- THE SEALED BOOK. What is going to happen

What is going to happen

1. The Revelation also reveals “what is soon to happen soon” (Rev 1, 1), it is to say, the test that is coming. John has a vision. That vice he had heard before, like trumpet’s voice, tells him: “I am going to teach you what must happen afterwards” (4, 1). John is exiled in the island of Patmos (1, 9). About which date are we talking about?
2. Some data. Herod Agrippa (years 41-44) beheaded Saint James, John´s brother, and he put Peter in jail (Acts 12, 1-2). Liberated of the jail, “he left to other place” (12, 17). Perhaps then, Peter begins his activity among the Jews of the diaspora (1 P 1, 1) and John his activity  in Asia (Rev 1, 11). About year 48 Peter and John participate in the council of Jerusalem (Ga 2, 9). According to Tertulian (+ about 220), like Peter and Paul, John was in Rome: “There apostle John, after being plunged into boiling oil,… he was set aside to the island” (De praescriptione, 36, 3). Was John exiled to the island of Patmos about the year 64? According to Eusebio, “there (in Asia) he continued running the churches after he came back from the island, after Domiciano death” (HE III, 23, 1). Wouldn’t it be after Nero’s death? If Jesus died in the year 30, how many years had John at Domiciano death (year 96)? In the year 62 is stoned Saint James, the Lord’s brother. That same year the Persians defeat the Romans. The year 64, after Rome´s fire, the fire of the persecution extends everywhere (1P 4, 12). Between years 64 and 67 Peter and Paul are executed, and “a large crowd”. (Tacitus, Ann. XV, 44). At the end of the Jewish war (67-70), Titus conquers Jerusalem and destroys the temple (Lk 19, 42-44; 21,6). A narration of Antipas´ martyrdom, bishop of Pergamum (Rev 2, 13) is placed in Nero’s times
3. Well then, John has this vision: “I saw a throne erected in the sky, and one seated in the throne (Dn 2, 28; Is 6, 1; Ez 1, 26-29; 10, 1)… and the rainbow around the throne (Gn 9, 12-17)… I saw  twenty thrones around the throne, and seated in the thrones twenty four ancients with white dresses and golden crowns (Is 24, 23; Mt 19, 28). From the throne lightening and roar and thunder (Ex 19, 16-19), before the throne seven fire torches are burning, that are the seven spirit of God. Before the throne like a transparent sea similar to the crystal” (Rev 4, 2-5; Ex 24, 10). The ancients are leaders they are glorified (1 Cr 24, 7-19; Lk 13, 28-29; 22, 30).
4. In the middle of the throne and around the throne, there are four living beings (literally, animals). The first is like a lion, the second one like a heifer, the third one has a face like that of man; the forth is like an eagle in flight: “Each one has six wings, they are full of eyes, everything around and inside, and they repeat without rest day and night: Holly, holly, holly, Lord, almighty God, that who was, who is and who will come” (Rev 4, 6-8; 4, 9-11; Ez 1, 5-14; Is 6, 2-3). In the language of the constellations, the four living beings are signs of the zodiac, that means “wheel of the animals”. They recall the Babylonian “caribous”.  The chest of the Lord “is on cherubs” (1 S 4, 4), the Lord “is seated on cherubs” (Ps 80 and 99). These pull of the Lord’s  cart (Ez 1 and 10), his throne is mobile. God goes over all the earth: he moves, he realizes.
5. That who is seated in the thrones has a book in his right hand, written by the obverse and the reverse (Ez 2, 9), sealed with seven seals. Nobody was able to open the book. John cried a lot, but one of the old men tells him: “ Don’t cry; look, the lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed (G 49, 9), the little one of David (Is 11, 1-10): he will be able to open the book and its seven seals”. Then John sees “standing, in the middle of the throne and of the four living beings and of the old men, a lamb, like beheaded; he had seven horns and seven eyes, that are the seven spirits of God, sent to all the earth”. The lamb “neared  and took the book from the right hand of that who is seated in the throne” (Rev 5, 1-7). Which book are we talking about? The beheaded lamb (the servant, Is 53, 7) are “standing”, resurrected, and “in the middle of the throne”, acclaimed. The four living beings and the old men prostrate themselves before the lamb and they sing a new song: “You are worthy to take the book and open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you purchased for God people of every race, language and nation; and you made them a kingdom and priests for our God and they shall reign over the land.” And a multitude of angels:  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honour, glory and praise.” And every creature cried out: To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honour, glory and power for ever and ever.” (Rev 5, 8-13). The new song is a replica to the imperial worship.

6. In Daniel’s dream (Dn 7), the beasts that submit the earth are judged: “some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took his seat”, “his throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire.”, “the tribunal took their seats and opened the books”. The saints of God will judge with him and, in a special way, the son of man: “One like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into his presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given to him”.
7. When the lamb opened the first seal, there was a white horse: “its rider had a bow. He was crowned, and he went out as a conqueror and he will conquer.” When he opened the second seal, a red horse came out: Its rider was ordered to take peace away from the earth, so that people might kill one another”. When he opened the third seal,  it was a black horse: “its rider held a balance in his hand and I heard  like a voice… that was saying: A measure of wheat for a piece of silver, and three measures of barley for a piece” When he opened the forth seal, there was a yellow horse: “its rider was called Death” (Rev 6, 1-8; Ze 1, 8-10 and 4, 1-3; Lv 26, 21-26; Ez 14, 21; Mt 24, 6-14). The white horse recalls the Persian armies with its peculiar weapon, the bow. The red horse recall wars and revolutions. The black horse symbolizes the hunger: rationed articles and disproportionate prices. The yellow horse recalls the corpse that is splitting: the plague, the death: the white death wrapped in black cloak and in yellow hair horse, the death emperor of the history” (Unamuno, The Christ of Velázquez, 1920) In the photograph, the Picasso’s Guernica with the horse that sows death and destruction
8. The world goes badly, from one calamity to another. In a meeting that took place in Rome in June 2002, the FAO formally requested to the rich countries the constitution of an extraordinary fund to eradicate hunger in the world: 50.000 million dollars each year. The rich countries said that the had no resources. Nevertheless, nine months later, in March 2003, there was four times more to fund the Iraq’s war. In 20 years, more than 20.000 corpses rested under the Mediterranean waters. They were fleeing from the hunger, that affects to more than 1. 000 millions of persons. The blades (concertina) in the fences of Ceuta and Melilla are the shame of Spain and Europe. The movie “The seventh seal” (Bergman, 1957) develops its play in the middle of the fourteenth century. After ten years of useless battles in the Crusades, the Christian knight returns from Holly Land, tired and depressed. He has crossed lands devastated by the black plague that devastates Europe. By the way he meets the Death that claims him. He plays with her a chess round in order to win time and with the hope of obtaining from her the answer to the great questions of the life.
9. When the lamb opened the fifth seal, “I saw under the altar the souls of those beheaded because of God´s word”. It is the persecution of the believers. They shouted with strong voice: “Until when, saint and truly master, are you going to be without making justice?” (Rev 6, 9-10; Ps 79). When the lamb opened the sixth seal, “a violent earthquake took place” (Rev 6, 12-13; Mt 24, 21-22 and 32-33). Before the great day arrives, it is necessary to mark the servants of his servants with the seal of God (Ez 9, 7; Ex 12, 7, 7-13):  one hundred and forty four thousands of all the tribes of Israel” (Rev 7, 2-4; Nm 1, 17-20), “I then look out and there was an immense crowd that nobody could count (Gn 15, 5), from all nation, race, people and language”, “they come from the great tribulation” (Dn 12, 1; Mt 24, 21). The bad things has passed away. The good shepherd graze them. God wipes the tears from their eyes (Rev 7, 14-17; Is 49, 10; 25, 8). When the lamb opened the seventh seal, a silence of about half an hour took place (So 1, 7). “The seven trumpets” are about to sound (Rev 8, 1-2)
10. Jesus says it in a shorter way: “You will hear about war and threats of war, but do not be troubled, for these things must happen, but it is not yet the end. Nations will fight one another, and kingdom oppose kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in several places, but all these are only the beginning: the first pains of childbirth. Then they will arrest you, and they will torture and kill you. All nations will hate you because you bear my name… But the one who holds out to the end will be saved. The Good News of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world for all the nations to know”. (Mt 24, 5-14), “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must know that the time has come when it will be reduced to a wasteland” (Lk 21, 20), “this generation will not pass away, until all this has happened” (21, 32).

* Dialogue: About which book is it talking about? Does the world goes bad? Until when? What can we do?

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