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Subject: The 3 major obstacles to the Logos Kingdom come on earth.
Part V: The Marriage Feast of the Lamb & a spiritual "Armageddon" of sorts
(Tues., August 23, 2011)
(approx. 6575 words, 12 pp.)
"We are not ignorant of Satanís devices" Part V
On "seeing" the Truth and thinking Rationally about it
On setting up the Kingdom, step-by-step: Only 3 major obstacles remain,
"legal positivism," closed-minded Epicureanism, and "higher criticism"
"Thy (Logos) Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Today, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb and a spiritual Armageddon of sorts...
"the Marriage Feast of the Lamb"
Revelation says "the Marriage Feast (or Supper) of the Lamb" takes place in heaven not on earth before the famous battle of Armageddon, after which Satan is bound to "deceive the nations no more." Presumably that would be with false political ideologies. And the final beast Leviathan state is secular having turned on the whore of Babylon (false religion and/ or false Christianity), and it is totalitarian controlling or trying to control everything we think, say, buy or sell etc. and is itself "God," that is, with no real "higher moral law" over it. Today I want to consider the spiritual realities of these things more than their possible particular manifestations on earth, which is what is usually done of course.
Letís say there is an actual "Marriage Feast of the Lamb" which occurs.
Letís say there is an actual "Marriage Feast of the Lamb" which occurs. If it takes place in heaven not on earth we will not "see" it with our physical eyes, clearly. And similarly if Satan is literally bound for 1000 years to "deceive the nations no more," we will not "see" that with our physical eyes either. Right?
And if Satan and company are defeated in the battle of Armageddon that is a spiritual victory, primarily, though it may entail a physical warfare, as we normally think of that, but the end result is a spiritual reality where "the kingdoms of this earth become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ," as the spiritual condition of the nations, and it is not primarily, or presumably at all, Jesus physically sitting on a throne with a glorified body in Jerusalem for 1000 years with a rod of iron and knocking people over the head with it. Please.
What stands between us and "the Kingdom come on earth"?
Still the question remains: What stands between us and "the kingdoms of this earth have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ"? Primarily 3 things if you think about it. "Legal positivism" in law and government, Epicureanism (as supposedly True, Right and Good) in education, and "higher criticism" of one form or another in the Church denying the literal truth of the Bible.
These 3 things represent spiritual realities and real false teaching, but you cannot physically "see" them. You can see an Epicurean but not Epicureanism, a higher critic but not higher criticism, and a legal positivist but not legal positivism. What does this mean? You are not going to see the defeat of Epicureanism, higher criticism and legal positivism with you physical eyes anymore than you can their realities. And the people who hold to these irrational, not true and not good views are actually taken captive by them, and they cannot "see" the ridiculousness of their ways, and they tend to be only able to think in terms of them, tragically but true.
And as with people more generally some humanists (whether "legal positivist," Epicurean or "higher critic") are beyond hope presumably but some perhaps many or even most are not, but that is something of another subject. What we are interested in here is the spiritual and falsehood realities of "legal positivism," Epicureanism, and "higher criticism," demons or no demons, so to speak.
For the Christian the faith and truth are a matter of Rational argument
For the Christian the faith and truth generally are all a matter of Rational argument, and if you cannot reason with someone then they are beyond hope. For "Legal positivism," Epicureanism, and "higher criticism" Rational argument is not part of their game, in reality, indeed just the opposite. You speak or think in their terms or else! And this is clearly not a matter of winning hearts and minds, as the expression goes.
In the old Soviet Union you got your mind right or they would torture you or imprison you or brainwash you in order to re-program your thinking! In the Spanish Inquisition you either professed the Roman Catholic Church as "the one true Church," etc. or death! A new evangelism technique? No, it is the one Satanís people always use. Burn incense to Caesar or die. As numerous social commentators have pointed out, the most intolerant people in America today are the preachers of tolerance as the only absolute. Isnít this interesting?
People who get caught up in a false ideology lose their ability to think Rationally, and further, they are often doing the exact opposite of what the ideology is supposedly advocating! For example, egalitarianism which almost always tries to sell itself in terms of "justice" makes for the most un-Just of societies, just as the preachers of tolerance are the most intolerant of people, but they cannot "see" that, or the atheist who supposedly only believes in science and Reason is actually being un-Reasonable, but he cannot "see" that but everybody else can.
The Christian faith proceeds by Rationality, patiently, with all long-suffering
As Paul says the Christian faith proceeds by Rationality, patiently, with all long-suffering explaining things and ultimately the Gospel itself to people, and not threatening people, though the Christian does warn people of the coming righteous Judgment of God which will be the consummation of the Millennial Age. However, threatening people, as such, is what the forces of darkness and deception tend to do. Rather for the Christian it is all about covenant and "I do" to it.
Rather for the Christian it is all about covenant and "I do."
And when one decides to say "yes, I do," to Godís covenant offer of salvation, pray the sinnerís prayer, etc. you are participating spiritually in a marriage type covenant ceremony of sorts with the Lamb. "The Marriage Feast of the Lamb," as such, is the corporate celebration in the realm of the spirit by those who have individually said "I do" to the covenant spiritual "marriage" offer with Christ. In reality, it is only an Evangelical Christianity of the last few centuries that has fully developed the theology of all of this as a working out of the implications of Covenant Theology, as such, and developed it as a spiritual reality, as such..
The whole point of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is not simply restoration of man from Adamís fall and hence regeneration in Christ but a story of Covenant initially with Abraham to be the father of 1.) many just and righteous nations (in government and law), and 2.) justification by faith (in religion), and ultimately this latter is faith in the work of Christ and entering into the "I do" marriage Covenant, as it were, with him for the totality of the Church, that is the corporate Body of those who are individually justified by faith.
Revelation primarily gives the fulfillment of the political promises mostly for us as "kings" while the New Testament more generally primarily gives the fulfillment of all believers as "priests." But the fulfillment of the Church, as such, in history is represented by an "I do" Marriage Supper of the Lamb Christianity as the fulfillment of the Church in history for the Kingdom Era on earth, as a final 8th stage of Christianity on earth following the 7 earlier historical eras of the opening 7 letters to the 7 churches: First was the lost-first-love Church, then the faithful, persecuted Church, then the compromising Church, then the corrupt Church, then the dead Church with some great saints still in it, then the faithful, persevering Church, and finally the last Church of the Church Age, the poor, blind, naked, lukewarm church where Christ stands outside knocking to get in. And so the Church Age ends.
Letís cut to the bottom-line here.
Letís cut to the bottom-line here. "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ" is the Logos-based government of the nations and the counterpart to that for the Church (not government) in the Kingdom Era in the realm of spiritual reality is "the Marriage Feast of the Lamb," which presumably also lasts 1000 years, big celebration no doubt, given by the Author of all Good things, the Father of the Bride (and Groom), as it were.
But no sooner than we get the Bride of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb than Christ the Lamb and Bridegroom now comes back as the Commanding General Lion with the Church, the Bride, now as Soldiers in the Lordís army (forget that Lamb and Bride and Church celebration stuff) against the forces of spiritual evil, darkness, and deception in the final defeat of these demonic forces, which ushers in a 1000 year Kingdom Era for the nations and the Church. Simple enough, everybody good with this?
Must there be a physical battle of Armageddon?
It is entirely possible of course that there could be an actual physical battle of Armageddon with the nation of Israel especially given the deep hatred of that land and people by Arabs and Muslims generally. Why? When and if the Muslims can attack and destroy Israel, or at least if they think they can, presumably they will, or will try. Why?
But most wars as well as crimes require a motive and the Islamic hatred of Jews is certainly such a motivation, and few if any other people have such a motivation. So, a physical battle could happen quite literally no doubt, and if does, it does, and it would perhaps cause Islam to be discredited in history every bit as much as the Nazis, but that day is not here now, and it may not be here for some time to come, if at all. But it definitely all sounds literal in the Bible, no doubt.
Regardless, in the realm of the spirit, the larger battle and victory is in true religion in spirit and truth prevailing (in essence, in actuality, Spirit and Truth), and for the nations good and righteous government prevailing under the "higher moral law," as it were, Rational, practical, and moral, etc. Both of these things manifest themselves right here on earth in the Church and in nation states, of course, but the "victories" are in actuality often in the realm of the unseen spirit.
I have become convinced that the key to these two victories in religion and good government for the nations is to take lessons from the Church in its early centuries in its triumph in the realm of the spirit over the forces of evil, hedonism, darkness, deception, and even tyranny of those days. So, we will continue with our 3 major obstacles to the Kingdom come on earth in false law, government, education, and religion, which are mostly obstacles in the realm of the spirit and intellect than with people as such.
Liberalism is postmodern, same song second verse to Ancient Gnosticism
Liberalism is actually postmodern or irrational, and in its irrationality and amorality, it becomes the same song second verse to Ancient Gnosticism. Why is Liberalism actually postmodern or irrational? As we saw last time, love may be "the only absolute," but one cannot get that out of the Bible text without changing the plain meaning of the text, which also involves the reality of moral truth and the perfect Righteousness of God. One must assume this is why Satan had competing Gnostic texts for the early Church, that is, so the Gnostics could be amoral and be true to a supposedly valid text.
It is flatly ridiculous even absurd to hold the Bible in either the Old or New Testament to be amoral in religion, government, sexuality or otherwise, hence, Liberalismís "love only" is a clear case not of "do it" as the Bible Christian, or "donít do it" as the atheist, but of "re-doing it" as "higher criticism" generally. In the end this simply means that Liberalism is just one form of "higher criticism" and usually specifically one form of postmodern "higher criticism" in particular, since it is irrational to so read the text to mean something other than what it plainly says.
All a big deal about nothing?
There is a tendency to say isnít this all a big deal about nothing? And the answer is "no," spiritually speaking. Why? After Justin the Early Church Fathers (Origen probably most famously realized) what is at stake, spiritually speaking, with correct doctrine on the essentials of the Christian faith and a right understanding of God. Unfortunately the Early Church Fathers began to disagree on non-essentials and make "heretics" out of people who really did not deserve it, in my opinion. Having said this, this topic is in its essentials of utmost importance because in a real sense everything rides on it spiritually speaking.
There are at least 3 or 4 major ways to get essentially off track with oneís Christianity and have even a false Christianity or even demonic spirituality without realizing it, and we will look here at a number of them. One way is spoken of by James, which is a mere intellectual assent or a dead faith without works. We today do not have that as a general problem because more often than not the general culture rejects the basic truths of the Christian cosmology, in order for someone to be prone to hold to them without a true heart surrender of oneís self to God.
The atheist is not having false spiritual experiences, as such
Obviously the atheist is not having false, let alone possibly demonic spiritual experiences, because the whole point of his position is that he himself claims to be having no spiritual experiences at all! He is in darkness he says to the reality of a spiritual component to life as well as to the reality of the mental or mind and the reality of real abstract truth as we have seen at length to start this series. (I knew where this was going.)
Indeed Paul is charged by Jesus himself to open the "eyes" of the Gentiles and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. And at one point Paul says Satan even blinds some Gentiles to the truth and reality of God and the Gospel, and that is because some people have rejected God in the Natural Revelation, and God has given them over to a reprobate mind and even reprobate affections, and such people have a seared (natural) conscience and tend to be beyond hope for being convicted of any sin at all and to be in need of salvation. Still, the point for us here is the atheist is not really having "false religious experiences" specifically, as we would normally think of the term.
Another way to have false religious experiences is to worship another "God"
Another way to have false religious ideas and even experiences and presumably outright demonic ones is to worship and experience another God besides Jehovah. This tends to be the big one? If one is worshipping Baal or Zeus or Diana, etc. and especially any non-monotheistic god, one would clearly seem to be worshipping and "experiencing" an actual demon. Why? If you say you are, I guess you are. The expression is, "Speak of the Devil, and he will appear." Will he? Maybe, but presumably one can summon any demon, by name, and you will get that demon or one sent to fill in for him!
Again, if you summon a demon and he appears or you think you are experiencing it, you either are indeed, or you have an overly active imagination! Either could be true presumably. I think Paul tends to the former interpretation, and the atheist, of course, always goes with the latter interpretation.
The crucial point here is if you are worshipping any false God besides Jehovah, Biblically defined, you may or may not be having demonic spiritual experiences, but you are under a general misunderstanding that you are experiencing the true God of the Bible. (2 John 9) Why? Because you are not spiritually "summoning" that "God" but another in the realm of the spirit.
Think about it, one does not summon Baal and get Jehovah, not complicated, but there is a serious area of complication here for Christianity. What if you think you are spiritually experiencing the God or Jesus of the Bible and it is actually a demonís presence, you are experiencing? Can this be? Yes! If you essentially re-define "God" or "Jesus" and then "summon" in worship that spirit being, you are not going to get the real God or real Jesus but the new spirit being "God" or "Jesus" you have created, or you will get nothing at all just a flesh experience of the imagination.
Paul speaks of Satan disguising himself as an angel of light
Paul speaks of Satan disguising himself as an angel of light, this is clearly of false good or false love, but you think you have the real thing. Similarly the Laodicean church thinks it is "seeing" accurately in the realm of the spirit, but it is blind Jesus says, that is, in the realm of the spirit and concerning what they "see" and experience in their hearts. They need some salve for their eyes, Jesus says! (And that is, of course, spiritual "eyes" of their hearts.)
And Jesus says of what appears clearly to be the end-time apostate Liberal Church that they think he is there in their midst spiritually, but he is really standing outside and knocking to get in! The Laodicean church seems to me to be more in self-deception than demonic deception! But this is not completely clear because if you think you are having real experiences of "another Jesus" presumably you are?
Still, this can get complicated and outright demonic fairly easily I think, since Paul says some worship and experience outright "another Jesus" and have "another Gospel." Clearly this is a re-defined Jesus such as todayís Christian Liberalism and as ancient Gnosticism. This gets so bad and so outrageous that Harry Emerson Fosdick the quintessential early 20th century Christian Liberal (who actually says ancient manís words mean other than what they say) simple says he rejects the Bible Gospel Atonement and Resurrection outright as the central point of his Liberalism, but he is still having very real spiritual experiences of "Jesus" but not the Jesus of the Bible but the supposedly unknown (actually ironically mythical) "Jesus" of unknown history, the so-called "historical Jesus" who is the supposed non-supernatural figure of history which the "higher critic" has been searching for from the very beginning. What a mess?
The problem here is if the Jesus of the Bible is actually the Jesus of history
The problem here is if the Jesus of the Bible is actually the Jesus of history (that is, the so-called "historical Jesus"), then the supposed non-supernatural and unknown "Jesus" of the "higher critic" is actually a false Jesus who never lived! The "higher critic" generally as well as the modern Liberal and ancient Gnostic are clearly worshipping and spiritually experiencing "another Jesus" by their very own words, no less, in other words, a clear demon by virtually any Bible interpretation?
Obviously, not a good situation, any way you slice it, dice it, or chop it, so BIG problem for the Church today. So it would appear that the major mainline seminaries with their "higher criticism" and Liberalism are actually teaching so-called "doctrines of demons" in the truth content of their essentially false teachings, and the major mainline seminaries are spiritual strongholds of actual demons as much as any Hindu temple, indeed probably more so in their deception, at least to the degree the Liberals and "higher critics" are claiming they are having spiritual experiences of their "Jesus," which they almost inevitably claim, whether they really are or not, in order to keep up an appearance of real spirituality, the purpose of any seminary presumably along with essentially correct teachings, which they do not have either. (Obviously it is needless to say this writer has Satan squarely in his cross hairs and is pulling the trigger.)
To be extremely clear I am not saying anyone who is doing "higher criticism"
To be extremely clear I am not saying anyone who is wasting their time doing "higher criticism" necessarily has a "demon," though clearly "higher criticism" tends to be of the devil since the whole thing is driven by the idea that the Bible text is not true in its historical and theological essentials. But if one says of oneís self that one is having real spiritual experiences of a "Jesus" who did not die an atoning death for us and rise bodily from the grave, then presumably that "other Jesus" is every bit as much a demon as having real spiritual experiences of Baal.
What are we to pray? Ask Jesus?
It is not clear from Scripture that we can or even should "order" demons to the pit "in the name of Jesus," especially in the Church Age, this is debated by serious Christians, but what is not debated is that Jesus told us to ask the Father to deliver us from the Evil One in Lordís Prayer and that this is generally provisionally in the Church Age and ultimately completely in the Kingdom Age, it is usually held, but the Church generally does not pray for this deliverance outside of the Lordís prayer anymore than it prays for "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it in heaven" outside the Lordís Prayer.
Neither "Kingdom" nor such "Deliverance" get much, if any, prayer time in my observation, just as Polycarpís prayer for "all men (or people) everywhere and the churches throughout the Empire (or world)" gets little prayer time in most churches, and some churches actively oppose such prayer for the Kingdom to come or for us to be delivered from the Evil One (although Jesus clearly commands both sorts of prayers, I would say) and some churches even oppose prayers for all people or for all churches because they are not for a specific person or group of persons or for a specific church.
It has never been clear to me personally that opposition to praying for these 4 things is Biblical to say the least, but I hardly see such views in opposing such prayers to be "demonic," certainly confused in my personal opinion but hardly demonic let alone necessarily or presumably demonic. By contrast, real spiritual communication and contact with a spirit being that you yourself call "another Jesus" who did not for our sins and rise again is presumably demonic; what else could it be, if not a demon or your imagination? True worship in spirit and truth seems to provide a protection from the demonic in itself (Ephesians 4:27), and false worship in spirit and truth (in essentials) seems to be an invitation to the demonic in itself.
Ultimate Deliverance in the unseen realm of the spirit...
The ultimate deliverance of the planet from the demonic is in the sovereign story of God, but almost by definition one cannot go from a Church Age into a Kingdom Era unless and until we are delivered from false religions, which are ultimately of the demonic, presumably, and the Bible seems clearly to so teach, and it would seem to be so by virtual definition.
And, so, the Great Apostasy on the essentials of the Faith as well as a distortion of the very nature of God in His essentials are presumably of the Devil as well, and it is not just some guy or gal not thinking clearly about stuff! Still, anybody is capable of not thinking straight about all kinds of stuff all the time. We can do quite well with that without the Devil! (Calvin is quite right about that, if not about un-regenerate manís inability to think straight about virtual anything!)
This is why Origen comes up with the notions of essential truths to the Christian faith that one must hold to in order to worship or experience God in the realm of the spirit. With time ultimately the Apostleís creed will be doing the same thing. It would seem to me that no minister should be ordained into a Christian faith group without believing and being able to teach a clear Bible message on the essentials of the faith.
Bottom-line? Presumably 99% of people not negatively influenced or so taught can and do "see" many things by Natural Revelation, unless we lose those common sense natural "lights" by rejecting or re-defining God in our hearts; then what we can "see" as supposedly true (even self-evident) can get pretty far out in law and education and in Christianity, as such, as we have seen in this essay series. In fact the Liberalís "higher criticism" is a systematic irrational distortion of the faith, caused by both radically re-defining God and an inability to see the Rationality of a supernatural, all Righteous and Loving God, if the Bible story is basically or essentially true in its theological and historical accounts, especially concerning what I hold to be the big 3, namely, Genesis 1:1, Sinai, and the bodily Resurrection. (Get those 3 things down and all the rest will fall into place fairly easily?)
But the point of Revelationís 7 letters and the 8th Marriage Feast of the Lamb mode of Christianity is there is an actual history to all of this. The Father is the ultimate Playwright!
The traditions of men and the unique situation of Roman Catholicism
(and presumably Greek Orthodox, with its icons and no clear 3 Rís teachings)
Just as there are many wonderful personal believers in the pews in the largely apostate mainline Protestant denominations, so too, presumably, there are in the Roman Catholic Church as well, but this does not in itself make traditional Roman Catholic teaching Biblically sound nor Vatican II, which I see to be one of the most important events in the history of mankind on earth, no less.
Clearly the historical Roman Catholic Church has substituted the traditions of men, if not demons, for the truth of God, and everyone is on the same page with this. Again as with Liberalism even atheists are generally able to see this. The question is does the Vatican they have the right or Apostolic right to do this substitution? They say "yes," everyone else says "no."
In a sense Vatican II was something of a game-changer, insufficiently so...
But with Vatican II this supposed "right to substitute" becomes something of a moot point because Roman Catholicism goes specifically ecumenical to all religions something the Polish Pope was clearly not comfortable with, and something the current German one, Mr. Orthodox himself, is in my humble opinion oblivious to.
In any case the reason why a radical Vatican II type change is presumably hard to happen is because one generally advances in virtually any organization (but certainly Roman Catholicism) by virtue of a strong commitment to maintain traditions and not fix them if they are faulty. For Vatican II to happen it took a unique Pope and a lot of long-time pressure building up from leading Roman Catholics themselves from within the Roman Catholic Church.
Though the Roman Catholic Church today in America has a sizable minority of people who self-describe themselves as "Evangelical," 18% I saw in one poll, at the same time there is a sizable number of Catholics (presumably majority from reading Catholic literature) falling away from even historical Catholicism in the other direction of hedonism and Liberalism.
Christian religion bottom-line in all history...
Todayís Roman Catholicism seems to be in a remarkably similar situation to the mainline Protestant churches we have already looked at, at length. Presumably as the mainline Protestant churches purify themselves of (love-only) Liberalism, hedonism and "higher criticism" on the essentials, this will carry with it a growth in Evangelicals within Roman Catholicism and when a critical mass is reached (within Roman Catholicism) it will eventually lead to an outright Evangelical Vatican III, but I would not hold my breath on this one, and presumably if no change is forthcoming in both groups (that is, mainline Protestants as well as Roman Catholics) they could fall under a potential cataclysmic Judgment of God along with the fallen hedonistic world? In fact the Bible seems to so state pretty clearly.
But, regardless, at this point neither historical Roman Catholicism nor Vatican II Roman Catholicism (as well as Protestant Liberalism, of course) are a Bible Christianity nor are they claiming to be, nor seeking to be, and so long as this is the case it would seem impossible for "the Kingdom to come on earth" since "the Kingdom come" is essentially 1.) a one world religion of Bible Christianity and 2.) Logos-based law and government. In fact, in my opinion, there is no more or less to a Kingdom Era than those two things.
Vatican II as "too little, too late"?
Clearly Vatican II brought the Roman Catholic Church out of the wilderness of Trent (no small accomplishment), but Roman Catholicism is still in the wilderness of the faulty traditions of men. Many fine young men no doubt go into the Roman Catholic priesthood (just as they go to Liberal Protestant seminaries), but virtually the entire point of New Testament Christianity is the "priesthood of the believers," and direct access and experience of God.
Christ is our High Priest, not figuratively, but literally in the realm of the spirit as well as being part of the Godhead. How can this be? As I understand it, it is the atoning work on the cross that allows this somewhat paradoxical reality, along with our regeneration in Christ, and it is in the indwelling holy Spirit which gives the Abba Father relationship that only Christians have. These are from years past our old 3 Rís of rebirth or regeneration, reconciliation or state of salvation, and receiving Christ or, that is, relationship or indwelling holy Spirit, etc.
What does this have to do with Roman Catholicism as such?
What does this have to do with Roman Catholicism as such besides a faulty notion of human priesthood? Everything of course. I once had a Roman Catholic priest explain to me (correctly I think) how the veneration of Mary, for example, came about as well as the praying to her with most of the faulty Mariology as well as faulty veneration of the saints.
He said in the Middle Ages between antiquity and modernity, Jesus was thought to be distant and unapproachable. And Mary was like having a friend at court with direct access to the King, which one would not have otherwise. We have easy access to sweet and gentle Mary, and she has easy access to God. On the surface this sounds so nice, but in reality it is one confusion on top of another. As many have pointed out one cannot pray to a finite person who is only in one place at one time. And, further, we are not supposed to be contacting the departed, regardless.
Further, again, virtually the whole point of the faith is "what a friend we have in Jesus" or, that is, direct spiritual access to God though our High Priest, Christ, and by receiving Christ into our lives we enter into a state of salvation or so-called "rest," etc., and we get a new heart or regeneration (or re-birth) to God as a crucial sign of the New Covenant says Jeremiah, and so we are now spiritually alive in Christ and not spiritually dead in Adam. Again, our good old 3 Rís, and none of this is part of Roman Catholic traditions, bless their hearts.
The 3 Rís just got lost in the shuffle of history...
The 3 Rís just got lost in the shuffle of history, and when Luther and the boys pointed this out some years ago now, it did not go over too well you might say! And then Trent denounces the Reformation and these clear Bible teachings, and then Vatican II denounces Trentís denunciation. This is progress, I would say, and now all Roman Catholicism needs is a 3 Rís Vatican III, disband, dissolve, re-structure, whatever the well-intentioned but misguided "priesthood," throw out faulty traditions, and this would re-unite Roman Catholicism with the non-Apostate Protestant churches, such as they are at this time, and this would form a spiritual force that cannot be stopped! The Marriage Feast of the Lamb is for anyone who wants to get in on it! But you have to be ready in advance, the Bible pretty clearly teaches in numerous places.
The fatherly "priests" or "fathers" would become ordained "ministers," "shepherds," "pastors," "teachers" or whatever I would suppose (who knows) in a 3 Rís true "Catholicism," which actually means "universal" of course. (The worldwide sex scandal was presumably the final nail in the coffin of the mandatory celibate priesthood thing, regardless? And when that goes that whole tradition will begin to fall apart, presumably?)
I would assume a Great Tribulation would accelerate this Kingdom transition process, as it would in moving us out of other areas of sin and error in the society more generally, but at this stage one must assume a Great Tribulation or Judgment will fall on all those outside a clear Bible faith, or at least Revelation clearly seems to so teach whether essentially false Christianity or outright sinners and unbelievers.
Too much for mere mortals to handle? But a Way out?
The situation with Roman Catholicism is not one of "legal positivism," Epicureanism, or "higher criticism," praise God, but it is one of "seeing," Rationally speaking, that the point of the Christian Faith is sticking with "the Book." However, if you have a Church which claims equal authority with Scripture, that is simply too much for us mere mortals to handle, and if you add (as Trent) that people only have access to God through your authority, this is so "of the flesh" that it is utterly ridiculous?
The person who is out of touch and unapproachable is not Jesus! It is the faulty office of the Pope which is, in effect, the out-of-touch and unapproachable Potentate, leaving any given individual conscientiously fulfilling a faulty role for a Church leader created in the Middle Ages. Why? Because it is a faulty model of Christ he is emulating because of faulty medieval Christian notions of Christ and Church leadership. Please. When the light bulbs come on, they come on, but until they come on, they do not come on.
Similarly, I do not have any doubt that Thomas Merton was (as Brother Lawrence or Thomas a Kempis) having true experiences of God, but Merton, bless his heart, did not figure out his particular experiences were tied to his personally having received Christ into his life, just as Evangelicals had been saying for 500 years!But Merton, following Vatican II, assumed not that he was having Evangelical experiences but rather the same spiritual experiences of mystics in other religions as diverse as the monks in Buddhism and the Sufis in Islam, with whom he was comparing mysticism notes, as it were.
Is this "great heresy"? I would say more than anything it is "great confusion"? I have much sympathy with Merton because I got caught up for some years in these sorts of confusions myself. Look at it this way. Tom, good buddy, you have direct access to God because of Christ, and these are the experiences you are having. The righteous Buddhists and Sufi mystics are flat shooting in the dark looking for true experiences of "God," and even if one concedes they hit something on occasion, it is definitely not on the order of personal relationship with God, the very point of Bible Christianity, and what the Protestants have been trying to tell the thickskulled Roman Catholics for 500 years now, and in reality much of this could be said of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The whole point of the Christian faith is not to get in touch with God or departed saints through an image or icon but in the realm of the spirit directly in oneís heart. Please! What does this mean?
It means all followers of Christ are moving toward the same place...
It means all true followers of Christ are moving toward the same place, namely, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in a Kingdom Era Christianity. The Father is one heck of a Playwright, one heck of a Playwright...
Huge bottom-line here for "Thy (Logos) Kingdom come on earth."
Huge bottom-line here for "Thy (Logos) Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The Kingdom of God is wherever the will of God is done, theologians correctly say, in my opinion. If the specific Kingdom Era on earth is Bible-based sin-and-salvation Christianity and Logos-based law and government, then the Protestant Churches, apostate and otherwise, as well as the Roman Catholic Church need to review everything they believe and do based on Rationality and the Bible, and this is just as the dysfunctional Leviathan entitlement Welfare State based on the utopian assumption that the state can and should do everything for everyone and its "legal positivistic" assumption that the state is "God," must be reviewed and restructured, indeed reconstructed, based on Rationality in terms of practicality and morality. And then we have done it in both religion and Christianity in particular as well as in government. The Kingdom has come! Piece of cake.
The Church Age had to end sometime?
This all means as the book of the book of Revelation tends to indicate, the Reformation (Bible) Church of Philadelphia (or a variation on it) is not so much the final model for Kingdom Era Christianity but the foundation for a Kingdom Era Justinian Logos-based Bible-based Marriage Feast of the Lamb Christianity, and America (or a variation on it) founded on "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God" is the Logos-based model, indeed foundation, for Kingdom Era law and government.
And in this way we are all "priests" in religion, and we are all "kings" (or "queens" implicitly) in government, and we have a participation in the throne of Christ or his Logos reign in truth, justice, peace, and righteousness, etc. for the state, and we are now his deeply loved betrothed (as it were) in religion as well as his brothers and sisters in our spiritual new natures, and joint heirs, etc., etc.
I am not having an epiphany here, folks. The American founders were virtually all believing Protestant "priests" and so understood themselves to be, and I think they saw America to be something of a new nation "Israel" based "the Laws of Nature and of Natureís God" with equal citizen legislature "kings" as much if not much more than a new "Roman Republic" as such, which would not be exactly the Kingdom Era come on earth, of course, but it was something of the same general idea for the nation of America as a model that actually took place in history.
So the question remains, how do we as a practical matter achieve the final victory
So the question remains, how do we as a practical matter achieve the final victory in the realm of the spirit over the truly irrational, undesirable, faulty theories of "legal positivism," closed-minded Epicureanism, and "higher criticism"? I think to answer that question one must ask or determine the process of how we got here, which we will do next time in the coming weeks so join us then to answer and resolve all of these questions once and for all...