We’ve been working our way through the central column of the seven sevens motif that pervades the Apocalypse. The column of Seven Signs supports the entire edifice and this is why the Blessed Mother spent so much time explaining the meaning of these signs to Fr. Gobbi, for our benefit.
In the last two talks we compared the fourth and fifth signs: two lambs: the two-horned lamb-beast that speaks like a dragon, and the seven-horned lamb of Zion with seven eyes “the seven Spirits of God, having been sent out into all the earth” [Rev 5:6]. Mary clearly identified the two-horned lamb-beast as clergy who adhere, consciously or unconsciously, to the values of Freemasons, and therefore ultimately promote the dragon’s agenda of a communist style world government.
Using various clues provided by Mary, we identified the seven-horned, seven-eyed lamb of Zion as a group entity that includes clergy who are devout ministers of the seven sacraments. The seven priestly horns of oil are served by the seven eyes of the religious of the seven major rules. These religious offer the insights of their variety of charisms and look out in all directions to see the needs of the people and report them to the pastors, and to relay to the people, more particularly and individually, what the pastors teach more generally from the pulpits.
We observed that the two-horned lamb-beast only has two eyes because the religious associated with these ordained ministers are only focused straight ahead on their particular agenda. They don’t obey their seven holy Rules so they can’t enlighten the clergy with the spiritual insights of a sevenfold variety of charisms.
Scripture associates each of these lambs with a third group of persons who are identified with a number and a mark. The slain Lamb stands on Mt. Zion with 144,000 who are sealed. The unslain Land beast or Earth beast (same word) worships the slain Sea Beast and compels all the Earth people to be marked with 666.
The family is an image of the Holy Trinity: the father provides food and shelter and protection for the mother and sons. The mother hovers among them to communicate the needs of the children and their obedience and respect to the father, and the values and instructions and love of the father to the children, thus bonding and sealing the family into a loving unit.
The Church is also a family image of the Holy Trinity: the priestly Fathers nurture the family with the sacraments and the values of the holy commandments. They protect the family from error and harmful doctrines. The laity are the Christ-like sons of God walking through the world, bearing witness to all whom they encounter and performing good deeds of mercy. The religious imitate the Holy Spirit by hovering among the family members with motherly solicitude, serving all with their bountiful gifts to foster unity of understanding and loving respect between fathers and sons, thus strengthening the health and unity of the Mystical Body.
Each of the lamb entities in the Apocalypse are comprised of three elements: horns which amplify sound and pour oil (the fatherly clergy), the luminous eyes (the watchful religious) and numbers (the laity who multiply the Church by making converts as they bear witness in their workplace and in their families). Today we are going to learn all we can about the number of the Lamb beast, 666, and the number of Lamb of Zion, 144,000.
A Child affected by 666
I would like to begin with a little testimony about my personal encounter with 666. As a young Girl Scout in gradeschool I greatly enjoyed volunteering at the Cowtown museum complex every summer. I was into Little House on the Prairie books. This was a generation before the television series. There was something refreshing and simple about the pioneer life that attracted me, and I eventually found it in my vocation to religious life. It was customary for the girls to amuse themselves with little games on our breaks. It’s different now, but in those days each girl had to memorize a few paragraphs and give a tour of her portion of whatever building She was assigned to for the day, so we appreciated our little breaks. There was a variety of games and many involved numbers: pick a number, guess a number, card games, board games and so on. Well, one summer I was always coming up with six and always winning. Over and over and over. Everybody noticed it because it was so uncanny. Some of the girls began to tell me that 6 was my lucky number and they would sing “666”. This upset me. I was Catholic. I didn’t believe in superstition. I didn’t know much about 666 but I knew it was evil. But how could I deny the fact that I always won when 6 was involved? To add to my dismay ,was the weird coincidence of discovering about that time that when I was in first grade, a rather traumatic grade for me since my family moved four times so I changed school four times, I was six years old in ‘66. As the expression today goes: it was all starting to “creep me out.” I wanted to shake free of this evil thing. I didn’t want to win anymore.
Fortunately, in those days kids could hop on a bike and go almost anywhere without a parent worrying. I took my problem to church to pray for help to be delivered from this number. As I knelt down I almost felt ashamed of myself to have this dirty thing cling to me, so I was startled to feel covered with a great sense of joy. He was laughing, I was sure of it. He was sending me a message with this event. He wanted me to understand that no evil thing would defeat me. I must have perfect confidence in his power and love. I would encounter the 666 one day, but it was a game that I would win. How old was I? Perhaps ten? For the next couple of years I continued to win the childhood number games until I totally relaxed and felt calm about my close and strange relationship with this “evil” number. It had ceased to upset or defile me. Like so many incidents in childhood, this one became completely forgotten until many years later when I began to read Mary’s messages to Fr. Gobbi in which She told us that we are living in the time of the Apocalypse, and She began to say a great deal about 666. Her words brought back to me that lesson of confidence that I had learned long ago, and I could almost hear the Lord laughing again. We mustn’t let this huge drama get us down or paralyze us with a sense of fear or the dirtiness of sin. The huge red dragon is so puny in power compared to the strength of God. How many times did Jesus tell us not to be afraid?
Let’s read the entire main passage where Mary decodes the number 666 for us.
407–The Number of the Beast: 666
Milan, June 17, 1989
407a–Beloved sons, you now understand the plan of your heavenly Mother, the Woman Clothed with the Sun, who, with her army, is engaged in the great struggle against all the forces of evil, in order to attain her great victory in the perfect glorification of the Most Holy Trinity.
407b–Join me in battle, little children, against the Dragon, who seeks to lead all humanity against God.
407c–Join me in battle, little children, against the black beast, Masonry, which seeks to lead souls to perdition.
407d–Join me in battle, little children, against the beast like a lamb, Masonry infiltrated into the interior of ecclesial life in order to destroy Christ and his Church. To attain this end, it seeks to build a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church.
407e–Ecclesiastical Masonry receives orders and power from the various Masonic lodges and works to lead everyone secretly to become part of these secret sects. Thus it stimulates the ambitious with the prospect of easy careers; it heaps up with goods those who are starved for money; it assists its members to exceed others and to occupy the most important positions while it sets aside, in a subtle but decisive way, all those who refuse to take part in its designs. Indeed the beast like a lamb exercises all its power from the first beast, in its presence, and it forces the earth and all its inhabitants to adore the first beast.
407f–Ecclesiastical Masonry goes as far as even building a statue in honor of the beast and forces all to adore this statue.
407g–But, according to the first commandment of the holy law of the Lord, only God is to be adored and to Him alone must every form of worship be rendered. And so they substitute for God a strong, powerful and dominating idol. An idol so powerful that it puts to death all who do not adore the statue of the beast. An idol so strong and dominating as to cause all, small and great, rich and poor, freemen and slaves, to receive a mark on the right hand and on the forehead, and that no one can buy or sell without having this mark, that is to say, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This great idol, built to be served and adored by all, as I have already revealed to you in the preceding message, is a false christ and a false church.
407h–But what is its name?
407i–In the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse it is written, ‘This calls for wisdom. Let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast: it represents a human name. And the number in question is 666 (six hundred and sixty-six).’ With intelligence, illumined by the light of divine Wisdom, one can succeed in deciphering from the number, 666, the name of a man and this name, indicated by such a number, is that of the Antichrist.
407j–Lucifer, the ancient serpent, the devil or Satan, the Red Dragon, becomes, in these last times, the Antichrist. The Apostle John already affirmed that whoever denies that Jesus Christ is God, that person is the Antichrist. The statue or idol, built in honor of the beast to be adored by all men, is the Antichrist.
407k–Calculate now its number, 666, to understand how it indicates the name of a man. The number, 333, indicates the divinity. Lucifer rebels against God through pride, because he wants to put himself above God. 333 is the number which indicates the mystery of God. He who wants to put himself above God bears the sign, 666, and consequently this number indicates the name of Lucifer, Satan, that is to say, of him who sets himself against Christ, of the Antichrist.
407l–333 indicated once, that is to say, for the first time, expresses the mystery of the unity of God. 333 indicated twice, that is to say, for the second time, indicates the two natures, that of the divine and the human, united in the divine Person of Jesus Christ. 333 indicated thrice, that is to say, for the third time, indicates the mystery of the Three Divine Persons, that is to say, it expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Thus the number, 333, expressed one, two and three times, expresses the principal mysteries of the Catholic faith, which are: (1) the Unity and the Trinity of God, (2) the incarnation, the passion and death, and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
407m–If 333 is the number which indicates the divinity, he who wants to put himself above God himself is referred to by the number 666.
407n–666 indicated once, that is to say, for the first time, expresses the year 666, six hundred and sixty-six. In this period of history, the Antichrist is manifested through the phenomenon of Islam, which directly denies the mystery of the divine Trinity and the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Islam, with its military force, breaks loose everywhere, destroying all the ancient Christian communities, and invades Europe and it is only through my extraordinary motherly intervention, begged for powerfully by the Holy Father, that it does not succeed in destroying Christianity completely.
Note: She’s referring to the sea victory of Lepanto where the Moslems had the advantage of a large and strong fleet. Pope St. Pius V, a Dominican, sent out a request to all the Churches to pray the Rosary to ask Mary’s intercession to save Europe from a Moslem invasion. It was a hard battle on October 7th, 1571. Almost an equal number of men were killed. But a great wind came up and disrupted the Muslim naval formation. The Christians were able to capture or destroy nearly all the ships in the enemy fleet, so victory was complete. In thanksgiving, Pius V made October 7th the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
407o–666 indicated twice, that is to say, for the second time, expresses the year 1332, thirteen hundred and thirty-two. In this period of history, the Antichrist is manifested through a radical attack on the faith in the word (Parola) of God. Through the philosophers who begin to give exclusive value to science and then to reason, there is a gradual tendency to constitute human intelligence alone as the sole criterion of truth. There come to birth the great philosophical errors which continue through the centuries down to your days. The exaggerated importance given to reason, as an exclusive criterion of truth, necessarily leads to the destruction of the faith in the word (Parola) of God. Indeed, with the Protestant Reformation, Tradition is rejected as a source of divine revelation, and only Sacred Scripture is accepted. But even this must be interpreted by means of the reason, and the authentic Magisterium of the hierarchical Church, to which Christ has entrusted the guardianship of the deposit of faith, is obstinately rejected. Each one is free to read and to understand Sacred Scripture according to one’s personal interpretation. In this way, faith in the word (Parola) of God is destroyed. The work of the Antichrist, in this period of history, is the division of the Church and the consequent formation of new and numerous Christian confessions which gradually become driven to a more and more extensive loss of the true faith in the word (Parola) of God.
407p–666 indicated thrice, that is to say, for the third time, expresses the year 1998, nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. In this period of history, Freemasonry, assisted by its ecclesiastical form, will succeed in its great design: that of setting up an idol to put in the place of Christ and of his Church. A false christ and a false church. Consequently, the statue built in honor of the first beast, to be adored by all the inhabitants of the earth and which will seal with its mark all those who want to buy or sell, is that of the Antichrist. You have thus arrived at the peak of the purification, of the great tribulation and of the apostasy. The apostasy will be, as of then, generalized because almost all will follow the false christ and the false church. Then the door will be open for the appearance of the man or of the very person of the Antichrist!
407q–This is why, beloved children, I have wanted to enlighten you concerning the pages of the Apocalypse which refer to the times you are living through. This is to prepare you with me, for the most painful and decisive part of the great struggle which is on the point of being fought out between your heavenly Mother and all the forces of evil which have been let loose.
407r–Take courage! Be strong, my little children. To you befalls the duty, in these difficult years, of remaining faithful to Christ and to his Church, putting up with hostility, struggle and persecution. But you are a precious part of the little flock, which has the task of fighting against, and in the end of conquering, the powerful force of the Antichrist.
407s–I am forming you all, defending you and blessing you.”
The above message of #407 on 666 was one of the longest locutions received by Fr. Gobbi. There is a great deal to unpack here. Let’s choose an easy piece by getting the word “idol” identified and out of the way, since it’s very straightforward. The Greek Apocalypse employs two closely related words
“idolon” occurs 5 times = “idol” in English
The Greek root of idolon means image, but it’s specifically an image that receives worship. It is an image that is idolized. In the Apocalypse it’s always a generic accusation of idol worshipers
“ikon” occurs 9 times = “image” in most English Bibles
This “image” word always appears in a phrase with the beast: If anyone “worships the beast and its image”– and elsewhere, “worshiped the beast or its image.” Notice the interesting distinction that doesn’t make any difference on judgment day. A person can consciously, deliberately, directly worship the Sea-Beast (that is, be involved with the Masons), or a person can pay homage, pay for products and entertainments, put his money down on things that represent the values of the beast. These products stand for the beast. A statue stands, or represents someone or something. For example the Statue of Liberty doesn’t represent a particular person, but a set of values.
I only wanted to clarify why these words, image and idol, are interchangeable in the Greek, so that you can understand why it’s alright for Mary to focuses only on the word “idol,” which means an image that receives worship. She used the word “idol” three times in the passage we just quoted:
407d–the beast like a lamb . . . seeks to build a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church.
407g–This great idol . . . , is a false christ and a false church.
407j–The statue or idol . . . is the Antichrist.
False christ, Anti-christ — that’s the meaning She gives the idol in this message 407. Let’s look elsewhere among locutions given to Fr. Gobbi.
374i–Remove yourselves far from anything that can contaminate the purity of your heart and the chastity of your life . . . Do not waste time before the television set, which is the most powerful instrument in the hands of my Adversary in spreading everywhere the darkness of sin and of impurity. Television is the idol spoken of in the Book of Revelation, built to be adored by all the nations of the earth, and to which the Evil One gives shape and movement so that it might become, in his hands, a terrible means of seduction and perversion.
Here She explicitly names the TV as the idol in the Apocalypse. It has “shape and movement” to be seductive. For centuries people probably read this passage in the Apocalypse (13:15) “the image of the beast would even speak” and imagined a massive statue that magically comes to life and starts talking. But think about the TV. It’s talking all day long, and most of the news is lies, straight from the Father of lies.
Are people worshiping the television? Do we bow down before it and offer incense? No, but we can offer homage to its values by running out to buy whatever the commercials are selling, and running to buy tickets to the performances of half-naked “stars.” We pay homage to the idol if we imitate the impure actions that it sets before us. How many scenes of fornication and violence! The TV is a global-sized monster, far worse than some giant stone statue set up in some plaza. It’s truly Apocalyptic in its power to dominate our ideas, our ideals, and our business success. Who can sell clothing that doesn’t conform to the lustful styles shown on TV? What small business can compete with lying commercials that cost millions of dollars which only the richest businesses can afford to produce?
This idol, according to the Apocalypse, is an image of the seven-headed Sea Beast which Mary already told us is Freemasonry, or the values of Freemasonry. In our previous conference on the Sea Beast we quoted Fr. Gobbi’s 405th locution in which Mary explained that each of the seven heads represents a value of this idol, to which so much of humanity offers worship. Just a quick review:
The first head bears the blasphemous name of pride, which . . . leads one to offer worship to the god of human reason and haughtiness, of technology and progress. The second head . . . is lust, which . . . brings one to offer worship to the god of sexuality and of impurity. The third head . . . avarice . . . the worship of the god of money. The fourth head . . . anger which . . . leads one to offer worship to the god of discord and division. The fifth head . . . sloth, which . . . disseminates the worship of the idol of fear of public opinion and of exploitation. The sixth head . . . envy which . . . leads one to offer worship to the idol of violence and of war. The seventh head . . . gluttony, which . . . leads one to offer worship to the so highly extolled idol of hedonism, of materialism and of pleasure. (and in 269l She said) The body is lifted aloft as an idol, and pleasure is sought after as if it were the supreme good.
So now we can understand why She associates adherence to the sinful values of Satan and the world as a form of false worship, even a false religion. The television screen (or the computer monitor, or the i-phone, etc.–Mary was speaking in 1989 before these inventions had become a part of everyday society), they present images before us like living, talking beings leading us in a liturgy of praise to anti-Christian values. It’s very seductive. Mary tells us to be on our extreme guard. She never tells us not to look at TV or not to use the computer, but She says “don’t waste time” in front of it.
To sum up 666
333 = Represents the principal mysteries of the Catholic, Christian Faith
Three 3s: First God, Secondly God in two natures, that is Jesus Incarnate, Thirdly, the mystery of the Holy Trinity
333 x 2 = Pride personified. Whoever puts himself and opposes Christ is an antichirst
666 x 1 = circa ad 666, the beginning of Islam. History and saints tell us that Christianity had spread around the Mediterranean, then they fell into the heresy of Arius, then they settled down into a life of materialism, instead of taking the Gospel Good News to the ends of the earth. So God allowed the proud Mohammed to be deceived by an apparition of an evil spirit, to begin a violent anti-religion to purge and punish Christians and drive them out of those lands which were the cradle of Christianity. Islam didn’t just happen. God helped it happen. Many Christians caved in and apostatized, others were martyred and the rest had to become stronger in faith and prayer and humility.
666 x 2 = circa ad 1332, the beginning of humanism. In the 1200s God sent the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Carmelites as his prophets to stir up Christians who had once again become lazy and materialistic. God also decimated the population with the Black Plagues. But Christians in Europe were bent on engaging in wars with each other for motives of pride and avarice, so God allowed the proud priest-monk Martin Luther to be deceived by novel insights inspired by evil spirits, to begin a new anti-religion to once again purge and punish Christians. Protestantism didn’t just happen. God helped it happen. Many Catholics caved in and apostatized, others were martyred, and the rest had to become stronger in their exact knowledge of the true Faith which led to a new Catechism and new religious orders to defend doctrines like the primacy of Peter and the Mass
666 x 3 = circa ad 1998. We already had a long conference on the Freemasonry of the Sea Beast. In the YouTube description box I put some links to some good videos if you feel you need to increase your knowledge on this heresy.
In the first anti-Christian era of 666 we could link it to a particular person whose name was Mohammed.
In the second anti-Christian era of 666 we could link it to a particular person whose name was Luther. Even though there are over 20,000 denominations of Protestants, they all admit it began with one Protester, the fallen monk Luther.
In the third and culminative anti-Christian era of 666 Mary tells us that a particular person will come forward, and he will be Antichrist with a capital A. We’ll speak more of this Antichrist in future conferences. Let’s turn now to the number associated with the other Lamb. The Lamb of Zion always appears with 144,000. They form an inseparable group identity.
144,000 — The Twelve Tribes
Our Blessed Mother breaks down the identity of 666 by multiplying 333. Scripture itself identifies 144,000 as a multiplication of 12, twelve thousand from twelve tribes.
I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel [Rev 7:4].
Twelve tribes are listed but the tribe of Daniel is missing. Was some tribe listed twice? Yes. If you look at a map of the Holy Land based on the divisions of territory when the Israelites came out of Egypt, the tribe of Levi is given no land at all, but the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, receive generous plots of land because they have many descendants. Although Reuben was the first-born of Leah, Rachel was Jacob’s first wife, so Jacob regarded Joseph as properly the first born son. The first born always received a double portion of the inheritance because he was expected to act in the father’s place when the father passed on. If one of the sons got into financial difficulty of any kind, he could go to the eldest brother who had extra resources, the double portion, to help him out. You could call it an Old Testament insurance policy.
Leah had several children before Rachel finally bore Joseph, so Joseph was a little squirt among older brothers. When he reached manhood, Jacob clothed him with a robe of authority and sent him out to check on his brothers who were watching flocks. The brothers did not have sufficient Faith in the promise God made to their grandfather Abraham, or humility, to recognize the lawful primacy of the young man whom Providence assigned as firstborn of the first wife. What ensued was a protest, a protestant rebellion against the papa. We know how Joseph never held it against them, and when God punished the tribes of Israel with famine, the brothers went to Joseph in Egypt and wept and repented of their sin. Thenceforth Joseph was honored. His bones were carried to the Holy Land, and Joseph’s first two sons received the double portion. So, it is appropriate that the Apocalypse list names the two tribes of Joseph. But it is a bit special that the tribes are not Ephraim and Manasseh but Joseph and Manasseh. It’s like St. Joseph is being inserted. I did a talk on the Apparition of Knock yesterday, and there was St. Joseph standing in the Apocalyptic tableau with Mary, John the Evangelist, angels and a lambkin on an altar. St. Joseph had just been named protector of the Church.
The inclusion of the tribe of Levi in the list is also significant. Levi is included in genealogies in the Old Testament but not in territorial allotments because Levi received no land among his brothers since this tribe was supported by tithes as are priests and religious today. This indicates that we are dealing with persons who follow the Lamb and that Mount Zion is not a physical territory being measured and allotted.
Why is the tribe of Dan missing? In the fourth conference in this series of the Apocalypse, the one entitled “The Lamb of Zion,” I referred to the very common custom of identifying nations with an animal symbol, and how Jacob, on his deathbed assigned an animal symbol to each of his sons who were destined to become heads of nation-tribes. The same week I did the fourth conference in a series on Mary. It’s entitled “Unfallen Race”, and in that talk I developed the same point, perhaps more at length, by showing that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was a group entity. In any case, Scripture attests that Jacob identified Dan as a snake:
Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path. [Gn 49:17]
Although we would cringe to stand at the bedside and hear dad call one son a snake, the brothers undoubtedly thought of it as a symbol that Dan’s tribe would be strong against outside invaders, because Jacob added that Dan would “bite the horse’s heels so that his rider falls backward.” A sneaky way to attack! But in the long run, Jacob was prophesying into the distant future because the tribe of Dan eventually rebelled after the death of King David. They built their own temple to the Lord Yahweh (Baal Yahweh) in the extreme north of Israel, and ordained as priest whoever wanted the job. Prophet after prophet warned the northern tribes to return to right worship, but in the end God couldn’t endure false worship in his name, so He sent the Assyrians to punish his people, and the tribe of Dan was basically decimated. Whether any individual Jews survived in exile is rather irrelevant in this passage of the Apocalypse. The statement is clear that snakes are excluded from the 144,000. This group is firmly opposed to the Dragon-Serpent.
Is 144,000 a literal number of persons?
Certainly not! The number 12 is multiplied against itself and this number is multiplied by a thousand. In other words, it’s a number symbolic of perfection. The number four in Scripture always represents the whole earth, encompassing all directions, “the four corners,” a symbol of completion. And of course three is the perfect number symbol of the Three Persons in the Trinity in whom Christ instructed us to be baptized. “Thousands” is a Biblical expression for a large number. That’s all common knowledge. You can find that in Bible study books.
This group is represented by a perfect number because they are perfectly faithful. Their doctrine is pure, free from the errors and bad values of the 666. Scripture calls them virgins. Anatomically, only females can be virgins, so is this group a feminine outpost? No! The entire theme of the Apocalypse is permeated with wedding imagery as opposed to the fornication of idol-worship and the adulterous conduct of the whore of Babylon. It’s all about the true Mystical Body who is the faithful bride of Christ, verses the beastly body who is sinning against Christ. The body of the Church is always symbolically feminine, but of course, its members are male and female.
Are these people descended from Israel? It’s irrelevant. Saint Paul referred to the body of Christian believers as:
the Israel of God [Gal 6:16].
Therefore know that only those who are of Faith are sons of Abraham . . . if you are Christ’s then you are of Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise [Gal 3:7-9].
Peter addressed the baptized Christians as if they were standing on Mount Sinai:
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people [1Pet 2:9].
Yahweh called to [Moses] from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel:
. . . if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. [Ex 19:3-6]
The Song of the 144,000
Both of these number groups are stamped or sealed or marked. Mary has much to say about the mark of the beast. Let’s leave that topic ‘til next conference and spend more time with this marvelous company of 144,000. Do you hear music? They’re singing! What’s the song? Our Lady doesn’t tell us anything in particular about this Apocalyptic song of the 144,000, but She refers again and again to the singing of angels on Christmas night, the night of Jesus’ first coming. The infant Savior brought a new light of a new day to the world and the angels celebrated with song:
MMP 462e-In this night, heaven is espoused to earth; the song of the angels blends with the voices of the little ones, of the poor, of the pure; to the shepherds is given the announcement which gives joy to all: ‘Today is born for you a Savior.’ (cf. Lk 2:11)
MMP 369f-All at once, the darkness is penetrated by a most lively light which comes pouring down from heaven; the silence resounds with the sweetest of songs and of heavenly harmonies; the solitude becomes populated with innumerable cohorts of angels, while the night opens up to the birth of a day which knows no setting.
At first glance, the Book of Revelation reminds us more of the night of the Exodus than Christmas. The atmosphere is pervaded with a dark night of sin and plagues and destroying angels, then people standing on a shore singing the victory Song of Moses as if they had crossed the sea and escaped their persecutors. But in a deeper sense it’s about Jesus’ second coming on a white horse to save a world eclipsed in darkness of perverse values. Russian monks chant haunting melodies about the Gospel parable which suggests that “the Bridegroom comes at midnight” [cf Mt 25:6; Mr 13:35: Lu 11:5; Lu 12:38].
Three centuries ago St. Louis Marie DeMontfort predicted a new Christmas. I happened to be in France last summer during the year long celebrations of the third centenary of his death. Here’s an extract from #49-52 his most famous work,“True Devotion to Mary:”
The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. . . . in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. . . . God wishes to make Mary better known in the latter times. Since She is the dawn which precedes and reveals the Sun of Justice Jesus Christ, She must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged. As She was the way by which Jesus first came to us, She will again be the way by which He will come to us the second time though not in the same manner. . . . In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace . . . to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly . . . She must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause. . . Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowsthat he has little time . . . to destroy souls. . .
“I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; She will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel” [Gn 3:15]. God has established only one enmity . . . between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer. . . .God has set up against the devil Mary, his holy Mother. . (because). . Satan, who is so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God. Her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. . . What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience . . . and her children with herself.
Scripture is a bit cryptic about the song that the 144,000 sings. Is it a Christmas song or a Paschal song or something else? On the one hand in Chapter 14 they are standing on a mountain and we hear a great sound like that of citharas, the official stringed instrument of the temple. (Harp is a ridiculous translation, but we’ll save that discussion for another day.) And then we are told:
they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand [Rev. 14:3]
This is a new song with secret lyrics.
Then in the next chapter they are standing by a sea, calm and tranquil as glass. The citharas are present again as in a solemn liturgy, and everybody is singing a very old song: “The Song of Moses.”
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages!
Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, O Lord?
For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for thy judgments have been revealed.” [Rev. 15:2].
So is the old song really the Song of Moses? The four verses given in Rev 15 do not literally correspond to the eighteen verse victory song recorded in Exodus 15 which Moses and Miriam sang on the shore of the Red Sea. Both are a song of praise to God and a call to the surrounding nations to fear or worship him Him. You can look it up if you’re not familiar with this passage and wish to compare them. In monastic tradition, this is chanted in a gorgeous Gregorian melody on Holy Saturday, so it’s very familiar to me. The two texts don’t match up.
Isaiah prophesied that the Suffering Servant would sing a new song. Four times Isaiah speaks about a mysterious Servant of Yahweh who would suffer and be victorious [cf ch 42, 49-53]. Isaiah sometimes refers to the Servant as a group personality, calling him Israel, not all Israel, but evidently a select portion of the devout. But other times Isaiah refers to the Servant as if he were an individual. Of course, we Christians like to see Jesus as fulfilling this prophecy, but we can’t get away from the fact that it is a prophecy only partially fulfilled.
New Song = Song of the Suffering Servant
I am Yahweh, I have called you in righteousness . . . I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations . . . Behold, the former things have come to pass, I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you. Sing to Yahweh a new song, sing his praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. You islands, and those who dwell on them. Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices, the settlements where Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud, Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to Yahweh and declare his praise in the coastlands [Isa 42:6-12].
If this Suffering Servant is a group-entity comprised of select people from all the tribes of the earth, then they could sing the Lord’s praise from the ends of the earth, from the islands, from the wilderness, from the cities, from the tops of the mountains and from the villages along sea coasts. This is not the old Israel, but a new Israel, singing a new song after a new victory.
Six of the psalms are celebrated as a “new song” or “new psalm” because it is composed after some new victory. [cf Ps 33, 40, 96, 98, 144, Ps 149] Most of them feature a verse like:
I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a ten stringed cithara I will sing praises to You!
But Ps 96 sings a new song to celebrate a victory that is obviously in the future and it involves the whole earth:
Give credit to Yahweh, O your families of the nations . . .
Give to Yahweh the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship Yahweh in holy array; tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “Yahweh reigns! . . .
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice . . .
He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. [Ps 96:7-13
Obviously, judgment of the earth is only good news for those who want to be vindicated from some kind of global oppressor. Since Scripture reserves new songs for new victories, I propose that lyrics that only the 144,000 can learn concern a victory that they will accomplish as God’s Suffering Servant. They are singing their song in perfect trust that they will conquer in Jesus’ name, but it isn’t yet a public song because it hasn’t happened yet. Immediately after this passage of the 144,000 standing on Mt. Zion with the lamb, three angels fly through the midheaven and announce battles and woes that are coming soon. We’ll get to those angels later on.
The Song of Moses
So if the new song is about a coming victory, what is the old song of Moses about? For St. John to say that the victors were singing the Song of Moses, is a watershed verse, giving away the store! But only a Jew would understand can tell us. My all-time favorite Scripture commentary was written in the 1800s by a Jewish rabbi who converted to Christianity and became a Protestant minister. Alfred Edersheim had specialized in Temple liturgy and wrote fabulous books reconstructing life in Israel as Jesus and the Apostles would have known it. Don’t ask me how many times I read his book “The Temple: its Ministries and Services in the Time of Jesus Christ” published in London in 1874.
For those of you not well-versed in the Mosaic law in the first five books of the Bible, two, not one lamb had to be sacrificed every day. The first lamb was sacrificed at sundown because this marked the new day. Edersheim has a lot to say about Jesus being hanging post on a post and draining out all his blood as the sun was going down. The Vespers service was the largest and most important. A second Lamb was sacrificed at the morning service, or Lauds. During these liturgies, just as in monastic liturgies, certain psalms were prescribed to be sung. What were they singing as the second Lamb was being sacrificed? The Song of Moses!
But which Song of Moses? It wasn’t the short song of Exodus 15, of some 18 verses that was sung after crossing the Red Sea, but the long song of Dt 32 in which Moses sang to the people at the end of his life a detailed prophecy about what was going to happen to the future Israel.
Moses’ Solemn song
Dt 31:16 passim
Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land . . . they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. . . .then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them . . . Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. . . Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. . . .
It goes on for 44 verses. This is Deuteronomy. 32 if you’d like to look it up. I’ll just quote extracts:
May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew . . .For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh
Then follows some praises of God and how He brought Israel to a land flowing with milk and honey.
But . . . you waxed fat, forsake God, stir Him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominable practices
Yahweh says, ‘I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. A fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns . . . devours the earth . . . sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
They shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and poisonous pestilence; and I will send the teeth of beasts against them, with venom of crawling things of the dust.
The sword shall bereave, destroying both young man and virgin, the sucking child with the man of gray hairs.
But the vocation of Israel will prevail, they will be a witness of Yahweh for better or worse. Once they are scattered among the nations and punished badly, God will not let the nations imagine that it’s because of their great might that they’ve conquered God’s people. They will learn that God always protects his people, even when He has to chastise them. The psalm goes on
Don’t the nations get it? How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and Yahweh had given them up?
The day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly. For Yahweh will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone.
See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god beside me! I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal;
For I lift up my hand to heaven, and swear, As I live for ever, if I sharpen my glittering sword, and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries, and will requite those who hate me.
Praise his people, O you nations; for he avenges the blood of his servants, and takes vengeance on his adversaries, and makes expiation for the land of his people.
Rabbi-Pastor Edersheim explains
When the drink-offering of the morning sacrifice was poured out, the Levites sang Psalm 92 in three sections, the priests blowing, at the close of each, three blasts from their trumpets, and the people worshiping.
But on the Sabbath
when its drink-offering was brought, the Levites sang the ‘Song of Moses’ of Dt 32. This hymn was divided into six portions, for as many Sabbaths (v 1-6; 7-12; 13-18; 19-28; 29-39; 40-end). Each portion was sung in three sections with threefold blasts of the priests’ trumpets, the people worshiping at each pause.
If a Sabbath and a ‘new moon’ fell on the same day,
the Sabbath hymn [the Song of Moses of Dt. 32] was sung in preference to that for the new moon;
If a great solemnity fell on the Sabbath
At the evening sacrifice on the Sabbath they sang the other Song of Moses of Ex 15
The Temple—Its Ministry and Services by Alfred Edersheim 1874, Public Domain,
So in the presence of this “other lamb”
we have the blowing of trumpets (very Apocalyptic) and the singing of the Deuteronomy version of the Song of Moses that speaks of infidelity, chastisement, then ultimate victory for his chosen people. Is there any doubt now in your mind regarding the singing on Mount Zion and at the Red Sea?
But back to Mary at the crèche and the singing of angels at Jesus’ first coming Christmas night, and the idea of DeMontfort, and Mary herself, that She will be an important actor in Jesus’ second coming, what is her relationship to the Lamb of Zion?
Remember, the Greek word says it’s a lambkin, not a year-old paschal lamb. When our Lady and St. John the Apostle appeared at Knock in 1879, the witnesses were a group of laypeople standing in the rain at the side of their church. They all saw a lambkin on the altar. They estimated it was between 5-8 weeks old. This was not the Passover Lamb of God. This was an apocalyptic scene. Angels were also observed hovering over the lamb and the altar and Mary was dressed as a royal bride.
The bride of Israel was Rachel. The name in Hebrew means fair ewe, or mother sheep. With modern methods today it’s possible to force-wean a lamb after it’s 8 weeks old, but in Old Testament times they let it happen naturally. Lambs stayed in pasture with their ewes until they are 16-24 weeks old.
The Lamb of Zion can not live without its mother’s milk. We can be certain that Rachel-Miriam is nearby, not only to nurture the little piece of fluff, but to ward off predators. Let us close with a word from our Mother.
409a–Today, look to me, your heavenly Mother, in the splendor of my glorified body assumed, with my soul, into the glory of paradise. I am the Woman Clothed with the Sun. I am your heavenly Leader. I am the Queen of all the Saints.
409b–Look to me as a sign of sure hope and of consolation, in these times of the purification, of the apostasy and of the great tribulation.
409g–These are the times when the faithful followers of the Lamb will be subjected to marginalization, to persecutions, to prison and to death.
409h–These are therefore the times of your constancy.
409i–Here must appear the constancy of the saints.
409j–Here must appear the constancy of those who belong to the Lord, who put into practice the commandments of God and who re main faithful to Jesus.
409k–Here must appear the constancy of those who will be persecuted and led to martyrdom, because blessed are they who die in the Lord, who find rest from their labors and the good that they have done accompanies them.
409l–Here must appear the constancy of those who do not adore the beast and who will not allow themselves to be signed with his diabolical mark . . .
409m–Here must appear the constancy of those who bear, written upon their foreheads, the name of the Lamb and the name of his Father, because they have not betrayed their God, there has never been a lie in their speech and they follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
409n–Here must appear the constancy of all my little children, whom I am calling to consecrate themselves to my Immaculate Heart, to live out with me the conclusive moments of the battle and of the fall of Babylon . . .
409o–For this reason I invite you all today to look to me, your heavenly Mother . . . that my light may illumine you, my Immaculate Heart enfold you, and my motherly love support you to be, in these times, courageous witnesses of constancy before the Church and before all humanity.”