Leviticus 19:33 – 34 33When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one. 34You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God.
Exodus 23:9 You shall not oppress a resident alien; you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 22:20-23 20You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt. 21You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. 22If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely listen to their cry. 23My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.
Matthew 25:31-46 The Judgment of the Nations. 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Shortly after my son John and I moved to Manhattan, I took him and his younger brother Jackson to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. At the time, Jackson was 9 and John was 13. I wanted them to gain an appreciation for our country, our freedom and for all of the immigrants who had passed through this “gateway” to the United States. New York City is a “melting pot” city in a “melting pot” nation. Its home to 8 million people and the United Nations. Therefore, its understandable what God, through his “mighty angel” instructed St. John to do in Revelation 10:11. “You must prophecy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” … Immigrants, diplomats and heads of state coming to New York City.
My education and appreciation of immigrants started at roughly the same age as Jackson. I had studied the Statue of Liberty in schoolbooks and the only immigrant “gateway” to the United States that I had seen was Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, across the Rio Grande River from Del Rio, Texas.
Growing up, my second home was Edwards County, Texas, situated between the towns of Rocksprings and Carta Valley. The trek from our deer lease via U.S. Hwys 377 and 277 to the Texas – Mexican border was approximately 60 miles. Rocksprings, then and now, survives on the wool and mohair industries, and the town of approximately 1,200 people is known as the Angora Goat Capital of the World. It was the late 1960′s and this was my earliest recollection of migrant workers. It was truly a “la familia” affair. From babies in the arms of their loving mothers to patriarchs who had probably spent the last 50 years shearing sheep and goats and performing other ranch work. This was 3 generations of love and hard work. There were no electrical outlets, extension cords or electric shears, merely pruning sheep shears. This was a family event and it was their livelihood.
If an Anglo in the area were asked if they would shear sheep? The answer would have probably been “no … it’s ‘wet-back’ work.” Illegal immigrants were regarded as “wet-backs” or “wets”, a racial epitaph referring to them swimming across the Rio Grande to gain illegal access to the United States. As such, life was symbiotic but unfair along the Texas – Mexico border. The migrant workers had no rights and were just happy to get a day’s pay.
My parents were decent God-fearing people who loved all humanity. My mom grew up poor, picking cotton in the heat of a Central Texas field. My dad started helping my grandfather build houses when he was old enough to drive a nail. One day during early winter, I witnessed their true compassion just as Jesus instructed us to do in Mark 12:30-31:
30You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
It was during the middle of deer hunting season in 1969 when the Texas Hill Country becomes an endless string of deer leases that are loaded up with high-powered weapons and ammo like an armory. Think: State of Texas, alcohol, and fewer gun laws than today. Taking that into account, if 4 Mexican nationals approach a farmhouse in the middle of the Texas Hill Country, with the man in the lead position pointing to his mouth, even I knew at 9 years of age, they were hungry and probably starving. There was a lead man, a lag man, and 2 men hiding in a goat shed. In 1969, winters could be bitterly cold there, but on this day it was probably in the 40’s. My dad immediately knew what to do. We kept a strong box of non-perishable food: canned chili, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned anything that you could can. The lead and lag men came up to the porch and my parents immediately started feeding them and giving them water. The two men in the goat shed stopped hiding and also came up to the porch to eat. Their clothing was tattered. It was approximately 60 miles from our hunting lodge to Del Rio via highway, and it was approximately 50 miles by “crow flight”, which is typically the way they travelled to avoid the U.S. Border Patrol. Migrating though the rocky terrain, mesquite thorns and cactus quills of the Hill Country is quite hazardous, especially if traveling at night. We always kept additional warm clothes in our hunting camp and were able to supplement them with some light jackets and flannel shirts. After they ate, my dad gave them his best effort at directing them, in Spanish, towards Rocksprings, where they could probably find work.
Growing up, my parents gave me 3 basic “Thou Shall Not” speeches:
I vaguely remember those “Thou Shall Not” discussions with my parents, but it was a “Thou Shall Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” discussion in Edwards County, TX that I remember like it was yesterday. After the 4 men had disappeared into the pin oaks and on toward Rocksprings, my folks looked at me and gave me these words, which I put in my book, regarding Revelation Chapter 10:
“If someone is hungry you feed them, if their clothing is tattered, you give them clothing, if they need shelter, you shelter them. If they need direction, you guide them, because they only want a better life.”
Was the act of compassion that my parents’ and I did that day of aiding and not reporting illegal immigrants unlawful? It depends on whose laws you’re reading. The Bible tells us to Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves 9 times: Leviticus 19:18, 34, Matthew 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8 . Per the laws of the U.S. Dept. of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, our actions were most likely unlawful that day. Would I do it all over again?
In a New York Minute
God through Christ, through an angel, gave the visions to St. John while he was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos. These visions are the basis for the Book of Revelation. This is same St. John known as the beloved apostle and as the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel according to John and 3 of the Catholic Letters. What I’ve done in my book, is to apply the visions given to St. John to people, places, and things in the modern day world, which is what I call decoding the book with a pragmatic approach. Revelation Chapter 10, The Angel With The Small Scroll, was an easy practical match to the Statue of Liberty. I call Chapter 6 of my book TRIBULATION, The Scroll. It’s an 8 column by 638 row spreadsheet encompassing 141 pages, which is almost half the book. It quotes every verse of Scripture in the Book of Revelation, along with USCCB Biblical notes, reference scripture, and my commentary. I started The Scroll on August 30, 2010 and completed it on February 4, 2013 (my son Jackson’s birthday).
It was on October 2, 2011 (my birthday) that I made the connection to the Statue of Liberty and to the poem at the base and inside the statue, The New Colossus, “Anthem Of Freedom”, by Jewish American poet, Emma Lazarus. The poem says:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The Scripture, Biblical Notes and Commentary of Revelation Chapter 10 are as follows:
Revelation 10:1-3The Angel with the Small Scroll. 1 Then I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven wrapped in a cloud, with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire. 2In his hand he held a small scroll that had been opened. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3and then he cried out in a loud voice as a lion roars. When he cried out, the seven thunders raised their voices, too.
USCCB Biblical Notes:
* [10:1–11:14] An interlude in two scenes (Rev 10:1–11 and Rev 11:1–14) precedes the sounding of the seventh trumpet; cf. Rev 7:1–17. The first vision describes an angel astride sea and land like a COLOSSUS, with a small scroll open, the contents of which indicate that the end is imminent (Rev 10). [10:2] He placed…on the land: this symbolizes the UNIVERVERSALITY of the angel’s message, as does the figure of the small scroll open to be read. [10:3] The seven thunders: God’s voice announcing judgment and doom; cf. Ps 29:3–9, where thunder, as the voice of Yahweh is praised seven times. (Rev.1:8 8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”* says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”)
The “mighty angel come down from heaven wrapped in a cloud, with a halo around his head” is the Statue of Liberty. The French named the statue “La Liberté éclairant le monde” which translated means “Liberty Enlightening the World”. The statue is of Libertas, a [cloud-white] robed female figure representing the Roman goddess of freedom. She has 7 rays coming from the halo [or crown] on her head. When originally erected, the statue was copper colored; thereby, St. John’s vision of a face like the sun and feet like pillars of fire is understandable. She gets her blue-green color from copper oxidation along with several other chemical including one related to sulfur emissions .
2In his (her) hand he held a small scroll. St. John saw a tablet, which in Latin is known as the tabula ansata or “tablet evoking the law” in Lady Liberty’s left hand and proclaimed it the “small scroll that had been opened”. The date on the tablet, July 4, 1776, is in Roman numerals; therefore, it could be interpreted as an imminent date for the End of Age.
However the words of “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus”, in a plaque inside the monument at its base, is the content of the small scroll. He [she] placed his [her] right foot on the sea and his [her] left foot on the land (she’s stepping toward the sea with her right foot), and then he [she] cried out in a loud voice as a lion roars. When he [she] cried out, the seven thunders raised their voices saying: “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. A UNIVERSAL message to all who wish for freedom and opportunity in this land.
Revelation10:4-74When the seven thunders had spoken, I was about to write it down; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have spoken, but do not write it down.” 5Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6and swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them, “There shall be no more delay. 7At the time when you hear the seventh angel blow his trumpet, the mysterious plan of God shall be fulfilled, as he promised to his servants the prophets.”
USCCB Biblical Notes
* [10:6] Heaven and earth and sea: the three parts of the universe. No more delay: cf. Dn 12:7; Heb 2:3. * [10:7] The mysterious plan of God: literally, “the mystery of God,” the end of the present age when the forces of evil will be put down (Rev 17:1–19:4, 11–21; 20:7–10; cf. 2 Thes 2:6–12; Rom 16:25–26), and the establishment of the reign of God when all creation will be made new (Rev 21:1–22:5).
She raised her right hand, with a torch, to Heaven. The 7 measurements [trumpets] of 18″ on the Manhattan Key of David. See dimensioned drawing (Key of David – Manhattan). When you hear the seventh angel blow his trumpet, the mysterious plan of God shall be fulfilled, as he promised to his servants the prophets.” [10:3] The seven thunders: Ps 29:3–9, where thunder, as the voice of Yahweh, is praised seven times. Rev.1:8 8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”* says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”
Revelation 10:8-118Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.” 10I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
USCCB Biblical Notes
* [10:9–10] The small scroll was sweet because it predicted the final victory of God’s people; it was sour because it also announced their sufferings. Cf. Ez 3:1–3.* [10:11] This further prophecy is contained in chaps. 12–22.
“Take and swallow it” means open, read, and accept the scroll. Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”: The immigrants who went through Ellis Island. The “melting pot” of New York City with a population of approx. 8MM people. The United Nations. This Angel, the Statue of Liberty, gives people Hope. The book she’s holding gives the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. With words that were once sweet, they are now sour because of the hypocrisy towards the Mexican immigrants to the south.
So thanks be to God for the Immigration Reform Bill passing the U.S. Senate vote. Particular thanks to those who stood up to the radicals in the Tea Party; however, Senator Marco Rubio was once in the "gang of 8" supporting the bill has now withdrawn his support.
So if I could wish anything good could come from this blog, it would be that the House of Representatives, as they put together THEIR bill, would feel some of the same compassion that my parents and I felt on a wintry day in 1969, and keep in mind that immigrants built this country, and have come to this country for decades because they wanted a better life.
A Reading from the New Testament
1 John 3:17 If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?
Paz y Vaya con Dios
Author G.R. Miller, utilizing his engineering and project management experiences in the fossil fuels energy sectors and guidance from God, takes a pragmatic approach of part preterism, part symbolism and part literalism in decoding the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He exhibits a Climate Change connection through scripture, commentary and illustrations.