****** 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?
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.