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It is now time to notice something of what Daniel goes on to say in Chapter 9, before returning to our preliminary studies on the beasts, leading to our time. After the Messiah is cut off (9:26), there is to be a destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple in particular - a detail foretold hundreds of years before Christ was born, and hence figuring not only as a scriptural verification but a verification of Christ's prediction to the same effect, which is additional in this - for He chose to endorse it. In so doing, He exhibited the love which matched the deeds, which led to the vicarious crucifixion. (See: Luke 19:42-44, Daniel 9:26, point 16, p. 760 supra.)
Not only was He willing to have nothing for Himself, in this earthly setting; but very close to the time of His own suffering, being rejected by so many, He felt in advance pangs for those who would contrive to suffer, by rejecting His own suffering... and that, if anything is, is love! There is its hub and marvel, its patience and sincerity, its grace and composure, its sagacity and sensitivity. Here it is: in Christ is love figured and focussed to perfection.
Paul in I Corinthians 13 writes of it; Christ does it. Let us hear His words, as exhibiting the close relation of the scriptural description of it, to the exhibition by Christ of it, thus exposing one more verification of scripture: for He claimed, He who has seen me has seen the Father, and here is one of the aspects. Thus He cried:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate... (Matthew 23:37).How desolate ... Daniel appears at pains, in inspired vision, to depict ... The Romans, following A.D. 70, pursued the fulfilment of all this, like exact army commanders under God, even ploughing the city, renaming it and excluding the Jews.
Keil translates part of Daniel 9:27 as follows... of the prince who, in the end would come to the people who rejected Messiah the prince, the rightful ruler:
That prince... borne upon the wings of idol-abominations shall carry on a desolating rule, till the firmly decreed judgment shall pour itself upon him as one desolated. (In essence, he starts at once - John 14:29-31, 16:11.)Already, for the Jews, an abomination that manufactures an Allah and has his mosque about the Temple site, boldly declares itself to the skies, and on the loftiest parts of Jerusalem. Already, for those thinking the old Temple site to be still operational, there is to be seen a wing, or tip, an acme or pinnacle of abomination. Moslem architecture in it distinctive way declares it; the site proclaims it and intensifies the affront; the unscriptural worship defiles it. The trend and tenor of this prophecy is therefore already abundantly fulfilled; but more is coming, which will involve the 'man of sin' himself, the world antichrist ruler. Let us, then, return to Daniel 9:27, and its direct meaning.
Another translation is that of the New King James- "And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation which is determined is poured out..." Keil also provides this: 'On the wings of abomination, he comes desolating...' and stresses that the evil prince first lays desolate and then himself is laid waste. This we might add, is along with the Temple, which he lays waste, just as the Jews to their ability laid waste their Messiah. Indeed, in this connection, Keil discerningly refers to the Messiah as 'an anointed one who stands in such a relation to the city and sanctuary, that with his being "cut off" the city and the sanctuary lose not only their protection and their protector, but the sanctuary also loses, at the same time, its character as the sanctuary, which the Maschiach (Messiah) had given to it...' p. 360.
Having cut the cord which keeps them, they flounder in the deep, and this not only in a worldly sense: for the evil prince to come will have a satanic dynamic that inhabits blasphemy and ruin ('on the wings of abomination'), in his adventurous daring, as rats inhabit ruins. Intense is the extended sense of MULTITUDINOUS destructions continuing, in Daniel 9:27; immense is the atmosphere of an eventual consummation of evil, of disaster, of designed and due ruin, as a supernatural insurance of what is appropriate to the natural, to the persons... unspeakably misplaced, misbegotten and mistrusting, who failed and insist on failing to receive the mercy that cost so much and was valued so lightly (cf. Zechariah 11:10-13).
THE CONSUMMATION OF CHRIST, BEING NOW REJECTED IN ITS VULNERABLE SACRIFICIAL MAJESTY, THE CONSUMMATION OF EVIL PROCEEDS TO ITS APPOINTED AND AWE-FUL DEVELOPMENT, AMIDST THE RELIGIOUS RUINS AND DYNAMIC DESTRUCTIONS WHICH ARE BOTH APPROPRIATE AND PREDESTINED.
Thus, because it is predestined, then such things as the date of Christ's death can be not only stated but accurately fulfilled: and that is further verification of the predestinative power of God, fulfilling the claim He makes in this regard, a claim verified thereby in circumstances beyond duplication from any 'competition'. Even the summit of evil can be foreknown, composed into a plan, controlled without initial obliteration, chastised and brought to its proper end. It is in such divine power that the capacity to prophesy matters of substance and of detail, exists!
Now a claim of this kind in this setting needs documentation. Thus Daniel 9:27 refers to the 'consummation which is determined ' (bold added), Acts 2:23 has - "Him being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God...", and Ephesians 1:11 puts the point: God "works all things after the counsel of His own will", to which Psalm 115:3 should be added. It is however eudokia in Greek, the "good pleasure of His will". Isaiah 9:7 predicts amidst startling events-to-be: ''The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,'' while Isaiah 65:6-13 shows us of divine decisions pre-announced: "Behold, it is written before Me..." It is registered, as it were, recorded and will be realised... In not dissimilar vein, we could ponder references in Isaiah such as: 40:6, 43:8-15, 48:7,16, 49:15, 50:3, 51:4-6,11,13,16, 45:5-18, 44:24, 40:28,26... the statements are both clear and numerous.
Of such authority is the power of God, in the Biblical statement; and in the historical eventuation, this self-same quality shows!
Before we turn to the Verificatory Challenge of God, and then to the Coming Consummation, in its long-range prophetic terms, let us pause to recognise what we have discovered already, concerning...
O that you had hearkened to my commandments then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea...Indeed, (Isaiah 61:10), they would have been clothed with His righteousness and His salvation, which (51:6) is indestructible and associated with a joy which does not pass away (Isaiah 35:10). In fact, as this verse shows, they would have been the "ransomed of the Lord" - His, and kept by Him.
Indeed, (Isaiah 61:10), they would have been clothed with His righteousness and His salvation, which (51:6) is indestructible and associated with a joy which does not pass away (Isaiah 35:10). In fact, as this verse shows, they would have been the "ransomed of the Lord" - His, and kept by Him.
It is a longing of the holy love of God which is here; yet it is demanding the recalcitrant people to attend to the evidence, compete and be justified if they can: but since they cannot, to believe in Him. Prophecy has here the power of love.
This verification, then, is precisely what we for our part are doing. In terms of our emphasis, drawn from Daniel (but not without motivation from Isaiah and legitimising from I Peter 3:16), we are looking at the divine determination to bring the evil to its fateful consummation, in the face of the 'cutting off' of Him who was good. As to the force of the resolve to perform what He predicts, He declares:
Indeed, before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of my hand. I work, and who will reverse it ? (Isaiah 43:13).In Isaiah 43:19-25, it proceeds again to the positive outrush of divinely available salvation, predictively secured, and to be conferred in His time, on His own. There you have it all: the predestinative and omnipotent, the personal challenge, the good round it all and the high purpose back of it all. It is profoundly lovely.
Such is the view we obtain as we ponder in detail the fidelity, the function and the outworking of the prophecies of God. Now we are ready to move from the Messiah, and what was His murder, in the time of that fourth Empire, the Roman. Reflecting that this was to be the form of the last empire before the very confrontation with and destruction of the antichrist desolator, we turn now to ponder the development of this Roman empire, in its various forms. Partly strong was this last relevant empire to be, and partly broken (Daniel 2:42); and surely its history confirms this, and conforms precisely to the predicted qualities. It would indeed stretch in this form and in that, to the coming of Christ in majesty and power (Daniel 2:35,7:13-14,27):
I saw... and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like the Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominon, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Italics added - 7:14 cf. 2:44.)
It fell, but the concept did not die. Before long, Pippin and Charlemagne brought from France an infusion which continued into the form of the Holy Roman Empire - in essence, over time, neither holy, it would seem, nor Roman, but rigorously related to what was to grow into the perilous format of Roman Catholicism, on which we have touched earlier. The ludicrous, if not comic contests beteen Pope and Emperor marred the Age in forlorn, if imperious comedy. The King could embarrass or harass the Pope; while the Pope could help a people to obey, or disobey their king, declining to crown him perchance, and the King might gain readier access to obedience through a supported Pope... so that breathtaking negotiations could occur on such elevated points of moral eminence and startling holiness content... for some hundreds of years. It was called the Investiture Contest - Who invested whom, with what, and for what? Who ? who! dreadful question, was superior ? Were children ever more foolish! and the question might arise, Were devils more devious ? If they are, then at least, this field would appear to provide some significant competition.
The relation to Christianity is not so much tenuous, as by contradiction: Matthew 20:25-28. Even Christ the Lord, was wholly other than this... Nevertheless the relevant fact for our purpose is this: for hundreds of years, there continued the central European empire, complete with Emperor, whilst its appalling political-ecclesiastical power combinations lead to such horrors as the military attacks on the humble Waldensian saints, in the mountains of Italy. These were effected by 'religious' armies, sent without visible affection by the Pope, in the interests of his deviant doctrines and political pretensions by which he modestly claimed to rule the world.
Though Jesus Christ turned down the devil in the offer of just powers (Matthew 4:8-10), here in Europe was one who would use them, and that in Christ's name! Thus in the famed 'Bull', Unam Sanctam, Boniface VIII, pope, wholly contradicts Christ, as if by an antithetical and angry, carnal spirit, in bold style. Its vigour and virulence reminds one of the manner and approach of Satan, when tempting Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4): always against and 'beyond' the word of God, that spirit sought to seduce. It has fared better with some who misuse the name of Christ than with the Master Himself; and false christs have indeed come, merely attesting once more the absolute mastery of Jesus Christ in His person OVER Satan - to whom so many fall, in predicting what was to come in serpentine seductions from the truth which - as He claimed - He was and is (John 14:6, 8:58). But let us taste for edification and awareness, the flavour of the papal literary liquor.
'Truly he who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter, misunderstands...' declared this Pope. Speaking of swords, symbols of power and rule, one for the things temporal, or of this world, and one of things spiritual, he added: 'both are in the power of the church...' As to the temporal sword, that trifle, it is also in the power of the church, 'by kings and captains but at the will and by the permission of the priest' (Bettenson: Documents of the Christian Church, p. 160).
These absurd pretensions are like the words of a 'Peter' who, instructed to put up his sword in defence of Christ, the very Head of the Church, changed the record and not merely refused to do so, but seemed to imply that Christ should join him in a world beating parade of military force, or that he should stir up at the 'will' of Christ the rulers to employ their force at His will and fight those who would not. But Christ simply said. "Put up your sword " (Matthew 26:52), and later to Pilate, announced with His sublime authority:
My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were 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).It follows with blessed simplicity that any 'kingdom' that is of this world, that does promote fighting for its will in military matters, is not Christ's.
Whose is it ? Revelation 13 is explicit here in terms of the coming world kingdom, and with Chapters 17:1-6 and 18 reveals what the above principles of Christ already make so clear. To insist, as is done in Unam Sanctam, that salvation requires obedience to the Pope, merely means that this other kingdom denies access to consistent Christians, for they are forbidden to so much as call any man on earth Master (Matthew 23:10); whereas the one able to send them unaided to hell is very much their Master.
There, with sadness at such seduction in spiritual things, one reads of barges bringing their ecclesiastically accursed crews to Rome and to torture, of twisted bodies and twisted souls, of Huss's burning and Latimer's slowly flame-consumed right hand... but we need not go on. We read that Pope Lucius III and Emperor Barbarossa "converted the episcopal inquisition into a universal institution, to be unconditionally supported by the temporal power" - italics added. (Pilate and Herod could agree again!) Again: "The secular arm was 'executor', or 'minister' of the inquisition."
The classic Roman repository of authority, the Council of Trent in its Fourth Session, April 8, I546 made its unholy and murderous will known. If, it said, if any person should dare to take a view of scripture somewhere in some sense that he accepted, and Rome did not (a 'petulant spirit' was the title Rome might give for such unecclesiastical effrontery!), then 'even though such interpretations were never intended to be published', action is called for.
What action ?
Contraveners shall be made known by the Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established. (Creeds Of The Churches, H. Leith,'Penalties' ? The death penalty for Rome came with Gregory IX in 1231: "The sentence itself was determined, as might be expected, by the ecclesiastical (papal) court; whereupon the execution was committed to the temporal authorities" (Schaff-Herzog, Vol. 6, p. 2). We find the assessment following, of some interest:
It does not appear that so much as one pope wished to lop the institution's rankest outcrops.We find within this noble and holy Roman Empire, that people occasionally killed Inquisitors, who held direct papal authority above bishops (whom they could accuse of heresy). Of Spain we find (p. 3, op.cit.) that Torquemada, appointed by Pope Sixtus IV - "outdid all precedents in the way of executions and confiscations".
They had indeed a special feature: an Inquisitor-General. The king who backed it, never used influence, we find, "against the interests of the church". The policy of taking goods from people and taking their lives with torture, seems ill at ease with Christ's word: "Give to him who asks..."; but doubtless the Roman substitute was better adapted to the acquisition of wealth. It certainly had that effect; though not, of course, for the orphans of the dispossessed, tortured, and no longer... available, parents.
The failure to realise the difference between giving life and life more abundantly, and death and death more exuberantly, seems a matter scarcely pondered in the flames of this misdirected, anti-Christian passion for a papal 'master', rich in a style of works that could never be laid at Christ's door, in precept or in practice! Indeed, this verse in John 10:10, proceeds with the fulfilment of this abundant vital conferment, to the point of the laying down of His own life! This fateful and fatal confusion of the Inquisition proceeds all too naturally from the principles of power over princes, and all this may seem to imply, in a world of this current kind.
At the time of writing of the Encyclopedia, it is noted that "The Holy Roman and Universal Congregation of the Inquisition" is "still maintained by the Curia... Not one of all the regulations which define its action and determine its aims has been repealed." Showing further the integration of State and Church, which was a matter of principle for Rome and practice for the Empire, we observe that Innocent IV in the bull ad exstirpanda "conceded to the State a portion of the property to be confiscated; and the State in return assumed the odium and burden of inflicting the penalty, even to capital execution, if need be." (Italics added.)
It is then to be observed that the 'Church' paid the State to perform the sentences the Church thought Christ-like, if so be, from the goods the Church took from the victims. We find then a continuation in Europe, and with ecclesiastical direction from Rome, to a significant political and morally characterising degree, of that Roman Empire which found its new Pontifex Maximus (the High Priest in direct paganism) in the Pope, who assumed his hierarchical primacy.
Geared from the theology (if one can call it that) of Rome, powered by the Empire armies, it made Europe writhe with its pillage, sometimes judicial, sometimes military, its executions, its tortures and its verbal abuse of Christians, lecturing, swashbuckling and committing sermonic atrocities against them, consigning them to hell before burning ... and such things: a fearful and a dreadful scene. It is difficult to imagine much more unlike Christ, violently and explosively blasphemous and horrid. Yes, Daniel is fulfilled there - but what of the Daniel 2 (vv. 42,35) reference to the last part of the Empire series - the toes and the part clay part iron composition ?
Here it is important to realise that weakness certainly did set in - Rome was taken by pagans: Goths, Visigoths, Huns, notably Attila, made life difficult. The Holy Roman Empire did have its little internal struggles between Pope and Emperor as we noted... and it could, most assuredly, have been more unified. That part of Daniel is therefore fulfilled also - it was "partly strong and partly broken".
Now at last, with two World Wars under its belt, Europe is again looking for the partly strong side of the partly weak aspect, following the devastation of the unsuccessful, but very nearly victorious Hitler. The idea continues (*4); and though the Third Reich did not continue for quite a thousand years, it made headway for a time, bootway, and gas-chamber way, having like Napoleon, a little trouble stepping over the vast Steppes to Moscow, and in enduring the cold reception of a Russian winter.
In Daniel 7:20 we read that the fourth beast is found to have ten horns on its head which (v.24) "are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom." Revelation 13 picks this up (v.l), noting that "all the world marvelled and followed the beast" (v.4), in a period towards the intensifying end of the Age.
Revelation 13:15-17 indicates and predicts a method (*4) of controlling buying and selling by marks on the forehead or right hand, and this is of particular interest. In the Australian Bank Employes Union publication for February, I984, we read:
No Bankcard, no Credit cards, no Cheque books, no cash - just an invisible (to the human eye) mark on your hand or forehead - what a perfect way to begin 1984! This is the crux of an experiment begun in Sweden starting in March, 1983. 6,000 people have agreed to take part in this experiment. Each person involved has received a special mark (shot on to the relevant area with a special, painless ray gun) and is now marked for life (it doesn't come off).
The mark is registered in a computer and will register in banks or wherever those marked decide to shop. The shopkeeper simply runs an electronic pen over the mark and it instantly sends that person's number to a computer center from where all information of their transactions is sent to their bank. No money needs to be touched. Big Brother doesn't need to watch you anymore - you're already marked!Notice, first, that the mere existence and substantial experimentation with such a method, duplicating the prediction of scripture, is technological confirmation. lt is of the order of a feasibility study. It can be done; it has been tried; it does meet certain twentieth century desires and needs, to the point of having such a trial as it did. It did involve both the forehead and the hand, precisely as predicted; and it does, just as the prophecy indicated, facilitate economic manipulation by being used where the State may decide to prohibit buying and selling on the part of designated parties....
Where cash, the universal, transferable, visible means of exchange, is removed, then the means of economic manipulation of men will, in principle, become far greater. Names attached to funds make them... more observable, suppressable selectively, subject to a much more enjoyable pressure, on the part of those who enjoy such things; and should make it far harder for those who, on the other side, are called to endure such things.
Thus, though the case is far less developed as yet, in Russia quite recently the simple removal of a given proportion of funds of certain parties, in order to pay for certain State needs... was almost taken for granted. It is better when the desire is not merely taxing or axing some part of funds, but controlling them, to remove alternatives as well, personalising everything. The experiment which we have noted, in Sweden, would assist this secondary control, to a marvel; and further, in terms of our study, it is precise in its verificatory direction, in that even the term 'mark' is used in the secular report, and the correct bodily sites are cited for the making of that mark!
Now who is predicted to perform these... restrictive acts, when they reach their maturity ? It is 'the beast', the Danielic fourth one, the final one, the now resurrected one, the one which has had sundry resurrections, being partly strong and partly broken.
In the same Chapter 13, of Revelation, the last verse depicts a now age-old puzzle. The preceding verse, depicting the buy-sell restrictions just noted, makes mention of the 'number of his name' with reference to the beast. Verse 18 then says:
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: His number is six hundred and sixty six.One possibility is worthy of thought and needful here, because it concerns a recent historical development which, precisely in conformity with the laser gun for making the bodily 'marks', also appears to portend the fulfilment of this prophecy. Whether or not it does so, the information is a strong stimulus for thought and in laser context, gives the impression of a flare in the night (cf. II Peter 1:19). Prima facie the case is strong indeed; and in the laser marking context, undoubtedly arresting.
Rev. William F. Beirnes, Editor of "The Midnight Cry", October I976, p. 11 gives some interesting information:
The necessary equipment for putting this system (i.e. one world currency) into operation is already being used in Belgium.Here, he indicates:
there is a computer system 3 blocks long and 30 feet high if put side by side. The name of this computer is "the Beast'. It is said to be alive because it makes up its own sentences and holds conversations...How is it to operate ?
In order that no one loses his number, the United Nations decided that it should be tatooed on you. Scientists experimenting with this found that such a process could be done only on a person's hand or forehead with an invisible laser tatoo. The computer cash registers which you see now in all the stores have a place available for a box that once hooked up can read such a tatoo with ultraviolet film...How might it be used, quite explicitly ?
At the U.N. Meeting of July, I967, the question was asked, "What would be done about those people who did not want to go along with this new one world system ?" The answer was, "Their numbers will be cancelled..."... The social security numbers of the European Common Market members begin with 666. The New Israeli license tags begin with 666 and, the businesses in America listed with the business bureau are recorded with mumbers beginning with 666.Sufficient to say that modern uses of quasi-person programs - that is, programs which are meant in some ways to mirror people - in computers, provide means for an 'image' for the beast, that is more than metaphorical; and such could contribute an important element to the ultimate in 'image'. It is quite fascinating how that deplorable term of social and commercial pretence or mere outward appearance is becoming a part of a debased culture. Here then, are ready to hand the means for extending the concept in the precise direction of Biblical prophecy, a 'handmaiden', we might ironically suggest, worthy indeed of the 'beast', the final apex of worldly pretence and paranoia.
It is, after all, perfectly explicit that in the final paroxysm of a degenerate world civilisation, there would be an 'image of the beast', given power so that it should "both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed." (Revelation 13:15 - italics added.) The quasi-personal computer programs are of course not at all personal, but simulate elements of external personality appearance, so that some may even form a reliance on the pseudo-person. Together with laser tatoo procedures, these provide Biblically predicted marks, both practical and metaphorical, one set on the forehead and on the hand, and the other, on the mind and work. Together, these very recent developments, in the light of continued growth in technology, constitute a fascinating approach to the fulfilment of the prediction of Revelation 13:15-17. In the Amplified New Testament, the force is interesting:
And he was permitted to impart the breath of life into the beast's image so that the statue of the beast could actually talk, and to cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast. Also he compels all, both small and great, both the rich and poor, both free and slave to be marked with an inscription on their right hands or on their foreheads. So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp, the name of the beast or the number of his name.Whether the 666 code appears from the technological base, for reasons which will apply when the time comes, and which have already commenced (*4), or for other reasons, we cannot tell. What we can see is that in so rich a context of prophetic fulfilment, meaning may well accrue where, for whatever reasons, the custom has begun.
What then ? We find that the system of our computerisation is meaningful, operationally attractive, as a base for such a numerical significance, and for such power to become available through coded numbers, entered... shall we say 'against'... the names of each individual in the world. The obvious movement away from cash - the phrase 'cashless society' being not rare - similarly would seem necessary if the 'beast' is to gain the sort of control through numbers to which the scripture refers. If purchasing power is increasingly limited to account, and numbers, then however rich one may be, numbers could be used to police people economically. Alternative supply can be controlled more easily, both for the victims, the butts of the system, those not co-operating... and for their associates.
1) meaning may readily be attached to these predictions
2) control may readily now be seen by these means
3) elements of the predictions are already in operation and
4) other elements are available for incorporation: the quasi-person, the access to knowledge instantly and
5) the specific number mentioned in scripture has, for whatever reason, already received a reported use and ground sufficient to occasion the utmost circumspection in terms of the rest of the now accurately fulfilled context.
If technology for control and striking elements of the predicted methods are already in place, as is unquestionably the case, what of the ten kings predicted for the European Unity (Daniel 7, Revelation 17:12) ? They were all future to Revelation's time of writing, and were to be joint sovereigns under the hegemony of the beast. This is the more fascinating, in view of the current mode and mood of increasing 'unity' for Europe, with the emphasis on currency matters for 1992. [Since the time of writing, a point of interest may be added. Mrs Thatcher's May 1992 blast at a European meeting, on the grossly unnecessary bureaucratic machinery, and its concentration, such as found in Brussels, was received 'frostily', one reads, in the context of her strong presentation in favour of a loose, functional federalism for Europe, one favoured by a dismantling of much of the directive centre of operations. (The Weekly Telegraph, May 21-27, 1992, Issue 45, p. 12.) The European mood however ... is otherwise! Nor is Mrs Thatcher still P.M..]
Indeed the often disparaged concept of political union is receiving more passion now, is more touted, less reticently, more brazenly if not abrasively, is more 'obvious'; and perhaps a major reason for this increase of the assurance may be the performance of the European powers in the Gulf war, diplomatically and militarily, and their high-profile consultations at that critical time. Another stimulus might be the fact that the U.S. required financial support for its war machine, reducing thereby any sense of a secondary Europe.
A united Germany also gives both more of a lead towards unity and more reason for it, not only from fear, but through the added strength which may in time, from this, be contributed. Further, while the Channel tunnel merely symbolises unity, it does give a visible integration of ground travel routes to this outlying market member. The re-memberment of the bear in the East, in its Union of Independent States gives further exemplar for unity, to meet the multiplying possibilities of a changing world, with power.
The resistance of Margaret Thatcher, especially to the financial impact of the European currency concept, and the implications for sterling, as well as for the whole concept of sovereignty, have been significantly reduced as a brake on these developments, by her departure from her long-held post of P.M.; and a whole atmosphere of expectation and performance appears to be exuded more and more, like an initially appealing brand of smog. It is ... in the air!
To our point of apologetics, then: we see this European development towards a high-profile and very obvious common market, common membership Europe, with increasing institutions, provisions and performances about its centre, to be coming en scène, rather like an opera singer, an actor, when the curtain is up, and all is... in readiness for the grand entry. Such a development now, is not merely indicated, but distinctly within CURRENT INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE PARAMETERS.
The thoughts expressed in scripture some 2000 years ago, and in much of this, over two and one half millenia ago, are appearing on the 'screens' of our lives now, in the form of current drama, Act 3, with 4 about to follow; and this is occurring with increasing topicality on the one hand, and particularity on the other.
As to the pre-eminent evil party of Revelation 13, it is interesting in view of the correlation in scripture of this being, and the economic controls (verses 14-17), to notice that the number 666 is said in this scripture, to be the number of 'man' - or a man. The NIV translation of the Bible has 'man'. If this were taken, as it may be, then it would fit well with the fact that this is a human invention, a human control mode, something peculiar to man: creative numerical control. If it be rendered 'a man', as it may, then it could refer to this control unit as manipulated by one particular evil potentate. Here it is worth observing that the one called "another beast, coming up out of the earth" (Revelation 13:11,13-16) has deceit attributed to him, and takes action in terms of worship, using fear, force and what appear modish, modern, mesmeric means, for his ends.
This suggests a personal nature, one which matches well that of the potentate of II Thessalonians 2. That in turn accords with the Danielic prototype, in Daniel 8 (Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, 8:20-26 - cf. pp. 506, 887 supra). Daniel, in Chapter 7, proceeds to the end of the Age and the return of Christ; and in this context, he refers to a 'little horn' which comes up and overcomes three of the others. The horns are explicitly here interpreted to be 'kings' (7:24); and this unlovely little one has eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great words (7:8). That, too, accords well with II Thessalonians 2, where the man of sin exalts himself above all that is called God.
This, moreover, dovetails with the possibility of further developments of the 'personal cult' syndrome, which seems to have stricken with peculiar force those Communist countries which, through denial of the logical basis of personality and stress on corporicity, have suffered a not unnatural reaction. Human personality is immensely significant; but it is not god, and has per se no powers of producing for the world stage, its acts and scenes, as if the director: it may contribute as in the image of God, with beauty and depth, if it is deeply involved with the One who is deep. Without Him, the emphasis can become as pathological as was its de-emphasis in other times, when mechanistically minded men sought to elevate things as directors.
The folly of the existential ultra-personal reaction (see Chs. 3-4, 6-8 supra and Index) is verification of the earlier folly of the depersonalised, materialist phase of culture and much philosophy, one ludicrously made by persons. This current reactionary mode romanticises persons (as if taking vengeance on the earlier extravanganzas), making them but dreams, pregnant with meaning, but empty of basis (loc. cit. supra, esp. p. 707).
This personality pathology has manifested itself in a childish exaggeration, an unrealistic and impractical, a blind and feckless exaltation by many, of the personality power in a merely human leader, when denied something of its wonder in themselves. Our work in the Pathology Department reveals how far we have already gone with false Christs, Mao himself being treated practically as a divinity. (His philosophy was even supposed to help watermelons grow, while his image was broadcast in word and seen in picture to a nauseous seeming degree, and his pronouncements made some men servile.)
If Hitler began the modern trend, through exaltation of force and race, then the Communists have continued the personal focus in terms of forces and philosophies; and both have religious ingredients in their humanistic predestinative philosophies, neither of which work. Even that has apologetic force of no small moment; for when God says that He will do it; He does. When these charlatan philosophies make similar claims, they do not work, as we show in detail, and as history shows so continuously and so painfully. That enables exactly the comparison to which God challenges the nations, as we have seen, in Isaiah 43:8-9.
It enables it with great readiness; and it answers it with great finality. There is no other (person, power, culture or philosophy) with the power so to predict, to do and to manifest directive will, as God manifests His will over history. In this field, men dream; God does... and He only. It is not really hard to find Him, if you look.
Teilhard de Chardin dreams of an evolving race, Mormon-like, approaching to divinity with the passage of time. We have pondered the monstrous and ludicrous expectations of Stalin in control over nature, already, and the scales have long since been tilted to such a consummation of pompous pretence and pretension; and we have studied in Chapter 3 (infra), the follies of self-making gods.
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