Neither Preterism nor Futurism very useful to apoc mystery

****** the following is intended to be a sort of literary hyperbolic rebuke, please don’t take the language literally. *********

Let us explore the folly of the futurists and preterists, who are hypocrites like the pharisees and saducees that they mimmick.

These hypocrites, like Lindsay, say, see, the EU has ten subdivisions, therefore, it could be the beast.

And what is their folly? Look at this way, hypocrites. The Lamb has seven horns and the false prophet has two.

So then, there could just as soon be a wicked ruler who rules seven kingdoms, and a wise and just ruler who is an evangelical Christian who rules two nations. And would that prove that the evangelical is nevertheless the false prophet, and that the wicked man is the Christ?

You fools, if modern Europe retained its Christian roots and didn’t scoff at the Gospel, and they lived in harmony with Christ, would the EU still be the beast, simply because it has ten subdivisions?

For in antiquity, Rome was an empire and it was wicked in paganism, and in the Middle Ages, there was a Holy Roman Empire, a Christian empire, and now we have an Empire that indeed dwells where the former Empire of antiquity was, and it is also wicked and scoffull towards the Gospel, but is what makes it the beast geography or its wickedness?

Hypocrites!

So then, why, you hypocrites, do you say the beast is ONLY the EU, and not also the whole of the general civs that come from Europe that are likewise in apostasy?

For which is the issue: the geographical nature of a society, or its SPIRITUAL condition? Is it not the spiritual, and that the geography has nothing to do with it?

And so it is that futurists look, but do not see, they listen, but do not hear.

And what is the source of their folly? Is it not that they forget we live in a New Covenant and not the Old? For indeed, in Daniel, the beasts were Gentile kingdoms and the horns were kings of power, yes. And the heads, subdivisions of empires, yes.

But that was the Old, and we now live in the New Covenant!

Why do the hypocrites not understand that Daniel foretold temporal kingdoms so as to meet the People of Old where they were at? For does not the Old Covenant give them a literal earthly kingdom, so that God must also shew them the literal earthly powers that would rise against them in the times leading up to Messiah?

But the Kingdom of the New Covenant is no longer a literal physical kingdom, a single land. It is a spiritual kingdom, the Catholic Church, that spans the whole earth, and the threats that are truly worth considering are not temporal powers but spiritual depravities.

Hence, the Church can never define NT history in terms of temporal kingdoms, because her teachings do not deal with temporal kingdoms. For where do the dogmas of the Church reference France, China, or Algeria? Nowhere.

Similarly, in response to persons who think in the opposite extreme, that is, the other hypocrites that are called preterists, how does it help us, or even the Early Christians themselves, that the fall of Jerusalem took five months (supposedly the fifth trumpet), that there were 7 Roman Emperors in the Early Period of the Church, and that the Parthians threatened Rome temporally? Hypocrites, thinking themselves better than futurists, and yet, not really, for they see similar data that is pretty much just as useless as the wild speculations of futurists.

Hence, in a similar vein, such preterist data would likewise never be made Catholic dogma, for it is just as useless and meaningless toward Salvation history as the questions of the other hypocrites on the right.

But the Church defines her spiritual threats in her dogmas, and phrases them in terms of truth and its sources, and grace and its sources.

Hence, the CCC references Islam, and how does Islam relate to the Church?

The Church is not so much concerned about WHERE Islam resides geographically, but rather HOW Islam relates spiritually to the kingdom of Christ. And it is this: Islam is the general religion that takes the Catholic faith and disembowels from it the Trinity and Incarnation utterly, so as to leave the shell of the Gospel: an all powerful God who is only One in Person, who has NOT become one of us so as to suffer for our sins, and who therefore, has sent a mere man whose revelation presumably “surpasses” that of the Christ. IOW, Islam is the religion that most fully attacks the mysteries of God as Triune and Incarnate, and yet retains, more or less, the other elements of the Gospel that remain.

And this is precisely the nature of the threat of Islam that matters: its spiritual deficiencies.

But that it resides in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, and Iran and Syria, and Libya is not the issue. What matters is its spiritual opposition.

So also, another threat, of a much lesser order, are the schismatics. And what Islamics do with the Trinity and Incarnation, the schismatics do with Peter. Schismatics are then they who rip Peter and his special mediatory authority from the Gospel, and retain, for the most part, everything else. Hence, this is only a minor threat.

And the heretics, how do they relate? They are a much worse threat, for they rip from the Gospel not only Peter, but the whole of the apostolic successors, and hence also separate themselves from five of the sacraments. Theirs is a severe deficiency that, having cast aside Apostolic Tradition, they necessarily confound the living hell out of doctrine in attempting to understand Writings that neither belong to them, nor that they will ever understand, precisely because they reject the very Tradition that is needed to understand the Writings that they twist, in many cases, to their own destruction.

As for the infidels of the Enlightenment, they are almost the beast, for they relate to the Church by way of supernatural death: for the deists and rationalists, disillusioned by the scandal of religious confusion and bloodshed in the pursuit of supernatural truth, have cast aside any faith in a God who either intervenes in this world (deism) or who reveals things (rationalists), and are content to admit that there must be a Supreme Being who created the world, but are resolved to delude themselves into thinking that the Supreme Being does *not *need to tell us things of his nature and what we should do, that is, that we can figure this out with our own Reason, and that we can be moral on our own power, apart from Redemption. IOW, the Enlightenment accepts only the natural light of reason, and no more. For this reason, because they cast aside all supernatural sense of religion, they are the supernaturally dead, and remain alive only in a natural sense.

And the apostates of today? Well go back and read about the two horns, which will be treated later in this thread. The apostates of today have cast aside all light, even the natural (that at least the Enlightenment infidels accept). They are the children of utter darkness, who bear, unless they repent, the mark of the beast.

So then, how should we view the trumpets? As literal environmental calamities and other literal woes, or rather a symbol of this gradual spiritual digression, that harms all but those with the Seal, that is, faithful Catholics, who, because they have the fullness of truth and are faithful to it, shall be able to weather the storm, the storm of SPIRITUAL assault.

Let me try to explain more down to earth about the last 1700 years:

Behold, the dragon PROGRESSIVELY builds up SPIRITS of antichrist, moving towards ULTIMATE spirit of antichrist.

In the beginning of the illuminative way, after the Church emerges from the purgation of pagan persecution, the dragon sows antichrist doctrines that assault PARTIALLY, the Trinity and Incarnation (Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, etc.).

Then he raises up a spirit of antichrist that utterly attacks the Trinity and Incarnation and suggests a revelation that surpasses Christ, dethroning Him as Messiah (Muhammed and Islam).

The he causes Peter to morally fall, so as to lead to the spirit of antichrist that rejects Peter’s special authority and role (the Great Schism of 1054)

Then he causes the Catholic clergy to largely fall morally, so as to pave the way for the spirit of antichrist that shall reject the authority of all Bishops and Apostolic Oral Tradition, using their scandal as the false reason.

Then he instigates, as you indicate above, the great spirit of antichrist that is Protestantism, which denies all Apostolic Succession and Oral Tradition, hence intrinsically leading to the confounding of the pursuit of Christian truth, divisions upon divisions, and the loss of five sacraments (five months of supernatural torture, the fifth trumpet).

This stage of division and scandal of Christian bloodshed gives birth to the sixth stage of antichrist, the so-called “Enlightenment”, where the deists and rationalists, scandalized infidels that they are, cast aside any faith in a God who either intervenes (deists) or reveals (rationalists) supernaturally. The children of the Enlightenment cling only to reason, and nothing else, not even Scripture that the heretics of Protestantism still accepted. This stage of antichrist is almost utterly depraved, but not quite. It is a supernatural death, in so far as a third of humanity “dies” in the sixth trumpet, retaining only the natural light of reason. But it is not utterly antichrist yet, for even from reason, as the deists and rationalists admit, we know there must be some Deity, a Supreme Being who is the origin of all things, and that creation bears forth a natural law that should be obeyed, even if attempted on one’s own brute willpower. hence, the deists and rationalists can still see some sense in the Ten Commandments, most of which are evident from reason, apart from Revelation.

And in today’s world, the ultimate spirit of antichrist exists, the spirit that denies even reason, secular messianism and the collapse even of the morality evident from reason. Behold, we now live in the age of the beast and false prophet, who seduce the world to place their faith in this world only, and live only for it, with no regard any religious truth or assistance from God, nor to do His Will.

Seven stages, seven trumpets. And who escapes the harm of these? Only faithful Catholics, who, precisely because or their Catholicity, retain the fullness of truth and grace, and so are protected from the spiritual harm of these mystical plagues.

Here’s a much shorter way to summarize the Trumpets:

The dragon’s suggestions of last 1700 years:

I. Screw the Trinity and Incarnation partially (main heresies from 300 to 600)

II. Screw the Trinity and Incarnation fully (Islam)

III. Peter is a hypocrite, therefore screw Peter (the Great Schism)

IV. Tell the Bishops to relax and take it easy (it’s good to be the Bishop! :stuck_out_tongue: )

V. See, Bishops are hypocrites, therefore screw them, you don’t need them. They duped you and invented Oral Tradtion (Protestantism)

VI. See the hypocrites that divide endlessly over the meaning of the Bible? Therefore screw the Bible, just live by Reason. (the Enlightenment)

VII. Who even needs reason? Screw it! Just live how you want and don’t care about God and His truth or Will. Live for this world only! (the Modern Secular Age)

A. Tell them it is OK to contracept
B. Tell them it is OK to fornicate
C. Tell them it is OK to abort
D. Tell them it is OK to euthanize
E. Tell them it is OK to be promiscuous
F. Tell them it is OK to practice homosexuality

could it be that you spauline are one of the two prophets mentioned in revalations that the world rejioces over their deaths and God opens heaven and says come up here :eek: who knows i some times wondered if i was the other one:p …in all seriousness this is some very interesting thoughts…

Now we shouldn’t easily jump to conclusions. Can you shoot fire out of your mouth and inflict plagues on the land? :smiley:

That aside, you’re doing a good job here Spauline :thumbsup:. By the way, is it just coincidence that (at the time of writing) this thread, the Revelation Bible Study thread and the Revelation according to the Fathers thread are next to each other? :wink:

hi, guys, thank you. Well, you know, I have never had the power of shooting fire from my mouth, so I think it is safe to say I’m probably not one of the Two Witnesses (:D:p).

But, anyway, thanks, guys for the compliments.

:slight_smile:

That’s only because you haven’t tried any of the chili recipes in the “HERESY” thread in the Back Fence! :thumbsup:

<><

Neither Preterism nor Futurism very useful to apoc mystery

That’s not surprising: apocalyptic literature is - apocalyptic. It belongs to a literary genre of its own,of which there are many Jewish and Christian examples. Preterism & Futurism & their subdivisions each include fractured parts of apocalyptic; but the only adequate reading of the Apocalypse is one that treats it as an apocalyptic sort of book. To otherwise is the equivalent of trying to eat soup with a fork - it doesn’t really work.

I realize I am a bit late to this thread, but I beg to differ. Preterism has actually led me into the Church.

how does it help us, or even the Early Christians themselves, that the fall of Jerusalem took five months (supposedly the fifth trumpet), that there were 7 Roman Emperors in the Early Period of the Church

It refutes skeptics who attack Jesus’s prophecy that the fall of Jerusalem would happen within a generation of when he made the claim (i.e. "This generation shall not pass until all these things have been fulfilled, Matt 24:34). Athiests and liberals have attacked Jesus at this very point and interestingly, even C.S. Lewis referred to this verse as the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Jesus made a very clear promise, which was fulfilled in history which validates the fact Jesus was speaking the truth.

The details regarding the 7 emperors also fit very neatly with the preterist interpretation of Revelation. Much of the details in Revelation fit very neatly with what happened surrounding the fall of Jerusalem.

and that the Parthians threatened Rome temporally?

I plead ignorance, since I am not aware of this in what I have learned.

Hypocrites, thinking themselves better than futurists, and yet, not really, for they see similar data that is pretty much just as useless as the wild speculations of futurists.

Again Jesus was VERY clear:

“I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt 16:28)

Matt 26:63-65:

63But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

Matt 24:3,29-30,34

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

29-30 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Hence, in a similar vein, such preterist data would likewise never be made Catholic dogma, for it is just as useless and meaningless toward Salvation history as the questions of the other hypocrites on the right.

How specifically is preterism useless and meaningless? It actually gave me a reason to be Catholic. The purpose for his coming in 70AD was to do away with the old covenant system, as spoken of in Hebrews 8:8-13. The greek word for ‘coming’ (i.e Parousia) by the way, can also be translated as ‘presence’. thus, if the judgment on Jerusalem happened as Jesus said it would in Matt ch. 23 and 24, (and I firmly believe the whore of Bablyon is nothing less that apostate Jerusalem of 70AD), it would make sense that in the end of Revelation it is replaced by the New Jerusalem, which is likely the same as the ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ (Hebrews 12:22-24), or the “Jerusalem from above” (Gal 4:26), also known as the Church, the bride of Christ.

This means his ‘presence’ should be among us, and as a former protestant, I’ve been trying to figure out where that was. To my surprise, it was in the Catholic Church, when I learned about the Real ‘Presence’, the Eucharist.

In short, the preterist interpretation of Revelation is not about the end of the world, but the end of an age (or era). Some preterists use the term, "covenant eschatology’, to emphasize that Revelation is about the end of the old covenant (see Heb 8:8-13, Gal 4:24-31).

Even covenant language appears in the end of Revelation…

Rev 21:3 - "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

…which sounds very similar to what we see many times in the old testament:

Hebrews 8:10 - “…I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

Ezekiel 37:27 - “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Hosea 2:23 - "I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. ’ I will say to those called 'Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ "

Exodus 6:7 - “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”

i don’t have time right now to dialogue, maybe later.

suffice it to say, much of the DATA of preterism is not very useful, INTRINSICALLY, to the meaning of salvaiton hitsory, because the meaning of salvation history is giuded by major SPIRITUAL eras, not be mere temporally specific data that could easily be tweaked without altering the general nature of the spiritual stage in which it lies.

Does that make sense?

If not, we cannot go any farther.

:frowning:

Hi Spauline,

I hope you don’t mind my lengthy response. I can quite a while for a response. Please do make sure you have your priorities in order. :slight_smile:

suffice it to say, much of the DATA of preterism is not very useful, INTRINSICALLY, to the meaning of salvaiton hitsory,

How specifically is the data not very useful? I ask this because, again, preterism is largely about the ending of the old covenant and the firm establishment of the new. The word ‘apocalypse’ in Greek refers to an ‘unveiling’ or a ‘revealing’, for this reason, in my mind, God reveals himself in the Eucharist which receive in the liturgy. Preterism has led me to see that this is what I have been looking for during my days as a protestant. In other words, the implications of preterism point to the Real Presence, as I have mentioned. How is this not useful to the meaning of salvation history?

because the meaning of salvation history is giuded by major SPIRITUAL eras

Where is the basis for such a statement? What are these major spiritual eras? Also, how specifically is the meaning of salvation history guided by such major spiritual eras? I ask because I do not fully understand this.

not be mere temporally specific data that could easily be tweaked

Again, Jesus was VERY clear about when he would come (Matt 24:34). This is not about me trying to fit the text into a particular interpretation if that’s what you are suggesting. It’s as clear as John 6 is about the Eucharist. I am saying that if Jesus was wrong about Matthew 24:34, then he has failed to keep a promise and has therefore lied to us as skeptics have often said. I contend that Jesus’s prophecies were fulfilled to the tee as several Church Fathers have recognized.

without altering the general nature of the spiritual stage in which it lies.

Does that make sense?

Unfortunately, I don’t understand this. What do you mean by ‘spiritual stage in which it lies’? I’m very confused…

Unless I’m mistaken, any text that is interpreted, must be understood in the context in which it was written. To read it apart from the historical context would be a bit dangerous, would it not? I am not denying that there are spiritual stages, nor spiritual applications for today, but Jesus’s words are extremely clear about his prophecies in Matthew 23 and 24.

If not, we cannot go any farther.

:frowning:

Please help me, because I would like to know what you’re referring to. For the record, I do not hold one absolute view on Revelation. The preterist interpretation fits neatly along with the idealist interpretation, which takes a spiritual view on Revelation. Scott Hahn interestingly writes about all the views of Revelation in his book The Lamb’s Supper which seems to make a tremendous amount of sense with a lot of preterist elements, while maintaining the spiritual viewpoint as well.

I do believe that there are spiritual stages, and that God will pour out his judgment on nations/peoples who continue to do evil, but to avoid the first century understanding of Revelation would be a bit extreme in my mind.

In fact, it’s interesting to note that Daniel 2, under the preterist interpretation suggests that it is prophesying about the Catholic Church:

Daniel 2 speaks of 4 specific kingdoms beginning with the Babylonians, then another kingdom (Dan 2:39) and then a 3rd one (Dan 2:39), as well as 4th kingdom (Dan 2:40). Each of those verses specifically mentions the word ‘kingdom’, so anyone can look up these verses to see I am not making this up. Scholars generally agree that these kingdoms refer to the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greek, and the Romans, respectively. And here is where things begin to sound interesting:

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

This sounds a lot like

Ephesians 3:21 - Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but** not by human hands**—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces." (Dan 2:44-45)

[quote]

This, to me, sounds a lot like

Matt 16:18 - “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”

Daniel 7:27 points to the fact that the 4th kingdom (presumably the Roman Empire) would be handed over to the saints, and that is precisely what happened. This is why we are Roman Catholics. I am not suggesting that all prophetic statements are over and done with, since I do see a possible spiritual reading of many NT related prophecies, but I do not see how many of what I have just mentioned is not intrinsically useful to the meaning of salvation history. If anything, much of what I had just said points to salvation history, does it not?

[/quote]

for now i only have time to redirect you to a few articles of mine:

%between%
Why Both Futurism and Preterism “Miss the Point”

True Wisdom and the Apocalypse: 7 Roman Emperors or 7 Ages?

let me try to clarify Jason.

Obviously, God can predict the future and so things can be “fulfilled.”

What i’m saying is, God does not reveal the future for its own sake.

The Traditional understanding of Catholicism, only until modern liberal times, is that, as Ludwig Ott puts it, the apocalypse concerns the “meaning of God’s Plan to redeem the human race.”

And in general, as the Navarrare commentary points out, the ECFs see the apocalypse as “the ages of the Church.”

we already know that the Catholic Church is the kingdom of God on earth, and that Christ is present in the Eucharist. We know this apart from the consideration of what the specific ages of salvation history are.

Therefore, preterism in its idealistic approach doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know, nor does it really address the questions of “the ages of salvation history.”

Similarly, we can say, sure, God could have “foretold” that it would take five months for Jerusalem to fall. But such data is useless to the meaning of salvation history, because five months is arbitrary.

I am not saying, that the fall of Jerusalem as a GENERAL event is not important to the meaning of salvation history, i’m saying, knowing temporal DETAILS of the fall of Jerusalem is useless, just as the Fundies consideration of how WW III will play out is useless.

Because if there had been 13 Roman Emperors in the first century instead of merely 7, how would that alter the general age of the martyrs? For all the emperors, or at least most of them, have this in common: They think they are the allpowerful God and they persecute Christians. How many of them reigned is useless information, because it doesn’t change the general nature of the age of the martyrs.

Similarly, had the fall of Jerusalem war lasted only 100 days, instead of 150 (5 months), so what! Jerusalem still falls. What does it matter how long it took? That is arbitrary temporal data.

On the other hand, when we look at the bigger picture of Church history, there are more important questions to ask?

Of the greater attacks on the Church’s doctrinal development, after the age of the martyrs, there was:

Islam
Orthodoxy
Protestantism
Enlightenment
Modern Secular Apostasy

We should ask, is there any meaning of Plan of God that anticipated these spiritual digressions? Were these developments random and arbitrary, or do they follow a logical spiritual structure, that therefore might suggest that man falls in the NT way according to an ordered path given the nature the fall.

There is also the profound question of IF any, or all, of these spiriutal oppositions can be healed? can the world be restored to the Gospel? Can Christians be reunited? Or is secularism beginning to ciphen us toward the end?

For involved in these questions are, we KNOW that the Jews will convert at the end, but WHY? A mystery! But the answer must already lie in the Scripture and Tradition.

There will be a final manifestation of the fallen nature that cannot be practically cured, and that is why the world ends. How will that be, and WHY, spiritually?

These are stuff that the apocalypse is about, and preterism, if only taken by itself, doesn’t address any of these questions.

That is what i mean in saying that preterism is not very useful, in and of itself, in answering the real apocalyptic mysteries.

Ah! Fascinating point! Thank you for clarifying.

By the way, you listed Orthodoxy as if it is heretical. I don’t think my parish priest (who is an Eastern Catholic priest) would agree with that! LOL! :wink:

Back on the same topic, it is interesting to note that gnosticism has been an issue in the early church and it appears to be rearing it’s ugly head via the New Age movement.

thanks for getting back, jason. Well, true, Orthodoxy is really schism rather than heresy, although they do have minor heresies (rejection of filioque and rejection of the now infallibility of Peter dogmatically declared).

but anway, God bless you.

scott
:slight_smile:

What is the official Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox views on Eschatology?

not sure about EO.

Catholicism teaches dogmatically that Christ returns at the End of Time to Judge all men, at which time also occurs the General Resurrection of all men and the New, Unending Creation.

The Church teaches non-dogmatically the following four things that occur toward the end of history:

The Fullness of the Gentiles (the degree of this is unclear and what is primarily debated in Catholicism)
The Great Apostasy [an Antichrist]
The fuller conversion of the Jews
The Great Tribulation

At indeterminate time in the great trib, Christ returns, then see above.

Primary debate of fullness of Gentiles is between pessimistic Augustinian amillennialism (wheat and tare model) and the fully approved Private revelation (intermediate apostasy and trib reunites Christians and almost all Gentiles enter Church for great age of peace, after that occurs great apostasy and trib, end of world)

Hello and peace,

I enjoy this kind of thread and thought I might be able to contribute. I feel fairly confidnt that St Stephen the first martyr lived a pattern of life that is a hidden archetype of Church history from Christ to the second coming.

Jesus said that there would be some from this ( living then) generation that would not die before seeing these things fulfilled ( second coming).

St Stephen is described as appearing angelic as he walked with Jesus . His walk would end at the cross. He so perfectly imitated Our Savior as the account attests
58 And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 59 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. **And Saul was consenting to his death. **

Is it reasonable to think that Saul’s conversion was the result of Christ’s action in answer to the prayer of Stephen?

Could it be that the first martyr would have been living a pattern of life that would become the pattern of life experienced by the Church suffering to the second coming? Could Saul represent the conversion of the Jews in this narrative?

I think it is. During St Stephens walk with Jesus tasting with Jesus the Dolorious road, the appearance of Stephen was described as angelic. St Stephen’s words had the power to cut his persecutors to the heart. They gnashed their teeth. In short what I believe is a picture of the Church’s journey through the final age of Grace and it’s dramatic end with the Son of Man coming on the clouds made visible. As it was for Stephen the power of Christ is operating with ever more power as he approaches the cross.

One difference. Where St Stephen’s pattern of experience is no longer making the Life of Christ visible in the Scriptures the Son of Man who Stephen saw coming takes his place as the Church ministers the last public revelation to the world and puts
meaning into the Angelic appearance of the first martyr.

I am thinking that the angelic appearance was a revelation of the Church suffering during the final tribulation. Purgatory made visible on earth as the Church suffers at the foot of the cross. The purging of sin made visible in the flesh of persecuted Christians and the bodies participation in the joy of the Beatific vision. The divination of the flesh as a witness to the world that the Church was trully from God.

I don’t think the NT mentions gnashing teeth as a current event except for in the account of the first martyr? That may point to the gnashing of teeth Jesus mentions when the Son of Man comes.

Anyway, there it is. It seems like a reasonable fit to me.

Ah, see I had been told by someone that the Catholic Church basically believed that most of Revelation had been fulfilled and that they didn’t really believe in the Great Tribulation and thought the Antichrist was Nero…

Now I was skeptical of that so it’s nice to hear that it’s not true.

Hello Crimson. Catholics believe that everything is fulfilled in Christ. OTOH prophecy is still at work and it’s unfolding in Church history is not complete. The Church has as long as I can remember taught that there would be a final suffering that would be of the greatest intensity ever experienced before. I remember it expressed like this; The Church is destined to follow Christ and suffer with him all the way to the cross.

Crimson, I’m glad our bonds of faith have become more united, more like Our Savior.:slight_smile:

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.