I was looking for an introduction to two fairly difficult parts of scripture -- there is a reason there are a number of "extra" posts right now as interesting things are said which don't fit into anything that is on topic for the scripture of the day -- when this appeared in my email box.
Adam knows his Solzhenitsyn. Words and ideas that challenge the big lie of this time will have consequences. For either us, as the elite tries to crush us, or for the elite, as the truth comes out and there is reformation and revival. The truth came out in Russia. But it took the witness of the faithful to do it.
In the end it is the lies that feed our enemies and give them more power. Their nourishment comes from our belief in their lies. From our participation in their lies. From our dissemination of their lies. From our policing of their lies. Our enemies have attempted to make lies out of everything that we know to exist. We currently inhabit an upside down world, where women are men and men are women; where healthy is unhealthy and unhealthy is healthy; where the weather is controlled by man; where your public acceptance of all that is false determines your intrinsic goodness.
The pressure is immense for you to believe in the lies because the lies are so very important to them. The lies are all that they have. If the lies were to lose their power, if people were to stop extolling the lies, then the entire rotten edifice would collapse and people would awake as if from a dream.
When we run out of lies, we will have only the truth. But the lies that exist are there as messages of power. The people who want a revolution promote lies: those who want to maintain their hold on power do likewise. Kiwis have the correct attitude. We trust our used car salesmen more. I have seen the damage that rapid reformation can do, and I do not want to see the damage that a famous revolution brings. Solzhenitsyn knew this.
That revolution brings out instincts of primordial barbarism, the sinister forces of envy, greed, and hatred – this even its contemporaries could see all too well. They paid a terrible enough price for the mass psychosis of the day, when merely moderate behavior, or even the perception of such, already appeared to be a crime. But the twentieth century has done especially much to tarnish the romantic luster of revolution which still prevailed in the eighteenth century. As half-centuries and centuries have passed, people have learned from their own misfortunes that revolutions demolish the organic structures of society, disrupt the natural flow of life, destroy the best elements of the population and give free rein to the worst; that a revolution never brings prosperity to a nation, but benefits only a few shameless opportunists, while to the country as a whole it heralds countless deaths, widespread impoverishment, and, in the gravest cases, a long-lasting degeneration of the people.
When the lie has gone, you are left with truth. Not through a glass darkly, but plainly. There are many who have tried to make a new world, a new Jerusalem. They spill gallons of blood in the hope swords will be turned into plowshares -- either because there is no need for war or at the barrel of a gun.
But until the laws of man are again congruent with the laws of God, there will be violence and sin.
4 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2 and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
I found this version of the same hymn that was in the Sunday post. Because Advent, and because the next bit of scripture is important but hard. God is enraged at our sin and evil, and he wants vengeance. The wrath of God is kindled. When we are completely converged as a people of the lie, the end will come, for there will be no necessity to withold the return of Christ as those who will return to him will have done so.
And a world that deplatformed the church will find, to its horror, that it is now beyond its use-by date.
15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.
2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
4 Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
5 After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, 6 and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. 7 And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, 8 and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.
I don't like jumping down the rabbit hole of symbolism and allegory. Calvin, that hyperactive pastor and canon lawyer, never wrote a commentary on this book -- he may have run out of time or he may have had difficulty with it. I do.
But I don't have to understand what is a mystery. This is a better way of looking at it -- and here I'm quoting a fairly old fashioned (is there any other sort?) and faithful orthodox priest.
The Orthodox Church has never brushed aside the end times. In fact, what do we proclaim in the Creed: “He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose Kingdom shall have no end…. I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” There is a whole facet of Orthodox theology known specifically as “eschatology,” which means “the study of the last things.” Many of the Church Fathers have written about the end times. [We don’t know about this because we don’t bother to read what the Church Fathers wrote.] But the fact of the matter is, there is only so much we can say because there is not alot that Christ has revealed to us. He tells us He will come again, that He will judge all mankind, that He will be victorious once and for all over all evil, that those who have remained faithful to Him will indeed find spending eternity in His presence “paradise.” And that’s about it. No mention of Gorbachev, UFOs, the Soviet Union, tanks, or anything else. Now, while He does say that before He returns “nation will rise against nation,” one would hardly find a period in history in which nations weren’t rising against nations. There has always been war. There has always been killing and murder and deception and evil, ever since the sin of Adam and Eve. In fact, so long as Satan—the “father of lies and master of deceit,” to quote Christ—continues to deceive people, there will always be evil. When Christ comes again, the deception of Satan will be revealed fully, and any power that mankind may give Satan will be eternally destroyed. So, if it appears that Orthodoxy has not said much about the end times, it may be because we have read so little of what the Church Fathers write about this, or it may be because the Orthodox Church cannot reveal things that have not been revealed. The basic message of Christ is to live according to God’s will and that, if we do, we will have not worry for the future. This is a recurring theme in the words and teaching of Jesus Christ.
The Orthodox Church in America
What I do know is that fear is the currency that means that we agree to the lie of this age. Without fear, the lies would be laughed out of the common room, the pub, and the press room. We agree with them because we fear the opinion of man, or (far worse) we consider that the lie gives us an advantage.
But it is still a fearful thing to be held in the hand of an angry God. If you reject him, he will not accept you. If you hate him, over and over, deny him, over and over, and say you are proud to be a God hater, he will still attempt to reach you -- now.
But at some time your life will end and then you will face judgement. Better to change now. You may find that the vices you clung to were the things causing the most damage.
And this elite? Do not be anything like them.