The Feast of Belshazzar (1635), Rembrandt
The writing is on the wall.
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall, directly behind the lamp-stand (Dan 5:5)
In North America, we have been measured and weighed, and indeed, have been found wanting. And not just here. Pope Benedict has been warning Europe that to abandon Christ is to abandon their foundations. Australia is also among the westernized nations which have tragically strayed from their roots. And terrible injustices continue to reign in developing countries, including poverty, child prostitution, and genocide.The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin. The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. (Dan 5:25-28)
And so, I believe the time has come for our "kingdoms" to be divided….
TIMES OF THE BEAST?
Belshazzar’s father, King Nebuchednezzar, had a dream in which he sees a fourth kingdom subdue the earth in the "latter days" (Daniel 2:28 ). This is what St. John refers to in Chapter 13 of Revelation and which he calls "the beast."
A revived Roman Empire. It is a conglomeration of nations which eventually conquers the whole earth:"The Beast," that is, the Roman empire. —Cardinal John Henry Newman, Advent Sermons on Antichrist, Sermon III, The Religion of Antichrist
There shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. (Daniel 7:23)If the consideration of this fourth kingdom was not important, I doubt God would have inspired Daniel and St. John with detailed visions of this beast. I feel compelled to discuss it here, so that should these things transpire in our times, we will be aware. As Jesus said,
I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them… to keep you from falling away. (John 16:4, 1)There is growing evidence that the European Union is or is forming into a revived Roman Empire. While there are 27 nations in the Union, only ten of them are full charter members. The connection is obvious in both Daniel’s and St. John’s visions:
It was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns… I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns… (Daniel 7:7, Rev 13:1)
This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly… that horn made war against the Holy Ones and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived… (Daniel 7:8, 21-22)
…both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Rev 13:16-17)
We need a new global financial order. —European Union Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, www.moneymorning.com, October 24th, 2008
The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society. —Reuters, November 10th, 2008
…a global perestroika [restructuring] would be a logical response to the global crisis… The paradigm of global development is about to change. —RIA Novisti, Moscow, November 7th, 2008
We want a new world to come out of this. —French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, commenting on the financial crisis; October, 6th, 2008, Bloomberg.com
From this crisis, a new world has to emerge, and it’s a multi-polar world. —President Hugo Chavez, Associated Press, msnbc.msn.com, September 30th, 2008
The idea of suspending the markets for the time it takes to rewrite the rules is being discussed,’’ Berlusconi said today after a Cabinet meeting in Naples, Italy. A solution to the financial crisis “can’t just be for one country, or even just for Europe, but global.’’ —Prime Minister Servio Berlusconi, October 8th, 2008; Bloomberg.com
I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging. —POPE PAUL VI, The Secret Paul VI, Jean Guitton