Hi! This is a helpful, sane, mini-treatment of practical matters regarding the Christmas Controversy. Love you, brethren!
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
“Scripture makes it undeniably clear that God punishes sins by sins. But these are not inflicted by God in such a way that they are sins stemming from him, since whatever God does is incontrovertibly righteous and just. The punishments themselves, insofar as they are punishments, pertain to the nature of goodness; yet, insofar as they proceed from us, they are sins.”
Peter Martyr Vermigli, On Original Sin, translated and edited by Kirk Summers
A little about Vermigli by Chris Castaldo, author of the Forward and Introduction:
“Confronted by the persecution, force, and cruelty of this world, Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1562) urged Christians to leave the shadows of ignorance and recognize two realities: their identity in Christ and the sure hope of one day seeing God face to face. This, he contends, is ‘man’s ultimate happiness, the delight that surpasses all worldly pleasure’—to be accepted by the eternal Father in Christ.”
More from Amazon.com (click image of book to go there):
“Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) was a forgotten giant of the Protestant Reformation. With a legacy that spanned from Naples to Zurich to Oxford, Vermigli left behind him voluminous biblical commentaries and treatises, and a band of faithful disciples who collected his writings into the massive theological compendium, the Loci Communes. ‘On Original Sin’ represents the first installment of a new project to translate the Loci into English for the first time since 1583. Presented here in a clear, readable, and learned translation, Vermigli’s searching discussion of original sin reveals the biblical and patristic foundations of this controversial doctrine, and its centrality to Protestant orthodoxy.”
The Angel, Michael
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole [d]world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even [e]when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who [f]dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
[d] Revelation 12:9 Lit inhabited earth
[e] Revelation 12:11 Lit to death
[f] Revelation 12:12 Or tabernacle
Intro to a tiny gallery
Strangely, many depictions of Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon are shown as if happening upon the stage of this world rather than in Heaven as the Bible teaches. Also, images Of the dragon are often unscriptural. Take note, too, that one of the images below is described as Michael “slaying” the dragon rather than “waging war” with him.
I wonder how the dragon’s expulsion from heaven affects his accusations against us.
A tiny gallery
War in Heaven – Apocalypse by Gebhard Fugel 15 – Kap. 12.7 Michaels Kampf
Saint Michael slaying the Dragon – Josse Lieferinxe, Master of St. Sebastian, 15th Century
Saint Michael the Archangel – Garcia Fernandes Workshop (atr.)
The Woman, Israel
12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
The Male Child, Christ
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to [a]rule all the [b]nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there [c]she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
[a] Revelation 12:5 Or shepherd
[b] Revelation 12:5 Or Gentiles
[c] Revelation 12:6 Lit they would nourish her for
Intro to a tiny gallery
The importance of this passage convinced me not to introduce it with a mere image. Instead I’ve appended a tiny gallery.
No painting or engraving can capture the glories or terrors of the Apocalypse. Every attempt will fail, for God’s Word alone is Truth and Eternal, and absolutely Real. Art is a gift to us when it reflects and honors His Word, for then it can delight us and remind us of the One Who is good, holy, and true – the Triune God.
A tiny gallery
Apocalypse by Gebhard Fugel (1863-1939) 14 – Kap. 12.1 Frau und Drache
Woman of the Apocalypse – from the Hortus Deliciarum by Herrad of Landsberg – 12th Century
Woman and dragon (Giusto de Menabuoi) 14th Century
Vasiliy Koren’s Apocalypse p.13 – Woman and dragon – between 1692 and 1696
The Woman Clothed in the Sun (Speculum humanae salvationis or Mirror of Human Salvation) – anonymous – originating in 14th Century