WATCHING THE SIGNS OF THE TIME (1)

1. GOD’S PROMISE TO RENEW ALL THINGS.

“Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” — Isaiah 43: 19.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, a for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” — Rev. 21: 1–5.

“In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” — 1 Cor. 15:52–54.

2. THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR A SHORT TIME

“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.” — Rev. 12: 12.

“Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” John 12: 31–32.

3. THE POINT OF NO RETURN — THE IRREDEEMABLE ORDER OF THINGS TODAY

When you look around today, you will see how everything seems to be approaching a ‘point of no return’. The signs all around seem to say that everything is coming to some sort of completion or culmination. The days seem certainly near when the old will give way for the new. Since you cannot put new wine into old wine skins, in order to bring about the renewal of the world, the old will depart, then the new will appear. This existential dynamic seems to be upon us these days. The racing disruption of the social order, the moral order, the political order, the religious order, the cultural order, the environmental order, and even the religious order, and so forth, which we are experiencing in the world today looks irredeemable. The disorientation of society has gone so deep and so pervasive that its reversal and rectification would simply warrant an entirely new order of things — a new world — or better put a new era destined to salvage the world from its present quagmire.

4. THE CONFUSION IN CHRISTENDOM

The scandal of the disunity of Christians has now graduated into complete confusion. Christendom seems to be moving from controversy to chaos, especially since after the Protestant Revolt, 500 years ago, that ripped the bond of orthodoxy and ecclesial unity, and opened the door to unmitigated proliferation of Christian sects. Catholics (rightly, I believe) believe that they are the true Church and practice true Christianity; Protestants believe that Catholics are utterly wrong, Evangelicals believe that Catholics are not even Christians in the first place; the Non-Denominationalists have a distinction between Catholics and Christians; Pentecostals believe they are the ones that have the true Spirit of God; the non-trinitarian Jehovah Witnesses believe that all other Christians are pitiably misguided; the Seventh Day Adventists stick to the Sabbath Day and Ellen White and fervently pray for the conversion of other Christians.

I have come to believe that the days are near when the Lord himself will put an end to these divisions — the result of man’s imperfection — and restore his Church to be one in all things. In those days will his prayer to his Father for the Unity of his Church be fulfilled. For the must be fulfilled. But, is such a unity possible in the world as it is today?

5. THE GREAT FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH

Even though the expression the ‘great falling away’ is used to refer specifically to that apocalyptic period when the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will lead innumerable Christians away from the True Faith, there is no doubt that the great departure from the True Faith and even from any Faith or Belief in God at all has already started and has advanced to a degree that one would be worried if those who should be worried about it are not worried. Not only are churches becoming empty and empty every Sunday, the number of those who at least profess Faith in the Christ as God and Saviour is densely depleting.

Worse still, a number of those who still make a show of their Christian faith and name, have only been given a ‘fanciful’ Gospel, a distorted Christ. Christian Europe has long lost its Christian soul, retaining only a cultural vestige of Christianity, that is more a cultural artefact and a tourist investment than a living supernatural Faith. Another area of the manifestation of the great falling away is the gradual death of the True Faith among Christians. Among those who have remained committed to the Christian Faith, the substance of the true Faith continues to be lost. In the hearts of many Christians today and in the teachings of many Christian Churches, the core elements of the Christian Faith are gradually being annihilated.

The Protestant reform of the sixteenth century claimed it had restored the Protestant Church to the Christianity of the first four centuries, the Ancient Church. But how many Protestant Churches today retain even a semblance of the Lutheran Church, the ancestor of Protestantism. Sexual morality, the nature of marriage, the nature of ministry, what constitutes salvation, mode of worship and prayer, the interpretation of scripture, the sanctity of life, the discipline of life, child upbringing, Church-State relations, social-ethical issues, and so on, continues to be redefined or modified. The Catholic Church, in which subsists the true Faith and the true Church, is not even spared by this onslaught to radically change everything. The day of the great renewal of all things should indeed not be far.

6. OCCULTISM AND SATANISM GOES MAINSTREAM

Do you see how occultism has become emboldened today? Do you see how Satanism is no longer a hidden thing? Do you see that that the Adversary, the Ancient Serpent, seem to have unleashed all its arsenal, as though like for the final battle? Worst of all, Satanism and Occultism have entered the sacred sphere of Religion and has taken hold of many Christians and Christian Churches, such that you really need God’s help to know the difference. Gradually, the activities of Satan and his agents have now come into the open sphere of society and have become pervasive.

The worship of Satan in the world today and the fact that some people do actually and openly worship Satan, no longer makes news headlines. As usual, our permissive society, seem to have accepted it, or at least is incapable of doing anything about it. A clear instance of this is the Satanic Church in California, USA. Though the so-called Church of Satan claims that it does not believe in or worship Satan, yet, it has set up an altar against the Eternal Father, the Almighty, the Creator of the universe and Lord of all things. It has set up a temple in the name of the ancient adversary of the only God — who contended for the throne of God — and has declared itself the enemy of the Living God and of his divine will, his divine law and his divine word. Is it not instructive that the Church of Satan has christened its headquarters

in New York the ‘Kitchen of Hell’ and, even though it teaches that man is no more than a carnal beast, has declared that its members are gods unto themselves? It is no longer a secret that most leaders of the world today espouse Satanism or Occultism of some sort, and that to a large extent, the affairs of the world are managed by persons who either do not believe in God or who choose to part ways with God. The influence of the Prince of this World on the ideas and ideologies that rule the world today are very evident. But as the Scriptures say: he has but a short time; soon, he will be cast out.

7. THE RUMBLING IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Do not be surprised or scandalised when you hear that the Catholic Church, the high rock upon which Jesus built his Church, the spotless bride of the lamb, the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has been infiltrated by evil men. It is the reality today. The Lord Jesus has permitted it and even confirms it. It is the fulfilment of prophecy. Exactly because the Catholic Church is the true Church, it is the ultimate target of Satan, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. The Catholic Church is at the centre of everything pertaining to Religion, God, the end time and the second coming. If you want to be guided aright, watch what happens within the Catholic Church and with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church will be the centre stage of end time events. The Catholic Church has been and will even more be the targets of the foe of Jesus Christ But, we leave this discourse for another day.

8. THE RISE OF A NEW ARMY IN THE CHURCH

There is a new army, a special legion, that is rising in the Church today, whose presence gladdens the heart of all who truly love the Lord Jesus and his Bride the Church and who await his glorious return and the arrival of the New Heaven and the New Earth, which he promised. Of this new army, I refer specifically to the Catholic Church, the Mother Church, the Boat of Peter. This army is not an association but an awakening; it is not a movement but a new momentum; not an agitation but a deepening; not a sodality but a solidification, a strengthening; it is a new breath of the Spirit among the faithful, renewing the face of his Church; it is a new fire of faith burning in hearts and minds; it is a revamping of the ancient treasures of the Spirit; it is a revival lit from heaven; it is a rebirth of holy traditions; it is that ferventness known of the Saints; it is a new crusade for the true Faith; it is a re-evangelization of the faithful; it is an outburst of the love a child has for his mother.

Its wave is gliding from East to West and from North to South. Like John the Forerunner, they are a unique offspring of the Church, herald of a new era. But particularly, this new army is a special offspring of the Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; the Woman, full of grace. They know that there’s enmity between the Serpent and the Woman and her seed. This special offspring know that the dragon makes war against the Woman and her offspring. They know that the great dragon has been hurled down from heaven to the earth — that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray, him and his angels — and that he has come with great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time. So, they too, in league with the Woman, are warriors. They are soldiers of the Immaculata, the legion of Mary.

This special army is formed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin and are shielded in her Immaculate Heart. Across the four corners of the Earth — and sometimes out of other Christian denominations back into the Church — God is raising a new army, especially among the lay faithful, who are already fighting the good fight, for the true Faith and the true Church, but who are also preparing for the great battle, the ultimate battle, against the Lawless One, the Man of Sin, the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ. This new army of the Faith is already strengthening the faith of the weak, correcting errors, bringing back the strayed, creating awareness, defending the law of God and resisting the enemies of the true Gospel. This new army has the boldness of the children of God and is equipped for every good work. Their armoury is the treasures God has given to his Church through the Saints and the Magisterium; like the five stones of David, their missiles are the fragile cords of the Holy Rosary. It is a vigilant army, ready to pay the price — as every true soldier would do. As we speak, their ranks are growing. If you look well, you will see this army, already in battle array!

Michael Richmond Duru
4th June 2022
https://michaelrichmondduru.medium.com/subscribe

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Michael Richmond Duru is an Igboman. From Amaulu, Mbieri clan. His Igboland is in the gulf of West Africa. A priest of the Archdiocese of Owerri. Lives in Rome.

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Michael Richmond Duru

Michael Richmond Duru is an Igboman. From Amaulu, Mbieri clan. His Igboland is in the gulf of West Africa. A priest of the Archdiocese of Owerri. Lives in Rome.