FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN – Part 15
The Thyatira Period of the Church Began in 538 A.D.:
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK:
‘The social question of to-day is only a zephyr which rustles the leaves, but will soon become a hurricane. It is a dull ear that cannot hear the mutterings of the coming storm.’ – Disraeli, Cosmopolitan Magazine, May 1909, p. 655.FF 31.
With record-breaking and unprecedented crisis after crisis hitting the current administration coming from multiple and multiplying directions both national and global—in so short a time–how will our beleaguered government leaders handle all these? How about the people, especially those looking up to human power, state and church, civil and religious?
All the great minds, specialists, and think tanks have, and will continue weighing in with their technologically-advanced superior analysis and laser-sharp expertise, proposing even more effective and precise innovative solutions, with the very best of intentions.
But most forget, or sadly hesitate to acknowledge—with all the indefatigable media (social or traditional) reporting (“fake” or real), and official messaging of comfort, exhortation, assurances, and promises coming from the government and leaders of the breakthrough technologies—that mankind is mortal, his wisdom finite, even with the rapidly-emerging exciting, and frightening as well, age of artificial intelligence (AI) and bots), and by nature, limited and constricted though unconstrained in what can be done to deal, much less eradicate these multi-faceted calamities that are but to increase in frequency, scope, and magnitude according to prophecy.
These are a certainty, not mere possibility; thus inescapable. These vulnerabilities and limitation are undeniably and graphically self-evident even as they are instantaneously documented by both the social media and the official news channels, alongside the vigorous exhortations and recognition for success and the exaltation of heroism and ebullience of the human spirit. To be truly honest and claim we deal in reality, we must see, acknowledge, and deal with both. Otherwise, one unnecessarily sets himself up for failure, disappointment, defeat, and hopelessness.
Lest we forget, and get used to it both by nature and nurture, only the Savior of mankind, JESUS CHRIST, the Alpha and Omega, the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent One, the Friend of the friendless, has absolutely all the answers, solutions, and heavenly unlimited provisions. To those still seeking the ancient and modern crystal balls for answers and forecasts—ancient and modern forms of Spiritualism, He has already revealed the past, present, and especially the future mankind is facing with certainty in the prophecies of the Bible, particualry in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, that in their pre-ordained appointed times, have all been fulfilled as prophesied. The few remaining unfulfilled ones will be fulfilled in like manner in our final generation. How exciting and sobering as well!
Have you noticed? It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man, Immanuel God in the flesh, not GOD the Father in heaven, whom mankind has been studiously, not really mysteriously when one understand the nature of the great controversy, leaving out in all our discourses, conversations, and problems. “God” can mean anyone else, including and Satan “the god of this world,” and “prince of this earth.” The first commandment thus warns mankind: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
Let us all pray for all our leaders (and ourselves) that all will “humble themselves, and pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways” (2 Chron. 7: 14), do Christ’s will, not theirs by yielding to moving and conviction of the Holy Spirit, whose days “are numbered” on earth. All true Christians—followers of Christ’s teachings and life example, must awake from spiritual stupor and become spiritually-active—not politically militant. Jesus answered Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18: 36.
Christians are all enlisted in the army with the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. They are definitely completely armed with far superior weapons than all the most advanced surgical-precious killing machines and devices of the armies of the this world. They are armed from head to foot, inside and out with “the whole armor of God” defined in detail in Ephesians 6: 10-18. Read it, dear friend, and you will clearly see on whose side you are in the conflicts and wars being waged in our fallen world!
Be assured ware not following “cunningly-devised fables” or conspiracy theories. Quoting Christ Cilizza, editor-at-large of CNN, “Conspiracy theories are not built on rational evidence. They are built on irrational fear.” The truths we have been sharing are all borne out of the love for “the truth as it is in Jesus” and for fellow sinners. We all need to be saved, eternally saved, that is.
Disraeli may not have been referring to these, but all these are part of the “mutterings of the coming storm.” From my Smart phone, Baltimore Sun 12 PM, Oct. 2: article headline: “After Las Vegas, don’t tell Americans Gun Control is off the table.’ “As awful as the Orlando shooting was, it’s not shocking that its record carnage was exceeded so soon. That’s just been the nature of mass killings in the U.S. Mother Jones magazine counted at least 62 mass shootings since 1982 through 2012. A 2014 FBI study found that so-called active shootings have become more than twice as common since 2000.”
We continue discussing the fourth of the seven stages of the development of the church in the Christian Era. History-wise, it is either referred to, rather euphemistically the Middle Ages, more accurately, the Dark Ages, 538-1798 A.D (1,260 years). This period is prophetically represented by the Thyatira church. Rev. 2: 18-29. All who claim to be Christians have a responsibility to know the true history of the Christian church from its founding after Pentecost.
“Trends that began in earlier periods became dominating in the Dark Ages. The Scriptures not being available to the ordinary Christian, tradition was exalted in their place. Works came to be considered a means of attaining salvation. A false and human priesthood obscured the true and divine priesthood of Jesus Christ. See Additional Note on Daniel 7.”
“The Reformation consisted essentially in a revival and restoration of the great truths of the gospel. It proclaimed that men are saved only by faith in Christ, that their only standard of faith and practice is Scripture, and that every man may appear on his own behalf before the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, without a human intercessor.”
The Year 538 A.D: “A Times, and Times, and Half a Time” (Facts of Faith, pp. 522-54):
“The little horn of Daniel 7: 8, 26 was to reign ‘for a time and times, and half a time,’ is also mentioned in Revelation 12: 14, and in the sixth verse it is said to be ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days.’ In prophecy a day always stands for a year [of 360 days]. (Eze. 4: 6; Num. 14: 34). This prophetic period is therefore 1260 literal years. We shall now show that these 1260 years began in 538 A.D., and invite the reader to the four changes that took place that year:
“1. We have already seen [discussed in detail in prior chapters of the book] that the little horn symbolized the Papacy, and that the three Arian kingdoms, which stood in its way, were plucked up by the roots, and that the last of these received its deathblow in 538 A.D. through the efforts of Justinian, the faithful son of the Church of Rome.
“2. History states that the work of Justin and Justinian in elevating the Papacy to power brought on a new era, introducing the Middle Ages [A.K.A. the Dark Ages].
‘Accordingly, the religious and political tendencies of the Empire now took so different a direction as to positively constitute the dawn of a new era . . . . Thus at last Rome has triumphed, after fighting so long with unflinching vigor and without yielding a single point.’ – ‘The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,’ P. Villari, Vol I, pp. 177, 178, quoted in FF 52.
‘The reign of Justinian is more remarkable as a portion of the history of mankind, than as a chapter in the annals of the Roman Empire or of the Greek nation. The changes of centuries pass in rapid succession before the eyes of one generation . . . With conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city may be considered as terminating; and with the defense against Witigis [king of the Ostrogoths, in 538 A.D.], commences the history of the Middle Ages.’ – ‘Greece Under the Romans,’ George Finlay, pp. 198, 240, Dent edition, revised by author, 1877, quoted in FF 53.
“3. Even the Papacy itself changed, so there was a new order of popes after 538 A.D. History relates:
“Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the martyrologies.
Vigillius (537-555) is the first of a series of popes who no longer bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred.
“From this time on the popes, more and more enveloped in worldly events, no longer belong to the church only; they are men of the state, and then rulers of the state.’- ‘Medieval Europe,’ Belmont and Monod (revised by George Burton Adams), p. 120. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1902.
“In the foregoing quotations the date of Vigillius should be 538 instead of 537 for the following reason:
‘Vigillius having been thus ordained in the year 537, . . . and the death of Silverius having been certainly not earlier than 20 June, A.D. 538, it is evident that for at least seven months his position was that of an unlawful anti-pope, his predecessor never having been canonically deposed.’- ‘Dictionary of Christian Biography’, Drs. Smith and Wace, Vol. IV, art. ‘Vigillius,’ p. 144. London: 1887. FF 53.
“For this reason A. Bower says:
‘From the death of Silverius the Roman Catholic writers date the Episcopacy of Vigillius, reckoning him thenceforth among the lawful popes.’ – ‘History of the Popes,’ Vol. II, p. 488, under the year ‘538.’ Dublin: 1751.
‘His [Silverius’] death happened on 20th June . . . 538.’—Id., p. 488.
“Dr. Philip Schaff says:
‘Vigillius, a pliant creature of Theodora, ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius (538-555).’- ‘History of the Chrstian Church,’ (7-vol. ed.), Vol. III, p. 327. New York: Scribner’s, 1893.See also ‘General History of the Catholic Church,’ M. l’Abbe J. E. Darras, Vol. II, pp. 146, 147 (New York: 1866), and ‘The Official Catholic Directory’ for 1933, ‘List of Roman Pontiffs,’ on page 7.’
“4. Dr. Summerbell gives still another reason why we should date the beginning of the papal supremacy from 538 A.D. He says:
‘Justinian . . . enriched himself with the property of all ‘heretics’— that is, non-Catholics, and gave all their churches to the Catholics; published edicts in 538 compelling all to join the Catholic Church in ninety days or leave the empire, and confiscated all their goods.’ – ‘History of the Christian Church,’ pp. 310, 311.Cincinatti: 1873. The same is stated by Samuel Chandler in ‘History of Persecution,’ pp. 142, 143; and by Edward Gibbons, in ‘Decline and Fall,’ chap. 47, par. 24.”
“The State Religion. Thus we see that Roman Catholicism was made the state religion in 538, and all other religions were forbidden. What gave special significance to these edicts of Justinian was the fact that he had already in 533 A.D. declared the bishop of Rome to be the head of the universal church, and had subjected all the priests even of the East under the See of Rome.”- ‘Facts of Faith’ by Christian Edwardson, pp.52- 54.
(Continued next week: How does the Papacy Regard Freedom of Conscience and Separation of Church and Sate Embodied in the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution, the Bedrock of American Exceptionalism?)