The Feast of Belshazzar (1635), Rembrandt
Since the scandal which took place at "Catholic" Notre Dame University in the USA, where pro-ab0rtion President Barack Obama was honored and a pro-life priest arrested, this writing has been ringing in my ears…
SINCE the elections in both Canada and the U.S. in which the populaces have chosen the economy rather than the extermination of the unborn as the most important issue, I have been hearing the words:
The writing is on the wall.
Yesterday morning, the Lord revealed the meaning of those words as I prayed the First Reading of the Office. King Belshazzar, son of the king of Babylon, held a banquet in which they profaned God by drinking wine from the sacred vessels of the sanctuary in Jerusalem.
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall, directly behind the lamp-stand (Dan 5:5)
The prophet Daniel was brought in to explain the strange writing:
The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin. The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. (Dan 5:25-28)
In North America, we have been measured and weighed, and indeed, have been found wanting. And not just here. Pope Benedict has been warning Europe that to abandon Christ is to abandon their foundations. Australia is also among the westernized nations which have tragically strayed from their roots. And terrible injustices continue to reign in developing countries, including poverty, child prostitution, and genocide.
And so, I believe the time has come for our "kingdoms" to be divided….
TIMES OF THE BEAST?
Belshazzar’s father, King Nebuchednezzar, had a dream in which he sees a fourth kingdom subdue the earth in the "latter days" (Daniel 2:28 ). This is what St. John refers to in Chapter 13 of Revelation and which he calls "the beast."
"The Beast," that is, the Roman empire. —Cardinal John Henry Newman, Advent Sermons on Antichrist, Sermon III, The Religion of Antichrist
A revived Roman Empire. It is a conglomeration of nations which eventually conquers the whole earth:
There shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. (Daniel 7:23)
If the consideration of this fourth kingdom was not important, I doubt God would have inspired Daniel and St. John with detailed visions of this beast. I feel compelled to discuss it here, so that should these things transpire in our times, we will be aware. As Jesus said,
I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them… to keep you from falling away. (John 16:4, 1)
There is growing evidence that the European Union is or is forming into a revived Roman Empire. While there are 27 nations in the Union, only ten of them are full charter members. The connection is obvious in both Daniel’s and St. John’s visions:
It was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns… I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns… (Daniel 7:7, Rev 13:1)
It is from these ten horns that another horn suddenly springs up.
This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly… that horn made war against the Holy Ones and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived… (Daniel 7:8, 21-22)
The horn is the Antichrist. But what does this have to do with the "writing on the wall?" This fourth kingdom, or beast, says Daniel, will "devour the whole world… and break it to pieces"—divide kingdoms, that is. The sovereignty of nations will be relinquished or crushed; currencies will be merged; and a false unity will be imposed on every single person on earth. The Beast will force…
…both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Rev 13:16-17)
Perhaps most strange, if not bold, is the sculpture outside the Council of Europe building in Brussels of a woman riding a beast ("Europa"): a symbol remarkably similar to Revelation 17… the harlot riding the beast with ten horns.
We need a new global financial order. —European Union Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, www.moneymorning.com, October 24th, 2008
A rising New World Order seems no longer a question, but an open quest. Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, conveyed in a keynote foreign policy speech that we have arrived at an "opportunity" for a new order:
The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society. —Reuters, November 10th, 2008
Former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev also added his voice to a growing number of world leaders calling for a new world system:
…a global perestroika [restructuring] would be a logical response to the global crisis… The paradigm of global development is about to change. —RIA Novisti, Moscow, November 7th, 2008
The leader of France echoed this as well:
We want a new world to come out of this. —French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, commenting on the financial crisis; October, 6th, 2008, Bloomberg.com
Then there is the President of Venezuela:
From this crisis, a new world has to emerge, and it’s a multi-polar world. —President Hugo Chavez, Associated Press, msnbc.msn.com, September 30th, 2008
One of the more alarming statements, which hinted at a powerful move behind the scenes which would radically change the way humanity does commerce, was made in Italy:
The idea of suspending the markets for the time it takes to rewrite the rules is being discussed,’’ Berlusconi said today after a Cabinet meeting in Naples, Italy. A solution to the financial crisis “can’t just be for one country, or even just for Europe, but global.’’ —Prime Minister Servio Berlusconi, October 8th, 2008; Bloomberg.com
If Christians are to "watch and pray," keeping vigilance in our times, I would pose these questions: just what kind of global system are we waiting for to fulfill the definition of "the beast"? When was the last time we were on the verge of a global government and global economy? When was the last time the Church was in so great an apostasy that those who actually follow her teachings could rightly be called a "remnant"? When has she ever been so close to facing a global persecution?
I think we should be paying attention. Especially as the words of this coming winter upon the earth continue to be spoken so openly:
I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging. —POPE PAUL VI, The Secret Paul VI, Jean Guitton