Firstly our AMAIC comment on what follows below from John R. Salverda:
We likewise believe in the validity of the proper (reverent) use of the Crucifix.
However, we would differ significantly from John’s other view, that the prophecies of Ezekiel are still to be literally fulfilled; just as we accept that the Book of Apocalypse [Revelation] was largely fulfilled literally with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. See our site Apocalypse Now? Or Then? http://apocalypsenoworthen.blogspot.com.au/
Some call this type of approach the preterist interpretation of the Book of Revelation.
See along similar lines:
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The reason why one is so struck by the likenesses between the era of Revelation and our own times is because these are a kind of parallel inasmuch as, what happened to the Groom, Jesus Christ, is now being endured by the Bride (His Bride, the Church), which the AMAIC believes to be the Catholic Church.
So obviously Revelation still has a profound importance and significance for us today.
But its literal fulfilment (only, not allegorical, etc), as with Ezekiel’s, occurred in the past, so we believe, in c. 70 AD for Revelation, and in the Babylonian (Chaldean) era, for Ezekiel.
Many people and in fact, some entire religions claiming to be Christians, criticize the use of the crucifix for fear of “worshipping” a symbol, but I would not be so quick to disparage the well known “ensign” of Christianity. It seems to me that there is plenty of Scriptural evidence, Old Testament and New, that the use of the crucifix, the lifted up root of Jesse, is part of the divine plan for gathering and rallying the lost Israelites who have been disbursed throughout the nations.
What about the ensign of the "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel, who are supposed to join Judah in the "end times" prophecies (such as Ezekiel 37:15-28 and many others)? It has been said that there are certain modern nations (mainly the western nations of Europe, Britain and America) who are to be regarded as the descendants of those "lost" Israelites. Surely it is no mere coincidence that these are the "Christian" nations. In fact I suppose that their acceptance of Christianity is the best proof we have that these nations are the lost Israelites. Remember the prophecy of Isaiah, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;… And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. … And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:1,2,10 and 12). History is clear, it has been the job of Christianity to re-gather the lost Israelites. This is being done under the "ensign," or standard of the "lifted up" root of Jesse, known to Christians as the crucifix, the well known symbol of Christianity. The hand of the ALL MIGHTY is obvious in this enterprise. No?
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he ‘looketh upon’ it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he ‘beheld’ the serpent of brass, he lived." (Numbers 21:8,9) Surely Moses was not resorting to any form of “idolatry” in executing this divine command, and please take note of the part about looking upon and beholding the Mosaic serpent on a stick. Why do you suppose that Jesus insisted that his own body should be treated in a like manner? "And I, if I be ‘lifted up’ from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be ‘lifted up?’ who is this Son of man?" (John 12:32-34) "And as Moses ‘lifted up’ the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:" (John 3:14) "they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:16-18).
The argument so saying that Christ was impaled upon a stake and not crucified upon a cross is a moot point whether true or not, for God has seen fit that the lost Israelites (the Christians) are being, and have been, gathered for many centuries under the ensign of the lifted up Son of Man on a cross. There is no evidence that an image of Christ on a stake has ever done such a gathering job as is required by the prophecy.
Chiding Christians for displaying the instrument of His death is a specious argument. It is His lifted up body that is being displayed. If Christ was shot by a gun and then His body was somehow lifted up, as the prophecies insisted must be done, then it would be that lifting up of his bullet ridden body that would be the ensign.
For those of you who do not believe that the crucifix is the well attested to “root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign” then the question must be asked; What do you think is the Biblically referred to ensign?
-John R. Salverda