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[History] > 16th Century AD - Ayin - The Protestant Reformation

Spoke 16

Nehemiah, Zechariah, I Peter

Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. Zechariah 11:4ff (Spoke 16, Cycle 2)

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:2ff (Spoke 16, Cycle 3)

The Protestant Reformation

The verses above are linked by the KeyLink ("Feed the flock of") [Verify] , as discussed in the Spoke 16 article The Chief Shepherd. They both speak against the wicked shepherd who would fleece the flock for "filthy lucre's sake" which is the very spark that lit Martin Luther's flame leading to the Protestant Reformation of the Sixteenth Century - the selling of indulgences. We have here multiple levels of integration: Zechariah and I Peter are integrated with a KeyLink based on the theme of the Shepherd who is the Overseer or Chief (Resh) Eye (Ayin) - and this common theme that integrates elements of Spoke 16 is seen to be the very element that manifested one of the most momentous events in Christian History - the Protestant Reformation. It is extremely ironic that it was the Peter's words against "filthy lucre" that sparked the fire against the Roman Catholic Church who claims him as their first Pope. Yet the irony runs deeper still. It was Johan Tetzel's This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window efforts to drum up funds for the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window through the sale of indulgences that ignited Luther's ire!

One of the primary themes of the the Sixteenth Spoke is the building of God's Temple. In Nehemiah and Zechariah it is the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian captivity, while in I Peter it is spiritualized to the building of God's holy Temple with "living stones" - i.e. believers. This is the Church. The restoration of the Temple, Worship, and the Word of God are major themes of Ezra and Nehemiah on Spokes 15 and 16. It is not limited to just Spoke 16 - there are strong common themes found in all nine books on these three consecutive Spokes (cf. Symmetries of the Bible Wheel):

Epistles to the Scattered: James I Peter II Peter
Post-Exilic Minor Prophets: Haggai Zechariah Malachi
Post-Exilic OT History:  Ezra Nehemiah Esther

Coupling the theme of rebuilding the Temple with Peter's view of the Church as God's living Temple, we see that the theme of the reformation of the Church dominates this portion of the Wheel. The miracle of God is that this is also the dominant theme of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries of Church History, so that we have a direct integration of the geometry of the Bible with the primary events of Church History. This correlation is even more stunning in light of Luther's proclamation the the corrupted church was truly the "kingdom of Babylon" in his book On the Baylonian Captivity of the Church discussed below.

Martin Luther and the Babylonian Captivity of the Church

These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;

Nehemiah 7.6

The great miracle of God's Word is now evident. The thematically correlated verses above are not only geometrically correlated on Spoke 16 of the bwheel, they also contain the spark that lit the Sixteenth Century Protestant Reformation. Both Calvin This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window and Luther This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window used the quote from I Peter in their criticism of indulgences, calling them "filthy lucre." If ever the Shepherds were guilty of fleecing the sheep, this was it! As Luther fought to remove this deadly corruption from his beloved Church, he encountered more and more resistance from wicked men ensconced therein. As the passions rose, he became utterly convinced that the Roman heirarchy had become truly evil. In the preface to his On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window he clearly defined his postion, writing:

But after hearing and reading the subtle subtleties of these pretentious and conceited men, with which they skillfully prop their idol - for in these matters my mind is not altogether unteachable - I now know of a certainty that the papacy is the kingdom of Babylon and the power of Nimrod the mighty hunter.

Now whether or not the papacy is the "kingdom of Babylon" it is certain that the Roman Church exhibited a character consistent with this accusation at the time Luther made it. And this is what is so utterly and completely astounding. In the Sixteenth Century, the Church desperately needed a Reformation, just as the Temple had to be rebuilt and the people reformed after the Babylonian Captivity on the Sixteenth Spoke fo the Wheel. And this is the theme used by the reformers themselves. The reformations made by Nehemiah also integrate perfectly with this theme, as discussed below. The correlation between the geometric structure of the Bible and the History of the Church is both perfect and obvious. We also have the testimony of Catholic apologists - current and past - that Rome is to be identitified as Babylon, as discussed below.

Note added Oct 30, 2006: This article was originally posted on June 6, 2003. I have today (October 30, 2006) posted the article called the Key to the Kingdoms, which shows, amongst many other things, that the end of the actual historical Babylonian Exile occurred in 536 BC and so corresponds to Ayin in the BC cycle (counting centuries after Abraham). This means that the ends of both the symbolic (AD) and historical (BC) Babylonian Exiles appear symmetrically on the Key to the Kingdoms diagram, and are also fully integrated with the specific content of the 16th Spoke of the Wheel. This exemplifies yet again the never ending wonder of this revelation. Everything continues to build consistently and coherently upon results that were discovered and published years ago. There is no end to the glory of God's Word! Praise His Holy Name now and forever!

Nehemiah's Reformation

Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

The theme of the Sixteenth Book intetgrates perfectly with the theme of the abuse of money by the ruling class of Priests, which also is the dominant theme of the Sixteenth Century, and the elements from Zechariah and I Peter on Spoke 16 discussed above. Note that Nehemiah made the Priests promise to reform. What clearer allusion to the Protestant Reformation could be imagined?

Rome as Babylon

The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

I Peter 5.13

Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

Zechariah 2.7

Catholic apologists typically argue that Peter's reference to Babylon in his first epistle is a "code word" for Rome. Here is a quote from article, Was Peter in Rome? This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window:

Boettner is also wrong when he claims "there is no allusion to Rome in either of [Peter's] epistles." There is, in the greeting at the end of the first epistle: "The Church here in Babylon, united with you by God's election, sends you her greeting, and so does my son, Mark" (1 Pet. 5:13, Knox). Babylon is a code-word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible and in extra-biblical works like the Sibylline Oracles (5:159f), the Apocalypse of Baruch (2:1), and 4 Esdras (3:1). Eusebius Pamphilius, in The Chronicle, composed about A.D. 303, noted that "It is said that Peter's first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon."

The article goes on to cite the reference to Babylon in Revelation 16:

And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The "great earthquake" that splits city in to "three parts" is strongly linked with Zechariah, whose name means "the Lord remembers" as discussed in the Revelation 16 article (cf. also the Isaiah 38 article Remember Me, O Lord! and Psalm 38).

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