(Sermon by A. A. Leenhouts 1969)

Why was the apostle John, in the midst of burning visions, told to put aside his pen for a while at Revelation 10?

What is the purpose of concealing this part of the revelation in the middle of the last book of the Bible?

Does God consider it necessary to use cryptography and hide the code somewhere?

Suddenly the order came: "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not". In other words, "John, cut this part of the final history out of the film". And once more we wonder: Is the key to a real explanation of this book of the Bible hidden in the unwritten piece, and do we have only hieroglyphics which do not give away their secrets without the key?
These are questions which fascinate much more when we consider how the seven thunders sounded to the apostle. The seven thunders spoke their own voices. A colossal herald comes down from heaven, his stature and actions symbolizing events which will incise deeply into the course of the final history. At Revelation 10 we certainly touch the artery of the apocalypse, the artery of the last book of the Bible. God's last secret is concealed here.

On the crossing of important spiritual and political events in 1948 our God and Saviour spoke about this secret. 1948 was the year in which Israel tried to end its exile, officially and definitively, through the re-establishment of its state, but without acknowledging the Lamb of God. It was also the year in which the World Council of Churches was constituted, and some days before the establishment of an anti-council of Bible believing churches, the I.C.C.C.
Then, Jerusalem, the city of the great King, was divided. At the same time, Berlin was divided. One could say: the sinner and the executioner; both had to support a crown of barbed wire. These two cities are the representative symbols of our divided world. All world politics revolve around these two poles! (The red [communist] forces in China had a decided breakthrough at this same time). What are these many coinciding events the beginning of?

Suddenly, the Lord spoke to me in storm and fire: "I shall take over the call of those who reproached me, when I hung in the depth of hell, in vengeance and summon Eliah and My vengeance is merciful. My Spirit roars for Eliah."

In the beginning I did not understand this divine language at all. Then, for a long time, I understood it partly until it was shown to me, clearer and clearer, how Israel went Jesus' road and how the course of the Jewish people throughout history is a Via Dolorosa, a road of sorrows, a "Cross" road on a large scale. As Jesus was banished from the Holy City and forced up the road Of sorrows, so the Jews were thrown out of Jerusalem through a divine judgement and forced upon the road of sorrows of a worldwide exile in the year 70 A.D., 40 years after the first action of Jesus.

The end of the Via Dolorosa for Israel will be as it was for Jesus, irrevocably at Golgotha. Israel cannot end its exile without acknowledging the Lamb of God. Israel does not really arrive home. On the contrary, it will hang on its state as on a cross.
I say this with great emotion and the greatest respect for the high and official status in which the Most High has placed this people. This very high status of an elected, revelatory people to whom God's words are entrusted carries, with its enormous responsibilities, enormously heavy punishments for disobedience.

Does not God's Word say in Leviticus 10, verse 3: "... I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified." and in Amos 3, verse 2: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." In 1948 Israel reached the place of its definitive spiritual judgement. Figuratively speaking, a great cross will soon appear, in the sight of all humanity, as an utmost crisis of world history. It will be visible for all that the micro course of Jesus to Golgotha became, under God's judgement, the macro course of the exile to a place of definitive judgement for Israel.

Israel's road of suffering, shown by the denouement of its history and the revelation of God's most intimate intention with His people, will show a very strong resemblance to the road of Jesus. "For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" - Luke 23:31. Exactly as Jesus' suffering on the cross still had an inner core, a moment in which the nerve of His existence was touched and He uttered the complaint: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" - a moment also in which His own people taunted Him with the crown text of the Old Testament: "This man calleth for Elias" and "Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him", - in the same way Israel will go down into an inner depth of suffering and sink in a terrible feeling of being God-forsaken, when it will soon hang on its state as on a cross in the sight of all peoples.
Although, when they hang in an impossible situation, they will not be taunted as Jesus was with the words: "He calleth for Elias". He, who is at the right hand of God, will have all the fullness of the Gentiles" (spoken of in Romans 11, verse 25) in readiness in order to give Israel the answer of mercy.

"My vengeance is merciful" the Lord said.
Through our obedience to the mission regarding Israel, the Christian Gentile community will become one. Only in this Elianic way can the broken altar of Pentecost be restored and true unity be formed against the false one. Elias took 12 stones, according to the number of Israel's tribes, and restored the altar.

The power for reconciliation with each other lies in our reconciliation with God through the blood of the Lamb. There will be one restored table at the Lord's supper, at which our unity with each other will reveal itself, but only if we desire to bring Israel to Jesus through it and only if we show mercy with word and deed to this people, according to the words of Romans 11, verse 31. True unity will never come without this vocation.

There will be one herd of Jew and Gentile under one Herdsman. But first, Israel must be concretely and radically made dependent on the community that takes the Lord's supper in unity all over the world. This will be the real battle of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be surrounded by God's eternal love by means of His holy community taking the Lord's supper in unity. "And I appoint unto you a kingdom," said the Lord at his table in Luke 22, verse 29.
It will also be a united community who feels the immense Christian Gentile guilt towards Israel. Only because so much mercy is given to us and so much is forgiven in the name of the blood of the Lamb, will we be given strength to show mercy to Israel. Not because we are superior by ourselves, no ..., only because God grants us an abundant mercy. "... Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." - Romans 11, verses 31 and 32.
Through a mighty work of the Holy Spirit, every kind of false oecuminical effort being strived for by the World Council of Churches and by the Church of Rome will be nullified. Israel will convert without becoming Roman Catholic! This means the deathblow for Rome as an ecclesiastical system. The fall of this house will be great! Rome was an unholy anticipation of God's kingdom. Also from an oecuminical point of view is "salvation of the Jews" - John 4, verse 22. Even the World Council of Churches will be ruined by God's action with Israel - right through the apostate and sick christianity. The false unity is false already.

The synchronization of "the fullness of the Gentiles" in this sense - that is to say a Divine action so that Christian Gentiles may come to true spiritual unity and fullness so as to provoke Israel to jealousy and in order to show it mercy - the synchronization of this fullness with the coming extreme need of Israel, the harmonic arranging and ordering of the Father's times and occasions for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel lies in the hands of Him who indeed is sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26, verse 64).

Would the kingdom of Israel have any signification without order? The concept of "kingdom" supposes order. This order, this harmonic synchronization of Israel's extreme need and the merciful answer that the King of Israel will give by means of the Gentile convocation to His own people, is a manifestation of the divine glory of King Messiah and, at the same time, THE GREAT SIGN of the full end.

Revelation 10 deals with this matter. An angel, who uses the whole world as a platform, calls with a great voice, "like the roaring of a lion", indicating that the prophecy is uttered on an international level; the thunders speak; the temple will be restored; and this complex of world shocking events forms the oath of the herald angel:
"... that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." - Revelation 10, verses 6,7
Nothing will shock humanity more than the revelation of the trueness of Jesus' name. Israel's conversion in the peak hours of world history, and God's message with it, will pierce to the very marrows of all peoples.

Through the bursting of the times, the Day of Eternity will become visible. Then, everyone can understand - without the blood of God's Lamb, there is no peace with God, neither in this life nor in the coming, JESUS will be put in the right - by God Himself! Then everyone can understand - as the fulfillment of the Divine promises came to trueness, in the same way the Judge of the whole earth will one day irrevocably close the times and sit in judgement. Jesus Christ has reached a radical victory. The Lord will certainly come and judge. One day everything will bow down to the dust before Jesus.
Blessed be the man who will not be offended by Jesus. He is the mouth without deceit, the only Name given under heaven through which we can be saved. Convert and give your heart to Jesus and you will be saved. He who says "yes" to Jesus receives a "yes" in return from God Himself. So many have accepted Him; He has given power to become children of God. Hallelujah!

Considering the fact that the promised "fullness of the Gentiles" is the way through which Israel will come to conversion - Romans 11, verse 25 or Luke 21, verse 22 - it must be evident that it is extremely important, for a pure futuristic expectation, to know how we must see this conception. It is worthwhile comparing verse 12 of Romans 11 with verse 15. It is immediately obvious that the words "fall" in verse 12 and "casting away" in verse 15 are correlate conceptions, and therefore must have an equivalent significance. It is the same case with the words "fullness" in verse 12 and "receiving" in verse 15. The word "fullness" is essentially used as the antithesis of the word "fall" in verse, as "casting away" is used as the antithesis of "receiving" in verse 15. How then can one see in this conception of "fullness" anything meaning "the full number" - something quantitative? It is used here as the antithesis of "fall" and is related to "receiving". "Fullness" means God fulfills His promises - over the Gentile world, and that is "fullness of the Gentiles" - and over the Jew, that is "fullness of Israel".
We can also put it this way - fullness is the coming to the promised destination in the kingdom of God through God's fulfilling action. When a promise given by God is not yet fulfilled, there is an emptiness. When this emptiness is filled by an action of God, the Scripture speaks about a "fullness". But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His son." - Galatians 4, verse 4. It was the fulfillment of the promise of Paradise. In this way God will gather together in one all that is in heaven and on earth in the fullness of the times - Ephesians l, verse 10. The "fullness of the Gentiles" is therefore also the moment in which God will do, with the Gentile world, those prospective things He spoke to Moses in Deuteronomy 32, verse 21. The Lord says, literally:
"They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation."

Similar promises of the Eternal are put as stars in the sky of history in order for us to shape our spiritual course according to them. Our task as Gentile Christians is to struggle for fullness of Pentecost so that we can be the instrument of mercy in God's hands for Israel. Through the prophetic and apostolic word the responsibility for Israel is put on us and therefore, at the same time, for the breakthrough of the kingdom of peace. In a Pniel struggle for the Holy Ghost, we should have followed the line of Paul's work indicated clearly in Romans 11, verses 13 and 14:
"For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them."

Paul worked with his back turned to Jerusalem, going further and further into the Gentile world. But his heart stayed in Jerusalem, because the heart of God stays in Jerusalem. For him it was therefore the crown of his work when he could, again and again, stay so strong in the power of the Holy Ghost that the Gentiles were brought to obedience to Israel's Messiah and some of Israel were provoked to jealousy by the Gentiles' new lives full of God's Spirit.
In this roundabout way Paul served Jerusalem again and, actually, before all. This apostle witnessed through word and deed, through the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit Romans 15, verse 18. Provoking to jealousy, convincing through Word and Spirit, excludes all use of violence - Zechariah 4, verse 6.

Paul knew that what he experienced in his day with a few would come on world-scale when God would fulfill the Mosaic promises about the Gentile world and Israel - Deuteronomy 32, verse 21, Romans 11, verse 25. Wherever this apostolic vision and principle are neglected, there the life of the communities of the Gentile world, sooner or later, degenerates. For what God has joined should not be separated by man is also in force here. Denial of our responsibility for Israel, our sinful isolation, turns churches into stones which crumble away.

There is a direct connection between Christian Gentile presumption and the ignorance regarding the mystery of Israel's future.
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved ..." - Romans 11, verse 25.
Why should there be a connection between being "ignorant of the mystery of Israel's future" and being "wise in one's own conceits"?

First, God is no more fully acknowledged when one forgets, but that human unfaithfulness never destroys His faithfulness. Ignoring His faithfulness and His important plans for Israel is an injury to the name of Jahweh: I AM THAT I AM. God has not abandoned Israel for one single second. Even His coming to the Gentiles is, as appears from Paul's letter to Rome, meant to be faithfulness to Israel, for now we shall be included in God's strategy - His plan for His own people.

We must always be conscious of the fact that our acknowledgement of God is always accompanied by thoughts of rejection or doubt. Romans 1:28 - "Lest ye, brethren in Rome, be wise in your own conceits, and you not ignore the mystery of Israel and you must know that Israel's blindness is only temporary." If you forget that your Gentile Christendom is in a sort of relay race and soon has to hand the torch over to Israel, if you forget you are to be proclaimers of the gospel, your church will become more and more an aim by itself. The misery of your presumption will have no more relief. Then, your institute must be saved before all - if need be, with a sort of ecclesiastical inquisition. In that case, your interests must be defended before all. Then, a spirit of auto-absolutism takes possession sooner or later of every denomination, and with it comes the erroneous idea of infallibility, the desire for monopoly, tyranny. And the Spirit of God is immensely grieved.

Where Jerusalem is forgotten, every ecclesiastical denomination obtains its own "Rome"; and every Rome its own "pope"; and all the popes look together for an oecumenic mask to camouflage their apostasy from Jesus and to deceive the people with a false unity. This is the basic reason for the falling to pieces of the one, undivided altar of Pentecost - Acts 4:32,33. Here, in a political sense, we also touch the basic cause of the erring of entire nations- this destruction did not stay inside the domain of what is called the church!

When Caiaphas (an ecclesiastical instance for both Jew and Gentile) betrays justice, then Pilate (the worldly instance) does not see the truth; the soldiers pound away; and immediately after, it is "Ecce homo" - "see the man". This a miniature picture of world history.

We will not speak about the crusades nor about the great many sanguinary persecutions of the Jewish people in dispersion, but we want only to point out the atrocities of recent times. Because the church as an institute and the Kingdom of God were consequently identified together as missing a biblical futuristic expectation, "das liebe Vaterland" in Germany was blown up to a sort of millennium in the feverish dreams of national socialism.
Where the anticipation of the Kingdom of God (which will horizontally break through in world history through the conversion of Israel ) is ecclesiastically abandoned, there the devil certainly fills up this vacuum with one or another false messianic ideologies, even in the political field.

The fall of "Pilate" always follows the fall of "Caiaphas", and the soldiers will pound away again; and it will always sound again: "Ecce homo" - "see the man". Hitler once proclaimed as his official conviction that he only executed what the church had done already for 1500 years. How could he otherwise be deluded into believing that he would be able to found a millennium by exterminating the Jews? Even now, at the trials of war criminals, it is not taken into account that before the fall of "Pilate", the ecclesiastical instance, "Caiaphas", sinned even worse.
Have the churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, ever brought the people to any understanding regarding the high status of the Jewish people and the holiness of the name I AM THAT I AM on the basis of Paul's epistle and on the basis of the prophecies about Israel's mighty future?

This is the heavy guilt of the Christian Gentile "Caiaphas"! "Pilate" sins immediately afterward; and a little later, the soldiers go uninhibitedly ahead. The first stone of any concentration camp or crematorium is always placed by "Caiaphas". The soldiers have to render account now, rightly, but why is "Caiaphas" kept out of harm's way?

In the east, communism turned up as a pseudo messianic expectation. There the church left a vacuum, and Satan filled up this vacuum with the pseudo religion of communism. It is no wonder that Stalin built a mortuary monument in East Berlin in the style of a sanctuary to honor fallen Russian soldiers. It even shows a resemblance to the cosmic hill, the navel of the earth. Right through the capital of the people who wanted to exterminate the Jews ("Endlösung" was the name of this aim), there is a burst.
At the Berlin Wall, two false messianic expectations, two ideologies lean very piteously one against the other. Two half-finished towers of Babel are there, tumbled down against each other in the same year in which Jerusalem was divided - 1948. The Berlin Wall is God's curse in stone. At the judgement of its executioners, Israel's privilege is revealed again and again - Jeremiah 51:5, 10; Jeremiah 25:5-14; Isaiah 10:5. These are the words of the Almighty in Genesis 12:3 - "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee...".

It is Jesus, the King of the Jews, who has received from the Father all power in heaven and on earth. It is the glorified Jesus, the King of kings of the earth, who with His own hands, has broken into two pieces the stick which struck His people so badly. With a rod of iron He struck Germany and Berlin into pieces (Revelation 2:27), and no earthly politics will be able to restore this burst. It belongs to the secrecies of the final times.
Berlin can heal only thanks to Jerusalem. In other words, Germany will never be unified without Jerusalem's restoration by means of the fulfillment of "the fullness of the Gentiles". At this stage, the Almighty has an "Endlösung" in readiness for Berlin.

All efforts to unify Germany through integration or a strengthened economical substructure through the E.C.C., (now European Union, EU) or through nuclear synchronization with the super states, or through expansion of the cultural relations with the East, or through so called relaxation politics or even by directing all these factors in relation with the growing controversy between China and Russia - all these efforts signify only that the German politicians are monkeying in a very dangerous way with a very explicit curse of God. Compare Joshua 6:26 with I Kings 16:34. He, who builds as Hiel against a curse of God, pays for it with the total ruin of his family.

Jesus Christ is yesterday, today and forever the same. Whoever does not take into account the living God of Israel and His eternal Word calls the judgements upon himself. Europe, and particularly Germany, is hard at work upon this. The Netherlands takes a kind-hearted part in "imagining vain things" - Psalm 2. These were the Lord's words in 1948: "See, I stand on the border of your existence ..." - the border situation. A total destruction menaces. The angel of death approaches. It will be: "to be or not to be"!

Revelation 10 deals also with this border situation. A strong angel comes down. The whole world serves as his platform. The gloss of his feet of fire spans the world. His face shines as the sun; a new day will get light. The rainbow is upon His head; his coming is a sign of God's eternal faithfulness to Israel. A small, open book is carried to earth and God's decree is further revealed. His call is prophetic. A thundering reaction follows. In the form of an oath the whole of humanity is assured that the completion will be there one day. For a clearer understanding of the heavily laden terms and symbols, it is necessary to retrace how this chapter fits into the entirety of the apocalypse.

Revelation 10 is the finishing account of a series of plagues, which is completely described in the symbolism of the judgements over Egypt. There are only two similar series of plagues in the apocalypse Chapters 8 and 9, and further in Chapters 15 and 16. What precedes and follows Chapter 10 must be considered: Chapter 6 as the general view on the entire history; or Chapters 11 to 20 as a wider unfolding and illumination of the final phase.
Even though there is much resemblance between the first series in Chapters 8 and 9 and the second in Chapters 15 and 16, these two series are not to be reduced to the understanding that they are a mere variation in view on nearly the same field of the final history. Chronologically, both series aim at fields in the final history which are separated by the things which Revelation 10 announces to us.

The greatest incision of the final history falls at Chapter 10. The concrete horizontal breakthrough of the Kingdom of God is there, up to the height of what the old Feast of Tabernacles wanted to announce already to all nations. If however it is followed by apostasy again, and if the court will be trodden again (Revelation 11:1), only then the last plagues will ensue as a contract-like reflected image of the Feast of Tabernacles. That is why vials of wrath have been mentioned as the symbols of the last plagues. Those are the plagues in which God's wrath is completed.

Trumpets announce the first judgements at the thunders of Revelation 10; the kingdom breaks through up to the heights of the fulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. If humanity apostatizes again after this period of salvation , it obtains the exact opposite image of the Feast of Tabernacles in the last seven plagues. Thus, when in this description of the two series of plagues this book clearly calls to memory the plagues of Egypt, it is directly implied that the statue of covenant of Deut. 28, 32 and Lev. 26 remains in force eternally. The Eternal announced very clearly in Deut. 28, verse 58:
"If thou wilt not observe...that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, ... then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sickness, and of long continuance. Moreover, He will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee."
In other words, Israel obtains the opposite image of the exodus. In that case, every promised blessing becomes the opposite - a curse! The film of the exodus is turned back to the extent that Israel becomes in the eyes of God as a part of Egypt, and is treated as a part of Egypt, for it has chosen the side of the snake-seed through its apostasy from the living God!
But with this inverted Pasha, God nevertheless means to discipline in order to save - as a Father - Proverbs 3:11; Hebrews 12:4; Deut. 30:1-10. The prophets saw Israel's exile also in this light and they interpreted God's punishments as a new exodus work - Hosea 2:13; Isaiah 54:9. We must hear the sound of this exodus message in the midst of all the heavy judgements of Revelation 8 and 9.

The aim of the six trumpet judgements is the salvation of which Revelation 10 speaks and of which the temple of Revelation 11 witnesses from afar. When the apostle John has to write "the things which must shortly come to pass", they are first of all connected to Israel, the people who are and remain God's firstborn (Ex. 4:22), and certainly not to mankind in general.

The gifts of mercy and the call of God are unrepentant as Paul announces us in relation to Israel's coming restoration - Romans 11:29. Israel remains in every sense representative for all mankind. How otherwise could the apocalypse omit God's action with the forefront of manhood or forget it completely in the multiform symbolism? Israel, the history in the history!

How can we ignore the statements of our Saviour about land and people, in particular about Jerusalem and the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles, statements in which the whole end time was qualified and outlined? The same can be said about the sermons just before the ascension regarding the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel - Acts l.
The apocalypse harmonizes completely with the words of Luke 21:22-24 and parallel places. As He was rejected as the Lamb of God, the "Pasha for Jahweh", He obtains the rights as the King of Israel (Acts 2:36, 40) to punish His disobedient people, as it is written in Deut. 28 and Lev. 26.

Israel appears on behalf of all humanity. Thus, we all participate in the guilt, and everyone can be considered responsible for the death of Jesus. No one can reproach Israel from his own honesty or devoutness. We must realize that any form of anti-semitism is from Satan. But Israel stays in the first rank in the things that are to be done by God. They are the elected people; and we must respect their special office, even if Israel stumbles for a while.
We must understand that God's action with Israel is the primary subject of the apocalypse, and only afterwards is it about the peoples and their road to the completion. With this understanding, we can enter into the details of Chapters 8 and 9. Now, really amazing perspectives will be opened. The contrary image of the exodus and the pure methodics of symbols are clearly exposed. Everything gets, literally, an inverted result.

God once gave an exodus to His people through their prayers (Exodus 2:23); and so the trumpet judgements ensue the prayers of the saints (Revelation 8:5). At the sound of the first trumpet, we are reminded of the seventh Egyptian plague. We must therefore know that Deuteronomy 28:60 remains in force and Israel is punished with an inverted Pasha. We are not reminded of the tenth plague because God has no intention of destroying His people totally. There is a merciful limitation in the judgements. The blindness is only partial and so are the judgements.
Then, the second trumpet sounds and we learn how "something as a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea". This has nothing to do with an eventual megaton bomb which might fall into the ocean in our nuclear century. A similar exegesis breaks the metaphor away from its Old Testament background. No, ... the contrary image of Mount Zion is meant here! The final aim of Israel's exodus is chanted by Moses in his hymn at the Red Sea: "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever." - Exodus 15: 17-18.

During the exodus from Egypt, the anti-divine mountain of force and violence (Egypt) disappeared in the depth of the sea and Israel could be planted on the mountain of God. But when Israel later abandons God, the temple mountain and all are, figuratively speaking, thrown into the sea. So, Israel shares the lot of Egypt or Babel. We read in Jeremiah 51:25,
"Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain."
This text is really about the deepest motives of world history. It is, figuratively speaking, a battle between the mountains. See Ezekiel 28 and 31.

The temple tower of Babel, the ziggurat, was an image of the original hill, which at the creation of the world ascended out of the chaos waters. This original hill was considered to be the navel of the earth. The original connection between heaven and earth was supposed to be there. Along these stairs man reached the vestibule of the gods, the arch of God. Furthermore, when the totalitarian religious concept was merged with the function of the king as the harmonic center of the state and the universe, the way was paved for the worship of the god-king - the self deification of man. In him and through him, every subject would come to heaven because he knew himself to be represented in the deified king.

At this time, God Himself considered it necessary to come down in order to see town and tower. The report of this Divine inspection was rebellion against the Holy Name. Man wanted again to be like God, as he had at his fall in paradise. The judgement of dispersion followed. The mountain which first ascended out of the original waters is thrown into the sea. God called Abraham to stand as the antithesis of this Babel. God will bless again all generations of the earth in HIM, but mercy will be universal. God Himself lowers the ladder.

When Jacob errs for a while and wants to ascend by his own performance to the right of being first-born and to a blessing of messianic perspectives, he goes back the way of Abraham; and at Bethel, God lowers a ladder of light in a dream. He teaches Jacob, and also us, regarding the Kingdom of His mercy. The ladder of Jacob stands against the temple stairs of Babel. Jesus is the real "ladder of Jacob" - John 1:52.
What the old ladder of Jacob announces will be announced later also by Mount Zion, the counterpart of Babel. Everything had to be cleansed by blood. God Himself gives the blood on the altar - Lev. 17:11. God is, in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Now, we climb up to God from below, but God bends down to us in mercy, in remission, on the basis of the cleansing blood. Only on this basis may humanity find a new center - Acts 2.

The prophets have seen from afar that the people would flow towards the center given by God:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall yo forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." Isaiah 2:2-5; Isaiah 11:9; Micah 4:1.

An exodus affirms God's kingdom over the chaotic world of peoples, exactly as His Lordship was once affirmed over creation by exorcising and ordering the chaotic powers. God restores and maintains the paradise. The temple announces this on Mount Zion in the language of shadows. This temple was a paradise in stone. 1 Kings 6:18 records how King Solomon put up incised sculptures on the walls all over the temple - cherubs, palms and open buds. Then, all was covered with gold to give the impression of a golden, imperishable garden of Eden with cherubs, which do not so much keep watch as bend themselves for the mystery of reconciliation - 1 Peter 1:12.

The terrain chosen for the erection of the temple had to serve the harmony of temple and paradise. The river of paradise rose at a high plateau of wells so that four large rivers could flow down from this one stream of paradise in all directions. From this center of wells, one life-giving center, the whole world was drenched. The temple was to be an image of it. The temple represents God's holy mountain. It will be the universal house of worship of all peoples.
The prophets saw the exodus from Egypt, the temple mountain, and the messianic kingdom of peace in one escatological perspective. All may obtain citizenship in the mother city of Zion - Psalms 87. In Ezekiel 47, Ezekiel makes a connection between the abolition of the exile as a second exodus, and the new temple as an image of the time of salvation in which everything is brought to new life through the stream of the temple.
The expectation, in which the devout ones of old Israel lived and of which prophets witnessed through divine inspiration, failed to come to reality the moment Israel rejected its Messiah. "We have no king but the emperor" was the unfortunate choice. In that way Zion was betrayed and Babel - albeit a Roman Babel - was preferred. God's mercy was rejected. Jacob's children refused the ladder of God. They trod the blood of reconciliation; and then, there is the antithesis of the Messianic kingdom of peace.

Instead of a temple mountain which is the center for all peoples, something as a great mountain, burning with fire was cast down into the sea - the second trumpet. Instead of streams full of blessings which flowed down as from a plateau of paradise, rivers and wells are poisoned - the third trumpet. Instead of being numerous as the stars (Deut, 28:62; Jeremiah 31:35-36), the third part of the stars was destroyed, which relates to Israel's quantative and qualitative existence - the fourth trumpet. Compare Daniel 12:3, Isaiah 43:21 and Genesis 37:9.
Instead of a mountain which is exalted above all hills, a bottomless pit is opened from which smoke arises - the fifth trumpet. Instead of the cycle of great feasts of harvest which should have a central place in the temple cult, the blessing of the threshing time (according to Lev. 26:5 lasts until the month of vintage) is changed into a curse of terrible vexation for five months. Instead of the Kingdom of Peace wherein all peoples should beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, the world is covered with the violence of wars - the sixth trumpet.

Through Israel's fall as the forefront of manhood, world history is thrown out of its orderly function and everything rushes in the direction of the abyss. And yet, the apocalypse assures us of a mighty turn in the lot of the peoples. There will be a break, an intermezzo of salvation, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. This is not only mentioned in Revelation 10, but also Revelation 9, verses 5 and 11. The "five months" of torment point at the limitation of the judgement. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ, I may announce to you that this is connected with the threshing time mentioned in Lev. 26:5.

In the first month, at Passover, the first sheaves were moved before God's face in thankful acknowledgement of the exodus from Egypt through the blood of the Pasha lamb. In the second month, the people could begin to thresh even though the harvest of wheat came in later. After the month of Pasha and the five months in which the grain is in the granaries, in the seventh month, the vintage comes in.

Revelation 14:19 tells us that even this month will one day come as a month of judgement over Israel and the world - the winepress of the wrath of God will be trodden then and cast away. But the great intermezzo of Revelation 10 is between the sixth and seventh month, when Elijah will be sent, Israel will be converted and the temple will be restored (Revelation 11:1). Already, in the days of the destruction of Jerusalem, Israel experienced the curse of the threshing time. Precisely during the time of Passover, Titus laid siege to Jerusalem. It lasted five months, the whole time of harvest until the seventh month.

By keeping the service of shadows for one generation - 40 years Israel contradicted Golgotha. By slaughtering the lambs of Passover every year for the great many pilgrims, they failed to believe in the blood of reconciliation shed by the real Lamb of God. The number "40" has a symbolic value in the Bible and it is certainly not accidental that forty years after the first action of Jesus, Titus lay siege to Jerusalem during the period of Passover. That the siege lasted five months is also a divine sign.

It is also remarkable that on the ninth day of the month of Av, the day on which Nebucadnezar, in his time, destroyed the first temple, the temple was set on fire in the year 70. This was reckoning for the same sin - rejecting God as being the King. The whole exodus and the cycle of feasts had an opposite effect - including the blessing of the threshing time. The sorrow of the exile in general and of these five months in particular reached its greatest extent in the time of Hitler.

The great decision must therefore come now. Israel will have to decide: "Do You want to have the seventh month as a month of judgement? Do you want the great day of reconciliation to be the great day of doom? See how the harvest carts of Satan's agent went over the fields of Europe, how you landed in the granaries of this corrupter - under his flail! If those five months were so bad, what will the seventh month be if God would bring it as a judgement?"

This matter concerns all of us! With Israel, all humanity has reached the border of the sixth and seventh months - the border situation! But how shall we, Gentile Christians with such a such guilt towards Israel, be able to announce this to Israel? We have every reason to do penance and to pray for forgiveness from Israel and the God of Israel. But, nevertheless, the great Joseph - Jesus of Nazareth - means to speak to His own people through us.

How did Joseph address his brethren? His accusation about the stealing of the cup of prophecy, the symbolic accusation regarding the lack of appreciation towards his prophetic office, was packed in grain, shrouded in the deed of love, in aid. Let us then surround Israel in the coming hour of need with the word of the Cross, with the sacrament of the Cross, and with deeds which are horn in the love of Christ. In that way, Israel will accept the real blood of reconciliation. Thus, it will be accepted and be used by God as crown witnesses of the Lamb for all peoples.

Joseph's dream will get a very profound fulfillment. It will then he evident how the ancestors and the people originating from them will become stars indeed, planted in the sky of world history by the Most High Himself. These stars, which decree and order the lot of the peoples, take their light from that one star in the middle, arisen from their midst, Jesus Christ, the blinking morning. star. By their bending down for the star in the middle, they give light and in that way they decree the lot of world.

The dream comes true; it will be evident how the ancestors and the people born from them are sheaves on the fields of the world to nourish the peoples who are hungry for real peace and reconciliation. They are sheaves, nourishment, but only in their bending down for the sheaf in the middle, Jesus Christ, who is the nourishment of the world through His death of reconciliation, the Bread of Life.

"What shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"

A Passover - the angel of death passes: "... lest I come and smite the earth with a curse".
A Pentecost - a harvest of peoples comes in.
A Feast of Tabernacles - for all nations! "...For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea".

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen."