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Posts Tagged ‘Bible Exposition’

Pope in Rome_Pedo

Pope Francis in Ireland.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

In part one of this series the point was made that the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4 – the voice being most probably that of God the Father or perhaps of Christ, since it refers to “my people” – issued one command and two purposes. The command was to “come out of her” meaning to come out of the Mother of Harlots city, which we identified as Rome papal.

To this command, the Apostle John tells us that the voice from heaven appended two purposes. The first purpose, “that ye be not partakers of her sins,” we looked at last week in part 2 of this series. One way in which Roman Catholics sin is by associating themselves with, and lending support to, the corrupt and heretical teachers of the Roman Church-State (RCS). When men support that organization with their time and their money and receive her priests and bishops and popes as if they were Christian teachers, Roman Catholics laymen become guilty of their enormous sins by association (2 John 10). Since the impetus for this series on Rome was yet another Roman Catholic pedophile scandal, this time in Michigan, it was also mentioned that a second way in which Roman Catholics partake in the sins of Rome is by deliberately delivering their children into the hands of a group of known predators, I’m referring here to Roman Catholic priests, who of all have shown themselves the least trustworthy when it comes to care of children. Indeed, so far from being trustworthy are they, that one could reasonably assert that, of all classes of men, Romanist priests pose the greatest threat to children.

Given the shocking scale of the enormities visited by Roman Catholic priests upon the Church’s children – and this, at least for the moment, is leaving aside the Church’s many other abuse scandals, for example, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians and the stories now surfacing about nuns who have committed sexual abuse of minors – one wonders how any conscientious parent could elect to leave his children alone with a priest even for a moment. Yet Roman Catholic parents routinely and willingly deliver their children into the arms of those who prey upon them. In doing this, they sin.

Turing now from a review of what we’ve already studied, let us look at the second purpose uttered by the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4, “that ye receive not of her plagues.”

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Pope in Rome_Pedo

Demonstrator holds up sign in front of Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland, August 2018.  Will Oliver (EFE)

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

US Catholic Church reports big rise in sex-abuse allegations,” ran the AP headline on Friday. In a way, this latest announcement by the U.S. Roman Catholic church seemed to underscore the point I began to make in last week’s post about the horrifying scale of the Antichrist Roman Church-State’s pedophilia problem. Then again, with announcement after announcement of new and horrific enormities committed by Roman Catholic priests seeming to hit the news wires every week, a jaded individual may be tempted to say, “well, it’s business as usual.”

According to the AP story,

During the period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations of abuse, according to the
annual report
of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection. That was up from 693 allegations in the previous year. The report attributed much of the increase to a victim compensation program implemented in five dioceses in New York state.

According to the report, Catholic dioceses and religious orders spent $301.6 million during the reporting period on payments to victims, legal fees and child-protection efforts. That was up 14% from the previous year and double the amount spent in the 2014 fiscal year.

As horrific as these numbers are, they apparently do not include the findings of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury concerning the sexual abuse of children in six dioceses – according to the Washington Post, “The lengthy [Grand Jury] report identified about 1,000 children who were victims but concluded there were probably thousands more. ‘Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.’ ” – since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was not released until August, after the June 30, 2018 reporting period end.

The report says nothing about the activities of Theodore Edgar McCarrick, the disgraced former Cardinal, because the allegations against him were not with respect to the abuse of children, but of adult seminarians.

Likewise, the report includes nothing about the sexual abuse scandal in Illinois that made headlines in December 2018. According to the New York Times,

The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the name of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations.

The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

The report said that 690 priests were accused of abuse, and only 185 names were made public by the dioceses as having been found credibly accused of abuse.

“The number of allegations above what was already public is shocking,” said Ms. Madigan in an interview.

Finally, the report does not include the victims of Catholic priest abuse in Michigan, which is the story that prompted me to address this issue in the first place. That story indicates that five priests in the state were indicted for sexual abuse of minors and quoted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel saying that the five cases were “the tip of the iceberg.” The story notes that investigators in the state were in the process of tracking down hundreds of tip about abuse by Catholic priests.

The story in the Detroit Free Press is very explicit, so I recommend caution when reading it. Just to give you a flavor of what went on, one priest is charged with abusing a 10-year-old boy, providing him with alcohol and cigarettes, and also threatening to kill him if he told anyone.

Michigan Deputy Solicitor General Ann Sherman expressed dismay at the attitudes of some of the hierarchy, noting that one priest attempted to put the blame for the abuse on the victims. Said Sherman, “This attitude is horrific. Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and it certainly can never be that sexual abuse of a child is a child’s fault.”

One struggles to come up with sufficient words of outrage when it comes to the attitudes and the actions of the Roman Catholic clergy in the instances listed above. And then to think that these represent but a tiny fraction of what has gone on in just one country – the mind reels.

I could go on much longer, but lest we lose sight of the passage at hand, let us now turn to consider how the child abuse horror can be related to Revelation 18:4.

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John RobbinsThe following sermon was preached by John Robbins at Reformation Chapel in Unicoi Tennessee. Last week I featured part one of this sermon.  Today, I present part two. To read part one, please click here. The transcription is my own.

– Steve Matthews

Well, Luke continues in verse five,

Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how he spoke to you while he was still in Galilee.’

Well, these women are terrified. These men suddenly appear, and the women are terrified. Luke says they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth. And the angels speak to them and say, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

This reminds you of the opening chapter of Acts, where Luke is telling about the apostles watching Jesus being assumed into heaven. And two men again appear, maybe the same two angels, and speak to the apostles, and they say, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here staring up into heaven?” They ask them a question again. And here the angels ask the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead. And then they tell them, “He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spoke to you.” And this makes it clear about the important of words. See, we’re told in the first chapter of John that the Word preceded the visible creation, that everything that was created was preceded by the Word. The Word comes first, the Logos comes first. And many people get everything backwards, they think events, or history, or creation come first, rather than the Word.

But notice here no one witnesses the resurrection event. And what the women receive are words from the angels. They’re told specifically, “He is not here. He is risen. He is living. He’s not among the dead.” And then the angels remind them of Jesus’ own words that he spoke while he was still with him. Their faith rests on the testimony of Jesus and the testimony of the angels. The women did not see the resurrection event, but they received these words from Christ and from the angels.

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jehoiakim-burns-the-scroll

Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll, Caspar Luiken 1672-1708.

What to write?  That’s the question all bloggers must face.  Sometimes the answer comes quickly.  Sometimes it doesn’t. 

With campaign season hitting its big crescendo last week, my mind’s been focused on the election. But now that it has passed, where do I go from here? There’s the series on immigration I’ve been writing. I haven’t forgotten about it. Lord willing, I plan to finish it sometime later this month. But today didn’t strike me as a day to write about immigration.

So back to the question of what to write about. Perhaps due in part to the recently concluded election, the specter of national and civilizational decline is often at the forefront of my thoughts.

Perhaps another reason for this is my Scripture reading. Recently, I’ve been focused on the prophets, Jeremiah in particular. And I never get very far in the prophets before I find myself saying “This could have been written yesterday about America!”

And it’s true, too. Edward Gibbons’ masterpiece of history The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is often cited by writers who want to advance some reason or another for the obvious, ongoing collapse of Western Civilization in our own time.

But there is a far better text to use if we want to gain insight on the problems we face in 21st century America. Of course, I’m referring to the Bible. And in particular the historical books of I and II Samuel,
I and II Kings,
I and II Chronicles and the prophets. Taken together, they could almost be subtitled The Decline and Fall of the Hebrew Republic.

Samuel was the last of the judges and the anointer of the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. It was during Samuel’s judgeship that Israel made the critical error in asking for a king (big government) in place of the limited, constitutional republic set up by God in the law of Moses.

If we were to summarize the history of Israel under the kings, we could say that the kingdom rapidly grew in power under the rule of David, hit its peak under his son Solomon, then split in two – the northern and southern kingdoms – under Solomon’s son Rehoboam. From there, the two kingdoms followed a centuries long trajectory of decline with the northern kingdom falling to Assyrian in 722 BC, and the southern kingdom to Babylon in 586 BC.

What makes the history of this decline and fall so relevant today is that the reader is not, as he is with secular history, left to decide for himself the reasons behind the disasters that befell Israel and Judah. The Word of God tells him explicitly: the people of Israel refused to heed the Lord and suffered the covenant curses pronounced in Deuteronomy 28.

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