyptic mystery most likely is not expressed in the wheat and tares but rather in the days of creation and the beast.
and the metaphor is this: each day is an age of the REcreation of the world, or its redemption. Each day begins with evening and ends with morning, just as in OT history, first comes sin, then redemption, then sin in prevalence, then redemption in prevalence, etc.
Therefore, I assert a great theory: the nature of the fall is NOT most adequately expressed in the wheat and tares but rather in the beast and days of creation.
For a head of the beast cannot be alive and wounded at the same time. For if the wound is healed, it is alive and not wounded. And if it is mortally wounded, it is not alive but in regression.
So also, it cannot be both day and night. It is either the night, or it is the day.
Hence, FIRST Christ is crucified, THEN he rises, not He is risen and crucified at the same time. This is the mystery of faith: FIRST comes darkness, THEN comes light.
IOW, this is the nature of the fall: the fallen nature, as Original Sin, is a force that continually drags humanity down into darkness, and that in each stage, God responds with redemption, or light. IOW, this is the nature of iniquity: man falls in a stage, and God redeems in a stage, and then man falls again in a stage, and then God redeems in a stage, and then man falls again, etc.
This is the path of salvation history from beginning to end.
IOW, the days of creation are truly the supreme Scriptural metaphor for this process: the sun SETS, the sun RISES, the sun SETS, the sun RISES…
and the beast is the same metaphor: the beast is healed and he is wounded, he is healed and he is wounded, etc.
Behold, as I have shared before, Augustine delineates five ages for the Old Law, and other Fathers assign three days to the Church.
Just as there are eight days of creation and eight heads of the beast, and Apoc 17:9-11 delineates them thus: five have fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come,… and the beast which was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.