The Jewish Diaspora, the Fullness of the Gentiles, and the Conversion of the Jews

Prerequisite:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/scott-pauline/holy-family-meditation-the-finding-of-the-messiah-in-the-new-temple-of-god/10153433878172144

I used to think, for a long time as I pondered the meaning of history over the last decade and more, that the issue of the Jewish return to the Holy Land had nothing to do with God's Plan, that it was merely a Fundamentalist construct. What I now realize, based on the killer Scripture testimony below, is that Fundamentalism does get some of this right. What they get wrong, overall, is the mistaken idea that God is on the side of the Jews in the coming apocalyptic confrontation over a strip of land, however nice. It is the super-zealousness and continued short-sightedness of the Jewish People to take such a mere physical place as end unto itself that will be the source of part of the minor tribulation. More on this to come.

Effectively, Jewish Apocalyptic History is very adequately summarized in the Finding of the Temple:

Day One:

The Jews exit Jerusalem in diaspora and look for the Messiah for one day, a night and a morning. This is the period when the Church is "laboring" to spread the faith in the first great age. It is hard work, working against heresy and wickedness. The initial conversion of the Gentiles, a limited conversion, is attained, but not without the cost of great Christian Division.

Day Two:

As the night of the second day falls, or the intermediate darkness for the Church, the Gentiles that converted in the first light, the light of the first day. fall into apostasy because of the scandal of Christian division. At the same time, the Jewish People, still looking for Messiah, return to Jerusalem, or the Holy Land, and continue looking for the Messiah. Because it is the "second day", a new phase of Church history has dawned. It is, as the Christ puts it, the time when the times of the nations shall be fulfilled. Meaning, it is on the verge of the fullness of the Gentiles, the time when the full maturity of the Gospel in history shall be attained (among the Gentiles)

In the midst of this darkness, the zealous short-sightedness of the Jews in still considering the Holy Land as an end unto itself gives rise to an apocalyptic conflict, which serves as one supreme dimension of the minor tribulation.

The other dimension of the minor tribulation is the consequences of all apostasy and non-Catholic errors befalling the nations that knew the Gospel earlier but rejected it. This aspect manifests all errors for their true nature, and shows the godless, as well as all non-Catholic persons, the error of their ways. They then repent and open their eyes to the fullness of faith. The reunion of Christians follows, and this heals the wounds to unity that had occasioned this intermediate apostasy. This same reunion then enables the "world to believe", precisely because they "have become One, that they [may be] brought to perfection as one". This second great conversion, marked by mature unity--unlike the first world's conversion, marked by sinful disunity--is then itself "the fullness of the Gentiles". And it is, effectively, the light, the light of the second day.

As far as the dimension of Jewish error regarding the holy land giving rise to apocalyptic tribulation, it would seem we can foresee a further gain in the move toward Christ, in that, even as Jews now have a friendship with Christians that simply did not exist when Christianity first started, perhaps they will see somewhat more clearly the reality that closeness to God does not necessarily depend on your geographic location. However, the full conversion of the Jews, per Public Revelation, must wait until the final darkness of Church history, the great apostasy.

Meanwhile, the great Gentile reversion on the heels of the minor tribulation becomes, as it were from most fully approved private revelation, a wondrous age of peace in which nearly of humanity lives the Gospel in their hearts (see also, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart). Too, during this time, the Jews continue to "search for the Messiah."

Day Three:

The private revelation above completes the overall scenario of Church history by saying that the age of peace, of indeterminate but long length, gives way to the final apostasy, the great apostasy of Public Revelation, when Antichrist. This is, by our clock, of course, the third night, and so the third day. Finally, the Jews “find the Messiah” in the NEW Temple of God, the Catholic Church, just as Mary and Joseph finally find the Christ in the OLD Temple of God. Too, just as Jesus describes to His beloved Mother and foster Father that they should have expected Him to be in His Father’s House and about His Father’s Business, too, the Christ shall respond to the great astonishment of the Jews that they should have sought Him in the NEW Temple, the Church, and that, what else would be He be doing, but the “business of His Father”, which is, of course, REDEEMING THE GENTILES while they [the JEWS] looked for Him

Why THREE Days?

Here, too, we recall my theology from earlier places: the three days are not arbitrary: they represent three phases of spiritual maturity, even as the saints, in general, traverse the three ways: the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive. In this vein, the Jews, though not fully shown the full implications of grace of the New Covenant, are nevertheless walking in love and truth of God, even if some of it is merely prefiguring. Hence, their history follows a spiritual maturity in holiness even as the Church does.

In this way, though Christ Himself fills up this mystical set of three in so many ways in the Gospel (He arose again on the third day; three times He falls carrying the cross; three times He prays for strength to do the Father’s will in the Agony in the Garden; three times Peter denies Christ, and three times he is reconciled; Mary Magdalene is spoken to three times at the Tomb…), the Jews cannot see the revelation. Hence, only when the Church herself, the Body of Christ Herself, fills up in HER flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, shall the Jews fully open up to the mystery of inner renewal, which has eluded her for a time, till the very end.

Hence, in other words, the three phases of Church history above, the three nights interwoven into the three mornings, are just the fulfillment of the spiritual maturation of the Jewish People before Christ and, at the same time, the path of saint, the three “ways”.

Hence, the Church had pagan Rome, the Jews had Egypt.

The Church had Constantine and Catholic Christendom, the Jews had Moses, the Exodus, and the possession of the OT Holy Land.

The Church had the progressive illumination of the Gentiles, and their progressive resistance unto a supreme apostasy in our modern times, the Jews had the prophets and their progressive resistance of the Old Law unto the supreme godlessness before the Exile.

The Gentiles, now godless, are about to go into a great tribulation, repent, and rebuild the Catholic world in love, the Jews went into Babylonian exile, repented, and returned to Holy Land and rebuilt the Old Temple.

And finally, the Church shall have the great apostasy and Antichrist, followed by the Second Coming, and the Jews had the apostasy of the Maccabees and OLD Testament Antichrist figure, Antiochus, the overcoming of which was followed by the FIRST Coming of Christ.

Hence, the progression of Jewish approach to the Gospel grows as the history unfolds, so that, at the apex, the ultimate “deja vu”, with NT Antichrist fulfilling OT Antichrist Antiochus, the Jews are able to exclaim, with Mary Magdalene, “Rabonni”, which means, TEACHER.

Apocalypse 11 and the Illuminative Way

Further profundity follows in this regard when we look at the Two Witnesses discourse of Apocalypse 11. Here is the text:

Apocalypse 11:

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and it was said to me: Arise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar and them that adore therein. [2] But the court, which is without the temple, cast out, and measure it not: because it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city they shall tread under foot two and forty months: [3] And I will give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. [4] These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, that stand before the Lord of the earth. [5] And if any man will hurt them, fire shall come out of their mouths, and shall devour their enemies. And if any man will hurt them, in this manner must he be slain.

[6] These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and they have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues as often as they will. [7] And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. [8] And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord also was crucified. [9] And they of the tribes, and peoples, and tongues, and nations, shall see their bodies for three days and a half: and they shall not suffer their bodies to be laid in sepulchres. [10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry: and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth.

[11] And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them. [12] And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them: Come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud: and their enemies saw them. [13] And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell: and there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand: and the rest were cast into a fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The interpretation is straightforward when we regard the Two Witnesses as indicative of the witness of the Church herself in human history, perhaps even the two great wellsprings of all Revelation, the Written Word of God (Sacred Scripture) and the Oral Word of God (the Sacred Tradition).

In the beginning of the Scripture above, the inner city would obviously be the Church, and the outer part of the court, the Jews, who have gone out of the true Kingdom by virtue of the their rejection of the Gospel. The holy city is then literally Jerusalem.

Then, there are two parallel epochs of the history in the Church, both coinciding with one another:

  • The trampling of the holy city by the Gentiles, for forty two months (3 and one half years, indicative of great period of imperfection, since, in Biblical theology, 3 and 1/2 is exactly half of seven. Hence, since 7 is the number of perfection, half of 7 is great IMPERFECTION).
  • The preaching of the Two Witnesses, here, the primary doctrinal development of the Church, from its inception until the darkness of the intermediate apostasy of Church history, also our modern time, and, at the same time, the great period of time that Jerusalem is possessed by the Gentiles, and lasting for the same symbolic period, but in different format (1260 days: 1260 days / (30 days / month) = 42 months). When the Church proclaims truths during this tumultuous period (that flow from Scripture and Tradition), attempts to harm them would simply mean spiritual opposition, that is, effectively, rejection of the truths. This brings spiritual harm of the very same degree on the attacker (And if any man will hurt them, in this manner must he be slain.).

Hence, the Scripture implies that when these two great periods mutually conclude, a darkness descends, symbolized by the beast that arises up and slays the two witnesses. Here we have an immediate meaning: if the Two Witnesses were attacked but not killed in the first great age of doctrinal development, so their murder a lesser but greatly imperfect period (3 and ½ days instead of 3 ½ years) symbolizes a near total rejection of their witness, a veritable apostasy. This is our modern era. When the Jews retook Jerusalem in the latter half of the twentieth century, key pivotal events occurred: The Church wrapped up a 2000 year legacy of supreme doctrinal development at Vatican II and represented, boldly but charitably, the full Gospel to a world in turmoil and about to reject it outright. Too, the godless minor apostasy of our last generation rose up: the sexual revolution, atheism, relativism, hedonism, materialism: ideologies and cultural manifestations that, as the great St John Paul put it to an American audience some few years before his rise to the pontificate, “the full ANTI-GOSPEL”.

Here, the godless world regards the Church, and her witness in Scripture and Tradition, as utterly dead to them, searing their consciences of any fear of God and exalting the materialistic grandeur as salvifically independent of religion.

And when they shall have finished their testimony [Vatican II, recapture of Jerusalem by Jews], the beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (the modern minor apostasy of the last generation) [8] And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord also was crucified. [9] And they of the tribes, and peoples, and tongues, and nations, shall see their bodies for three days and a half: and they shall not suffer their bodies to be laid in sepulchres. [10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry: and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth. (the former Christendom’s perverse celebration of liberation from all religion and consideration of conscience)

In the next phase, chastisement begins:

And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them.

The minor tribulation fits here: as the consequences of the godlessness and other non-Catholic errors befall the world, the horrors cause humanity to accept what they could not, or denied: one must fear God by accepting and living in the truths and morals of the faith for society to live in peace and free from the scourge of moral evil. Too, a possible apocalyptic manifestation of the Jewish conflict over the holy land can fit here as well.

Then, the world repents, and the result is the apocalyptic vindication of the Church and her teaching, that had always flowed from her great “Lampstands and Olive Trees”: the lampstand to light the way of truth, and the oil of the olive to nourish the will with grace, the oil of the Sacraments. The fullness of the Gentiles, the fullness of what the faith shall be amongst the nations is attained at this great juncture:

(Apocalypse 11)

And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them: Come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud: and their enemies saw them. [13] And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell: and there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand: and the rest were cast into a fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Luke 21:

And they [the Jewish People] shall fall by the edge of the sword [destruction of Jerusalem]; and shall be led away captives into all nations [the great diaspora, AD 70 to AD 1950~]; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles; till the times of the nations be fulfilled [the fullness of the Gentiles].

Hence, in an amazing way, we can argue quite convincingly that the relationship of the period of Jewish Diaspora and Return, and the period of stressful doctrinal development of the Church, its radical rejection, and ultimate vindication, culminating in the fullness of the Gentiles, is most powerfully, clearly, and vividly veiled in the Two Witnesses interlude of Apocalypse. AMEN!