“These are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who are nursing in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” Lk 21:22–28.
The Times of the Gentiles
The Euphrates River
In the Garden of Eden, the fourth river was the Euphrates Gen 2:14, the ancient boundary separating East from West Ezra 4:9–10; Neh 2:9 which runs through Mesopotamia to the east of Israel beyond the northern Arabian desert. Rabbi Yeshua told us that a drying-up of the Euphrates would be a sign of the last days: “The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east” Rev 16:12.
The traditional understanding has been that a drying-up of the Euphrates would be a sign that the end times were near. We are seeing some drying up of the Euphrates, but from man’s work, the building of dams upstream, not God’s work.
Jews Persecute Christians
And on that day a great persecution arose against the Church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. But Saul laid waste the Church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Acts 8:1-3.
The persecution was so severe that the young Church was unable to evangelize among Jews, so Peter and the other Apostles began to evangelize Gentiles. The Jewish persecution against the young Christians continued until AD 63, when Roman procurators took control of Israel, and persecuted both Jews and Christians.
For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled Lk 21:23–24.
The “times of the Gentiles” were the times that the Church had to evangelize Gentiles because no Jews were available to evangelize. Rabbi Yeshua foretold that “Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles,” that is, under Gentile control, until the Church would start to see Jews come again in great numbers. The sign that “the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” Lk 21:24 would be when Jerusalem would again be entirely under Jewish control.
Toward the Fulfillment
Israel had refused to witness to God’s Mashiakh under the eternal election Lk 19:44, so the Gentiles took it up. Rabbi Paul addressed them, “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ” Eph 2:12–13.
During the Church’s first three centuries, while ten Roman emperors persecuted her without mercy, the Church’s population became almost entirely Gentile. This began the time of the Gentiles, when they took up Israel’s responsibility to witness under the eternal election, and it has continued until our own time. But the Church has always understood that she is Jewish in her heart and that one day, after the full number of Gentiles had witnessed to Rabbi Yeshua, the Jews would return. We recall Rabbi Paul’s message to the Gentiles, “For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree” Rom 11:24.
During the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII, aided by Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty and his elaborate Vatican-based underground network, protected great numbers of Jews from Hitler’s Nazi party. Msgr. O’Flaherty is credited with personally saving several thousand Jewish lives.
Rabbi Pinchas Lapide, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and senior Israeli historian with access to the Israel’s Yad Vashem archives, wrote a book called Three Popes and the Jews, in which he estimated that the Vatican had saved about 860,000 Jewish lives, far, far more than all other Holocaust rescue operations combined.
And the Jews noticed that Rabbi Yeshua, as Isaiah had described him, looked a lot like a Holocaust victim. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” Is 53:3.
From 1945 to 1967 was a time of Jewish introspection. Very few Jews actually entered the Church.
But during Israel’s Six Day War, June 5-10, 1967, helped greatly by miracles like those of the Old Testament, Israel conquered the Jordanian soldiers who had been occupying the Temple Mount, so that all Jerusalem was once again in Israel’s hands!
Jews began once again, as many had during his lifetime to follow Rabbi Yeshua. The greatest number went into Messianic Judaism. The second greatest number went into the Catholic Church. But why would Rabbi Yeshua bring more Jews into Messianic Judaism, which had it start only 100 years earlier, rather than to the Church that Rabbi Yeshua himself had instituted?
Each Catholic baptism is entered in the registry, a book of records, kept in the parish where the baptism was done. All the usual necessary information is included. In my case, I had been Jewish, so that information was included in the registration. Wherever in the world we go, if we request a Catholic marriage, funeral, or other major transition, our parish will notify the original church in which our baptism was registered. However, there is no central registry. If we want to know, say, how many Jews were baptized into the Catholic Church last year, there is no easy way to find out.
Messianic Jews, however, are nearly all converted Jews. All anyone has to do is use the Internet to find all Messianic Jewish congregations and conduct a survey! The number of Messianic Jewish congregations has risen greatly since 1967 so we know a great number of Jews have come to Rabbi Yeshua since 1967. This time is called the Ingrafting Rom 11:24.
Fulfillment of the Gentiles
The Catechism of the Catholic Church § 674
The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by all Israel, for a hardening has come upon part of Israel in their unbelief toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.” St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?” The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles,” will enable the People of God to achieve the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, in which God may be all in all.
Rabbi Yeshua told the Jews in the Temple, “Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” Lk 21:24. Rabbi Paul referred to his prophecy, “A hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in” Rom 11:25.
The Six Day War
June 1, 1967: The Balance of Forces
At the beginning of June 1967 it looked to all the world as if the Arab nations would annihilate Israel, bringing back memories of Auschwitz. A great many Jews prayed to God to rescue them. He had given Biblical victories to Joshua, to the Judges and kings of Israel. Would he give them one more Biblical victory?
June 4, 1967: The Gathering Storm
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon were poised on the borders of Israel. Behind them were the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, and Sudan. Supporting them were the whole Arab world, and a world power, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In the south, Egypt had 80,000 soldiers with 550 tanks and 1,000 pieces of heavy artillery. On Israel’s eastern border Jordan had amassed 60,000 soldiers with 300 tanks, in addition to Iraqi forces which had entered Jordan. On Israel’s northern border, Syria had 50,000 soldiers. All this was backed up by a formidable Arab air force of some 600 Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi combat aircraft ready for action. These forces so greatly outnumbered the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that many Israelis feared a second Holocaust.
Egypt maintained a blockade of Israel’s southern port, Eilat. Israel hoped the United States would send a flotilla to break the blockade, but President Johnson refused, fearing that it might escalate into a war with USSR.
Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon surrounded a Jewish State so small that one could drive its entire north-south length from Mt. Hermon to the Red Sea in a few hours, or in the same few hours walk the nine miles across its narrowest point, from Netanya on the Mediterranean to Tulkarim in the West Bank. Israel’s military command knew the Arab forces, with 200,000 soldiers and 1,000 tanks were ready to attack at any moment. The Soviets had poured two billion dollars worth of arms into the Arab nations. Israel was outmanned and outgunned on each of its three fronts, Egypt in the south, Jordan in the east, Syria in the north. Overall, the Arab nations had twice as many soldiers, three times as many tanks, and four times as many airplanes compared with tiny Israel.
These Arab nations surrounding Israel had vowed to make the blue waters of the Mediterranean run red with Jewish blood. Waiting for a coordinated air strike on all three fronts would have meant Israel’s certain and complete annihilation.
June 5, 1967: Day One of the War
Early in the morning, 7:10 am, Israel launched a pre-emptive air strike on Egypt’s air force bases. All of the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) 250 jet fighters, except for only 12, took off, flying low to avoid radar detection and maintaining strict radio silence. They bombed and destroyed the runways of 11 Egyptian air force bases and their aircraft. In just four hours, Israel demolished two thirds of the entire Egyptian air force, the largest in the Arab world, giving Israel control of the air space over southern Israel, Egypt, and Sinai and freeing its air force for use in the north and east.
God‘s hand was visible. Although the IAF planes were flying very low and maintaining radio silence, a Jordanian radar facility detected an unusually large number of aircraft heading towards the Mediterranean sea. The Jordanian officer on duty immediately sent a message, Inab, the codeword for war, to Jordan’s military headquarters in Amman. The message was encoded and passed on to Egypt’s defense minister in Cairo. By a miracle, Egypt had changed its coding frequencies the day before, and had not notified the Jordanians. As a result, Egypt’s aircraft could not take off in time to attack the arriving IAF aircraft.
A second miracle occurred. Egypt had enough anti-aircraft ammunition to destroy all of the attacking IAF planes, but miraculously, no order was given for them to be launched! The IAF was able to annihilate six Egyptian airfields, two in Egypt and four in the Sinai desert, destroying about two-thirds of Egypt’s warplanes.
The IAF was able to destroy all the runways, warplanes, and anti-aircraft guns before a single one could be used, so the Israelis accomplished their mission with virtually no resistance!
If these two miracles had not occurred, all 250 of Israel’s planes and most of its pilots would likely have been lost and the Arabs would easily have been able to drive Israel into the sea!
Israel then told Jordan that if it would stay out of the war Israel would not retaliate, even though the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and other Jewish holy sites would have remained under Jordan’s control. Neither side knew that God planned this war to return full control of Jerusalem to Israel. God allowed Egypt to send Jordan false information claiming massive crippling attacks against Israel, so Jordan joined the war.
June 6, 1967: Day Two of the War
Israeli ground troops moved into the Sinai desert and engaged Egyptian forces positioned to attack Israel. Although Israel’s tanks were outnumbered three to one, Israel won the battle. Egypt’s forces retreated, leaving the Sinai in Israel’s hands. They re-opened the port at Sharm El Sheik on the southern tip of the Sinai, recovering access to the sea lanes Egypt had blocked only two weeks earlier.
Syria controlled the Golan Heights, sending mortar shells into Haifa’s oil refineries and nearby Jewish communities. Jordan, controlling the West Bank highlands, shelled civilian targets in the Jewish areas of Jerusalem all the way to Tel Aviv. The Israeli air force was stretched thin by the three-front war, with Egypt in the south, Jordan in the east, and Syria in the north. The IAF had been in nearly constant battle for 24 hours. Its pilots were tired, and its aircraft were low on fuel and ammunition. Egypt still had half its air force, and was still capable of mounting a ferocious counterattack against Israel.
There was another miracle. IDF ground troops moved toward the Sinai front. As they approached the massively fortified Kusseima outpost they heard massive explosions. When they arrived they saw that the Egyptians, for no visible reason, had destroyed their equipment and abandoned the base! As the day continued, the IDF saw Egyptians hastily abandoning many of their outposts, in some cases even leaving their supplies behind.
June 7, 1967: Day Three of the War
Now on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem, Israeli forces overlooked the Old City of Jerusalem. In 1948, when modern Israel began, Jordan had taken control of East Jerusalem including the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most holy site. Under Jordanian rule, Jews had been evicted from the city’s Jewish Quarter, synagogues were destroyed, and the Mount of Olives, Judaism’s oldest and most holy cemetery, was vandalized.
IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers had entered the holy city of Jerusalem without artillery support, risking their own lives to prevent damage to the holy sites.
The Arab strategy had traditionally been that whenever Israel’s forces looked as if they would be victorious the Arabs would call for a cease-fire and rally United Nations opinion to get it, preventing Israel from completing its victory.
But this time God intervened. Miraculously, at the last moment, Jordan’s King Hussein decided he was unwilling to comply with the cease-fire that he himself initiated! Of course it fell apart, allowing the IDF to finish annihilating Jordan’s military assets in Jerusalem, especially on the Temple Mount. Israel Defense Force paratroopers entered the holy city without artillery support, risking their lives to prevent damage to the holy sites. The battle lasted from the early morning to late afternoon, when the paratroopers sent a joyful message, Har Habayit Beyadenu! Har Habayit Beyadenu! “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” For the first time in 19 years Jews could pray at the Western Wall, and Jerusalem, the Holy City, was for the first time in 2,000 years entirely back in Jewish hands! The times of the Gentiles had been fulfilled Lk 21:24.
After capturing Jerusalem, the paratroopers moved south to defend the cities surrounding Jerusalem to the south, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Gush Ezion, which were captured by Israel with little if any resistance. The battle on the eastern front was now virtually over.
June 8, 1967: Day Four of the War
With the southern and eastern fronts secure, Israel turned to the north. But Day Four began with the most tragic accident of the war. Israeli planes attacked an American electronic surveillance ship in the Mediterranean sailing just offshore, the U.S.S. Liberty. The attack was stopped immediately when the mistake was realized, but by then 34 American sailors had been killed. Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol conveyed his profound condolences to the Americans.
The West Bank, the historical birthplace of the Jewish people, had maintained a Jewish presence for 3,000 years. In the Bible we know it as Judea and Samaria. In 1948, when Jordan’s forces had entered Hebron, a holy city in the West Bank, they banned Jews from living there and destroyed all of its 58 synagogues. But God intervened yet again. The IDF forces expected a hard battle to gain it, but when they entered Hebron, they found white sheets hanging from the windows, and an Arab population surrendering peacefully.
The war in the West Bank was over. Israel now had full control over the entire region.
June 9, 1967: Day Five of the War
To the north, Syria remained. On the Golan Heights, Syrian military forces had since 1948 looked down on Israel’s Galilee region. From 1948 to 1967 Syria had fired more than 1,000 rockets and shells on northern Israel’s cities, towns and communities. Syrian terrorists had regularly infiltrated into Israel to attack Israeli civilians, murdering more than 120 Israelis.
On that day God gave still another miracle. A small Israeli platoon had only 25 men left after suffering heavy casualties as they tried to climb the Golan heights. They didn’t know that they were riding right into one of Syria’s most heavily fortified positions. It had bunkers, trenches, an arsenal of antitank guns, machine guns, and 82 mm mortars, all behind a double row of wire. The Syrian captain ordered his men not to fire until the Israelis reached the wire. However, somehow, they didn’t fire until the Israelis were already inside and the Syrians had taken heavy casualties.
Syria continued firing on Israelis even while Israeli soldiers moved onto the slopes of the Golan Heights. Syria, determined to hold the Golan, had an army of 75,000 troops. The troops and ammunition were entrenched in bunkers too deep to be hit by air attacks. However, remarkably, after seven hours of intense battle, Israel took control of all the roads and access points. At nightfall the battle for the Golan continued.
June 10, 1967: Day Six of the War
In the morning the weary Israelis, determined to take the Golan so that Syria would never again be able to fire rockets into Israel, expected another day of ferocious fighting. However, once again God intervened. The Syrians, in a sudden panic, pulled out of the Golan and chaotically fled, leaving behind most of their weaponry.
By mid-day the last Syrian forces were gone, Israel was in firm control of the Golan, the war was over. A ceasefire was signed, and went into effect at 6:30 pm local time.
When the Dust Settled
Israel was recognized by all as the dominant military power in the Middle East. Israel also occupied the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, so it was no longer nine miles wide at its narrowest point with a long tortuous border that had been very hard to defend. Now Israel was 44 miles wide at its narrowest point, and its boundary with Jordan was relatively straight, making it much more defensible.
Fifty years after Fatima, in the Six Day War of June 5-10, 1967, God’s mighty hand gave Israel a stunning victory, as he had done so often in the days of the Old Testament. Israel gained control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip.
At that time a great change came over the Jewish people. In God’s immense providence the fulfillment of Rabbi Yeshua‘s prophecy brought the Holocaust to the forefront of American Jewish consciousness. Perhaps some of them remembered,
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all Is 53:3–6.
They compared him with the appearance of the Holocaust victims. Many remembered Rabbi Lapide’s conclusion that Pope Pius XII and his Vatican saved about 860,000 Jews. Some Jews began coming into the Catholic Church and Messianic Judaism. “Who can retell the things that befell us?” Mi Y’malel 3:31
Perhaps some of them reflected that the evidence warranted belief. Perhaps some thought, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Mt 19:26. Either way, as in Rabbi Yeshua’s time, many Jews followed!
Rabbi Yeshua had miraculously rescued Israel on the third day of the Six Day War in 1967. Rabbi Paul suggests that it will continue until all Israel completes its entry into the Church. “Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!” Rom 11:12. All Israel means the entire tribal family of Israel, a collective group representing all twelve tribes Rev 7:1–8. It does not mean every individual Israelite.
Apostasy of the Gentiles
Summary of the Apostasy
The war between Christ and Satan centers on the question: Will God or man be the organizing principle of your life and the source of all that you need?
Satan’s first temptation to man was, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5. That is, you will rely on your own resources and not ask God for help. Adam and Eve took the fruit Gen 3:6 and were banished from the Paradise of Eden Gen 3:24 This was the original sin. Without God’s help they could never have his paradise.
Rabbi Yeshua taught us that God built into his Creation from the beginning a principle: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” Jn 12:24–25. He showed it to us in the earth itself. Every autumn the leaves fall from the trees to the ground. During the winter the trees are bare and quiet, everything looks dead. But in the spring new leaves appear on the trees, the birds sing again, and life returns to nature.
Rabbi Yeshua volunteered to enter into our earthly life as true God and true man to redeem all who loved and followed him, that is, all who chose God as the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we needed. His redemption had to be Crucifixion. He had to die, be entombed for three days, and then he would rise from the tomb! In this way he would reverse Satan’s lie. We could return to paradise only by relying entirely on God. God would have to be the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we need. On the Cross, Jesus re-opened heaven Lk 23:43.
The Church Follows Her Lord in His Death and Resurrection
We’re living in an extraordinary era, often but unofficially called the Apostasy of the Gentiles. Remember the general principle built into the world. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” Jn 12:24.
The Catechism tells us:
§ 677. “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.”
St. John Paul II firmly believed that the twentieth century was the most sin-laden in the Church’s two thousand year history, but that the twenty-first would be the most grace-laden!
Judas and Francis
A Small Intensely Faithful Church
To start his Church, Rabbi Yeshua needed to have it very small but intensely faithful, so it would witness by its very presence. So Rabbi Yeshua told the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” Jn 6:53–54. The Jews knew he was speaking literally and thought this a “hard saying” Jn 6:60. “After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him” Jn 6:66. The shlikhim, and other intensely faithful followers, stayed with Rabbi Yeshua. Rabbi Kefa had no idea what Rabbi Yeshua was talking about, but if Rabbi Yeshua said it Rabbi Kefa believed it. He answered for the others, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” Jn 6:68–69.
After Rabbi Yeshua ascended to the Father, “… the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common” Acts 4:32. Had anyone seen true communal living based on love for God and one another before Rabbi Yeshua‘s time? “And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all” Acts 4:33.
Rabbi Yeshua‘s small but intensely faithful Church taught by being martyrs and living witnesses Acts 1:8. Every time the Romans marched a group of Christians to the Colosseum to be eaten by lions the Christians sang joyful hymns, proving to all who saw them that Rabbi Yeshua had truly conquered death.
“Allow me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ.”
Judas As a Necessary Part
Rabbi Yehuda Ish Krayot very likely was a necessary part of Rabbi Yeshua’s road to the Cross. If he had not been present, it may have been impossible to arrange for Rabbi Yeshua’s Crucifixion which redeemed the world! Rabbi Yeshua’s bet din was deeply corrupt. The chief priests were afraid to arrest Rabbi Yeshua during the Passover Mk 14:1–2.
Certainly Pilate did not want to crucify Rabbi Yeshua. His wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream” Mt 27:19. Pilate said twice, “I find no crime in him” Jn 19:4, 6 and “sought to release him” Jn 19:12. Very likely Rabbi Yeshua chose Rabbi Yehuda Ish Krayot for exactly that purpose. If the chief priests had been unable to arrest Rabbi Yeshua and bring him before Pilate, it seems unlikely Pilate would have authorized a group of soldiers to go out and find him.
We Catholics owe our allegiance first and foremost to Rabbi Yeshua, and to his truth that the papacy exists to preach, preserve and defend. That truth is the living bedrock of Western Civilization, and one of the last fortresses of the principle that moral truth stands forever.
Pope Francis‘ highest responsibility is to hand down the faith once for all delivered to the saints Jude 3, including the Sacraments, intact to the next generation, as the 265 popes who preceded him have done.
Pope Francis is solid on a number of Catholic issues, including the dignity of the human person and pro-life. However, he is impulsive, emotional, poetic, not a systematic thinker. Often, as in his Address to Congress 53:52, and his Why the only future worth building includes everyone 17:51, he merges Catholic teaching with his private opinions without drawing boundary lines.
The comments on Why the only future worth building includes everyone 17:51 confirm that Pope Francis is well liked because merging Catholic teaching with private opinions without boundary lines mean he is not teaching the Catholic faith, but what he wishes it were. Francis‘ mission, the Church‘s mission, is: “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” Acts 1:8. We witness to Rabbi Yeshua, who taught about the Holy Eucharist, Confession, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Capital Virtues and Sins, Sins That Cry Out to Heaven, the Particular Judgment, and so much more. If Francis had taught on these subjects according to the Magisterium the comments may have been different.
Many Catholics believe that Francis has been severely weakening the Church by promoting bishops who bring division. “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand” Mt 12:25.
Let us see how this works in two crucial areas: suffering and marriage.
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men’” Mt 16:21–23.
Six months after Pope Francis‘ election to the Chair of Peter in 2013, Father Antonio Spadaro asked him what the Church needs most in our time. Francis replied that he sees the Church in our time as a field hospital after battle, “to heal wounds and to warm hearts.” Francis exclaimed, “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds.”
Francis took Rabbi Kefa‘s part in the conversation, trying to avoid the Crucifixion, earning Rabbi Yeshua‘s severe rebuke, “‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men’” Mt 16:23.
Rabbi Yeshua kept his wounds in heaven Rev 5:6. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sang to Rabbi Yeshua, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed men for God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth” Rev 5:9–10.
Suffering is redemptive. The Jesuit saint and Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, told his fellow Jesuits, “Whatever we may think of sin; however casually we may take sin; however we may minimize the gravity of sin; sin must be something terrifying in the mind of God–because God became man.”
Francis, asked about marriage on one occasion, said,
“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”
The final confrontation between Rabbi Yeshua and Satan is visibly over marriage and the family Mt 19:9. If he is to hand down the faith, and thinks a majority of Catholic sacramental marriages are null, he needs to take up the spiritual war, put on the whole Armor of God, and call for a radical transformation in which every orthodox priest and Catholic social medium will teach the Sacrament of Matrimony to every Catholic audience.
Instead, Francis has concentrated on reducing the penalties for divorce and civil remarriage, penalties that in God ‘s design encourage lifelong marriage and orthodoxy Mt 16:23, and has tried to hide this crucial change 1 Cor 11:27–29 in the 351st footnote of an apostolic exhortation!
We Catholic Lay Faithful
So what are we faithful to do with all this? Same thing we’ve been doing all along, fighting to protect the Church. We haven’t received any “stand down” directive. Rabbi Yeshua’s plans are much deeper than we can ever understand. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave us our marching orders two thousand years ago at Cana, and they have never changed: “Do whatever he tells you” Jn 2:5.
Or, in Cardinal Burke’s words: “Those who love the truth and therefore the Church are called as ‘co-workers of the truth’ and living members of the Body of Christ … to do all within their power to defend the authority of Christ [and his] Church. There could be no place for silence or for an attitude of defeat.”
§ 677 “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.”
Beginning of the Apostasy
The Apostasy of the Gentiles begins with Rabbi Yeshua’s Parable of the Unjust Judge. “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Lk 18:8. It connects with Rabbi Yeshua’s prophecy that, “And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. Mt 24:10–12.
Rabbi Yeshua added, “But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come” Mt 24:13–14.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church § 675-677
The Church’s ultimate trial
§ 675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.
§ 676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. the Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the intrinsically perverse political form of a secular messianism.
§ 677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.
St. John Paul II’s Prophecy
In 1976, two years before he became St. John Paul II, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, then the Archbishop of Kraków in Poland, visited the United States on the occasion of the bicentennial anniversary of American Independence in 1976. His parting talk included this prophetic passage:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence; it is a trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church in particular, must take up.
It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but in a sense a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights, and the rights of nations.
We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. … How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.
The Polish Church in particular? Cardinal Wojtyla knew his Polish history, and Israel’s history. During the past thousand years Poland has been a predominantly Catholic land. In the time of the Crusades, Jews from all over Europe fled there. For the next eight centuries, when other European countries persecuted or expelled Jews from their lands, they fled to Poland, Israel-in-Exile, during that time the world‘s largest Jewish community and foremost center of Jewish learning and culture.
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head” Mt 8:20. Poland and Israel share with the Son of God that their survival rests on God, not on territory. Poland as a sovereign land had gone in and out of existence several times during the past thousand years. In 1795 Russia and Prussia partitioned it, erasing its national existence and submerging its language and culture for 123 years until 1918, the year after Fátima, when the Treaty of Versailles restored it. Then in 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union again took Poland out of existence, dividing it between them until 1945, staining its land with rivers of Polish and Jewish blood. Yet Poland, always deeply Catholic, by God’s grace survived as a faithful people, a land, and a culture. Israel’s national existence had been erased even longer, from 63 BC to AD 1948, yet God also preserved it as a faithful people, a land, and a culture.
There is another possible interpretation for St. John Paul II‘s reference to “the Polish Church in particular.” Europe has accepted millions of Muslims into its own countries. They are procreating so much faster than Europeans that within one or two generations Muslims will start outvoting Europeans in country after country. When they do, Italy and all the other countries will suddenly come under Shariah law, and all of Europe’s churches will be destroyed. Muslims for centuries have wanted to destroy the Vatican.
Poland has so far strenuously refused to take in a single Muslim. The country is still overwhelmingly Catholic. That may be where they will take as much of the Holy See as they can, St. Peter’s tomb, St. Paul’s tomb, the archives, the records of each dicastery, and the statues and art works. With Rabbi Yeshua’s promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Mt 16:18, there it would likely remain until the Second Coming.
The First Fulfillment
It did not take long for the Holy Father‘s prophecy to see its first fulfillment. An anti-communist Polish pope together with the anti-communist Ronald Reagan represented a grave threat to the USSR. Attempts were made to assassinate both. On March 13, 1981 John Hinkley Jr. shot and nearly killed President Reagan. On May 13, 1981, Mehmet Ali Ağca, a Bulgarian sharpshooter, shot and very nearly killed the Holy Father. God intervened. John Paul II and President Reagan survived, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) did not.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth” 2 Tim 3:1–7.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come” Mt 24:9–14.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you” Mt 5:10–12. Rabbi Yeshua spoke these words from a mountainside as the crown of his Beatitudes, the § 1716 “heart of Jesus’ preaching.” They were for all time, but especially for the Apostasy of the Gentiles. As Rabbi Yeshua‘s forces and Satan‘s forces move farther and farther apart, we will see the Christians pray for the conversion of Satan‘s forces Mt 5:44 while Satan‘s forces persecute and kill the Christians Jn 8:44.
Rabbi Yeshua emphasized that we, his followers, are of use to him only if we are faithful to his calling. “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men” Mt 5:13. We are to salt the earth with peace Mk 9:50 and gracious speech Col 4:6.
Rabbi Yeshua also emphasized, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” Mt 5:14–16.
Most of us on our own will fall short. But with Radical Transformation we can triumph.
Diabolical Forces in the Church
In recent years some churchmen have been caught up in the ancient serpent’s heresy. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5. They want to change the Church’s teaching to conform with changes in the world. They want the bishops of each country to decide their own teachings, even their own doctrines. For instance, some countries’ local churchmen say a divorced-and-remarried Catholic commits adultery while local churchmen in other countries say he doesn’t. The Catholic Church is not an amusement park with different rides in each area. Rabbi Yeshua told us clearly,
I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery Mt 19:9.
The situation has become so serious that Cardinal Robert Sarah warns, “Today there is a grave risk of the fragmentation of the Church, of breaking up the Mystical Body of Christ by insisting on the national identities of the Churches and thus on their capacity to decide for themselves, above all in the so-crucial domain of doctrine and morals.”
There is an old African saying, “When elephants fight the grass gets trampled.” We’re the grass. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was written for this moment in salvation history. Her teachings have their origins in Rabbi Yeshua himself, sailing across the centuries in the Barque of Peter.
Rabbi Yeshua, leading us toward sanctity in the New and Eternal Covenant, built his Church on Rabbi Kefa Mt 16:18, and planned since time immemorial for Peter in Rome. Her centuries-old motto is Roma locuta, causa finita est.
The Desolating Sacrilege
“And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if any one says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” Mt 24:22–28.
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” Lk 22:19.
“But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time …” Rev 12:14.
God‘s created woman ezer kenegdo, to protect men from their propensity to sin. Only healthy women can do that and the Blessed Virgin Mary protects us best of all. Damaged women leave us men open to Satan‘s depredations.
Sr. Lucia in the Cardinal Caffarra interview published by Rorate Caeli in 2008 prophesied, “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” Satan would disfigure marriage and the family to open us to Satan‘s depredations:
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error” Rom 1:26–27.
But it would not be only marriage and the family. The attack would also be much wider:
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them” Rom 1:28–32.
The Great Sign in Heaven
“And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another sign appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth” Rev 12:1–4.
The woman is both the Blessed Virgin Mary and also the remnant of Israel crying out for God‘s Mashiakh. The dragon is God‘s archenemy Satan Jn 8:44, whose horns are symbols of his strength Dan 7:7 and his diadems (crowns) symbols of his ruling power over the fallen earth Jn 12:31.
The third of the stars, from the war in heaven, were the fallen angels, one-third of all Rabbi Yeshua‘s angels, who had made war against him and been kicked out of heaven. The third of links the war in heaven prophecy with the third of mankind who will be killed in the Apostasy of the Gentiles. “So the four angels were released, who were prepared for this hour, day, month, and year to kill a third of the human race” Rev 9:15. “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulphur issuing from their mouths” Rev 9:18. Supporting passages include: “A third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” Rev 8:7. “A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed” Rev 8:9.
The early Christians believed that Antichrist would come as Rabbi Yeshua did, one man with his followers. “Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour” 1 Jn 2:18. However, the Catechism emphasizes the central teaching: § 675 “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.” Many devout Catholics believe that we are living today in the time of the final apostasy.
Satan’s first deception and final apostasy, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5, is already with us in the world. The Catechism continues, § 676 “The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.” We see it in the long twilight struggle between God and government as the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we need.
The last things are death, judgment, resurrection of the body, heaven, purgatory and hell. In Christ’s superbrilliant light, at the moment each soul passes into eternity, in the particular judgment it sees all the events of its earthly life with the blessings or trials each event has brought to others, to their most distant consequences, and instantly receives its particular judgment for heaven or hell. Rabbi Yeshua reveals only our own events because only the record of our own life is complete. The record of man is not yet complete.
In the last judgment at the end of time, the record of man will be complete. Each soul will see the events of every person’s life to their most distant consequences and the judgment he received. In short, we will see ourselves and one another as Rabbi Yeshua sees us.
The resurrection of all the dead, of both the just and the unjust, will precede the last judgment.
§ 1038 The resurrection of all the dead, of both the just and the unjust, will precede the Last Judgment. This will be the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. Then Christ will come in his glory, and all the angels with him. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
§ 1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The last judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life: All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know.
The Second Coming Foreseen
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” Lk 21:25–28.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” Mt 24:29–31.
The signs of the Second Coming:
A loud trumpet call?
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God” 1 Thes 4:16.
And they will gather his elect?
All creation will await the Second Coming because all will be eager to know whether Rabbi Yeshua will place them at his right or at his left Mt 25:31–34. For that time, Rabbi Yeshua gave Rabbi Yokhanan an extraordinary vision of a rider on a white horse.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to strike the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords” Rev 19:11–16.
The white horse suggests that Rabbi Yeshua will not appear in natural human form but in his glorified body under the appearance of the white unleavened bread of the Holy Eucharist. He will be leading the armies of heaven which will also be riding on white horses. Strengthened by the same Holy Eucharist, they will fight together with Rabbi Yeshua toward victory.
The Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart
Christ will restore to us our earthly bodies. The souls in heaven will receive their glorified bodies like the preternaturally glorified bodies of Adam and Woman in the state of original justice but supernaturally adapted for eternal life in heaven. Rabbi Paul explains: “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body” 1 Cor 15:42–44.”
“I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.”
The Judgment of the Nations
All the Nations Gathered
When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left Mt 25:31–33.
Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Mt 25:34–40.
Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life Mt 25:41–46.
Reflections on the Last Days
The Hour is Coming 1:07:24
Dies Irae 7:42