Seven Sermons to the Dead

(Seven Sermons to the Dead)

C.G. Jung, 1916
(Translation by H. G. Baynes)




Sermo I

The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought. They prayed me let them in and besought my word, and thus I began my teaching.

Harken: I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, as for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities.

This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma.

In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.

CREATURA is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both beginning and end of created beings. It pervadeth them, as the light of the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the pleroma pervadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof, just as a wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have no share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed; not spiritually or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the pleroma in our essence as creatura, which is confined within time and space.

Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous. Only figuratively, therefore, do I speak of created being as a part of the pleroma. Because, actually, the pleroma is nowhere divided, since it is nothingness. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the pleroma is the smallest point (assumed only, not existing) in us and the boundless firmament about us. But wherefore, then, do we speak of the pleroma at all, since it is thus everything and nothing?

I speak of it to make a beginning somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere, either without or within, there standeth something fixed, or in some way established, from the beginning. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative. That alone is fixed and certain which is subject to change.

What is changeable, however, is creatura. Therefore is it the one thing which is fixed and certain; because it hath qualities: it is even quality itself.

The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguisheth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.

What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma?

That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needful to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.

What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individuationis. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistinctiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature.

We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the pleroma. The qualities are pairs of opposites, such as—

The Effective and the Ineffective.
Fullness and Emptiness.
Living and Dead.
Difference and Sameness.
Light and Darkness.
The Hot and the Cold.
Force and Matter.
Time and Space.
Good and Evil.
Beauty and Ugliness.
The One and the Many. etc.

The pairs of opposites are qualities of the pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each. As we are the pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Because the very ground of our nature is distinctiveness, therefore we have these qualities in the name and sign of distinctiveness, which meaneth—

1. These qualities are distinct and separate in us one from the other; therefore they are not balanced and void, but are effective. Thus are we the victims of the pairs of opposites. The pleroma is rent in us.
2. The qualities belong to the pleroma, and only in the name and sign of distinctiveness can and must we possess or live them. We must distinguish ourselves from qualities. In the pleroma they are balanced and void; in us not. Being distinguished from them delivereth us.

When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is distinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain to the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and, therefore, at the same time, from the evil and the ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution.

Thou sayest, ye object, that difference and sameness are also qualities of the pleroma. How would it be, then, if we strive after difference? Are we, in so doing, not true to our own nature? And must we none the less be given over to sameness when we strive after difference?

Ye must not forget that the pleroma hath no qualities. We create them through thinking. If, therefore, ye strive after difference or sameness, or any qualities whatsoever, ye pursue thoughts which flow to you out of the pleroma; thoughts, namely, concerning non-existing qualities of the pleroma. Inasmuch as ye run after these thoughts, ye fall again into the pleroma, and reach difference and sameness at the same time. Not your thinking, but your being, is distinctiveness. Therefore not after difference, as ye think it, must ye strive; but after your own being. At bottom, therefore, there is only one striving, namely, the striving after your own being. If ye had this striving ye would not need to know anything about the pleroma and its qualities, and yet would ye come to your right goal by virtue of your own being. Since, however, thought estrangeth from being, that knowledge must I teach you wherewith ye may be able to hold your thought in leash.

Sermo II

In the night the dead stood along the wall and cried:

We would have knowledge of god. Where is god? Is god dead?

God is not dead. Now, as ever, he liveth. God is creatura, for he is something definite, and therefore distinct from the pleroma. God is quality of the pleroma, and everything which I said of creatura also is true concerning him.

He is distinguished, however, from created beings through this, that he is more indefinite and indeterminable than they. He is less distinct than created beings, since the ground of his being is effective fullness. Only in so far as he is definite and distinct is he creatura, and in like measure is he the manifestation of the effective fullness of the pleroma.

Everything which we do not distinguish falleth into the pleroma and is made void by its opposite. If, therefore, we do not distinguish god, effective fullness is for us extinguished.

Moreover god is the pleroma itself, as likewise each smallest point in the created and uncreated is the pleroma itself.

Effective void is the nature of the devil. God and devil are the first manifestations of nothingness, which we call the pleroma. It is indifferent whether the pleroma is or is not, since in everything it is balanced and void. Not so creatura. In so far as god and devil are creatura they do not extinguish each other, but stand one against the other as effective opposites. We need no proof of their existence. It is enough that we must always be speaking of them. Even if both were not, creatura, of its own essential distinctiveness, would forever distinguish them anew out of the pleroma.

Everything that discrimination taketh out of the pleroma is a pair of opposites. To god, therefore, always belongeth the devil.

This inseparability is as close and, as your own life hath made you see, as indissoluble as the pleroma itself. Thus it is that both stand very close to the pleroma, in which all opposites are extinguished and joined.

God and devil are distinguished by the qualities fullness and emptiness, generation and destruction. Effectiveness is common to both. Effectiveness joineth them. Effectiveness, therefore, standeth above both; is a god above god, since in its effect it uniteth fullness and emptiness.

This is a god whom ye knew not, for mankind forgot it. We name it by its name Abraxas. It is more indefinite still than god and devil.

That god may be distinguished from it, we name god Helios or Sun. Abraxas is effect. Nothing standeth opposed to it but the ineffective; hence its effective nature freely unfoldeth itself. The ineffective is not, therefore resisteth not. Abraxas standeth above the sun and above the devil. It is improbable probability, unreal reality. Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. It is the effective itself, not any particular effect, but effect in general.

It is unreal reality, because it hath no definite effect.

It is also creatura, because it is distinct from the pleroma.

The sun hath a definite effect, and so hath the devil. Wherefore do they appear to us more effective than indefinite Abraxas.

It is force, duration, change.

The dead now raised a great tumult, for they were Christians.

Sermo III

Like mists arising from a marsh, the dead came near and cried: Speak further unto us concerning the supreme god.

Hard to know is the deity of Abraxas. Its power is the greatest, because man perceiveth it not. From the sun he draweth the summum bonum; from the devil the infimum malum; but from Abraxas life, altogether indefinite, the mother of good and evil.

Smaller and weaker life seemeth to be than the summum bonum; wherefore is it also hard to conceive that Abraxas transcendeth even the sun in power, who is himself the radiant source of all the force of life.

Abraxas is the sun, and at the same time the eternally sucking gorge of the void, the belittling and dismembering devil.

The power of Abraxas is twofold; but ye see it not, because for your eyes the warring opposites of this power are extinguished.

What the god-sun speaketh is life.

What the devil speaketh is death.

But Abraxas speaketh that hallowed and accursed word which is life and death at the same time.

Abraxas begetteth truth and lying, good and evil, light and darkness, in the same word and in the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible.

It is splendid as the lion in the instant he striketh down his victim. It is beautiful as a day of spring. It is the great Pan himself and also the small one. It is Priapos.

It is the monster of the under-world, a thousand-armed polyp, coiled knot of winged serpents, frenzy.

It is the hermaphrodite of the earliest beginning.

It is the lord of the toads and frogs, which live in the water and go up on the land, whose chorus ascendeth at noon and at midnight.

It is abundance that seeketh union with emptiness.

It is holy begetting.

It is love and love’s murder.

It is the saint and his betrayer.

It is the brightest light of day and the darkest night of madness.

To look upon it, is blindness.

To know it, is sickness.

To worship it, is death.

To fear it, is wisdom.

To resist it not, is redemption.

God dwelleth behind the sun, the devil behind the night. What god bringeth forth out of the light the devil sucketh into the night. But Abraxas is the world, its becoming and its passing. Upon every gift that cometh from the god-sun the devil layeth his curse.

Everything that ye entreat from the god-sun begetteth a deed of the devil.

Everything that ye create with the god-sun giveth effective power to the devil.

That is terrible Abraxas.

It is the mightiest creature, and in it the creature is afraid of itself.

It is the manifest opposition of creatura to the pleroma and its nothingness.

It is the son’s horror of the mother.

It is the mother’s love for the son.

It is the delight of the earth and the cruelty of the heavens.

Before its countenance man becometh like stone.

Before it there is no question and no reply.

It is the life of creatura.

It is the operation of distinctiveness.

It is the love of man.

It is the speech of man.

It is the appearance and the shadow of man.

It is illusory reality.

Now the dead howled and raged, for they were unperfected.

Sermo IV

The dead filled the place murmuring and said:

Tell us of gods and devils, accursed one!

The god-sun is the highest good; the devil is the opposite. Thus have ye two gods. But there are many high and good things and many great evils. Among these are two god-devils; the one is the burning one, the other the growing one.

The burning one is eros, who hath the form of flame. Flame giveth light because it consumeth.

The growing one is the tree of life. It buddeth, as in growing it heapeth up living stuff.

Eros flameth up and dieth. But the tree of life groweth with slow and constant increase through unmeasured time.

Good and evil are united in the flame.

Good and evil are united in the increase of the tree. In their divinity stand life and love opposed.

Innumerable as the host of the stars is the number of gods and devils.

Each star is a god, and each space that a star filleth is a devil. But the empty-fullness of the whole is the pleroma.

The operation of the whole is Abraxas, to whom only the ineffective standeth opposed.

Four is the number of the principal gods, as four is the number of the world’s measurements.

One is the beginning, the god-sun.

Two is Eros; for he bindeth twain together and outspreadeth himself in brightness.

Three is the Tree of Life, for it filleth space with bodily forms.

Four is the devil, for he openeth all that is closed. All that is formed of bodily nature doth he dissolve; he is the destroyer in whom everything is brought to nothing.

For me, to whom knowledge hath been given of the multiplicity and diversity of the gods, it is well. But woe unto you, who replace these incompatible many by a single god. For in so doing ye beget the torment which is bred from not understanding, and ye mutilate the creature whose nature and aim is distinctiveness. How can ye be true to your own nature when ye try to change the many into one? What ye do unto the gods is done likewise unto you. Ye all become equal and thus is your nature maimed.

Equality shall prevail not for god, but only for the sake of man. For the gods are many, whilst men are few. The gods are mighty and can endure their manifoldness. For like the stars they abide in solitude, parted one from the other by immense distances. But men are weak and cannot endure their manifold nature. Therefore they dwell together and need communion, that they may bear their separateness. For redemption’s sake I teach you the rejected truth, for the sake of which I was rejected.

The multiplicity of the gods correspondeth to the multiplicity of man.

Numberless gods await the human state. Numberless gods have been men. Man shareth in the nature of the gods. He cometh from the gods and goeth unto god.

Thus, just as it serveth not to reflect upon the pleroma, it availeth not to worship the multiplicity of the gods. Least of all availeth it to worship the first god, the effective abundance and the summum bonum. By our prayer we can add to it nothing, and from it nothing take; because the effective void swalloweth all.

The bright gods form the celestial world. It is manifold and infinitely spreading and increasing. The god-sun is the supreme lord of that world.

The dark gods form the earth-world. They are simple and infinitely diminishing and declining. The devil is the earth-world’s lowest lord, the moon-spirit, satellite of the earth, smaller, colder, and more dead than the earth.

There is no difference between the might of the celestial gods and those of the earth. The celestial gods magnify, the earth-gods diminish. Measureless is the movement of both.

Sermo V

The dead mocked and cried: Teach us, fool, of the church and holy communion.

The world of the gods is made manifest in spirituality and in sexuality. The celestial ones appear in spirituality, the earthly in sexuality.

Spirituality conceiveth and embraceth. It is womanlike and therefore we call it mater coelestis, the celestial mother. Sexuality engendereth and createth. It is manlike, and therefore we call it phallos, the earthly father.

The sexuality of man is more of the earth, the sexuality of woman is more of the spirit.

The spirituality of man is more of heaven, it goeth to the greater.

The spirituality of woman is more of the earth, it goeth to the smaller.

Lying and devilish is the spirituality of the man which goeth to the smaller.

Lying and devilish is the spirituality of the woman which goeth to the greater.

Each must go to its own place.

Man and woman become devils one to the other when they divide not their spiritual ways, for the nature of creatura is distinctiveness.

The sexuality of man hath an earthward course, the sexuality of woman a spiritual. Man and woman become devils one to the other if they distinguish not their sexuality.

Man shall know of the smaller, woman the greater.

Man shall distinguish himself both from spirituality and from sexuality. He shall call spirituality Mother, and set her between heaven and earth. He shall call sexuality Phallos, and set him between himself and earth. For the Mother and the Phallos are super-human daemons which reveal the world of the gods. They are for us more effective than the gods, because they are closely akin to our own nature. Should ye not distinguish yourselves from sexuality and from spirituality, and not regard them as of a nature both above you and beyond, then are ye delivered over to them as qualities of the pleroma. Spirituality and sexuality are not your qualities, not things which ye possess and contain. But they possess and contain you; for they are powerful daemons, manifestations of the gods, and are, therefore, things which reach beyond you, existing in themselves. No man hath a spirituality unto himself, or a sexuality unto himself. But he standeth under the law of spirituality and of sexuality.

No man, therefore, escapeth these daemons. Ye shall look upon them as daemons, and as a common task and danger, a common burden which life hath laid upon you. Thus is life for you also a common task and danger, as are the gods, and first of all terrible Abraxas.

Man is weak, therefore is communion indispensable. If your communion be not under the sign of the Mother, then is it under the sign of the Phallos. No communion is suffering and sickness. Communion in everything is dismemberment and dissolution.

Distinctiveness leadeth to singleness. Singleness is opposed to communion. But because of man’s weakness over against the gods and daemons and their invincible law is communion needful. Therefore shall there be as much communion as is needful, not for man’s sake, but because of the gods. The gods force you to communion. As much as they force you, so much is communion needed, more is evil.

In communion let every man submit to others, that communion be maintained; for ye need it.

In singleness the one man shall be superior to the others, that every man may come to himself and avoid slavery.

In communion there shall be continence.

In singleness there shall be prodigality.

Communion is depth.

Singleness is height.

Right measure in communion purifieth and preserveth.

Right measure in singleness purifieth and increaseth.

Communion giveth us warmth, singleness giveth us light.

Sermo VI

The daemon of sexuality approacheth our soul as a serpent. It is half human and appeareth as thought-desire.

The daemon of spirituality descendeth into our soul as the white bird. It is half human and appeareth as desire-thought.

The serpent is an earthy soul, half daemonic, a spirit, and akin to the spirits of the dead. Thus too, like these, she swarmeth around in the things of earth, making us either to fear them or pricking us with intemperate desires. The serpent hath a nature like unto woman. She seeketh ever the company of the dead who are held by the spell of the earth, they who found not the way beyond that leadeth to singleness. The serpent is a whore. She wantoneth with the devil and with evil spirits; a mischievous tyrant and tormentor, ever seducing to evilest company. The white bird is a half-celestial soul of man. He bideth with the Mother, from time to time descending. The bird hath a nature like unto man, and is effective thought. He is chaste and solitary, a messenger of the Mother. He flieth high above earth. He commandeth singleness. He bringeth knowledge from the distant ones who went before and are perfected. He beareth our word above to the Mother. She intercedeth, she warneth, but against the gods she hath no power. She is a vessel of the sun. The serpent goeth below and with her cunning she lameth the phallic daemon, or else goadeth him on. She yieldeth up the too crafty thoughts of the earthy one, those thoughts which creep through every hole and cleave to all things with desirousness. The serpent, doubtless, willeth it not, yet she must be of use to us. She fleeth our grasp, thus showing us the way, which with our human wits we could not find.

With disdainful glance the dead spake: Cease this talk of gods and daemons and souls. At bottom this hath long been known to us.

Sermo VII

Yet when night was come the dead again approached with lamentable mien and said: There is yet one matter we forgot to mention. Teach us about man.

Man is a gateway, through which from the outer world of gods, daemons, and souls ye pass into the inner world; out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and transitory is man. Already is he behind you, and once again ye find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller or innermost infinity. At immeasurable distance standeth one single Star in the zenith.

This is the one god of this one man. This is his world, his pleroma, his divinity.

In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and the destroyer of his own world.

This Star is the god and the goal of man.

This is his one guiding god. In him goeth man to his rest. Toward him goeth the long journey of the soul after death. In him shineth forth as light all that man bringeth back from the greater world. To this one god man shall pray.

Prayer increaseth the light of the Star. It casteth a bridge over death. It prepareth life for the smaller world and assuageth the hopeless desires of the greater.

When the greater world waxeth cold, burneth the Star.

Between man and his one god there standeth nothing, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas.

Man here, god there.

Weakness and nothingness here, there eternally creative power.

Here nothing but darkness and chilling moisture.

There wholly sun.

Whereupon the dead were silent and ascended like the smoke above the herdsman’s fire, who through the night kept watch over his flock.



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The Physical Appearance of the Anunnaki.

 Post by ancienthistorian at ATS.
This thread is an open discussion on how the Anunnaki race might have looked like.
Everything I’m about to discuss in this thread will be pure speculation.

Having read alot of Mesopotamian stories from tablets , Its very rare to find a description of the Anunnaki’s physical appearance. However we can find some hints of their appearance by simply looking at what the tablets say about their descendants.

1)We obviously know that the anunnaki were humanoid like us.

2)We also know that they were tall , According to some tablets the demi-god Gilgamesh stood 7ft tall. In the Hebrew bible the giant Goliath was 6ft 9inch tall (2.06 metres). We could imagine the Anunnaki were roughly the same height as modern day basketball players.

3) In the some Sumerian tablets , the Anunnaki refers to humans on earth as “black headed people.”

“An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag creators of the black-headed people. Founders of Eridu, Bad-tibira, Larsa, Sippar, and Shuruppak.”

We see Sargon of akkad use the same phrase to describe the citizens of Mesopotamia:

“The black-headed peoples I ruled, I governed.Whatsoever king shall be exalted after me, Let him rule, let him govern the black headed people.”

4) In the Epic of Gilgamesh a 4000 year old Sumerian story , The Anunnaki demi-goddess ‘Ninsun’ was described as follow:

“The mother of Gilgamesh was the pale Ninsun,
Herself listed among the goddesses,
A gentle queen,
Who had the gift of prophecy,
And could read dreams.”

Its no suprise that the stories of the Anunnaki spread to other cultures around the world.

Like all myths there are only 3 major types of (alien) races recorded in every culture.

1) You have the benevolent Amphibian/mermaid type race worshiped as Ocean/River gods

2) You have the aggressive Reptilian/serpent type race who were seen as monsters/daemons.

3) Lastly you have the giant human looking/sentient type race who were the patron gods of the human race. (The Anunnaki)

In both Greek & Hindu mythology these races continuously interbreeded with each other producing powerful offspring.
Its worth to note that in all the myths across the world both the Amphibian & Reptilian races lived underground. On some rare occasions they would allow their hybrid offspring to live among them.

Red hair also seems to be a trait that’s closely related to the gods especially the descendants of the Amphibian race , I guess it’s probably a mermaid thing…..

1)According to Homer Achilles was apparently a ginger. His mother who was an Ocean nymph was forcefully raped by a human , which lead to the birth of Achilles.

“Athena came down from heaven (the sky): She stood behind him and held him back by his long red hair. No other man saw her but Achilles alone.” -[Liad 850Bc]

2)Rhesus the mythical king of Thrace was also the son of a river god , He derived his name because of his red hair and is depicted on Greek pottery as having red hair and beard.

3)Thracians who were apparently the descendants of the god Ares had red hair and Blue eyes.

“those of the Thracians have blue eyes and red hair.” – [Xenophanes 543Bc]

4) In Irish mythology there is a mysterious tribe of red haired demi-gods called the Tuatha Dé Danann

The Hindus depicted their gods with blue skin and feminine features (just like the greeks), however later arts changed their skin to pale white to represent upper castes of Northern India , the word “Aryan” means ‘noble’ and was originally used In the Vedic scriptures to describe the descendants of the Hindu gods or those who have royal blood.

Just like the greeks the Hindus use the color of ‘gold’ to describe their gods:

“Indra throws drops of moisture on his golden beard…..the Iron One with yellow beard and yellow hair.” — Rig Veda (1200Bc)

The origin of light skin , eyes, hair.

According to scientists the mutations for light skin (A111T) , light hair (KITLG) and Blue eyes (OCA2) originated between the middle east and the Indian subcontinent (Iran) 8000 years ago (6000Bc). Before that time blue eyes & white skin didn’t exist , The fact that those mutations happened long after the Ice age & far away from cold northern climates raises alot of speculation , The theory that these mutations were caused by natural selection doesn’t hold any credibility. The latest and most probable theory suggests that these mutations came from Neanderthals. However Mutations for blond and red hair ect. havent been found in ancient European samples prior to the Bronze Age.

The genes for light skin ,eyes & hair originated from only 2 paternal (Ydna) markers. The first being haplogroup R1 which is distributed across the entire Eurasian continent & the second is haplogroup I1 which is predominantly found among Nordic people. Scientists originaly thought haplogroup I1 originated in Europe but new studies found that It originated in the middle-east along with haplogroup R1. Countries with the highest population frequency of haplogroup I1 are also the countries with the most tall people in the world.
If the Anunnaki were responsible for these “Aryan” traits then there is definitely evidence to back it up. Alot of people in the UFO community believe In Nordic type aliens that look exactly like us , so maybe there is some truth in all those legends after all.

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What is Light, Conciousness, Dreams?

Post by DeadCat at ATS
So my curiosity down several rabbit holes brings be to a few unanswered questions.

Is light the oldest thing in the universe? Given our prespectives on life literally rely on it, we precieve it and that is our reality so I figure it may as well be.

Conciousness is made of atoms? Or firing of neurons or what ever. It’s energy… right? Feelings are your bodies neurological reaction to the chemicals being produced in your body. But that doesn’t explain thoughts. Thoughts… trigger feelings. Thoughts are the real captain of the ship. So what are they?

Some say it is your soul, some say spirit, some say your conscience, others say your subconscious…

(In my opinion feelings are the conciousness, and thoughts are the subconscious.)

People want to know what happens to that when you die… So what is THAT? Digging my own rabbit hole here but..# it.

This is where dreams come into play for me. You go to sleep in your bed. And once you are dreaming, you don’t really think. “Wait where am I? I was in my bed.. now I’m here wtf!” (Or maybe you do, idk.) You just roll with it, and don’t really care. YOUR WHOLE REALITY JUST CHANGED BEFORE YOUR EYES AND YOU DON’T EVEN CARE! And this happens every night for most people.

My point is, dreams seem real right? They feel real until you become too aware of the fact that you are dreaming and get sucked back into your reality that you call home. Which ties into my original point, you left your physical body to play out another role in your sleep, but using the same persona, the same personality… YOU. Whatever that is. That subconscious idea of you. That’s who you play everytime.

Is YOU just a consept? Or is it an energy?

Think about this;

When you are lucid dreaming or astral projected, that is, projected consciousness beyond the body and it’s 5 senses…

There is light for you to see. How does one “see” in the dream, when they’re eyes are shut? What sensory is being used to project the entire environment and everything being perceived or interacted with in the dream scape?

How is light, allowing the vision to be perceived and seen, like a window in the sub conscious mind?

When one is awake, their biological vessel, it’s systems, it’s 5 senses, it’s neuro network, are at work.
With eyes open, external light penetrates the eyeballs which is sent to the brain, which takes in the light and it’s information (what is being seen, the colours, environment etc).

Yet when one is asleep, the body is at rest, the bio systems are still functioning yet subtle and unaware by the consciousNess that is currently in another “space” experiencing it’s dream/astral.

Still, that identity / awareness / consciousness is expediting light, an environment, information, and can see, hear, touch, smell, feel and even communicate.

Light. Consciousness. Dream.


“Dream seem real right?”

There are many beings in this planet who can create and manifest in their dream scape.

To most, the mental faculties are dormant and only used for a handful of things; remembering, thinking, communicating, concentrating or nothing.

Yet the brain and consciousness can do so much more; the whole imagination, creating things that are abstract and not yet of this world (inventing).

But it’s that creating force in our brains/consciousness that is a big factor. The part of it that is not contained to linear and narrow thinking.
That expansive thinking that brings world’s of ideas into the individual consciousness.

Image / Nation / imagination

For instance, shamans, monks, adepts, those who practice and discipline themselves and their internal natures; astral, dream scaping, remote viewing etc..

You really think these people sit in meditation hours on end, week in, week out, year through and through. .. for nothing?

Do you think they are experiencing anything with eyes shut and body control? What are they seeing, feeling, hearing, being receptive too beyond the body?

The internal experience is as much as the external experience.

Meaning the internal; within your own being, consciousness. Your dreams, your projections, your imaginations and inner workings.

As opposed to the external; that which is experienced outside of the temple, only available with 5 senses that are receptive to the outside world; nose, mouth, eyes, ears, nerves allow us to – smell, taste, see, hear and feel.

Internal vs external.

Does one ever feel like they are missing something dear in their life? Like a piece of them is not intact?

This is your other half, and it’s not an external female or male person/identity in a body, though sometimes arrangements are made to realign self.

It’s your internal self that is missing. That has been ignored. Your inner workings that were never given attention or care, that lay dormant.

Hence most don’t see with a third eye, that window I talked about it the post above… the minds vision, where image nation is used and creates.

the big secret is that in your dreams you are god.
and that dreams are other realities whether being a manufacturing of the brain or not.

if it were the case that dreams were manufactured by the mind then when you dream you created that reality.

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The false Christian doctrine that “Lucifer” means Satan.

The word “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12 presents a minor problem to mainstream Christianity. It becomes a much larger problem to Bible literalists, and becomes a huge obstacle for the claims of Mormonism. John J. Robinson in A Pilgrim’s Path, pp. 47-48 explains:

“Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

“In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to whom they gave the name “Lucifer.”

Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, bringer, or bearer, of light.” In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can best be translated as “Day star, son of the Dawn.” The name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king’s dress and court (much as his personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, “The Sun King”).

The scholars authorized by … King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated … largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, “Day star, son of the Dawn,” as “Lucifer,” and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and — ironically — the Prince of Darkness.

Read more at :

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Apocrypha from Judeo-Christianity

 Post by CapstonePendulum at ATS
If you believe that the current bible is the word of God and anything having to do with Judeo-Christianity outside of canon is not worth reading or heretical that is cool. But anyone who just loves anything spiritual and reads everything having to do with Judaism and Christianity I am going to provide some links with enough Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha in addition to early Catholic church writings to keep you busy for a long time.

Apocrypha doesn’t mean fake it means secret or hidden away. Now people think it means uninspired but who is to say what is and isn’t inspired. I think that is a decision one should make for ones self. Nothing wrong with having a set of books called canon and they aren’t hidden anymore. Some are really worth reading and fill in holes of the bible. Others are pretty dull. Some are hard to understand and you need certain knowledge to get the meaning.

I have no doubt some of these books were for the so called elite of the church and are studied by Catholics today as secondary canon. The Catholic bible has 17 extra books and an extra psalm than the protestant and Hebrew. The Book of Enoch and many other thought lost books come from Ethiopia. Qumran Israelites and certainly others considered it a revelation from God through inspired writing.

On the subject of pseudepigrapha that means the author is not Enoch or whoever the stated author is. This is the case with a great deal of biblical texts and scholars are more than aware of this. No reputable scholar thinks Genesis was written by Moses or a revelation from God because Mesopotamia has many similar stories about creation and the flood. Clearly the old myths were given a new spin with a Hebrew flavor. This trend continues throughout the history of religion. So I wouldn’t be worried about who wrote it because it isn’t a problem when the bible stories attribute authorship to a name with authority so it shouldn’t be for the other books.

Here are the links:

Massive library of Apocrypha

Gnosis archive

Sacred Texts


This las one I threw in because it has some insights into biblical interpretation that will help you better understand the deeper meaning of scripture that can’t be gained from literal interpretation.

This last one is a theory about historical persons who were used as inspiration for the new testament and who they were.

Secrets of the Bible

hopefully you enjoy the extra biblical texts that survived despite the best efforts of the Catholic church to destroy history and books that weren’t approved history. And bury them in a huge library that hardly anyone gets access to.

Thank Qumran, Nag Hammadi and Ethiopia and various monasteries.

Additional Sites added by ATS members.
dffrntkndfnml –  The Shepard Of Hermas is one I particularily enjoy.The visions and parables shared in
                              the book are inspiring and the way Hermas inquires shows a kind of innocence that I can relate
      Two more books the: Testament of Solomon

Zohar  – The Zohar is not a demonic book of sorcery. It is simply Hebraic interpretations and insight into the Tanakh. Unfortunately I could only find the Torah portion. I have read it and it explains things like the meaning of the tower of Babel story that no Christian pastor can provide.

Posted in ATS Spirituality, ATS Threads, Religion, Spiritual/Philosophy | Leave a comment

The Gospel of Paul

Identifying the principal tenets of Paul’s gospel and the story of his destruction of the Nazarene Tree of Life

The Problem with Paul

It must be remembered that Paul never met Jesus. His description of his “conversion” is quite sparse, mentioned or alluded to in just three of his letters:


I Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?”


I Corinthians 15:3-8: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”


Galatians 1:11-17: “For I would have you know…that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it…so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus.”


Luke, however, filled in many of the blanks Paul failed to mention in any of his letters to the churches. The problem is, Luke told three versions of Paul’s claimed conversion, and none of the three agree on the details:


Version One:


Acts 9:3-17: “…[Saul] was approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’…The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.…there was a…disciple at Damascus named Ananiaslaid his hands on Saul and said, `Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”


Version Two:


Acts 22:6-21: “While I was…approaching Damascus…a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying…Saul,Saul, why are you persecuting me?…those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice…I could not see because of the brightness of the light…those with me…led me to Damascus…Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there…said…get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.”


Version Three:


Acts 26:12-18: “…I was traveling to Damascus…I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, `Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads…the Lord answered, `I am Jesus whom you are persecuting…get up and stand on your feet…”


Which Version is the reader to believe? Saul alone fell to the ground; those with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one; Saul was without sight for three days; Ananias was a disciple who laid hands on Saul to restore his sight and fill him with the Holy Spirit.


Saul alone fell to the ground; Those with him saw the light but did not hear the voice; No mention of three days without sight or food; Ananias was “a devout man according to the Law and liked by the Jews.”


Everyone fell to the ground; the voice spoke in the Hebrew Language; no blindness, no Ananias, no baptism, no restoration of sight, no “filled by Holy Spirit”!


Remember: Luke wrote all three of these accounts! It matters not that he put two of the versions into the mouth of Saul, who was by then known as Paul. LUKE WROTE ALL THREE VERSIONS!


Luke also wrote the following just four chapters before the first “Conversion” story:


Acts 5:3: “`Ananias,’ Peter asked, `why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?'”


And Luke also mentioned the very important name, Pyrrhus:


Acts 20:4-6: “[Paul] was accompanied by Sopater, son of Pyrrhus of Beroea…these went ahead and were waiting for us at Troaswhere we stayed for seven days.”


One of the early translators did a strange thing with the name, Pyrrhus: He omitted it! And the King James Version did the same.


Who was Pyrrhus to the Greeks? Pyrrhus, The Fool of Hope, was a story Plutarch wrote and titled at about the same time Luke’s gospel was being penned. It includes the following:


“Pyrrhus also sent some agents, who pretended to be Macedonians.  These spies spread the suggestion that now the time had come to be liberated from the harsh rule of Demetrius by joining Pyrrhus, who was a gracious friend of soldiers.”


“And so without fighting, Pyrrhus became King of Macedonia…” (Emphases added.)


Another piece of information about Pyrrhus is of great importance, and it’s probably the reason his name was expunged from early biblical texts: According to the Legend of Troy as told by Homer, Pyrrhus was one of the soldiers who participated in the Trojan horse saga. And that is the best-known legacy from the legend of Troy. It’s what everyone thinks of when Troy and the Trojan War are mentioned. The name Pyrrhus was inserted here in Luke’s gospel in the same sentence as Troas to direct the reader to the legend of the Trojan Horse. According to both Homer and Plutarch, Pyrrhus was the most famous spy in history at the time Luke’s gospel was being written!


Plutarch wrote Pyrrhus, The Fool of Hope after the early churches had begun using Paul’s epistles as their “gospel.” Luke wrote about this Fool of Hope to alert “Theophilus” to the truth about Paul, knowing that some would eventually see the parallel he had drawn between Pyrrhus and Paul.


Some excerpts from one of Paul’s letters that offer support for this astonishing claim:


2 Corinthians 13:11: “I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these superlative apostles, even though I am nothing.”


Also notable here is the underlying purpose behind Paul’s writing of this letter: he was trying to “set the record straight” about his status among Jesus’ apostles. It seems that the Corinthians considered Paul to be inferior to the Apostles and their doctrine, and he was offended.


Paul also refers to himself as “a fool” at 2 Corinthians 11:16-29: “I repeat, let no one think that I am a fool; but if you do, then accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying in regard to this boastful confidence, I am saying not with the Lord’s authority, but as a fool; since many boast according to human standards, I will also boast. For you gladly put up with fools, being wise yourselves! For you put up with it when someone makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever any dares to boast of–I am speaking as a fool–I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madmanI am a better one: with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death.”


Luke has Paul say, Acts 23:6: “. . . I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”


Paul speaks again when Luke writes at Acts 24:15: “I have a hope in God–a hope that they themselves also accept . . .”


Paul again, Acts 26:6-7: “. . . I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews!”


And again, Acts 28:20: “. . . it is for the sake of the hope of Israel . . .” (Emphases added.)


Luke put quite a lot of effort into connecting Paul to Pyrrhus, the “fool of hope” who was in fact an infiltrator. Paul called himself a fool in a ranting essay to the Corinthians that sounds as if it came from the mind and mouth of a madman, and he says so himself. Luke also has Paul speak of “hope” repeatedly in a relatively small space in Acts. More than any other of the coded messages, it seems that Luke wanted to convey the message that learning about Pyrrhus will reveal the truth about Paul.


Luke couldn’t write a story called Paul: The Spy Who Pretended to be Jesus’ Apostle Who Infiltrated the Movement and Destroyed It from Within. That story would have been censored by the Orthodox Church leaders supporting Paul. So he did the next best thing. He associated Paul with Pyrrhus in such a way that the connection could not be missed. No wonder the name Pyrrhus was removed from some of the translations of the Bible. Any fool could pick up on the message because virtually everyone knew that Pyrrhus hid inside the Trojan Horse! It was fortunate that some earlier texts were salvaged, saved, and passed on through time. Otherwise, this story could not be told even today.


Which version is the reader to believe? NONE OF THEM! They cannot all be correct; therefore, none of them can be trusted. Allegorically, Luke was saying, “Paul Lied! Like Ananias, Paul lied about his conversion! Paul was in infiltrator, a spy, an agent. He hijacked the Nazarene doctrine and created a religion that kept power in the hands of the Herodians and the temple priests an put money into their pockets.”


The name Pyrrhus appears in just one place in the Bible: Acts 20:4. However, as already stated, those who trust in the King James Version would not know the name was ever used in scripture:


King James Version: “And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea…” (The name Pyrrhus was removed.)


Darby Translation: “And there accompanied him as far as Asia, Sopater [son] of Pyrrhus, a Berean…”


New Revised Standard Version: “He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Beroea…”


Latin Vulgate: “comitatus est autem eum Sopater Pyrii Beroensis…” (Filius is the Latin word for son. It is missing from the Latin Vulgate’s version of Acts 20:4; therefore, Jerome’s translation from the original Greek did not identify Sopater as “son of” Pyrii; that designation is an assumption.)


The original Latin Vulgate was commissioned in 382 by Pope Damasus I. The modern version is not the original version created by Jerome; it is the result of combining a variety of sources that include Jerome. It is, however, one of the earliest sources for the original texts. Therefore, it seems safe to conclude that Luke’s original story included the name, Sopater Pyrrhus Beroea.


From: (Pyrhhus: The Fool of Hope bu Plutarch)


Plutarch wrote: “Many men came from Beroea to Demetrius’ army, praising Pyrrhus as an invincible warrior, who was kind to his prisoners. Pyrrhus also sent some agents, who pretended to be Macedonians. These spies spread the suggestion that now the time had come to be liberated from the harsh rule of Demetrius by joining Pyrrhus, who was a gracious friend of soldiers…The Macedonians cheered and left their ranks to unite their fortune to that of Pyrrhus. As his army crumbled in mutiny, Demetrius put on a disguise and sneaked off to safety. And so, without fighting, Pyrrhus became King of Macedonia.”


 Luke wrote: Acts 19:38: “If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint…” and Acts 20:1-6: “After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and having exhorted them took leave of them and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through these parts and given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. Sopater son of Pyrrhus of Beroea accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on and were waiting for us at Troas, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.”


Luke’s use of the key words from Plutarch’s story of Pyrrhus suggests a purpose. Luke’s primary purpose in his work was to use allegory to tell a story that was being suppressed. To place Pyrrhus with Beroea, Macedonia, Troas (aka Troy) and Demetrius leads directly to Plutarch’s Pyrrhus, men from Beroea, Macedonia, and Troy. The key words in Plutarch’s works, however, are omitted from Acts: “Agents,” “pretenders,” “spies,” and “disguise.” Philo’s Rule for Allegory #19 applies: The important allegorical information is to be found in the “noteworthy omissions.”


What Luke transmitted via allegory was: “And so, without fighting, Paul became the leader of the new religion.”

(Philo’s Rules can be found at’s%20Rules%20for%20Allegory.htm.)


By infiltrating, claiming conversion, and assigning himself the title, Apostle, Paul (who never revealed his birth name was Saul) changed the doctrine and set out to destroy all evidence of the Nazarene sect that produced Jesus the Nazarene.


Paul admitted he had persecuted those who followed Jesus, although he never revealed that he had done so under another name, Saul. If not for Luke, we would not be aware that he had ever been called Saul. If not for Luke’s important information about his birth name, Paul could never have been associated with the Saulus whom the Jewish historian Josephus accused of participating in the stoning death of James, Jesus’ brother, c. 62, long after

Paul’s claimed conversion on the road to Damascus. Josephus’ Saulus was the grandson of Salome (Saulome?), sister of King Herod the Great. (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 20.9.1-4;


Did James, Peter, and the authentic Apostles accept Paul as “one of them,” or did they accuse him of lying? Did their followers accept him as “an authority on the gospel of the Nazarenes,” or did they reject his teachings? The answers to these questions can be found in the letters attributed to Paul:


Romans 9:1: “I am speaking truth in Christ, I am not lying…”


2 Corinthians 11:31: “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus…knows that I do not lie.”


Galations 1:19-20: “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you, befor God, I do not lie!)”


1 Timothy 2:7: “For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”


Why the emphatic protests if he had not been accused of lying?


Paul argued that his gospel was the authentic “gospel of Christ” and that “another gospel” (that of James, Peter, and John) was false. His letter to the Galatians contains his argument supporting “Justification/salvation by faith, not by works.” However, the Gospel of James (2:14-17) proclaimed: “What does it profit…if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, `Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead.” The teachings of Jesus, as described by the gospel writers, agreed with James.

But Paul begged to disagree:


Galatians 1:6-7: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Galatians 1:8-9: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed…if he is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”


Galatians 2:1-2 “…I went up to Jerusalem…I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.”


Galatians 2:4-9: “…because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage – to them we did not yield submission…and from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no paritaility) – those I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel…and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised…” (What Paul seems to say is that he rejected James, Cephas, and John as being “pillars” – and their gospel – but they still welcomed him to preach his gospel to the Gentiles! Remember, Paul did not lie!)


Galatians 2:11-12: “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face…” Galatians 2:14: “…when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, `If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’ We…who are Jews by birth…yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law because by works of the law shall no one be justified.”


Galatians 3:1: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you…”


It seems the underlying theme that separated Paul from the authentic apostles who walked with Jesus was whether “Justification” came by Faith or by Works or by a combination of both.


The Dead Sea Scrolls contain references to “The Spouter of Lies,” and many scholars suggest this referred to Paul. Paul’s letters and his insistence that he was NOT a “spouter of lies” seems to support that position. “The Orthodox Church,” however, supported Paul’s gospel; his teachings evolved into today’s fundamentalists’ version of “Christianity.” Rarely do their spokespersons quote from anything other than Paul’s letters and scripture that seems to support them. They reject The Nazarene Way of Jesus and the authentic Apostles and have labeled it “an early heresy” for nearly two thousand years!


In addition to the issue of “Faith” versus “Works” discussed in Part #3, the gospel preached by Paul differed significantly from the gospel preached by James, Peter, John, and the other authentic Apostles. These differences can be identified by examining the letters attributed to Paul and the answers he gave to those who questioned him:


Assumed Question: “James, Peter, and John taught us that women may preach the Nazarean doctrine. Women traveled with Jesus, and women are teaching in their homes. Should women be allowed to preach?”


I Corinthians 14:33-36: “…women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”


I Timothy 2:11-15: “Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”


Assumed Question: “James, Peter, and John taught us that men should not cut their hair. Should we wear our hair long?”


I Corinthians 11:14: “Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him…”

Assumed Question: “James, Peter, and John taught us that we should not eat meat. Are we to be vegetarians?”


Romans 14:1: “…Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.”


Colossians 2:16: “…do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths.”


Assumed Question: “James, Peter, and John taught us that all people deserve to be free from slavery and oppression. But my owner, a believer, tells me I will not be set free. Why am I, and other men and women, still being held as slaves?”


Colossians 3:22-25: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality.”


I Timothy 6:1-5: “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved.”


Luke 4:16-20: “And [Jesus] stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down…”


Jesus said he came to free the captives and those who were oppressed. That would surely encompass both slaves and women. Apparently, Jesus wasn’t fond of the gospel Paul preached either.


Numbers 6:1-5: “…The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the people of Israel, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate him/[her]self to the Lord, he/[she] shall separate him/[her]self from wine and strong drinkAll the days of this vow no razor shall come upon his/[her] head…he/[she] shall let the locks of hair of his/[her] head grow long


Isaiah 7:14-15: “Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.”


Judges 13:5: “‘. . . for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth.


1Samuel 1:11: “She made this vow…I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’”


Jesus the Nazarene was “consecrated to God” from birth. He was born under the vow of a Nazirite. He demonstrated that he knew how to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” He taught a blend of the Mosaic Torah and Greek philosophy, primarily that of Pythagoras. Pythagoras and his followers lived communally, drank no wine, were vegetarians, wore white garments, and let the locks of their hair grow long. They abhorred animal sacrifice, slavery, and conflict. Women were teachers in their academies. As Philo of Alexandria asserted, they had adopted the Mosaic vow of the Nazirites five hundred years before Jesus was born. They were, in essence, an earlier sect Nazarenes.


The Nazarene Way wasn’t simply a religion or a philosophy; it was a way of living. When either a man or a woman took the vow to become a Nazarene, they separated themselves from certain food, drink, and traditions. They were recognizable by their appearance – their long hair, their white garments, and their peaceful demeanor. There is nothing in the letters of Paul that suggests he had any appreciation for The Nazarene Way of Jesus. How puzzling that Paul’s gospel became orthodox and the gospel preached by James, Peter, John, and Jesus was rejected as an “early heresy” and virtually cleansed from the history of Christianity.


Luke must have considered his allegorical messages about Saul to be of the utmost importantance. He identified him as the enemy of the Nazarenes in Chapter One:


Luke 1:68-73: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people…that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us…that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear…”


To find the person Luke accused of being “the enemy” requires only that the reader find the name omitted from these verses copied almost verbatim from Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22:1: “A Psalm of David…who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul…”


Luke ended his second volume, Acts of the Apostles, with a speech to the Jews that he put into the mouth of Saul; it came from Isaiah 6:9-10: “Go to this people, and say, ‘You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.'” (Acts 28:26-27).


What is missing from Saul’s speech to the Jews that would contain Luke’s allegorical message? What’s missing are the verses that followed Isaiah 6:9-10, Isaiah 6:11-13: “Then I said, `How long, O lord?’ And he said: `Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without men, and the land is utterly desolate, and the Lord removes men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains standing when it is felled.’ The Holy Seed is its stump.”


Revelation 22:14-16: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters and every one who loves and practices falsehood. I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.”


The Tree of Life was one of the most important tools used by the Nazarenes and Essenes to teach their doctrine. (See article at:


Luke’s allegorical message is quite clear: The enemy, Saul, aka Paul, wielded an axe and destroyed The Tree of Life, leaving only the stump – “the Holy Seed.” Luke, on behalf of Jesus and the Nazarene sect, set about to preserve the story, using Philo’s rules for the allegorical interpretation of scripture to say, “The Axe of the Apostle” must not be allowed to destroy our message! The Holy Seed remains; The Tree of Life will once again bear good fruit when the truth about Paul is finally known.


(Excerpted from Plutarch’s Parable:

Source :

The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies

ATS Discussion Thread :

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

Revelation; Project complete, index, summary

I want to dedicate this project to the lady who (re)-introduced me to the Christian faith.
Hi there, Gill.
“We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
The starlight on the western seas”.

The series of threads on Revelation has now been completed.
So this is the promised Index.
I’m offering three different ways of reading these threads;
They can be read in the order of John’s chapters.
They can be read in the approximate order in which things happened- which is slightly different.
Or they can be read in the original order of publication- which is different again, for reasons which seemed good at the time.
(Yet are they not three indices but one Index. This is a great mystery)

There will also be an index of the Bible references quoted.
And a copy of the “definition of God” I once produced, which lies in the background of all of them.
And anything else which occurs to me which might be useful.

I’ll be interested to see any suggestions to improve the Index, or any comments which people might have on the series as a whole.


The real beginning of the story; Satan’s hostility to the Church is traced back to the birth of Christ.

The Woman in Heaven
Satan fell from Heaven
On an eagle’s wings

And the faults of the church may weaken its claim on God’s protection.

The sins of the church?

So the opening chapters of Revelation are set in a time of persecution, and the church needs to be encouraged.

Fear Not
The seven churches have been warned; part1
The seven churches have been warned; part2
The seven churches have been promised

John is taken up to heaven, to be shown the power of God and the Lamb, .

In the presence of God
The Lamb and the scroll

God’s response to the persecution is to unleash the power of the “Four Horsemen”, which plunges the world into a great crisis.

4 Horsemen- Why?
4 Horsemen- How?
Souls under the altar
The sixth seal

God calls a truce. The destruction is halted.
What God does with the time of truce;

The Church Triumphant

What Satan does with the time of truce; the rise of the Beast

The Beast from the sea- a World-state.
The Beast- great leader and antichrist
The Beast- 666

At this halfway point, sorting out the chronology of Revelation.

Silence in Heaven
Seven kings and an eighth
“A time, times, and half a time”

The Beast breaks the truce, and war is renewed.

The Beast and the Temple
The Mark of the Beast
War on the Saints

The Harlot of Babylon is associated with the Beast in this war.

Harlot Babylon- part1;”The other woman”
Harlot Babylon- part2; “Mother of Abominations”
Harlot Babylon- part3; “Twinned with Rome”
Harlot Babylon- part4; “Drunk with the blood of the Saints”

God’s response is to resume the process of destruction;

The trumpets- Battered planet
The First Woe
The Second Woe

Final warnings, before the seventh trumpet is sounded.

Seven Thunders- Time running out
The two Witnesses

The sounding of the seventh trumpet brings in the climax of the destruction;

Hark, the herald angels
The Third Woe
The roads to Armageddon
Babylon’s Wake

Then the old world is wound up, and a new world takes its place;

Victory and Judgement- the Return of Christ
The thousand-year Kingdom?
The new Jerusalem


This is the same order that can be found on my profile;
But on this page the threads are identified by the opening question, not by the title.

Starting in the middle, of course, with the breaking of the seventh seal;

What is meant by “Silence in heaven for half an hour”?

A mini-series covering the breaking of the earlier seals, as found in ch6;

Why would God send the “4 Horsemen”?
What would the events of the “4 horsemen” look like?
Who are the souls gathered “under the altar”?
What do the events of the “sixth seal” mean for us?
Why do so many of the OT “echoes” in ch6 carry overtones of God’s wrath against his own people?

Moving on to ch12, dealing with the background of the Revelation events;

Who is the “woman in Heaven”?
When, and how, did Satan fall from Heaven?
What is the purpose of the flight into the wilderness?

What kind of warning should the Church take from chs 2&3? (Pt1)
What kind of warning should the Church take from chs 2&3? (Pt2)

A series on the Beast, and the developing “war on the saints”

How, and why, is the “Beast from the sea” dominating the world?
What is the Beast “from the land” adding to his predecessor?
What is the meaning of “666”?
How can we know the Mark of the Beast?
Must the Beast make war on the saints?
How does the “seal” benefit the people who receive it?
Would the Beast also be “the king who occupies the Temple”?
Who are “the two Witnesses”?

Returning to the beginning of the book, to consider the power of “God and the Lamb”;

What does ch1 say about the purpose of Revelation?
What are the promises being given to the Church in chs 2&3?
What kind of God is John meeting in ch4?
Why must the Lamb open the scroll?

What are the “times” of Revelation?

Moving on to the beginning of God’s attack on the Beast;

What do the “Trumpets” mean for the planet?
What is the First Woe?
What is the Second Woe?
What is the purpose of the mission John receives in ch10?

There was then a digression (just as there is in John’s vision) to consider the nature of “Babylon”;

What is the difference between the “Harlot of Babylon” and the “Woman in Heaven”?
What is meant by the “cup of abominations”?
Where do the 7 kings of ch17 belong in the story of Revelation?
What is the connection between Babylon and Rome?
Why is the Harlot “drunk with the blood of the Saints”?

Who are the great human crowd seen in heaven?

Then, completing the process of the destruction of the old world;

What’s the meaning of the proclamations of ch14?
What is the Third Woe?
What kind of battle is to be expected at Armageddon?
What is ch18 telling us about the nature of Babylon?
What is the impact of Christ’s arrival on the scene?
What is meant by the “Millennium”?
What are the last two chapters telling us about the “new Jerusalem”?


The numbers in the left margin will be used in the “Bible references” index.

Chapter 1

John is first addressed by the vision of Christ

1 Fear Not

Chapters 2&3

The letters dictated by Christ

2 The seven churches have been warned; part1
3 The seven churches have been warned; part2
4 The seven churches have been promised

Chapter 4

John arrives in Heaven

5 In the presence of God

Chapter 5

Continuing the scene in Heaven

6 The Lamb and the scroll

Chapter 6

The breaking of the seals brings the crisis of the “Four Horsemen”.

7 4 Horsemen- Why?
8 4 Horsemen- How?
9 Souls under the altar
10 The sixth seal
11 Sins of the Church?

Chapter 7

God calls a truce

12 144,000
13 The Church Triumphant

Chapter 8

Sorting out the sequence of events.
The truce is broken, destruction begins.

14 Silence in Heaven
15 “A time, times, and half a time”
16 The trumpets- Battered planet

Chapter 9

The Trumpets continue

17 The First Woe
18 The Second Woe

Chapter 10

Explaining the significance of the seventh trumpet, immediately before the event.

19 Seven Thunders- Time running out

Chapter 11

The clash of Beast and Church, until the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

20 The Beast and the Temple
21 The two Witnesses

Chapter 12

Flashback sequence, explaining the background of Satan’s hostility to the Church

22 The Woman in Heaven
23 Satan fell from Heaven
24 On an eagle’s wings

Chapter 13

Flashback continues; the Beast comes to power.

25 The Beast from the sea- a World-state.
26 The Beast- great leader and antichrist
27 The Beast- 666
28 The Mark of the Beast
29 War on the Saints

Chapter 14

Explaining the significance of the seventh trumpet, immediately after the event.

30 Hark, the herald angels

Chapters 15&16

The results of the seventh trumpet- ie the Bowls.

31 The Third Woe
32 The roads to Armageddon

Chapter 17

A belated introduction to the Harlot of Babylon, just as she is being destroyed.

33 Harlot Babylon- part1;”The other woman”
34 Harlot Babylon- part2; “Mother of Abominations”
35 Seven kings and an eighth
36 Harlot Babylon- part3; “Twinned with Rome”
37 Harlot Babylon- part4; “Drunk with the blood of the Saints”

Chapter 18

Rejoicing at the fall of Babylon

38 Babylon’s Wake

Chapter 19

39 Victory and Judgement- the Return of Christ

Chapter 20

40 The thousand-year Kingdom?

Chapters 21&22

41 The new Jerusalem


This lists the passages quoted on this Revelation series from the first half of the Old Testament..
The numbers in yellow identify (on the Chapter Order list) the threads where the quotations can be found.


ch3 Tree of Life——4,41
ch4 v10 Blood of Abel——9
ch37 v9 Joseph’s dream ——22


ch9 v14 Boils——16,31
ch9 v23 Hail——16
ch15 Song of Moses——13
ch15 v12 Earth swallowed——24
ch19 v4 On eagles’ wings——5,24
ch19 v6 Kingdom of priests——1,5
ch24 vv9-11 The elders——5


ch17 v11 Life is in the blood——9


ch5 vv11-28 Waters of bitterness——16
ch25 vv1-3 Shiittim——3
ch25 vv12-13 Eleazar——12


ch13 vv13-14 Abominations——34
ch23 v18 Abominations——34
ch27 v15 Abominations——34


ch2 vv11-14 The sins of Israel——11

1 Kings

ch10 v9 Solomon-666——27
ch11 v4 Solomon idolatry——27
ch11 v5 Abominations——34

2 Kings

ch1 v10 Elijah- fire from heaven——26
ch9 v22 Jezebel——3
ch17 v7 The sins of Israel——11
ch23 v29 Megiddo——32


ch9 v3 Desolated——20


ch2 v9 Curse God——31
ch3 vv20-26 Wanting to die——17,31


Ps 2v2 Nations rage——34
Ps 2v9 Rod of iron——4,22
Ps 8vv4-5 What is man?——5
Ps 24v8 Lord of Hosts—–39
Ps 33 God looks down from Heaven——5
Ps 68v17 Host accompanies——18
Ps 79 How long?——9
Ps 91vv5-6 Arrows, pestilence——8
Ps 96v1 Sing a new song——13
Ps 96v11 Heaven, earth, and sea——24
Ps 96v13 He judges with righteousness——39


ch6 vv11-18 Abominations——34

edit on 20-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

This lists the passages quoted in this series from the Prophets.
The numbers in yellow identify (on the Chapter Order list) the threads where the quotations can be found.


ch1 v12 You trample on my courts——21
ch2 v19 Flight into caves——10
ch6 vv1-5 Vision of God——5
ch11 v4 Rod of Jesse——1
ch13 vv20-22 Babylon uninhabited——38
ch14 v12 Fallen from heaven——23
ch21 v9 Babylon is fallen——38
ch25 v8 God will swallow up death——13,41
ch34 v4 Heavens roll up——10
ch38 v14 Joy and gladness——41
ch40 v2 Jerusalem pardoned——38
ch44 vv2-6 Fear not——1
ch46 Bel bows down——34
ch47 vv7-8 Babylon self-confident——38
ch49 v2 My mouth a sharp sword——1,39
ch49 v14 Will guide them by springs——13
ch51 v1 Water without price——41
ch60 v11,vv19-20 New Jerusalem——41
ch62 v4 A new name——3
ch63 v3 Bloody garments——39
ch63 v18 They have trodden down the sanctuary——21


ch3 v9 Adulteries of Israel——33
ch4 v4 The sins of Jerusalem——11
ch4 vv23-29 Earth quakes, men flee——10,11
ch4 v30 Harlot Jerusalem——22,33
ch4 v31 Jerusalem in travail——22,33
ch5 v14 My words a fire in your mouth—–21
ch9 vv14-15 Wormwood——16
ch15 v2 Four fates—–11,29
ch25 v10 Joys lost—–38
ch25 vv15-16 Cup of wrath——33
ch31 vv33-34 New covenant——19
ch46 v8 Egypt sends a flood——24
ch49 v36 Four winds——5,12
ch50 v38 Babylon river dries up—–31
ch51 v25 Babylon-burnt mountain—–16
ch51 vv7-8 Babylon-cup of wrath——34,38
ch51 v9 Babylon’s judgement reaches heaven——38
ch51 v45 Leave Babylon——38
ch51 v63 Dropping the stone——38


ch1 Vision of God——5,19
ch3 Eating the scroll—–19
ch5 vv16-17 Four fates—–11
ch9 vv4-6 Marked for God—–12
ch13 vv18-19 Trading in souls—–38
ch14 v21 Four fates——11
ch16 Adulterous Israel——33
ch23 vv32-33 Cup of wrath——34
chs 26&27 Tyre——38
ch29 v3 Egypt a dragon—-24
ch37 v37 God dwells with his people—–41
ch39 Gog of Magog——39,40
ch40 Measuring the Temple——20,21,41
ch43 The Lord returns to the Temple——20,21,41
ch47 The stream from the Temple——41


ch7 Four kingdoms——25,36
ch7 v10 Accompanied by host—-18
ch7 v11 Beast destroyed——39
ch7 v12 Other kingdoms prolonged——40
ch7 vv13-14 One like a son of man——1
ch9 v27 Half a week——15,24
ch10 Vision of man of bronze—–1
ch11 v30 Rome annoys Antiochus——36
ch11 v31, vv36-37 Abomination that makes desolate——20
ch12 v1 Book of Life——39
ch12 v7 A time, two times, and half a time——15,19,24


ch1 vv8-9 New name—–4
ch2 v5 Adultery of Israel——33
ch2 vv11-15 Reconciled——24
ch2 v19 Bethrothed—– 41
ch10 v8 Fall on us!—–10


chs1&2 Locusts——10,11
ch2 vv10-11 Day of the Lord——10,11
ch2 v31 Sun darkened—–10
ch3 vv5-6 Tyre sells into slavery—–38
ch3 vv11-14 Dayof the Lord, valley of judgement——32,39
ch3 v13 Harvest——30


ch4 v10 Jerusalem in travail——22
ch5 v3 The birth——22


ch3 v13 No deceit found in them——13


ch1 Four horses——7
ch3 Satan against Joshua——23
ch3 v9 White stone——3
ch4 v10 Seven eyes——1,6
ch4 v14 Olive trees——21
ch5 vv5-11 The woman of Wickedness——38
ch6 Four horses, four winds——5,7
ch12 v10 Mourning over the pierced one——1


ch4v1 The day of burning——1


This lists the passages which have been quoted in this series from the New Testament.
The yellow numbers identify the threads (as numbered on the Chapter Order list) which have made the quotations.


ch10 35 Confess them before the Father——4
ch18 v6 Millstone——38
ch18 v10 Their angels are in Heaven——13
ch21 v5 Mounted on an ass——39
23v35 Guilt for bloodshed——38
ch24 v5 False christs——26
ch24 v43 When the thief comes——32
ch25 v30 Outer darkness——39
ch25 v31 Son of man sits in judgement——39
26 v52 Will perish by the sword——29


ch4 v17 if anyone has an ear——29


ch10 v18 Satan falling——23
ch21 v24 Jerusalem trodden by gentiles——20,21


ch1 v29 Lamb takes away sin——23
ch4 v14 Spring of eternal life——41
ch5 v24 Believer has eternal Life——13,40
ch6 vv49-51 Living bread——4


ch17 v30 God calls world to repentance——11
ch19 Diana of the Ephesians——34


ch8 v1 No condemnation——4
ch3 v23 All have sinned——39
ch13 vv2-4 Rulers appointed by God——25

1 Corinthians

ch3 v16 You are God’s Temple——20
ch6 v9 Will not inherit the kingdom——41
ch 6 v12 Self-confidence——3
ch8 v1 Self-confidence——3
ch10 vv8-9,v20 Immorality——3
ch10 v17 One bread, one body——20
ch11 v26 We proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes——20

2 Corinthians

ch1 vv21-22 Sealed with the Spirit——12


ch1 vv13-14 Sealed with the Spirit——12
ch2 v6 Sitting with Christ in Heaven——22,40
ch5 vv23-27 Bride of Christ——41


ch3 v27 Clothed in Christ——32
ch4 vv25-26 Two Jerusalems——33

1 Thessalonians

ch5 vv2-6 Like a thief——32

2 Thessalonians

ch1 vv7-8 Jesus comes in judgement——39
ch1 v9 Eternal destruction——40
ch2 v4 Man of sin——20
ch4 v13 Always with the Lord——40


ch1 v1 God speaks——27
ch4 v12 Word sharper than a sword——1

1 Peter

ch3 v20 Eight in ark—–35
ch4 v12 Facing a fiery ordeal——36
ch5 v13 Those living in Babylon——36

2 Peter

ch2 v5 Eight in ark——35
ch3 v10 The elements dissolve——39,40

1 John

ch2 v18 Antichrists——26

It would be appropriate to add here a full copy of the “Christian definition of God” that I’ve used elsewhere.

The Creator.
That which is not the Universe, but the originator of the Universe.

I’d like to expand the original definition
(very cautiously, because Philosophy isn’t really my field)

Let’s make it a really trinitarian one;

God is a Creator
God is one who Communicates
God is one who becomes Incarnate

God is a Creator

I see this view as distinct from both Monism and Dualism.

As I understand the difference;
Monism resolves everything to one point of origin.
Dualism resolves everything to two points of origin, distinct and independent.

Creation theory falls short of being genuine Monism, because the created universe is understood as distinct from God.

Creation theory falls short of being genuine Dualism, because the created universe is understood as dependent upon God.

My private theory is that Creation teaching ought to be called “One-and-a-half-ism”, but I don’t suppose it will catch on.

As far as I can see, this involves the traditional teaching of “ex nihilo” (“out of nothing”) Creation.

Because if God is “creating” using pre-existing raw material, then the material is not genuinely dependent upon him- this has become Dualism.

Or if God is producing the material of the universe “out of himself”, then the material is not genuinely distinct- this has become Monism.

“Ex nihilo” is the only logical alternative, which is presumably why the teaching was developed in the first place.

God is one who Communicates

This assumption is built into Biblical religion.

In the first place, the Bible is believed to contain examples of communication (as reported, for example, by the prophets).

Furthermore, the Bible is believed to reflect a policy of communication.
It is said that God is using the Bible to “reveal himself”, and so Biblical religion used to be described as “revealed religion”.

The belief that “God is one who Communicates” links back with the belief that “God is one who Creates”.

In the first place, some of the content of the communication points to God as Creator.

The proper Biblical answer to the question “Why do you believe your God made the universe?” is not really “Because that’s the only way to account for the universe.”
The truly Biblical answer is “Because he says he did, and I believe him.”

But I think the very act of communication also points to God as a Creator.

Any act of communication necessarily implies a distinction between the communicator and the other party.
I’ve already said the Biblical understanding of Creation involves a distinction between God and the universe.

An act of communication implies the existence of a “will” in the communicator, or at least some sort of analogy of one.
But the same could be said, surely, of an act of “Creation”.

Finally, a God who creates a universe thereby sets up a relationship between himself and the universe.
The effect of communication is to set up a relationship between himself and individuals (or even a group of individuals) within the same universe.

I assume that a purely monistic deity would not be communicating with, or setting up a relationship with, parts of itself.

My point is that
The idea of the God who Creates
and the idea of the God who Communicates
are very akin to one another.

The kind of God who would Create would also be the kind of God who could Communicate.

God is one who becomes Incarnate

I could hardly, really, leave this out of a definition of the Christian God.

The understanding is that the Incarnation is a more direct presence of God within the created universe.

If this is true, it’s the ultimate form of Communication, as the author of Hebrews points out;
“God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets
but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son”.

But it’s also the ultimate form of “establishing a relationship”;

Because the doctrine of the Incarnation is that the Creator and his creation, divinity and humanity, are bound together within the person of the Son.
The bond is understood to be irrevocable.
It’s impossible for a relationship to get any closer than that.

Anyone who tries to understand the church’s teaching about the Incarnation will discover that it’s all about finding the right “balance”.

On the one hand, the distinction between the divinity and the humanity must not be exaggerated, to the point that the unity disappears.
On the other hand, the unity between them must not be exaggerated, to the point that the distinction disappears.
The correct position is somewhere halfway between the two extremes.

But this is exactly what I said, at the beginning of this piece, about Creation;
That it occupied a halfway position between Monism and Dualism.

So it seems to me that the “balancing act” which Jehovah’s Witnesses love to mock, when it comes in the teaching about the Incarnation, is also inherent in the very doctrine of the Creation itself.

The kind of God who would Create is also the kind of God who could become Incarnate.

I began by naming the Christian God as
The one who Creates
The one who Communicates
The one who becomes Incarnate.

I now suggest that these three ideas are akin to one another.
They belong together, naturally.

Whether you can believe them or not, they all belong to the same kind of God.

All right, thank you for your patience, everybody.
The editing process is now complete.
Decoding Revelation

In relation to the above list of references, the question might be asked; why is this interpretation of Revelation being carried out with such attention to other Biblical passages?
“Scrabbling around in the Old Testament” is one phrase that I’ve seen.
Someone else has suggested that Revelation “is complete in its own context”; that it can and should be treated as an autonomous book, and discussed in isolation from the rest of the Bible.

I think the sheer size of the list of references goes a long way towards answering the question. The Bible is the cultural context in which Revelation was written. It carries a multitude of “echoes” of other Biblical passages.

The readers of John’s time knew the Old Testament so much better than modern Christians do, and they could not have failed to have recognised these allusions. And surely they would have understood the book in the light of these recognitions. When they saw the “Beast from the sea” in ch13, for example, they would have recognised to the allusion to the “beasts from the sea” in Daniel ch7. Then the point would have “clicked”; in both caes, the image represents a kingdom. And this process of recognition-and-understanding would have been happening again and again and again and again all the way through the book.

This is what I’ve been trying to duplicate. If the “echoes” were planted there in the first place, as clues to the meaning of the book, then it would be foolish to ignore.them.

Let me illustrate my point with an analogy that I’ve used before;
If you want to understand old political cartoons, you will find yourself completely at sea unless you know something about the politics of the time, and the way it was presented in the cartoons of the time.
For example, you may see a cartoon of a pipe-smoking bulldog having a fight with a kepi-wearing poodle. Anyone of my generation can unpack the meaning of that picture by remembering the significance of the various “props”.
Pipe=Harold Wilson (“And I mean that sincerely”)
Kepi=General de Gaulle (“I live in Colombey-les-deux-eglises; they worship God in the other one”)
So this is easy enough- an argument between the British and French heads of government.
But anyone who insists on treating the cartoon “in its own context” and ignoring any cultural allusions will be left floundering around, making guesses at random. He’ll be telling everybody in sight that the pipe is obviously a volcano in South America, and the poodle represents the archangel Gabriel.

So, yes, Revelation is written in a sort of code.
But most of us have a copy of the code-book.
It is called the Old Testament.

Why this interpretation of Revelation has a chronology

I come to Revelation as a student of history.
I see Revelation as a chronicle, and I treat it in exactly the same way as I would any other source document (the fact that it is describing events in the future instead of events in the past is only a minor complication).
In other words, I try to get past the obscure descriptions and the disjointed chronology in order to establish exactly what happens and in what order, and why one thing leads on to another.

The procedure justifies itself, in my mind, by the fact that it works. That is to say, it seems to produce a narrative sequence with a clear storyline, one that is coherent and self-consistent.
(I was particularly gratified by the smooth way that the “seven kings” passage slotted into it. I came into this project with no thoughts on the “seven kings”, so this was an unexpected bonus)

That is why my interpretation of Revelation has a chronological structure.
I’ve tried to demonstrate this in various places.
The “War on the Saints” thread is one of them.
The “Time, times, and half a time” thread is another.
It will be seen in the “Timeline” index of threads.
This is not a “timeless allegory”, but a history.

The predictions of Revelation

Many interpretations of Revelation produce “timelines” of future events, which are filled with elaborate detail.
I do understand Revelation as pointing towards future events, but my interpretation is much less detailed.
For me, this is a picture painted with fairly broad brush-strokes.

Nevertheless, I do see a rough sequence of events.
And here is my brief summary of what Revelation is “predicting”.

1. A persecution of the church, implied in the background of ch1.
2. The great crisis of ch6, the “4 Horsemen” episode.
(Pestilence, War, Famine, Death)
I took this to be God’s reaction to the previous persecution.
3. The rise of the two “Beasts” of ch13, the great world-state and its leader. This implies a recovery from the events of ch6, so I suggested that the Beasts might rise to power on the strength of leading the world out of that crisis.
4. The renewed persecution of the church by the Beast.
5. The destructive catastrophe of the Trumpets and Vials.
6. Finally, the Return of Christ and the “winding-up” of the old world.

How will the followers of Christ recognise him on his Return?

The crucial passage on this point is Matthew ch24 (and the parallels in the other gospels)
He says that the coming of the Son of Man will be “as the light comes from the east and shines as far as the west” (v27).
I take this comparison to mean “In an instant, and universally visible”.
He then goes on to say “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Whatever this looks like on the day, I think the point is that the arrival would be universally recognisable. When Christ returns, everybody will know. There will be no room for doubt on the matter.

Conversely, Matthew tells us how to recognise someone who is not the Christ.
“Then if anyone says to you ‘Here is the Christ’, or ‘There he is’, do not believe it.”
“Do not go into the wilderness.”
“Do not go into the inner rooms”.
In short, if you have to go anywhere to meet him,.then he is not the true Christ. That’s the rule of thumb. That kind of coming is not “as lightning”, nor “on the clouds of heaven”.

What causes confusion is the idea that he would return by being born into a new human life on earth. Then the question of “How to recognise him?” would arise.
But Matthew is telling us that anyone living a human life on earth here and now is by definition not the Returned Christ, and that solves the dilemma

Is the Beast the “Antichrist”?

It’s become the custom to call him “The Antichrist”, although the title doesn’t appear in this book.
I must admit I don’t like using the label, because it carries so many associations from mediaeval fantasy and Hollywood fantasy and other speculations. All this baggage tends to confuse discussion of the figure found in Revelation.

Let’s get back to basics and consider the definition.
The disciples were told by Jesus that “many will come in my name, saying ‘I am the Christ'”- Matthew ch24 v5
The early church was told by John that “as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come”- 1 John ch2 v18
The natural and reasonable assumption is that both references to “many” are to the same kind of people, and that an “antichrist” should be understood as someone claiming to be the returned Christ (taking the Greek ANTI as “in place of”).

Does this apply to the Beast? There are certainly signs that Christ is being imitated, not only in the “horns of a lamb”, but also in the business of “recovering from a mortal wound”. I think the narrative is sending a sufficiently clear signal that he would, indeed, be claiming to be the returned Christ.

But if he publicly claims to be the returned Christ, then he meets the definition of an “antichrist” and belongs to that category. Since he would, presumably, be the final and supreme example of the species, I suppose you can call him “The Antichrist”.

If you must.

The importance of FAITH in Revelation

At the end of ch1, John is given the instruction- “Fear not”.

The theme of “Faith” is very important in Revelation.
Understandably so, because Revelation deals with times of crisis.
There is the immediate crisis of persecution.
Then, in the later stages of the book, there are the crises affecting the life of the world at large.
The essence of faith is “Trust”.
God’s people will need to be able to keep their trust in their God through both sets of experiences.

There is the word PISTOS- “Faithful”.
It is the “faithful” who accompany the Lamb (ch17 v4).
Those in the churches are urged to be faithful, if necessary “unto death”. (ch 2 v10)
Such a one was Antipas, who is called a “faithful witness” (ch 2v13)

The same word also means “reliable”, one in whom trust can be placed.
So Christ himself is descibed as a “faithful witness” (ch1 v5), besides being “faithful and true” (ch19 v11) or a “faithful and true witness” (ch 33 v14).
I think Christ is called “faithful witness” in a double sense.
He is a role model for such as Antipas, having been “faithful unto death” on the Cross.
But he is also a “witness” in front of his Father, when he “confesses” the names of those “who have conquered”.

And in the last two chapters the “words” (LOGOI) of God himself are also described as “faithful and true” (ch21 v5 and ch22 v6)- though in those cases the RSV chooses to translate the word as “trustworthy”.

So “faith” is about the faithful putting their trust in one who is faithful, the firm holding firmly on to firmness.

The importance of ENDURANCE in Revelation

It might be translated as “patience”, or “endurance”, or even “patient endurance”.
In any case, it’s an indispensable quality in Revelation.
Without that quality, the church could not resist the harassments of their persecutors.
So the time of tribulation which John is sharing with his readers (ch 1v9) is also a time of “endurance”- the two things go together.
Over and over again, the seven churches are commended for their “patient endurance” during the time of trial.

Endurance depends upon faith.
In the middle of destructive troubles, faith gives an assurance that better things are coming, there’s “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“There’ll be blue-birds over
The white cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow, just you wait and see,”
That’s why the two things are linked together in this book. “”I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance”- ch2 v19

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints“; ch13 v10 (and similarly ch14 v12).

I’m emphasising the verse just quoted, because it’s the “mission statement” of the book of Revelation.
The whole object and purpose of the book is to encourage the faith of the saints, in order to motivate their “endurance” during a time of persecution.
The readers of John’s own time need encouragement in order to endure the persecution of the Roman empire.
A church facing the persecution of the Beast would need encouragement.
And the saints would need encouragement again if the world was living through the traumatic events of the second half of Revelation.

Incidentally, if this book is a manual of encouragement designed for the benefit of a church suffering persecution- that would explain why it seems so puzzling in the interval, when the church is not suffering persecution. We don’t find it easy to understand its purpose, because it’s addressing a need which we’re not experiencing.

But if the church is plunged once more into a time of tribulation, they will find the kind of encouragement in this book which will motivate their faith to “patient endurance”.

This product contains no dates

In this series, I’ve been putting together my own version of a “timeline” of Revelation events.
But I made no attempt whatever to tie them in with the current calendar.
I haven’t been trying to calculate exactly when the times of “tribulation” might start or finish.

There are reasons for this.

In the first place, Jesus himself refused to give any indication of time. He told his disciples that it was “not for them to know” the times which the Father had set. Why on earth should we think that we’re entitled to acquire knowledge which they weren’t allowed to know? But everybody knows that quotation.

There’s also the pragmatic point, that so many calculations have been made and proved wrong in the past.

I’m also convinced that trying to calculate exact intervals of years from one event to another is a waste of time, because this is not the way God works. There is no reason to think that God lays out events at exact time-intervals, so there is no point in trying to second-guess his calculations.

As a test case, let’s take the “seventy years” predicted by Jeremiah.
Jeremiah told Jerusalem that “these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jeremiah ch25 v11), that God would punish Babylon “when seventy years are completed” (ch25 v12), and that he would bring the exiles back from Babylon “when seventy years are completed for Babylon” (ch29 v10).
So if God is working with exact time-intervals, there should be seventy years between the destruction of Jerusalem and the fall of Babylon.
But the records of history tell us that the respective dates were 587 B.C. and 539 B.C. This is not an exact seventy year interval.
The explanation is probably that “seventy” is a symbolic number, one that keeps appearing in the Bible and Jewish tradition. It combines “7”, the number which points us towards God, with “10”, the number which points towards completeness or perfection. So “seventy years” means “the complete period which God has assigned”.

And I suspect that exact calculations based on the implied “seven years” of Daniel ch9 v27 will go astray for exactly the same reason. We need to recognise how often numbers are part of the symbolism,

The purpose of Revelation is the building of faith, in order to motivate the “patient endurance of the saints”.
But date-calculation may be a symptom of impatience, an unconscious attempt to reduce the necessity of endurance.
And a failed date-calculation, after the event can be a very effective killer of faith.
Faith would be patient and willing to wait for God to do things in his own time.

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