Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the September AD 2006
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

Immanentizing the Eschaton?

Please be sure to read the 
22 August AD 2006 letter of the 
Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem 
on "Christian" Zionism.

    Question:   Is it possible that I heard a clergyman on the television asserting that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was a good thing, the fulfillment of biblical prophecy which will usher in the Second Coming of Our Lord?

    Answer:  Unfortunately, quite possible.  And a very good example of how erroneous theology can spill over into the affairs of society with a disastrous effect.  The tactics of both sides, although very unmatched in firepower, are best described as “evil.

    Anybody who wages war by the random bombing of civilian population centers, hoping to make them capitulate, is a terrorist.  It doesn't matter whether the terrorist is wearing a military uniform or not.  It doesn't matter whether the terrorist is driving a B-52, an F-16, a camel, a donkey, or came on foot.  It doesn't matter whether the terrorist is Catholic, Jewish, Moslem, Protestant, or Buddhist.  It doesn’t matter whether the terrorist is American, British, Israeli, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, or any other nationality.  It doesn't matter whether the terrorist drops the bombs himself or has someone else do his murdering for him.

The operative word is "terrorist."[1]

Thousands of years ago, God established a covenant with Abraham and his descendents:

I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore; thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies.  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.”[2]

    The covenant was renewed by God, occasionally broken by the descendents of Abraham, and renewed again by God on a number of occasions.  God was troubled by their failure to keep the Commandments, but above all by their rejection of Him.  On occasion they made idols and worshipped false gods.[3]  At other times they rejected His providence, preferring the fleshpots and bread of slavery in Egypt to the quail and manna given them on the journey to the Promised Land.[4]  God allowed the slaughter of many to clear a place for them on the land, but when God brought them in to the land He promised, they demanded a king to rule over them in His stead.  God graciously anointed Saul, and then David, and Solomon.  A descendent of David was to rule the house of Israel forever—but the promise, contingent on fidelity, was broken by Solomon who worshipped the false gods of his many wives—and the kingdom was broken in two, and Israel descended deeper into idolatry.[5]

    God sent prophets to warn the people, and then sent them into captivity for decades, allowing even the Temple of Solomon to be destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.  The Persian Emperor Cyrus and his successors liberally allowed the Temple’s rebuilding, even returning the gold and silver plate.[6]  But even with the re-dedication of the Temple in 515 BC, Israel was never again a sovereign nation.  The Persians, the Macedonians, and the successor Kingdoms of Alexander the Great gave way to the Romans in 63 BC.

    Around 20 BC the infamous Herod the Great, Idumean puppet-king of the Romans in Judea, rebuilt and expanded the second Temple to make the one found at the time of Christ—the place where He was to “be about His Father’s business.”

    But again, God’s people rejected Him, causing the Romans to nail the Son of God to a cross.

    Jesus answered and said to them: “Destroy this temple; and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews then said: “Six and forty years was this temple in building; and wilt thou raise it up in three days?”   But He spoke of the temple of his body.   When therefore he was risen again from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this: and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had said.[7]

    This capital infidelity ushered in the new covenant of Faith, in place of the old covenant of circumcision.

    One of the very difficult things for Protestant teachers to explain when they came on the scene in the sixteenth century was how Christianity had gone immediately wrong and survived all those years before Martin Luther came along to “fix” It, and why the authoritative Institution that existed from the time of the Apostles in the Catholic Church ought now give way to the private interpretation of Scripture by everyone calling himself a Christian.  One method of explanation was to go very light on history and not explain it at all.  A more ingenious method, developed by a former Anglican minister named John Nelson Darby (1800-80), called “Dispensationalism,” holds, in essence, that the church—lower case “church” because Darby used the word to include anyone who thought himself a Christian—the church was the result of poor planning on God’s part.  When God sent His Son to redeem Israel, He was faced with the unexpected outcome of rejection and crucifixion.  The establishment of this church was a sort of afterthought, an accommodation for those who did believe in Jesus, but a temporary one, for, according to Darby, a number of the prophesies in the Old Testament still remained to be fulfilled in Israel.  The period of the church was said to be a sort of “parentheses” inserted into the flow of salvation history.  In the end, when the parentheses were closed, Israel would accept Jesus and things would return more or less to God’s plan.  [No! I am not making this up!]

    For Darby, the end times would be marked by great strife in the Holy Land.  The Christians would be “raptured”—that is, snatched away out of harms way by God to heaven.  The world would undergo seven years of tribulation and the rule of Antichrist, all of which would come to an end in a great war at Armageddon, on the Plain of Esdraelon, about fifteen miles southeast of Mount Carmel.  At the war’s end the victorious Jews would convert to Jesus, Who would return to earth and rule for a thousand years over an Israel that stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates (i.e. from Alexandria in Egypt to Baghdad in modern Iraq).

    Darby’s disciple, Cyrus Scofield (1843-1921) rounded out the story a bit, requiring the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, the destruction of the Moslem holy sites, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, as preconditions for the end of the church and the rise of Antichrist.  The “Dispensationalism” of Darby and Scofield is continued today among such Protestant notables as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.  Contemporary publicists include Hal Lindsey (The Late Great Planet Earth) and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (the Left behind series).

    Initially, Darby’s ideas seemed to be a reaction to the authority of the Anglican church—Church of Ireland, really, where in his early days he had been successful in drawing Catholics to the government church.  He lasted only two years as an Anglican clergyman (1825-27), abruptly resigning when he was told that he and his converts would have to recognize George IV as King of Ireland and lawful head of the Church of Ireland.  In 1827, after taking a serious fall from a horse, he studied the Old Testament and was left with the idea that the Kingdom of Israel was entirely separate and distinct from the Christian church.  By 1832 he had been instrumental in founding the sect known as the Plymouth Brethren, a group which rejected any idea of the clergy, with the claim that the Holy Ghost could and would speak through any member of the local congregation.  Darby’s writings (and later those Scofield) formed the basis of what has come to be known as “Christian Zionism,” a movement seeking to fulfill the supposed prophesies about Israel and facilitate the end times. [8]

    As a minister in a Protestant church, and later as the organizer of non-denominational, leaderless, sect, Darby found in his “Dispensationalism” what he thought to be a solid refutation of the Church.  In his mind, the Jewish “dispensation” continued along side the loosely ordered Christian “dispensation.”  He failed to see that the revelations of the Old Testament had already been fulfilled in post-exile Israel, in Christ, and in His Church—that with the Crucifixion of Christ, the veil of the Temple had been rent from heaven toward earth, and the right to be called “children of Abraham” now belonged to those of the Christian faith, and that the Christians had become the “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation ... the people of God.”[9]


Chronology of Salvation History

Most dates are approximate.  Books of the Bible are in small capitals even when they are proper names.


???? BC  Creation, Fall of mankind, promise of a Redeemer, “her Seed shall crush thy head”;  Genesis 1-3.

2000 BC  Birth of Abraham at Ur of the Chaldees (Modern Iraq);  Genesis 11:21.

1920 BC  Melchesidech  sacrifices  bread and wine;  Genesis 14,  Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha; Genesis 18

1901 BC  God makes Covenant with Abraham and his descendants;  Genesis 17.

1900 BC  Birth of Isaac;  Genesis 21.

1890 BC  Abraham takes Isaac to offer him in sacrifice at Mount Moria;  Genesis 22.

1860 BC  Birth of Jacob  Genesis 25:20

1825 BC  Death of Abraham;  Genesis 25:7

18?? BC  God renews Covenant with Jacob;  Genesis 28:14

18?? BC  Jacob destroys family idols,  Covenant renewed by God who changes Jacob’s name to Israel;  Genesis 35

1769 BC  Joseph born, Jacob-Israel is 91

1753 BC  Joseph, son of Israel, sold by brothers and taken captive in Egypt;  Genesis 37-50

1720 BC  Death of Isaac at 180;  Genesis 35

1713 BC  Prophecy of the Messiah;  Genesis 49:8-11;  Death of Jacob at 147;  Genesis 49:32

1662 BC  Joseph dies at 110;  Genesis 50:22

1440 BC  God promises Moses to deliver Israel to the land promised to Abraham in Chanaan; Genesis 3

1440 BC  The Exodus.  God threatens destruction of the people for their murmuring against Him, making of golden calf idol, worship of false gods.  Moses intercedes with God for the people;  Exodus 16-17, 33-34.  The children of Israel will wander forty years because of their unfaithfulness;  Numbers 14:33.

1400 BC  The people conquer Chanaan;  Josue, Judges, 1 Kings

1052 BC  Saul made king;  1 Kings: 10-12

1012 BC  David made king;  2 Kings: 2

972 BC  Solomon made king;  3 Kings: 1  Solomon is unfaithful to God, courting the false gods of his foreign wives;  3 Kings  11: 33.  As punishment, at his death at age 58, the kingdom is divided, the Kingdom of Juda (and Benjamin) in the south, the other ten tribes becoming the kingdom of Israel in the north.


Accounts of the divided kingdoms are in 3 & 4 Kings,  2 Paralipomenon


Kingdom of Juda (south)

The Prophets

Kingdom of Israel (north)

932-917 BC  Roboam


932-912 BC  Jeroboam I

916-914 BC  Abiam


912-911 BC  Nadab

913-873 BC  Asa


911-888 BC  Bassa



888-887 BC  Ela



887 BC  Zambri



(887) 883-876 BC  Amri

873-849 BC  Josaphat


876-854 BC  Achab



854-853 BC  Ochozias

849-842 BC  Joram


853-842 BC  Joram

842 BC  Ochozias


842-815 BC  Jehu

842-836 BC  Queen Athalia (usurper)


814-798 BC  Joachaz

842 (836)-797 BC  Joas



797-789 BC  Amasias

Osee prophesies punishment of Israel

798-783 BC  Joas

789-740 BC  Azarias


783-743 BC  Jeroboam II

740-736 BC  Joatham

Messianic Prophet
Virgin birth and Suffering of Christ ”The Gentiles shall walk in Thy light”

743 BC  Zacharias,  Sellum


743-737 BC  Manahem


737-736 BC  Phaceia

736-728 BC  Achaz

736-730 BC  Phacee

727-699 BC  Ezechias

730-722 BC Osee
722 BC Kingdom of Israel ends.  Babylonian Captivity of Israel begins

698-643 BC  Manasses



643-641 BC  Amon



640-609 BC  Josias

Jeremia in Juda
Prophesies the Exile and the restoration of Jerusalem


608 BC  Joachaz


608-597 BC  Joakim


597 BC  Joachin



597-586 BC  Sedecias
Kingdom of Juda ends
Babylonian Captivity of Juda begins

Ezechiel in Babylon
Prophesies destruction of Jerusalem & Temple & its rebuilding





536 BC  Edict of Cyrus ends Captivity Persian rule

Daniel in Babylon
Prophesies destruction of Pagan kingdoms & coming of the Messias


520-515 BC  Temple rebuilt;  Esdras, Nehemias




Malachia decries the infidelity of the People;  prophesies the Messias  & the clean oblation to replace the sacrifices of the Temple


331-323 BC  Alexander the Great—Greek rule

323-198 BC  Egyptian rule

198-142 BC  Syrian rule

167-63 BC  Rise and rule of the Machabees

63 BC  Conquest by Pompey—Roman rule


7 BC  Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ;  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

30-33 AD  Public teaching of Jesus, choice of the Apostles, establishment of the Sacraments and the Church

33 AD  The ultimate unfaithfulness, the Crucifixion of the Son of God. His Resurrection and Ascension, Pentecost.
The new covenant of the Faith replaces the old covenant of circumcision.
Satan chained, the “thousand year” reign of Christ begins; Apocalypse 20  (Cf. Saint Augustine, City of God, Book xx).

70 AD  Prophesied by Christ. Romans level Jerusalem “who killest the prophets”; Matthew 2 4, Mark 13, Luke 21.

100 AD  Death of Saint John, last Apostle, end of public revelation

2006 AD  Now

???? AD  Apostasy, man of sin, son of perdition;  2 Thessalonians 2  A period of tribulation precedes the general judgment—at the end of which the beast, false prophet and Satan are cast into eternal hell; Apocalypse 12-20

???? AD  “And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty.  And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:...  ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....  Amen: I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.  And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.’”; Matthew 25  The dead will rise, the living will be caught up to heaven;  1 Thessalonians 4.  If anyone is not found in the book of life, he will be cast into the pool of fire” Apocalypse 20: 15

???? AD  God renews heaven and earth.  No Temple in the heavenly Jerusalem, for God and the Lamb are its temple and it source of illumination.  Only those written in the book of life will be admitted;  Apocalypse 21  Amen!  Come Lord Jesus!  The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all.  Amen;  Apocalypse 22



[2]   Genesis xxii: 17-18; xxvi: 4-5; xxviii: 14; xxxv: 11-12

[3]   Genesis xxxv;  Exodus xxxii.

[4]   Exodus xvi: 2-xvii: 4.

[5]   III Kings ix, xi, xii.   

[6]   Esdras i-v.   

[7]   John ii: 19-22.

[9]   Cf. Galatians iii: 7, 29;  I Peter ii: 9 & 10;  also Luke iii: 7-18




[2]   Genesis xxii: 17-18; xxvi: 4-5; xxviii: 14; xxxv: 11-12

[3]   Genesis xxxv;  Exodus xxxii.

[4]   Exodus xvi: 2-xvii: 4.

[5]   III Kings ix, xi, xii.   

[6]   Esdras i-v.   

[7]   John ii: 19-22.

[9]   Cf. Galatians iii: 7, 29;  I Peter ii: 9 & 10;  also Luke iii: 7-18


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