The Weekly Quill — The Second Deadly Sinners

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“Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Revelation 12:10-12

Even the most agnostic among us must concede that for being 1,900 years old, the Book of Revelation reads spectacularly well. It is believed to have been penned on the island of Patmos around 96 A.D. by the youngest of Jesus’ 12 disciples, John the Apostle. Penned by Jesus’ youngest of 12 disciples around 96 A.D., the book was said to have been written on the island of Patmos by John the Apostle. Or was it? The author’s true identity remains the subject of furious speculation debate among Biblical experts.

As the story goes, John had been captured in a persecution campaign by Roman Emperor Domitian and exiled as a martyr for his Christianity, or in his words, “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” There is no questioning John’s faith. He was the only disciple present at Jesus’ crucifixion and said to be deeply loved by Him, so much so that he was entrusted with the care of Mary, a commitment on which he delivered until her death in 54 A.D. In the first chapter of Revelation, John wrote of divine inspiration: “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”

And so, John put pen to paper in what’s known today as the Cave of the Apocalypse, situated about halfway up the mountain on the Aegean island along the road between the villages of Chora and Skala. In that grotto, frequented to this day by tourists, John received his visions from on high. He wrote to the seven Christian churches in Asia to warn them of various challenges and temptations that would challenge them. And he conveyed powerful revelations about the Last Days and the Second Coming of Christ which remain a source of inspiration for countless contemporary Christians.

Unlike the other “John” who is known to have written the Gospel of John, the exiled John did not have a command of the Greek language. And he exhibited the mannerisms associated with a more overtly Jewish attitude. Combined with the radically disparate writing styles of the two, early Church fathers and modern scholars therefore maintain that the two Johns could not have been one in the same. That’s neither here nor there given the enduring legacy of Revelation.

Being a castaway himself, it’s easy to understand that some of the most searing depictions of Satan’s being cast out of the heavens were inspired by the rugged elements in which John wrote. The pestilence to be visited upon the earth has its foundation in a cosmic war that had begun in heaven between God and Satan. The celestial battle culminates with the “Great Red Dragon” being thrown down to earth with his malevolent angels – the “beast from the sea” and “the beast from the land” – who unleash a war on the saints. The vulnerable are coerced to worship at the altar of evil, which prompts God to dispatch his army of angels to earth led by the “Lamb who had been slain.” Poetic, no? Seven angels unleash seven plagues to punish those who’d moved to the dark side. Revelation’s climax is the Battle of Armageddon, from which the good guys emerge as victors, of course.

In September 2019, the Federal Reserve learned the hard way that it was too reliant on the biggest bank in the United States. In conjunction with their colleagues at the Treasury Department, Fed officials are hoping to never again have to rely on the devil they know to ensure liquidity in the deepest, and theoretically most liquid, market on the planet.

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