Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Gods of Eden - Ch.13

Apocalypse of John

THE ALLEGED AUTHOR of Revelation was Jesus's personal friend and disciple, John (not to be confused with John the Baptist, a different person). John appears to have been the most influential of Jesus's disciples, and an earlier biblical text that is attributed to him, the Book of John, seems to come closest to conveying the strong mystical leanings of Jesus's backers and of the early Christian church. For these and other reasons, the name of John has been an important one to Christians and to a number of mystical organizations. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that John's name would be chosen to convey the final and most colorful apocalypse in the Bible.

The Revelation of St. John is the fifth and final work attributed to John to appear in the New Testament. Some scholars believe that Revelation was written by John while he was living in exile on the Greek island of Patmos many years after the crucifixion of Christ. Others are convinced that disciple John was not the author of Revelation because Revelation was not discovered until about two hundred years after John's lifetime. According to Joseph Free, writing in his book, Archaeology and Bible History, the linguistic qualities of Revelation are inferior in some ways to the Book of John. It is argued that if Revelation was written five years after the Book of John by the same person, Revelation should be linguistically equal or superior to the earlier work. Another point is that Revelation contains expressions from the Hebrew language that were not used in John's earlier writings. On the other hand, important similarities between Revelation and other books of John have been noted, especially in the repetition of certain words and phrases. Whatever the true authorship of Revelation may be, the impact of this work has been major.

Revelation is the first-person account of the author's bizarre meeting with a strange person he believed to be Jesus. Over a period of a day or two, the author also met a number of unusual creatures which showed him pictures of frightening future events. The author was told by those creatures that Satan (the "anti-Christ") would take over the world. This would be followed by the Final Battle of Armageddon during which the angels of God would battle the forces of Satan. The Final Battle would bring about the banishment of Satan from human society and the triumphant return ("Second Coming") of Jesus to reign over Earth for a thousand years.

The Book of Revelation is written in a wonderfully picturesque manner. It is filled with complex and imaginative symbolism. Because the pictures revealed to John were symbols, Revelation can be used to predict an imminent "End of the World" at almost any historical epoch. The prophecy is constructed so that the symbols can be interpreted to represent whatever historical events happen to be occurring at the time one is living. This is precisely what has been done with Revelation ever since it appeared, and it is still being done today.

The question is, what caused the author's "visions"? Was it lunacy? A propensity to tell tall tales? Or was it something else? The author seems sincere enough to rule out deceit. His straightforward manner of narration tends to eliminate lunacy as the answer. That leaves "something else." The question is: what?

Upon analyzing the text of Revelation, we discover something rather remarkable. It appears that the author had actually been drugged and, while in that drugged state, was shown pictures in a book by individuals who were wearing costumes and putting on a ceremony for the author's benefit. Let us look at the passages of Revelation which suggest this.

John begins his story by telling us that he was at prayer. From a further description, it seems that he was conducting his ritual outdoors during daylight hours. Suddenly, a loud voice resounded behind him. The voice commanded him to write down everything he was about to see and hear, and to send the message to the seven Christian churches in Asia [Turkey]. John turned around to see who was speaking to him and, lo and behold, there he saw what he believed to be seven golden candlesticks. Standing among the candlesticks was a person whom the author described as:

. . . one who looked like the Son of man [Jesus],

clothed with a garment down to the foot, and wearing

about the chest a golden girdle [support].

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white

as snow; and his eyes were as flame of fire;

And his feet were like fine brass, as if they burned in

a furnace; and his voice was as the sound of many


And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out

of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his

appearance was like the sun shines in his strength.

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.

And he laid his right hand upon me .............


There are striking similarities between this new "Jesus" and the space age "angels" of earlier Biblical stories. The prophet Ezekiel, for example, had also met visitors with feet of brass. The above passage from Revelation suggests that John's "Jesus" may have been garbed in a one-piece body suit extending from the neck down to metal or metal-like boots.* The creature's head was described as "white like wool, as white as snow," indicating an artificial head covering or helmet. John's claim that this creature had a voice "as the sound of many waters," that is, rumbling and thunderous, is also reminiscent of Ezekiel's angels and could have been caused by the rumbling of nearby engines or by electronic amplification of the creature's voice. The "two-edged sword" protruding from the creature's mouth easily suggests a microphone or breathing pipe.

After John regained his composure, "Jesus" commanded him to write down the missives that "Jesus" wanted sent to various Christian churches. Those letters constitute the first three chapters of Revelation. The most interesting phase of John's experience then begins in chapter 4:

. .. / looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven:

and the first voice which I heard, which sounded

like a trumpet talking with me; said Come up here, and

I will show you things which must take place hereafter.

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, look, a

throne was set in heaven, and one [creature] sat on

the throne.

And the one who sat looked to me like a jasper and

sardine stone: and there was a rainbow around the

throne looking like an emerald.

And all around the throne were twenty-four seats:

and upon the seats I saw twenty-four elders sitting,

clothed in white garments: and they had on their heads

crowns of gold.

And out of the throne came lightnings and thunderings

and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire

burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits

of God.

And before the throne there was a sea of glass like

crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round


* The fact that the author mistook this creature for Jesus may be further evidence that the author was not the original disciple John. For convenience, however, I will continue to refer to the author of Revelation as John.

about the throne were four beasts full of eyes in front

and back.


The above passage can be viewed as the author being taken up through the door of some sort of aircraft and finding himself face to face with its occupants, as told by someone incapable of understanding the experience. The quote contains two especially interesting elements: first, John said that a voice from above sounded like a trumpet talking with him. This strongly suggests a voice bellowing through a loudspeaker. Second, the "lightnings and thunderings and voices" emitting from the "throne" suggest that the throne had a television or radio set of some kind. A modern-day human might well describe the same experience this way: "Well, yes, I was lifted up into a rocketship. There I confronted the seated crew in their white jumpsuits and helmets. They had some radio or TV reception going."

The presence of seven candles and seven lamps indicates that a ritual had been prepared for the author. The ritual was replete with costumes, theatrics, and sound effects—all designed to deeply impress the message upon the author. This is what happened when John was shown the first scroll:

And I saw in the right hand of the one who sat on

the throne a scroll with writing on the inside and on

the back side sealed with seven seals.

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud

voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loosen

the seals of it?

And no man in heaven, nor in earth, nor from under

the earth, was able to open the book nor to look upon

its contents.

And I wept a great deal, because no man was found

worthy to open and to read the book, nor to look upon

its contents.

And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: look, the

Lion [one of the animals there] of the tribe of Judah,

the Root of David, has succeeded to open the book,

and to loosen its seven seals.

And I saw standing between the throne and the four

beasts, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb in the

manner of having been slain, having seven horns and

seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent

out to all the earth.

And he came and took the book out of the right hand

of the one who sat upon the throne.

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and

twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each of them

holding harps, and golden containers full of odors,

which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to

take the book, and to open the seals of it: for you were

slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood from

every family, language, people, and nation:

And have made us into kings and priests to God: and

we shall reign on earth.

And I saw, and I heard the voice of many angels

around the throne and the beasts and the elders: and

they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand, and

thousands of thousands;

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that

was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,

and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the

earth, and under the earth, and those that are in the

sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing,

and honor, and glory, and power, be to him that sits

upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four beasts said, Amen. And the twenty-four

elders fell down and worshipped him that lived for

ever and ever.


The elders continued to fall at dramatic moments throughout the ceremony. Each time they did so, they made quite an impression upon John. Among their cries of "Amen!" and "Alleluia!", the author was given the somber task of writing down everything he was being shown and taught.

It has been pointed out that the experience John described is identical to mystical ritual, especially of initiation into the teachings of a secret society. For this reason, some people believe that Revelation is actually an account of an initiation ceremony typical of many Brotherhood organizations— typical even today. These observations are quite significant when they are coupled with the evidence that John's experience had an element of space opera. It reveals continued Custodial involvement in Brotherhood mysticism after the time of Christ and shows Custodians to be the ultimate source of apocalyptic doctrines.

In the above passage from Revelation, we observe that John reacted with strong emotions to what was going on around him. He was especially prone to weeping on relatively little provocation. He seemed unable to distinguish between ritual and apparent reality. This raises questions about his mental state. A careful reading of Revelation indicates that John's mind may have been influenced by drugs administered to him by the creatures. Modern psychiatry has discovered that a number of drugs can be used to deeply implant messages in a person's mind. This technique serves today as an intelligence tool in the United States, Russia, and elsewhere. The probable drugging of John is exposed in Chapter 10 of Revelation. The author was apparently outdoors again preparing to memorialize the latest revelations when an "angel" flew down from the sky holding something in its hand:

And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me

again, and said, Go and take the little scroll which is

open in the hand of the angel which stands upon the

sea and upon the earth.

And I went to the angel, and said to him, Give me

the little scroll. And he said to me, Take it, and eat

it up; and it will make your belly bitter, but it will be

in your mouth as sweet as honey.

And I took the little scroll out of the angel s hand, and

ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and

as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

And he said to me, You must preach again before

many peoples and nations, and tongues, and kings.


Most Christians believe that the little scroll offered to John was an actual document, the contents of which the author magically came to know by eating the scroll. Our clue that it was probably paper, or something else, saturated with a drug lies in John's testimony that the scroll was sweet to the taste but caused a bitter reaction in the stomach. Interestingly, an almost identical experience had been reported by Ezekiel:

And when I looked, a hand [of an angel] was put

before me; and a scroll was in it;

And he spread it before me; and it had writing inside

and out: and there were written lamentations, and

mourning, and woe.

Additionally, he said to me, Son of man, eat what you

are finding; eat this scroll, and go to speak to the house

[people] of Israel.

So, I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that


And he said to me, Son of man, make your belly eat,

and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give you.

Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as


And he said to me, Son of man, go, get yourself over

to the house of Israel, and speak with my words

to them.

EZEKIEL 2:9-10, 3:1-4

Many people mistakenly believe that John actually saw the future historical events he prophesized in Revelation. It has been pointed out by Christian and non-Christian scholars alike that John's "visions" of the future were simply illustrations drawn on scrolls. This is especially evident in John's "vision" of the Creature with seven heads and ten horns:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast

rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten

horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his

heads blasphemous names.


The fact that actual words (blasphemous names) were written upon the heads of this creature reveal that John was looking at an illustration with labels—much like an old-fashioned political cartoon. Although the author does not specifically say so, it is likely that many other "visions" on the scrolls were labeled in a similar fashion.

There can be no doubt that, as literature, the Book of Revelation is a colorful, dramatic, and hard-hitting work. As the basis for a religious philosophy, however, it has all the pitfalls of the apocalypses which came before it. As we shall see, the prophecy made in Revelation has been fulfilled at least a half-dozen times in world history, complete with global catastrophe followed by "Second Comings." Not once has this brought about a thousand years of peace and spiritual salvation. All it has done is set the stage for the next catastrophe. Today, as we stand on a massive nuclear powder-keg, perhaps it is time to reevaluate the usefulness of apocalyptic belief before the world is plunged into yet another "final battle." Yes, spiritual salvation and a thousand years of peace are goals well worth having, and are long overdue, but there is no need to pay the price of an Armageddon to achieve them.

- pages 135-143, The Gods of Eden, by William Bramley

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