Alabaster Jar of Anti-Sacramental Mystery Part V: Is the Spiritual Terrorism of Protestant Confusion Anticipated in the Bible? Definitely! Read On!
The Father, the Child, the Fish, and the Scorpion
TEACHER: Well, I hate to disappoint you. I can let you go, or we can end with a great bang of some outstanding sacramental analogies.
STUDENT: What the hell, it has been awesome already! But first, can you give a sneak peak of where we are going, to entice patience!
TEACHER: You bet! Let us quote the profound yet frightening Scripture.
STUDENT: Go for it!
TEACHER: Thank you, Here we go!
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
STUDENT: Wow, frightening. I wonder where we will go with this. I can see two prominent things are scorpions and people who do no have the “Seal of God” on their foreheads.
TEACHER: Yes, it is perplexing for sure. Well, to build toward an anti-sacramental interpretation of this spooky Scripture, we need to probe a dimension of allegory regarding loaves and fishes, different from our familiar miraculous feedings. We need to examine a parable, one we may be familiar with already.
STUDENT: Go ahead.
TEACHER: Here it is: the father who gives a serpent for a fish, and so forth.
And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?
How do you think this might apply to our theology?
STUDENT: Let me see. I think after our first reflection on the five loaves, two fish, and such, the loaf and fish here in the parable are sacraments. On the other hand, there are eggs, which are not in the loaves and fishes stories, but we can note that sometimes you use eggs when you make bread. So an egg is probably some positive spiritual entity like a sacrament. Then, we have the scary objects: stones, serpents, and scorpions. There is mention of a father as well.
TEACHER: Yes. Consider this: first, the father figure gives a sacrament in two instances. Who might the father be? Hint, what kind of person dispenses the sacraments?
STUDENT: Ahah, I get it! A priest or bishop is a dispenser of a sacrament. So the father can image the spiritual paternity of the Episcopate.
TEACHER: Excellent. What then, would you make of the negative objects: hint, note another Scripture:
He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me….Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you.
STUDENT: Ahah, this is placing it in better context! The first statement is the Magisterium [“He who hears you hears Me!”], for whoever hears the Bishops united to Peter hears Christ, and whoever does not hear them, resists Christ. This reminds us most poignantly of the reality that the Church is protected from “all power of the enemy,” meaning, from spiritual harm. She will never preach error or heresy, and her power structure, however reduced it may become, will persist validly until the end of time. It reminds me too, that perhaps, just perhaps, those with the Seal of God are good Cathoilcs who listen to the Church, thereby guaranteeing that they shall not be harmed by false teaching, which may or may not be imaged by the tails like scorpions.
TEACHER: Yes, those are good preliminary observations. Would you now see any deeper depth in the serpents and scorpions, which are also present in the father parable?
STUDENT: Yes, you have me thinking. The serpents and scorpions are clearly negative spiritual entities and quite probably either heresies, lies, or counterfeits, just as the devil is the father of counterfeits—like how he plagiarizes the sacraments. In fact, if we look at the Apocalypse, the scorpion enters in the first great Woe, the serpent enters in the second great woe and in Apocalypse 12, and the serpent enters in Apocalyspe 13 with the dragon and the two horns of the false prophet.
TEACHER: Ok, but then, what kind of father gives these negative entities? A bishop or a priest?
STUDENT: Oh, obviously not! Rather, a bad father!
TEACHER: Good; let us start with the worst father of all, since that is the easiest. Who is he?
STUDENT: Obviously, the devil! The father of lies!
TEACHER: Good. Now what about a father that is bad, but not as bad as the devil.
STUDENT: I knew you would ask that! Well, let us see. We obviously need to move from a legitimate priest down the chain toward hell but not completely, which would also seem to imply that this type of father is less degree of counterfeit or lie. Hmm. What we can do? From Catholic priest, you move down to Orthodox priest, but that is still good, as we have seen that the Orthodox have valid orders. From there, we can only descend to heretics. Now, heretical ministers aren’t even as high as Catholic laity, but nevertheless, they can give two fish, Baptism and Marriage. We saw that, right?
TEACHER: You bet! So now what?
STUDENT: Well, they cannot give the five loaves, so maybe we are on to something. I would conjecture this: since the five sacraments that they lose, in their full theological implications, encase almost all doctrine that Protestants contest, and since not knowing the answers to those doctrinal disputes places one in disarray, confusion or even fright, perhaps an innocent heretic might ask a hardened, judgmental heretical minister for any of the five loaves and be given a “heart of stone”. For example, we have seen the presumptuous heretics in contrast to the overly scrupulous described in our reading.
TEACHER: This is good. We have already covered the presumptuous heretic torturing the scared heretic. How might it apply to our parable?
STUDENT: Yes; it would mean that the proud heretic tells the innocent one that those sacraments are inventions from Rome and that he has nothing to give. Possibly, too, if an egg were related to the five sacraments (it can be used to make bread), petitioning one or more of the five sacraments or its implications might render receiving a scorpion which “tortures.” This seems corroborated by our Apocalypse 9 Scripture that we are building toward.
TEACHER: Very good. Let me extrapolate on that: the scorpion tails’ torture for five months in the first great woe is the spitting image of Protestantism: the presumptuous heretics presume immunity from the fuller implications of the five sacraments they lose; on the other hand, the fearful heretics realize their need for these five that fill in the gap and also recognize that all they have is the two sacraments of basic faith [Baptism and Marriage]. As a result, they cannot get any relief from their spiritual instability and so suffer “tortures” from the myriads of presumptuous bigots who toss them to and fro by their conflicting answers to these vital questions.
Now that we have this, show me how to apply it to the parable. This is tricky, because the scorpions are given in place of an egg, not a loaf (which is rather replaced with a stone). Give it a try.
STUDENT: I can do it! As for the stone in place of the loaf, we already have a formal heretical minster who returns a heart of stone in place of a sacrament from amongst the five, as in “Please dear sir, give me [Confession, Anoiting, etc.]” Those are inventions of Rome, I have nothing to give. Go and find your own solution!
Now, for the more involved object, the egg.
Here is what I can come up with. Eggs can sometimes be used to make loaves. And this can convey that mystery and truth are “used” or found in the sacraments, not merely grace [Baptism implies the Flood, dying and rising to new life; marriage points to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb at the end of time; anointing of the sick, redemption in the last hour, the good thief, the suffering and death of the person images Jesus on the cross; confirmation implies God’s resolve to save all, and so forth;].
But even more so, there is the biological origin and process of the egg.
TEACHER: Really. Can you explain?
STUDENT: Yes, let us probe it: The egg originates from the female fowl. She must have intercourse with the male fowl. The male fowl stands upon the earth and heralds the light of dawn.
TEACHER: I like this, please continue, and in particular, how do you see the cock?
STUDENT: Yes, consider: the light of dawn is the light of Christ, His truths and His mystery. So the cock must image some source of truth for Jesus. What do you think?
TEACHER: I would say this: the cock’s pronouncement is Oral. Hence, the crowing can be the Oral Word of God. This also makes sense, since, the heretics do not have the Oral Word of God. That is one of their staple positions. They do not accept the Oral Word, or Sacred Tradition, since they are sola-Scriptura. Moreover, occasionally, they will take writings of the Fathers, which belong to the Bishops of the Church, and take them aside and interpret them without this self-same guidance of the Church. This is where the earth comes in. The crow has planted his feet firmly on the ground, and where have we seen the ground in our loaves and fishes analogies?
STUDENT: The Church, which is to say, the Episcopate!
TEACHER: Amen! The Bishops are the pillar and GROUND of truth, 1 Tim. 3:15. And to authentically receive the Oral Word of God, we must receive it through the Church. And since heretics have rejected the Church, they are doomed to heresies galore.
STUDENT: Great! Let me see if I can finish. Again, the male fowl must have intercourse with the female fowl to create an egg. We saw earlier that male/female intercourse images the interplay between Creator and creature, or between Jesus and the Church. Therefore, the male fowl is none other than God, especially in the Person of Christ, making the female fowl the Church.
Now we can put it all together: God, the cock, firmly seats His authority upon the stable earth of the Episcopate [He who hears you, hears Me]. From this stable foundation, the Oral Word of God flows from God through the Episcopate in the way of the cock crowing out to the world, heralding the dawn of Christ’s light. All these things are carried into the female fowl’s inmost being, the spiritual love shared between Christ and the Church. This divine interplay of exchange of the love between Christ, the Oral Word of God, the bishops, and the Church brings forth a new light, an egg, which, when it grows in the womb of the female fowl, becomes “developed doctrine.” It is precisely this developed doctrine that keeps the Church and faithful on the pure way of truth, protected from spiritual harm, from errors and heresies. None of these protections and blessings can be had by any heretic. Hence, now we come to the scorpion.
TEACHER: Yes, may I finish with the final punch?
STUDENT: Sure, go ahead.
TEACHER: Any heretic who asks for the theological and doctrinal certitude that comes from the egg can never have it, since it must received from the female fowl, the Church. Hence, if they ask a formal heretical minister, our scary creature with a scorpion tail, for an egg, they can only receive a scorpion, a heresy of torture.
STUDENT: This is amazing. And let me guess about the Seal of God in that fifth trumpet, to confirm my hunch. The Seal of God is simply Catholicism. The forehead symbolizes the mind, which is then protected from error. But fearful heretics, innocent though they are, are still tortured because they don’t have that.
One more thing. The five months are the five sacraments, right?
TEACHER: Yes, very good.
Now, There is just one more application, the two sacraments left to heretics, twisted into the ultimate diabolical lies.
STUDENT: That sounds awesome, but I am going to ask you to hammer this out, as this is not entirely clear.
TEACHER: You got it! It would be difficult. Here goes:
The Secularly Messianic Mockery of the Two Base Sacraments left to Heretics, the Fall
We are now down to the two sacraments left to heretics, the two fish, Baptism and Marriage. We will argue that these sacraments, when twisted by the devil completely, become the ultimate lies of the fall, themselves, a symbol of all that has ever been evil, or will be.
STUDENT: That is a tall order. Let us see where you go with this.
TEACHER: Sure, the game plan is this: we will first show that Baptism and Marriage, in their ultimate theological principles and signs, shew forth the two great principles of all goodness, or all purpose, per the Baltimore Catechism. Once we have done that, we will argue that to completely attack or deny these principles—to mock them—we get the principles of all evil, the primary lies of the fall. In conclusion, we will then argue that the Lamb’s seven horns in Apocalypse are the seven sacraments, and that the two horns of the false prophet like a lamb are these two anti-principles of the fall. Finally, we will argue this is what the serpent in place of a fish means: an innocent soul asks the devil for two fish, Baptism and Marriage, and the dragon returns two serpents, the two great lies of the fall.
STUDENT: Sounds good. Fire away!
TEACHER: Will do. Here we go. Now, let me ask you, per our game plan, what are the principles of all goodness and purpose for man?
STUDENT: O, that’s easy! The Baltimore Catechism laid that out:
To know, love, and serve God in this life
To be happy with Him forever in the next
TEACHER: Very good. Allow me to interject that there is really only ONE major reason that we exist, per Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott.
STUDENT: What might that be?
TEACHER: As follows: the one ultimate reason that God creates is to share the Divine life, love, and knowledge of the Trinity with creatures. That just boils down to two reasons when we separate our life here from above. In either case, for us to share in God’s life and love is grace, or loving Him, and to share in His Knowledge is to know Him. And these are the two great things we will do, first on earth, and then, hopefully, in heaven forever.
STUDENT: Excellent. How, now, do we apply this to the Baptism and Marriage?
TEACHER: Simple. Firstly, the primary disposition of Baptism is faith and repentance. It also involves being declared a child of the Father. It is repentance because at the renewal of our Baptismal vows, we are asked to reject sin, the glamour of evil, and the empty promises of the devil. That is repentance down the middle. It is faith because after this, we profess our faith in the basic Creed: “Do you believe in God, … in Jesus Christ…. In the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Church...”
STUDENT: Excellent point. And we can see that, to follow up, faith is knowing God, for to know God’s truths is to have faith in them; what about marriage?
TEACHER: The Wedding Feast of the Lamb! When we get to the NEXT life, we will marry God, marry Jesus. We will exchange wondrous spiritual love of spiritual marriage to the Creator, completely giving and receiving truly beautiful gifts of love, life, mystery and truth. And that is the happiness that we will have in that same next life.
STUDENT: Amen, that seals that Baptism and Marriage, in their ultimate principles, mirror the two great reasons we exist. How we can argue that their complete counterfeit gives us all evil, the lies of the fall.
TEACHER: Bingo! The argument is immediate. If we completely deny the overarching principles of all good in existence, we must necessarily get the principles of all evil, which is nothing short of the fall. Here we go:
Again, Christ has said, “What father would give his child a serpent if he asked for a fish?” We can imagine the already deluded world that has tickling ears to hear what it would like to hear, to come unto the worst father of all existence, and petition him, this father of lies, for two fish: “Father, should we seek to know, love, and serve God in this life and to be married to him forever in the next as our ultimate goal here below?” In asking for these two sacramental principles, these two fish, these two great laws that all men should live by—whether they be Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, deist, rationalist, Buddhist, or any other—the dragon offers two counterfeit, anti-sacramental principles, two serpents!
The 1st lie of the Fall: Anti-Baptism:Surely not! You are not dependent on God like a child. Rather, be your own god. And, believe as you wish and do as you wish. Don’t listen to God or any claimed revelation from God, whether by man or book. Decide for yourself what is true. And don’t do what God has told you to do, or what any claimed Revelation of God has told you to do. Rather, do what you want, whatever is convenient. You will be better off in all these things.
The 2nd lie of the Fall: Anti-Marriage Toward God: And as for seeking your ultimate fulfillment in marrying God in the next life, rubbish! Rather, seek your ultimate fulfillment with this world in this life: materialism!” In this way, the dragon will have taken what two remnant sources of goodness are left to heretics, and twisted them into the ultimate heresies.
STUDENT: Marvelous! I think we are done, no?
TEACHER: Yes, phew! Some 25 pages in 11 font. If any of you readers have come this far, congratulation, thank you, and God bless you. Hope you enjoyed the ride. You deserve it if you did. Wrap us up, student, would you?
STUDENT: What have we learned?
Firstly, we saw how the Alabaster Jar scenes in the Scriptures, one with Simon the Pharisee and one with Simon the Leper, were an image the religious extremes of Jesus’ day and our day. We saw the analysis of such extremes in the Pharisee, or the right, and the Sadducee, or the left. We saw that the Pharisee is hard-headed but hard-hearted, whereas the Sadducee is soft-hearted but soft-headed. We saw that the extremes, when they became totally devoid of Christ, diverged into secular messianism, that is, fascism and communism, respectively.
Moreover, we saw the theology of the loaves and/or fishes as the seven sacraments, with five loaves and two fish symbolizing heresy—or how heretics lose five sacraments that require the Episcopate and retain only two, Baptism and Marriage. We also saw how the three loaves at midnight imaged the three sacraments of initiation.
Also, we saw how the five sacraments lost by heretics, in their full theological implications, summarize just about all doctrines that heretics confound. Too, we saw how this situation poled heretics from one side to another, namely, from presumptuous to overly fearful.
Then, we saw how the liberals take upon themselves the three sacraments of initiation, or community, and that, for them, the Church is mostly nothing but a community. We saw how the devil mocks these three sacraments into liberal counterfeits, and that, on the other hand, how he denies and mocks outright the other four sacraments that are mostly spiritual.
We finally saw how the devil takes the secular divulge of these extremes and mocks the sacraments therein into diabolical counterparts, anti-sacraments that replace God with the State, and replace any spiritual components with a promise for temporal salvation.
Moreover, we remember that the Pharisee scene had numbers 500 and 50 [two servants owe the master a debt, one the larger sum, the other the lesser sum], and the Leper scene had 300 and 30 [the alabaster jar could have been sold for 300 days wages, and, Judas betrays our Lord for 30 pieces of silver]. We saw how the numbers divulge to the 3 sacraments for the liberal, and the 5 sacraments for the Pharisee. The 100 and 10 that are common factors in both scenes could be seen in light of the fact that 10 was like the world, as in 10 horns for beast and dragon. Then, 10 by itself is purely worldly, as in the worldly kingdoms, and 10 x 10, or 100, was like a double world, or otherworldly; hence, though it had the semblance of being spiritual, yet, because it is still 10s, it is really just a worldly counterfeit of Christianity.
Finally, we saw how that the loaves and fishes manifested themselves in the parable where a good father would never give his child a serpent for a fish, and so forth. There, the good objects that the child would ask for would be sacraments or related doctrine. A good father would be a bishop or priest. Bad fathers, who would give negative objects like a serpent, a scorpion, or a stone, could be the devil or a judgmental heretical minister. This gave a profound interpretation for Apocalypse 9, where scary creatures [mean heretical ministers] would torture those without the Seal of God [fearful heretics] for five months [the five sacraments heretics lose] with scorpion tails [heresies, uncertainty.]