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Acts 1 shows Jesus Christ, point blank refusing to announce the time when His kingdom will resume: as if saying, Well, Daniel is fulfilled in My being set at nought; and that will take us indeed to the brink of the final consummation, in one sense; but in another, there is much still to be done, on the basis of what is now accomplished; and it is not expedient for you to know the times the Father has set in His hand (Acts 1:7). There is work to be done and the power with which to do it is to come: it is that to which you are referred; and that power will enable Christians to witness effectively of Me, throughout the whole world (Acts 1:8). It is the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. II Corinthians 3:17-18, Luke 24:46-49).
Equally explicit are the reasons why the time is not being told: such are found in Matthew 24:14,42-51. We are to watch like servants not knowing when the master will come and inspect. It is good that we so act, alert, and that those who do not, are revealed. Hypocrisy is not helped by lacking the date of this return; and holiness is not troubled by its absence. That is the key. Moreover God has worked in Himself the means of everlasting righteousness for sinners (Daniel 9:24-26), and defers judgment for the world till ALL peoples have heard (Matthew 24:14, II Peter 3:18-19).
Revelation 11 shows the subjugation of the temple to Gentile domination for what is 42 months, or 1260 days, that is, the half seven; the one which remained, still to be fulfilled, after Jesus Christ was set at nought. The Church is of course to be a witness during this entire time of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem, symbolised as two witnesses (Revelation 11:1-3), this being the needed number by the law (Deuteronomy 17:6). Like Elijah (James 5), the church of God has indeed power to call down fire, holy fire, and often indeed it has burned and that fiercely: in testimony and truth, in rebuttal and reponse, in the power and name of the Lord.
Even the specific time of the man of sin himself is set at the same 42 months (Revelation 13:5, Daniel 7:8,24-25), evidently a symbolic because undecipherable number, one as it were molested as Christ was, and marred more than the form of man; so that it is hidden. In the highly symbolic book of Revelation (of course it is often literal too), there seems a positive play on this number, for times large and small. It is possible of course that a literal 42 months will mark the outstanding actions of the man of sin, while the same figure is used to cover the time of the Gentiles, which, as they come to Christ, are hidden. However in view of the diverse uses made of this figure, it appears a code term deliberately emasculated of its specific time element, in terms of the penalty of forfeiture for the Jewish people, to whom the prophecy was made, and who despatched with wicked hands, the Messiah who came precisely in His time. It is as if to say: Very well, He indeed came on time and in the fulness of predicted time, but you, having crucified Him, forfeit participation further in intelligence of Him, until you repent.
The Messianic week, the seventieth, therefore, will be arithmetically simple till the murder of Jesus Christ occurs; after that, it will be symbolically hidden, the very time frame which pointed to the end, becoming a code for what is hidden till in God's providence the people are restored and renewed.
We do not have to guess in this matter: Jesus Christ expressly stated - with just that harmony and resonance with the written word of God which is so characteristic, and so verificatory of His place as the living word of God - that there would be a certain delay. It had reason; and it had an end. His return cannot be until the time of the Gentiles is over, a time which is the prelude to the return of heart of so many Jews (Romans 11:25-27), and which does not come until Jerusalem is out of the hands of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24-27).
The return of Jesus Christ is, in that very chapter of Luke, subsequent to this release of Jerusalem, which of course happened progressively from 1948 to 1967 culminating in the 1980 decree of its being the eternal capital of Israel. This sign of the near approach is all we can say; except this, that Christ will not be seen by the Jews until they at last say, "blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (Luke 13:35). The city has to be restored to the Jews, and now is so; and they must return, and they, in enormous numbers, have done so.
As exegeted earlier, the Jew and Gentile contingents of Christ's body are not indicated as separately coming to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb: the marriage is neither bigamous nor sequential in bits, and the unwise virgins, not ready in time for His coming, do not enter at all (Matthew 25:11-12). On this basis, then, the end of the seventieth week will not be before that blessed event of Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:25 ff.. That of course could come at any time, suddenly. That having been said, we learn from this merely what happens first, and not at all when He will come, when the seventieth week can be considered fulfilled. These are way signs, X-marks on the map, but even they are not its terminus, refreshingly confirmatory though they undoubtedly are (II Peter 1:19, Luke 21:28).
The return and the last seven therefore are not given to us to depict in any fixed number; and even the use in Revelation and Daniel of the 42 months for the antichrist's rule is subject to this caveat. Ways to know are expressly forbidden, with propriety on the one hand, and purpose on the other.
It might be urged, that from the man of sin, the 42 months will simply transpire with the abomination of desolation events (Matthew 24:15-27), following the Jews' conversion in such numbers as Paul and Zechariah predict. On the tread of this figure in the culmination of his blasphemy, comes Christ. Against any such assurance on the exact duration of this climacteric period, however, is the multiple usage of this number, following the crucifixion in the book of Revelation (cf. Daniel). There is no warrant for the view that this hiding of number having occurred, Christ as it were in the wings until 'called' to come on stage again for the Jews, His time being designated with this number as we have seen, and the man of sin being given it also, for his code... that it suddenly becomes literal again. The sequence proceeds, but its form is arrested, possessed in the sovereign discretion of God whose Son was both sent and slaughtered, and whose coming intervention in judgment is - while well attested by events - no gift to 'enemy intelligence'. God's hand is not forced.
There is ground for its symbolic setting: Christ is removed, His work in the Jews in terms of salvation (one speaks nationally) ceased; now with His Father (Acts 3:19-21), hidden from the Jews (nationally), He will have His Messianic 'seven' administered as may seem best (Acts 1:7). These weeks (literally sevens) will have their scope and scale sovereignly seized and adjusted, following the crucifixion of the Saviour after 69 sevens. Hidden, the timing of His coming will judiciously be veiled from our eyes. The intensity of the final time (Mark 13:20) however, as well as analogy with the earlier period of Daniel 8, together with the setting of Daniel 7:25, potently suggests a short-term 'man of sin' (II Thessalonians 2:3-8).
The slaughter of the Son of God is thus the sign, signal, ground for the breach of normal sequence, vindicating the foresight in the selection of the term 'seven'. As with the Saviour, so with the procedural element of the salvation; as with the King, so with the procedural element of the kingdom: for the Jews, to whom these prophecies were addressed, having refused to listen, will be denied a hearing; having dispensed with the King of the sequence, will be denied the knowledge of its expiry. They will, for this, await the divine pleasure. The Lord, as we take it, for the reasons given, awaits their repentance. Certainly He knows when that will be; certainly it is as His initiative that it will eventually come; but equally sure, it will come in the way and on the day which relates effectively to the fact that God made man in His image, and does no violence to his will.
It is not that the 'clock stops ticking', for this last half-seven; but that the King who is Lord of the Sabbath, is also Lord of continuity; and has elected to institute a device of discontinuity through arrest of simple sequence, as did the Jews for Him on earth, both biologically and chronologically! A major portion of that 'device' is disbelief by the Jews. This time does count, but it is counted differently, as shown by the multiple arithmetic symbolism of the book of Revelation with Daniel, that has been noted. Meanwhile, it is a case of "Awake Him not until He pleases," as the Song of Solomon puts it. As He so pointedly told them, when lamenting over the foretold destruction of Jerusalem:
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and asuredly, I tell you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.' (Matthew 23:38-39.)The seven will be in units as long as He pleases, but signified more observably by the events which mark its progress: like the hands of a huge clock, the clock of Christ, who handles the machinery of history, as the word of His Father, creating the consequences of time, and living as the centrepiece of salvation (cf.II Peter 3:8-9).
As the Messiah was disfigured, so was the sequence. As He was "marred more than the sons of men" (Isaiah 52:14), so was the sequence wholly interrupted in its normal flow. As the Jews dispossessed Him of life on earth, according to the divine plan, so He possessed the sequence; while they were dispossessed of their land, their city, the system of sacrifices which (Hebrews 8-10, Isaiah 66) became irrelevant because of His sacrifice, He consistently provided His offer to them as persons.
In that time, He would, as the Messiah of the seventieth 'seven' take hold of that seven. It was His. The Father would disperse it as He saw fit. To the Jews, it has been a long 'week'; but it is they who delay (Romans 11:25), while much of the Gentile work similarly falls away - (II Thessalonians 2:3, II Peter 2:1-3, 1 Timothy 1).
To the Jews, then, the break was made; they were broken from their city (cf. Hosea 3:1-5), Jerusalem (cf. Luke 21:24, Revelation 11:1-3) till God should choose to restore them to it (Ezekiel 36-37, Hosea 3:5, Deuteronomy 32:36-43). In the terms of Daniel's prophecy, then, for 1260 days or half a "time" (with the 'crushing' of Christ, the key to the "time" and "day" is removed), they would suffer a disruption so intense that it would almost seem to mirror in a city (Jerusalem), in a race (the Jews), what they had caused Christ Jesus, the Lord. Then, as Daniel 12 shows, there were to be relatively minor times, phases or extensions (to 1335). Jerusalem is liberated now - it has been under Jewish control for some time, however menaced. (The control is the point, not the menace: the not being 'trodden under foot of the Gentiles', not the apparent readiness of that Gentile foot to kick again!).
Just indeed as we live as long as we live, menaced or not; so they are freed, threatened or not. The signs multiply: we "lift up (our) heads" (Luke 21:28), and the end prophesied in such devastating terms by Daniel (as by Christ, Peter and Paul, John), appears near. The 1260 days of Revelation 13, then, appear fulfilled. We seem to be 'running' on the 'extensions' of Daniel 12, relatively marginal in their scope.
But what is the status of the sequence, the seventy sevens, now ? It has been commandeered by the rejected King, Christ, seized by the Father, as Acts 1 makes exceedingly clear in such emphatically relevant language. Let us here ponder it:
Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ? and He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).As they awaited the 'birthday' of the Church in this sending, in Christ's name, of the Holy Spirit (who would not talk from Himself, but speak as given, and 'glorify Me' - Christ), of that Spirit who would not so come unless Christ went (John 16:7)... they awaited, also, a far longer period in which nation would rise against nation (Matthew 24), until the Father chose that the Jews should come 'home', and Jerusalem be liberated from Gentile rule. Indeed, that time would extend until the 'times of the Gentiles' should be 'fulfilled' (Luke 21:44), just as would the Jewish 'blindness' concerning Christ (Romans 11:25): except this is until the fulness of the Gentiles, as Paul puts it, has come in. We are in that margin now. It is then, in this margin, that the Jewish mass conversion is to occur. As the Gentiles complete their 'innings', the Jews return to theirs! It is then that the holy unity of Jew (*22) and Gentile, all 'His elect' as noted in Matthew 24, are brought to deliverance by the return of Christ, the 'bridesmaids' left, being 'shut out' and hearing, "I do not know you!" (Matthew 25:12). The marriage proceeds without such. The ensuing parable of the talents has a terminus similarly (Matthew 25:20), in judgment and exclusion, categorically... and eternally (v.46).
The 'seven' then, not a 'week' but literally a seven, as an arithmetical unit can have the unit size expanded at will, so delaying the time of the end to the criteria conceived by the crucified King and His loving Father, at their pleasure. Prior to Christ's coming in judgment (Zechariah 14:3), the Spirit will be poured out on a vast mass of Jewish people (Zechariah 12:10) who will see the folly of their crucifixion of Christ and look in faith with true repentance, upon Him. It is then (as shown pp. 502 ff.supra) that the antichrist "man of sin" reaches his evil and notorious climax, leading on to Armageddon.
This is a climax before which all the believers, Jew or Gentile, for there is no difference (1 Corinthians 1:24, Galatians 3:28), are to be delivered as Christ takes His whole bride (Romans 11). This is to the marriage feast of eternal union through the Lamb to 'His wife'. Then are both of the two witnesses gone (Revelation 11), the 'marriage' proceeds with those who are His (Revelation 19:7). There are not two gospels ( Ephesians 4:4) or two brides, not two salvations: there is one God, one Lord, one gospel and one body. This is it.
Thus the 1260 is used, the 3 1/2 sevens is used to cover:
a) the period from His sacrifice to the time that borders the end (now - Zechariah 14:1-2 is already fulfilled and 14:3 is pressing near - see p. 811 supra). This incorporates notably the liberation of Jerusalem from Gentile control (Revelation 11:1-3, Luke 21:44). This is the use of this symbol to signify a macrocosm of evil, affliction.
This number however is also used of a microcosm of evil, to cover:
b) the decisive epoch of riot of the antichrist man-of-sin (Daniel 7:24-261, 12:1-6, cf. Revelation 13:5-8, II Thessalonians 2:8). This stretches within the ten kingdom finale-period before Christ returns with His saints in categorical judgment, fitting the majesty of Divinity towards the recklessly recalcitrant rejection of His long proferred mercy (cf. II Peter 3, Revelation 19). It is in this latter period, (b), that things reach increasingly towards 'impossible' proportions for man (Mark 13:20). It is one that Christ will limit for the elect as Mark there shows; and one He will terminate abruptly, after their departure (Matthew 24:22, 24:38-44; II Thessalonians 2:7-9, Revelation 19:11-21).
This notation is therefore, following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, used for a vast period (i.e. Matthew 24:7-8), for which there is even a vast beginning signified; but it is also used for a precise epoch (Revelation 13:4), a controlled symbol for this last breaking and broken phase of what might, in one sense, be called secular history...
The analogy of Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 8:1-14, cf. p. 506 supra - in Daniel's third, quadripartite kingdom2), and the nature of the case make it clear that the latter time (b) will be short. Indeed it is, as we see, to be 'shortened' for the elect as it rushes to its conclusion. Its exact length however is now hidden in a sovereign wisdom (Acts 1:6-8, Luke 21:34-36, Matthew 24:44) that scales the unit of the Messianic 'seven' as it will.
It is not every day that the King of glory is crucified in the flesh; and His flesh means we are dealing directly with deity in human history (rather as if the Principal should sit in a junior Class, but much more extraordinary in kind!); and this King has taken the sequence with Him in an explicit arrest. It is an arrest of the Jewish people, for the opportunities given Gentiles (cf. Romans 11:12,17), one which both re-interprets the series and restrains its early conclusion, till He comes.
Man fell; but He fell again in his rejection of the Royalty of the race (Colossians 1:16). He now awaits both a hidden judgment soon to be revealed, and the opportunities that judgment liberally expands for his deliverance: as Paul puts it: "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2). This is not some urging of a salesman, but a notation of a period of grace which sin should seize, instead of seizing wealth, and power and notability, with the sad Husseins of this world, which are many; with the Macbeths and the Hamlets of the race, the fallen flesh that laments and does not find peace. It is a time of pity, of mercy, of truth, a time to repent and receive the inexpressible wonder (as to greatness) of the murdered Majesty who gives grace and pardon to those receiving Him as He is.
This is the day of peace, for He has made peace and it is freely available. That is the sense in which the expanded series unit is to be seen (cf. II Peter 3:2,9). The Messiah has magnified His mercy, and history must await Him, without carrying any predictable arithmetic constraint. Now that the Messiah has come and offered Himself, He will complete His seven at His will. It is His, and He has the multitude of His mercy to pour out, while giving us, like a final lap bell for the athlete, the tell-tale sound of events heavily described in advance, so that we know when the time is near. This seven, since man bundled off the Son of God, will have its units of a scale and a proportion to match the love of God, in the midst of this burdened world. He will not wait so long that it becomes unlivable; nor so short a time, that there is any question of a world untouched with the gospel of truth, with grace of God in truth (Colossians 1:6, Matthew 24:14).
Thus the last part of the last seven is the day of salvation in which, as Peter tells us (II Peter 3:9), God is "not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness"; indeed, he says, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (II Peter 3:8). Just as Christ made it clear it is not for you to know when in Acts 1:7, in very intimate parallel to the fact of Daniel's predictions concerning Him, so Peter appears closely and intimately to be relating to exactly the same matter in II Peter 3:9 - God will utilise the mathematical structure of His last seven to incorporate the magnitude of His mercy: but the end will come (II Peter 3:10), quite securely, with a devastation which will make the meaning of mercy the more apparent, for the interim. Retrospectively, it will not seem long...
At that... when the unbelieving world sees the end of it in judgment, so long withheld (Revelation 1:7), there will be lament enough: opportunity wilfully foregone readily makes bitter ground for reflection.
However, two points need thought. First, is the possibility of various U.S.S.R. States - already United Sovereign States - with significant sovereignty and possibly some atomic weapons sitings on their soil, merely multiplying alarms! There is current - January 1992 - talk of States like the Ukraine eventually ... turning over its atomic weapons to Russia, or destroying them. It could be years. Firings take less time!
Again, the Moslem ex-Communist fluidity in some of the Western USSR States bordering Iran may also bring in new volatilities, allied with power. The fibrillation, the weakening of the uncertainly beating heart of broken ideals, waiting for a new infection - or direction from misplaced 'ideas', may come to strange outcomes. As often noted, these are in fact Biblically predicted for this area.
Just what a yearning of ideals was illicitly incorporated in the allegedly matter-of-fact Communist schema (for description cannot create prescription, unless the moral aims are independently set, smuggled into the arena) is abundantly attested. You see it at the outset in Dostoevsky in his novels of yearning. Here the seeking soul, clad in atheism, may be seen, rather like a rationalised, existentialised (not really anachronistic) modern, or a Buddhist, before the unknowable ultimate, bursting with desire to be free of desire, beyond the limits. You see the idealistic and broken dream in Yeltsin's words about the beautiful ideal, which did not work. You see it in the presentation of Nicolas Rothwell in the Weekend Australian, October 19-20, 1991, on The Facts Crawling out from under Russia (p. 32).
On the one hand, he notes the recent availability of Communist Party records, with this comment: "Hence the new disclosure that the central committee's archive shows a cynical attitude by Lenin towards the ideals of socialist democracy is unlikely to shock the Russian public" - because they had, he feels, already made (they have had time) a somewhat realistic assessment. On the other hand, just as with Hitler, we see the religious aura and fervour which this basically evolutionary theory of human development developed, as personalities were perverted in their spiritual aspirations, to the level of inconsistent dreamers, rejecting what they live by. And that ? an objective place for values, based in the evidence of what they believe. Never can you rationally, reasonably, logically climb onto ideals and require them as objective, when there is no objective reality from which to find them, no person from whom to gain them, or no communication by which to know them.
What happens is not a basis for what ought to happen; science is a site to deploy, not a ground to excavate morals; nor can the things that are, possibly intimate what should be. As shown from the outset, ONLY A COMMUNICATING, ABSOLUTE PERSONAL GOD can provide what actually ought to be done, rather than preference which cannot be bound, implemented, except by force: and since there is one only, the communicating God. Thus then is the soul of modern man so often perverted, this as much as in his mad-parallel in the body, which too well reflects his disjointed and unrealistic state in this latter half of the twentieth century.
The religious aura is not only found in the secular religiosity, so nauseating because irrationally and ineffectively proclaimed for so long by so many, in Russia's long humanistic missions, so apt to enslave and not to liberate the world, to bring sorrow and not joy; illusion, not reality. A more mystic atmosphere is also interestingly illustrated by a comment from Rothwell.
The KGB, he declares, kept remarkably complete files on matters of security internal and external, and, according to "interviews with political observers", has tended "to treat its own records with the reverence earlier ages accorded to the gospel." That is precisely the witness of this political perversion (*23) of religious aspiration. That what logically was idealless, and could not know the truth, should yet have something outwardly relating to the reverence of Christians: This was a symptom of that delusion, and is a prelude to the next.
Man has paid for this one; the price for the coming one will undoubtedly be higher. Its coming internationalisation will have the approach that distances deliverance, except from God Himself, who promises it, in His time!
So do men fly from the absolute communicating God of the Christians, who have no problem of a systematic kind, unlike the Communists and all who do not heed. The Christian gospel is of a God of action (*24) who does fulfil His predictions, of One whose people have lasted more than ... 70 years; and whose Christ is neither cynical nor indeed explicable (see Ch. 6 supra) except as God, who gives both grace and ideals, both truth and the means to fulfil the tenor of His virtue and vision.
*2 Keil and Delitzsch Commentaries: Keil On Daniel, p. 361.
*3 See Chapter 10, pp. 1072-1080 infra.
*4 See Extension: The Idea Continues... the miasmic message of misbegotten unity. This is Extension 5, following the text in this current Section, pp. 955-957 infra. It deals with the continuity of the concept of 'unity', where it does not lie; and in the coming appearance of this forceful and fraudulent unity, in the last stages of the Fourth Kingdom, in Europe that is to be.
As to one of the METHODS for securing or enforcing this 'unity' in the coming kingdom of the beast, one forecast is notorious; it is that of a administrative and numerically oriented oversight of buying and selling.
In a computing circulation received from the U.S., and sent on April 26, 1992 by Bob Weigal, subsequent to the writing of this present Chapter, REASONS are provided for the fact that '666' is sometimes said to be a 'natural choice' for use in bar code identifications, used now so often.
The approach is empathetic to the business of CHECKING codes - as for example is often seen to be done at super-market check-out counters. Considerations in this hypothetical design operation (that is, to try to envisage theoretically WHY this choice should be made or seem so 'natural' - 666 as an item) are pondered.
1) The laser light reflects from the bar code patterns and reaches a sensor which can register elements such as dark or light lines, count and so on. Since REASONS FOR ERROR in this scanning are a problem, steps would be taken to reduce or remove these.
2) Such defects, against which safeguard must be made, would include damage to stickers, dirt on the scanner and window, the calibration of the sensor. Ideally therefore "built in" error checking is needed to make the checking a) functional at all, and b) to be so with the least sensitive trigger that is compatible with security.
3) It is noted that the universal product codes (UPC's) now in use seem to have two different line lengths - and that the longer lines are for error checking. Such variables constitute the tableau or plateau within which the aim is to be fulfilled.
4) 'Parity' is one error check. There must be for the digital work and system involved, a matter of one's and nought's, devices to transmit data and enable action; and when a number of these symbols add up to an even number, there is even parity, just as an odd sum gives odd parity. It can be used as a control oversight. The ones and noughts being the computer's procedural base for registering and fulfilling orders re data and its manipulation, there is thus in place a binary number system - only two options, 1 and 0. Even parity would include numbers like 11000 or 11011, for example.
5) Next, it is noted that UPC methods often use a mid-point division in the number for checking error. Thus data may be encoded to make the left side of this mid-line in the number have an odd sum, that on the right, an even. Again, dark lines on one side of the median may mean '0' and on the other side,'1', thus setting up a working structure allowing checking, facilitating error research.
Further, to allow for scanning of the physical object having been done left to right or right to left, it would help if the lines on the right of the median were a mirror image of those on the left, letting the computer overcome the question of the scan direction by having identical results to the left and right of the median.
Next, rather than DRAWING a median line, one could helpfully make it a part of the code. Two consecutive dark lines next to two light ones would be a series which even a near-failing scanner might pick up. When to this are added fail-safe line sequence provisions for contrast and more assured response, the 'model' is nearly set. One point may then be added. It appears common to arrange that data on the left of the median in fact have even parity and those on the right, odd: a sort of routine structure enabling routine checking.
Putting these contraints together as a model, then, the writer notes that the SHORTEST number that covers all these features (of convenience and security) is 1010011010. He then notes that to this binary number there is of course a decimal equivalent. That ? It is 666.
Finally, note that this '666' code covered by contemporary constraints of safety, efficiency and reliability, is the 'child' of a wedlock of sophisticated computer technology and universalisation thrust, following world-wide population explosion. Its forecast in the book of Revelation is a brilliantly simple exhibit of the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God, before whom the singular selection of this from all numbers, is indicative of the divine facility with man's best techniques, as if child's play... HIS child! The style and the accuracy is verificatory of the claims of God in Scripture.
*5 There follows a short summary, for reference, of aspects of the Roman religion:
i) Relative to prophecy, history, Biblical perspective on it: and the Messiah, with Daniel's 4th kingdom in view: Daniel File, Part A.
ii) Relative to the Holy Roman Empire, the Inquisition and fulfilment of prophecy here: pp. 446, 899-909 supra; pp. 1032-1041 and pp. 946-950 infra.
iii) Relative to false Messiahs, fulfilling prophecy: pp. 899-909 supra, 969-970.
iv) Relative to Rome and the concept of control by Hitler and other dictators: as for iii).
v) Relative to Rome and spurious Common Market unity, seen as a portent: as for iii), and p. 958.
vi) Relative to Rome and Daniel's 4th. kingdom in the context of violence: as for v).
vii) Relative to papal pretensions, and systematic added Biblical refutation of this religion, which notwithstanding most obligingly fulfils prophecy, albeit grievously: Chapter 10, Section 2B pp. 1042-1080 infra.
viii) Relative to the World Council of Churches: 743, 867 supra, 973A infra (see Index).
ix) Relative to spirit of one's approach: I Timothy 4:1-6; Preface viii-ix; 1079.
x) Relative to the coming antichrist: 946-958, 970, 1060, 1072-1081.*6 See Extension 3: Where is Rome ? (pp. 946-950).
*7 See Extension 6: The Final Configurations of Political Cancer, A Sight Undesired. - pp. 957-959. See also p. 930 infra.
*8 See Extension 7: Daniel's Last Seven - The Messianic Week and the Day of Salvation - pp. 959-962 infra.
is of considerable relevance and interest to note the position and statements
of Von Papen
relative to an intoxicated 'Roman' Europe, in the making in the 1930's.
Von Papen was a Papal Knight and personal friend of Cardinal Pacelli, pope-to-be (Pius Xll).
Hitler could come to power if the 'Catholic' party voted for him.
Having suppressed the Communist Party (then a stroke bringing favour with Rome), he 'promised to open negotiations for a concordat, provided the Vatican ordered the Center Party to vote for him' ... this being the 'Roman' party.
It was thus, firstly, Rome which brought Hitler to the place of being able to obtain power, by a specific act. Indeed so specific was it that the Centre Party was ordered to self-destruct: thus crucially contributing to Hitler's coming to power and removing themselves from the premises having done it! It was Hitler who was to do the governing. (Cf. Manhattan, Vatican Imperialism in the Twentieth Century pp. 204-205.)
It was on July 5, 1933 that the formal statement of the Centre Party was given: 'The German Center Party, therefore, immediately dissolves itself, in agreement with Chancellor Hitler.' Why ? It was because German political life had been put on an entirely new foundation, 'which leaves no room for party activities.' Thus it began... in a dazed dream of fealty to a German hope, based on a papal concordat, instituted through a Roman political 'suicide', so that Hitler might have life. Such are the Roman dreams of power, such their consequences.
What did this Concordat have to say, to our point ? In Article 16, the 'church' said: I swear and promise to honor the legally instituted, i.e. Nazi Government... I will endeavour to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.' But what of Hitler? for such a submission by Roman religious prelates was not a little... in terms of power and its consequences! Von Papen, the extreme Romanist whom Hitler was persuaded to appoint as Vice-Chancellor, gained a reward and provided Rome with no small public authority, a significant boon to Rome, for so powerful a State as Germany. Von Papen had something to gain and to give. After all, it was he who had negotiated the Concordat (June 1933).
Von Papen, now Vice-Chancellor, and close to Pacelli, future Pope Pius X11, stated:
The Third Reich is the first power which not only recognizes, but puts into practice the high principles of the Papacy. (The Vatican-Moscow Alliance, p. 85, cited from Der Volkischer Beobachter, January 14, 1934.)Avro Manhattan in his Vatican Imperialism In The Twentieth Century, p. 206, sums up some of these developments. Mgr. Kass, he notes, formerly
leader of the dissolved Catholic party, thereupon on instructions from his friend Pacelli, put it even more bluntly. Catholics must support Hitler, he said. They should not, and must not, have any fears about it. For Hitler's ideals were 'noble ideals'. After which, having proudly foretold how, now that Hitler was in charge of the German destiny, the future would be a splendid adventure, he confidently gave assurance to those perverted who dared still to entertain serious doubts about it by declaring that he, both as a Catholic priest and as a former leader of the Center Party, as well as his personal friend, Pacelli, had the amplest confidence in the, abilities of the fuhrer. 'Hitler knows well how to guide the ship,' he prophesied.Acting at this crucial stage - and with such politically extreme and morally categorical support, these highly placed Roman functionaries with the Concordat's companionship direct, approved from the Vatican, which oversees such affairs launched one more corrupt connivance. They had chosen to keep company, in such flowing and assured terms, with a weirdly obsessed or possessed or at any rate ambitious dictator, a path according to its own principles, which could give 'Peter' power through the usual mode of being governor of kings (and so of fuhrers). The problem was that the prince to prevail for 'Peter', to make provision for the pope, to whom the concordat bound the Roman clergy by swearing, was anti-Christian.
Such is the price of playing politics and seeking power, on the part of a body called a church, but flagrantly countermanding Jesus Christ's rule on politics (John 18:36). Rome paid the price, and through it, the world paid the price of this false clerical accessing of power to Hitler.
Hitler, alas was flagrantly anti-Christian in his mindless racism and nationalistic pretensions, his love of force and philosophical bases; and thus it was that a false 'church' which in effect cruficied so many Protestants in the Inquisition, performed one more iniquity. It did this by empowering a person and a Party which held nothing for Christ, though much hope for the worldly minded 'Rome' and its explicit, formally stated and well-established principles of gaining political control.
The price of this folly is inestimable; and though others contributed to Hitler's rise, this crucial aid to him when he was weak, this authoritarian perversion of the church to fostering festering political aims, was a matter of ecclesiastical principle. It is one which duly played its pontifical part in bringing anguish, agony and death to millions through treachery against the very principles of Jesus Christ. The wind was sown, the whirlwind was reaped, and not for the first time by this 'Roman Catholic Church'.
This adds yet more to the political dimension to the charge of Revelation, concerning Rome's being drunk with blood. It relates to data in THE CONVENIENT COMMUNITY, earlier in this Chapter, re advice on war to Austria, and may be compared to the action in Italy. Here rather similarly, the Roman political party, under the orders of Pope Pius X1, gave place to the Fascist action in 1927, leading to the Lateran Agreement of 1929, when all Italian bishops were ordered to take the oath of allegiance to Mussolini, II Duce (Manhattan, The Vatican Moscow Washington Alliance, p. 84).
Although indeed the involvement is political, as has been well attested, the aims are spiritual, religious and addressed quite explicitly in the name of Jesus Christ. Small wonder, apart from all else, that this Rome is declared in Revelation, for the season of the end of the Age, as "full of names of blasphemy" (17:3).
*10 See Extension: Medals, Meddling and Intoxication. This is Extension 4 for this Section (pp. 950-954 infra).
*11 While a new format will come for the beast, who will wish his worship more intense and direct in the end (*4), Rome is the name, the place, the symbol for the continuance of that Empire to which Daniel referred, and which will find its exaltation reach into the heartland of God, from which evacuation will be early and industrious (Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1, 2).
*12 Marxists like to refer to 'the middle class'. The idea of 'middle class values' is often noted. This fails relative to logical requirements for generalisation in several ways.
First, what class is in view ? The middle of what ? Height, income, culture, social ability, political acumen ? The very limit to 'middle' can be misleading, suggesting that the class in view is the one that 'matters'. Let us be specific. Middle income class... that would need definition - which country ? world-wide it varies enormously. Take Australia: $30,000 - $45,000 annual salary ? With superannuation ? with what capital component? and so on. To say the least, it is imprecise. If economic class is meant: with respect to what ? Skill level ? income level ? capital-plus-income level ? on what weighting of each?
In that case, then, what are the 'middle' (economic) class values, even if we define the expression in a way not done ? Some people on incomes of this group level (if we should so define it) or indeed in any imaginable definition of middle economic class, will be saints; some devils; some philanthropic; some misers or miserable; some raging fools, some careful and lovers of wife, family and fellow men; some grabbers of what they can get and givers of the least they can manage, others almost like angels.
What precisely then are middle economic class values, however you may define this middle economic class, in diverse income categories, capital categories, professional categories or managerial skill categories... or whatever else that has some relevance at least to the topic, or takes the fancy ? They are a myth created by a term, used inaccurately. Therefore one should avoid such use; define what is meant carefully; and if generalising, one should know the relevant facts; and avoid compound divergent matters in generalisation. If one does so, then one may be logical.
Often, it is negative emotion, as with Marx, which can lead to the vain misuse of some 'class' concept, which after all, is normally a generalisation concept. As with science, so elsewhere, - it must apply accurately, rather than be a verbal stone, cast by the intemperate in order to abuse or confuse, if it is to deserve honest attention and provide scope for just action.
Since some terms cloud issues and involve generalisation of great slackness, as in this communist case, it is well with thorough investigation, careful observation and adequate definition, to seek to avoid these gaunt and clouded jaunts. It is useful to know what one is talking about, and sometimes the necessity to make it clear makes something else clear: that the topic is a mystical myth, based on clouded thought, frank ill-will or some form of emotional jaundice.
*13 Solzhenitsyn, in his Alexander Solzhenitsyn Speaks To The West (1975) on pp. 43 ff. refers incisively to the failed communist predictions, making points such as these. It provided
rhetoric to the effect that the world proletariat will overthrow the world bourgeoisie and the most happy and radiant society will then arise. The fantasies of Marx, Engels, and Lenin break off at this point, not one of them goes any further to describe what this society would be like.He does not at this point comment on the happiness, having been for many years wrongly imprisoned, and having composed massive accounts of the vast sprawling Russian prison camp system, dehumanised, wicked, corrupt, based on gross perversion of laws giving illusory promises of freedom, and evil schemings, by manipulative devices, to possess the souls of men and women. All this however does in fact relate to happiness: although negatively, subversively, illicitly!
The cynical attitude of Lenin towards social democracy shows the folly of trusting atheistic irrationalism, for lust or whatever reason; even he did not believe it! (*17 infra).
Solzhenitsyn went on to enumerate some failed Marxist predictions, such as the point that the conditions of the 'working class' would deteriorate in the West, till the 'workers' were reduced to total poverty. This did not happen; what did however happen was this. Russia was reduced to poverty and needed billions of Western dollars in 1991-2 to get through the lack of food problem, and continue to exist as a nation. The irony must not however disguise the fact of this total, flamboyant, iridescent anti-fulfilment. Scientifically as also logically as we have seen, it is a hopeless case.
He notes similarly the prediction that Communist revolutions would begin in heavily industrialised nations such as Germany, France and America; and that socialist 'states' would not even exist, owing to the withering away of the apparatus to rule so blessed a people. Not merely a trend in the opposite direction, but a torrent is the fact, a possibly unparalleled State apparatus in Communism, wherever it is found, and Russia falling into Communism, despite its comparatively non-industrialised condition, whilst the others refused to fall, or even to become impoverished, industrialised though they were; nor was China amongst the world's heavily industrialised nations... Nor has the non-managerial worker in Western democracies been notable for a falling, but rather for a swiftly rising standard of living.
This adverse read-out, non-verification, is not all.
On p. 16 (op.cit.), Solzhenitsyn notes that in the 80 years before the 1917 Revolution in Russia, even though a Tsar's life was threatened, one Tsar being assassinated, in a time of revolutionary uprisings, only some 17 persons per year were executed (only is by comparision with the regime of the heaven grabbing Communists!). As for the 'liberating' Communism, at the height of Stalin's terror, Solzhenitsyn calculates that some 40,000 persons per month were being shot. There is a certain disproportion here, and it is not in a direction favourable to the predictions of communism! It rather resembles a worst-case nightmare scenario, for a gasping communist theorist, before visiting a comrade psychiatrist.
In his Gulag Archipelago, he itemises, lists, brings in innumerable seeming data of waves, causes, consequences and cases in this blessed and liberated form of humanism, perhaps the most shocking case of utter theoretical and practical failure in all history: just as it may also be the most thorough-going atheism, fitted to a State rule in all history. We thus have an anti-verification at such multiple levels that it might tax the powers of the editors of Punch magazine adequately to satirise, since it is almost satirical in itself. That verifies the word of God (Isaiah 41:21-24).
*14 Cf. Appendix D, Chapter 8, and *1, Section 4 of this Chapter, supra (pp. 877-879).
*15 One fascinating and symbolic feature of Rome's church has been its use of the Latin language, that of ancient Rome - thus giving one more dimension of continuity for Daniel's fourth empire.
*16 Daniel 7:24 refers to the "little horn" or outsider who 'subdues' three leaders, and the question may arise, Is Benelux to be his take-over quarters ?
It is a centre of EEC administration, the site of the 'beast' computer complex, and a natural scenario would make this, perhaps through some subtlety, whereby it seems a blessing and an elevation of their significance, a spot for 'service' on the part of any aspiring antichrist. In this way, the three could perhaps the more readily be reached in one stroke. In our own concern with apologetics, the point is simply this: the next step has an inbuilt facility which, like so much else, fits to perfection with the prophecy. That however is not the same as making it more than that; it is not known who the three may be. A unified bundle central to administration would make quite a target, and is available, desirable and expedient for a European commissar.
*17 See Extension: On Fervour Without Facts: The Political Perversion. This is Extension 8 for this Section (pp. 965-966 infra).
*18 See *1 Ch 10, Sect 2A. (Ref. is to pp. 1042-1086 but also to 1032-1041 infra.)
*19 See *2 Chapter 10, Section 2B - p. 1080 infra.
*20 See Extension: On the Application of Scientific Method. This is Extension 1 in the current Chapter (pp. 931-943).
*21 See *10A, pp. 720-721 supra. Meanwhile note that whatever permutations, peregrinations or combinations may occur, one thing stays clear: the 10 member European feature to rise in this Age, whether stretched to the periphery or concentrated in the core, has long been fulfilled. Currently is it DOUBLY so.
*22 'Racially' it is also important to realise that Ruth, one of the 'naturalised' Jews who was actually a Moabitess ... Ruth 1:4, 4:13-22 ... was a distant progenitor of King David, through whose line, 'after the flesh', came the Messiah!
*23 Political perversion of the gospel, or political distortion of the church, either physically as with Rome in Inquisitions, or doctrinally as with Rome and Mecca in their creative activity elsewhere specified: this has of course other blends. Thus ANY authority or power that gains control over a "church" (such as a State or potentate, local, national or international) can distort it beyond all recognition in ways incorporating violence to the heart and persons of others, ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS, TO CONVERT, TRANSFORM AND TO CHAIN. Christ only however (Ephesians 4:5, John 5:26-27) has authority to rule the Church, which has one Lord, wholly divine and wholly sinless, who does not change (Hebrews 13:7). Like captive aphids in the control of ants, such bodies - seduced from Christ - can be appalling misnomers. Though they may start with some national fervour, alas the changing cultural syntheses can make the end illustrate what the broken principle of Christ only as Lord, showed wrong from the start. See pp. 446, 743 supra, 1191-1192 infra.
*24 The selective identikit power of prophecy
is one of the ingredients in identifying the speaker of divine revelation, as seen in Ch. 1. The revelation was necessary, the competition was abysmal and there was only one result: the Bible. The detail for these things lies in Ch.'s 1,6,8-10, but a brief overview of a few elements may help the minds of some. (Cf. pp. 59, 769, 830-831, 936-943 supra, 1082 infra.)
In sum then:
The generic coverage as to historical type of human development over thousands of years; the intimately and exceedingly detailed coverage of the Jewish developments re Christ and thereafter, dispersion and the mode of it, temple non-access, high impact and startlingly sudden re-institution of Jewish State, its products, its scenery, the half of Jerusalem gained, and the whole, the intrinsically amazing nature of the military operations against overwhelming odds on the epochal Jewish return; the world attitude to Jerusalem upon this Jewish return, and this amid a highly defined and distinctive contemporary world situation to be in place at this time, with precise parameters politically, morally, academically and spiritually; the type of amazing gospel, and its detail, to be in broad Gentile operation relative to the to-be-slain Jewish Messiah; the Jewish national and world responses to this same Messiah, with alternations in the response by the time of the Jewish return epoch, becoming notable and distinctive also; action in travel and knowledge, in philosophies and religious and moral attitudes to the revelation of God, in this same contemporary period, again covered like so much of it, thousands of years in advance, with parameters as neatly dissected as if the work of an investigating journalist, currently on the scene; the rigorous and deadly Messianic identikit, likewise given vastly before Christ came, as was the time in history of His (then) coming death; the plethora of phoney Christs and phoney religions predicted to adorn the world as it developed, rising to a crescendo; the continuity of the Christian church (q.v. Index) amid vast dimensions of slide, nevertheless unbroken in its organised testimony: in all this, in detail, in sequence and in developed synthesis, as in much more, we see clear grounds. (See also pp. 58-71, 262-267, Ch. 6 supra, 755-769, 806-809, 1147-1160 infra.)
Grounds for what ? Grounds for identifying far beyond any normal, scientifically oriented recognition criteria, the word of remedy, in any evidential approach. There is simply no competition at this level. As we have seen, that is precisely one of the things the God of the Bible pointed out. It is one of the essential features of recognition of the speaker: no grounds for confusion on any sound evidential approach. On the other hand, there has been shown to be multiple disabling of all relevant contenders, quite apart from their identification-dereliction in this area. Identification of the word of God has only one rational claimant. The rest is religion without reason.
1. The number here pellucidly applies to the 'little horn' finale.
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2. This is listed in Daniel Ch's 7-8, esp. 7:6, 8:8 - cf. pp. 886-887 supra.
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