Are the Sacraments the middle ground between Preterism and Futurism?


#1

I’ve been pondering this question quite a bit and it seems as though the sacraments may indeed be the link between these two views, historically and spiritually.

I’m having trouble putting this into words. But the basic idea is that the past tends to repeat itself.

So, for example, the Temple of Herod (a blasphemous temple) was indeed destroyed by the Romans, therefore ending Temple worship. Likewise, most likely going against God’s will, another Temple (which would probably be blasphemous too) may be built which may likewise be destroyed with the coming of Christ, therefore ending the “time of the Gentiles” so to speak.

Does this make sense?

If so, perhaps the various sacraments fit within the historical context in between these two views-- the preterist and the futurist views.

For example, perhaps the first centuries of the Church are symbolic of the sacrament of baptism.

Indeed, according to Romans 6:4, we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Consequently, the earliest centuries of the church appear to be some of the most brutal, with many persecutions attempting to stamp out the church. A mark period of magnificent tombs, themselves a heritage of our faith, seems to end around 400 AD.

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

[RIGHT]Tertullian[/RIGHT]

Perhaps other sacraments represent various ages in which the Church, in her journey, must past through.

Indeed, in our modern era, I sometimes wonder if humanity as whole isn’t in a stage of extreme unction. :frowning:

I guess I’m thinking along the lines of the Catechism’s words…

The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life.

Perhaps, on a larger scale, the seven sacraments likewise touch all the ages and all the important moments of Christian history too-- effectively filling the gap between preterist and futurist views and provinding guidance to us as we sojourn through Church history.


#2

Anybody??? :confused:


#3

you are stumbling onto something, but you have the wrong model for Church history. the Sacraments are definitely involved in the Apocalypse, big time, but the issue of ecclesiology is the forefront there, and hence the trumpets.

But in the bigger history of the Church, there are three primary divisions, not seven. And this is not arbtirary because the Jews have three primary divisions, which are none other than the THREE STAGE WAY of the SAINT:

hence, the Seals are a type of Purgation, the Trumpets are the Illuminative Way (they are protected in the forehead from being harmed in the intellect by false doctrine), the sections of the beast are sevenfold and threefold: the beast is the purgation (pagan Rome), it is the dark night of the soul (the modern minor secular apostasy) and it is the persecution of martyrdom (final apostasy and times of AC).

The Jews already passed through these three darknesses:

Purgation (Egypt Enslavement)
Illumination and Intermediate Apostasy and Chastisement(the Age of the prophets, and the Exile)
Unitive Phase (the Jews were restored to the OT covenant after the Exile, and idolatry was finaly rooted out for the most part until Antiochus)

About Sacraments in Revelation, oh yeah they are there:

the false prophet has two horns like a Lamb. How many horns does the Lamb have? SEVEN. Horns are symbols power. Is not Christ’s Sacraments the greatest spiritual power he has to Redeem us?

What then is going on with the False Prophet? We know from Tertullian that the devil PLAGAIRIZES the Sacraments. Therefore , the False Prophet’s two horns represent the theological essence of the dragon’s two main lies in the fall, which are simply a plagiarization of two special Sacraments of Christ. But which two? Simple.

Remember, the Sacraments are intimately involved in ecclesiology. To wound one in truth is to do damage to the sacramental life. How? If heretics reject the Eucharist, they forteit five sacraments, and retain only two, Baptism and Marirage. Hence, Christ fed the disciples with FIVE loaves and TWO Fish. Loaves require the earth, the earth is the foundation of truth, which can only be had with Bishops, who preserve Tradition. Fish come from the sea. Hence, heretics retain only two sacraments because they are in an ocean being tossed to and fro by “every wave of doctrine.”

I now ask you, is it arbitrary that they lose these specific two? By no means. These two sacraments are the bare minimal ways that Christ heals the results of the fall. Baptism undoes the dragon’s first lie: the dragon said, do not believe in what God has said, nor obey him. Baptism undoes this: “I believe in what God has said and I repent that I didn’t do his will.”

Marriage undoes the other lie, which is that the Creation alone, divorced from its sacramental context of love, can ultimately fulfill. The greatest sacramental sign in Creation is marriage: the intimate physical and spiritual union of man and woman in the martial covenant points to the greatest end of our existence, which is to marry God. Hence, the Whore is the supreme distortion of the meaning of Creation. In prostitution, the supreme sacramental sign is degraded into the worst insult to God, his Infinite Love, and the immeasurable dignity of the human person. In prostitution, the fullest symbolic expression of love in the Creation is twisted into a brute and superficial lie in which the pleasure of creation is taken aside and made an end in and of itself, instead of a means to an end. Hence, materialism is the supreme lie that the Creation alone, divorced from its symbolic, Divine meaning of love and mystery, can ultimately fulfill man.

continued below…


#4

Hence, the two horns of the false prophet are the two primary lies of the dragon in the Garden, that are, appropriately, the antithesis, or mocking, of the two sacraments remaining to heretics, hence, the false prophet speaks the “ultimate heresy.”

I have a lot more elaboration if you would like it, Mr. Ex Nihilo.

Is it Dale?

God bless you.
[FONT=Wingdings]J[/FONT]


#5

here’s more to chew on.

Yes, sacraments are fulfilled in salvation history, even if prefigiured in the OT.

In the beginning, God began the Redemptive process with a Baptism, the FLood. Through the Flood, God cleansed the earth of sin and began anew.

In the next phase, with Abraham, God married a People, the Hebrews. Again, he issued a baptism in the Exodus, the parting of the Red Sea.

In the intermediate Jewish history, the Jews fell into “mortal sin” through their rejection of the prophets and their idolatry and wickedness. And God allowed them to experience the consequences through the Exile, and so then, in the midst of these, the Jews repented and turned their hearts back to God, and God forgave them. Hence, a type of the sacrament of Confession. But they still had a penance to do. In the midst of the Exile, they were reconciled to God, but they still had to suffer the temporal punishment of being separated from their home.

Similarly, and presumably, the Gentiles will fulfill similar sacraments: they were baptized and confirmed at Pentecost, they went through a painful purgation. They were gradually catechized once the Church was free from pagan Rome, but beginning with PRotestantism, they began to turn away from God, sinning in greater ways, until now, they have fallen into mortal sin, not only in terms of what they do, but what they believe (or rather not believe, they believe in nothing.)

so then the mystics prophesy an INTERMEDIATE chastisement that brings them to their knees. Hence, just as the Exile shocked the Jews into an awareness of their unfaithfulness, so the Gentiles, in the Minor Chastisement, shall see the error of their ways and repent of their iniquties, and come to confessional historically. And God shall have mercy on them, but they will still have the temporal penance that is the aftermath of the minor chas. They will suffer much in temporal consequences for their sins. But then, having been cleansed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they shall walk anew with Christ in a great era of peace. FInally, as the Gentiles turn away a final time after the age of peace, God shall annoint the Church in Extreme Unction, to prepare them for the ultimate persecution, the antichrist.


#6

Thanks Scott for the input (it is Dale here).

There’s alot that I want to get into on this, but I’m rereading through some material first. I agree with that you’re saying regarding the patterns of 3 motions…Purgation…Illumination and Intermediate Apostasy and Chastisement…and Unitive Phase.

Is it possible there’s an overlapping covenential / sacrimental progression that works within this three-fold pattern too?

Likewise, do you think that this can actually be used to be prepared for future events, as the preterist side notes?


#7

Hi, Dale,

about the sacraments, I would say this, based on my years of meditation: the general model of the Church’s journey is still the three ways of the saint, because, in the Church’s spirituality, that is the way of the saint. I am not aware, although I am not an expert, that there is a way to say the saints traverse seven sacraemental stages rather than the three ways.

I would also say that the three ways of the saint, if they are true for history, end up suggesting a beautfiul solution to how the Jews will convert: what will enable the fullness of the Jews to open their eyes is to precisely see their entire history, the three stage way, FULFILLED by the Gentiles, such that, in the times of the NT Antichrist, the Church shall say to the Jews, don’t you get it guys? We are just in the final stage that YOU were in with Antiochus. DOn’t you get it? It’s deja vu!

That being said, I beliefve that the focus of the sacraments in the apocalypse is to bring great light on the ILLUMINATIVE way for the Church, in that, the real MEAT between the purgation and martyrdom is precisely the illuminative way. The sun must gradually set on the illuminative phase as it moves towards the dark night of the soul.

And how does the sun set? In what structure? According to ECCLESIOLOGY. And my analogy of the five loaves and two fish and false prophet with two horns introduces further layers of meaning into HOW the sun sets toward the dark night for the Church.

I could give specifics, here’s one big one: what is the fifth trumpet, the first great Woe? It is Protestantism. And the torture is SPIRITUAL, the five months are the five sacraments of life that the heretics lose intrinsically through the revolt.

I could direct you to an article of mine that goes through the trumpets using theology similar to this, and the sacramental mystery of “five and two” comes into play in interpreting it.

If you want me to link to the article, just let me know.

As a final point: if we look at the whole of salvation history, there are three stages for the Jews, and three for the Church, and there are two stages that precede the Jews, making a total of eight. Each stage begins with darkness and ends with light, just a “day” of creation. In that regard, just as the days of creation are extended from seven to eight in tradition, so the beast (and dragon) have seven heads, and the beast’s seven heads are extended to eight in REv. 17. From this, I have concluded that the big picture whole of salvaiton history is a fulfllment of the eight days of creation, each day being first darkness, then light. The beast’s heads are then symbols of these eight darknesses that are followed respectively by eight great lights. The same analogy occurs in music: seven notes in a key, when you reach the eighth note, you are back to the first, just as the eighth day brings you back to the first day.

But, enough, I tend to ramble on.

but let me know if you would like further meditation, I’ve got all kinds of articles. :slight_smile:

God Bless you, Dale,
scott


#8

I agee with pretty much all things that you’re saying Scott, especially the deja vu aspects. I’m just wondering if there is an extra dimension in the life of the Chruch which reflects a deeply profound sacramental nature.

For example, the Catechsim states…

1210 Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life:1 they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.

I’m wondering if in the history of the Church (as in the life of the Church) there a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life-- sacramentally speaking?

Is there a pattern? I’ve been trying to go through Church history, but it is not easy to digest all the data and find a specific pattern.

For example, the final stages of the Church seem to bring intense healing, therefore alluding to a state of Extreme Unction. However, it also displays the Marriage Supper of the Lamb too, therefore pointing toward the Sacrament of Marriage in conjuction with the Lord’s Supper too.

The symbolisms seem to overlap and not immediately adhere to any particular sacrament as far as I can tell.


#9

Here some examples of where I think Preterism points toward Futurism.

Matthew 27:51-53 may be preview of the fulfillment of the greater resurrection alluded to in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Me personally, I think that Matthew 27:51-53 points toward a raising into heaven, that the “holy city” mentioned in Matthew 27:51-53 may point toward the “holy city” in Revelation 21:2 and Revelation 21:10.

I also think the Temple in Jesus’ time, a blasphemous temple which was destroyed by the Romans, will parallel a future Temple existing during Jesus’ second coming, something which may be destroyed by Christ’s second coming itself.

I also think there will be a stronger out-pouring of the Spirit in some sense prior to the coming of the Lord, something which parallels the increase of prophesying which preceeded the first coming of the Lord.

[quote=Acts 2:17]In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
[/quote]

I personally think that the increase of Marian apparitions may be an indication of this-- plus the re-enhancement of the charismatic aspects of Catholicism too.

It seems, according to the Scriptures, that Enoch and Elijah will likewise return as well…

[quote=Malachi 4:5]See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
[/quote]

And again…

[quote=Sirach 44:16]Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations.
[/quote]

Also too, there seems to be a link between the darkness of Christ’s cruxifixion…

[quote=Matthew 27:45]From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
[/quote]

And the darkness spoken of in the Unveiling…

[quote=Revelation 16:10-11]The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
[/quote]

This seems to come back to this…

[quote=Amos 5:20]Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
[/quote]

I also think that as the apostles were originally Jewish and went out into the world to point out the Christ-like qualities in the pagan nations, the Church will most likely end with many Jewish people coming into the Christian faith as they recognize the Jewish qualities of Christ within Catholicism.

In other words, the faith seems to have started with the Jewish apostles spreading the faith into the Gentile nations. And it seems that it will end with the Jewish body separating itself from the Gentiles nations in order to return to the Lord.

Me personally, I think the suffering of the Jews throughout the last two-thousand years parallels Christ’s suffering on the cross. As such, it semes that they have been invited to partake in Christ’s suffering regardless of whether they want to partake in it or not.

There’s much more, but I think this sample should suffice to start. :slight_smile:


#10

Here’s a recap of some other thoughts too.

One, in particular, that I thought was important for this discussion…

[quote=Mr. Ex Nihilo]Now speaking of the 40 years after Jesus rose to heaven, let’s compare the lives of Moses and Jesus for a moment.

Moses and Jesus both acted in the capacity of prophet, priest, lawgiver, teacher, and a leader of men. This much is not surprising-- since this is a common theme for almost all religious leaders.

Both revealed deeper truths about God based on previous revelations and both confirmed their teachings with miracles. This much is not surprising either-- just as I noted above.

In addition to this, however, both confronted demonic powers in their era and successfully subdued them. Both cured lepers and demonstrated spiritual authority via the miracles they performed before many witnesses. From here the similarities become more than a coincedence.

For example, both spent their early years in Egypt, supernatutally protected from the evil kings who slaughtered innocent children in their attempts to kill Moses and Jesus. This comparison is a little bit less than coincidence than the other three ‘general comparisons’ noted above.

Moses appointed 70 rulers to rule Israel whereas Jesus appointed 70 disciples to teach the nations. This is something within the Old Testament ministry which prophesies of the New Testsment ministry.

Moses sent 12 spies to explore Canaan whereas Jesus sent his 12 apostles to reach the world with the Gospel. This too is something within the Old Testament ministry which prophesies of the New Testsment ministry.

Both fasted for 40 days and faced deeper spiritual truths high upon the mountain tops. In fact, both of their faces radiated the glory of heaven-- Moses on Mount Sanai and Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration. This is not merely a coincidence.

Moses laid his hands upon Joshua so that he might have the authority to rule the Israelites when he was gone just as Jesus gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom as Primie Minister of the Church for when Christ bodilly would depart. This is not merely a coincidence either.

Moses also promised that God would send another Prophet like himself whereas Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to comfort us. This is definitely not a coincidence.

Just as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness to heal his people, Jesus was lifed up on the cross to heal all believers of thier sin. Similarly, just as Moses raised the staff with upraised arms so that the Amalekites might be destroyed, Jesus upraised his arms on the cross so that death might be destroyed. This is definitely not a coincidence either.

Likewise, just as Moses raised his staff at the Lord’s command in order to part the Red Sea between God’s people and the promised land so that the Israelites would be delivered from the King of Egypt, Jesus raised his arms on the cross at the Lord’s command in order to part the infinite gulfs of sin between God’s people and heaven so that the we may be delivered from the Prince of the Power of the Air. This is certainly not a coincidence.

In fact, on the 14th day of Nissan, the Feast of the Passover, both Moses and Jesus freed all who would trust them. This was certainly planned.

On the 17th day of Nissan, the Feast of the Firstfruits, Moses baptized the Isrealites as they passed through the parted waters of the Red Sea whereas Jesus became the Firstfruits of the resurrection when he arose from the dead. This was certainly planned too.

50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits God gave the Israelites the Torah through Moses whereas the God gave Christians the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus-- both on the day of Pentecost. This was not just certainly planned. This was prophesied well in advance.

Nonetheless, despite the spritual leadership of both men, many of the Jewish people were ultimately ungrateful to both men and eventually rebelled against them. In fact, both generations that rebelled against these two men sent from God died due to their lack of faith within a generation of 40 years-- one generation died lost in the wilderness of Sanai whereas the other generation died lost in the seige of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. And, of course, this was prophesied too.

And since we’ve gone to about A,D, 70, we’ve only just begun the Church age-- something which has obviously and definitely been prophesied time and time again all throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.
[/quote]


#11

You know, Dale, I really don’t know. Never thought about that. I wish you prayers in your endeavours to look into this.

Blessings,
scott
:slight_smile:


#12

Perhaps we could take a closer look at the sacraments themselves and see if any pattern is discernable. Indeed, if in the history of the Church (as in the life of the Church) there a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life – sacramentally speaking – then it seems that an examination of Church history itself would reveal these patterns if they exist.

For example, the sacrament of baptism is the immersion by which we are “grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ.” In a mysterious way, we “die with him, are buried with him, and rise with him” according to the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy.

Presuming an infant baptism, this seems to correspond to the rising of the early Church. Indeed, with as many persecutions and matyrdoms that that she emerged triumphant from, it seems difficult to not connect the early Church with the sacrament of infant baptism.

Next on the list seems to be perhaps the sacrament of confession-- something which I think should be done before confirmation when presuming an infant baptism (but not necessarilly so if the person is baptized as an adult-- then confession would come before baptism).

If so, confession and penance, in this sense of a child’s baptism, is the sacrament by which we receive God’s healing forgiveness for sins committed after baptism but before our confirmation.

Is this correct?


#13

I. Initial Christological and Trinitarian Heresies
II. Islam (the peak of step I, will explain later)
III. The Great Schism (Split off of Orthodox)
IV. The Scandal of late Middle Age Catholic Clergy
V. The Protestant Rebellion
VI. The Enlightenment
VII. The Modern Secular Apostasy

Scott, I borrowed the framework from your other thread to examine here in light of the sacraments. By the way, I agree with all these things as you’ve explained them.

I’ll come back to this later tonight. :slight_smile:


#14

thanks, I look foward to the dialogue.

:slight_smile:


#15

Scott, what do you think of St. Augustine’s words here?

[quote=St. Augustine]Who are we compared to the saints and faithful of those latter times, who shall be called on to resist the attacks of an enemy unchained, whom we can but feebly resit while he is yet in chains?

[RIGHT]20 De Civit c. 8[/RIGHT]

[/quote]


#16

Antichrist

whew

Some of this is truly scary. I hadn’t sat down and read this in some time.


#17

I don’t think the dragon has ever been chained yet in the proper sense.

See this newer thread:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3033955&postcount=60


#18

Hmmm…interesting thoughts. I have to admit that I have a hard time believing the dragon is chained as well. Certainly, with the increase of as many things, such as abortion on demand as it were, it does seem that the adversary is going “to and fro” just like he’s been doing “since the beginning”.

Still, having said that, wouldn’t you agree that the advance of the Church has been keeping the dragon at least “in check” until the the final pieces are in play?

Certainly, in the end of the chess game, only the most powerful pieces are usually left standing.


I have to admit that I too think that no authentic “Christian” unity will ever come about until a fierce calamity strikes us stealthilly along our heels. Certainly history bears this out in our modern times, such as the Japanese sneak attack or even the radical Muslim 911 attack for that matter.

Raw and treacherous pain tends to get people focussed on the immediate matters at hand, and often this seems to be the only way some people will actually pay attention. :frowning:


#19

Precisely: crisis has a way of knocking people into their senses: that’s how it was with the Jews: they scoffed and mocked and persecuted the prophets right up until the exile. As usual, i have an essay on that:

The Two Witnesses, if you would like to read it. It goes over this principle.


closed #20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.