An Amended View of the Millennium of Apocalypse 20 and the Hexameron


Here is the greater article, and then a quote:

The Joyful Mysteries as Image of All Human History

The Seventh Night: Private Revelation Completes Our History from Here

**STUDENT: ** This, then, is the seventh night, right?

TEACHER: Yes, right. So now, our only options are, the end of the world, or another sunrise followed by an eighth darkness.

STUDENT: Yes, this is a crucial juncture. After all, Public Revelation speaks of an apostasy at the end, so, like, uh, what does that mean for us now? Is this it? Cuz, on the one hand, Europe and her children have this great darkness of apostasy and secular messianism. On the other hand, the Church doesn’t seem to be saying we are at the end. She is trying to have hope. Then, there are the Private Revelations, and I am not sure where they fit in either. So what do we do with this?

TEACHER: This is a crucial point in our discourse indeed. Here, EWTN rescues us with years of painstaking probing into the fully approved Private Revelations concerning the latter times of Church history. Here is what they have for us:

As Cardinal Ratzinger recently pointed out (in the context of the message of Fátima), we are not at the end of the world. In fact, the Second Coming (understood as the physical return of Christ) cannot occur until the full number of the Gentiles are converted, followed by “all Israel.”

Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.

Although this is not Catholic doctrine, arising as it does from private revelation, it conforms to what is occurring in our time, especially in light of Our Lady of Fátima’s promise of an “Era of Peace.” This “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” (other saints have spoken of a social reign of Jesus Christ when Jesus will reign in the hearts of men) would seem to occur prior to the rise of the Antichrist. The optimism of the Pope for the “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity fits here, as well. This would place us, therefore, in the period just before the events spoken of in the Catechism, that is, on the verge of the evangelization of the entire world. Other interpretations are possible, but none seem to fit the facts as well, especially when approved mystics are studied, instead of merely alleged ones.



There you have it. The majority of fully approved Private Revelations suggest, as the most likely scenario, an intermediate, minor apostasy toward the end, together with a conditional threat of a minor tribulation, after which occurs a glorious reunion of Christendom and a period of wonderful peace. All this must precede the final phase of human history, the great apostasy of Public Revelation and its associated Antichrist, great persecution, conversion of the Jews, and incomprehensible Tribulation, within which, at an unknown “hour,” the Christ returns to end human history, judge and raise all humanity, and form the New Creation that shall never end—all these final events, of course, being things we know from Public Revelation.

Private Revelation Fulfilled in the Scriptures: The Days of Creation and the Beast

STUDENT: Ok, but all this depends on Private Revelation, which no Catholic is required to believe. Plus, you mentioned that the chastisement is conditional. What does that mean, and is this age of Catholic peace also conditional?

TEACHER: Good questions. Firstly, admittedly, no portion of Private Revelation is ever necessary to be believed in. However, I would say, how could so many plain witnesses be wrong? Secondly, we will see that this Private Revelation scenario most fully agrees with the theology of the days of creation and beast kings and our yet to be explored Joyful Mysteries. As for conditionality, that the chastisement is conditional means, if humanity preemptively repents of their godlessness in the minor apostasy, it will enter the age of spiritual peace without chastisement and through their inner conversion. On the other hand, if the world persists too long in resistance to God’s grace, the chastisement will come, and then they will repent and enter the age of peace. Yet, here is the wonderful thing: the age of peace, as it called, is NOT conditional. It comes infallibly, with or without preemptive conversion, with or without chastisement. It is the world that must choose whether to enter peace the easy way [preemptive conversion] or the hard way [the minor tribulation and then conversion].




Yet, as it stands, the scenario above, once again, perfectly matches the analogies we have and will have, that is, the days of creation, the beast kings, and the forthcoming Joyful Mysteries analogy. It would behoove us, then, to simply show in the raw sense that this perfect correlation exists before delving into deeper reasons.

STUDENT: Sounds good. Go ahead and proceed.

TEACHER: Good, let us look at the first one, the days of creation. We already saw that the sixth night was pagan Rome, and that we are now, with the modern minor apostasy, in the seventh night. Well, the scenario lays out that the next great phase of history is a light, the age of peace, following a preemptive conversion in the world or a chastisement and conversion. Bingo! This is the seventh light! Note, too, it has the semblance of a Sabbath, like the seventh-day Sabbath of the Genesis allegory: the near whole of humanity will be voluntarily Catholic and living the Gospel in their hearts. The Church will, temporarily, cease having to labor against sin and heresy. She will rest. Again, this perfectly mirrors the seventh day of allegory which is a metaphorical Sabbath in the same days of creation.

Finally, the next phase, again by the scenario, is the great apostasy, where the world will grow lax and forget the lessons she learned. This is the night, the eighth night. And lo and behold, the remaining phase after this is nothing short of the end of time, the eternal light of the Second Coming and New Creation. This eighth light is an eternal, most perfect Sabbath, where the just shall forever behold God and one another in love and peace, never to suffer again. Too, remember, they shall rise at the Judgment, just as the Christ rose on the eighth day.

STUDENT: Awesome! You are right. it fits perfectly!

TEACHER: Yes! Moving on, similarly, the beast kings of Apocalypse 17 bear it. In fact, the beast kings are just our nights of the days of creation. And since the mystery of the kings suggests an eighth that arises again, all fits as well.

“And the beast you saw was, and is not, and will be again…. And the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.”

The connotation of the eighth bringing one back to the first is most appropriate: here, the comparison is between kings one and eight, and days one and eight.




Day one is like day eight. Day one is Noah’s day, where the whole world is wicked. Similarly, in day eight, the world is also nearly fully wicked, the great apostasy. Similarly, in day one, the world is destroyed by water and made anew, the beginning of the redemption of the world. In day eight, the world is destroyed by fire and utterly made new in the unending New Creation.

Likewise, the beast kings bear the sense: the eighth phase of sin brings with it the image of a former king. Here, common sense says, use the first king. This does work best and is most profound, as follows; in the first king, the whole world was, again, wicked in Noah’s day. Effectively, we can argue that in this same beginning phase of history, the fall “was”, or “reigned” in human history. It was prevalent, since before the Flood, God had not yet exercised any substantial Redemptive action in history. Then, with the Flood, God slew this first king and ushered in the greater phase of humanity’s redemption. The beast “is not.” Subsequent nights of sin follow, but because God is redeeming humanity during the intermediate phases of sin, redemption still holds sway, that is, again, “the beast is not.”

However, when we reach king eight, the great apostasy, humanity’s culpability has reached its peak. How? Well, if the chastisement comes in our times, it will show the world the incomprehensible horrors that befall humanity when they do not listen to God and His Church. They will not be able to tell God they didn’t know these consequences. Moreover, God will have given them peace, faith and science reconciled, so that they will know that whereas science without faith spells doom, faith with science is the fullness of peace and love on earth.

For this reason, when humanity goes back to apostasy after the age of peace, they have no excuse. If they will not believe after all this, nothing will make them believe. That is, they cannot tell God they did not know the consequences of rejection of God and His Church. Moreover, they cannot tell God they had not seen the true fruits of His religion when embraced with docility. Hence, since God can no longer draw a greater spiritual good for humanity (saving the Jews, who convert en-mass at this time), the Fall is back and once again “reigns,” casting out the Holy Spirit of Redemption—getting Augustine’s restrainer out the way. And that means, “the beast [is] again.” And so our theology is perfect.

STUDENT: I am amazed! You are absolutely right! Thank you so much for these wonderful insights.




Comparing Augustine’s Amillennialism with Private Revelation: Is it Time for an Update?

Ok, so we were going to apply this to the Joyful Mysteries.

TEACHER: Thank you, but actually, I think it would behoove us to explore this current theology a bit deeper to see that it is not arbitrary but even more ordered and meaningful than we have currently. Moreover, if greater rigor can be seen, the argument for its application to the forthcoming Joyful Mysteries will be all the more plausible.

STUDENT: Great. What did you have in mind?

TEACHER: Well, we can also note that St Methodius of Olympus basically maps out our days of creation as well. He testifies of the ages of the world: “Five are the ages of the Old Law. The sixth is designated to the Church, to labor against sin and heresy. The seventh is the Millennium of rest, and the eighth is Eternity.”

STUDENT: Hold it right there. Isn’t the idea of a “Millennium of rest” the heresy of chiliasm, which Augustine and the Church condemned?

TEACHER: You are right. Some early Fathers, in applying the theology of the days of creation, saw Apocalypse 20 as literal, that Jesus would literally come back in Resurrected form to rule the nations for a literal thousand years of physical paradise and with the literal resurrected just. Then, after this “literal millennium,” the damned would be resurrected, there would be a final confrontation, and then the final judgment and end of time. Admittedly, this is condemned by the Church.

St Augustine gave a solution that enabled the Apocalypse to remain in the canon: for him, and the Church’s long-standing tendency, the Millennium can be seen as a symbolic, spiritual period—the whole era of the Church, Her spiritual reign through the souls of the martyrs who come to life again in the living Church on earth countless times. The resurrection of the just at the commencement of the Millennium symbolizes all of our spiritual resurrections at Baptism, which causes us to die with Christ and rise to new life by the washing away of our Original Sin and the infusion of Divine life. During this time of missionary activity, the dragon is restrained by the Church’s evangelization and self-same renewing activity. At the close of the Church’s age of bringing the Gospel to maturity, the dragon goes forth from his prison at the great apostasy, seducing humanity to darkness. Here, the Christ then literally returns to destroy the age of sin and usher in the world that will never end.




To be sure, this interpretation is fine the way it is. However, we can ask, does it provide the greatest depth of the meaning of human history?

STUDENT: That is the question. Ok, but so then how do we interpret the millennium of rest in the context of St. Methodius?

TEACHER: Like this: even though the Church has tended toward the Augustinian solution above, there is a secondary solution that will fit our needs that the Church has never condemned. In this view, the Millennium is still figurative, a spiritual period of peace, and is not necessarily a literal thousand years. The reign of Jesus is spiritual, not literally on earth in a resurrected, direct revelatory presence. BUT, unlike Augustine, it is not the whole age of the Church but rather this partial age toward the end, this age of peace that is coming in our time that we have just discussed. In this way, the resurrections on either end of the figurative Millennium are figurative too, basically of spiritual light and darkness, respectively: the resurrection of faith and goodness in the world on the left end [the coming reunion of Christians and renewal of the world for the age of peace], and the resurrection of darkness and apostasy on the right end [the great apostasy].

For this, I argue in my book that the scenes of the dragon in Apocalypse before this Millennial scene of chapter 20 can be describing, at least one layer of meaning, the more tumultuous time in Church history, that is, the last 2000 years or so, where the dragon is active and has not yet been supremely defeated in the way he will be in this side of the end of time by that same renewal in the age of peace. The Dragon.




In fact, this secondary view of the Millennium is just giving us a refined view of Church history, showing that rather than there being merely a general period of gray between pagan Rome and the Antichrist of the end, this age of gray has two sub ages: an initial period of intense suffering for the Church from laboring to spread the Gospel [effectively the last 2000 years] against perpetual resistance of sin, error, and heresy, and then a second age of rest: Christian unity and a world that freely embraces the Catholic Gospel with little to no resistance. This then shows the Church really does have a day six and seven, and not just a general day.

In fact, as well, this is really a reflection of the way the Church understands the Ways of the Saint then vs now. Then, that is, in Augustine’s day, the Church saw the illuminative and unitive ways more or less fully interwoven and mingled. They didn’t know about the dark night of the soul as well. Now, a thousand and more years later, we have a better picture: whereas purgation has a small amount of illuminative and untiive ways present in its stage, and whereas the illuminative way has small amounts of purgation and union present, the reality is, the illuminative way is a general way that comes second in the process, and the untiive way comes third . They are not fully commingled into a general phase. Rather, the saint goes through a general way of illumination with some purification and some unitive aspects, but it is itself primarily illumination. Then, at the conclusion of this illuminative way, the dark night of the soul enters in, and, after this, a period of general union, with a lesser amount of illumination and no purgation. This unitive way is truly a distinguished successor to the illumination. It is a period in which the saint walks practically every step with the will of God, just as in the age of peace, the Gentiles veritably walk every step with God.

Again, this perfectly reflects the contrast of Augustine with the Private Revelation scenario: for Augustine, effectively by our model, Church history has two poles of darkness: the dark night of the senses [pagan Rome], and apocalyptic martyrdom [the great apostasy], in between of which lies a general period of gray: a commingled illumination and union, this period being the Millennium. But by the mystics’ scenario, there is a dark night of the soul in the midst of the period of gray between pagan Rome and the great apostasy, and it divides the first light from the second light, the first light being gray [mostly illumination with some minor desolations, and some purgation], and the second light being almost entirely light [beautiful union and some illumination], the Millennium.



… cont

STUDENT: Yes, I see what you are saying: as the Church’s understanding of the Way to maturation and holiness becomes deeper, the Church can understand apocalyptic mysteries deeper, so that as Augustine’s day had a limited understanding of the Way in her time, so their understanding of the Millennium was limited, but that, now in modern times we have a renewed understanding of this way, the truer meaning of Milllennium and possibly other Scriptures as well.


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