The Fifth Age Of The Church

The Fifth Age

Church In Sardis

Church in Sardis
Fifth Seal
Fifth Trumpet
Fifth Plague

The Individual verses

REVELATION> Chapter 3> Sardis
1. And to the angel of the church of Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know thy works, and that thou hast the name of being alive. And thou art dead.
2. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God.
3. Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe and do penance: If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief: and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.
4. But thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy.
5. He that shall overcome shall thus be clothed in white garments: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. And I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
6. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

 

REVELATION> Chapter 6> Fifth Seal
9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11. And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.

 

REVELATION> Chapter 9 > Fifth Trumpet
1. And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit.
2. And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit.
3. And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree: but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads.
5. And it was given unto them that they should not kill them: but that they should torment them five months. And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.
6. And in those days, men shall seek death and shall not find it. And they shall desire to die: and death shall fly from them.
7. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle. And on their heads were, as it were, crowns like gold: and their faces were as the faces of men.
8. And they had hair as the hair of women: and their teeth were as lions.
9. And they had breastplates as breastplates of iron: and the noise of their wings was as the noise of chariots and many horses running to battle.
10. And they had tails like to scorpions: and there were stings in their tails. And their power was to hurt men, five months. And they had over them
11. A king, the angel of the bottomless pit (whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon, in Latin Exterminans).
12. One woe is past, and behold there come yet two woes more hereafter.

 

REVELATION> Chapter 16> Fifth Plague
10. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast. And his kingdom became dark: and they gnawed their tongues for pain.
11. And they blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and wounds: and did not penance for their works.


The Fifth Age
Or the Fifth Epoch

The verses put together as one continuous paragraph.

And to the angel of the church of Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know thy works, and that thou hast the name of being alive. And thou art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God. Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe and do penance: If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief: and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.But thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy. He that shall overcome shall thus be clothed in white garments: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. And I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up. And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit. And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree: but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads. And it was given unto them that they should not kill them: but that they should torment them five months. And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man. And in those days, men shall seek death and shall not find it. And they shall desire to die: and death shall fly from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle. And on their heads were, as it were, crowns like gold: and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women: and their teeth were as lions. And they had breastplates as breastplates of iron: and the noise of their wings was as the noise of chariots and many horses running to battle. And they had tails like to scorpions: and there were stings in their tails. And their power was to hurt men, five months. And they had over them A king, the angel of the bottomless pit (whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon, in Latin Exterminans). One woe is past, and behold there come yet two woes more hereafter. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast. And his kingdom became dark: and they gnawed their tongues for pain. And they blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and wounds: and did not penance for their works.

 

Ven. Fr. Bartholomew Holzhauser
THE FIFTH EPOCH, which commences with the birth of Protestantism, and wherein we still live, is the state of“TRIBULATION,” (status afflictionis.) [The Protestant movement… is popularly considered to have begun in 1517 when Luther published The Ninety-Five Theses. 

“This,” says Holzhauser, “is a state of trouble, desolation, humiliation, and poverty for the church. We may with just reason call it a state of purification, in which the Lord Jesus Christ has sifted His wheat, and will sift it again by wars, by seditions, by famines, by epidemics, and other scourges, by the tribulation and the poverty which He will suffer to weigh on the Latin church, by means of heretics and bad Christians, who will take from her the greater part of her bishoprics and countless monasteries, especially the wealthier ones. She is oppressed even by Catholic princes, and despoiled by means of taxes, imposts, and other extortions; so that we may say, in groaning with the prophet Jeremiah, ‘The queen of nations hath been placed under the yoke.’ The church is (Beykirch, p. 138) become poor and miserable, because she hath been calumniated by heretics, because her ministers are despised by bad Christians, who render them neither honor nor respect. By all these means God will sift His wheat; He will cast the chaff away to be burnt, and will gather the wheat into His barns. This fifth state of the church is the state of tribulation, the state of apostasy, full of miseries of every kind. Few will be spared by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. We shall see kingdom rise against kingdom; empires will be divided in themselves, and brought to desolation; principalities and monarchies will be overturned, and almost the whole world will sink into poverty. The greatest desolation will reign over the earth. All this hath in part been already accomplished (1656 AD); a part remains yet to be accomplished. These things will come to pass by the very just judgment of God, because of the accumulated mass of our iniquities, whereof our fathers and ourselves have filled up the measure, at the moment when the mercy of Almighty God awaited our doing penance. The fifth day of creation, on which the earth brought forth birds, fishes, and beasts of the field, is a type of this epoch, wherein men, like to the birds of the air and the fishes of the water, give themselves up to license, sink to the level of the brute, and wallow in lust. In this lamentable state of the church divine and human laws are without force, and made of light account; the doctrines and precepts of the church are despised; ecclesiastical discipline is not better observed by the priests, than political order is maintained by the people. Every one, like the beasts of the field, believes what he pleases, and doth what he wills.

“The correspondence of this period with the fifth age of the ancient world, from Solomon down to the Babylonian captivity, is extremely striking. Then Israel fell into idolatry, and Judah and Benjamin were alone true to the covenant. So in the times we speak of, a large portion of the Catholic population has fallen away from the true church; while a small number only of good Christians has survived. The Jewish state was then ruined, and was harassed and oppressed by heathens; so also has the holy Roman empire of Germany been ravaged and dismembered by the neighboring nations.

“To this [fifth] age has been accorded the [SPIRITUAL] GIFT OF COUNSEL; for counsel did the church need in order to counteract such fearful calamities, and to uphold the Catholic faith. This gift of counsel was revealed in the Council of Trent, in the institution of the Society of Jesus, by whose exertions, learning, and sanctity, the Catholic faith and the church throughout Europe, were rescued from destruction.

“A type of this epoch is the Church of Sardis—a word that signifies the beginning of beauty; for the calamities of this period will be the beginning of a better time. Divine providence hath wisely ordained that the church which He will cause to endure unto the end of the world, should be moistened from time to time (Beykirch, p. 139) with the waters of tribulation, as the gardener watered his garden in the time of drought.”(Beykirch, pp. 21-23).

In the next passage we leave what the Indians call the Caliyuga, or present age of misery and perturbation, and soar with the prophet into those pure serene times, which will witness the complete and glorious triumph of Christ’s Church upon earth. As these different epochs are not separated one from the other by any harsh dissonance; but the concluding tones of the succeeding period; so the conclusion of the fifth age will be marked by great conquests of the church. And of these conquests we think we already discern the beginning.

 

<-BACK