One does not have to study the Roman Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation very long before finding how important Ignatius of Antioch is to its defense. As a martyr of the late first, or early second century, he is alleged to be the first witness in the sub-apostolic era for Transubstantiation and the “real presence” of Christ in the Eucharist. Fr. John Hardon, in his The History of Eucharistic Adoration lists Ignatius first after the apostle Paul in defense of the doctrine: Continue reading Eating Ignatius
We are now in our third and last week of analyzing the Trumpets of Revelation (Revelation 8-9). Last week, we analyzed the Fifth Trumpet, which was the “Crusading Spirit,” by which men were driven to invade the Holy Land by the sound of the locusts’ wings. The Crusading Spirit—with its obligatory vows, and promises of full remission of sins and the martyr’s crown—is the means by which men were tormented five prophetic months or 150 years (Revelation 9:5,10). After the first four Trumpets, an angel interjects with a “woe” (Revelation 8:13, 9:12) to warn John and the people of the earth of the coming calamities. With the Fifth Trumpet, or the First Woe behind us, we proceed to the Sixth Trumpet, or the Second Woe. Continue reading The Trumpets, Part 3
Last week in The Trumpets, Part 1, we discussed the first four Trumpets of Revelation that immediately succeeded the opening of the Seven Seals. The first four Trumpets were as follows:
Trumpet 1: Eden Burning (359 A.D.)
Trumpet 2: The Egyptian Tsunami (365 A.D.)
Trumpet 3: The Latin Vulgate (382-404 A.D.)
Trumpet 4: The Mysterious Fog over Europe (536 A.D.)
After these there is a break in the progression as an angel interrupts to say, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:13). The next two Trumpets are given in much more detail than the first Four, and we will address each of them separately, beginning this week with the Fifth Trumpet.
It has been alleged by some of my historicist brethren that the Fifth Trumpet “is one of the easiest symbols in the Apocalypse to understand.” Assent to this is almost universal among them, as can be seen in the long list of expositors who have identified the Saracens as the locusts of Revelation 9. The Saracens were said to have dominated for five prophetic months, or a total of 150 years.
We will have to disagree with our historicist brethren here, as we do not believe they have sufficiently worked out how men could desire death for 150 years, and how death could escape them for that long. Likewise, the locusts are not given authority to kill men, only to torment them—yet the Saracens killed many men. Elliot takes it rather to mean that the Saracens were not allowed to destroy the civil state (E. B. Elliot, The last prophecy: An Abridgement of the late Rev. E. B. Elliott’s Horæ Apocalypticæ, p. 130), but the text of Scripture is quite clear that the locusts were allowed to torment “those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4) and further “that they should not kill” those men (Revelation 9:5), and those men seek death, but death escapes those men (Revelation 9:6).
We agree with Elliot that the Fifth Trumpet spans a period of 150 years. We propose a solution here that takes the rest into account as well. Continue reading The Trumpets, Part 2
Two weeks ago, in Do Not Weep for Nicomedia, we walked through the Seven Seals of Revelation (chapters 6 to 8), noting that the saints of God were marked between the Sixth and Seventh—that is, between the destruction of Nicomedia by an earthquake and the burning of Nicomedia with fire in 358 A.D. By way of review, the Seven Seals are as follows:
Seal 1: Rise of the Sassanid Empire (226 A.D.)
Seal 2: The Crisis of the Third Century (235 A.D.)
Seal 3: Diocletian’s Edict on Maximum Prices (301 A.D.)
Seal 4: The Diocletianic Persecution (303 A.D.)
Seal 5: The “pretended relaxation” (311 A.D.)
Seal 6: The earthquake of Nicomedia (358 A.D.)
Seal 7: The burning of Nicomedia (shortly after the earthquake)
The Seals are worked out in much more detail in our post two weeks ago, and we invite our readers to revisit the details there.
At the breaking of the Seventh Seal, before the “fire of the altar” is cast to earth (Revelation 8:5), seven angels are given seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2). The angels began to sound their trumpets within a year of the breaking of the Seventh Seal. This week we cover the first Four. Continue reading The Trumpets, Part 1