Chapter 6-10
THE APOCALYPSE:An exegesis of the Book of Revelation
by Robert F. Riggs


CHAPTER 6- THE BOOK IS OPENED

SYNOPSIS:
The breaking of the first six seals will reveal a synopsis of the Piscean Age. The seventh seal (not to be broken until Chapter 8) will reveal a detailed spiritual history of the Piscean Age in 7 further stages of revelation.

The breaking of the first four seals will reveal the venomous forces that will dominate the world of man. These forces are (1) Corruption of the Word of God, (2) Warmongering, (3) Economic Injustice, and (4) Ungodliness.

The breaking of the fifth seal will reveal the fate of the righteous.

The breaking of the sixth seal will reveal the fate of the mischief makers.


THE FIRST SEAL IS OPENED:
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. -Rev 6:1

[REB: 1 "... I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ...]

One of the Four Pillars invites John to "come and see" what is destined to happen in the Age of Pisces.

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. -Rev 6:2

Several clues have been given in previous verses that identify this venomous force, notably in the letters to the 7 Churches. Looking back over the Age of Pisces we observe that there was only one villain that rode a white horse- perverted religion. He began his career feigning virtues as white as the driven snow. Corruption of the Word of God was the secret weapon of this proud villain, and there was no part of the world that was safe from his arrows of false propaganda.

Who gave the crown to the rider of the white horse? It was given to him by Jesus and the other Manifestations of God, but the rider betrayed the trust:

The Lord said to me, 'Equip yourself again as a shepherd, a worthless one; for I am about to install a shepherd in the land who will neither care about any that are gone missing, nor search for those that have strayed, nor heal the injured, nor nurse the sickly, but will eat the flesh of the fat beasts and throw away the broken bones. -REB: Zechariah 11:15-16

THE SECOND SEAL IS OPENED:
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red : and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. -Rev 6:3-4

The zodiacal wheel rolls onward: John now sees a blood-colored horse ridden by the Maker of War. As Pride was the secret heart of the rider of the white horse, it is Lust for Power that motivates this rider. He holds in his hand the Sword of Conquest.

THE THIRD SEAL IS OPENED:
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. -Rev 6:5-6

[REB: 6 ... 'A day's wage for a quart of flour, a day's wage for three quarts of barley-meal! But do not damage the olive oil and the vine!]

The black horse reveals the dark attributes of this force. Greed and Envy will motivate this horse's rider, and he holds in his hands the unbalanced scales of Economic Injustice. The victim of the transaction is permitted survival rations for his labors, but is denied the commodities of luxury.

THE FOURTH SEAL IS OPENED:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. -Rev 6:7-8

[REB: 8 There as I looked was another horse, sickly pale; its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed close behind. To them was given power over a quarter of the earth, power to kill by sword and famine, by pestilence and wild beasts.]

We are primarily interested in the 'hidden' or spiritual meanings of the words on the INSIDE of the scroll: The pallid horse has the color of Indifference, and its rider is the Death of Unbelief. Death and hell have the power to kill the spirit of man with the rapier of sin, deprivation of the Word of God, the sickness of despair, and ungodly leadership (beasts of the earth).

THE FIFTH SEAL IS OPENED:
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying. How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. -Rev 6:9-11

The martyrs of the Piscean Age are found to be hidden "under the altar," revealing the true perpetrators as the priesthood itself. The martyrs, including Christians, Muslims, and the righteous of other Faiths, must wait a short time until the martyrs of the Aquarian Age have shed their blood also. (About twenty to thirty thousands have been martyred for the Causes of the Bab and Baha'u'llah.)

THE SIXTH SEAL IS OPENED:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? -Rev 6:12-17

These verses contain several symbols used by the prophets:
Earthquake- Shaking of the worldly order.
{1} Sun, moon, stars- The 'heavenly hierarchy' of prophets, church leaders, saints, priests, elders, ..
{2} 'Heavens rolled up like a scroll,' etc.- Removal of the heavenly order.
{3} Mountains, valleys- Peoples, nations, religions, institutions.
{4} Dens, islands, rocks- Strongholds, places of safety. {5}

If the divines of the Age of Pisces accept the new Manifestation, they will become enlightened; otherwise, they will become 'darkened' and their teachings will turn from water into blood; the world hierarchy of church potentates, leaders and clergy will lose their power; nations, religions and institutions will disappear.

"In another sense, by the terms 'sun,' 'moon,' and 'stars' are meant such laws and teachings as have been established in every Dispensation, such as the laws of prayer and fasting ... Hence, it is clear and manifest that by the words 'the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven' is intended the waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of laws firmly established by Divine Revelation ..." -BH {6} "Speed out of your sepulchers. How long will ye sleep? ... The earth has quaked with a great quaking, and cast forth her burdens ... the mountains have become like flocks of wool ... the people are sore vexed at the awful majesty of the Cause of God. Witness how their houses are empty ruins, and they themselves a drowned host ... The All-Merciful hath come down in the clouds of knowledge, clothed with manifest sovereignty ... The heaven of every religion hath been rent, and the earth of human understanding been cleft asunder, and the angels of God are seen descending ... The mountains have passed away, and the heavens have been folded together, and the whole earth is held within His grasp ..." -BH {7}




CHAPTER 7- GOD'S SERVANTS ARE SEALED

SYNOPSIS:
Before the opening of the seventh seal, the four angels who will control the square earth during the Age of Pisces-Virgo are ordered to avoid hurting the inhabitants of he world until the righteous have been 'sealed.' The order is given by Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, who will ascend from the east during the Age of Pisces.

The sealed will include twice-72 multitudes of souls from every nation, race, Age, Faith and culture. This is twice the usual number of former Ages, because of the Twin Manifestation that will appear at the beginning of the future Age of Leo- Aquarius.

John is informed that the twice-72 multitudes are arrayed in 'white robes' because they have overcome the great trial of overcoming the false teachings within their Faiths.

 

GOD'S SERVANTS ARE SEALED:
And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east , having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. -Rev 7:1-3

Wind is the holy Breath of God that is wafted over the worlds of matter and spirit. These verses portend the wrath of God during the Age of Pisces; but the 'wind' will blow again in the Age of Leo-Aquarius: "Out of thee (Baghdad House) hath gone the Breath of the All-Glorious, a Breath that hath breathed over all created things, and filled with joy the breasts of the devout that dwell in the mansions of Paradise." -BH {1}

Earth or soil is the world of man. " .... the clouds of truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties ..." -BH {2}

The Tetrad of angels will control the corners of the square earth during the Piscean Age. As explained previously, the corners are called Pisces, Sagittarius, Virgo and Gemini. The influence of these 4 signs will become evident as the scroll is unrolled.

The Angel of the East is Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, not yet manifested in the first century CE, Who, as we shall see in Chapter 9, will command His followers not to hurt the righteous.

The sea is the spiritual existence of man and the sources of inspiration. "The seas of Divine wisdom and divine utterance have risen under the breath of the breeze of the All-Merciful."

A tree is a source of spiritual guidance. A tree can also represent a nation. "Advance, O people, with snow-white faces and radiant hearts, unto the blest and crimson Spot, wherein the [Tree of Guidance] is calling: 'Verily there is none other God beside Me, the Omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting." ... "Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch." -BH {3}

THE 144-THOUSAND:
And I heard the number of them which were sealed , and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. -Rev 7:4

'Israel' means literally 'he who strives with God.' Ancient Hebrew mystics considered Israel to be a microcosm of humanity, and Israel's history of spiritual struggle as representative of all mankind.

In astrological works, the 12 'parts' of the human organism were correlated with the 12 signs of the zodiac. In a similar way, the 12 tribes of Israel were considered to be mystically correlated with the zodiac and stellar influences over the world of man. For example, the 12 loaves of the shewbread and the 12 precious stones of the breastplate of the High Priest represented both the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 Tribes.

As explained in the Introduction, the correlation of the 12 Tribes with the zodiac are given in Genesis {4} where the blessings of Jacob on his sons are word pictures describing the astrological signs.

What is the meaning of 'sealed.' It means that it shall be made manifest at some later time. The sealed souls of verse 4 are to be manifested in the Age of Leo-Aquarius, and after the events of the Piscean Age that are to commence with the breaking of the 7th seal.

In allusive language, the Greek word for 'thousands' ('chiliades') can mean 'multitudes,' in the same way that we sometimes use the word today. (E.g., "There were 'thousands' of people at the gathering.") Thus one reading of the number in verse four is '144 multitudes.' The correctness of this reading is supported by verse 9, since in that verse, John sees "a great multitude which no man could number .... before the throne." The number '144' will come up again in verse 21:17 and has profound significance. Cabalistically, it has an archetypal value of Nine {5}, the seal of Baha'u'llah. Less obviously, 144, and its half-value 72, have astrological, mystical and mathematical significance.

Let's consider the astrological significance first. According to astrologers, each sign of the zodiac emits six types of influence that determine the course of history and personality types. For example, in addition to the overriding sign under which a person is born, a personality can be influenced by a combination of:
(1) masculine or feminine (2) diurnal or nocturnal (3) commanding, melancholy, phlegmatic or sanguine (4) earthy, airy, fiery or watery (5) hot or cold (6) dry or wet

Thus in pre-Leo-Aquarian Ages, there were seventy-two (6-times-12) of these types of influence radiating from the total zodiac. But in the Age of Leo-Aquarius, there are twice the usual number of 'Elders seated abound the throne' {6}. Consequently, the number of influence types is doubled to produce 144.

The mystical significance of 72 will be considered very briefly. It is a number that appears in marvelous ways throughout the spiritual history of Man.

For example:
-There were 72 Elders under Moses endowed with prophetic ecstasy.{7)
-Some traditions say that Noah had 72 followers.
-Some versions of Luke 10:1 give 72 as the number of disciples of Jesus.
-By the Pledge of 'Aqabah, 72 heroes of Medina fought for Muhammad.
-Jewish legend says that 72 angels from heaven chopped off the Serpent's hands and feet.
-According to the Hadith of Muhammad, there would be 72 sects of Islam.
-72 is the traditional number of Jewish scholars who translated the Septuagint.
-The followers of Zoroaster were commanded to wear girdles made of 72 threads.
-There are 72 stupas, each containing a sculptured Buddha, atop the great temple at Borobudar, Java.
-72 of the disciples of Confucius had mastered the six arts.
-72 Muslim companions fell with Imam Husayn on the Plain of Karbila.
-In fulfillment of a prophecy, 72 Babi companions fell with Mullah Husayn at Fort Shaykh Tabarsi. {22}
-72 was the number of Baha'is exiled to 'Akka. {23}

According to ancient Hebrew mysticism, there are 72 hidden names of 'YHWH' (the Hebrew 'Tetragrammaton,' or 'Yahweh.'){8} 72 is also associated with YHWH by 'klima,' an esoteric form of number symbolism.{9}

Lastly, we consider very briefly the mathematical significance of 72. This number may be related to the 'M-pire map problem' studied by modern mathematicians: {10} Consider a map of only one country. It can be distinguished by a single color. Now suppose that there are many adjacent autonomous countries. It now requires just 4 colors to distinguish the countries from each other. Next suppose that each country has one colony that should be colored the same as the mother country. It now requires 12 colors. If each country has twelve colonies, it now requires 72 colors.

The sequence is suggestive of astrological theology: That is, the Figure on the Throne is single. He engenders 4 Central Figures; who, in turn, engender 12 Elders; who in turn, engender 72 disciples; and so on. Thus the sequence may represent the growth pattern of a perfectly bonded movement, each neophyte being distinguished by the sequence of 'gates' through which he/she enters the movement. In the case of Rev 7, the movement is Divine, the only kind in which the members can be said to be truly bonded.

Thus we see another meaning of the word 'sealed.' The term implies that the members of a Divinely revealed Faith are all perfectly 'bonded' to the Manifestation, and hence to God.

TWELVE-THOUSAND FROM EACH TRIBE:
Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. -Rev 7:5-8

For reasons already stated, the number of the sealed of each tribe is 12 multitudes, twice the number of past Ages. Also, the ordering of the list of tribes differs from that in Genesis.{11} Furthermore, Manasses has been substituted for Dan in the Genesis listing.

Why is Manasses substituted for Dan in the listing of Rev 7:5-8? We recall that the more ancient sign Flying Eagle was also substituted for Scorpio in Rev 4:7. Thus the substitution is actually Manasses (Flying Eagle) for Dan (Scorpio).

Modern astrologers still assign both 'scorpion' and 'eagle' attributes to the sign, and the application to personality type depends upon the person's physiognomy. Apparently, in the Age of Leo-Aquarius, eagle attributes are to triumph over scorpion attributes.

Let us revisit the descriptor of Dan in Genesis: ".. a viper on the road, a horned snake on the path ..." -REB: Gen 49:17

Not a pleasant picture, and astrologers often equate Scorpio with the Serpent in Eden. The case is augmented by the prayer following Dan's descriptor:

"I wait in hope of salvation from you, Lord." - REB: Gen 49:18

Salvation from what? It can only be salvation from the influence of Scorpio. Remember that astrological theology postulates that God works through the zodiac and astrological influences. In order to solve the 'problem of evil' (i.e., 'how can a totally benevolent Creator allow evil to exist?), there must be at least one zodiacal sign with malevolent attributes. That sign must be Scorpio, since none of the remaining signs seem to have had the power to harm man in such a baleful manner. The 'Serpent,' or his equivalent, has slithered his way into many verses of the Bible and other sacred texts and religious art.

The substitution of Flying Eagle for Scorpio becomes even more interesting when we analyze the descriptors of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. It was the expressed intention of Jesus that the 12 Apostles would replace the 12 Tribes as the arbiters of history {13}, and in a later chapter {14} we will find the names of the Apostles inscribed on the foundations of the New Jerusalem. Let us consider whether Jesus chose the Apostles in accordance with the zodiacal signs:

Admittedly, the record is scanty, but the existing evidence suggests that He did so. Using Luke's list,{15} Peter the Fisherman is the Fishes; Mary (veiled) is the Virgin; Levi the Tax Collector is the Scales; Simon the Zealot is the Ram; Thomas the Doubter is the Bull; James and John are the Twins; Judas Iscariot the Betrayer is the Scorpion.

James and John are especially convincing, since Jesus called them "sons of thunder" {16}, apparently alluding to the belief among sailors of the time that Gemini watched over them during storms and reassured them with the "voice" of thunder. Less apparent is Andrew, also a fisherman, who might be the Water Bearer. Judas, son of James, might be the Crab. We know virtually nothing about the remaining three Apostles of Luke's list who would have to correlated with the Lion, the Archer and the Goat.

Assuming that our hypothesis is correct, what does this tell us about Judas the Betrayer? It implies that Judas Iscariot WAS CHOSEN TO BE THE BETRAYER in the great drama of the Crucifixion. This would add meaning to the statement of Jesus:

.... 'Have I not chosen the twelve of you? Yet one of you is a devil.' -REB: John 6:70

It would also explain the puzzling episode recounted in John: {17}

... 'Do quickly what you have to do.' -REB: John 13:27

Apparently, Judas was COMMANDED to do what he had to do as his part of the Divine drama.

The rationale for the order of the Tribes in verses 7:5-8 becomes clear when we recognize that the list is astrological. The list refers to Spiritual Generations, 'which is, which was, and which is to come' (Rev 1:4).

To prove this {24}, we first recall that Rev 4:7 informs us that the new Age is to have Leo as its leading sign, with its fall-SPRING equinoctial axis at Leo-AQUARIUS. An inspection of the list of Tribes in verses 7:5-8 reveals that, indeed, Leo-AQUARIUS corresponds to the first two Tribes, that is:

(1) Judah- (2) REUBEN = Leo-AQUARIUS

The next two names in the list correspond to the Age of ARIES- Libra:

(3) GAD- (4) Asher = ARIES-Libra

The first four names inform us that the equinoctial axes are to be specified in the list, and apparently without prejudice as to the order of the equinoxes. Thus, we are invited to coalesce all the names in the list of Tribes to correspond to the equinoctial axes:

ORDER IN REV 7:5-8; Tribal Names = EQUINOCTIAL AXIS

1, 2; Judah, Reuben = LEO-AQUARIUS OR AQUARIUS-LEO
3, 4; Gad, Asher = ARIES-LIBRA OR LIBRA-ARIES
5, (12); Nephtali, (Benjamin) = CAPRICORN-CANCER or CANCER-CAPRICORN
6, (9); Manasseh, (Issachar) = FLYING EAGLE-TAURUS or TAURUS-FLYING-EAGLE
7 & 8, (11); Simeon & Levi*, (Joseph) = GEMINI-SAGITTARIUS or SAGITTARIUS-GEMINI
10; Zebulon, [Dinah]* = PISCES-[VIRGO]*

* Note: Simeon & Levi correspond to the single sign GEMINI, while [Dinah] is 'veiled' and corresponds to the veiled sign [VIRGO]. See INTRODUCTION.

Why are the equinoctial axes arranged in this particular order? The answer can be found by referring to a circular astrological diagram of the new heaven:


      Future Ages:        New Age:        Past Ages: 



                            LEO
                             |
                  CANCER     |      [VIRGO]
                             |
                             |
              GEMINI         |           LIBRA
                             |
                             |
           TAURUS------------|------------FLYING EAGLE 
                             |
                             |
             ARIES           |          SAGITTARIUS
                             | 
                             | 
                 PISCES      |       CAPRICORN
                             |
                          AQUARIUS



                       THE NEW HEAVEN

Starting at LEO, and ignoring [VIRGO] for the moment, it will be seen that the list of Ages circulates between Present, Past and Future:
ASTRO-AGE; Precession Order
LEO-AQUARIUS; First Age (Present)
LIBRA-ARIES; First Past Age
CANCER-CAPRICORN; First Future Age
FLYING EAGLE-TAURUS; Second Past Age
GEMINI-SAGITTARIUS; Second Future Age
PISCES; Last Future Age

Let us take a closer look at [VIRGO]. It is skipped in the counting because [DINAH] is 'veiled' and is never explicitly listed among the Tribes.

Why are only six equinoctial axes defined in the list? The answer to this question can be found in Genesis:

He called the light day, and the darkness night...; and God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Evening came, and morning came; it was the sixth day. - REB: Genesis 1:5, 31

God created the world in six 'days.' A 'day' is a 'morning and an evening.' In astrological terms, a 'Day' is an Age, and an Age is identified by a Spring equinox (a 'morning') and a Fall equinox (an 'evening'). Thus there are only six 'Days of Creation' in the zodiacal calendar, while God rests on the Seventh Day:

...; on the seventh day, having finished all his work, God blessed the day and made it holy, ... REB: Gen 2:2-3

This brings to mind a very interesting prophecy of Jesus in Mark:

"... who will not receive in this age a hundred times as much -- houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and land -- and persecutions besides; and in the age to come eternal life. But many of the first will be last, and the last first." - REB: Mark 10:30-31

Jesus' words may imply, among other things, that many of those who are the first to accept his own Manifestation may be the last to accept the Manifestation of the Age to come. But his parable in Matthew ends with the same enigmatic prophecy:

"So the last will be first, and the first last." -REB: Matt 20:16

Jesus' prophecy concerns the age to come, that is, the advent of the Future Age. While many interpretations may be given to his parable in Matthew, it also gives us a clue that the Past will become Future and the Future will become Past. This 'Copernican inversion' of the zodiac will convert the Age of PISCES from First Past into Last Future.

But there are even more interesting implications of Jesus' prophecy. If we list the next 'Seven Days' in their future sequence beginning at the Age of PISCES, they were:

First Day: PISCES-[VIRGO]
Second Day: AQUARIUS-LEO
Third Day: CAPRICORN-CANCER
Fourth Day: SAGITTARIUS-GEMINI
Fifth Day: SCORPIO-TAURUS
Sixth Day: LIBRA-ARIES
Seventh Day: LEO-AQUARIUS*

*Note: Again skipping veiled [VIRGO].

But in the New Age, the sequence of the next 'Seven Days' becomes:
First Day: LEO-AQUARIUS
Second Day: CANCER-CAPRICORN
Third Day: GEMINI-SAGITTARIUS
Fourth Day: TAURUS-FLYING EAGLE
Fifth Day: ARIES-LIBRA
Sixth Day: PISCES-[VIRGO]
Seventh Day: AQUARIUS-LEO

Indeed, we now see the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy: "So the last will be first, and the first last." LEO-AQUARIUS, the last 'Day' of the old zodiac, has become the first Day of the new zodiac. Furthermore, PISCES-[VIRGO], the first Day of Creation in the old zodiac, has become the last Day of Creation in the new zodiac. Finally, we see that LEO has now become both the first and the last sign.

The prophecy of Jesus: "... and in the age to come eternal life. ...," informs us that 'eternal life' is to occur in the Age of LEO-AQUARIUS, not during his own Age of PISCES-[VIRGO]. Why is this?

We recall that the Day of Baha'u'llah is the 'Day not followed by Night.' In all previous Ages, the Sun of the Manifestation was beclouded by ensuing 'darkness.' But in this New Age, the Divine Light will prevail and the Sun of Truth will never set.

There is yet an another implication of the 'Day not followed by Night.' There are now two 'Suns' in the spiritual heaven, not one Sun. In the old zodiac, AQUARIUS would have been the 'Sun' and LEO would have been the 'Moon'. But the Twin Manifestation produces Two Suns at the Spring equinox, not to be followed by a Moon at the Fall equinox.

PRAISE TO GOD AND THE LAMB:
After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues , stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying. Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. -Rev 7:9-12

[REB: 10 "and they shouted aloud: 'Victory to our God who sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb!"

The righteous of all Ages, nations, races, and cultures will be saved. The palm fronds signal glad tidings and victory.

As the Manifestation of God the Father, Baha'u'llah sits upon the throne while the Manifestation of the Lamb Consummate, the Bab, stands at the center of the throne.

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are they which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation , and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. -Rev 7:13-14

[REB: 13 "One of the elders turned to me and asked, ..."; 14 ".... 'They are those who have passed through the great ordeal; 2E..]

The great ordeal is the same in every Age and Dispensation, and is summarized in Chapter 6. The ordeal is to overcome the false teachings within the Church; to avoid hypocrisy, false pride, the thirst for power, greed, envy, and the temptations of the flesh. Above all, one must recognize the sovereignty of the Manifestation, to accept the Sacrifice of the Lamb by submitting one's own ego to the Will of God.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. -Rev 7:16-17

The scorching heat of the sun is the ubiquitous tribulation of the righteous. Water is spiritual grace and knowledge. "O My servants! Whoso hath tasted of this Fountain hath attained unto everlasting Life, and whoso hath refused to drink therefrom is even as the dead." "Say, O ye who are as dead! The Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life. Hasten and drink your fill. Whoso hath been reborn in this Day, shall never die; whoso remaineth dead, shall never live." - BH {18}

As for hunger, "Glorified be He, Who is the Creator of all names and attributes! Cast into the fire the tree that hath rot and dried up, and abide under the shadow of the green and goodly Tree, and partake of the fruit thereof." -BH {19}

God will dwell with man through the Baha'i Universal House of Justice. "These are they who are blessed by the Concourse on high, who are glorified by the denizens of the everlasting Cities, and beyond them by those on whose foreheads Thy most exalted pen hath written, 'These! The people of Baha'. Through them [the Universal House of Justice] have been shed the splendors of the light of guidance." -BH {20}




CHAPTER 8- THE FATE OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH

SYNOPSIS:
The future history of Christendom during the Piscean Age will be revealed in 7 phases, each announced by a heralding angel.

Chapter 8 reveals the fate of the early Christian Church and will be announced by the first 4 heralds.

An altar angel precedes the opening of the first seal. His censer prepares the earth with a downpour of violence that will accompany the Piscean Age.

The first herald announces the first great persecution of Christians, 110-238 CE.

The second herald announces the second great persecution of Christians, 249-311.

The third herald announces the embitterment of Christianity by Constantine the Great, beginning circa 325.

The fourth herald announces the Dark Age of Christendom, circa 408-1054.

John then hears the voice of the Flying Eagle. The Piscean Age is more than half finished at the end of the Dark Age and the Flying Eagle is "mid-heaven" on its way to its pillar at the Leo-Aquarian Winter solstice. It warns of three "Woes" [Days of the Lord] that will be announced by the last three heralds. The three Woes are to be the Advents of Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

 

A PAUSE BEFORE THE PROPHECIES:
And when he had opened the seventh seal , there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. -Rev 8:1-2

The silence of half an hour separates the preamble of the first 7 chapters from the prophecies of future historical events that are to "shortly come to pass."

THE ALTAR ANGEL IS INTRODUCED:
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. -Rev 8:3-4

A new actor, the 'altar angel,' is introduced. The altar angel will reappear in Chapter 14, and his significance will become more apparent at that time. Meanwhile, recall that at the great Temple in Jerusalem, the altar of burnt-offerings was located in the court of the children of Israel. However, only the Sadducee priests were allowed to enter the court and perform the oblations and sacrifices. The Gospels tell us that the priesthood was not especially friendly toward Jesus, and with the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the sacrifice came to an end. Now, in the heavenly realm, John sees that the sacrifice has been re-instituted, but now on Jesus' terms. The Apocalypse was revealed to john circa 7-decades after the Crucifixion and one-half-of-7 decades after the Fall of Jerusalem.

The golden censer indicates great piety; incense or perfume is the fragrance of communion with God. "Thus counselleth you the All-Knowing, the Faithful. We shall always be with you; if we inhale the perfume of your fellowship, Our heart will assuredly rejoice, for naught else can satisfy us." -BH {1}

FIRE IS CAST ONTO THE EARTH:
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. -Rev 8:5-6

Fire is variously a symbol of sacrifice, of purification, of the rebuke of God, of destruction or torment. The voices are of those who fall into trials and temptations. Thunder accompanies the violation of the Covenant, and the lightning flashes are the wrath and anger of God. These are accompanied by the earthquake of doubts. -AB {2}

The Covenant is to be violated during the Age of Pisces. Indeed, there have always been violators of the Covenant. Among Christian theologians there are still burning questions concerning the Successorship to Jesus, and the roles of Peter and Paul. Equally hot questions surround the Successorship to Muhammad.

THE FIRST TRUMPET BLAST:
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. -Rev 8:7

Verses 7 through 9 concern the impending series of persecutions of the Christians by Rome from 110 until 311 CE. It was during an earlier persecution that John was banished to Patmos where he wrote the Apocalypse.

The persecutions of the early Christians can be divided into 3 series. A minor persecution began under the Emperor Nero in 64 CE as a result of his blaming the Christians for the Great Fire of Rome. The first great persecution began in 110 CE, about 6 years after the writing of the Apocalypse, as a result of the Roman State stigmatizing Christianity as a crime. This persecution lasted sporadically until 238 CE. In the last phase of this persecution, attempts were made to destroy the clergy as propagators of the Faith.

Hail and fire mingled with blood represent great tests from heaven and wrath accompanied by death. "Green grass" are the righteous Christians; "trees" are their spiritual leaders. Verse 7 says that all the righteous Christians and one-third of the spiritual leaders will be destroyed during the first great persecution, 110-238 CE. {3}

THE SECOND TRUMPET BLAST:
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. -Rev 8:8-9

These verses warn of the second great persecution of 249-311 CE. Initiated by the emperor Decius, it was continued with increased vigor under the emperor Diocletian. The cause of this persecution was primarily an attempt to reverse the course of social decay and decline in Roman morality through a revival of the ancient pagan cult. This last and most severe of the anti-Christian campaigns resulted in executions, torture, book and church burnings on a large scale.

As previously noted, a mountain is a religion. The ship was an early symbol of a church, a 'refuge of safety and peace in a sea of chaos.' The influence of Pisces is apparent here- "the creatures which are in the sea" are floundering souls. Just as some grass is 'green,' some fishes are 'alive' and will have become followers of Jesus.

.. "Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men." -REB: Matt 4:19

When the second herald sounds, the great mountain of Christianity will seem to have been sent flaming into the sea of destruction and chaos. The sea will become as death-blood, and one-third of those Christians who are in the sea of tribulation will lose their spiritual life. One third of the churches will be destroyed.

THE THIRD TRUMPET BLAST:
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. -Rev 8:10-11

Constantine the Great, ended the persecutions and made Christianity the official Faith of Rome. Wishing to consolidate his empire with the aid of Christianity, he was determined to bring an end to the theological and doctrinal disputes, often querulous, that had plagued the Christian Church since the rift between Peter and Paul. He called the Council of Nicea in 325 CE to resolve these disputes. Although the Nicene Creed that 'defined' a Christian eventually came out of this council, the quarrels between the several factions became embittered beyond resolution. Numerous heresies and schisms resulted from Constantine's totalitarian policy. His policy was continued by most of his successors, and eventually resulted in the Theodosian Code of 438 that inflicted the death penalty on those who denied the doctrine of the Trinity! In various forms, many of the bitter arguments between the early Christian factions persist to this day.

Christianity was divided into three major streams- the Eastern stream flowing from Constantinople, the Western stream flowing from Rome, and the third stream flowing from the schismatic Asian and African churches. Constantine 'the Great Star,' had his greatest influence over the "third of the waters" flowing from Constantinople. Eventually, the policy initiated by Constantine resulted in the bitter Schism of 1054 that decisively split the Eastern and Western streams of the Church. Constantine became a "fallen star" and "Wormwood."

Rivers and fountains are the mainstreams of spiritual guidance. "From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to ... fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness. .." "They drink of the tainted water, and know it not." -BH {5}

THE FOURTH TRUMPET BLAST:
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. -Rev 8:12

The prophecy concerns the period of history known as the Dark Age of Europe that began with the invasion of the West by the Visigoths under Alaric the Bold in 408. The smiting of the West resulted in a third part of the "sun, moon and stars" (the 'heavenly hierarchy') being cut off from the mainstream of Christianity. The result was a malevolent darkening of the Church that lasted about 6 centuries.

Two baleful episodes during the Dark Age will be mentioned very briefly. One was the Photian Schism of 869. The schism resulted from a clash between pope Nicholas I of Rome, and Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople. It concerned a number of theological issues, but, in particular, the 'trichotomy dispute.' According to trichotomism, man is composed of body, soul and spirit. As a result of the schism, Western man, dogmatically, has only a body and a soul (dichotomism ). The mind of Western man became more firmly controlled by the papacy, with profound effects felt to this day. Some effects have been the 'mindless soldier' and the ascendence of materialism in the West.

The nadir of the Church was probably reached in the middle of the tenth century when the papacy fell under the de facto control of two women of ill repute, Theodora and Morozia. This period of papal history is called the 'Pornocracy.'

Verse 12 says that the Church will become darkened for a third part of the Lord's Day and the third part of the ensuing night. The Lord's Day commenced with the Advent of Jesus Christ (circa 5 BCE) and ended with the Advent of Muhammad (circa 613 CE), a period of about 617 years. Thus the day will be darkened for one-third of the Lord's Day (about 206 years), or the period from 408 to 613 CE.

A "Night" is the period between two Divine Revelations when the Sun of Truth is not manifest among men. {6} The Sun of Muhammad was eclipsed by the usurpation of the caliphate by the House of Umayyah in 661, and did not shine again until the Declaration of the Bab in 1844, a period of about 1183 years. Thus the prophecy says that the Dark Age will end after another 394 years, the period from 661 until 1055. This last date is very close to the Great Schism of 1054.

THE THREE WOES TO COME:
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe , to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are about to sound!. -Rev 8:13

[REB: 13 "As I looked, I heard an eagle calling with a loud cry as it flew in mid-heaven: ...]

In 1054 CE, the constellation Flying Eagle (aka Scorpion) was about midway between its original position that it had at the beginning of the Piscean Age and its future position that it would take as a Pillar (corner) of the Aquarian Age. John "hears" the eagle warning of three more "Woes" to come.

Ezekiel tells us what a Woe is:

"Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen." -Ez 30:2-3

A Woe is a Lord's Day, that is, the Advent of a Manifestation of God. 'Abdu'l-Baha tells us, "Therefore it is certain that the day of woe is the Day of the Lord; for in that day woe is for the neglectful, woe is for the sinners, woe is for the ignorant." -AB {4}

The Advent of Jesus the Messiah was one such Woe. But now John is told that three more Woes will be announced in the Apocalypse. The three Woes to come will be the Advents of Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

In astrological symbolism, the three Woes correspond to the 'fiery triplicity,' that is, Sagittarius, Aries and Leo. The wrath of God that will attend Sagittarius the Archer will be announced in Chapter 9. The wrath of Aries the Lamb has been previewed in 6:16. The wrath of Leo the Lion will be the subject of the last 9 chapters.

In each Dispensation, 'wrath' attends the judgement of the mischief makers of the dying civilization. Following His role as a 'bringer of the wrath of God,' the Manifestation assumes His role as a Pillar of the Age. That is why the signs of Jesus are both a Lamb and a Fish, and the signs of the Bab are both a Lamb and a Man.




CHAPTER 9- THE FALL OF CHRISTENDOM

SYNOPSIS:
The 5th herald announces the catastrophe experienced by Christendom following the Ascension of Muhammad, the first Woe. The forces of the illegitimate caliphate overpower the schismatic Asian and African churches. The duration of the "plague" is given as 150 years, beginning with the Fall of Jerusalem in 637 and ending with the peak of the Muslim empire under Caliph Harun ar- Rashid in 786. The secret king of the illegitimate caliphate is Abu-Sufyan, the arch-enemy of Muhammad and patriarch of the infamous House of Umayyah.

The 6th herald announces and describes the Fall of Constantinople and Eastern Christendom to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The duration of the power of the Ottomans is given as 391 years, to be terminated by the Advent of the Bab, the second Woe, in 1844.

The rest of Christendom, infected by idolatry and other perversions, does not repent. The result is the Protestant Reformation and the decay of Christendom into thousands of sects.

 

THE FIFTH TRUMPET BLAST:
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded of them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. -Rev 9:1-4

The Muslim invasions of Asian and African Christendom began circa 633 CE. While ferocious fighters of idol worshippers and other enemies of monotheism, the early Muslim warriors were noted for their justice and tolerance of other monotheistic Faiths, notably Sabaeanism, Christianity and Judaism. It is important to understand that the aggressive invasions by Islamdom were not instigated by Muhammad but by the Caliphs (Successors) following the Ascension of Muhammad.

The question of the Successorship was the historical origin of the Shi'ah and Sunni divisions of Islamdom. The first 4 Caliphs, often called the Rightly-Guided, generally followed the policy enjoined by Muhammad. However, according to Shi'ah belief, Muhammad had actually chosen His son-in-law 'Ali as His Caliph. Although 'Ali later arose to His appointed station, He was assassinated under mysterious circumstances before He could consolidate His power. The caliphate fell to the Umayyad pretender, Mu'awiyah, the son of Abu-Sufyan who was the arch-enemy of Muhammad. The course of political intrigue set in motion by Abu-Sufyan eventually achieved success, and, by beclouding the principles of Islam, Abu-Sufyan became a "fallen star."

While the Shi'ah have tenaciously promoted a caliphate based on the legitimate descendants of 'Ali, the Sunni have argued that the caliphate should go to the one most qualified for the position.{1}

The bottomless pit is the 'pit of error.' -AB {2} The smoke arising from the pit symbolizes obscurement. The sun of truth was obscured, and the atmosphere of nearness to God was stifled by the smoke. "As for them who have disbelieved in Him, they shall be in the shadow of a black smoke." -BH {3}

The plague of mounted Arabian warriors are described as "locusts." The scorpion was a quickfirer that permitted rapid discharge of arrows. (Apparently, in the 7th century zodiac, 'scorpion tendencies' still dominated over 'eagle tendencies.')

Grass, green things and trees are the commoners, the righteous people and their spiritual leaders. The command not to hurt the righteous was given by Muhammad. {4} We recall that in Chapter 7, verse 3, Muhammad 'sealed' the righteous.

FIVE MONTHS OF TORMENT:
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months : and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. -Rev 9:5-6

A 'prophetic day' is a year of calendar time, and a 'prophetic month' is 30 calendar years. Therefore five "months" are 150 calendar years. The Muslim Empire was carved out in a space of about 150 years from the Fall of Jerusalem in 637 until the peak of the empire under Caliph Harun ar-Rashid in 786.

THE HORSEMEN DESCRIBED:
And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. -Rev 9:7-10

John describes the appearance of the mounted Arabian warriors as locusts, their quickfirers as scorpions, their arrows as stings, and their chariots as wings.

The influence of Sagittarius the Archer is seen here. The constellation Sagittarius has Scorpio following 'in its tail' and is adjacent to the Southern Crown in the night sky. The word picture of Sagittarius corresponds faithfully to modern astrological descriptors. We recall that Sagittarius is one of the four corners of the Piscean Age, and also belongs to the fiery triplicity.

THE DESTROYER:
11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. -Rev 9:11

[REB: 11 ".... whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek Apollyon, the Destroyer.]

The "Destroyer" was Abu-Sufyan, the arch-enemy of Muhammad and His Revelation, the patriarch of the detestable House of Umayyah, and the progenitor of the illegitimate caliphate. It was during the Umayyad dynasty that the insidious practice was introduced of fabricating traditions ascribed to Muhammad, maligning and denigrating 'Ali. Several minions were bribed into corrupting and distorting Muslim doctrine, text, belief and practice.

THE FIRST WOE IS PAST:
One woe is past; and behold there come two woes more hereafter. -Rev 9:12

The Woe that is past is the Advent of Muhammad. The two remaining Woes are to be the Advents of the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

THE SIXTH TRUMPET BLAST:
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. -Rev 9:13-15

[REB: 15 "... they had been held in readiness for this very year, month, day, and hour."]

(The Jewish altar of burnt offerings had a horn extending from each of its four corners. An oath was contracted by seizing a horn of the altar with the right hand. The symbolism of the Four can be found in the Introduction.)

We recall that the 4 angels have been introduced in Rev 7:1. They correspond to the 4 'corners of the square earth' and therefore control the events that are to transpire during the Age of Pisces. They were 'held back' by Muhammad from 'hurting the earth' until the servants of God were sealed. Now they are to be loosed to do their damage to the world of man.

The prophecy concerns the Fall of Constantinople and Eastern Christendom in 1453. For about three hundred years prior to their arrival in Eastern Europe, Islamdom seemed to have been 'bound' to the Euphrates river system with Eastern Christendom safely protected from further incursions behind the formidable Taurus mountain range. The Ottoman Turks, probably the most warlike of the Muslim dynasties, ended this false sense of security when they skirted the Taurus and crossed the Hellespont in 1357.

By the year 1453, Christendom was again divided into three streams represented by the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the anti-papist Christians who would soon become known as the Protestant branch. The Fall of Constantinople was said to have 'cut off one-third of Christendom.'

How long will the 4 angels have the power to do their damage? The answer is given in verse 15: for a "year, month, day, and hour." In calendar time, the computation is as follows:

'PROPHETIC TIME' = CALENDAR TIME
1 'prophetic year' = 360 calendar years
1 'prophetic month' = 30 calendar years
1 'prophetic day' = 1 calendar year
1 'prophetic hour' = (to be determined)
...........................................
Total time = 391 calendar years + an 'hour'

We separate the term 'hour' to be discussed in more detail.

The duration of the wrath of the 4 angels is to be approximately 391 calendar years. Adding 391 to 1453, the date of the Fall of Constantinople, produces 1844, the date of the Declaration of the Bab and the Second Woe. The Second Woe ended the Dispensation of Muhammad and the power of the 4 angels who controlled the world of man during the Age of Pisces.

We now investigate the meaning of the "Hour."

The "Hour' has already been encountered {5} and will be seen again in later chapters. {6} The term refers to the 'Hour of Judgement,' that is, the moment when the Manifestation declares His mission. Thus at verse 15, the meaning of the "Hour" is the moment of the second Woe. Eastern Christendom fell to Islamdom on May 30, 1453. The Declaration of the Bab was on May 23, 1844, almost exactly 391 years later.

A TEST OF CREDULITY:
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. -Rev 9:16-17

[REB: 16 "And their squadrons of cavalry numbered twice ten thousand times ten thousand; this was the number I heard."

Two-hundred-million cavalry troops is enough to stretch the credulity of even the most committed literalist. By comparison, the Allies were able to muster only about one-percent of this number of fighting men for the D-Day invasion during World War II.

Very little of the Apocalypse should or can be taken literally. The rare places that literal interpretations apply serve as guideposts to assure the seeker that he is on the right path. As in Chapter 7, we are again forced to recognize that the number is occult, not literal. John simply 'hears' the number, he does not actually 'see' an endless array of 200,000,000 men on horseback.

The significant number is the archetypal value of 'two'. The verse should be read as 'two large armies.' Constantinople was taken by two separate armies under the command of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II: his own army of Muslim regulars and an independent army of Christian Janissaries.

In his vision John describes their colorful breastplates as "fiery red, turquoise, and sulphur-yellow ... " (REB) In the imagery of the first-century, he sees fifteenth-century flared cannons as "horses" with mouths that roar like lions. The description of the sulphurous (brimstone) smoke that issues from their mouths is chemically accurate.

By these three was a third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. -Rev 9:18-19

Mehmet employed Urban, an Hungarian engineer, to construct the cannons for the assault. The largest of these was 26 feet long and fired a ball weighing over half-a-ton! John explains, quite accurately, that the breeches (tails) of the cannons (horses) contain projectiles (serpent's heads) that strike the enemy with great force.

THE STATE OF THE SURVIVORS:
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. -Rev 9:20-21

[REB: 20 "The rest of mankind who survived these plagues still did not renounce the gods they had made, ...]

John describes the state of affairs in Christendom and the Church following the Fall of Eastern Christendom. Idolatry, in the form of worship of icons and reliquaries, had existed in the Church since the Dark Age. By 1453, the practice had further degenerated into the worship of idols of the saints. Another defilement was the selling of indulgences, the payment of money as a substitute for penitence.

The result of these and other abuses was the depressing history of the Reformation. The period is notable for the disastrous Thirty Years War (1618-1648) between Protestants and Catholics, and the Black Mass. Witches seemed to abound everywhere, with tens-of-thousands, real or imagined, being tortured and burnt at the stake. Ultimately, the Christian Church disintegrated into the thousands of sects that we see today.




CHAPTER 10- INTERLUDE

SYNOPSIS:
Chapter 10 is an interlude, a resting space between the prophecies concerning Christendom and Islamdom.

The mighty angel of Baha'u'llah, the Lion of Judah, descends from the heavens with clouds, the rainbow of the Covenant, and his face shining in midday splendor. His legs "like pillars of fire" allude to the two "blazing" bronze pillars that stood before Solomon's Temple, with occult names that prophesied the Advent of Baha'u'llah.

One of Baha'u'llah's works, THE HIDDEN WORDS, is shown to John. The "little book" actually reveals the hidden words of the 7 Manifestations of the 7 Churches, who speak in 7 'thunderous voices.' John proceeds to write down these words but is told to 'seal them up' because the time for their revelation has not yet arrived. Baha'u'llah tells John that he must wait, but that the hidden purpose of God will be revealed in the future at the trumpet blast of the seventh herald.

The "voice from heaven" then commands John to "swallow" [believe in] the Hidden Words. When he does so, he discovers that the words are easy to say but difficult to live by.

Finally, John is told that he must start over, to prophesy a second time concerning the spiritual history of the Piscean Age, but this time to the peoples of Islam.

 

THE MIGHTY ANGEL OF THE COVENANT:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. -Rev 10:1

[REB: 1 ".... and his legs were like pillars of fire."]

The mighty angel is Baha'u'llah. As explained previously, every Manifestation comes with the 'clouds' of glory that signal both the bounty of heaven and the dread of judgement. The rainbow about His head is the eternal Covenant that is renewed with each Day of God. His countenance shines as the Sun at median splendor.{1}

His legs that shine like fire remind us of the two magnificent bronze pillars that stood before Solomon's Temple that Solomon named 'Boaz' and 'Jachin' {2}. Possibly symbolic of the pillars of cloud and fire that guided the Hebrews through the wilderness {3}, they also have occult significance. For one, the words literally mean 'Boaz will establish.' Boaz was the grandfather of Jesse, and the great-grandfather of David. {4} Baha'u'llah is a descendant of Boaz and Jesse; as such, He is the 'Branch out of the Stem of Jesse,' and the 'Scion from the Root of Jesse.' {5} Among many marvelous things, Isaiah prophesied that all the nations of the world will 'seek Him out' and that "His abode will be glorious," probably a reference to Baha'u'llah's sacred Shrine on the plain of Sharon.

If one pronounces the initial letters of 'Boaz' (Beth) and 'Jachin' (Ayn) in Hebrew, the sound is 'Baha'.' And, further, the gematrical values of these two letters are 2 and 70, with the mystic sum of 72. The archetypal value of 72 is Nine {6}, the seal of Baha'u'llah.

THE LITTLE BOOK:
And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea and his left foot on the earth.
-Rev 10:2

The little book is the Word of God as revealed by the Manifestations. Although the words in the little book are remarkably few, their implications cannot be written into any number of tomes. Baha'u'llah wrote just such a little book, THE HIDDEN WORDS, which He "clothed in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous ..."

Baha'u'llah rests his feet upon both the sea and the earth. Obvious astrological idiom is seen here: the zodiac is divided into two halves, 'dry land' and the 'waters below.' Baha'u'llah straddles the Ages, looking down from the heavens with his right foot on the 'waters below' and His left foot on the 'dry land' of the zodiac.

The symbols have other meanings: the sea is chaotic, filled with uncertainty and danger; dry land is relatively stable, more certain and secure. More will be said about these symbols in later chapters.

THE LION OF JUDAH ROARS:
3 And cried with a loud voice, as a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices, And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. -Rev 10:3-4

[REB: 3 "... when he shouted, the seven thunders spoke."

Baha'u'llah, as the Pillar of Lion/Judah during the Age of Leo-Aquarius, roars with the thunderous voices of the Manifestations of the Seven Churches of Asia. Again, the words are remarkably few in number, and John proceeds to write them down. However, he is warned not to do so, since the Words must remain Hidden until the Piscean Age is completed.

A SWORN OATH:
And the angel which I saw upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished , as he hath declared to his servants and prophets. -Rev 10:5-7

[REB: 6-7 .... "There shall be no more delay; when the time comes for the seventh angel to sound his trumpet, the hidden purpose of God will have been fulfilled, as he promised to his servants the prophets."]

There was a delay of more than 18 centuries following Jesus' prophecy of the Kingdom, and more than 12 centuries following the prophecy by Muhammad. Now, with the blast of the 7th trumpet, the delays will have been finished, the purpose of Creation will be revealed, and the promised Kingdom will become a reality.

JOHN 'SWALLOWS' THE LITTLE BOOK:
And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and the earth. And I went unto the angel, and he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter , but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey . And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. -Rev 10:8-10

John is commanded to 'swallow,' that is, to accept the commands and precepts of the Prophets. He discovers that their beautiful words are easy to say, but difficult to actually live by.

JOHN IS COMMANDED TO PROPHESY A SECOND TIME:
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. -Rev 10:11

John has just prophesied to Christendom, now he must prophesy once again, this time to Islamdom.




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Robert Riggs is a member of the Baha'i Faith living in the United States. Much of the material on this homepage consists of extracts from existing Baha'i publications, but also included are a number of insights and comments about prophecies which are entirely the author's own understanding and, as such, do not necessarily represent the official position of the Baha'i Faith or its teachings.