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The Apocalypse of St. John

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St. John was one of both 'the sons of the thunder' and was the 'beloved disciple' of Christ. Christ, on the Cross, entrusted John with the Virgin Mary. John likely left Jerusalem for Asia Minor after the persecution of the first Christians by Herod Agrippa I. One of the four Evangelists, St. John might have written his Gospel there, in Ephesus. As he had been exiled unto the island of Patmos by the Romans, John had there the revelation of the Apocalypse, wich is the last of the texts composing the New Covenant. The Apocalypse by St. John is a description of the end of Times and the Last Judgment. The concept of Apocalypse is strongly extant under the Carolingians. Thus, it seems important to give the following summary of this basic text. The Apocalypse was written in 95 A.D., likely before the Gospel of St. John

The Apocalypse by St. John, which was written, so, in the year 95, is clearly announcing that the events which it describes are closing near and that they concern the seven Churches of Asia Minor. The last Times, thus, are bound to occur few after they are revealed to John. The text, moreover, est still very strongly marked by the fact that those first Christian communities are still much Jewish, with those promises of alliance by God are neatly targeting those elected among the Twelves Tribes of Israel. The trouble, with the Apocalypse, is that the events announced did not occur during the times following the redaction of the text. The end of Times did not occur at the time of John. Those years -about 100 A.D.- at the contrary, are the beginning of the era of the 'Pax Romana', this apogee of the Roman empire. The fact that the end of Times did not occur following their revelation, on the other hand, is similar, further, to the fact that the end of times, like announced by Christ himself. The end of Times, like foretold in the last discourses of Christ did not occur either in the 30's. The theologians only may explain those contradictions. As far as the Apocalypse is concerned, at last, it has to be noted that, should have the Last Judgment have begun at the times of John, the thousand years during which the Devil is to be imprisoned would then bring us to the time of when Jerusalem was taken by the Crusaders, by the end of the 11th century...

The advent of the Heavenly City, on a other hand, which also comes with the permanent availability of the trees of Life to men, is indeed the sceal of the plan of God on Man. Men, the descendents of Adam who had been thrown out of the Garden of Eden due to that he had not obeyed God regarding the tree of Good and Evil, through Eva and the Serpent, are again welcomed into the confidence of God as they also benefit from the eternal life. The Covenant with Noah, the dialog of God with the Jewish people in the Old Testament and then the Church and its way up to the Last Judgment are the main steps which God have chosen to that man reconcile with Him. That moreover is establishing that relationship, in the Church, between the will of God and the freedom of man. Reason is necessary to welcome God but a one which is advancing at the heart of the Word self of God. That is what constitutes the sole true human truth, the truth not of a personal interpretation but the one which is guided by the Spirit of God. That also constitutes the ground self of the Western thought

->St. Michael
St. Michael is one of the principal catholic angels as his name in hebrew ('Mikha'el,' 'who is like God') was the war-cry ("who is like God?") of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the Devil and his followers. The great battle of the end of time will also mirror that original battle, when Michael and his angels will fight the dragon. According to Fathers, Michael, albeit not mentioned is also present at several times of the Scripture: he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam or the one who routed the army of Sennacherib. Michael thus in the Christian tradition has the office of fighting against Satan, rescueing the souls of the faithful especially at the hour of death, being the champion of God's people (therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages) and to supervise men's souls to judgment. Following mostly Greek Fathers, the Roman liturgy calls Michael a archangel, or the prince of other angels. Michael was not honored first in Christianity like the patron of militaries, but like a healer. At Constantinople St. Michael was the great heavenly physician, with his principal sanctuary, the Michaelion, at Sosthenion, some fifty miles south of the city. There the archangel is said to have appeared to Emperor Constantine. Another famous church was within the walls, at the thermal baths of Emperor Arcadius, the feast of the archangel celebrated November 8th. In Egypt, he was the protector of the Nile, the life-giving river). In Rome, the church dedicated to the saint like (as it kept being considered a healer) was the 'Natale Basilicae Angeli,' six miles North of the city and called by the 9th century A.D. the 'Basilica Archangeli in Septimo.' St. Michael appeared with a sword in 590 above the Moles Hadriani during a procession held by pope Gregory the Great against a pestilence. As soon as under pope Boniface IV (608-615 a church was built on the Moles in honour of him as the Moles thus turned the Castel di S. Angelo). St. Michael also had appeared by 494 or 530-540 A.D. at the Monte Gargano (North of region Apulia, Italy) where he was restored there like a patron of war, securing the victory to Lombards against Byzantines. In France, the archangel appeared in 708 to Bishop Aubert of Avranches in a place which became the Mont-Saint-Michel with a first church built by 710 as it was turned a Benedictine abbey by 966 A.D. by the Duke of Normandy. In Germany at last, St. Michael replaced pagan god Wotan and many mountains linked to the god bore since chapels of the saint. Michael is celebrated in the hymns of the Roman Office said to have been composed by Rabanus Maurus. St Michael of one of the saint patrons of France, or the Holy Roman Empire, then Germany (as the saint helped the victorious Battle of Lechfeld against Hungarians in 955 A.D.) and Belgium

The Apocalypse is a Revelation Given to St. John

The meaning itself of 'Apocalypse', in Greek, is 'revelation'. This revelation was awared to St. John on a Sunday, during an extasis as it took place while John was in exile on the island at Patmos. The revelation was given to him so he can know how the end of Times were to unfold and that he can announce that to the Christians. The prologue of the Apocalypse is telling that 'the Time is near' and that what is written 'is to occur soon'. It's Christ himself who makes the revelation to St. John

Some Warnings Given to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor

Christ first is speaking, through John, to the seven Churches of Asia Minor, the seven Christian communities of the time, Jerusalem, Judaea, and Rome excepted. Those Churches, albeit, by some other aspects worth to be praised, are relatively in some bad shape, as they are in decay, or persecuted. The community in Ephesus seems to have gotten distant from God, Smyrna is persecuted by the Jews. Pergamon is the prey of heretics. Thyatire is tolerating in its ranks a prophetess. Sardes let his faith to disappear. Philadelphia, on the other hand, seems to be the Church which is the most faithful to God. Laodicea, at last, neither warm nor cold, had to be repentant. Those seven Churches of Asia Minor must hold to their faith and they will thus be awarded with varied benefits -which seems to foretold what is to come further in the text of the Apocalypse- in this order: the tree of Life, the victory upon the 'second death', manna and a white rock which bears a new name, to lead the nations with an iron scepter -and the Morning Star; a white cloth and the name of the vainquor which is non-erased from the Book of Life; the most faithfull Church, Philadelphia, is to become the column of the temple of God, onto which the name of the Celestial Jerusalem will be engraved; to be seated near Christ

John is Brought Towards the Throne of God

John then is brought towards the throne of God. Near to it are to be found 24 Elders, 7 'Spirits' of God (likely angels which are high in the hierarchy of the angels) and four 'Livings' (angels the aspect of each -a lion, a bull, a man, an eagle- are, obviously, the symbols of the Evangelists). The 'Livings' and the Elders are offereing a perpetual praise to God

The Christ Alone is Worth to Open a Roll Sealed with Seven Seals, Which is Hold by God

God, on the throne, is holding a roll of parchment which is sealed with seven seals. The Christ alone, as he is figured by a bethroated Lamb, with seven horns and seven eyes, is able to take the parchment and to get ready to open it. Christ -the Lamb- is adorated by the four Livings, the 24 Elders and a multitude of angels. The Christ then begins to open each of the seven seals

The Opening of the Seals Triggers the end of Times

The four first seals are triggering four riders, on a horse, one of them being the Death (the four horses are, the one white, another red like the fire, the other is black and the last one is greenish). To those is given the power to exterminate one quarter of all the inhabitants of the Earth through 'the sword, hunger, the plague and the wild beasts of the Earth'. The fifth seal makes to be seen all those who suffered martyrdom for their faith and who are calling for revenge for the blood they shared. The sixth seal does trigger an earthquake, with the Sun becoming black and the Moon like blood; stars are falling on Earth, the sky disappears as the mountains and the islands are taken away. All the potents of the Earth, like the kings, captains, merchants, etc. and all the men, free or slaves ones, run away and hide among the caves and the rocks of the mountains, asking for protection against the 'great Day' of the anger of the Lamb

Four angels, as located at the four directions of the Earth, are ready to ill-treat the Earth and the seas but, before, the servants of Gods are marked on the forehead with the sign of God. Those namely are 144,000 Jews, 12,000 for each of the Tribes of Israel (Juda, Ruben, Gad, Aser, Nephtali, Manasse, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph, and Benjamin)

An immense crowd, of every nation, race, people and language is appearing before the throne of God, and praising him. Those people are wearing white clothes and they are the ones who gave their lives in martyrdom for Christ

The seventh -and last- seal is opened, with a silence lasting half an hour. An angel offers a gift to God and then he takes the fire of the altar with a showel of gold and he throws it unto the Earth. Seven angels then are beginning to blow seven trumpets

Seven Trumpets -Six of Which only are Blowing- are Starting the First Step of the end of Times

At each of the seven trumpets which the angels are blowing, a calamity is striking the Earth. The first one, through hail and fire mixed with blood, is triggering the death of one third of the trees and all the green grass. The second makes that an enormous mass, like a mountain, is thrown into the sea with the third of it becoming blood, the third of any marine creature dying and the third of the ships is destroyed. The third trumpet triggers that a celestial body, named 'Absinthe' is falling on the third of the rivers and sources of the Earth, with the third of the waters changed into absinthe and with this bitter water having a lot of people dying. The fourth trumpet is hitting a third of the Sun, a third of the Moon and a third of the stars, as all those are getting darker by a third, and thus darkening the day and the night by the same amount

The last three trumpets are triggering still worse disasters. The fifth had a celestial object, fallen from the sky, does open, with a key, the 'pit of the Abysses' whence a smoke arises and which darkens the Sun and the atmosphere. From the smoke, crickets are invading the Earth and they have some power similar to that of the scorpions. During five month, they torment men as they bite them, triggering ailments similar to the one of the bite of a scorpion. That is striking any man who has not on the forehead the sign of God ('men will seek for death and they won't find it'. Those terrifying-looking crickets, are led by the 'Angel of the Abysses', who is called 'Abaddôn' or, in Greek, 'Apollyôn'. The sixth trumpet is releasing the four angels who were chained unto the Euphrates river and they do eliminate one third of men (their army is composed of two hundred million knights, who have a terrifying look, and their horses alike); men are killed by the fire, smoke and sulfur that the horses are blowing. Such a massacre however is not a sufficient lesson to men, who keep praising the idols and to be sinners (murders, witchcraft, debauchery and thefts)

Some Pause. Two Witnessing God are Prophetizing in Jerusalem, as they are Vainquished by the 'Beast'

A pause occurs where a mightful angel is announcing that the seventh trumpet it to set the final assumption of the mystery of God. Seven thunderclaps are heard as the angel tolds John not to write down what they are saying. St. John is eating a small book which the angel was holding. John does measure the temple of God. Two who are witnessing in the name of God are prophetizing during three years and a half in the 'Great City', or 'Sodoma', or 'Egypt' -which is likely Jerusalem as it's there that Christ was crucified- and they have the power to trigger calamities. They are vainquished however by a 'Beast' which is getting out of the 'Abysses' and the corpses of the two martyrs is exposed. They are revived by God after that three days and a half elapsed and they do climb into the skies. A earthquake is destroying one tenth of Jerusalem, with 7,000 dying

The Sevent Trumpet Triggers the Beginning of the Establishment of the Reign of God. A vision of the Woman and of the Dragon -which is the Devil. The Battle Fought by Michael. The Devil is Thrown onto the Earth

The series of the trumpets is back, with the seventh heralding that God is using his immense might to establish his reign. There is coming the time of the judgment of the dead, of the awards for the faithfull, the saints and those, little or great, who fear God, and of the final loss of the evils, of 'those of are getting the world lost'. The temple of God then is opening in the skies with the arch of alliance appearing there. Lightnings, voices, thunderclaps, an earthquake and hail are occurring

Then, in the sky, do appear, on the one hand, a woman, surrounded with the Sun, the Moon under her feets and 12 stars crowning her head, as she is giving birth to a child, and, on the other hand, a dragon, of the color red, and with seven heads and ten horns! The dragon is destroying a third of the stars and he throws them on Earth. The dragon wants to eat the male child which has been born from the woman as this child however is the one who is to lead the nations with an iron scepter. The child is taken away from the Dragon and brought to God and his throne. The woman is fleeing into the desert, where she is given a shelter during three years and a half. Michael and his angels are fighting the Dragon and the angels of it and those are defeated. The Dragon -which is the Devil, this 'antique snail'- is thus thrown down to the Earth with its angels and this first battle does mean that the victory is attributed to God and Christ, because the Devil has been thrown down. The Earth, thus, becomes ill-fated because the Devil has descended there. The Dragon -the Devil- is pursuing the woman into the desert as she is protected by God and the Devil, furious, decides thence to go and fight those men who are keeping the commandments of God and who are testifying for the Christ

The Beast is Reigning Upon the Earth and is Bringing Men to Itself

St. John is seeing a Beast getting out of the sea. It has seven heads and ten horns as she ressembles a panthera, with bear's feet and a lion's head. The Dragon -the Devil that is- does transmit its might and its throne to that Beast and an immense power. As one head of the Beast seemed wounded to death and is healing, all the inhabitants of the Earth decide to follow the Beast. They are adorating the Devil and the Beast. The Beast is acting during three years and a half as it's blasphemizing against God and the temple of him. The Beast further is fighting the saints and it manages to win over them! It's thus getting a power over all the nations. All those people 'who, since the origin of the world, do not have their name written into the book of life of the bethroated Lamb' eventually adorate the Beast

Another Beast, then, is getting out of the Earth, with has two horns, 'like a lamb'. That other Beast is speaking like a dragon, as it's serving the first Beast, with bringing to its the men of the Earth by performing extraordinary feats. Most of men do accept to bear the sign of the Beast on their right hand, or their forehead (which sign is the famed number '666')

God is Taking the Offensive Against the Beast and Those Who Serve It (1)

The Lamb -Christ that is- is sitting on the mount Sion, with 144,000 people -likely the one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel who have been marked on the forehead with the name of Christ and of God. All are singing a canticle to God as they are the soles to be able to learned that canticle. Those 144,000 are virgin and immaculate and they have been redeemed among the other men, 'like premisses for God and the Lamb'

An angel now is heralding the Last Judgment. Another is announcing that Babylon has fallen, that city 'which served to all the nations the wine of the anger'. A third angel, at last, is warning those which accept to be marked with the sign of the Beast of the punishment which is waiting for them

With a fawcett each, two angels are harvesting and grape-harvesting the Earth (is that a symbol only or are really a lot of people killed?). Those who resisted the Beast, or who have won over it, are praising God. One of the 'Livings' gives seven cups of disasters to seven angels as the temple of God is closed to anybody, through the smoke of the glory of God, until that the seven disasters have been spread over the Earth. Those seven calamities then are: ulcers, which strike those who adorate the Beast, the death of all the creatures in the sea; all the rivers and the sources are turned into blood; the Sun is burning men through a colossal heat (with men however continuing to blasphemize); the kingdom of the Beast turns into darkness 'and people are biting their tongue in torment' (with the men still continuing to blasphemize). The Euphrates river turns dry, letting a passage thus to the 'kings of the East', as three unpure spirits get out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast and the false prophet (which is the second Beast) and they are going to gather the kings of the kingdoms of the world to get them into the war and they do gather them in Harmagedôn; the seventh calamity triggers a violent earthquake and the 'Great City' is torn into three, and the cities of the nations collapse, and Babylon the Great is punished. The islands and mountains are disappearing and hail of about 80 pounds each are falling from the sky. The men however just kept blasphemazing

God is Taking the Offensive Against the Beast and Those Who Serve It (2). What the 'Babylon the Great' is Meaning, and its End. The Victory of God

As a part of the offensive of God is the end of Babylon, the 'famed Prostitute, who is sitting near the large waters', which perverted the kings and the inhabitants of the Earth. St. John is seeing Babylon symbolized, in the desert, by a woman, who sits on a red Beast, which has seven heads and ten horns. Babylon is getting drunk with the blood of the saints and that of the martyrs. An angel is explaining those symbols to John. That Beast was extent and is no more; it will be back from the Abysses but just to meet its end (those the name of who is not written since the beginnings in the book of life will get amazed by the Beast, and by that it did exist, disappeared and then re-appeared; the seven heads are the seven hills onto which the woman is sitting (there are 7 hills in Rome) as they are figuring too seven kings (of which 5 still existed, one is living now and the seventh did not come still -as once come, it will stay a little while). The Beast (which existed and which does not anymore) itself is an eighth king (as meanwhile it's too one the seven kings however, who is getting to its loss). The ten horns are ten kings (who did not reign still; they will reign during one hour only, with the Beast and they will give their power to it; they are to fight the Lamb and to be defeated by Him). The waters are the people of the world. The ten horns and the Beast will take Babylon in horror, and they will eat it and burn it through fire. This is a the design of God through which he has his project of destroying Babylon performed, in fact, by others (that the kings offer their powers to the Beast also is part of the design of God). Babylon is reigning over the kings of the Earth

An angel comes and announces the fall of Babylon, the great prostitute, at the unpure wine of which all the nations, the kings and the trafickers of the Earth did drink. Another angel calls the people of Babylon to leave the city and prophetizes the swift end of it as those who were acquainted with it will lament of that end. Babylon has been responsible for the blood of the prophets and the saints. Babylon eventually is destroyed, with the verbal declination of the passage unclear to whether what is described is the destruction of Babylon to come, or the actual fall of it). The fall of Babylon marks the beginning of the reign of God as are coming the 'wedding of the Lamb' with the spouse, who has putten linen like clothes

Then the armies of the heaven appear, as led by Christ, and mounted on white horses, and they are bearing linen clothes. The Christ is the one to lead the nations with an iron scepter. And angel invites the birds of the sky to come and eat the flesh of those who are going to die, kings, merchants, captains, slaves and freemen. The Beast, with the kings of the Earth and their armies are meeting to fight the celestial armies but the Beast is taken prisoner, with the false prophet, and both are thrown into the 'pond of fire' and all the rest is exterminated through the sword of Christ. An angel is descending from the sky, bringing the 'key of the Abysses' and with an enormous chain, as he chains the Devil for a duration of 'one thousand years'. He throws the Devil into the Abysses, he pulls the locks behind and puts seals there. The text of the Apocalypse already warns that, after those thousand years will have passed, the Devil will be released again for a few time

A first ressurection occurs, for those who suffered martyrdom for Christ and for those who refused to be marked with the sign of the Beast. Those do revive and they reign with the Christ during a thousand years. All the remaining dead, at that moment, are remaining dead. Those people whose are saved might have acquired already the everlasting life (they won't suffer the 'second death' and they will reign a thousand years with Christ; 'second death' is meaning to be thrown into the pond of fire, where they are suffering, at the contrary, everlasting torments)

The Last Judgment Occurring Once Thousand Years Passed

Once the thousand years have elapsed, the Devil is released from the Abysses and he is leaving to seduce the nations of the Earth (which are called 'God and Magog') and it gathers them for the war. This immense army attacks the camp of the saints but it is definitively annihilated with a fire descended from heaven! The Devil, in turn, is thrown into the pond of fire, and there, with the Beast, and the second Beast, it is tormented, day and night, for ever

Then the Last Judgment occurs. The skies and the Earth 'are fleeing' from before God, with no traces as the dead come and stand before the throne of God. '[b]ooks' are opened and then, too, the book of Life as the dead are judged from that content of the books, and each one according to his deeds. The Death and the Hades (the place for the dead in the Greek world) are then too thrown into the pond of fire, and all the dead also who have not be written down into the book of Life (the treators, the renegades, the depraved, the assassins, the unpures, the witchmen, the idolaters, 'in short, all the men of lie')

The Heavenly City and the Everlasting Reign of God

At that moment, a new sky and a new Earth appear (as no new sea appears as the old one had vanished) and the new Jerusalem, the one of the heavens -the Heavenly City, the Heavenly Jerusalem- is coming down from the sky! That heavenly city is the house of God with men, and the one where any tear will be dried, where there won't be any death, any cry, any shout nor suffering anymore as those won't be extent anymore. All the men will be admitted into the Heavenly Jerusalem and God will give them 'freely' the source of Life

One of the seven angels which had used the seven cups against the Earth is then taking St. John, 'in spirit', over a 'mountain of a great height' and he shows to him the Heavenly City descending from the heavens (St. John then describes the city: it has a wall of a great height, with twelves doors close to which are twelve angels and the names of the Twelve Tribes inscribed on them, as they are three doors for each direction on the horizon. The wall is built upon twelve basements, each bearing the name of one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. And the angel measures the city: 12,000 by 12,000 by 12,000 stadii (in length, width and height). The wall is measured 144 elbows. The wall is of jaspe as the city is of pure gold. The basements of the walls are enhanced with miscellaneous precious gems, one king of gem for each basement. Each of the doors of the city is a pearl. The square in the city is of pure gold too. No temple is extent in the Heavenly Jerusalem because God and the Lamb are the temples of it. The city doesn't need the Sun nor the Moon, or lamps, because it has been illuminated through the glory of God and that it's the Lamb which lightens it). The nations of the world are walking into the light of the Heavenly Jerusalem and the kings of the Earth will bring their treasures there. There is not night anymore. Only those with their names written down into the book of Life will be authorized to get into the city. The 'river of Life' is flowing from the throne of God and the one of the Lamb, and on the central square, either side of that river, are found Ttrees of life! Those trees are bearing fruits once a month and their leaves can heal 'the heathens'. Men, in the Heavenly City, will adorate God and the Lamb, on their thrones, seeing their face and bearing their names on their forehead. And all this will last for ever

The End of the Apocalypse

The angel is telling again to St. John that the end of Times are near and that all what has been revealed is to occur soon. Those things revealed concern the seven Churches of Asia Minor

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