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  • A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION- PART I

    INTRODUCTION- VERY MUCH OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW IS WRONG W h en I was a kid, I was taught a method for understanding a story was to apply the "5 questions" approach. The 5 questions are who, what, when, where and how. That is a very strong basis for understanding (or misunderstanding) the Book of Revelation. I would argue that perhaps no other Biblical book is more misunderstood because no other Biblical book has been more misinterpreted through the eyes of novel ideology. Particularly pervasive had been novelties emerging from the 20th century. So let's examine the who, what, when, where and how of this book with respect to how it was understood by the early church compared to how it is understood by much of modern society. After we do this, we can examine why the early church had it right. Early Christian understanding Modern Christian understanding. The church existing in the 1st century WHO Those alive in the end times The end of the old covenant and the emergence of the new WHAT A play by play of coming events Overwhelmingly fulfilled by 70 AD WHEN Now, and to the end Out from Jerusalem WHERE Back To Jerusalem A tapestry of all time HOW A linear time-line of events The interpretations we are going to present are going to seem strange at first but you will soon see that our approach is to throw imaginative speculation away and remain faithful to the text in it's proper context. Some call our approach preterist but that's not correct. A preterist is someone who upholds the belief that all Biblical prophecies have been fulfilled. We do not hold to that view. However, we do reject the futurist mindset that believes that all prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. We hold to following what the text says, period. This of course allows for the possibility of multiple layers of fulfilment but we again, don't go beyond what is written. T he forced imposition of 21st century themes on 1st century realities have gotten many people way off track. A working assumption began to emerge from around the 1970s, that "John the Revelator" was being shown almost exclusively end-times events in either fully symbolic visions or in real visions he could not comprehend because of their futuristic content, or in some combination of the two. The facts will show that John understood the themes he was projecting in this book, just like in his other 4 works and that this work is a beautiful tapestry revealing, in bold strokes, the emergence of the Catholic church as the New Jerusalem and bride of Christ and the power and majesty of Catholic worship. Contrary to popular belief, the Book of Revelation is largely understandable and not open to any interpretation you choose. We think you may be shocked that, far more often than not, the text actually takes you where you need to go if you will only take the time to listen. We will be pressing that point boldly as we go. This presentation will draw upon a number of sources which may be cited as we go. I want to start by citing some of primary importance that I will draw from. Coming Soon: Unlocking the book of Revelation by Michael Barber Ascension Catholic study Bible RSVCE by Ignatius Press The Collegeville Bible Commentary. The 'Faith Database' software platform This project is the exclusive property of The 4 Persons, Inc and will be completed in audio, video and book form for public consumption at a reasonable cost upon completion. Distribution will be through the Bible Catholic network and it's affiliates. PART 1 - THE SEAMLESS GARMENT, REVELATION CHAPTER 1 The Collegeville Bible commentary gives a useful outline of the structure of the book, noting how one set of visions is announced while another is still ongoing. The groups of sevens seem to demonstrate God's plan of perfection as seven is the number of perfection. I reproduce their outline for your use: C atholics apprehend the Book of Revelation as we do all the Books of the Bible- in the context of it being part of a whole, seamless garment. The idea of isolated proof-texting is something we simply do not accept. You cannot wrench the sentence from the verse, the verse from the chapter, the chapter from the Book and the Book from the whole of Scripture and expect to grasp the proper meaning. This can be difficult at times, to be sure. Different books of the Bible are written in different styles or genres and cannot be read in the same way. The Books of the law, such as Leviticus read in a radically different way than do poetical books like the Psalms. Likewise, the Book of Revelation reads differently from even John's other writings- the Gospel and his 3 letters. That does not mean we won't find elements in Revelation that echo elements in John's Gospel or in the Psalms or even in Genesis and the Books of the Law. They are all present, they only need to be fleshed out. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. ~ Augustine. This is the framework by which all Scripture must be understood. The word Revelation means to remove the veil. This book unveils the whole of God's plan in it's complete grandeur and it displays the tenderness of His mercy and the terror of His wrath. All the Books in the Old Testament are the blueprints of what the coming Kingdom of God will look like. Everything in the New Testament is the formation of the Kingdom, sometimes violently portrayed 1 . Scripture cannot be properly interpreted without respect to the culture of the people of the audience to whom it is being written. The little idioms and sayings of the time are important to understand. The nuances of the languages- Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin also hold great sway. Finally, the 4 senses of Scripture. Literal Sense : This refers to the straightforward meaning of the text—the historical context, events, and facts described. Allegorical Sense : Here, we look beyond the literal to find deeper spiritual or theological meanings. For example, events in the Old Testament may prefigure or symbolize aspects of Christ’s life in the New Testament. Moral Sense : This focuses on ethical lessons and practical guidance. It asks how the text applies to our lives and behavior. Anagogical Sense : This points to the ultimate goal or destiny—often related to eternal life or heavenly realities. You may find elements of all of these senses in all the Biblical books and Revelation certainly is very heavy in the Allegorical sense. The truth is that the best approach to understanding scripture must include the church- especially the early church. What we will be doing here is not so much a new and novel approach to understanding this book but rather, a trip back to how it was understood before the new ideologies began to be imposed on it. Let's get started. CHAPTER 1 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near. What must soon take place....for the time is near. In the first 3 verses of this book, John tells us twice that the things to be portrayed here will happen very soon . It is rash to quickly dismiss this or rationalize it away by assuring yourself that soon could mean 2000 years. It is true that Peter said that with God a day can be as a thousand years and a thousand years as day 2. , so I fully understand the temptation to put soon and near in the context of eternity and conclude that John is referring to end-times events. This is the first example where I will simply implore you to let the text speak to you. Do not impose pre-conceived judgements or interpretive models. You will soon see clearly that John is speaking with a genuine and literal urgency and that this book, written in 68 AD, is now foretelling events that happen very soon after that. In his work "Coming soon" , Michael Barber recounts that the Syriac version of the Book of Revelation places it's writing around the time of Nero 3 . That is, about 68 AD. I think other evidence supports this conclusion including (as we will later show) the text itself. 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood Notice that John asserts himself as the authority God works through, as the writer to the seven churches. He is acting as the messenger and one who speaks by the authority of God, A Priesthood, over all 7 churches. This, of course, follows the model of John as a Bishop of the Catholic church- and history proves that to be so. This first argument for this understanding may be uncompelling by itself but as the chapters unwind and the pages turn, the case for a Catholic message becomes more and more impossible to dismiss. You will see. You also cannot miss the fact that this is a current message for John's time, set in his own time, to 7 churches that are currently in Asia, in John's time. It is a present tense message. None of these 7 churches survived to our present time. It is ok to extrapolate it, in a general way to all of us in the same way that all scripture applies to all of us. However, in the specific, literal sense, it cannot be missed that John is not addressing a future group of churches but people in his own time. He addresses real issues they were facing at that time. The seven spirits reference from verse 4 is the first of many very challenging ones. Obviously, we are used to thinking of the third person of the Trinity as a Spirit rather than 7 Spirits. This verse refers to the one Holy Spirit, expressed by His seven gifts, as seven spirits. They are of course; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord . As 7 is the number of completion or perfection, this would be the one Spirit manifested by the perfection of his gifts. There is something more at play here. The Seven Spirits extend us greetings, Grace and Peace so they are obviously of the Divinity. At the same time, they stand before God, in the appearance of a servant role. This strange duality is the entirety of the mystery of Jesus, the one mediator between God and Man 5 . This expression of the Divinity as 7 spirits appears in Isaiah Chapter 11 , in one of the most beautiful prophecies of the coming of Jesus. 11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.2  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.5 Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.7 The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.8 The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.9 They shall not hurt or destroy We are revisited by this curious turn of phrase 3 more times, in chapters 3, 4 and 5. Only by working through these usages will you be able to fully appreciate the full context and understand just what is being said. We don't want to simply answer the riddle but do so in a way that is going to have an impact and change your way of thinking. As Isaiah 11 shows, and as these 3 future references will show, the Seven Spirits of God phraseology is a deep penetration of Jesus, simultaneously on both sides of the equation, as Son of God and Son of Man and how deeply mysterious that is. In Isaiah 11, the Seven Spirits are shown as resting particularly on Him and in Revelation 1, they are shown as the binding tie between Father and Son Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. It is a fascinating penetration of the Trinity and of the two natures of Jesus. 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. and here we see two early points raised in more specific detail. First, that Jesus has raised up the Priesthood- a Kingdom of priests- to serve Him and the Father. Our protestant brothers and sisters believe that God abolished the Old Testament, hierarchal, ministerial priesthood and replaced it with an invisible one that lacks authority, hierarchy, liturgy and a sacrificial offering. They could not be more wrong and there is really no evidence to support their position, Biblically or historically. What God did was end the temporary priesthood, with it's temporary sacrifice and replace it with the perpetual priesthood that would offer the perpetual sacrifice of Christ. This is what Scripture foretold. Exodus 29: 9 and you shall gird them with girdles and bind caps on them; and the priesthood shall be theirs by a perpetual statute. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons. Malachi 1: 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. This will become clearer as we go on. The second point is to make manifest that the message of His coming is of imminence. Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. John is sounding the alarm that this coming of Jesus is not to be understood as being His coming at the end of days. This is something that the current generation of people are going to witness in the flesh. This is not the second coming proceeding the final judgement. This is something imminent. This warning was made many times in the gospels. Jesus promised vengeance against the current generation, the very people alive at that time. Matthew 16:28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Mark 9:1 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.” Luke 9:27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” Matthew 12:45 Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation.” Matthew 23:36 Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation. Matthew 24:34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Luke 11:50 that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, 1 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechari′ah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation. Luke 21:32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Acts 2:40 And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” At the risk of belaboring the point, that the coming of Jesus into His Kingdom and the manifestation of his power would be something the living of His time would see is manifestly clear. Equally clear, from the words of chapters like Matthew 23 and 24 were the words that Jerusalem's destruction would occur within a generation. Matthew 24:  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the sufferings. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 19 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Lo, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 28 Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man 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; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. The word is Genea (Strong's 1074) that gives us Generation . It is a word that denotes a time period of about 40 years. Jesus ministry began in 30 AD and a generation would take us up to about 70 AD. Notice a few things; Jesus uses the same apocalyptic imagery of Himself coming with the clouds, as Rev. 1. That imagery is in an answer to a direct question regarding Jerusalem's temple being destroyed. In Rev 1, it is predicted that the eyes of those who pierced Him will see it. Jesus, Himself tells us that all this will happen within 40 years (a generation). The message of the imminence and urgency of these passages is just too strong to ignore. Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are simply hammering the point too relentlessly for us to dismiss it. The dismissal of imminence is not tenable from a linguistic point of view but rises from a simple misunderstanding of apocalyptic language and it's deep symbolism. People believe that Matthew 24:1-34 hasn't been fulfilled because they haven't seen this: 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; People in our time have not seen the heavens shake and the stars fall and the sun and moon go black so they think these things have not come to pass yet. Yet, Jesus does not speak of the Second coming as happening until after these events. 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. You have to ask yourself this. Why would you tie these former events to the second coming of Jesus when He specifically divides them? Why would you insist they are related when we know the former had to have happened within 40 years but of what happens after verse 34, no one knows when they occur? Remember, the same event is prophesized in Revelation 1:7 as in Matthew 24:30. As we go, it becomes clearer. In time, you will understand the deep symbolic meanings conveyed in this ominously symbolic language. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. 9 I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per′gamum and to Thyati′ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice′a.” It cannot be emphasized enough that John is being told to write to the churches (dioceses) of 7 specific cities under his jurisdiction. The idea of the totally autonomous, local church is abolished here. That has never been the Biblical model. 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; 14 his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; 16 in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. The imagery is just stark. These 7 churches on earth are represented by 7 lampstands that the glorified savior walks amongst and the 7 Bishops of those churches, whom John will address by letter are referred to as Angels (messengers) and stars that He holds in His very hand. Jesus is giving us a startling image of His intimate union with His church. The seven lampstands hearken back to Zechariah chapter 4 and the image closely compares to these 7 Bishops as God's eyes in the world.  And the angel who talked with me came again, and waked me, like a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps which are on the top of it. 3 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” 4 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerub′babel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. 7 What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerub′babel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” 8 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 9 “The hands of Zerub′babel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerub′babel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.” The verses clearly show the connection between God's heavenly and earthly kingdoms. Finally, it cannot be missed that Jesus says I have the keys of Death and Hades (v18) because of the words Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” To those with too linear a view of God, these verses seem to contradict each other. People just keep losing sight of Jesus as both a Divine and Human person and thus, they keep losing sight of His church as both a Divine and human institution. It is such a difficult construct but an absolutely Biblical one. God's salvific action is through His church. They are one. FOOTNOTES Matt. 11:12 2 Peter 3:8 Coming soon, page 4 The Book of Tobit (part of the full canon of Scripture) 1 Timothy 2:5

  • CURRENTLY FEATURED CONTENT

    THE BOOK OF REVELATION PROJECT Each show has the corresponding blog post attached in the show notes. THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART I THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART II THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART III THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART IV THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART V THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART VI THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART VII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART VIII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART IX THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART X THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XI THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XIII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XIV THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XV THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XVI THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XVII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XVIII THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XIX THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XX THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XXI THE BOOK OF REVELATION PART XXII Blogtalk radio shows of note Dustin Quick (April 2023) Uncounseling- Dr. Fred Boley (May 2023)-- #1 show, biggest show to date. Medjugorje fraud double header (Top 10 show from May 2023) Father Paul Houlis (June 2023) The Four senses of scripture with Suan Sonna (6/23) Kevin Symonds, translator of Ruini report ( July 2023) David Ross of the CVS podcast (July 2023) Author Avelina Ballestri (July 2023) James Griffin (August 2023) The sickening plague of school shootings (August 2023) Amy Thomas (The Catholic pilgrim)- (August 2023) The Benko Debates over the years vs Brian Ketterer on the Queen of Heaven The whore of babylon debate Eucharist debate vs John Pistes Sola Scriptura vs Alex Carrow Sola Scriptura vs Brenda Johnson Peter as the rock vs George Lujack Alleged idolatry vs George Lujack Papal Infallibility vs George Lujack Did Mary have other children? vs George Lujack Sola Scriptura vs George Lujack Sabbath Day vs George Lujack The Trinity vs George Lujack Sola Scriptura vs Troy Goldsmith Sola Fide vs Troy Goldsmith Purgatory vs Dale McAlpine

  • A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION - PART III

    Revelation 3: 1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. 2 Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ As we enter chapter 3, and the last 3 letters, I am struck by the very mysterious language. It starts with Jesus speaking as possessing the Seven Spirits of God (which we spoke about earlier) but then in verse 2, He speaks as though He is a servant of God. In verse 5, He reestablishes Himself as the Son of God, the Father only to turn around in verse 6, as proclaiming that it is the (Holy) Spirit that is speaking. This parade of changing vantage points within just a few verses had to have been very confusing and mysterious to the infant church It must have seemed to some that Jesus was confused as to whether or not He was God. The only way to even try and penetrate this mystery is to accept that Jesus full Divinity and full humanity are simultaneous, continuous and seamless realities. The Holy Spirit is both within Him and without Him. To accept this reality is easy. The church taught it, that settles it. On the other hand, attempting to comprehend it is a quick path to a massive migraine. It's just beyond us to imagine that time exists within eternity at the same time eternity exists within time. What takes it deeper, to levels some fail to penetrate is that this reality of humanity and Divinity extend to the relationship with His church, as shown by the mystery of the 7 lampstands and the 7 stars. Jesus walks among the church yet holds it in His hand. It is a human institution filled with fallen men who often falter and fail while, at the same time being God's Divine instrument on earth through which men receive Grace, Miracles and even Jesus Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. That a human creature can hold Eternity Himself, in his hands, is mind boggling. This is the great connection that must be made. The churches are always human institutions because they are always run by humans. They become Divine institutions when they are plugged in to Supernatural Grace. it is that gift of Grace that gives us Spiritual life and only through that Grace is salvation even possible. Ephesians 2: 8: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God --   9: not because of works, lest any man should boast.    10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Catechism of the Catholic church: 1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church. Only when you understand that Grace is the connection between God's Divinity and our humanity, can you truly understand the letter to the church in Sardis. The connection to Grace is the connection to Spiritual life and without it, we die spiritually and inevitably fall into mortal sin. In His first letter John deals with the consequences of mortal sin quite emphatically. 1 John 5: 16: If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.   17: All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. It is in this context of the spiritual death of sin, that we can understand Jesus words to the church at Sardis “‘I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Jesus is warning them that He knows their true condition despite what their reputation may be leading others to believe. Some may interpret this as simply a loss of fervor but that interpretation doesn't hold up. Forgetting what they had previously received (Grace) [v3] has led to the soiling of their garments [v4] and that they must overcome to have their garments returned to their whiteness [v5]. Notice that only he who overcomes in this way will not have his name blotted out of the Book of life. We must participate in our own salvation. 7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. It is simply human nature when an American hears the name Philadelphia , to think of the State of Pennsylvania . The truth is that there are almost 2 dozen Pennsylvania place names with Biblical origin including Bethlehem, Nazareth and Damascus to name a few. Why this churches city name was chosen may be a testament to the patient endurance exemplified in this letter or simply that the name means "brotherly love" (Strong's 5361). It is ironic that the writings of Thomas Paine and much of the genesis of masonic thought, which is the antithesis of Christianity, come from there. I digress.... for now. Let's start with the fact that Jesus begins by referring to Himself holding the Key of David , opening what no one can shut and shutting what no one can open. You may recall that we first encountered the keys in Chapter 1, verse 18 as t he keys to death and hades . Y ou may recall also that we showed you that Jesus put these keys into the charge of Peter in Matthew 16. Now, Jesus is saying they belong to David. What is going on here? Remember when we talked about the 4 senses of Scripture? Now is a good time to focus on the typological sense. Jesus is showing you the full picture of how it all played out in the history of Israel and the Davidic kingdom. Let's go to Isaiah chapter 22 and have a look. 20: In that day I will call my servant Eli'akim the son of Hilki'ah,   21: and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.   22: And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. This is typology here. It is prophecy by shadow. Eliakim was to be the new Chief Steward in the Davidic kingdom. That makes him 3rd in command in that kingdom. The order of authority is as follows; The King, Himself. The Queen mother (the mother of the King) The Chief Steward. Here, we see Eliakim, as the Chief Steward , is entrusted with the keys to the Kingdom when the king is absent. It is not enough to think of it merely as a ring of physical keys. Eliakim is given the authority to open that which no one can shut and shut that which no one can open. In other words, he is given the unchallengeable, full authority of David, the king. In Revelation, 3:7, Jesus shows us that that Davidic authority points to Himself. This is what Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:32 32: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, Thus, the Davidic King is fulfilled in Jesus. Who are these other persons? Well, the Queen Mother is the mother of the King. Obviously, this points to Mary. More on that later. Who is the Chief Steward? Well, we would recognize the Chief Steward as being the person Jesus (the King) gives the keys to. That, of course, is Peter. Just as Eliakim opens what none can shut and shuts what none can open, Peter binds what heaven binds and looses what heaven looses. Matthew 16: 19: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Thus, Eliakim exercised an earthly authority, but it pointed to the Divine authority that Jesus would exercise through Peter and his successors. What you see here is proof for the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, foreshadowed by Isaiah, fulfilled in Peter, confirmed by Jesus to John the Revelator. This cannot make sense to you if you are stuck in the false "Jesus alone", linear thinking of Protestantism that posits that if Peter has the keys, that means that Jesus doesn't. As we took such great pains to show, Jesus acts in a very mysterious duality here. He is both the Sacrifice and the High Priest that offers it. He is both God and Him who stands before God. The Spirit both speaks through Him and to Him. It is impossible for a human to fully digest. Jesus acts through the Church under the full power of His Divinity at the same time leaving it's fallible human nature intact. It is an organization of imperfect and often times bungling, humans who are the dispenser of God's grace and caretakers of His authority even as they, as individuals, are stuck in the sinful human condition. It is just mind boggling. He assures us that He has put before the church at Philadelphia an open door which cannot be shut by humans [the door to salvation] lest we become discouraged by our weak condition, which He recognizes (our little power). It is not enough to look at it simply as a Divine sympathy, where God feels sorry for us in our weakness. It goes so much deeper than that. So much deeper. When Paul begged for God to remove the thorn in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12), God responded in an unexpected and truly astounding way; 9: but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. We cannot allow ourselves to view Grace as merely God's unmerited favor and Salvation as an externally imputed act if we have any hope of grasping what is being communicated here. Grace is a participation in God's power, through which we are able to overcome our trials and sufferings when God, in His good purpose, declines to remove them. God doesn't always do for us that which we cannot do. He often does through us that which we cannot do. Need proof? See the martyrs. You think Peter faced crucifixion by his own strength? Paul being beheaded? Other Apostles flayed, shot with arrows, dragged behind horses, stoned? I'm sure that you will readily have to concede that only God's Grace enabled these heroic deaths. Then how can you discount that same grace as being present in the martyrdoms if Ignatius of Antioch (fed to lions) or Joan of Arc (burned alive) or Cecelia, Philomena and hundreds of others. In the 20th century, more Christians were murdered for their faith than all other centuries combined according to every reputable historian of note. This includes many non-catholic sources including this one. This of course, flies in the face of some of the sensationalistic trash rabid anti-catholic sites have put out but we will deal with that later. For now, we need to develop this idea that the blood of the matryrs is mingled with the blood of Christ and the full victory of Christ is something the Book of Revelation shows us as being realized when the full number of martyrs has been reached. We will get into that deeper in chapter 6. Despite their little power, the church at Philadelphia had kept His Word and not Denied His name. His power was made manifest in their weakness . That is Grace at work. Jesus said that he who humbles himself will be exalted and he who exalts himself will be humbled. He says this in Matthew Chapter 23 and it is no coincidence that He says the following in the very same chapter. 37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!   38: Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. The Jews of Jesus time exalted themselves so they had to be humbled. They rejected the Messiah and their house became desolate. By not accepting the entire purpose of the Jewish Faith- the realization of the Messiah- they pretended to be Jews but were living a lie. The Jewish faith was no more and what was not standing in opposition to the Real, New Israel was a Satanic fraud. This fraud, Jesus said would bow before the church. Read again. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you. The word used here is the greek word Proskuneo (Strong's 4352) which suggests a prostration of strong reverence, kissing the hand, bowing before someone of superior rank. Jesus is leaving no doubt as to where His authority now resides on earth. They rejected the Messiah and they were replaced. It's just that simple. Matthew 21: 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejectedhas become the head of the corner;this was the Lord’s doing,and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” This truth is proclaimed here by Jesus in Revelation chapter 3 as we see it happening in vivid detail as the ensuing chapters unfold. What follows is a deeply challenging set of 3 verses that absolutely must be put into the proper context. I will provide that context but it's going to take some work. 10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. 11 I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ The trial which is coming on the whole world is one of those phrases that people seize on to declare that these are end-times events. Perhaps no verse in all of Scripture demonstrates the danger of isolating a verse and reinterpreting it under a context completely alien to it's original audience and intent. I gladly concede that if you isolate this verse and pretend that it's aimed at a world-wide protestant audience living in the 21st century, about events in their future, you could come to some of the conclusions those folks come to. 10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. Sure, If you stipulate all of the following.... That word of patient endurance means Scripture alone . The hour of trial means the tribulation of the antichrist the whole world is to be understood as the entire inhabited earth in the 21st century. Keep you from the hour of trial means to suddenly remove you in some dramatic, supernatural and sudden way. ...... then you could conclude that this verse supports the doctrine of a pre-tribulation Rapture. The problem with this type of eschatological engineering is that the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine was invented in the 1800s and no church father or historian or even any pre-1800 protestant ever mentions it. It was a new doctrine that was created as a result of a young girl's dream and it is buttressed here by superimposing other man-made doctrines. It is literally fiction supporting fiction, masquerading as interpretation. Bible interpretation must confront the text, as is , and in context. In the context of: The language used The audience intended The meaning intended The Biblical supports and cross references. Period. Full stop. The idea of inventing interpretations and juxtaposing them onto John's visions has to stop. We must apply the 5 questions here: Who? To the church in Philadelphia. This is not a letter to 21st century American evangelicals. This is a letter to the church in Philadelphia. What? an hour of trial coming to those who dwell upon the earth. Those who dwell, not those who will dwell at some future date. Strong's 5723 establishes this as present tense. These events are foretold for people living on the earth at the time of the writing of the letter to the church in Philadelphia. This is just more proof, like we gave you in chapter 1, that the very eyes of those who pierced Christ would witness these things. This is not to deny that there will, in fact, be an antichrist nor the fact that he will one day threaten the whole world. What it denies is that that is what John was writing about in the letter to the church in Philadelphia. When? Jesus says in v11 that He is coming to carry these things out soon . This is at least the 3rd or 4th time you have heard this and we are not yet through Chapter 3. You must lose the insistence of these events as far off from John. The warning of the urgency and imminence rings stronger and stronger until it will get to a point when they are so urgent that they are even spoken of rhetorically as past events comparable to the modern expression your goose is cooked! Where? The whole world? Does that mean America too? No! There was no America in 68 AD. It was wilderness. In 68 AD, the whole world consisted of the Kingdom of God (Israel) and the Kings of the earth (The Gentile Nations). One great city was identified as having dominion of the Kings of the Earth (17:18) as it was the city of God. That city, however, played the whore with those Kings (17:2) and earned the wrath of God as a result. That wrath would rock their world so to speak. How? A cataclysmic day of terror in which the beast of the earthly world would wage war on the whore and devour her with fire. That story is yet to come. It is that horrific hour that the church of Philadelphia is spared from, not something happening in the 21st century. The church in Philadelphia (as well as the other 6) fell to Muslim invaders centuries ago. Pay careful attention to the wording. After promising them to be kept from the coming trial, He admonishes them to hold onto what they have, lest they lose their crown. Are you following? They were protected from the coming trial but then, later, lost their crown. Jesus is promising a trial that will come soon followed by a New Jerusalem for those who overcome. How could Jesus make this promise to the church in Philadelphia if they would not have an opportunity to see it? You will see this become clearer as we go. 14 “And to the angel of the church in La-odice′a write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” There exists something today that has come to be known as the prosperity gospel aka name-it, claim it. It was the natural end of an ideology of self-interpretation run amok. After all, if I can promise you the nutritional benefits of liver while still eating McDonald's Big Macs and chocolate chip cookies, there isn't a chance in the world I can get you to eat the liver. The idea that we can have heaven on earth and then heaven in heaven is certainly attractive. As attractive as sugar-coated rat poison. In Matthew 7, Jesus famously said: 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Very, very easy to understand. Very, very difficult to accept. Excessive wealth leads to complacency and self-reliance. Complacency and self-reliance lead to waning spiritual diligence. Waning spiritual diligence leads to the loss of Grace and eventually, inevitably, to spiritual death. Quite a graphic analogy that God will actually spit us out of His mouth. So why is the complacent (lukewarm) sinner even worse than the serious (cold) sinner? Why would God even prefer the cold sinner to the lukewarm sinner? The answer is in verse 17 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I am reminded of a parable of Jesus (Luke 18) 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Just like drugs or alcohol may anesthetize our physical pain and give the temporary illusion of health, money and comfort can numb us to the reality of our wretchedness and need. God's most compassionate act sometimes is to allow us to feel the consequences of our actions in order to save us. He humbles us now, so that He may later exalt us. He can save the sinners we are but He can't save the saints we pretend to be. God contrasts the Gold of the world with the gold refined by fire that He offers but there is just something about the idea of seeking out reproval and chastisement (v19) that is naturally repugnant to us as humans. We cannot escape the message that God chastises those He loves. This is, again, a repulsive concept to us. It is so repulsive, in fact, that Martin Luther created an entirely new religion that divorced the crown from the cross. It was only a matter of time before someone took it to it's full conclusion that God only wants us to be happy and financially prosperous. and so we ignore Biblical admonitions like the one to the church in Laodicea, to our own detriment and ruin. It is not that God wants us to be miserable. Far from it. God wants us to be truly, fully and eternally happy with Him. To the church He offers chastening, reproval and refining fire, He does so out of love that they may be purged of their complacency and sloth. He invites them (and us) to allow Him to enter in to share in the unifying supper which is another clear allusion to the Eucharist. Then He makes the astounding offer that we will share a place on His throne. That fancy car and 15-bedroom house doesn't look so good compared to that. Up next, Chapter 4.

  • A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION- PART II

    PART I blog PART I show T he 7 letters to the 7 churches certainly contain themes and morals that can be applied to all of us but that cannot take away from the fact that they were actually 7 actual letters written to the churches in 7 actual cities of John's mission route. Not only could John have walked from one city to the next (and almost certainly did), the order of the 7 churches make sense from the standpoint of someone who had just been released from Patmos . This is true whether he delivered the letters or dispatched someone else. Ephesus would be the logical first stop, followed by Smyrna and Pergamum . He would then reverse course back towards the starting point and hit Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. Lo and behold, that's the exact itinerary that has been laid out here. The point is that it must be understood that these 7 letters must be read in the same context of the 14 letters attributed to Paul. They are current letters to current audiences, addressing current issues. The reason I cannot stress this enough is because there is such a tendency to far-futurize things contained in these letters when the context doesn't support it. Why is God choosing to warn these specific 7 churches? The answer is seen in the warning and in the results. These churches were warned that they needed to correct some shortcomings, or they would suffer the consequences. As we will show, the consequences added up to God removing His blessing and Divine protection. In their future (but long before ours), all 7 of these churches would be conquered by Muslim invaders. This disproves the once-saved-always-saved ideology of some and that true faith is a constant and diligent battle, lest we fall prey to the enemy. That the journey starts at Ephesus is appropriate for John. He lived in Ephesus with the Mother of Jesus until her death circa 44 AD. This would obviously be the church John was most familiar with. 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola′itans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ First, the Angels cannot be understood as heavenly angels. Could a Heavenly Angel lose it's first love for God and repent of it? The word Angel means messenger and these messengers must be understood as the Bishops over the churches of the cities they represent. This makes even more special the words that Jesus walks among their churches (the lampstands) and holds them in His hand (the stars). The Lampstand is the Menorah. It was one of the sacred articles that was placed in the temple for worship. The original Menorah was fashioned with 7 candle holders (lamps) as we have already discussed. Later, the 7- lamp Menorah was replaced with the Hannukah Menorah which has 8 lamps in honor of the Hannukah miracle that took place when the temple was rededicated. Interestingly enough, protestant Bibles omit the books that talk about the rededication of the temple, even though we know Jesus celebrated the anniversary of this dedication (John 10:22) In verses 2 and 3, the Ephesians are commended for holding up in trial and hardship and for patient endurance and for testing the credentials of alleged apostles. Let's deal with the last point first. How were they tested? by Scripture alone? Not likely. By 68 AD, quite a few of the New Testament books hadn't even been written yet. Those yet to be written would include all 4 of John's other books. The word Apostle means ' one who is sent' . No one would have been recognized as an Apostle if they couldn't prove they were sent by another Apostle. Apostolic succession. We will deal with this more later but this is a strong argument against Protestantism. Being sent means being ordained. Do-it-yourself sending is not Biblical. The Ephesians are commended for suffering toil, and bearing hardship and persevering. This is, of course, the first test of discipleship. Luke 9: 23 Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. However, we must always be on guard that the toils and hardships of life cost us our first love. Matthew 13: 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” The Ephesians have lost the diligent exercise of the faith because of the toils of the world and unless they return to these works and repent of their worldliness, they will lose the lampstand that stands before Jesus. To repent means to turn away from . Notice Jesus is directly conditioning His presence among them to their diligent work in the exercise of their faith. Of these, certainly are the works of worship including Mass, the sacraments, prayer but also those acts of love toward neighbor that Christ counts as acts of love unto Himself (Matthew 25:31-46). These are conditions of salvation. The Ephesian church fell, like the others. We should all be warned here. The Nicoliatans were one of the many early cults. Nicolas was one of the chosen disciples mentioned in Acts 6:5. They fell away into a heresy that promoted sexual impurity among other vices. This is just another example that even the chosen can fall away if they do not stay on their guard. In his 2nd letter (chapter 2), Peter pounds this home.   But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep. 4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomor′rah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked 8 (for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and wilful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them, 13 suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Be′or, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. 18 For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire. Notice that the Ephesians rejected the wicked works of the Nicoliatans and they rejected the false apostles. Notice that they persevered through hard work and toil and endured and persevered. Yet, Jesus was still displeased with them to the point of threatening to remove their candle stand from before Him. Why? When one becomes slack in his devotions and prayers, works of mercy and other religious works, he cuts himself off from the lifeline of grace. This spiritual starvation grows slowly, often unnoticed until a cataclysmic fall occurs. He who prays much can be saved. He who prays little is in danger. He who ceases praying is teetering on the edge of damnation. To eat of the Tree of life is promised to he who overcomes. This is the first of many allusions to the bread of life- the Eucharist. The true Tree of Life was the Tree of the cross. Tradition holds that it stood in the same place as that that stood in Eden. Without the eating of the fruit of this tree, there is no life. John 6: 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” This becomes clearer as we go. 8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. 9 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.’ The Synagogue of Satan? They say they are Jews and are not and are a synagogue of Satan. This term appears again, later in this book. Who is John talking about and what would separate a true Jew from a false one? Many zealous anti-Catholics search diligently in the Book of Revelation for clues they hope to use to tie Catholicism in general, and the Pope in particular, to the identity of the antichrist. However, the author of the Book of Revelation identifies the antichrists in a couple of his other New Testament Books. 1 John 2: 18 Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 2 John: 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. As every serious Bible believer knows, the antichrist is the offspring of the devil, foretold in Genesis 3:15. Here, John is saying that anyone who denies Christ is an antichrist. In other words, they are of Satan. They are members of his synagogue, so to speak. Many people will react in horror and revulsion to this assertion and they will protest that Jesus and the Apostles were Jews. They are correct. Jesus and the Apostles were Jews but they are no longer. In his famous prophecy to Daniel , the Angel Gabriel predicted the end of the Jewish religion with the coming of the Messiah. Daniel 9: 24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its[ d ] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” Without getting into some of the current bizarre speculations such as the 'stopped stop watch' theory, I will make it simple. When the anointed one (literally, 'the Christ' in the Douay version) is cut off, the end of the Jewish religion is decreed. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn in two, signifying the end of the Old Covenant. Many people call this "replacement theology" and declare it false. It's not "replacement theology" , it's "fulfillment theology" and it is exactly what Scripture presents- both as prediction and realization. As I said before, the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The Old Covenant must give way to the new because that was it's entire purpose. Hebrews 9: 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Since the entire purpose of the Jewish faith is to prepare the way of the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Jewish faith is manifested in Him. Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. In this context, anyone in 68 AD, claiming to be a Jew, is actually an imposter (though he may not realize it). Anyone who was truly of Abraham, accepted Christ. (Matthew 3:9, John 8:39-59) Those who were the fulfilment of Judaism were actually being victimized and persecuted by people acting as Satan's agents in the respect that they were carrying out his work in the name of Judaism, all while the back story was building which would be the final exclamation point to the end of the old covenant. That event would happen 2 years later. The letter to Smyrna ends with an echo of Matthew 24:12 and a refrain we will hear often. He who conquers will be saved from the second death (hell). Once again, faith alone ideology is abolished. Notice also, the promise of a crown. This is a theme we will see a lot. 12 “And to the angel of the church in Per′gamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; you hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days of An′tipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold the teaching of the Nicola′itans. 16 Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.’ There is a great temptation amongst sensationalists to focus on the references to the throne of Satan and where Satan dwells as some sort of insider information that we need to solve. There are very plausible archeological cases being made for the throne of Satan reference and this is just one I found. The rest of scripture does not support a case of Pergamum being a place where Satan dwells exclusively or even predominantly, as opposed to others. The best way to interpret this is to look at Pergamum as a place where Satan dwells rather than the place. The church there is dealing with the same kinds of groups, such as the Nicoliatans, as the others. What is very important is to focus on what amounts to an even more strongly enunciated promise to he who overcome. In the letter to the church at Ephesus, the promise is made that those who overcome will eat of the tree of life. This is an allusion to the Eucharist but not as clear as the one to the church at Pergamum. Jesus description of eating of the hidden manna is clearly reminiscent of the words recorded by the same writer in the 6th chapter of His gospel. It is impossible that John did not make the connection. John 6: 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39 and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” To fail to see that the real Prescence of Jesus in the Eucharist is being shown here would be to purposely defy the text. As Jesus says, "He who has an ear, let him hear". Some have pointed out that the white stone was a token presented to someone who has been found innocent of a crime, that the new name hearkens to the soul made new and that the fact that only you will know it refers to the fact that no one else can understand your life story. This is a beautiful interpretation that is certainly plausible if we focus on one detail. God cannot declare someone innocent if they are, in fact, guilty. God is just and He is not a liar. This exposes the lie of imputed righteousness . God does not ignore the guilt, He removes it. Whether or not this interpretation of the white stone is correct, we will see in time. 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyati′ra write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jez′ebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyati′ra, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay upon you any other burden; 25 only hold fast what you have, until I come. 26 He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Jezebel is not to be understood as a literal name here but someone whose actions are analogous to the wife of Ahab (1 Kings 21). The issue of sexual immorality has been addressed ad nauseum so there is no need to revisit it here, but I want to address the other issue which has now been brought up several times and I want to draw a contrast with a few false accusations made against Catholics. The issue being brought up here is the issue of food sacrificed to idols. This was raised as an issue to the church at Pergamum and now, again, at Thyatira. It is a serious issue and one dealt with by the very first church council, the Council of Jerusalem. (Acts 15:19-20) We have been shown a clear contrast between the food of God, called the food of the tree of life and the hidden manna, and food sacrificed to idols. This is not the only place where Scripture recounts that you cannot partake of both and live. 1 Corinthians 10: 14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the practice of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? 1 Corinthians 11: 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[ c ] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. Here is shown an essential component of worship and, conversely, an essential component of idolatry. The sacrifice. The Mass is the pure, one-time, sacrifice made by Jesus at Calvary, being made perpetually offered and made present as such. Among the churches that John and Paul ministered to, this sacrifice was being made to compete with the sacrifice to idols. As Paul put it, people wanted to eat both from the table of God and the table of demons. This is idolatry because the sacrifice is an act of worship. Some people make the mistake of thinking that prayer- in and of itself- constitutes worship and thus, prayer to Mary and the Saints constitutes worship of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. We will deal with this in depth as we go, but I will touch on one of their frequent accusations to prove the case. Anti-Catholics assert that referring to Mary as the Queen of Heaven proves that we worship her because this title has been condemned by the prophet Jeremiah . Catholics would assert that this only proves the contrast from the one who is rightfully called the Queen of Heaven, in proper context (we will make that case later) and from the false diety given that title improperly. Dealing with only the 2nd half of the argument at this time, lets read what Jeremiah has to say about her. Jeremiah 7: 16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. The very proof that these people are committing idolatry is that they recognize this false queen of heaven as a goddess and offer sacrifices to her. That is worship. Catholics do not recognize Mary as Divine and they offer no sacrifices to her. We simply ask her to pray for us. Not only is this not worship, it is exactly what Scripture shows us we should be doing. We will get more into that later. The second accusation I want to deal with is this issue of tolerance . There is a view among religious liberals that love, and tolerance are synonymous and thus, tolerance is the highest virtue. Tolerance of persons can be an act of love in the sense that we are patient with them. Patient teaching of a frustrated person would be a perfect example of this. This would be an example of tolerance that is an act of love. Tolerance of a person's self-destructive actions, however, are the antithesis of love. Worse yet is tolerance of the actions that are destructive to others. By no means, should society be tolerant of the actions of murderers, rapists, child predators, swindlers and arsonists. For years we have been told the lie that pagan and occult practices, gay marriage, abortion, pornography, contraception and promiscuity are victimless crimes that we have no right to criticize. Many believe that if we are not direct partakers in these kinds of things, that is enough. Live and let live, they say. The folks in Thyiatira found out different and we would be well advised to pay attention. Jesus is not rebuking the church for partaking in sexual immorality and idol worship but for even tolerating it happening in their midst. The protestant revolt shattered the image of a church called to rule on these things and to be a tower of authority. The phenomenon of ever fractioning denominations, sub denominations and non-denominations, has placed the individual's own biblical interpretation as the only authority he is subject to. Jesus paints a very different picture. Notice that Jesus says to the church at Thyatira, "I have this against you ". After warning of the very dire consequences facing this woman and her bed-mates- including the deaths of their children- Jesus says I will give to each of you as your works deserve. He is commanding the church at Thyatira to confront and counter those engaging in these acts and teaching others to do so. He is promising consequences if they don't. Is this intolerance? Is this an act of love? What could be more unloving than to know that someone's actions could lead to their death and /or the deaths of their children, and not warn them? Of course, this non-toleration of evil in our churches does not end with a simple admonition. Responsibility denotes authority and authority denotes action and consequences and this is a very different model of what the church looks like when we compare it to the faith-alone, scripture-alone, autonomous model. Here we have yet another example of God wielding His authority through His church. I do not think any reader or listener here would argue that Psalm 2 is a Messianic Psalm. 2 Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying,3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,6 “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son, today I have begotten you.8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;  be warned, O rulers of the earth.11 Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling 12 kiss his feet, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Have you noticed that the "kings of the earth" are not merely at war against the Lord but also against His anointed. Who are they? Let me repeat these 2 crucial verses. 26 He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; Here, Jesus is saying- explicitly- to the church in Thyatira, that they will exercise the very authority to rule that Jesus received from His Father, as shown in Psalm 2. I cannot count the times in which I have been told that it is blasphemy for the Catholic church to assert that it speaks and acts with the authority of Jesus yet here, you have Jesus saying it Himself! He then makes another very curious statement. I will give him the morning star. What does this mean? It means that Jesus is promising to give them His very self. Peek ahead to 22:16 and see for yourself. We will pick up with Chapter 3 in the next episode.

  • A serious question for Medjugorje supporters

    What would it take for you to finally admit you are wrong? It's a serious question and I really am curious to know whether or not any Medjugorje advocate can give an honest answer rather than deteriorate into an emotional tantrum. I invite anyone who thinks they can to contact us at email@the4persons.com . I want to start this conversation off with a few undeniable facts. The Vatican does not have to publicly give a negative judgement to Medjugorje for it to be under one. If the Vatican remains silent, Medjugorje remains under the negative judgement of the 1991 Yugoslav Bishop's conference and all 3 of the Bishops of Mostar since 1981 (Zanic, Peric and Palic). All 22 of those Bishops have denied that Mary has been established as appearing in Medjugorje even once. The Vatican has issued public statements declaring that they have not been able to substantiate even one miracle, cure or fulfilled prophecy from Medjugorje. Not one peer-reviewed scientific study has been produced. The Vatican, under John Paul II as Pope and Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the CDF, publicly deposed, excommunicated, defrocked and/or exiled 5 priests of the Medjugorje inner circle. The visionaries have become filthy rich from the events and the lure of money is a compelling proof of inauthenticity. The Ruini report concedes that the visionaries are dishonest, actors going through the motions, and addicted to money. The Vatican- this week- condemned yet another Medjugorje off shoot. Video evidence exists proving the seers faking the ecstasies. The Vatican Secretary of State and (then) Cardinal Ratzinger publicly stated that assertions by Bishop Pavol Hnlica that Pope John Paul II supported the Medjugorje fraud are fabricated. 33 years have passed since the 1991 negative judgement and 3 popes have not overturned it. Pope Francis, in 2017, said bluntly of the current "apparitions" the "this is not the mother of Jesus" Even the Ruini report admits that Mary has not appeared in Medjugorje since July of 1981, even if she has appeared there at all (she hasn't). The Vatican has never overturned a Bishop's negative judgement on a Marian apparition. "This is not the mother of Jesus" ~ Pope Francis in 2017, speaking on Medjugorje. I really want someone to give me an honest answer. The 13 points above are completely factual and no Medjugorje supporter will even attempt to counter them, so the question remains, what would it take for you to admit you are wrong? If you confront any Medjugorje supporter with this question, they will immediately ask us what it would take for us to admit we are wrong. Fair enough. In the amazingly unlikely event that the Vatican instructed us to look past the mountains of evidence of the falseness and diabolical nature of Medjugorje, and public decree that these events are supernatural and worthy of belief, despite every obvious evidence to the contrary, we would do so. We would understand that this is an epic test of our faith, but we must trust mother church. We would obey. How likely is that? It's impossible. Never, in the history of Marian apparitions, has the Vatican stepped in to overturn the judgement of a Bishop of Jurisdiction. Nevertheless, if one could imagine it possible that one Bishop got it wrong here, it would be insane to imagine that 22 did. That's what you are asserting. You are asserting that the Vatican would overturn the judgement of 22 Bishops and approve this event. The truth is that none of you really believe that and you never have. What the Medjugorje supporters actually believed and what Medjugorje detractors most feared. Medjugorje was all but left for dead in the 1990s after the national Bishop's conference voted it down by a vote of 19-0. However, in a move that can only be described as brilliant, Medjugorje promoters like Steve Shawl decided to circumvent the church by using the emerging technology of the internet to go directly to the people. Steve's brother appeared on our show and admitted it is known to be a scam. The lie perpetrated by the Medjugorje proponents is twofold. First, it centers around the alleged motivations of the Bishops, suggesting that they were compromised or biased in some way. Secondly, that as a result, the flock is not obligated to be obedient to their negative judgements. Medjugorje proponents have successfully duped millions into believing that only a negative judgement from the Vatican could prevent them from promoting the events. This is false. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. Only by overturning of the Bishops' determinations could Medjugorje be approved for promotion as a supernatural event. Anyone openly promoting this event as authentic is committing the sin of formal heresy. However, to their credit, the pro-Medjugorje crowd has been largely successful in their propaganda campaign in convincing millions that it's ok to promote Medjugorje until the Vatican says otherwise. The truth is that there is only one way for Medjugorje to be approved and that is, as we have discussed, the Vatican overturning the judgement of 22 Bishops. We all know that's not happening. There are two ways for the Medjugorje events to fall under negative judgement. For the Vatican to affirm the negative judgements already made by giving their own (such as Amsterdam and Garabandal) For the Vatican to affirm the negative judgements by silence (such as at Bayside, New York). Medjugorje supporters thought they had us check-mated but the game has changed. Both Medjugorje supporters and opponents had come to the same conclusion about the Vatican's action. This to the delight of the supporters and angst of the opponents. Both camps concluded that the Vatican simply would do nothing. What that means: Medjugorje stands condemned. What they want you to think it means: Everyone can decide for themself. Thankfully, it looks like the Vatican has decided the charade has gone on long enough. A few weeks ago, the Vatican issued new norms on the defining of private revelations. Many speculated that these news norms would mean the Vatican would no longer speak on the supernatural nature of these alleged events. Yesterday, the Vatican did just that. They declared a Medjugorje spin off event as not supernatural. It is no coincidence that the Medjugorje propogandists have been feverishly pumping out their goop to all of social media of a dramatic turn of events at the site. The devil is about to be exposed. The Vatican is about to fully condemn Medjugorje as being not of heavenly origin. It's coming. You can't stop it. Within weeks, perhaps. Certainly, by the end of the year. What are you going to do, Medjugorje supporters? At this point, there will be only two paths you can take; Submit Rebel. Virtually all Medjugorje supporters claim that they would be subject to the Vatican if the Vatican condemns the events, but they only said that as they believed it would never happen. Now, it's not only a likelihood, it's a certainty. What will you do? Will you submit? Sadly, many won't. The Vatican has condemned numerous events that people still pridefully follow. Medjugorje is different. There is too much money involved. Too much power. Too many special interests and too many will be pulled into a full blown schism that asserts that the false church is in Rome but the real one is in Bosnia. I hope I'm wrong. I hope you swallow your pride and come home. We are going to see. Very soon.

  • T4P's exponential growth is exciting.

    My previous apostolate- for all it's current bragadoccio- has logged a rather unimpressive 212,300 hits in 15 years. That is about 38 hits per day average over the lifetime of the program. Over the last year, that has slowed to about 12 per day on the only platform where they have a consistent Prescence. Our Twitter account alone will pass that total in January, 3 months shy of our 2nd anniversary. That account also has 658 followers compared to the 195 total followers of my previous endeavor. That's just Twitter. Our facebook group has 1200 members and has logged almost 17,000 page views in just the last 2 months. 17,000 compared to about 720 for them. On Blogtalkradio. of course they have more total page views because they have 10 times as many shows and have been around 15 times as long. However, since we have been around, we are absolutely mopping the floor with them. Analytics don't lie. We currently have a show at #9 in the Christian category. They are #27. In that time, we have had 2 #1 shows. They have had none. We have now had 17 top 10 shows, they have had none. Those are just the numbers reflected in Blogtalk radio's direct hits. However, that is only a fraction of the picture. Thanks to our affiliation with the bible catholic network, created and run by master apologist William Hemsworth, our shows are syndicated over itunes, spotify, amazon and multiple other platforms. Those platforms show that T4P blogtalkradio shows have had more than 600 downloads in just the last 24 hours. This does not even mention our rapidly growing video enterprise or the fact that our website outranks theirs by 2 million positions worldwide. They don't even want us to talk about how our massive and impressive guest list puts theirs to embarrassing shame. So we won't. As far as the cries to end the competition between our brands, folks please. We are beating them worse than Georgia beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. That game was only 63-3. We have won the last 24 hours by about 700-12 when you include all platforms. While they refer to us as snakes, klansmen, misfits, marxists, commonchros, or whatever other juvenile name they can, we call them what they are- annoying little gnats in need of swatting. So, why am I even bringing them up again? Good question. It deserves a good answer. Our latest truce with this clown troop was simple. Leave us alone and we will do the same. Almost immediately, Hartley began harassing our member Richard Pettys. Richard immediately came to me and asked what he should do. we decided to string him along then laugh at him when he found out he'd been duped. We thought we would teach him a lesson. Some people can't learn. For those of you clamoring for peace, it's simple. Tell Hartley to shut up and stop causing trouble. As soon as he does that, the trouble goes away. don't talk to us or about us. Don't even look at us. Everyone has had enough of you.

  • Our future was foretold all the way back in Genesis. Beware of unsound eschatology.

    The feet. One of the most stunning observations of renowned Catholic Priest and scholar Father Shannon Collins has to do with the iconography of the false apparitions in Medjugorje . Father Collins, a brilliant priest whose work is all over the place in catholic teaching media, observed that all but the very latest iconography of the false Medjugorje "gospa" concealed the feet. This is a striking and important detail that true Catholics have to be mindful of. It has been reported that Padre Pio once revealed that the foot- the cloven hoof- was the only feature the devil could not disguise. This would make sense as a tool is discerning false apparitions from real ones. Medjugorje, which is obviously false, conceals the foot and the real identity of the Medjugorje "Gospa". I once believed that the Medjugorje "gospa" was a demon. Now I believe it is the devil, himself because the work of Medjugorje is so important to his mission. In a true apparition of Mary, you see those feet and you see them crushing the serpent's head. As Father Collins points out, the feet of the Medjugorje gospa protect the serpent. Back to Genesis. If there is one Bible verse we have to get right to understand end-times events, it is Genesis 3:15 . 15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. The enemy relationships that are made are two; Between the serpent and the woman. Between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. First, let confront the etymology. Haydock's Bible commentary certainly upholds Jerome's translation as the probable one. Ver. 15. She shall crush. Ipsa, the woman: so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz. the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent's head. (Challoner) --- The Hebrew text, as Bellarmine observes, is ambiguous: He mentions one copy which had ipsa instead of ipsum; and so it is even printed in the Hebrew interlineary edition, 1572, by Plantin, under the inspection of Boderianus.  Whether the Jewish editions ought to have more weight with Christians, or whether all the other manuscripts conspire against this reading, let others inquire. The fathers who have cited the old Italic version, taken from the Septuagint agree with the Vulgate, which is followed by almost all the Latins; and hence we may argue with probability, that the Septuagint and the Hebrew formerly acknowledged ipsa, which now moves the indignation of Protestants so much, as if we intended by it to give any divine honour to the blessed Virgin.  We believe, however, with St. Epiphanius, that "it is no less criminal to vilify the holy Virgin, than to glorify her above measure." We know that all the power of the mother of God is derived from the merits of her Son. We are no otherwise concerned about the retaining of ipsa, she, in this place, that in as much as we have yet no certain reason to suspect its being genuine. As some words have been corrected in the Vulgate since the Council of Trent by Sixtus V. and others, by Clement VIII. so, if, upon stricter search, it be found that it, and not she, is the true reading, we shall not hesitate to admit the correction: but we must wait in the mean time respectfully, till our superiors determine.  (Haydock) Kemnitzius certainly advanced a step too far, when he said that all the ancient fathers read ipsum. Victor, Avitus, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, & . mentioned in the Douay Bible, will convict him of falsehood. Christ crushed the serpent's head by his death, suffering himself to be wounded in the heel. His blessed mother crushed him likewise, by her co-operation in the mystery of the Incarnation; and by rejecting, with horror, the very first suggestions of the enemy, to commit even the smallest sin. (St. Bernard, ser. 2, on Missus est.) "We crush," says St. Gregory, Mor. 1. 38, "the serpent's head, when we extirpate from our heart the beginnings of temptation, and then he lays snares for our heel, because he opposes the end of a good action with greater craft and power." The serpent may hiss and threaten; he cannot hurt, if we resist him. (Haydock Bible commentary) If taken in sheer isolation, the evidence shows that Jerome probably got it right. This is especially true given his extensive knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. However, mere isolation only hinges on one word. Is it Ipsa or Ipsum ? If the entire case ends there, we arrive at no definitive proof in either direction, on the question. Since there is such a conflict, it is helpful to look at the construction of the sentence. 15 I (God) will put enmities between thee (The serpent) and the woman (Mary), and thy seed (the antichrist) and her seed: (Mary's children) ? shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for ? heel. There are two radical, yet often overlooked parts to this. The first is the radical notion of the seed of a woman . Nowhere else in scripture do we encounter this. The seed is produced by the man. Yet in the protoevangelium, we are told that the seed would come from the woman. This prophesizes that Jesus would be conceived and born with no human father. The second is that the seed or offspring of the woman is plural. 4690 sperma {sper'-mah} from 4687; TDNT - 7:536,1065; n n 1) from which a plant germinates 1a) the seed i.e. the grain or kernel which contains within itself the germ of the future plants 1a1) of the grains or kernels sown 1b) metaph. a seed i.e. a residue, or a few survivors reserved as the germ of the next generation (just as seed is kept from the harvest for the sowing) 2) the semen virile 2a) the product of this semen, seed, children, offspring, progeny 2b) family, tribe, posterity 2c) whatever possesses vital force or life giving power 2c1) of divine energy of the Holy Spirit operating within the soul by which we are regenerated Strong's concordance, source: faith Database. We will get back to that in a moment. First, we must confront the basic construction of the sentence to see that the protestant position is untenable. First, it is God (The "I" in the sentence) that is creating these enemy relationships. God is already at enmity with the serpent, at this point. I will make establishes that these are 2 enemy relationships that will be created post-Eden. The first is undeniably between the Serpent and the Woman. The second, we will deal with in just a bit. The construction of the sentence is clear. Party A is the serpent. That is who God is addressing as Thee (or you). Party B is the Woman God is telling us will be the enemy of Party A. Party C is the offspring of the Serpent and party D is the offspring of the woman. Theirs is a separate enmity. When God says your head will be crushed by _____, we can directly understand that your head means the devil's head. This does not need to be explained to us, we can infer it from the sentence. Likewise, the answer would follow, from a grammatical standpoint, that if the you whose head is being crushed is the devil, then it is being crushed by the one he is at war with. The passage clearly shows that it's the woman. Since the word citing gender is dependent on the subject, grammar demands that the subject here is the woman. Otherwise, you are left with: I will put enmity between A and B and between C and D. C will crush A's head. You have to do violence to the sentence to arrive at that conclusion. So even if the manuscript evidence of the particular word is inconclusive, the structure of the sentence demands Ipsa (she). Further evidence for the protestant view? There literally isn't any. The entire protestant case rests upon the subjective conclusion that to use ''her'' gives Mary an improper elevation. It is ideology imposed on the text. Further evidence for the Catholic view? Much. This includes the whole context of scripture. Consider Psalm 45 (RSV) 1: My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.  2: You are the fairest of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you for ever.  3: Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one, in your glory and majesty!  4: In your majesty ride forth victoriously for the cause of truth and to defend the right; let your right hand teach you dread deeds!  5: Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; the peoples fall under you.  6: Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;  7: you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows;  8: your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;  No protestant would fail to recognize this as a prophecy of Jesus. We would agree. Protestants are deeply troubled when confronted with verses 9-17. 9: daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.  10: Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father's house;  11: and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him;  12: the people of Tyre will sue your favor with gifts, the richest of the people  13: with all kinds of wealth. The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;  14: in many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions, her escort, in her train.  15: With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.  16: Instead of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.  17: I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will praise you for ever and ever.  Who is this queen in gold at the King's right hand side (the side of power) ? (v9) She bows down to her lord (v11) Her name will be blessed for all generations (Luke 1:48). Even her ''fathers" shall be her sons and will be made the princes of the earth. Who is this Queen? Who is her Lord? Who are her sons? Catholics know because we understand Genesis 3:15. In the Old Testament we see references to the Queen Mother (Jeremiah 29:2 for example). The Queen Mother was the mother of the Davidic King. In 1st Kings 2, we see a fascinating example of this on display. In verse 12, Solomon sits on the throne of his father David. Solomon is the king. In verses 13- 17, we see Adonijah, the brother of the king approaching with a petition. However, Adonijah does not place his petition with the king but with the Queen Mother who is both mother to the king and Adonijah. Wait? The Queen is mother to both the king and the servant? We will revisit that later. First, we must deal with v 17 written in plain King James english. 17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. I pray thee? Pray????? Here, from the King James Bible is proof that to pray means to ask, not to worship. Clearly, Adonijah is not worshipping his mother but asking her to intercede to the king who is also her son. Let's read on. In verse 18, Bathsheba promises to speak to the king on Adonijah's behalf. Then we see the next stunning details. In verse 19, the king bows to her. Bows to her? The King bows to the Queen? Once again, not worship. Merely respect. Just like when Catholics bow when praying to a saint. Then, the king places her on a throne at his right hand. Exactly as we see in the psalm. In verse 20, the word pray is again used. The seamless fabric Catholics understand all of this because we see scripture as a seamless fabric and not as a succession of broken proof texts. Solomon is not Jesus and Bathsheba is not Mary but the King and Queen are typologies. They are models of what the true Davidic kingdom will look like. In Luke 1:32 we see that Jesus will be both the Son of Mary and her King as He will sit on the Davidic throne. That makes Mary the Queen and it makes her His mother and the mother of the true believer. On this point, Scripture is manifestly clear. Matthew 12: 46  While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.[ a ] 48  But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49  And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.” John 19: 25  So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene. 26  When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. There are 2 things to understand about John's passage here. First, the language John uses states that Jesus said to the beloved disciple . "behold your mother". The turn of phrase is inspired. It means this applies to all of us. Second, Mary lived with John until her death. Tradition has it that that was about 11 years. He would have learned much. However, he learned even more when he was literally taken to heaven and saw it all play out in vivid signs. The first sign is seen in Revelation 11:19- 12:1 where John identifies Mary as the (true) Ark of the Covenant seen in God's temple. In the same verses, he shows her as the Queen with a crown of 12 stars (for both the 12 tribes and 12 apostles) In v 2 we see she is with child. In v 3-4, we see the serpent of Genesis 3 in the form of a great red dragon at the ready to devour her child as soon as she gives birth. In v 5, we see that she gives birth to the foretold Messiah (Psalm 2), destined to both rule earth and reign in heaven as God. This sign of the mortal Queen who even angels and saints would be under is the very cause of the rebellious war in heaven seen in verses 7-10. The dragon is defeated in v11 by the woman's Son, the lamb of God, and the martyrs. The dragon, thus defeated and humiliated sets off to wage war against who? The woman and her children who are the true believers in God. 13  And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. 14  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17  Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood[ a ] on the sand of the sea. Now we come to the real reason why protestants don't want to see Mary as the head crusher in Genesis 3 or the Woman of Revelation 12, even though it's obvious that they are wrong. As soon as you admit that these passages show Mary, you must admit that the children of Mary (Catholics) are the true believers. The witness of history. Contrary to the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, God has never stopped proclaiming the truths of His church by miracles. This is why church approved Marian apparitions are such important sources of consolation and confirmation for many devout Catholics. It is also why only about 2 dozen of the nearly 3,000 alleged events have been approved. The overwhelming majority are false. This includes the proven frauds at places like Conyers, Georgia, Bayside, New York, Naju, South Korea, Amsterdam, Necedah, Wisconsin, Garabandal, Spain, San Damiano, Italy and the current demonic mess occurring in Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The ones that are true are usually accompanied with undeniable signs and miracles. Examples include: The miraculous Tilma in Guadalupe The miraculous spring in Lourdes. The documented miracle of the Sun in Fatima. The miraculous snow in Rome on August 5th The miracles associated with the Miraculous medal (above) In the image of the miraculous medal, you see those feet of Mary on the head of the serpent, crushing his head. One more thing all the approved events do not have? A negative judgement. Not one. There is not one negative judgement, by a Bishop or by the Vatican against any approved event. Medjugorje has 4 of them. Improper elevation of Mary? Those who claim that the claim that Mary crushing the serpent's head places her above Jesus have a problem with scripture. Romans 16: 20  then the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.[ b ] Are we above Jesus too? No. You have missed the point. We are all involved in the work of crushing Satan's head. Not for our glory but for his humiliation.

  • Performance of T4P over the last month.

    Including RSS downloads and streams through the Bible Catholic Network, our Blog talk radio shows have logged just shy of 2,000 listens in the past month. Deeper Truth (my former show) logged 550 during the same period. Lisa Marie Nicole won the prestigious POZE award for song of the month for June (United we stand) and the live listen her Memorial Day concert show is currently in the Top 5 among Blogtalk Radio shows in the Christian category. This program was our 6th top 5 and 17th top 10 show in the 14 months of our apostolate. Deeper Truth has existed 15 x as long and has produced about 8 times as many shows. Yet, they have not had a show reach higher than #13 during that span and they are currently at #27 with a show featuring a guest that didn't show. T4P has had 8 different guests (some of them more than once) during that span. Deeper Truth has had none. Our You Tube channel has had nearly 70 video views totaling more than 12 hours during that time and has added 5 more subscribers in the same period. Our Facebook group has had almost 6,300 post views and almost 700 posts from nearly 1,300 members in the last 30 days. 53 new members have joined during that time. Our Twitter (X) account has added 156 new followers in the last 30 days bringing the total to 689. The 156 new followers is a 49% improvement over the previous month. Likes and replies both number in the hundreds and have both improved by more than 30% month over month. Total impressions (views) for the month have improved by almost 8% month over month to more than 15,000 in the last month. Though the video portion of our apostolate is still in it's infancy, our videos have been watched almost 2000 times for a total watch time of over 100 hours. Not bad for beginners. Over all platforms, we have had in the last year: Over 132,000 views on Twitter 1300 on you tube 4669 on Blog talk radio over 4700 on our supporting platforms Almost 45,000 posts, comments and reactions in our Facebook group. That is a total of almost 188,000 total hits across all platforms. That total represents more than 88% of the total number of hits for Deeper Truth in it's entire 15 year existence. We have logged 88% of their total hits. They have existed 15 times as long as we have and 90% of their traffic was gained when I was running it anyway. Independent analytics prove our website is destroying theirs as well. So, if you are still wondering what the reason might be for Donald Hartley's rabid hostility towards me and my team, it all boils down to envy. Envy is the right word too. A healthy type of jealousy can make a person try to compete. Envy motivates a person to bring someone else down rather than step up themself. Hartley isn't even trying to be accurate or use his own material or be creative or show initiative in any way. Just look at this page. Hartley shamelessly uses the words I wrote 15 years ago to promote himself. He even has falsely claimed to be the creator of Deeper Truth and to have fired me from Deeper Truth. For the record, I created Deeper Truth 15 months before I even met Donald Hartley and I left (with him begging me stay) almost a full month before he began circulating this lie that I was fired. Fired? From a blog? Deeper Truth is now a blog that no one reads and a show that no one listens to. Nothing more. The 4 Persons, inc is a legal entity. We are a 501 C3 tax exempt charity recognized by the Federal Government and a Corporation licensed by the Virginia State Corporation commission. We have challenged Mr. Hartley to debate us or compete with us or simply leave us alone. However, Hartley's insane envy won't let him do that. He constantly harasses our guests, our members and our followers because he literally has none. His entire worldwide audience consists of himself and about 5 other people. Anyone on the outside can see what needs to happen for Deeper Truth to have a chance to thrive like it did when I ran it. These simple steps are the only chance this apostolate has to survive. Hartley has to go. He is a pathological liar and has serious mental health issues. He is a danger to himself and everyone around him and has destroyed any credibility as a catholic voice. He publicly emasculated a Catholic priest after the same received and acted upon credible evidence that Hartley was stalking children. John Carpenter has to go as well. No credibility whatsoever. Cannot get even basic facts right. Gregory Thompson must be elevated to director of content. He is literally the only member who isn't an open heretic. Mike Sheeren could be retained as a production and voice over guy, provided he has no oversite on content. Perpetually stuck in 1974, almost all of his production stuff is high quality from a sound perspective but a clear miss for a wide audience. Will they listen to this advice? Of course not. That's why they are slowing to a crawl. Over the past 30 days, they have continued the trend of logging less than 20 total hits per day. That number was well over 100 per day when I ran Deeper Truth. T4P is still quite young and has a lot of room to grow but DTB was 5 years old before it had reached the traffic we have. We have logged 17 Top 10 shows, 6 top 5s and 2 #1s. Hartley can't even see us. So the next time you see my name and/or the name of our apostolate in his show scroll, just chalk it off to a bitter old man with nothing to live for except trying to make others as miserable as himself. Neither I or any of my members will respond to anything else from this child stalking pervert sociopath.

  • Defending the honor of Pope Saint John Paul II against the Medjugorje liars.

    My longstanding opposition to the false apparitions in Medjugorje is nothing new to anyone who has followed this apostolate or the one that I formed but later left. In our online classes, we have utterly demolished every argument our detractors have used to try and prop us this dying fraud. After literally every other argument has failed them, they are trying to put up one last pathetic defense. Like the Black Knight of Monty Python, they desperately try to claim they can mount a defense even as their rhetorical arms and legs have been cut off. Their very last desperate defense- their literal Waterloo- is the specious argument that we will dismantle tonight. I will first show you the argument and then I will explain why it falls flat. The Medjugorje proponent will state that the solidness of their position is established by the fact two prominent Catholic luminaries- both now deceased- were secret admirers of Medjugorje as established by 3rd parties who claim to have learned this by interviews, diary entries and private conversations. The 2 luminaries are the late Vatican exorcist Bishop Gabrielle Amorth and The late Pope Saint John Paul the 2nd. Among the incredible claims are that Medjugorje is the ‘’spiritual heart of the world’’ and that the refusal to follow Medjugorje is ‘’unforgivable’’. When challenged, no proponent of Medjugorje has ever produced any audio or video proof that the alleged interview between Gabrielle Amorth and “Radio Maria” ever even took place, much less that it accurately depicts his words. Neither has anyone produced the so-called secret diary or any photographic evidence that it even exists either. This runs very counter to a man who was very open and outspoken about many things. All that we have is a written transcript of an alleged conversation that none of us can verify and that there is no logical reason whatsoever to doubt is a complete forgery. The burden of proof of this conversation is on those who wish to claim it as evidence. Produce the diary. Produce the audio of the interview or grow up and shut up. If our detractors were to suddenly provide this proof (more likely I will find a unicorn), I will only be too happy and concede that what he is purported to have said was actually said. That would still prove absolutely nothing except that one fallible man believed in these events. In other words, their false claims would not mean anything even if they were true. It’s actually incredible that they must go to such enormous lengths to find even one person who shares their view. The argument that x proposition is true because x person believes it is true is what is known as the ‘’appeal to authority’’ fallacy. X proposition is true or false because the evidence proves that x proposition is true or false. Even the best lawyer in the world has to prove his case and when your case is that the Mother of God is appearing to you, you better believe I expect proof. So, what is the proof of Medjugorje? Are there any proven miracles? No. Are there any proven cures? No. Are there any prophecies that have come true? No. Are there any good fruits? No. The rise in the occult- proven. The rise in heresies- proven. The proliferation of obscene amounts of money to everyone involved, especially the seers- proven. The Ruini report calls them actors and liars who are spiritually immature and addicted to money. Here is something a Chief Vatican exorcist actually did say about Medjugorje. He- Bishop Andreas Gemma – said it is an absolutely diabolical event driven only by the devil’s dung- money. I could go on all night about the many proofs in the falseness of this satanic event but tonight we will focus on just one that so perfectly illustrates the demonic nature of this scourge on humanity. The insidious claim the none other than John Paul the great, himself was a secret supporter of Medjugorje is as absurd as it is false and rests entirely upon the credibility of one man who had no credibility whatsoever. A convicted criminal, opportunist and well established supporter of heresy. Tonight, my guest- Medjugorje expert John McGuire will help us uncover the truth of Bishop Paval Hnlica, the man behind the lie. We will also cover the real history of the 23 years when Medjugorje the event and the Papacy of JP II co existed and how this entire period is marked by a marked and undeniable antagonism of the Holy Father towards this satanic event. Before going to our guest, I would like to quote from the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, with source links included: There are a number of statements attributed to Pope John Paul II regarding the Medjugorje phenomenon. Some of these statements were denied. Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when presented a list of statements, responded, “I can only say that the statements about Medjugorje attributed to the Holy Father and me are mere fabrications." ("frei erfunden")[71][72] Many other similar claims supportive of the Medjugorje phenomenon were attributed not just to Pope, but many other Church officials, with none of them being proved as authentic.[73][non-primary source needed] One such claim of Bishop Pavol Hnilica was denied by the Vatican's Secretariat of State.[74][non-primary source needed]

  • META AI performs comparison of the4persons.com and deepertruthcatholics.com

    ALEXA is the industry standard for ranking websites worldwide and nationwide. These numbers can be verified by anyone with a computer. Our site the4persons.com ranks higher than deepertruthcatholics.com or it's predecessor deepertruthblog.com ever did. Not only that, we currently rank just shy of 2 million positions higher than Don Hartley (child stalker) worldwide and nearly 450,000 positions higher in the United States. These numbers are astounding and indisputable. The reason why Hartley is constantly trying to trumpet DTB's past success is because the current blog and show are a train wreck. Maybe Donald should spend less time flag waving, harassing good people and stalking kids and more time delivering authentic Catholic content.

  • The shockingly bad performance of Deeper Truth since I left.

    Let's start with the website comparison. Right now, our blog site (which we have been very inconsistent in updating) has almost 500 backlinks and a website authority of 3 out of a possible 10. 10 would be an Amazon.com or something like that. To be honest, those are not great numbers but we are working at it. However, just look what child stalker Don Hartley has done with Deeper Truth. He took a website that once ranked in the top 6 million worldwide and has destroyed it so badly that it doesn't even show up on traffic aggregators. All of Deeper Truth's success is in the past. The website isn't even showing up in their rankings! It is invisible! So, while we are growing, he has disappeared. Now let's look at his radio show. 3 days ago, Don Hartley crowed about his show having 211,971 views. This morning, he was at 212,008. That is a difference of 37. That means that he has received 12.33 views per day. This was a screen shot from 5 weeks ago. Notice the ticker at 211,487. That is a difference of 521. This translates to 13.7 hits per day. Not only are child stalker Don Hartley's numbers humiliatingly bad, they are still going down! This clearly shows that his rabid conduct is alienating the very few listeners he has left. How bad are Hartley's numbers? Consider that his show is one of the oldest on Blogtalkradio- more than 15 years old! Consider also that he has 2,960 episodes. That is a huge footprint that can't be matched by many blogtalk radio shows. How is his performance, with all those shows recorded and on the internet? Let's take the numbers from 5 weeks ago to today. 13.7 hits per day means total traffic. That means current shows and past shows. So, Hartley's performance equates to .0046 hits per show. That's approaching non existent performance. Hartley's performance per month isn't much better. If we take today's number, it took Deeper Truth, 15 years x 12 months (180 months) to accumulate 212,008 views. That is a lifetime average of 1,177 hits per month. However, Hartley has slowed that to less than 370 per month. That means, if Deeper Truth maintained it's current rate, it would get the next 212,008 in 48 years. but remember, Hartley is still slowing down! Now let's look at our numbers. Over the 1st 3 days of our latest number 1 show, we posted 66 live hits. That's 22 per day which is nearly double what the child stalker has posted. However, we only have 376 shows and we have only existed 13 months while he has existed 180 months and had 2,960 shows. That means our average of 22 hits per day equals .059. That means that our hit rate is almost 13 x his on a per-show basis. 12.82 to be exact. What's more, we are accelerating while he is falling. The full picture of our domination of the child stalker is clear. Currently, we have the number one show in the Christian category. It is our 2nd #1. He has had 0. We have had 16 top 10 shows. The child stalker has had 0. Those numbers only tell a small part of the story because they only show live hits on blogtalkradio. Thanks to our affiliations with groups lilke the Bible Catholic Network and Catholicism Rocks, we are streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter and it has been a boom. TBCN had 4,000 hits it's first week. Lisa Marie Nicole's latest show did nearly 100 on youtube the first day. We have over 500 followers on Twitter and over 1100 on our Facebook group. Catholicism Rocks has over 47,000 and WE are Catholic has almost a million and both have refused membership to the stalker and welcomed us. We have had thousands of views on Youtube and Twitter. In fact, Twitter has grown large enough that we are now allowed to monetize and Youtube allows us to Live stream. The stalker will never get to that level and wouldn't know how to to do it, anyway. Here is the biggest proof. 5 members left DT to come to us. Nobody has left us to go to them and never will. Thousands of followers have left them and blocked them and come to us. No one has gone to them. Scott Hahn, Karl Keating, Steve Ray, Donna Cori Gibson, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Suan Sonna, E Michael Jones, Dustin Quick, Father Stephen Imbaratto, Father Paul Houlis, Mike Aquilina, David Gray, E Knock, Eric Tafoya, Gary Michuta, Pat Flynn, Dr. John Kilner, Dr. Fred Boley, Faith O'Brien, Dr. Greg Nolan, Jacob Woods, Dr. Kenneth Howell, Stephanie Gray Connors, Tony and Paulette Rock (live from Bethlehem), John Martignoni,Tony Agnessi, Maria Bain, Thomas Gabor, Amy Thomas (the Catholic pilgrim), Avelinna Bilestri, Heather Murphy, Robert Ramos, Kevin Symonds (translator of the ruini report), David Ross and Steve Garone have appeared on our show. None of these heavy hitters have gone on with him. This petulant child would have you believe he is winning, yet: Nobody will read his articles. Nobody will listen to his shows. Nobody will join him as a member. Nobody will join him as a guest. and the rankings show us at #1 and him outside the top 20. All of that would be bad enough but; He has been booted from the Marian association He has been booted from the Knights of Columbus He has been credibly accused by a parish priest and parishners of being a child staker. So, when you see him attacking me, know you are dealing with a psychopath.

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