Book Of Revelation And Last Days
"The Book of Revelation has come to be read as prophesying the events of the end of history. A general resurrection, a general judgment and a new age."Adela Yarbro Collins, PBS Frontline
According to the Dictionary of the Bible Revelation"accurately foretells what will happen in the last days of history before the end of the world."The Illustrated Bible Dictionary is of similar opinion: "happenings that will take place in connection with the second coming of the Lord ... leads up to the final establishment of the rule of God... Futurist views take with the greatest seriousness the language of the book about end-time."
"Rudolf Bultmann ... calls the coming of the Redeemer (Paraclete) an"eschatological event," "the turning-point of the ages"."- George Eldon Ladd
The Paraclete's"appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed."- Georg Strecker
"The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."- Michael Welker
"Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present"- Robert Kysar
JESUS IN THE APOCALYPTIC IMAGINATION
Revelation gets its name from its opening words," the revelation of Jesus Christ" (apokalypsis I-esou Christou), an expression occurring elsewhere in the NT (Gal 1:12; cf. 2 Thess 1:7; 1 Pet 1:7, 13), but not to describe the contents of a literary work. The expression carries a double sense: The writing is both a revelation about Jesus Christ—the central figure in the book—and a revelation that Jesus Christ received from God and transmitted through an interpreting angel to"his servant John" (1:1). The superscription later added to the work became"The Revelation of John," referring to the revelation that John received from God through Christ.
As a literary work belonging to the genre"apocalypse," Revelation is unique among NT writings. Its sole counterpart in the OT is Daniel, especially chapters 7—12, written during the mid-second century B.C.E. in the context of the Maccabean revolt. It also resonates with other OT writings from as early as the sixth century B.C.E.: Isa 24—27 (the Isaiah Apocalypse), Isa 56—66, Ezekiel, Joel 2:28—3:21, and Zech 9—14 (esp. ch. 14).
Revelation also shares much in common with the non-biblical Jewish apocalypses that began to be written in Palestine as early as the third century B.C.E. Most notable among these is 1 Enoch, a collection of five separate works associated with the antediluvian figure Enoch, written and compiled between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E.With the exception of the Similitudes of Enoch (chs. 37—71), which may have been written early in the first century C.E., portions of all sections of 1 Enoch were found among the writings of Qumran. This suggests that apocalyptic literature figured prominently within this separatist Jewish group in Palestine prior to the Christian period. Another pre-Christian apocalyptic text is Testament of Levi 2—5, probably written in the second century B.C.E. While 1 Enoch is the only comprehensive non-biblical Jewish apocalypse written earlier than Revelation, others were produced at roughly the same period, toward the end of the first century C.E. These include 4 Ezra (= 2 Esd 3—14), 2 Enoch, the Apocalypse of Abraham, 2 Baruch, 3 Baruch, and the partially preserved Apocalypse of Zephaniah. Other writings, which are not technically apocalypses but reflect strong apocalyptic elements, include Jubilees, the Testament of Abraham, and the Sibylline Oracles.
While Revelation has long been recognized as an apocalyptic writing whose language and outlook resonate with these other biblical and non-biblical apocalyptic writings, which were produced between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E., scholars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries focused especially on its apocalyptic features. As the vast body of Jewish and Christian apocalypses became available in critical editions and translations, scholars were able to gain a better understanding of how apocalyptic literature worked, what symbols and images it tended to use, how it related to biblical prophetic books, and what circumstances produced such writings. Understanding the"rules" of apocalyptic writing and how apocalyptic thinkers construed their world enabled scholars to interpret Revelation within the broader context of the ancient world.
The Apocalyptic Worldview
Using these basic narrative frameworks and a combination of literary devices to structure discourses and visions, writers of apocalypses produced a fascinating variety of works. Regardless of their many differences in literary structure and overall emphasis, these writings reveal a distinctive worldview, which is characterized by several recurrent themes:
1. God's Sovereignty over History and the Cosmos. God is consistently portrayed as the One who controls history or the One who holds the key to the mysteries of the universe. In the first instance, God stands at both the beginning and the end of history, which is understood as a story that moves through time from creation to judgment. In the latter instance, God sits enthroned, presiding over a cosmic hierarchy. Proximity to God is understood in spatial rather than temporal terms.
2. Access to Divine Revelation through Intermediary Heavenly Beings. Access to God may be mediated through heavenly figures, usually angels, or obstructed by malevolent beings, either the chief obstructer himself, Satan, or his demonic minions. Either way, the human being down below does not have direct access to God. True knowledge about God must be provided by heavenly intermediaries.*
3. Ultimate Vindication. The apocalyptic mind firmly believes that the cause of God will eventually triumph. This often takes the form of a divinely overseen, universal judgment that will happen at the end of time. If an apocalypse focuses on the end of time and accompanying events, it is eschatological in orientation. But not every apocalypse is preoccupied with eschatology. This is a distinction worth noting, since the terms"apocalyptic"and"eschatological"are sometimes used interchangeably as though they are synonymous. Such imprecision only confuses an already complex topic.
4. Symbolic Language. Apocalyptic writers also assume that these heavenly mysteries— who God is, what God has done in the past, how God relates to the present, and what God intends to do in the future—can be expressed only through graphic images that convey symbolic meaning. Ordinary language and genres are inadequate for capturing the sense of ineffable mystery that relates to God's will.
5. Enduring Optimism as the Basis for Exhortation. The apocalyptic view of the world is ultimately hopeful. Apocalypses that forecast the future, either short-term or long-term, often sketch a progressive worsening of conditions that produces a mood of hopelessness. They may view history as a downward spiral of events, but they typically envision a moment of divine intervention that ensures the continuation of God's purpose for humanity. In spite of their dire predictions and seemingly unremitting pessimism, apocalypses offer encouragement that yields a theology of hope."
Carl R. Holladay, A Critical Introduction to the New Testament: Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ
Abingdon Press (May 1, 2005) pp. 533-37
True knowledge about God must be provided by heavenly intermediaries.*
The Five Divine Days
On December 27, 1995, at about 4:30 p.m. preparations to perform Christmas Puja were in progress. The house was dusted, vacuumed and mopped, the altar decorated with flowers and offerings, eating utensils washed, dried and arranged, and food for Sahaja Yogis laid on the dining table. Christmas carols uplifted the spirits, and made work light.
Kash was alone in his room, deep in meditation. Shri Adhiparasakthi Shri Nirmala Devi spoke to him for about 10 minutes, inquiring about his state of mind. Kash told the Great Primordial Guru that he was still not ready spiritually. She replied that this was normal and he should lead an ordinary life, and that this book was not be published yet.
The Great Devi then revealed to him that there were five special occasions, among his hundreds of encounters with Her in his Sahasrara, that She appeared in Her actual form of Adi Shakti and not as Mahamaya (Illusion.) By this She meant that Kash witnessed Her purest Being only five times, a Reality beyond the Sahasrara! Few people understand the immensity of this Revelation. We can only say that it is extremely difficult to see Her illusionary form in the Sahasrara, but not beyond. But why did She have to stoop to allow Her genuine Self to be revealed to a mere child? Maybe She had to for the sake of Truth as there will always be narrow-minded humans who will argue that She appeared as Mahamaya, not Adi Shakti, and had fooled both father and son. She had foreseen various obstacles and provided against this human vanity, leaving no room for future doubt or dissent.
The five occasions were:
— The very first day he saw Her. This was on the Diwali of November 1993, the Hindu New Year.
— The day he came to request from Her for a baby sister. This day is unknown as Kash had done it on his own initiative, without informing anyone.
— April 3, 1994, the day She revealed that Lalita, born on the Christian holy day of Easter Sunday (April 2, 1994), was an angel.
— April 18, 1994, the day She revealed that Kash, born on the Muslim holy day of Id Al-Adha (October 19, 1980), was an angel.
— July 26, 1995, the day She revealed that they had completed their Job on this Earth and ended his mystical journeys into his own Sahasrara...
"This Is The First Time In History ..."
Actually this was the fourth time that their identities were emphasized. The Great Holy Spirit had previously confirmed their identities on April 3rd, 23rd, and again on Sept. 8th, 1994, when during meditation She told Kash:
"This is the first time in history that there are two angels in one house."
Shri Ksipra-prasadini Shri Nirmala Devi
Montreal, Canada — September 8, 1994
Ksipra-prasadini (869th): Who showers Her Grace on Her devotees very quickly.
Shri Adi Shakti: The Kingdom Of God, 1999, pp. 99-101
The Book Of Revelation
"The book of the Revelation opens with the announcement of its title, and with a benediction on those who give diligent heed to its solemn prophetic utterances:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John:
2 who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The translators of the King James Version of the Bible have given this book the title," The Revelation of St. John the Divine."In this they contradict the very first words of the book itself, which declare it to be"The Revelation of Jesus Christ."Jesus Christ is the Revelator, not John. John is but the penman employed by Christ to write out this Revelation for the benefit of His church. John is the disciple of Jesus who was beloved and highly favored among the twelve. He was evangelist and apostle, and the writer of the Gospel and the epistles which bear his name. To his previous titles must now be added that of prophet; for the Revelation is a prophecy, and John so denominates it. It is not only the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but it is the Revelation which God gave unto Him. It comes first from the great Fountain of all wisdom and truth, God the Father, by Him it was communicated to Jesus Christ, the Son; and Christ sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.
The Character of the Book
This is expressed in one word," Revelation."A Revelation is something revealed or made known, not something hidden and concealed. Moses tells that"the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever."Deuteronomy 29: 29. The very title of the book, then, is a sufficient refutation of the opinion sometimes expressed that this book is among the mysteries of God, and cannot be understood. Were this the case, it should bear some such title as"The Mystery"or"The Hidden Book," certainly not"The Revelation."
"To show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass."His servants—who are they? For whose benefit was the Revelation given? Was it to be for any specified persons, for any particular churches, for any special period of time? No, it is for all the church in all time, as long as any of the events predicted within the book remain to be accomplished. It is for all those who can claim the appellation," His servants," wherever or whenever they may live.
God says that this prophecy was given to reveal coming events to His servants, yet many of the expositors of His word tell us that no man can understand it! This is as if God would undertake to make known to mankind important truths, yet fall into the worse than earthly folly of clothing them in language or in figures which human minds could not comprehend! It is as if He would command a person to behold some distant object, and then erect an impenetrable barrier between him and the object! Or as if He would give His servants a light to guide them through the gloom of night, yet throw over that light a pall so thick and heavy that not a ray of its brightness could penetrate the obscuring folds! How men dishonor God who thus trifle with His word! No; the Revelation will accomplish the object for which it was given, and"His servants"will learn from it the"things which must shortly come to pass," and which concern their eternal salvation."1
A promise of future divine intervention and deliverance by the Creator to His believers
Many great themes and mystical parables are brought into final focus in the book of Revelation, which ends the Bible and promises a future divine intervention and deliverance by the Creator to His believers. It is, therefore, a most important book to read and understand. The book introduces itself in the three verse prologue with which it begins:
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)
Apocalypses have to do with mysteries and their meaning
There are two words in this paragraph that tell us the nature of the book. The very first word," The revelation," is the Greek word apocalypse which means"an unveiling," a taking away of that which obscures and make it clear. Apocalypses have to do with mysteries and their meaning. So, throughout this book we will find many mysteries made clear. The mystery of evil is unveiled. Why does it persist on the earth and what is its ultimate end. The mystery of godliness is made clear. How can one live a godly, righteous life in the midst of a broken and evil world. Many other mysteries are unveiled and that is why the book begins with that term.
It is also a book largely of symbols. Symbols are important as they are ways of understanding things which you cannot draw a picture of. Something that is rather abstruse or difficult to understand can be made known by symbols.
"A little later in that same paragraph we read," Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy."This book is not only an unveiling, it is also a prediction. It deals with persons and events which are yet to come, as the prologue tells us;"What must soon take place."We will learn what personalities are yet to appear on the stage of history in the last days, and what great events will unfold as history rolls on to its final consummation. This book will make that clear."2
Book of Revelation least read and most difficult to interpret
Biblical scholars believe that around 90 CE the Book of Revelation was written, the only apocalypse in the New Testament and the"last book of the Bible ... the least read and most difficult." Revelation has had tremendous influence on our culture and history, not only motivating millions of believers but contributing vivid images and phrases to popular culture, from the"four horsemen of the Apocalypse"to the"mark of the beast."
Borrowing much of its imagery from the Book of Daniel, Revelation is fairly typical of the revolutionary eschatology of the time. Because of intricate and unusual symbolic language, the Book of Revelation is hard for modern people to read. They are not used to this kind of literature. It is puzzling and difficult to interpret as"its language is shrouded with mystery, its idea are clothed in imagery, symbolism, myth, and numerology."It is believed that the author thought"his readers would detect his allusions, and therefore he felt no need to make explanations." Addressing"the scattered Christians of Asia Minor in their hour of affliction," the author describes in vivid detail the means through which God will intervene and save his people from their suffering."God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."
"Essentially it's a book about the wrath of God being poured out upon the world. People not repenting except for the small group of faithful followers of God, and this awful wicked beast power ruling the whole world, and defying God, shaking his fist at God. And finally Jesus coming, not as a Prince of Peace at all, not as a lamb, but at the end of the book, as a rider on a horse, a warrior with a sword, to smite the nations. In one of the quotes that comes to my mind it says," He will rule the nations with a rod of iron, as a potter strikes a pot with iron and it just completely shatters." " 3
Revelation"accurately foretells what will happen in the last days of history before the end of the world."
According to the Dictionary of the Bible Revelation"accurately foretells what will happen in the last days of history before the end of the world."The Illustrated Bible Dictionary is of similar opinion: "happenings that will take place in connection with the second coming of the Lord ... leads up to the final establishment of the rule of God ... Futurist views take with the greatest seriousness the language of the book about end-time."
It is also prophesied in the Bible that in the last days the lawless one will be revealed, before Jesus' return or Second Coming. This idea is most clearly expressed in the New Testament in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-12:
As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters,
Not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.
He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.
Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?
And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.
The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders,
And every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false,
So that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. (2 Thessalonians 2.1-12)
The Man of Sin is ruler both of the Church and of the world, because he claims to be as God on earth
"The countenance of the"man of sin"is marked by pretended sanctity. There is in it a look of elevation, marred by pride. The features are full of power and intelligence. His head is circled with a crown of a peculiar form, unlike that worn by ordinary kings, and upon it is the title"King of kings and Lord of lords," — implying that he is ruler both of the Church and of the world, because he claims to be as God on earth. His hand is lifted in the attitude of one bestowing divine favors. His semblance is that of benignity and blessing, while the spirit of the man is that of the great adversary. Behind him, half concealed, is a dark figure difficult to make out, with a face full of malignity. There is a gleam of defiance in his eye, and a deadly purpose in his aspect. He too wears a crown, and the name written on it in yellow, sulfurous letters is," god of this world."He stands close to the"man of sin," — too close to be seen by the worshipping multitude — directing and inspiring all his utterances and all his movements. With extraordinary skill he wields a worldwide power through this chosen agent, a power which has been exercised in various ways for six thousand years, deluding men to their destruction, but which reaches its climax in this combination of satanic craft with ecclesiastical exaltation. By the mouth of the"man of sin"he speaks to the multitude thronging the holy temple, or house of God, in a tone of authority, commanding them to submit to his teachings and guidance, and to abase themselves in his presence. His words are," Fall down and worship me."The deluded multitude blindly obeys him, as though his voice was the voice of God!
Under the feet of the"man of sin"are two venerable volumes, bearing the titles"Laws Human and Divine."He is trampling on them both, treading them underfoot! Some in the crowd are pointing to this fact, and stand in a protesting attitude. In the distance there are prophets and apostles looking on. Far above — a perfect contrast in every respect to the self-exalting"man of sin"— is seen the self-humbling and self-sacrificing Son of God. He too is seated, seated on a radiant throne, from which celestial glory is streaming. His attitude is that of one coming in judgment for the destruction of the"man of sin"and his sinful worshipers. Many of the protesters are looking at him in anticipation of His advent, and seem to have something of His likeness. The face of the man of sin is the face of a false apostle, the dark face of a Judas. Written upon the wall of the temple, in letters of light, just above the proud, false, central figure, is the name"son of perdition."The man of sin is a Judas — a secret enemy while a seeming friend — a"familiar friend," yet a fatal foe who betrays with a kiss and a"hail, master!" " 4
The Vicar of Christ who self-proclaims himself to represent Christ
It is clear that the Second Coming will not take place until and unless the rebellion against the lawless one takes place, i.e. after his identity is revealed and his power, signs, lying wonders and every kind of wicked deception exposed. It is obvious that this adversary of Lord Christ on Earth, who exalts himself above all others by self-proclaiming to represent Christ, is destined for divine destruction. A similar fate awaits those who empower this Vicar of Christ, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
The"lawless one"of 2 Thessalonians is thus equated with the"beast"of Revelation and labeled with the title"Antichrist"from the Johannine epistles.
The Book of Revelation, with its bizarre symbolism, intense hatred, and bloodthirstiness of the future should not be taken literally. Apocalyptic horsemen, corpses coming out of graves, the seven-headed Dragon, worshipping the seven-headed, ten-horned Beast on Earth, entire cities devoured by Earth, Babylon burning, Satan being released for 1,000 years, and finally a new Jerusalem are all vivid symbols. These images of fire and brimstone, earthquakes, pestilence, death and destruction represent the decadence of human society preceding the final battle between the forces of good and evil. This is the Resurrection and Last Judgment for all humans.
Bible prophecy reveals events of our time and world-shaking events preceding the Second Coming. The Bible is God's book of history, prophecy and revealed knowledge of God's purpose and master plan for humanity from its beginning on into eternity.
The new millennium that ushers the Age of Resurrection and Last Judgment
The verses in the Bible from Revelation 17 onwards point to the dawn of the new millennium that ushers the Age of Resurrection and Last Judgment. If all the revelations and events of Shri Adi Shakti: The Kingdom of God are taken into account then there is no doubt about it.
But what is certain is that the Book of Revelation envisages terrific opposition to God and the believers, but that in the end God will triumph over every evil thing."This opposition to God is the most frightful aspect of Armageddon, where the use of imagery, symbolism, myth symbolizes the last decisive battle that will be fought between the forces of good and evil before Judgment Day. (The Qur'n, which also prophesizes the Second Coming, is as explicit about the Resurrection as the Bible.)
The religious regimes and millions of their deluded followers will battle God Almighty's Message of the Resurrection and Last Judgment, because they will refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. So it was prophesied in the Bible and Qur'n, and so will the unbelievers mock and defy the Resurrection and Last Judgment!
The vision of Christ that thou dost see is my visions deepest enemy
We will begin chapters 1-16 of Revelation with what William Blake foresaw and warned two centuries ago as narrated by David Bindman in William Blake: His Art and Times:
"Uninitiated Christians mistakenly worship the creator, as if he were God; they believed in Christ as the one who would save them from sin, and who they believed had risen bodily from the dead: they accepted him by faith, but without understanding the mystery of his nature — or their own. But those who had gone on to receive the gnosis had come to recognize Christ as the one sent from the Father, whose coming reveled to them that their own nature was identical with his — and with God's ... Those who lacked spiritual inspiration envied those who spoke out in public at the worship service and who spoke in prophecy, taught, and healed others.
William Blake, noting such different portraits of Jesus in the New Testament, sided with the one the Gnostics preferred against"the vision of Christ that all men see":
The vision of Christ that thou dost see is my visions deepest enemy...
Thine is the friend of all Mankind, mine speak in parables to the blind:
Thine loves the same world that mine hates, thy Heavens doors are my Hell gates ...
Both read the Bible day and night but thou read'st black where I read white ...
Seeing this False Christ, in fury and passion, I made my Voice heard all over the Nation... .
The apocalyptic and revolutionary nature of Blake's beliefs, as he well knew, rendered normal publication of his Prophetic works virtually impossible, for their denunciation of the social order was unlikely to be encouraged by its beneficiaries and upholders ...
I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the Immortal Eyes of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought, into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God, the Human Imagination.
Jerusalem, Chapter 1, plate 5
Blake believed that Book of Revelation gave a true account of the end of the world
Blake was undeniably a man in earnest in the Carlylean sense, conceiving of a God-given mission to communicate the higher truth to his fellow men. While he had a dislike of any form of institutional religion, his metaphysical beliefs were not fundamentally different from those of other dissenters in the 17th and 18th centuries who took literally the Christian premise that the world is in a Fallen state until its Redemption through Jesus Christ, and who believed that the Book of Revelation gave a true account of the end of the world. It follows from these beliefs that all man's material ambitions are irremediably corrupt. Any church that created a priesthood, gave divine authority to kingship, or compromised with materialist philosophy or science in its doctrine was necessarily inimical to the Spirit, which offered the only salvation through Jesus. Self-evidently rulers and churches would have to pervert the true message of the Gospel to justify their claims to Christianity, erecting idols and persecuting those who exposed them...
The millennium for Blake, however, was not so much as a literal or imminent possibility (though there were times when he may really have thought it was about to happen) as a dream of Redemption which could give consolation and hope of eternal life to the Christian. It was a state of being which could be entered into at any time: ...
Blake's first Illuminated Books, dating from towards the end of the 1780s, There is no Natural Religion (no. 38) and All Religions are One, are direct philosophical assaults on Deism or Natural religion, insofar as it sought to incorporate the discoveries of empirical thought into the doctrine of the Church of England. To Blake Deism was the religion of the rulers of England, nothing less than 'the Religion of the Pharisees who murder'd Jesus'; he was tireless in his condemnation of philosophical empiricism in all its forms, naming Bacon, Locke and Newton as preachers of doubt and despair. In this deistical world hypocrisy reigned; materialism triumphed as the divine was relegated to the realm of Mystery, men were divided from each other, politics became synonymous with corruption, and the arts were forced to be merely ornamental and imitative ...
Blake's Prophecies of the 1790s are marked by a sense of urgency, for they attempt to interpret the course of the French Revolution as it actually unfolds. As a concept revolution appears both creative and destructive: it creates a new world but it could not end by usurping the tyranny it destroys ...
Church Fathers ... argued that the history of the Jews contained a hidden spiritual meaning which could only be revealed to those with special claims to understanding. While theologians would have argued that it could only be reached by the accumulated wisdom invested in a church, Blake and other millenarians saw the true meaning of the Bible as being within the reach of those few privileged individuals throughout the ages who were guided by an inner light.
Blake was perfectly aware that his Prophetic and personal works were incomprehensible to most of his contemporaries ... In plate 10 of Europe the grotesque figure of a bat-winged pope, accompanied by two angels with scepters, makes clear the hidden truth that behind the gorgeous vestments of the Catholic — and Established — Church lie cynicism and lust for power; institutional religion helps to pervert men's minds to accept war and domination ...
The Book of Revelation, for instance, presented the problem of the cosmic scale of the events described; in Blake's watercolours the immense forms of the Angels and the Beasts of Revelation and the Whore of Babylon can become vengeful idols exacting submission from the massed ranks of humanity below ...
The Book of Revelation, as a prophecy of the end of the world and the triumph of the Spirit, was the bedrock of all millenarian attempts to link the prophecies of the Bible with the events of the contemporary world ... In the later Pitt is understood as the Angel of Revelation 'who, pleased to perform the Almighty's orders, rides on the whirlwind, directing the storms of war'.
Great Dragon represents Satan and the Beast from the Sea worldly power
The association of the Great Dragon with Satan, and the Beast from the Sea with worldly power, contributed to Blake's conception of Urizen ...
The Beast from the Sea is another symbol of temporal power, an enemy to Christianity yet worshipped by humanity; his power is given to him by the Dragon, so Satan is behind this hideous image of war which enthralls humanity. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?' The precise text depicted by Blake is the one in which the Dragon gives power to the Beast 'to make war with the saints', indicated by the sword and scepter.
The grotesque description of the Beast from the Sea in Revelation suggests the bestial face of worldly power lurking behind many other images in Blake, for example the bat-winged pope in plate 10 of Europe. The Beast, with heads of a pope, king, judge, etc., and upon whose tails sits the Whore of Babylon, also appears in the Night Thoughts watercolours ...
The Beast from the Sea, or temporal power, is worshipped through the agency of the Beast from the Earth, a gigantic lamb, which takes on the deceitful role of False Prophecy. The Beasts are seen as a gigantic altar beneath which the ranks of humanity pay obeisance. The Dragon behind is in distress because he has heard 'the voice of a great thunder', the prophecy of his own impending destruction."5
From Chapter 17 onwards the Book of Revelation sees the judgment of the great City sitting upon seven hills, a new heaven and a new earth coming down and a new Kingdom of God being established. What John seems to be suggesting is that when the triumph of God comes over the Vatican and her daughters (Mother of Harlots), a new heaven and earth will be created. This new heaven coming on earth is a pure spiritual Kingdom of God within humans, in contrast to the kingdom without, that is, that of"dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:15)
1. Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, Review and Herald Publishing Association, pg. 339-40, 1972
2. Ray C. Stedman, Behind the Scenes of History [http://www.pbc.org/dp/stedman/revelation/pdf/4189.pdf]
3. James Tabor, PBS, Frontline: Apocalypticism Explained, The Book of Revelation
4. Paul's Forview of Romanism (members.tripod.com)
5. David Bindman in William Blake: His Art and Times [D. B., William Blake: His Art and Times, Yale Center for British Art and Art Gallery of Ontario, pgs. 131-140, 1982.]
QUOTES OF THE DIVINE MOTHER SHRI MATAJI
"In those days of complete chaos and anarchy, He (Jesus Christ) stood up and talked about Truth and about such things like Spirit, like ascent. I mean, they were all blind people. They didn't know what it was He was talking. And He talked about it. There's lot of myths that exist in the Bible and one of them is that when the Resurrection Time will come, your bodies will come out of your graves. It is not only with Christianity, but also with the Muslims and also for the Jews. Now think of it, after so many years, what remains in the graves? Few bones and these few bones, if they come out, how can you give them Realization? Think of it. It's a big myth. One should understand. Logically, it's not proper. So, what is the thing?"
The Messiah-Paraclete Shri Mataji
Children, Money And Responsibility, Christmas Puja,
India — Dec. 25, 1993
"Sahasrara is the controlling, guiding, evolving force ... The more you start bringing Spirit into your attention the more the Sahasrara increases in size and the Light of that expands and you become more powerful Sahaja Yogis. This the greatest thing also for God Almighty to say that this has happened so that He can postpone His Anger and Wrath; so that He can forgive human beings for their mistakes, their obstinacy and childish pranks. Let the Man rise to see the Glory and Greatness of his Father. Let him have so much of Power that he can bear the Compassion of God."
The Messiah-Paraclete Shri Mataji
The Opening Of The Primordial Sahasrara
Le Raincy, France — May 5, 1982
"In 14:26, Jesus says," But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of all that I myself spoke to you." (14:26). The teaching ministry of the Paraclete is presented as superior to that of Jesus because the Paraclete will teach them"all things"and will remind them of"everything"that Jesus said (14:26). The Paraclete's ministry is set clearly in the future. Jesus again identifies this"Paraclete"with the Holy Spirit, whom the disciples would know from the Old Testament (Ps. 51:11; Is. 63:10,11): "But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send in My name" (14:26). This sending will fulfill Old Testament promises as well as Jesus' request (14:16). The sending of the Paraclete in Jesus' name not only links the sending to Jesus' request but also supports the claim that the Paraclete comes to continue Jesus' ministry.
The Paraclete's ministry to the disciples both goes beyond and is limited by Jesus' ministry. On the one hand, the Paraclete would teach the disciples"all things" (14:26), and so the disciples would know more from the Paraclete's teaching than they knew from Jesus' teaching (see 1 John 2:27)... The Spirit's teaching went beyond what Jesus taught only in that it deepened their understanding of what He said.
Jesus' statements in John 14:25-26 are closely paralleled by those in 16:12-15... What may be implicit in John 14:25-26, that Jesus had limited what He told the disciples because of their inability to understand, is made explicit in 16:12. They had trouble understanding what He did tell them, and now the reason for that is made plain: their abilities are limited. Their limitation, however, is not the world's inability to"know"or"see"the Spirit (14:17), but is a function of their location on the salvation-historical time line (note 16:12," you cannot bear them now [arti]"and"whenever [hotan] the Spirit of truth comes"in 16:13).
As in 14:25-26 the Paraclete will teach more than Jesus taught; in 16:12-13 ... will"guide them into all truth"and speak of"things that are to come," including things they are unable to"bear."...
The Spirit will also declare to the disciples"what is coming" (ta erchomena, 16:13). The Spirit's proclamation should be understood in light of the rest of the New Testament. As Holwerda writes,
The task of the Spirit to teach all things, to lead into all the truth, and to declare the things to come is essentially one: the Spirit reveals the meaning of the Heilsgeschichte, the meaning of the saving events, past, present, and future. The Spirit reveals to the disciples the meaning of the work of the historical Jesus, the exalted Jesus, and the Jesus who is to come. The proper commentary on this work of the Spirit is the New Testament itself. 
James M. Hamilton, Jr., God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments
B&H Academic (August 1, 2006), pp. 79-83
 Holwerda, The Holy Spirit and Eschatology in the Gospel of John, 62. Thus Holwerda takes the Spirit's declaration of"what is coming"to refer to: (1) the book of Revelation ; (2) the meaning of salvation history; (3) the meaning of the work of the historical Jesus; (4) the exalted Jesus; (5) the coming Jesus; and (6) the NT.
"Most religions contain teachings that anticipate a time, beyond the present era of suffering and injustice, when human history will be consummated by a decisive act of God. Evil will be destroyed and goodness will triumph.
Typically, the course of events includes three phases: a time of tribulation and confusion when evil and suffering grow more and more rampant; the Last Judgment when God intervenes decisively to destroy all evil; and the coming of a new age of bliss, often called the Kingdom of Heaven. Furthermore, this decisive transformation is often said to require a great leader, a Messiah, who will wield divine authority to destroy evil, establish the saints, and found a new age of unlimited happiness.
Teachings about eschatology are found in most religions, though they are most characteristic of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures. Judaism anticipates the coming of the Messiah who will inaugurate an age of peace and justice on earth. Christianity teaches broadly that Christ, the Messiah, has already come to offer salvation, and he will come again to judge the world ; In Islam the Last Judgment is a cardinal doctrine. While it is sometimes understood as a spiritual judgment of the individual soul after death, many passages in the Qur'n clearly describe it as a world-transforming event to occur at the end of time, when the earth will be destroyed and all people will see their just reward as they are sorted into groups bound either for Paradise or hell.
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism contain teachings that the world is going through a cosmic cycle in which morals and religion have gradually decayed and have reached a state of dire corruption in this present age, identified as the Kali Yuga or Age of Degeneration of the Dharma. This Kali age will give way to a renovation of faith as the cycle turns and the earth enters a new golden age, the Krita age. Some texts predict that this cosmic change will be initiated by the advent of the new Avatar (Hinduism), the Maitreya Buddha, or the Saoshyant (Zoroastrianism.)
Millenarian beliefs are a minor part of the teaching of most religions ... Christianity itself began as a messianic sect of Judaism; Muhammad preached Islam, believing that the Last Judgment was imminent; and the Baha'i Faith began as a messianic movement within Islam, to cite three examples. Millenarian movements among the oppressed indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas have been significant forces which have fostered self-respect and encouraged economic and political independence. Considering the unprecedented pace of social change in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the unparalleled social dislocations and cultural challenges which have resulted from the world wars, liberation movements, industrialization and technological change, the atomic bomb, the environmental crisis, and the shrinking Global Village, it is not surprising that a large number of new religions and new sects of old religions have arisen which believe that the present is the time of tribulations preceding the appearance of the Messiah, and that their leader is either a forerunner of or is himself the long-awaited Avatar or Messiah who will destroy the evil world-system, establish true religion, and inaugurate a new age."
World Scripture, Int. Religious Foundation
Paragon House Pub., 1995, p. 773-74
"The prophetic books are based on the idea that God selects certain human beings to speak to and to send them out as spokespeople for God. The typical literary form of a prophetic book is an oracle."Thus says the Lord."And then an announcement of God's word. It might be an announcement of judgment, or an announcement of salvation, or an admonition, an ethical admonition. And the apocalypses tend to be less straightforward. Less a simple proclamation of God's words spoken to an individual, and more complicated, more of a narrative. And apocalypse is a kind of narrative account of how revelation came to the seer....
The Book of Revelation has come to be read as prophesying the events of the end of history. A general resurrection, a general judgment and a new age."
Adela Yarbro Collins, The Book of Revelation (PBS Frontline)
"The Book of Revelation in the New Testament has the literal title in Greek, the"Apocalypse of John."The word apocalypse means revelation. That which is uncovered. It comes from the Greek word which literally means to pull the lid off something. So that which is revealed is central to the way that apocalyptic literature works."
"The roots of the Antichrist idea go back to the Bible. In fact, in a sense they go back to the Old Testament and the Book of Daniel. And they're reinforced by certain passages in St. Paul, in the New Testament, and greatly elaborated down the centuries, including quite early in the Middle Ages. The idea was that Antichrist could be a human being, could be a man who would incorporate everything that was opposed to the true Christ. And he would deceive the world. He would be apparently very good, and would establish a reign which seemed to be just and prosperous and so on. But this would all be false pretense. It would all be a way of seducing mankind from the true Christ. And then the true Christ would appear and annihilate him. And then that would be the Second Coming."
N. Cohn, Prof. Emeritus at Sussex University
Web December 1, 2013
"The coming eschatological salvation is envisaged in transcendent and universal terms. It is an event which far transcends the great events of the salvation-history of the past. It amounts to a new creation, in which all forms of evil and suffering will be eliminated. It is characteristic of the apocalyptists to believe that even death will be conquered: this belief appears in the form of both bodily resurrection and of spiritual immortality."
Aaron-Golan, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Part 1)
Tyndale House Pub, 1980
"In the year 380 something happened to Christianity that would have astonished Jesus and Peter: it became the established religion of the Roman Empire ... In time, the church began to turn the tables, trespassing on the rights of princes. Popes appointed and sacked even emperors, demanded that they impose Christianity on their subjects under threat of torture and death ...
The cost to the Gospel Message was horrendous ... The church no longer had to fear persecution. It was the Jews and 'unbelievers' who were now under threat. They were the ones who would be tortured, burned and crucified in the name of Jesus the Crucified Jew ...
Only seven hundred years after Peter died, popes had become obsessed with power and possessions. The pontiff strode the earth, a figure of worldliness and unwordliness."
Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy
Bantam Press, 1988, p. 37 & 45.
Syllabus of Errors... And Crimes
By"bute2"on May 12, 2004
This book had me shaking with laughter and trembling with rage—rage at the misdeeds of the papacy, not the book. It brilliantly recounts the endless crimes, hypocrisies, errors, indecencies, murders, debaucheries, illogicalities, idiocies and fanaticisms of the papacy from the"first pope"to the present. It is written in a highly engaging and breezy journalistic style, with more than a dash of humour and wit. For the most part the author lets the deeds (or rather, misdeeds) of the Bishops of Rome speak for themselves, although his own dim view of his subject is abundantly clear throughout. He is himself a former priest (educated at the Gregorian University in Rome) who unfolds the theologial groundlessness of the office of Pope itself, the ethical depravity of a depressingly high percentage of its occupants, the religious zealotry of many Popes, and the laughable absurdity of so many Roman Catholic doctrines such as Papal Infallibility. The overall effect of this is devastating for the Papacy, which emerges from the pages of this book as one fo the most hypocritical, malevolent and unjustifiable institutions in human history—which is saying a great deal. The book is the perfect antidote to the awe in which the office of Pope is held today, and a very welcome reminder of the dark history of a powerful institution built on a mountain of absurdities and atrocities that we all-too-easily forget. De Rosa has done his readers a great service in putting that history into a single volume without mincing his words of pulling his punches. Read it and weep.
Web December 1, 2013
"What that one man in Rome teaches in the name of Jesus Christ does not concern mere"mind"and"will"or even"aspiration"and"faith."For all those so-called qualitative factors have in themselves nothing to do directly with God and his salvation, belonging as they do to this material cosmos. That salvation taught by that one man comes gratuitously from outside the cosmos — not spatially, as if God dwelt beyond the reaches of space, but existentially. The salvation proffered by the Bishop of Rome comes from a totally different dimension of existence, the supernatural, which is utterly unattainable by any force, qualitative or quantitative, originating in this cosmos of man. That one man in that one place holds the keys to that salvation. He is the Keeper of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Catholic teaching holds that any Roman Catholic, any non-Catholic Christian, or any non-Christian of whatever other religion who receives God's salvation receives it through the spiritual office of that one man in Rome and the merits of his Church of believers."
Malachi Martin, Rich Church, Poor Church
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1984, p. 85
"The Pope enjoys, by divine institution," supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" "
J. C. Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
U.S.C.C. Inc., Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994, p. 246
"Antichrist, the chief enemy of Christ. The earliest mention of the name Antichrist, which was probably first coined in Christian eschatological literature (concerned with the end of time), is in the letters of St. John (I John 2: 18, 22; II John 7), although the figure does appear in the earlier II Thessalonians as"the lawless one."...
A Christian view of the Antichrist is given in II Thessalonians 2. Here Antichrist appears as a tempter who works by signs and wonders and seeks to obtain divine honours; ...
The conception of Antichrist as a perverter of men led naturally to his connection with false doctrine (I John 2:18, 22, 4:3; II John 7.) In the Book of Revelation the Antichrist is seen as a worker of wonders and a seducer....
It became common for opponents, including popes and emperors, to call each other the Antichrist....
During the Reformation, the Reformers, especially Martin Luther, did not attack individual popes but the papacy itself as Antichrist. This idea that evil was embodied in the head of the church itself, with the clergy as the"body of the Antichrist," ..."
Britannica Online (1994-1998 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)
"Revelation to John, also called BOOK OF REVELATION, or APOCALYPSE OF JOHN, last book of the New Testament. It is the only book of the New Testament classified as apocalyptic literature rather than didactic or historical, indicating thereby its extensive use of visions, symbols, and allegory, especially in connection with future events."
Britannica Online (1994-1998 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)
"ANTICHRIST. The expression antichristos is found in the Bible only in the Johannine Epistles (1 Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jn. 7), but the idea behind it is widespread. We should probably understand the force of anti as indicating opposition, rather than a false claim, i.e. the antichrist is one who opposes Christ rather than one who claims to be the Christ. If this is so, then we should include under the heading 'ntichrist' such OT passages as Dn. 7:7f., 21f., and those in 2 Thes. 2 and Revelation which deal with the strong opposition that the forces of evil are to offer Christ in the last days. The concept is introduced in John as already well known ('you have heard that antichrist is coming', 1 Jn. 2:18.) But though he does not dispute the fact that at the end of this age there will appear an evil being, called 'ntichrist'. John insists that there is a temper, an attitude, characteristic of antichrist, and that already exists. Indeed, he can speak of 'many antichrists' as already in the world (1 Jn. 2:18)."
Aaron-Golan, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Part 3
Tyndale House Pubs, 1980, p. 69-70
"Trevelyan (founding fathers of the New Age movement) takes a radical view of the part youth is playing in our current spiritual crisis. He views their disillusion as part of the solution, not the problem.
His theory is that the evolution of society reflects the cycle of nature. Growth involves the breakdown"of matter into formlessness, or chaos, as in the seed."The"revolt"of youth in the late Sixties and Seventies should therefore be seen as the seed of our evolution, a necessary breaking down of antiquated attitudes before new growth can take place. However, he goes further, believing that the youth of the 1960s had consciously chosen to incarnate after the Second World War so that they would be in readiness for the"coming spiritual crisis."
Trevelyan believes that"many are in no doubt advanced and mature souls who chose the task of leading the new society into social forms consonant with the spirit. This may well account for the spirit of the Sixties generation, many of whom are now at the forefront of the New Age movement."
Paul Roland, Revelation: Wisdom of the Ages
Ulysses Press, 1995, p. 139
"The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, has been an enigma to Christian theologians since it was written shortly after the Crucifixion.
John of Zebedee, Jesus' closest disciple, wrote the book following a divinely inspired vision of an angel sent by God, and the result has long been seen as perhaps the most dramatic prophetic work ever to predict the future of mankind. As we draw close to the end of the millennium - the time many believe will herald the Last Judgment and possibly an apocalyptic end-of-the-world scenario - Peter Lorie brings an entirely fresh and hopeful interpretation of Revelation and the future it declares. Through a unique analysis of this extraordinary religious book, previously hidden material and symbolism are revealed, such as references to astrology, paganism, eastern philosophy, numerology, magic, shamanism and most of all, prophecy.
In studying the lines of Revelation, the author brings to light the seven stages of man's evolution, stages that take us all through joy, crisis and self-discovery to an age in the future which St. John describes as the new Jerusalem, and which the author interprets as a world filled with beauty and enlightenment. Some of the predictions that Lorie makes for our future include: a female president in the United States, a new world order for the 21st century, and a beginning of 1,000 years of peace. The Book of Revelation has tended in the past to strike fear into humanity, but through Peter Lorie's groundbreaking interpretation, this fear and trepidation is transformed into a positive understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit."
Australian Sahaja Newsletter - 13 June, 1998
"Distortion begins in the lists of the popes where all but one of the first thirty popes are described as martyrs. They probably were martyrs in the sense of 'witness of the faith'. There is no evidence that all died for Christ. Further, among the popes were a large number of married men, some of whom gave up their wives and children in exchange for the papal office. Many were sons of priests, bishops and popes, some were bastards; one was a widower, another an ex-slave; several were murderers, some unbelievers; some were hermits, some heretics, sadists and sodomites; many became popes by buying the papacy (simony), and continued their days selling holy things to rake in the money; one at least was a Satan-worshipper; some fathered illegitimate children, some were fornicators and adulterers on a grand scale; some were astonishingly old, some even more astonishingly young; some were poisoned, others strangled; worst of all were those who worshipped a granite God."
Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy
Bantam Press, 1988, p. 204
"ANTICHRIST — The great opponent and counterpart of Christ, by whom he is finally to be conquered. The words appears only in the NT (1 Jn 2:18-22, 4:3, 2 Jn 7), where, when used in the plural, it describes those who oppose the true Christian message ... While the precise term 'ntichrist' is lacking in Jewish literature, the idea of an opponent, who persecutes God's people and is ultimately to be conquered by the Messiah, is an integral part of that general hope ... the Satanic opponent whom the Christ would utterly destroy as a pre-condition of establishing His Kingdom of God ... In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the wicked priest, as opposed to the teacher of righteousness, plays a part not unlike that of the eschatological Antichrist, whose action withholds the instauration of the Kingdom, versus Christ and His faithful."
James Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963, p. 35-6