Old Testament Typology of the Mystery of Christian Division

Typology is a powerful and wonderful element of our Catholic faith. Through it, events, places, times, persons and things, amongst other possibilities, of Old Testament realities come alive and end up prefiguring deeper realities in the New Covenant. Toward that end, it may not be too bold to conjecture that the near whole collection of greater Old Testament historical elements might prefigure the history of the New Covenant, the Church. Indeed, this may be a lot to swallow, but I have found striking parallels in high level comparisons. In fact, if we remember that “there is neither Jew nor Greek,” meaning, the same tendency to cooperate and fall from grace both individually and collectively exists whether one is Jewish, Russian, Spanish, or what have you, we can perhaps surmise that because both Covenants of Old and New involve Revelation and holiness as the ends, we just might expect the process of spiritual maturation of either People to follow the same trajectory. Indeed, this is what will be argued, even, as it were, the process in Catholic spirituality of individual maturation, the States or Ways: the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive.

Now, the end of this article, of course, is to look into something more specific, namely, the parallel divisions in both Covenants. Therefore, obviously, an extensive treatment of the bigger picture around these lesser developments is not the subject of our discourse; moreover, there is certainly no space for a whole-scale analysis in a small article such as this. However, in order that we may have a reasonable base for our discourse, it would be appropriate to give a very broad sense of similarities of Old and New spiritual history to form the backdrop of our discussion. So, let us begin.

Here, simply use common sense.

God confounded the tongues at Babel and called one nation among many to be a sort of physical nation and People. At Pentecost, God reunited the tongues and called all nations and languages to be part of universal spiritual kingdom.

A single nation lashed out at the People of Old and oppressed them, Egypt. A universal Empire lashed out at the New People and persecuted them, pagan Rome.

The nation of Old was delivered by force into a literal place of beatitude, the Exodus. The People of New freely delivered the Empire out slavery to sin and darkness by the grace of martyrdom and into a spiritual kingdom, Catholic Christendom.

The People of Old were illumined by prophets, and at every juncture, the desolations of rejection and ridicule came, culminating with a dark night of the soul, supreme infidelity before the parallel chastisements. The Church illumined the Gentiles, and at every juncture, the desolations of rejection and ridicule came, with heresies and schisms and infidelities, culminating with a dark night of the soul, the minor apostasy of our current age.

The People of Old were chastised in parallel, about a century and some apart, the schismatics by Assyria, and the true kingdom by Babylon. The current world, by most estimates of fully approved private revelations, [Endtimes, Millennium, Rapture], is about to go into a chastisement of epic proportions, shaking the world to its foundations, and approaching, if even less than, the end of the world.

The People of Old repented and came back to God. They returned to the bosom of their literal place of salvation and rebuilt the Temple. By the same approved prophecies, the Gentiles will repent in our coming calamity and turn their hearts back to their Triune Maker. They shall come home to their spiritual homeland, the Church, meaning the reunion of Christians. Then shall the spiritual kingdom of Catholic Christendom be rebuilt. In each of these instances, the Peoples of God walked in a closer union with the Lord.

Finally, the Old People solidified their union with God in the epic act of substantial martyrdom under the antichrist figure Antiochus in the Maccabees. After this dark time, the last history of the beloved People of Old, the Messiah came the first time. Finally, the once again self-same prophecies say that after the peaceful age of renewed Catholic Christendom dissolves, the People of New will solidify their union with their Savior by passing through the passion and martyrdom of her sojourn, New Testament Antichrist. And after this final darkness, the Messiah shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

In brief, it fits well no? A certain way of the saint for the Peoples of God, as it were.

Now, to get to the meat of our discourse, an even more profound question arises. We have seen the greater developments of the Old and New fairly correlated. What if, even deeper details are fulfilled, and at that, the mysteries of the divisions in the kingdoms? Sound crazy? Well, come and see. Many interesting parallels will emerge that are, dare we say, effectively perfectly correlated! Indeed, division in the body of Christ is a mystery that is absolutely necessary for the fuller understanding of the Divine Plan and the meaning of the Incarnation’s redemption of the world. How much more, then, should we anticipate, if it were possible, Old Testament realities in its division of the Kingdoms to image or prefigure the self-same realities in the New. Toward that end, let us beging.

Much of this all started when I went to a Holy League Men's conference some time ago; it was a great ride. It had fantastic speakers including an EWTN celebrity priest, a stellar preacher and man of God.

East Fulfills North?

Well, allow me to recall an incident that led to the forthcoming observations of our theology. I shared with this outstanding priest my “Old Testament North is the symbol of the New Testament East” analogy that I have written of before [Armageddon and the “Kings from the East”], in that just as the Old Testament North took 10 of the 12 Tribes, leaving the remnant South behind as the true kingdom, so the East took 4 of the 5 Apostolic Sees (the 12 Apostles fulfill the 12 Tribes), similarly leaving the remnant Petrine kingdom in the West as the true kingdom.

The priest, whom I will leave anonymous since I didn’t ask his permission to mention, said Protestantism makes more sense, since, from my memory of what he said, the North eventually divulged into far greater errors than the East ever did. He named a very prominent Catholic theologian and celebrity as someone who proposed this example, that is, as seeing the North as Protestantism, too. (I will leave this person, who is a wonderful, brilliant man of conviction and love, anonymous as well, since I have not spoken to him to bring him into this.)

East Fulfills North to Some Degree: Apostolic Tribes, Chastisement in the Hemispheres

The problem is, neither of us is fully right. The first analogy is perfect for the tribes and cannot apply to Protestantism, since Protestants took no Apostolic Sees with them. Protestantism has no Apostolic authority. It was the East that took most Apostolic authority with them, just as the North took most of the tribes, and it is established Biblical theology that the 12 Tribes are a type of the 12 Apostles. Protestants had no claim to authority. They took no Sees with them. The best that any Protestant rebel was was a priest, never a bishop. (Admittedly, the Anglicans were originally in schism, but they quickly fell into the condition of heresy). Hence, Protestantism fails miserably in this case, and the Orthodox score 100%.

Too, the analogy with Fatima was absolutely perfect, as follows: first, after the split, over the course of around less then two centuries, the North progressively became more and more wicked until, per the Lord’s desires, it was chastised by a beast, Assyria. The South had over a century to consider their sister’s fate and repent but did not and so went under a different beast, Babylon.

Here, again, the East fits perfectly: over the course of many centuries, Christian division began to leave its mark on the Euro-civilizations and by the time of the early 20th century, the darkness of secularism was becoming a real threat to the Christendom of the past. In that time, a century ago for us, per the epic prophecies of Fatima, a great portion of Eastern European civilization and more went under a terrible beast, totalitarian, atheistic materialism. For 100 years now, the West, the sister lung, has largely averted persecution of religious nature and has had time to repent of her progressive godless materialism and has not, so we are now going into a similar beast, evil and dark, but different from atheism: not so much totalitarian atheistic materialism, but, as Holy Father Benedict Emeritus put it, a dictatorship of relativism with its associated hedonistic materialism. Indeed, the persecutions of forcing persons of faith to violate their conscience in business practices, healthcare, insurance, and academics, to name a few, are simply NOT a fluke. They are becoming a growing and grave threat to our way of life until the evil relativistic culture we have is healed.

But the East Fails Where Protestantism Fits

Yet, the celebrity priest and theologian are right on the other spectrum; that is, they are more right about later developments: the East did not go into utter chaos and ruin like the North eventually did. The East is fairly stable with Apostolic Sees and Tradition. Too, no other great division per say occurred beyond the North-South split in the Old covenant, whereas in the New Covenant, there were two great splits: the schism and the heretical rebellion of Protestantism; so we seem to have a problem.

Can We Have the Best of Both Worlds?

Then, it hit me. Look up the historical details! Yep! Never fear! Geography will rescue us. How? Well, look ahead:

Right after the split, the North established two primary places of worship, not merely one, as a form of competition with the true place of worship in Jerusalem. Also, Jerusalem itself was close to the North-South border. In other words, it was quite north in the kingdom of Judah, the Kingdom of the South.

Well get this: the two places of worship in the North were at the extremities of north and south, meaning one was very south in the North, that is, close to the north-south border, and one was very far north, way in the northern extremities of the North. The southern city was therefore very close to Jerusalem, a mere 15 miles or so. It was called Bethel, and it was part of the tribe Joseph and a sub-tribe called Ephraim, the other sub-tribe being Manasseh. The other competing worship city, the one in the far north, was Dan of the tribe of the same name.

This already reveals a mystery. One form of competing worship is very close to the true place of worship geographically, and one place is very far away from the true place of worship geographically. So, too, there are two great forms of Christian religion outside of the Catholic Church: the ones in schism and the ones in heresy; the schismatics are very close to her spiritually, having everything but the Supreme Apostolic Successor, the Orthodox. They possess Apostolic Succession, Sacred Tradition, all of Scripture, and all seven sacraments. On the other hand, the heretics are very far away: they only have Scripture and two sacraments, baptism and marriage.

Now for a mind-blowing 144,000 analogy, Apocalypse 7.

Now, we all know the JW and Fundamentalist treatment of the 144,000, wacked out to be sure. For, if only 144,000 are going to heaven, we might as well throw in the towel. As as for literal Jews not being harmed by helicopters, what the?! If God wanted to protect the Jewish People, who are truly still dear to His heart [indeed, the heavenly Father is pleading with this older son to rejoice that his younger brother, the Gentiles, has come back to God in Christ.], it would have been much better if He had stopped the holocaust, when millions were killed by Nazi Germany. Too, even the common Cathoilc preterist view leaves much to be desired. That is, where Fundamentalists see the 144,000 as literal Jews protected from literal helicopters in the last century, preterists, including many Catholics who are orthodox, see Christian Jews spared from literal Roman soldiers in the first century. This is really dumb, since what Christian Jews do escape the destruction of Jerusalem will simply enter the arena of a much broader Empire where they will be forced, possibly, to apostatize or be tortured and killed in ways that were probably just as bad as if they stayed in Jerusalem.

And this is even beyond the point: if you are protected merely from PHYSICAL harm and you die and go to hell, how does that profit you?

Does Christ promise to protect us from literal, physical harm (at any age in history)? By no means. For the Roman martyrs were tortured horribly, many times nailed to crosses, reduced to ashes at the stake, or torn apart by brute beasts. And where was the protection of Christ to the Rwandans who died of thirst two decades and a half ago? Were none of them Christians?

Or where was the Christ when so many Christian soldiers had limbs blown off in WWII? Or where was the Father when so many Christians and Catholics perished in the Black Plague? Or where was the Spirit when so many countless Irish Christians perished in the Potato famine?

Wherefore do some hypocrites think that the faithful at the end of the world shall not also suffer physical woes? What does the Catechism say, except that the Church herself will follow Her Divine Savior in the Passion?

But then, therefore, whatever this Seal of God is that protects its bearers from the trumpets, it can in no wise be from physical harm, for Christ did not come to protect us from the physical Cross, or even the spiritual Cross of the dark night of soul.

However, I will tell you one protection that we know Christ always desires of His Disciples, and that is that they know His Truth in all its fullness in their intellect, which is joined to the human's brain, which in turn lies behind the forehead, which in turn is what is Sealed in the same apocalypse before the trumpets.

For to the degree that men do not know, or worse, reject, some or all of Christ's truths, they are harmed in the worst possible way, by heresy, and the fruit of heresy progressively undermines a person's chances of being saved.

For, to misunderstand God is harmful. Indeed, we were meant to love God and know Him. And to the degree that you misunderstand a person, so to the same degree will it be difficult to love them. But loving God is the source of salvation, for only those who "do the will of the One who Sent Me" shall attain eternal life; but doing the Will of the Father is none other than loving the Father.

Therefore, in any world God would create, His ultimate will after He incarnates Himself is to give some share of His Disciples a spiritual protection from all error in faith, so that they may not be harmed in what is truly harmful for a person.

But where, then, in this world, will one get a Seal that protects their intellect from the harm, or stain, of unchastity of heresy? Alas, in fullness, only in Peter. But therefore, the Seal should be, if sensible, not given to all the elect, but only to Catholics. Why? For, the elect will surely include persons who come from schism and heresy—even infidels or pagans. For do not elements of sanctification overflow from the boundaries of Christ’s Chaste Bride? Is not baptism valid in most non-Catholic Christian Churches and communities? And cannot even the implicit desire for Baptism be had by good Jews, Islamics, and such? That is, some elect shall be what were on earth, merely material schismatics, heretics, infidels, or pagans. But none of these lesser classes have the fullest protection from error. Only followers of Peter, who listen to him in full, have this protection. But therefore, the Seal is Catholicism, and those that bear it are the ones who listen always, like little children, to the voice of the Church, in all her proclamations.

Therefore, we have established that the most likely intended meaning by Our Lord in the 144,000 and the Seal of protection is the Catholic Church, and the protection is its infallible teachings and fullness of grace in the sacraments.

Let us now proceed to our analogy of the tribes we have been dealing with in the OT tribal history.

Recall that in Apocalypse 7, the 144,000 are formed by taking 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes (well-sort of, more on that shortly); there are 12 tribes of Israel if we list Joseph by itself and don't list its two sub-tribes. But if we were to list all 12 tribes like above but also name the two sub tribes of Joseph we would get 14. Plus it would be redundant, obviously.

Well consider this; it is amazing!

The way that the 12 tribes are listed in the 144,000 is to be half redundant with Joseph and then to exclude one full tribe.

How so?

Firstly, the whole tribe that is excluded is Dan.

Then, to make up for the one that is lost, Joseph is still listed, but one of his sub-tribes is also listed; that sub-tribe that is listed is Manasseh, which means that the other sub-tribe that is left out is Ephraim!

Long story short, the 12 x 12 exclude Ephraim and Dan!

And a think about it? What is so special about Ephriam in Dan? Answer: Dan and Ephraim are the two tribes that alone contain the cities of worship that were opposed to Jerusalem!!

Hence the mystical meaning of the 144,000 can be that God's blessing of protection in the way of the infallible truth [“the Seal of God in the forehead”] and the fullness of the means of Grace [“the Seal of God in the hand”] falls exclusively on the pure “tribes” and not the two “unclean tribes” that opposed the true place of worship. That is, the pure worship and teachings of the Catholic Church alone are protected, which does not include the two great opposing forms of Christianity: the schismatic Orthodox and the heretical Protestants!

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Samaria as Image of Christian Division and Their Belonging to the True Church of Christ

Something else interesting!

Firstly, Samaria was the eventual lasting capital of the separated kingdom of the North. This solidifies an interpretation of mine of the Samaritan woman of John’s Gospel as dealing with ecclesiology of the New Covenant and image of separated Christianity. We will treat of this later.

Secondly, Samaria was allotted into the kingdom of Joseph, and it was split up between Joseph's two sub-tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. Here is profundity: recall that, in the book of Revelation, Joseph and Manasseh are mentioned as part of the tribes of the 144,000. Ephraim is not, and I conjectured that because, again, it housed one of the places of worship that was false; the other tribe left out in the 144,000 was Dan, which housed the other place of false worship.

In other words, Ephriam was one of the images of division. By way of implication, Manasseh, the other sub-tribe, could, in this context, image the true kingdom of the Catholic Church because it was mentioned in the 144,000, which imaged the Catholic Church. Then, from above, we have that Samaria belongs to both Manasseh and Ephraim. That is, Samaria, or Christian division, belongs to both the truth and the separation!

Bingo!

The Catholic Church teaches that non-Catholic forms of Christianity belong to the Church mysteriously by way of Jesus’ grace. Indeed, they participate in sanctifying elements, as we were reminded of above. Hence, they have one foot into our territory, if even imperfectly. But they also have one foot out of us, since they are separated by their errors and partial lack of communion. Hence, why Samaria has one foot in in Manasseh and one in Ephraim!

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The Orthodox are Churches, But Not Protestants: Ephraim is Partly Included, Dan is Not

Again, Dan and Ephraim are the two tribes not mentioned [in the 144,000]. They were, again, Protestantism and Orthdoxy, respectively. Here is something. The manner in which they are not mentioned is different. More specifically, Dan is completely not mentioned, since his tribe is whole. However, Ephraim is really partially mentioned. How? Because, on the one hand, Joseph is mentioned in the 144000, and since he includes both Mannasseh and Ephriam, Ephraim is implied. Yet, Ephraim is not explicitly mentioned, whereas, again, Dan is neither explicitly mentioned nor implied.

Here is something interesting then:

The Orthodox, or Ephraim by our earlier analogy, who at least have an implication in the 144,000 listing, are Apostolic Churches. They truly have the Eucharistic presence of Christ, the Apostolic Succession, and full sacramental life. Hence, thy can warrant an implication.

Protestantism, on the other hand, is not a collection of Churches. They have no Eucharist, no Apostolic Succession, nor full Sacramentaltiy. Hence, since they are not churches, but only ecclesial communities, they cannot really be numbered as an implication.

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Addendum: The Woman at the Well as Ecclesiological Type

What if there were another image of New Covenant ecclesiology? I believe there is: the Samaritan woman at the well! This makes sense firstly because, as we noted earlier, Samaria was the eventual lasting capital of the separated kingdom of the North. Secondly, this is appropriate because the Samaritans were the epitome of the unorthodox to the Jews of Jesus’ time. Too, the Samaritans were not only unorthodox but descendants of the original North. Hence, the Samaritans are in a perfect position as the Old Testament unorthodox to bear, within themselves, the totality of phases and types of NT unorthodoxy and division.

Human Sexuality as Image of Holy Orders

Now, to begin, we note the woman, per the words of the Savior, has five husbands, and then a live-in fornicator. This suggests a mystical tie between sexuality and Christian division. Indeed, this is precisely the case, as follows.

Firstly, we know that human sexuality between man and woman is an image of the spiritual spousal relationship between the God and His People, between the Creator and the creature. How? Well, the mystery is this: physically, the act of love between man and woman images the spiritual relationship between God, the Creator, and the creature. More specifically, simply consider the blatant similarities: man has a proceeding sexuality, and woman has a receptive sexuality. Man holds the seed of life that is originally infused. Woman, effectively, receives it. This is the precise nature of the seed of “truth and grace” in the spiritual life: God, the Creator, is the ultimate source of all truth and grace, not the creature. The creature, effectively, is in a receptive position with regard to truth and grace. We creatures do not determine the truth; God does. God is the truth! “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Moreover, all grace is a finite created participation in the Divine life and love of the Trinity. It must come from God; it must be given by God. The creature does not create grace. The creature receives it.

Similarly, just as man overshadows woman from above [“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.”] and enters her inner being, lovingly infusing the total gift of life, the seed of life, so God overshadows the creature, enters its inmost being, the soul, and lovingly infuses grace for the will and truth for the intellect. The grace is conceived and brought forth in new life, a new life that proceeds from the creature to the outer world, meaning, the creature renewed at Mass with God’s Words and strength in the Eucharist goes forth to “love and serve the Lord”, to bring the life and truth it received to others through acts of charity and evangelization.

The Catholic Balance of Male and Female and Why only Men can be Priests

We now come to essential theology of the Incarnation and Holy Orders that will be indispensable for the Samaritan woman discourse. We have just seen that God created male to female to image, at least in one layer, Creator to creature. For this very reason, if God makes Himself flesh, He absolutely must take on the sex which images of the Creator. Hence, the Son must become male. This also indicates why the Sacred Scripture and Tradition effectively use male pronouns for God: Father, Son, Lord. This, incidentally, also vindicates the Church’s tradition that only men may be ordained. How? Well, priests are in persona Christi. They mediate truth and grace of the Creator, as though they were the source, and therefore they must bear the image of the Creator in the sexual analogy, hence, the male. That is, priests and bishops are “spouses” of their respective Christian communities. This gives us a gateway to view the “husbands” and “live-in lover” of the Samaritan woman in light of the sexual mystery of Holy Orders.

The First Husband, Peter

To move now into the essence of analyzing the woman’s “husbands,” we see that for the first thousand years of the Gospel, the woman, the Christians that would later divorce Christ, had one spouse, one earthly spouse, Peter, for, as every priest is a Christological Bridegroom to his parish, Peter's Spouse is the whole Church.

The Next Four Husbands: the Remnant Four Apostolic Sees of Schism

Then, in the Great Schism, the first epic rupture of Christian unity, the woman divorced Peter and was left with four “lesser husbands,” the other four Apostolic Sees, and no one could claim her exclusively. These are the other four great brothers of Peter, who had left Him.

Protestantism: the Religion of Pseudo-Husbands

Still later, if the North images all Christian division, then, in Protestantism, all Apostolic spousal relations were abandoned in favor “live-in” husbands. What do we mean? We mean that no man is truly a spouse of a parish or of the Church, or of a diocese, and so forth, unless he has validly received Holy Orders. The only true men of God, are deacons, priests, and bishops of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Protestantism, the most epic and catastrophic division, cut itself off from the lifeblood of Apostolic Succession. Luther was merely a monk, and so could not ordain any priest. Ditto, Calvin was just priest, not a bishop. Admittedly, for a while, the bishops of Anglicanism retained Apostolic Succession and were merely in schism and not heresy. But eventually, their theology betrayed the Apostolic Gospel, and subsequent rites of Holy Orders were invalid and no longer efficacious. Hence, Apostolic Succession died out, so that, today, the English communities are heretics like Lutherans, Calvinists, and so forth.

Hence, when there are no Holy Orders, there are no true men of God, and consequently, no true formal spouses of a Christian community. Subsequently, though Protestant ministers and evangelists have the semblance of spiritual husbands, formally they are not. Therefore, they indeed preach like a priest, they baptize and marry like a priest, they anoint sick people, they collect church funds, they spiritually direct congregants, they are "ordained" by "the laying on of hands", and so forth; but in the end, they are no different than a man who lives with a woman, works to provide for her, changes diapers, helps with the dishes, fixes things, does yard work, kisses her, hugs her, has sex with her, has children with her, but who has never taken her before a public place of worship before all friends and family and a spiritual representative from the community and said, before all, I am yours until death do us part; until the sun won't shine; in good times and in bad; for better or for worse, and so forth.

Yes, Protestant ministers are, despite all true sincerity, in the end, spiritually live-in "husbands", pseudo men of God. "You have spoken rightly. For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now with is not your husband."

This, then, can be the image of a mystery of Christian division: the North, as well as the Woman at the Well, who images the final phase of the North, can be the symbol of the process of denigrating division. In the first wave, some form of formal spousal relationship is retained, schism, as in four husbands, or the first phase of worship in the North. Later, however, fornication sets in, as in the Woman's current situation with a mere pseudo-husband, and also the second phase of worship in the North, Baal and Jezebel, heresy.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the 12 Tribes and Old Testament realities expressed in the 144,000 unbelievably express, at least objectively, profound New Testament theology of Division. Coincidence? You decide!




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