Sacramental Reflections on the Fall, Communism, and Relativism

The Real Crux: The Spiritual Depravity of Communism

Recently, a Catholic author, a good person really, a person of conviction and holiness, commented that he felt that communism could be in an OT prophet. Well, I considered that, possibly in an idealistic sense, this could be true. Obviously, however, the question of communism as being, in some sense, within Scripture, might seem far fetched After all, in the commentary on the Third Secret of Fatima, then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger indicated that New Testament Scripture, at least prophecy [if prophecy were possible], does not reveal things like individual nations, such as, for appropriate example, Russia, or China. However, since Fatima also deals with the question of the diabolic horror of the movement and even age that has been, and still is, brutal socialism, it raises a larger question. More specifically, communism as an ideology, or even as a sick and demented materialistic religion, if you will, transcends any nations that actually acquire it. That is, if communism had taken root, say, in Nigeria, or Egypt, or India, [rather than Russia] then Our Lady would have simply said, “and Nigeria [Egypt, India] shall spread her errors throughout the world...”., but still the intrinsic essence of her message would not have changed at all seeing as the horror of what would befall the world, wherever it would, is not really contingent to where it arises from but rather to the nature of the spiritual depravity itself. That is, it is the supreme darkness of totalitarian, atheistic materialism that is the issue for prophecy, not the places that receive it. And how? Because there is absolutely no place on earth that has evil ground or bushes or trees or rivers. All those things are good and holy. God made them all, and He said they are very good. Hence, not even one speck of dirt in the nation of Russia or the former Soviet Union is evil. Nor in Nigeria, nor in India. And hence, Russia, Nigeria, or India are not what is at stake.

Spiritual Historicism in Apocalypse

Consequently, if it is this great and terrible spiritual darkness of communism that is the issue, perhaps it could be In the Bible, at least idealistically. This is one idea we intend to explore here. So we can first ask, as a general inquiry, how? Well, already, we should anticipate that if the apocalypse has a layer of meaning that looks at the broader scope of Church history—and not just the extremes of current scholarship [preterism on the left and futurism on the right]--then we would certainly want to envision such a layer as looking at mainly supreme spiritual developments of the Church’s sojourn. Why? Because the very essence of the Gospel deals with the intellect and the will: the intellect is for the truth; the will, for grace. We exist ultimately to know the truth and to live it with God’s help. These are the supreme ends of our existence and of all humanity’s as well. Moreover, these aspects of our lives are primarily spiritual in nature, which is to say, as far the Church’s teaching mission is concerned, it is her duty to proclaim Christ’s mysteries and supply the wondrous power to live them, the sacraments, to the world. Consequently, since these immense ends sum up the supreme movement of that great Apocalyptic Woman through history, any revelation and theology of the trajectory and meaning of such course must focus on humanity’s acceptance, or lack thereof, of these sacred entities.

And hence, we are left to conclude that any form of spiritual historicism, as it might be called, for Apocalypse, would need to involve a theology of, again, the doctrinal and sacramental history of the Church, at least primarily. Consequently, possible elements of this journey might include, but perhaps not limited to: pagan Rome, the Trinitarian and Christological heresies, culminating with Islam; the Great Schism; the Protestant Rebellion; the great supernatural death of the Enlightenment and similar developments of the post-Protestant age; and finally, the darkness of the 20th century, atheism and relativsim [as well as any primary spiritual phases beyond our time, as applicable].

A Better Choice: Spiritual Idealism for the Fall

However, even beyond these questions, which are woefully beyond the scope of any mere article, we return to the sense of an Idealistic conception of spiritual darkness, of which communism participates most fully. Here, we actually have something more concrete, philosophical and theological to work with. How? In this: the lies of the fall, and hence of all spiritual darkness at its apex at any time of history, are something which can be qualified with definite Scriptural and doctrinal theology. In fact, I have attempted to do this in previous articles: Sacramental Ecclesiology, Armageddon, Probing the Nature of Strife.

A Theology of All Goodness: Rules for Existence

Nevertheless, rather than raw quotations, I would like to bring the arguments from there into a fresh environment, more suitable to our discussions here. Toward that end, we once again reiterate that if we can theologically and doctrinally qualify and categorize those supreme deceptions from that perennial garden of antiquity, then we will have leverage from which to examine various movements in the Divine Plan, whether of New or Old, so as to make any possible correlations. Of course, we will discover that our construction of the lies will afford an easy absorption of communism within, so that our conjecture that brutal socialism appears, at least idealistically, in the Scripture, is valid.

Toward that end, we can initiate the reconstruction of the fall theologically. The beginning crux is this: if it were possible to assemble base principles of all goodness, that is, ideas that summarize all that is good in purpose and existence in any age of the world, then it would surely follow that the full antithesis of these base principles, coupled with, if it were possible, counterfeits diametrically opposed to the Divine Will, would in fact summarize all that is evil in purpose and existence in any age. As it turns out, this is quite straightforward, and we will now work this out.

Firstly, and actually, we already know that the Catholic faith has these universal principles of goodness. More specifically, Ludwig Ott, in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, states that:

God creates to share the Divine life, love, and knowledge of the Trinity with creatures.

Yes, this is true, for, from all eternity, the unbounded and unfathomable mystery that lies within the Triune God was desired by the Three Divine Persons to be shared with creatures—not that the Trinity needed the creatures but that the Trinity might share its absolutely immense mystery and life for its good pleasure and for the benefit of the creatures.

For us, we experience this in two dimensions: first in this life, and then, hopefully, forever In the next. Hence, the principles so far are:

  • To partake of the Divine life, love, and knowledge of the Trinity in this life
  • To partake of the Divine life, love, and knowledge of the Trinity in the next life

However, now note that we gain knowledge of the Trinity by knowing God, and we participate in the life and love of the Trinity by loving God. Hence, we can rewrite:

  • To know and love God in this life
  • To know and love God in the next life

These are similar to our familiar Baltimore Catechism’s treatment. Moving on, we can further break down our assertions. Firstly, knowing God is really faith, and loving God is really repentance. How? Because when we know the truths of God, we note that they are almost always Revelation and not mere natural veracities. Why? Well, firstly, the only things that can be known merely naturally are basic monotheism and some essence of the moral law. All other truths come from Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium, most of which are Revelaton and not merely nature. Hence, when we know the truths of Scripture, Tradition, and the teaching Church, we are placing faith in them, the same faith that we place In the Church herself as the Divine emissary of these mysteries of God. So, again, knowing is faith.

As for love, clearly repentance is caught up in love, for to the degree that one is not repenting of one’s sins, one is either wounding or destroying love. Hence, again, love and repentance are synonyms.

Therefore, the first principle can be re-authored:

  • To have faith in and repentance toward God

The second principle, however, cannot be faith and repentance since, once one is in heaven, one sees God as He is [no faith is needed], and repentance is no longer needed since one has been made eternally and unchangeably pure. Rather, then, we can say that the love and knowledge of God in this afterlife is likened to a Divine marriage, yes, the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride, the Church. Amen: Jesus shall penetrate our inmost being with His ineffable mysteries and immeasurable life and love, we shall receive these unfathomable treasures into our inner being, conceive them in our spiritual womb, and then offer them and ourselves back to Jesus in a nuptial union of spiritual ecstasy that shall never end!

In other words, the second principle is a heavenly marriage:

  • To marry God forever in the next life

Altogether, we have:

  • To have faith in and repentance toward God in this life
  • To marry God forever in the next life.

The Sacramental Summary of All Goodness: Baptism and Marriage

Now, with all this trouble, we actually have a beautiful way to transform the rules into a sacramental mystery. How so? Well, firstly, take the initial rule, faith and repentance. We can ask, what Sacrament has these for its intrinsic disposition? That is right, Baptism! At our Baptismal vows, we renew our commitment first to repentance [do you reject sin, the glamour of evil, the devil…?], then to faith [do you believe in the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the communion of saints…?]. Consequently, the first principle of all existence is quite veritably the baptismal disposition, and finally, the second principle is right in front of us: marriage, or, that is, apocalyptic marriage.

The Lies of the Fall: The Antitheses of All Goodness

From here, we now slide into the fall; we completely flip these principles upside down and replace them with supremely seductive counterfeits: Before the counterfeits, the anti-principles are self-evident: instead of faith and repentance, we have no faith and no repentance, and instead of seeking the figurative marriage with God, the Creator, in the next life, one seeks a figurative fornication with this world, the creation, in this life, or materialism: living ultimately for this things of this life rather than from above; whoring oneself to the world, figuratively, rather than having a loving and profound spousal relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What about the counterfeits? These are really straightforward as well. For, firstly, if one has not faith and repentance, what the dragon is really telling us is: Don’t worry about God’s truth, religion and all that. It is all a farce, or else, it doesn’t matter. Just believe whatever you want and move on. You know better. Similarly for repentance, the dragon seduces the soul to reject his conscience outright and simply choose to live the way that suits him, of his own making. Moreover, obviously, the dragon lies here with the guarantee that there will be no consequences for one’s irreligiosity or his wayward disposition toward morals. All will be fine, and one will get away with it. And one will be better off. Incidentally, this is entirely what we observed in the baptismal vows: sin, the glamour of evil, the liar and his lies. Hence, already the Sacred Tradition of the Easter Liturgy in baptism confirms our theology.

Moreover, the dragon’s deceptions persist into the second lie: if a person has neither faith nor repentance, then they are most certainly not living for God, and hence, nor for any presumed mystical ecstasy with God in heaven. Consequently, with divine mysteries shirked in no faith, with love and relationships of profundity rejected in no repentance, and with an afterlife mocked, how else can the person be anything but a materialist at best, and a hedonist at worst? For if one does not desire the spiritual and loving things of this life, all the more do they not want the heaven of the Christian religion, and so are, by default, persons who live for this world only, which is to say, mainly, for pleasures, possessions, and egotistical accomplishments. And accordingly, we return to the self-same Liturgy of baptism in the Easter Mass: are not the empty promises of the evil one precisely the mere things of this earth when one has no religious considerations? Hence, again, the baptismal liturgy reinforces the Church’s conception of the lies of the fall, and gives us a mockery of the two-fold call of Our Dear Savior: “and the second commandment is like it...” That is, from anti-baptism flows anti-marriage [materialism].

Christian Division in Allegory: The Loaves and Fishes

Now, as an aside note, this two-pronged set of lies which summarize all evil was treated in subsequent depth in both articles above, and it would behoove us to briefly draw some of that theology into our discussion here. For the sake of brevity, when we consider the mystery of this sacramental symbolism in our theology of the fall above, it makes us wonder if other Scriptures with a self-same sacramental allegory might provide even further penetrating insights. Incidentally, it really does happen, and this, in the loaves and fishes. For lack of space, I will try to summarize.

Firstly, we know that the loaves and fishes discourses are Eucharistic in context. And yet, how much more are they universally sacramental! How? Well, it is not merely the Eucharist that feeds us spiritually but any sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is truly a created participation in the very life and love of God! We are, as it were, partakers of the Divine Nature, saith the first Apostle, Cephas. Hence, the immediate connotation is that the elements of sustenance in these scenes are themselves, altogether, a symbol of the entire sacramental economy! And moreover, since the context remains Eucharistic in primary dimension, and since the Eucharist is most intimately and supremely tied to the question of Christian unity, then it could veritably mean that the manner, number, and nature of those forms of sustenance might not merely reveal the sacraments as a whole but in fact deeper mysteries of the way that the sacramental life is impaired by Christian division. The astonishing reality is that all of this comes together perfectly!

In short, we know that there are only two forms of rift in Christ’s Body: schism and heresy. Too, the loaves and fishes only afford two scenes [sometimes redundant in the Gospels]: the 5 and 2, and the 7 and few.

Moreover, schism is a minor rift: it sheds only the supreme apostolic successor. As a consequence, because schismatics retain the general Episcopate and Tradition, they have all seven sacraments [seven loaves!], yet, they have a “few fish,” for they flounder about somewhat in the sea of such creatures, trying to make sense of the doctrines that Cephas has gone on to define without them.

Protestantism: the Supreme Form of Division

But the heretics have rejected all the Apostles and their Tradition! Consequently, if they have no Episcopate, they can never have the 5 sacraments that absolutely require it [5 loaves] and can only have 2 sacraments, two fish, baptism and marriage. For this reason, since all they have is fish, so also their lot is nothing but the roaring waves of the same sea from which they attain their allegorical swimming creatures. For there is no stability in the ocean, only chaos, and in the world that ushered forth from that great heretical rebellion, there is also only an unfathomable confusion, a flurry of heretics tossed to and fro by every wave of doctrine, a torrent of flood sent by the dragon to carry the woman off into oblivion. Only the earth could open its mouth to save her, that earth, [Apoc 12] that pillar and ground of truth, which is the Church! [1 Tim 3:15] For what do Apostolic Churches have that heretics do not? The Bishops and Tradition, the Episcopate and Oral Word of God—these are like earth, a firm foundation to build one’s house upon, without which the rains will destroy.

Baptism and Marriage: the Two Sacraments that Summarize Basic Protestantism

And so it is that, lo and behold, the heretics retain the only two sacraments that we have worked with above, baptism and marriage, and baptism and marriage, we have just seen, are foundational sacraments, whose principles are general enough to summarize all goodness. And yet, is that not all that heretics can universally hold in common? That is, if we take all things that Protestants absolutely agree upon, are they not hardly anything more than the base principles of baptism and marriage? Just look at it, in all honesty. To give them credit, do they not all nearly accept the rules of baptism, faith and repentance? Indeed, I would say that virtually all Protestant sects believe that a person should have faith in Jesus and strive to do what is right with His help. Yes, that is pretty close to a general rule for Protestants. And the heavenly marriage, ditto. As far as I know, sparing some remnant wack-job hyper-liberal sect that I am not aware of, all Protestants are hoping for the heavenly marriage. For if there is no heaven, why do we even bother, saith the supreme Apostle to the Gentiles? Might as well fornicate, drink and be merry, for when you are dead, you are dead.

Ok, good, but if you then begin to examine the great race between the starting and finishing lines, there is virtually nothing that is conclusive, and that especially goes for the five sacraments they lack [for reference, the sacraments that absolutely require the priests or bishop are: confession, eucharist, confirmation, holy orders, and anointing]. In fact, as it stands, I have tried to develop arguments elsewhere in my writings that contend, convincingly, that the plethora of Protestant doctrinal debate from all these centuries down to our own largely falls under the umbrella of the full theological questions and implications emanating from those very five sacraments. This however, is beyond our scope and not necessary. Suffice it to say that, overall, it is entirely and appropriately in God’s Plan that the heretics retain only these two sacraments because the sacraments are basic, and what the heretics can all agree upon is basic.

The False Prophet: “Two Horns Like a Lamb”

Now, for a final application, if we can see these two fish, these ecclesial sacraments, as a summary of all goodness, then from application to our theology above of the loaves and fishes, a diabolical version of the two would image the fall itself. And that is exactly what was posited in that same article! More to the point, recall that Jesus clearly uses sacramental language in his brief parable of the fathers who would give bad entities to their children in place of good sustenance; for example, a good father would not give his child a stone for bread, a scorpion for an egg, or a serpent for a fish. The connotation is then if the world were to ask the dragon for the two fish, the fish of all goodness, baptism and marriage, the devil would deceive them with two serpents.

In this regard, we examine Apocalypse 13 and consider the three primary diabolical creatures. The first two have identical anatomy: a dragon and beast each having seven heads and ten horns. The third creature, or second beast, in contrast, has merely two horns which are “like a lamb,” yet “[speaking] as a dragon.” Here, we also observe that earlier In Apocalypse, the Lamb of God is seen as having seven eyes and seven horns.

Obviously, in an initial examination, the reality of seven should imply mainly perfection, so that seven eyes would appropriately be that Christ perfectly sees all, or is omniscient. Likewise, horns have been representative of power in apocalyptic literature. How? Well firstly, in Daniel 7 and 8, the horns of some beasts image kings [who surely wield power]. Secondly, in this same Apocalypse, the ten horns of the beast are seen as ten kings [again, regal power]. Consequently, and obviously, the seven horns of the Lamb would mean that Jesus is omnipotent. And these meanings are certainly the most straightforward from common sense.

However, when we consider that the two horns of our false prophet above are in some sense a “mockery” of Jesus’ seven [“and it had two horns, like a lamb, but spake as a dragon”], then perhaps something deeper is found here. Well, from our ecclesial theology above, the answer is immediate: the power of the Lamb is indeed omnipotent. Yes, Jesus can create and destroy the cosmos and recreate it again with a mere word. If He so desires, He can conjure up His wrath in all earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and any other natural disaster that man can conceive of. And yet, are these really the ultimate desires of Jesus’ Heart in using His power? Or is it rather that Jesus has the power to save us? Yes! And that is by grace, and grace is summoned up most powerfully in the seven great essences of sign and love of our faith, the sacraments! And therefore, the false prophet is mocking two of them! Which two? Are they arbitrary? Of course not! They should follow an ecclesiology that we have already developed.

In fact, in the article on the Kings from the East, I argued that Armageddon, or incomprehensible strife—that is, the unfathomable separation of man from himself in untold war—is itself the ultimate fruit of what began in the Body of Christ wth the epic rupturing of Christian unity—first in schism, or the East, then in Protestantism, or heresy. Yes, out of the East, or the first division, Armageddon is already brewing, just as Armageddon is prepared for by the coming of the Kings from the East. And if the false prophet were to image the full lies of all iniquity presented as the full truth, it should bear within its being some semblance to our theology above, that is, that the two sacraments here mocked should be, at the same time, firstly, images of the supreme separation In the Body of Christ, and secondly, the ultimate culmination of such separation, the full rupture of humanity with God at the Fall. Amen, these are baptism and marriage in both counts!

Hence, with the dragon as the father lies [do you reject Satan, the father of lies], the first beast as the incarnation of the his lies in human history [kingdoms and societies that are supremely governed by the fall], and the false prophet as the lies themselves spoken between the diabolical father and his incarnate son, a demonic trinity is present.

Communism as and Idealistic Manifestation of the Falle

Now we are ready to see communism idealistically in the fall, and therefore implicitly in Scripture. The theology is really immediate: Let us work thought it. Our first criterion that must be established is the antithesis of the Baptismal disposition, faith and repentance. No contest: communism is founded on atheism, and atheism is the complete denial of God, and hence of all matters of faith. For if God does not exist, kiss the whole pristine and wonderful Catechism good bye. For if there is no God, there is no Creed, since the whole essence of the Creed is built on the Trinity and Incarnation and all that flows from them. Ditto for the Sacramental mysteries. They come from God, and so forth: no moral law, no prayer. Now, with regards to morals however, one may object and point out that many atheists have decent moral codes and hence are not in full antithesis to repentance.

This is true on the surface, however, we need to dig deeper, and that, In this: atheism cannot create a transcendent moral code. We can argue this as follows: if all that exists is merely matter and energy, it is difficult to see reason, or natural transcendence. More specifically, the laws of math and computer science are transcendent: they would be true even if nothing existed. Yet if all there is is, again, mere blind material forces, a universal transcendent moral code is not possible.

If I may be permitted the reference from memory, the Catholic convert from atheism, Jennifer Fulwiler, shared something analogous to this in her testimony that I saw of her on ETWTN. Effectively, she was reaching a point in her journey as an atheist where crises were occurring. One such thing, if I recall correctly, was that some academic hot shot posited that it would be morally worse to kill a grown pig than a human infant on the grounds that the infant doesn’t possess the same level of sentience. From what I gather, in attempt to deal with this, it eventually led Fulwiler to a realization that, as we argue here, atheism cannot, in the end, really provide a universal transcendent moral law. In other words, based on this, I argue that atheistic morality can only in the end be expedient, so that, consequently, an objective repentance is not really possible for the atheistic system. It must be effectively akin to relativism.

This takes care of no faith, no repentance. What about materialism? Bingo, communism is raw and pure materialism, for In its ideology, since matter and energy are all that exist, this life is all that matters, since it is all we have. Marx concludes a brutal reason to be: to survive and thrive in a physical world: universal sustenance for all, and accomplishment and work are the end of human fulfillment.

Relativism in the Fall

Relativism fits the mold, too. It has no faith. This is because it denies all objectivity. More specifically, for Catholicism, truth is objective, not an opinion. The final vestige source of Catholic truth, reason, supposes absolute, transcendent principles. The negation of the ability to discern between true and false, between more rational and less rational assertions, undergirds the entire sense of reason. Hence, believing that all things are purely subjective to each one’s limited perspective, much less that countless mutually conflicting ideas can all be completely true at the same time is incomprehensibly and absolutely absurd. Hence, there is no truth to relativism, and therefore there in no faith, since our faith is in absolute truths.. Also, all this obviously applies to morals, too, since the relativist does the same insanities there. Hence, relativism is no faith and no repentance.

Finally, if one is effectively indifferent to faith and repentance In an objective sense, one necessarily and practically descends into neo-pagan materialism, since when faith, morals, and spiritual mystery are not seriously considered, how can the afterlife be anything other than what the poor souls envision the heavenly cloud to be: parties with Elvis, beer, pizza, and the super bowl every night.

A Final Dimension of the Fall: the Mark of the Beast

There is actually one additional Scriptural metaphor that can be used to image the fall of man, and that is our infamous mark of the beast, or 666. Now, before we commence the analysis, let us say a word here about the useless approaches.

The first absurd approach is microchips, and such,. Obviously, the issue for a mark in one’s hand or forehead is theological, not physical. Indeed, receiving some mechanism anywhere onto one’s body is not in and of itself sinful. The crux would rather be if one is being forced to say or do something wrong in the process of receiving such imprint. That is the issue, not the device or entity.

Toward this end, we can note that in a previous article of mine that examined ecclesiology, I argued, quite probably in unison with many voices o f the Church, that the counterpart Seal of God in Apocalypse 7, given to the 144,000, imaged the Church. How was that? Well, a common sense factoring of the number is 12 x 12 x 1000, which we saw is easily interpreted as the 12 tribes of Israel [the fullness of the Old Covenant] and the 12 Apostles [the fullness of the New Covenant] expanded into a great multitude [1000]. This is the Church, who possesses the fullness of all that God has given. In consequence, because those sealed here [the 144,000] are protected from the forthcoming trumpets succeeding chapter 7, we noted that such protection must be spiritual, not physical. This is self-evident. How? Well, in that, Jesus has not promised to spare us of suffering, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical. Indeed, “Whoever does not take up cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me!”

For, does Christ promise to protect us from literal, physical harm (in any age in history)? By no means, for the Roman martyrs were tortured horribly: nailed to crosses, reduced to ashes at the stake, or torn apart by brute beasts. Or, we can ask, where was the protection of Christ to the Rwandans who died of thirst over 25 years ago? Were none of them Christians, much less Catholics? Or where was the Christ when so many Catholic soldiers had limbs blown off in WWII? Where was the Father when so many faithful perished in the Black Plague? Or, where was the Spirit when so many countless Irish followers of Jesus perished in the potato famine?

Consequently, the Church has no right to say that any Catholics of any age will escape tribulation. Indeed, how can anyone think that the faithful at the end of the world shall not also suffer physical woes? What does the Catechism say, except that the Church herself will follow Her Divine Savior in the Passion?

Subsequently, whatever this Seal of God is that protects its bearers from the harm of the trumpets, it can in no wise be from physical harm.

However, we, as the faithful of Mother Church, do know of one protection that Christ always desires of His disciples, and that is that they know His truth in all its fullness without stain of error, in their intellect, in their forehead. “Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads” [Apoc 7:3]

In this view, with, again, the ones Sealed in the forehead being protected from the trumpets, and since, in our straightforward treatment here, Apocalypse must be allegorical in meaning, the trumpets cannot be seen as literal calamities like Chernobyl or other absurdities. But then what? Clearly, as spiritual phases or types of spiritual harm that come upon those who are not Catholic.

In this regard, a further common sense meaning emerges: trumpets in Scripture many times are great proclamations, as with Jericho. Hence, these same trumpets can image, either idealistically or possibly in historicist layer, the supreme promulgations of the Church concerning the mysteries of Christ. This, then, brings forth the deeper meaning of the Seal: persons who accept these teachings are receiving the full truth with no stain of error and consequently are protected from the spiritual harm of errors and heresies to their intellects, or foreheads. And why? Because, by virtue of their Seal—which imprints on their souls the humble docility to trust the Apocalyptic Woman who epically disseminates the veracities of the Incarnate One through the ages—they heed the truth blasted from on high by the great society of the holy ones, keeping them safe within the bosom of the same truth.

The corollary would be that those persons who do not heed the Church necessarily give in to heresies and lies, and so bring upon themselves the consequences of their blindness, for, indeed, when one misunderstands God in any conception, it serves as an intrinsic impediment to the fuller love and relationship to God, and so has its very same intrinsic consequences. The calamities that ensue with each blast are then precisely these spiritual aftermaths.

For practical purposes, there is no room whatsoever in our discourse even to attempt to suggest a structure for the trumpets as to what spiritual types could be there in the same apocalyptic proclamations. Nevertheless, what matters is the spiritual principles we have developed.

Toward that end, a common sense rendering of the mark of the beast is now straightforward as well, in this: if the Seal represents the full purity God’s inexhaustible deposit of faith, and this, at the left edge of the trumpets, what else can the mark of the beast be, which lies on the opposite pole of the trumpets, except the other extreme: supreme depravity in relation to God and hence our lies of the fall. Indeed, it works: for if the Seal protects the full child of God from all harm to the intellect of soul, so the mark of the beast In the forehead imprints on the pitiful person the fullness of darkness in mind, whch is to say, full lack of faith, as in our anti-baptismal lie discussed earlier. For expeident purposes, these amount to atheism, relativism, or derivatively, brute paganism and the like. Similarly, if we can see the hand as associated with the works of our hands, then the same mark in the hand can image total depravity of morals, as in our other component of the anti-baptismal lie, no repentance.

Now, a profound dimension emerges from here: we obviously know that there are consequences for not taking the mark: no one can buy or sell. Well, Jesus said to the rich man, go and sell everything you own and come follow Me. The connation is, we must be prepared to give up all for Jesus, up to and including our very lives. In this way, the mark is an image of persecution: if an entity is attempting to force you to deny what you know to be true in your forehead, or to make the works of your hands evil, or else face consequences, then the mark here images any such reality. And since the righteous have suffered continously throughout old and new testaments, the mark of the beast, far from being some obscure and literalistic modern phenomenon, is as old as history itself.

For Noah suffered supreme social mockery for obeying God. Daniel and his companions were cast into a fiery furnance for not committing idolatry. The seven brothers of the M accabees were tortured and roasted on a grid iron for not violating the dietary laws of the Mosaic Covenant and for not denying God. Countless Roman martyrs were slain for not pinchng incense to Caesar. St Athanasius suffered greatly for maintaining fidelity to the truths of Trinity and Incarnation. St Thomas More, and countless Enlglish, suffered torture and death for remainging true to Peter. The nuns beheaded in the French Revolution. And on and on.

And in our own day, brutal horrors and sufferings are experienced by Christians in the communist Orient for remaining true to Jesus in the face of diabolical regimes. Also, relativism is asserting itself in the West: progressions are occuring that persons must cooperate with sexual deviances, or anti-life activities, or else lose their whole livelihood.

Yes, the mark of the beast is alive and well in our atheistic and relativistic world.

A final world, 666. We should note firstly that while certain personages or titles add up to 666 in the numeric value of words in Greek or Hebrew, we can see that it is purely circumstantial. For example, not only does Nero’s name form this, but so does, at least evidently, “Vicar of Christ” and “Ellen Gouild White”. And what do thse prove? Absolutely nothing. Rather, 666 should have a mystical meaning that gives us, like the anti-sacramental summary of all lies of the fall, the same fall itself in nature, theologically. And it does. Let us probe it. For this, we need to back up and look at the Old Covenant.

The Requirement of a Prefiguring Covenant prior to the Incarnation

One of the primary arguments of the thesis of the necessity of the Old Dispensation is that God can in no wise enter Incarnate into a fallen world immediately after such fall if it is to be in any way significantly efficacious for the creatures' renewal. Rather, at least several stages of Revelation and development are necessary in order that the Coming of Incarnation might be most efficacious.

Firstly, we remember that whereas the angelic creature, freed from the impediments of physical steps of intellectual development, is able to digest the profound mysteries in a single instant, nevertheless, the material creature of necessity can only progress in stages to comprehend the profound. In other words, just as a child must develop in intelligence into maturity only by a slower process, so also must humanity as a whole progress in its capacity to comprehend the spiritual mysteries.

This is the first reason to argue that God can only progress humanity in stages of Revelation to prepare for their capacity to accept the fullness of truth that comes in the Incarnation.

The second reason for preliminary ages to precede the Incarnation is humanity's severe tendencies toward materialism and paganism because of its fallen nature. To illustrate, we perhaps recall the infamous "mark of the beast" in the NT apocalypse and that its number is 666. A mystical way to look at this symbolism is to reverse the relationship between God and man. We see this by first recalling that 7 is the number of perfection and so, in one sense, of God. It follows that 6 is a symbol of imperfection and therefore of man, who falls very short of God. But then, just as God is three Divine Persons in one Nature, so three 6’s in one number symbolizes man [6] making himself as God [three in one].

Consequently, whereas God made man in God’s image and likeness, the flip side is that, through the evil number above, man makes God in man’s image. When that happends, one greater result is paganism, which is precisely the nature of man projecting his image onto the Divine. For, in paganism, the deities are largely a reflection of the fallen nature of man, themselves finite in power and in constant struggle according to diverse, and many times arrogant and selfish, passions.

An additional severe hurdle in the nature of man making God into his image is in fact the blasphemous tendency of humanity to even deify themselves, presuming utter independence from God, the makers of their own destiny and fulfillment, and the final arbiter of truth. In this regard, when man places himself at the level of God, he annhilates faith since he considers himself to be the aribter of truth. Similarly, he anihilates repentance since he seats himself as God, thereby making himself the arbiter of morals, like truth. Finally, since man is replacing God, or seating himself above God, God is no longer the end of his existence, and so he seeks to fulfill himself with what is left from God: humanity itself and the creation, not the Creator, or again, like our anti-marital lie, materialism.

Consequently, we have shown that the false prophet, the mark of the beast, and its number, all image the lies of the fall, the principles of al evil, Furthermore, we have seen that communism and relativism are veiled in this symbolism idealistically, seeing as communism and relativism fully partake of the fall. Thank you for journeying throgh this theology. Possibly in another discussion, we can explore if Scripture implies a process of building towards these secular culminations from poled forms of heresy, or extremes in heretical Christianity.

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