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The last Saints
The phase of peace of the fourth cycle is a very long period because it is intermingled with the slow ascent of the apocalyptic beast from the collapse of the Roman empire in the fifth century to modern times. It must be considered a phase of relative peace because, according to Daniel’s prophecy of the statue, it is a time of marriage between Church and State. In addition, during this time the Gospel has to be “preached to all nations” (Mk 13:10). At the end of this period, great Saints will arise, “the rest” of the offspring of the Woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12:17). This Woman gave birth to the male Child (Rev 12:5), who is commonly accepted as being Christ, which identifies the Woman as Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
As we are going to see in Mary and the Holy Spirit, the birth of the rest of these children will be similar to that of Christ, that is, it will also have Mary and the Holy Spirit as intermediaries, for it will be initiated by an apparition of Mary predicted by Revelation 12:1: “A great portent appeared in heaven, a Women clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” This apparition will prepare a great number of disciples for the reception of the Holy Spirit. Thus, they will be born “from above” (Jn 3:3-8) similar to their elder brother Jesus (Rom 8:29), who descended from Heaven as the Son of God and was conceived by the Spirit. The prophecy of the effusion of the Spirit (Jl 2:28-31) therefore not only refers to Pentecost. It is valid mainly for the last times because the predicted signs only apply to this time:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit. And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes (Jl 2:28-31).
The Spirit of Pentecost was therefore only a first gift, “the first fruits of the Spirit”, as St. Paul states (Rom 8:23). This is why the main gift has still to be given. The persons who will receive it will inevitably be Saints and “surpass as much in sanctity the other Saints as the cedars of Lebanon surpass the small shrubs...”, as St. Louis de Montfort writes on them. This agrees well with the thought of St. Paul, who says that “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19). The mission of these Saints will constitute the zenith of the phase of peace. We will return to that subject further on.
The Saints will be persecuted, according to Revelation 17:17, and will lose their lives, which will be their victory over evil (Rev 17:11) following the example of Jesus Christ, who has defeated it at the cross. Another parallel is that Christ was first welcomed with euphoria by the crowd when he entered Jerusalem some days before his Passion (Lk 19:28-38). The attitude of the crowd towards him, however, transformed into contempt hardly a week later when people realized that he was not the hero they waited for (Lk 23:35-36). In a similar manner, the last Saints will also enthusiastically be welcomed by all nations to be persecuted thereafter. There are many other points in common between Jesus and the last Saints, as we shall see in The male Child and the rest of the children.
This persecution of the last Saints obviously belongs to the phase of sin, which will entail the judgment of the seven apocalyptic cups (Rev 15-16) and finally the extermination “of the kings of the earth with their armies” by a celestial army, which will be directed by Christ returning to earth (Rev 19:11-21). The judgment of the seven cups is preceded by the seven trumpets (Rev 8-11), which in turn are initiated by the seven seals (Rev 5:1-8:1). The question thus arises what the disasters of the trumpets and seals mean if we suppose that the phase of sin only begins with the persecutions of the last Saints before the judgment of the seven cups. Furthermore, there are also tribulations that have already taken place, as for example the two World Wars. Can we say that such events form part of a phase supposed to be peaceful?
Of course not! The point is that it is impossible to determine exactly when a phase begins. This is due to the overlapping of the phases already mentioned several times (see here, here and here). There are a lot of events belonging to a certain phase. They need to be summed up and their “center of gravity” determined. Only then can the chronology peace, sin, judgment and return to peace become visible. It is comparable to the change of the four seasons, of which the beginning and the end can indeed be determined exactly according to the calendar. Yet according to the daily meteorological conditions, this is not possible at all, for there are always clement and beautiful days in January, for example, and others in May that are tempestuous and icy. This overlapping is particularly recognizable within the fourth cycle, because its first phase is very long. All the wars from the barbarian invasions after the collapse of the Roman empire passing through the Crusades to the two World Wars, which worsen through the centuries, must therefore be understood as more and more distinct prefigurations of the final phases of sin and judgment.
Peace becoming increasingly relative may also explain that rather violent events form part of it: all humanity is incorporated in a global life cycle, of which the four eras of humanity are its phases, as shown by figure 22. This great cycle reveals a social degradation through its sin and judgment phases. The smaller cycles within these phases consequently have peace phases with a heightened limit (more intensive gray) than those of the other cycles in the past, as compared to what has to be considered peaceful or not. We have already seen that a similar degradation is represented by Daniel’s statue, which is that of a man and consequently represents a life cycle, whose four phases are designated by the four decreasing metals. This is why on the state level, represented by the metals, there is no revival phase, which is reserved to the Church represented by the clay of the feet.
The connection between the life cycle of humans and the era of humanity allows us to draw a parallel between them on the level of their degradation: the consumption of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil by Adam and Eve consists of the illegitimate acquisition of a spiritual property originally belonging to God, as seen in The life cycle of the angels and humans. Humanity commits this theft by discovering modern science and thus gets its eyes opened, similar to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:7). Thereafter, humanity separates from God by creating its own existence, whose salvation no longer depends on God but on science, which effectively penetrates secrets that in principle are reserved to God alone. Science thus becomes a religion substitute opposed to God. In this sense Isaiah reproaches Babylon, which is a synonym of the secular world especially valid for the end times: “Your wisdom and your knowledge have seduced you” (Isa 47:10).
This does not mean that modern science is useless: the motivation for scientific research is to discover the laws that govern nature. Since the time when the traditional religious views of our origins were contested, the leitmotif of the scientific community has become to show that the universe and life can be explained without a Creator, which led it into a strong opposition to religion. So the question is allowed whether modern science would ever have seen the day if those traditional religious beliefs based on the Bible had never existed? Now, while the knowledge of our origins is becoming more and more complete, the Bible turns out to be more and more right. This surprise is greater than if one had always believed in its authenticity without verifying it. So science has its reason to be, although it proves exactly the contrary of what certain persons would like to prove through it.
Because of its atheistic background, science has a very harmful side. Around the small kernel of hard scientific facts abound misinterpretation, wishful thinking and even lies. Science is seen as a kind of sacred cow, to which one should cede all liberties and rights without any moral constraints. Science also has an ominous psychological impact on the non-scientific community by propagating its manner of thinking and conceiving things “scientifically”, which reduces life to a simple material mechanism and thereby undermines the respect for creation. As already mentioned, this can be seen in an exemplary manner through animal experimentation by all kinds of industries that treat animals like lifeless objects. Another ominous example is abortion, whose proponents, supported by science, feel safe in believing that there is absolutely no wrong doing in killing a human embryo. This shows the hidden and dark side of our apparently ethically outstanding society and calls to mind human sacrifice in Aztec culture, which declined with the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. This is why our society is also on the decline for comparable reasons.
The event that resembles most the end of the world is World War II. As pointed out, Hitler and his entourage closely resembled the future Antichrists (see here). What they inflicted upon the Jews shows approximately what the Christians and especially the last Saints will have to endure from the future Antichristian regime. For example, the Nazi leaders hindered the German population from buying in Jewish shops and from consulting Jewish physicians and attorneys. Revelation 13:17 precisely predicts that at the time of the Antichrist only those who have its name on their hand or front will be allowed to buy or sell. Similar restrictions were already in place during the Roman empire (see here). Later, the Jews were gathered in concentration camps for “the final solution”, which prefigures the future persecutions of the Christians and the last Saints.
Revelation 12:14 and 13:5 predict a duration of persecutions, say a phase of sin, of three and a half years. This very short phase compared to the entire cycle refers to the prophecy of the seventy weeks (see The four phases of the seventy weeks): like during the cycle of the Maccabees, the phase of sin will occupy the first half of the last week, at the end of which the Antichrist will set up the disastrous abomination, not in the temple but in the churches this time. The other half of the week refers to the judgment, which will also last three and a half years. At their end, Christ will return.
According to Revelation, the last week will probably begin with the murder of the two witnesses (Rev 11:3-13), for this beginning has to start with the murder of an anointed one (Dan 9:26). At the time of the Maccabees, this was the great priest Onias (see here). In our time, the Pope is the great priest of the Church. Therefore, he and someone from his entourage will possibly be assassinated. In this case, the lost word of Daniel 9:26: “and after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have no...” would indeed be “successor” because the pontifical succession will end before the return of Christ. In fact, the first Pope was St. Peter, according to Matthew 16:18-19, and his ministry consists in replacing Christ on earth.
After this murder, the persecutions of the Antichrist will take place and last three and a half years, according to Revelation 13:5-7. At their end, the disastrous abomination will be set up, that is, the obligation of all people to adore the statue of the Antichrist (Rev 13:14). After that, the judgment will follow during another three and a half years. So the full time of tribulations will last seven years and be a time of war, already even during the persecutions according to Daniel 9:26-27, which describes the entire last week as follows:
And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war, desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week.
The four years of World War I (1914-1918) and the six years of World War II (1939-1945) show an increasing resemblance to these seven years of the end-time tribulation, which is often identified as a destruction of the world through nuclear weapons during World War III. However, this must not imperatively be the case. The destructions may also originate from natural catastrophes or even be supernatural.
In any case, seven years are relatively short compared with the first phase, which will have lasted centuries. This recalls what Jesus predicted of this “tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved” (Mt 24:21-22). Hence the last week is shortened because of the survival of the Church. This means that proportionally it does not correspond at all to the sixty-nine preceding weeks. This is why it is not possible to calculate from the seven years, which correspond to the last week, the duration of all the seventy weeks. So one knows neither the beginning of the first nor of the last week, that is to say, the exact date of the end of the world. The only thing that one knows is that the tribulation will last seven years.
It is also well known that the leaders of the German imperialism, if they survived and could be arrested, were judged by different tribunals for crimes against humanity. This prefigures the tribunal that is reserved for the leaders responsible for the end-time tribulation (Rev 20:4) and even the Last Judgment, which will be held at the end of the millennium during the last era. This ultimate Judgment will concern all human beings who ever lived on earth (Rev 20:11-15).
As for the revival after the war, this was, of course, the reconstruction of Europe. But in particular, it was the birth of the Hebrew state in 1948. In fact, the Jews suffered most from the war of all the people involved. This is why the post-war revival concerns them more than Europe. Taking into account the numerous deaths the different wars between Palestinians and Israelis have caused, one can wonder if this is truly a revival. One often qualifies the Israeli policy towards the Palestinians as imperialism. The Hebrew state is of course only a prefiguration of the revival that will occur after the end-time tribulation; and prefigurations indeed never perfectly correspond to the ideal they announce. If the Jews understood this reality and the Palestinians accepted the Jews’ right to live in Palestine, significant progress in pacifying the region could possibly be made.
Let us resume the description of the fourth cycle: the last Saints will bring the Gospel to all nations in the course of their mission such that a global peace will reign all over the world, although this will unfortunately only be of short duration since the Church will be persecuted afterwards during the end-time tribulation causing the phases of sin and judgment. The revival will arrive with the resurrection of the persecuted Saints and of all those who will have refused to adore the beast and its image. They will reign with Christ during one thousand years (Rev 20:4). This resurrection will mark the end of the fourth cycle of the spiritual era and inaugurate the transition to the millennium.
 See also the prophecy of St. Malachy from the year 1139 providing a list of the 112 future Popes until the end times, of whom Francis seems to be the last Pope: www.catholic-pages.com/grabbag/malachy.asp.
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