True Divination

8/8/2019

Particularly common within ancient ideology, divination reveals itself to be a practice not only of observational relevance, but also one of enlightenment and prognostication. It is a meticulous practice; one that seeks to obtain both hidden knowledge in general, as well as the precognition of future events (more specifically).  However, on the downside⁠, its frequent association with the "supernatural" is quite misinformative. To the contrary, the traditional art is very natural and realistic.

Similar to the foretelling of an eclipse (based on astronomical observation), or the 13-17 year seasonal marking of cicadas, divination allows one to foretell an occurrence before it even takes place. This is not based on "supernatural powers," but instead, a disciplined study of the earth itself. As the Bible says in Job 12:8,  "speak to the earth, and it will teach you." The earth works in patterns and timing; thus, not only will the diviner expediently search for synchronistic occurrences in nature, but will also be quite learned in this practice⁠—on an expert level. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa well defined the magician as "a wise man" (Natural Magic, Introduction). One who is well learned in this field becomes "at one with this earth" (so to speak), memorizing patterns, signs, and harmonious phenomena in general. This is exactly how divination works.

So why the equation of the supernatural? Such a thing apparently comes from a gross misunderstanding of ancient esoteric symbolism. For instance, primitive civilizations would depict the sun as a man (or woman) riding a fiery chariot across the sky each day, for this was their understanding of transportation. They saw the sun as an object which races across the heavens1 and therefore described it in such a way. One reading this kind of literature from a modernized standpoint however would obviously misapprehend such a description, viewing it as superstitious and impossible (missing the entire point). The fact of the matter is, the ancients simply worked in riddles and enigmas, and so it is with their writings on divination.

There are many different forms of divination, one of the more "well known" being necromancy. In antiquated literature, this occult practice was often pictured as individuals conversing with the dead, as if they were in fact alive (quite a contradiction). Based on the evidence however, this was simply a poetic form of expression in the writings, since in reality, the corpse "speaks" as a motionless object by means of depiction.2 It is similar to the carved image in Hebrew mythology which is described as a "teacher of lies" in Habakkuk 2:18, and yet elsewhere seen as a mere object that does "not speak" (e.g. Psalm 115:4-5). Thus, this inanimate "teacher" fits the knowledge being obtained by means of observance (this same concept likewise fitting with the corpse). In fact, the Egyptians were apparently obsessed with this practice, as is evident in their decorative display of tomb imagery (or the Book of the Dead).

Additionally, divination is quite at one with the interpreting of omenseven in a necromantical context. For instance, 1 Samuel 2:34 notes that the death of Hophni and Phinehas would be a sign to Eli. Receiving such knowledge from ones death is exactly what necromancy is. And, such a thing is also what is witnessed later on in the story of King Saul and the medium (1 Samuel 28). The dead (Samuel) is called up out of the ground, only to speak of King Saul's forthcoming doom. In essence, the implication of this tale is: Saul was a walking dead man by the very fact he was in opposition to God and His prophet, the esoteric attestation being that one in contrast to the righteous dead is himself cursed with death (as in Acts 5:3-5). It is no wonder that Saul in Hebrew means death.3

Furthermore, omens commonly have to do with animals, as the book of Job also asserts:
But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you. (Job 12:7)
This actually cuts into another form of divination known as ornithomancy which has to do with the receiving of knowledge via the actions (or flights) of birds, a practice condemned in the Septuagint reading of Leviticus 19:26 ("nor divine by inspection of birds [ορνιθοσκοπήσεσθε]"). An explicit example of this practice can be found in the second book of The Odyssey. There, Zeus is found sending forth two eagles which end up taring each other, the people subsequently pondering what was to come from this event. Immediately following the incident, Halitherses interprets the omen to mean that Odysseus will return.

Another example of ornithomancy appears to be the situation with Elijah and the ravens in 1 Kings 17:6, as they give him the bread instead of eating it themselves. The bread? Indeed, such is an enigmatic depiction of the sun, as Christ defines it in Matthew 26:26, identifying the bread as his own body (Jesus is the sun, e.g. Psalm 84:11 [cf. John 20:28]; Malachi 4:2; Revelation 1:16). Keep in mind, Elijah is of the same exact solar motif as Sol and Helios, the chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11; see Eliptic Lore); in Norse Mythology, Skoll is found chasing Sol (the sun). Since Elijah is parallel to Sol, who is after him in the story? Jezebel is (1 Kings 19:1-3). However, unlike Skoll (who eventually catches Sol) or Rahu in Hinduism (who swallows the sun), Elijah is found escaping from Jezebel. So, instead of the bread (the sun/Elijah) being eaten (caught), it is given by the birds (i.e., he escapes his pursuer). Thus, this would be an example of an ornithomantic interpretation.

Moreover, another traditional form of divination is scyphomancy which involves the utilization of a cup. This practice of course is seen in Genesis 44:5 with Joseph, who even says: "Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?" (Genesis 44:15).4 However, confused with the occult teachings of the Bible, some Christians may attempt to argue against a passage like this. For instance:
"If Joseph did practice divination with the silver cup, it was not divination in the pagan sense but seeking God’s will through a particular method." (https://www.gotquestions.org/Joseph-divination.html, fourth paragraph)
This is a classic example of what I call "consecrating evil." Basically, it is when one comes across the occult or pagan teachings of the Bible, but instead of condemning the teaching (as they normally would given any other culture), they justify it, setting it aside as holy and proper! The fact of the matter is, the Bible is not a Christian source; it is rather an accumulation of ancient esoteric teachings, assuredly "pagan" in its content. Notice also, Joseph is found interpreting an omen early in Genesis 41 (the cows, seven years of plenty, seven years of famine, etc.). Even in Genesis 37:9-10 an astro-theological context is seen with his dream. Actually, Jeremiah 27:9 speaks of prophets, diviners, dreamers; soothsayers, and even sorcerers all as synonymous (also see Micah 3:6-7). And, like Agrippa's idea of the magician above, Joseph defines himself as "a wise man" in Genesis 41:33. He is clearly seen as a diviner, one who interprets omens (Deuteronomy 18:10).5

Finally, as far as fortune tellers prophesying, we can look to Book XI of The Aeneid (Virgil). There, the prophetess is identified as a "foreknower of the future." In this setting, Aeneas seeks help from the god Apollo, and yet goes to the Sibyl. It is here where she results to divination, and like the fortune-teller in Acts 16:16, she becomes possessed by Apollo⁠—prophesying of what was to come. Interestingly, in the story Aeneas claims to have already guessed and prepared for what the prophetess foretold (i.e. the war to come). The difference? A diviner is well learned and skilled in the practice of divination, while Aeneas simply took a guess at it.

This story is coated in symbolism of course; beside the necromantical scene that follows after (a desire to descend into the underworld in order to visit his dead father, a golden bough required to be plucked, and a corpse to be placed in a tomb), this idea of Apollo (the sun/light) possessing the woman fits well with what is known as a high level of enlightenment (cf. Psalm 119:99-100). Basically, the ancient concept of "god" was understood as wisdom itself (e.g. Yahweh [Proverbs 8:14; 1 Corinthians 1:24]; Athena; Minerva; etc.). Therefore, this possession was a way of describing wisdom and understanding overtaking the individual. This is how the "divine" concept fits in actually, since wisdom was thought of in such a way. Divination is practiced by the wise (the sage), and only through strict discipline and industrious study will the hidden knowledge be properly obtained.


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Footnotes:

1. Psalm 19:4-5 is a good example of this.

2. As Isaiah 66:24 says:
"And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
Notice, even though these people are dead, they are nonetheless an abhorrence to the others. Why? Aren't they mere corpses? Well, that is the point, they are seen through the lens of a specific context⁠—how they lived previously on the earth (i.e. as transgressors). Thus, their dead bodies depict this idea, and cause them to be hated by the living. It is an understanding based on looking upon the corpses in other words.

3. Minus the vowel pointing, Saul and Sheol [grave, death] are the same exact word: שאול. Does this matter theologically speaking? Of course, as the Dead Sea Scrolls lack vowel points, and this would make the words identical therefore (not to mention Saul's context is killing himself [1 Samuel 31:4], pointing death in his own direction).

4. Some may attempt to argue against Joseph being one who practiced divination, claiming that he was simply "testing his brothers." For an example of me debating this issue with a Christian, see my Twitter conversation (of course, I later ended up being blocked⁠—common behavior seen among Christians in discussions).

5. In Deuteronomy 18:10, a practitioner of witchcraft, a soothsayer, an interpreter of omens, and a sorcerer are all in the same theme. Yet, it also mentions those who make their children "pass through the fire." This is another concept that often gets pulled out of its mystical and allegorical context. It turns out that this actually has to do with one going through suffering and discipline, as 1 Peter 1:17 well illustrates, their faith being tested by fire (cf. Revelation 2:10; Isaiah 43:2). The condemnation of this in Deuteronomy 18:10 evidently had to do with those who suffered for the name of other gods instead of Yahweh, as it is used in Ezekiel.
For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. (Ezekiel 20:31)
As it says in 2 Kings 23:10, "pass through the fire to Molech." One offering their own child is code language for giving up their own body (Gen 15:4; Lev 26:29) in the Bible, and this had to do with suffering (e.g. 1 Corinthians 13:3). It is similar to the "crucifying yourself daily" notion (Matthew 16:24/Galatians 5:24), giving yourself up as an offering to the gods spiritually (as it says above in Ezekiel 20:31, "offer your gifts").


[Note: if you are interested in topics such as divination, I will be covering this concept (among other things) in much more detail in my upcoming book, Consecrated Evil]


The Biblical Occult

8/4/2019

As this internet age of touch screens and digital propaganda takes its control like some kind of enlarging typhoon, the categories of so-called occultism and "dark-arts" can be spotted and identified as nothing more than a meaningless gathering of costume show attenders—with not a foundation of substance in sight. Of course, occultus in Latin means hidden or concealed (its context being one of mystery and divine knowledge), but today's idea seems to be something completely different⁠—like some kind of Spencer's display, or a mall-metal festival. The implications are shocking indeed.

One of the most common spreading mentalities that I have seen in fact, is this odd sort of repudiation of the Biblical documents in the context of occultism. That is, that the Bible itself seems to be completely disregarded and separated from the occult in the mind of such people, as many seem to think of the Bible as some kind of Christian source, where in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter? The Biblical writings are loaded with Hebrew esotericism, Gnosticism, and astro-theological symbolism⁠—quite an amazing body of occult literature to say the least (and it need not be separated from any other ancient mythology). Those who fall for the Christian bear trap (i.e. the lie that the Bible is a Christian set of documents) obviously fail to perceive this truth. The Kybalion asserts:
"From old Egypt have come the fundamental esoteric and occult teachings which have so strongly influenced the philosophies of all races . . ." (The Hermetic Philosophy, Ch. I)
Yet the Egyptian and Hebraic connection is quite emphatic (e.g. Exodus 9:1), and so the connection of occultism should come across as no surprise.

Moreover, unlike the absurdity of today, the occult "icons" of the past were very much involved in and associated with the Biblical context. For instance, well known occultists such as Crowley, Eliphas Levi, ⁠Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and even Hermes Trismegistus were all connected to the Bible in some kind of way. Aleister Crowley not only claimed a deep rooted "intimate knowledge of the Bible" (see Crowley on Christ), but as far as his philosophical perspective went, he was apparently influenced by the Biblical usage of the Greek term Θελημα (Thelema), resulting in the well known "Do what thou wilt" concept. Moreover, Eliphas Levi (which is a "transliteration" of his actual name "Alphonse Louis" into Hebrew) not only speaks on Christ in his book The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, but also calls religion "the collective poesy of great souls." He was very theologically informed. And, his famous Baphomet drawingwhich of course has to do with the equilibrium of opposites—seems to nowadays get pulled out of its original context and turned into some kind of "Hot Topic" symbol. Really, it's interesting how this particular drawing of his remains popular while his drawing of the seven seals from the book of Revelation (Apocalyptic Keyseems to get less recognition. But if anything, that just presses my point even further.

As for Agrippa, he was clearly a learned theologian, well aware of Biblical and Kabalistic teaching. Firstly, he rightly understood the concept of "the Magician" not as a superstitious sorcerer, but rather, as "a wise man, a priest, [and] a prophet" (Natural Magic, Introduction).1 He even said that if one is not learned in theology, they could not "understand the rationality of Magick" (Ch. II, ibid.). His Biblical involvement is quite obvious in fact, referencing Christ's words to Nicodemus as well as pointing to the content of the Book of Joshua (and "the Chaldeans furnace" in the Book of Daniel).

Hermes Trismegistus, to whom the well known aphorism "As above, so below" is attributed (Emerald Tablet), not only wrote in accordance with Biblical teaching,2 but was even understood to be either a contemporary of Moses, or thought to perhaps be Moses himself (e.g. see Theologica Platonica). The latter is quite a good argument actually given the parallel between the "tablets," along with the obvious Egyptian connection (Exodus 2:10; 7:10-22). It is also no marvel that Hermes and Gnosticism get associated together, since the Gnostic Acts of Peter even mentions "those that are above as those below" (XXXVIII.), and Gnosticism itself is very Biblical (see The Gnostic Testament). Thus, the connection is surely manifest.

And so, as can be seen, true and pure occultism cuts back to the ancient world⁠—the Bible being no exception to this. Even today, with the 50th anniversary edition of The Black Arts going around, Biblical/Hebraic references can be seen (e.g. p. 1, 117, 252). It is basically inescapable. Yet, since many are not studied in the Bible's complex content (nor do they usually understand what the Bible even is), how could such a thing be discerned? Many people claim to be occultists, but why? Are they interested in speaking to the dead? That is necromancy, an ancient esoteric practice (see Necromancy). Are people worshiping deities such a Hecate, the triadic moon goddess? That cuts back to Greek Mythology, which is basically the same thing as Hebrew (and Roman) mythology (e.g. Yahweh, Zeus, Jupiter). Are they into magic? That cuts back to the Hebrew Key of Solomon, and hence, the Levitical Grimoire. Before jumping ahead, one may want to ponder these things, as this is traditional occultism.

- Robert Anthony

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Footnotes:

1. Agrippa rightly used the term "occult" of course, stating:
"Whosoever therefore is desirous to study in this Faculty, if he be not skilled in naturall Philosophy, wherein are discovered the qualities of things, and in which are found the occult properties of every Being . . ." (ibid.)
2. For instance, compare The Holy Sermon, #7 with the creation account of Genesis. Also, notice Proverbs 25:3, "[As] the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings [is] unsearchable." There is an equation between above, below, and the heart. This balance is consistent with Hermetic thinking (not to mention Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6:10).

3. In the context of writing against Hermeticism and Gnosticism, the Christian website www.gotquestions.org says the following:
"However, according to the Bible, wisdom is not set aside for a select few who have the key to a secret door" [https://www.gotquestions.org/Hermeticism.html]
This is the exact opposite of Mark 4:11-12; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21.

Satan & Lucifer

7/28/2019

The Satanic Temple and Church of Satan aside, antiquity has its own set of perspectives to offer regarding the concept of satan. Among other things, the idea itself can be traced back to the Hebraic writings of the Bible⁠—and that to no surprise. But of course, even Biblically speaking the term satan (שָׂטָן) simply means adversary, and is not a word specifically limited to one particular character (although Christians often seem to think otherwise). For instance, not only is the apostle Peter called satan in Matthew 16:23, but God himself is even identified as satan in Numbers 22:22; the passage more literally reads that he "took his stand in the way as satan [לְשָׂטָן] against him." This chapter actually speaks of the angel of Yahweh, but the God of Israel is the angel of Yahweh in the Bible (e.g. Hosea 12:3-5).1


Additionally, ever so often people can be found identifying characters such as Beelzebub or the serpent2 in Genesis as the same exact one mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)
However, nothing demands that this is even the case. As noted, the term is very general in its meaning/usage. Yet when one is dogmatically ensnared by a compulsive and forced religious standpoint, well, what should we really expect to see? Passages unnecessarily being glued together is quite normal in Christendom. 

Furthermore, the Book of Job mentions a "satan" who is seen as more of a Loki character, neither good nor evil3 in his mythological nature. Him and Yahweh are basically found gambling on Job's life choices like some kind of heavenly dice game, or the toad race scene in Natura Contro. It's as if they are colleagues in this particular setting. Plus, by the time one arrives at the Gospel of Matthew, Satan comes across as one who even has power to offer Jesus. As he says to him: "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9). In fact, one could even draw a parallel with Zoroastrianism's Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu at that point (good vs evil). Even in Native American mythology, the Evil Maker (Ojibwa) mentions a "Good Spirit" creator as well as an "Evil Spirit" creator.4

Of course, the general "satan" descriptions by themselves placed on a shelf for a moment, let's not forget that these things are found in the esoteric context of Hebrew occultism. The same scroll that mentions "the great dragon" who is "called the Devil and Satan" also mentions seven stars, seven lampstands (Revelation 1:20) and seven spirits (3:1); seven seals (5:1), seven horns, and seven eyes (5:6); seven trumpets (8:6), and a drunk woman who is identified as a city (17:18). This is simply traditional esotericism—similar to the demons in the Testament of Solomon. But that being the case, just what does the dragon who is called Satan represent in the Book of Revelation? Well, evidently a river (Revelation 12:15-16), as that is precisely what the dragon (δρακων) Leviathan is identified as Hebraically (see Psalm 74:13-15). Yet, just as Leviathan is also found in the context of the stars (Job 3:8-9), so Satan here is found in the astro-theological context (Revelation 12:3-4); thus, the meanings are apparently functioning dualistically.

And what about Lucifer? The term is found contained in the famous King James Version reference of Isaiah 14:12 ("How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"). But actually, lucifer is a latin term⁠—a translation of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל which has to do with light and brightness. And, the passage makes absolutely no mention of the Christian idea of Satan, but rather, is in the context of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4). Such an anachronistic insertion is obviously the cause of much of the confusion regarding this term. And if that doesn't unplug the speakers quick enough, notice also that Jesus himself is even identified as lucifer in the Latin Vulgate.
et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris (2 Peter 1:19, Latin Vulgate)
English translations usually have "morning star" or "day star" here in this verse, referring to Jesus specifically. Thus, Christ is lucifer here in this passage.5 

Robert Anthony

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Footnotes:

1. Then again, "Satan himself transforms [μετασχηματιζεται] himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), activity similar to Ovid's Metamorphoses

2. Those who claim "serpent of old" (Revelation 12:9) demands the specific serpent of Genesis 3 are simply being assumptive. In Genesis 1:21, sea creatures are mentioned. The Bible mentions several serpents of old therefore (e.g. Job 7:12; Psalm 74:13; Isaiah 27:1). All the serpents in the world of creation are allegedly created back in Genesis (the beginning). So what demands that Satan in Revelation 12:9 is the exact same serpent speaking in Genesis 3? Nothing at all in the Bible.

Further, the serpent is seen as the one speaking the truth in Genesis, while Yahweh speaks the lie (cf. Genesis 2:17; 3:4-5, 22). This is the proper reading of the ancient story, while the church understanding flips things around.


3. That is, the book does not demand he is only one or the other. The actions against Job certainly come across as evil, but from a Christian theist perspective, the fact that Satan is "side by side" with God in heaven may come across as a bit odd (cf. Psalm 5:4)! Such a presence is viewed as holy in Hebrew literature (cf. Isaiah 6; Revelation 4:8).


4. Native American Myths and Legends, Arcturus Publishing, p. 83


5. Jesus is also called "morning star" in Revelation 22:16.

Ecliptic Lore

7/24/2019

The solar (and lunar) eclipse can be seen as somewhat of a central focus in the mindset of ancient observers. Based on the evidence, it can be learned that they consistently expressed their interest in such phenomena by means of artistic practices and religious traditions. And although there may have been some cultural distinctions (when comparing), the ecliptic motif can nevertheless be perceived as a very commonly shared point of view. From understanding the sun and moon as husband and wife,1 to viewing the ending eclipse as a fire spitting dragon (see below), these sort of mythological descriptions are seen as just another day in the esoteric life of primitive astro-theological cultures.

Given the necromantical context of ancient civilization, their emphatic interest in solar eclipses (along with sunrises in general) comes across as no surprise, as the concept of "life out of death" (resurrection)2 parallels "light out of darkness." For instance, this exact notion can be seen even with the resurrection of Christ in the Bible. Notice, his resurrection occurs specifically in the morning (e.g. Mark 16:1-6), and is therefore in the context of "the rising of the sun" (ανατειλαντος του ηλιου). As the text teaches, the two Mary's (i.e. the two witches) arrive only to find that Jesus is not in the tomb⁠—the stone having been rolled away already. This is highly solar ecliptic in description; the "Christ" of course depicting a rising sun deity (very general knowledge, e.g. Malachi 4:2).

But it doesn't stop there. Hebraically speaking, there is also a connection made between Jesus and the prophet Elijah in the Bible. Elijah? Indeed, yet another obvious solar deity (see below). Notice in John 3:13 how Jesus actually identifies himself as Elijah by saying that "No one has ascended to heaven" except for Christ (i.e. himself). As it turns out, Elijah is seen ascending to heaven in 2 Kings 2:11, since "a chariot of fire" appears "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Thus, he is identified as Christ in this very point.3

Thus, similar to Helios (Greek) and Surya (Hindu), the prophet Elijah is seen as yet another example of the "sun and chariot" motif. Interestingly, 2 Kings 23:11 condemns "the chariots of the sun", even though it falls right into this very category. But of course, this is not shocking given the Bible is seen teaching in opposition to itself quite frequently (see Is The Bible Biblical?). Further, we can also look towards classic Norse mythology to find this same kind of "sun and chariot" idea; Sol⁠—the sun personified⁠—is chased by Skoll, a sky wolf.4 And, since "he eventually will catch her," the solar ecliptic concept is clearly depicted, since darkness overtaking the sun is just that⁠—an eclipse. What is interesting in light of this is the fact that Elijah likewise flees, only instead of a wolf, he is found fleeing from Jezebel (1 Kings 19). Well, in somewhat of a "flip of the script," Jezebel is the one who ends up being eaten [by dogs] instead (2 Kings 9:10, 36-37). To keep things in context, an omen is basically seen two chapters earlier with Elijah; ravens are found feeding bread and flesh (or meat) to Elijah. And if this all isn't enough, you can also see the Chinese solar tale of Tiangou, a flying dog who eats the sun. When comparing these different cultural understandings, the parallelism is clearly seen in its essence, only the difference in certain details is witnessed.

More than this, the Greek word ηλι can also be placed on the table of examination. The term means "my God," but in Matthew 27:46-47 is connected with Elijah/the sun (ηλιαν). This of course fits with Psalm 84:11, since the Hebrew God is the sun, but it goes further than that. In 1 Samuel, Eli the priest has the same exact name (ηλι) in the Septuagint. And notice what 1 Samuel 4:18 (1 Kings LXX) says:
And it came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that he fell from the seat backward near the gate, and his back was broken, and he died, for [he was] an old man and heavy: and he judged Israel twenty years. (LXXE)
In other words, the sun "fell" (went down, or out). This is a clear example of the "sudden darkness" motif (also seen in The Oddysey, Book 11). Basically, the coming of darkness (the ark being stolen) and the leaving of light (Eli, the sun). 

Actually, the entire Book of Job in the Bible appears to be one big solar eclipse. It starts out great, sudden darkness and anguish arises, but then towards the end as Elihu5 (which also apparently means sun) comes into the picture, Job's life is restored⁠—and all is well again (light). Additionally, you have the fire breathing dragon, Leviathan mentioned in this same book. It says:
His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes [are] like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as [from] a boiling pot and burning rushes his breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth. (Job 41:18-21)
This fits right in with solar eclipse lore. In Hindu culture, Rahu is a serpent who swallows the sun. In Buddhism, Rahu attacks the sun deity, only to release it later on (instead of having his head split into seven pieces). This ecliptic motif depicts the fire breathing ("release") dragon concept. Leviathan is mentioned in a heavenly context (Job 3:8-9) and described with "a flame" (and light) going out of his mouth. The association of clouds and lightning appears to be sprinkled in as well, since the "burning lights" and "sparks" are mentioned along with "smoke" in the passages.

Moreover, notice how it says "may it look for light, but [have] none" in Job 3:8. This is said in the context of Leviathan and the heavens, the "darkness" concept fitting an eclipse. Interestingly, the Septuagint (in Job 3:8) does not use the usual term δαρκων for Leviathan, but instead has το μεγα κητος (i.e. the great whale or fish). With this in mind, notice the story of Jonah:

Now the Lord had commanded a great whale (κητει μεγαλω) to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the whale (του κητους) three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 [2:1] LXXE)
The same Greek word for "whale" (used in Job 3:8 for Leviathan) is used in this tale. The fish swallows Jonah, and ends up casting him out (εξέβαλε), just like in the ecliptic motif. But how does the sun chain into this? Well, sure enough, this story of Jonah and the fish ends up being deified in the Gospels, as Jonah gets understood as Christ (see Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32). Jesus draws the parallel between himself and Jonah, and Jesus being identified as God Himself (e.g. Titus 2:13) is "the sun" (e.g. Psalm 84:11) of course. Thus, we see the solar connection with the predecessor (Jonah), as well as the "Leviathan" and "whale" parallelism⁠—the whale (dragon) swallowing Jonah (the sun) and later vomiting him out depicting a solar eclipse. 

What about the Book of Daniel? Similar to Jonah and the fish, Daniel is cast into the lions den (Daniel 6), only to be released alive after. And, like Christ in the tomb (Matthew 27:66), "a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den" (the moon). Then, early in the morning, it was seen that Daniel was unharmed. So, he was released from the den. Moreover, this same story is basically told in chapter three with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (a triadic deity). Of course, they are put into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, only later to be released uninjured⁠—sort of the "fight fire with fire" scenario.

The lunar eclipse? Actually, the ancients did not hold to modern cosmology. Therefore, they did not believe in a lunar eclipse (as it is understood today that is). To the contrary, they believed that the moon gives its own light (see Isaiah 13:10; 30:26). And furthermore, they apparently understood the "lunar ecliptic" occurrence as the moon turning into blood (e.g. Joel 2:31). Specifically, in the case of Acts 2:20 the moon was understood as "feminine" (η σεληνη). Thus, the association of "blood" (αιμα) and the feminine appears to depict a menstrual cycle (cf. Leviticus 15:19; 20:18). Evidently, they viewed a "lunar eclipse" as a periodic occurrence of blood regarding the female moon.

Finally, in the case of Jesus in Revelation 19:13, the "He [was] clothed with a robe dipped in blood" evidently is a reference to the blood moon. The context specifically notes that he sat on "a white horse" (Revelation 19:11), certainly fitting the brightness of the moon. Therefore, this places Jesus (in this instance) into the category of a lunar deity. The ancients understanding of transportation was chariots and horses (e.g. Nahum 2:4). Thus, the sun and moon "racing" (cf. Psalm 19:5) across the sky day by day (and night) was described as men (or women) riding horses/chariots.
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Footnotes:

1. See Sun Lore of All Ages, ch. 2; Native American Myths and Legends, p. 161-162; Myths & Legends, William G. Doty & Jake Jackson, p. 24 (The Sun and the Moon). Also see Psalm 19:5 ("bridegroom").

2. Of course, "resurrection" is found in an esoteric context (e.g. Matthew 13:34-35; Mark 4:11-12; Revelation 1:1b). Since the Hebraic understanding of the dead was "the earth" (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 7:5; Job 5:6; Daniel 12:2), to animate or "bring to life" (resurrect) the earth was to live out Job 12:8 ("speak to the earth, and it will teach you"). This is the ancient practice of necromancy. In essence, the corpse speaks as an inanimate object. That is, the corpse "depicts" (e.g. Isaiah 66:24 "They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh"). For more on this subject, see Necromancy.

3. Also see Luke 9:7-9; 18-19.

4. The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, XII.

5. Ελιου (Job 32:2) and ηλιου (1 Samuel/Kings 1:1) both are understood as "Elihu" in the Apostolic Bible Polyglot, the latter commonly translated "sun" (e.g. Genesis 15:12; Job 1:3).


Necromancy

6/1/2019

Necromancy is quite a fascinating topic. The concept itself is often defined as "communication with the dead," specifically in the context of divination⁠—but is that accurate? The reality is, many people seem to completely misunderstand the actual ancient practice of necromancy. Many seem to think that ancient diviners were claiming to physically speak with dead people in conversations (like in The House by the Cemetery, or some kind of Catholic apparition). Those who think in this manner are obviously not understanding the esoteric nature of these ancient cultures (namely, the Egyptians, the Hebrews and the Greeks/Romans). They were obsessed with obscure language, riddles, and solar-ecliptic worship.

Simply put, traditional necromancy is the seeking of enlightenment through the context of the dead, or the underworld in general. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a classic example of necromancy in antiquity. Its title is actually more literally The Book of Coming Forth in the Light, further making the point. The Tibetan Book of the Dead of course is another example of traditional necromancy with its spiritual teachings of the mind, and yet a simultaneous focus on the dead. The ancient Hebrews can also be seen understanding this practice in the same manner. In Isaiah 8:19-20 it says the following:
When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 
Notice here, mediums and the dead are mentioned in the context of "dawn" (שָׁחַר). The point of view at hand argues that there is no such light (cf. John 1:9) in those who seek the dead. Why mention the dead and light/dawn together? Well, such is a classic example of solar mythology. The sun coming forth—light, dawn—is parallel with the dead coming forth into life (light out of darkness), the sun (i.e. Yahweh, Ps. 84:11) being the symbol of enlightenment (e.g. Psalm 43:4; Isaiah 60:1; Malachi 4:2). This is likewise the focus in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as it says "they see Ra in his rising; his beams flood the world with light" (ch. XV.). And such is the case with The Odyssey as well; in Book 11, Odysseus is seen speaking to the dead, yet the beginning of the book puts a focus on the sun and its light, or perhaps I should say the lack of. As it reads: "The eye of the Sun can never flash his rays through the dark and bring them light, not when he climbs the starry skies . . ." This depicts a "dimming" of light followed by the dead speaking to Odysseus (cf. Micah 3:6).

Just how was necromancy put to practice? Basically in the manner of animism. In the Hebraic writings, notice Job 12:7, "ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you." Biblically, this is done by receiving instruction and wisdom through observing nature (cf. Proverbs 6:6; 24:31-32). The next passage reads: "Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you." This is how necromancy is done, only "speak to the corpse." Actually, "the earth" and "the corpse" are one and the same thing esoterically (e.g. Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:20). As Ovid's Metamorphoses exemplifies: "Our mother is the Earth, and I may judge the stones of earth are bones that we should cast behind us as we go" (Book I., 381). This is said in light of the bones of the dead mother of Deucalion, and after the stones are thrown, they assume a human form (the earth to flesh, solid to bone). This fits in with the creation of "man from clay," as seen with Prometheus earlier in the book (cf. Pros Edda, XIII.). Thus, to go to the earth ("speak") like this (receiving wisdom, enlightenment) well displays a traditional view of necromancy.

More than this, in Hebrew culture the view was that "the dead know nothing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Thus, in this "under the sun" of a context, it is quite clear that they believed the dead had no knowledge of this world (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Yet in 1 Samuel 28, the medium of En dor is seen raising up the dead body of Samuel (1 Samuel 28:8-15), and there, Samuel is seen having knowledge of the world (in obvious contrast to Ecclesiastes 9:5). Therefore, this is evidence that the story is strictly esoteric in nature. It expresses the idea of wisdom being obtained by means of divination. Keep in mind, the world is being understood from a perspective of synchronistic fortune-telling and prophecy in this kind of culture (e.g. Deut. 13:1-2; Isaiah 41:22). Their view was that the dead did not return to this life (Job 10:21; Eccl. 9:6), and yet the corpse itself was thought of as an object of power (e.g. 2 Kings 13:21), an inanimate source of instruction (e.g. Job 12:7). The medium is simply the spiritual practitioner familiar with this custom, one spiritually "in touch" with the earth/the dead (Isaiah 29:4). And, although the Bible presents the mediums and necromancers in a bad light (e.g. Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Leviticus 20:27), it also presents the same practice of divination (that Yahweh's own prophets are involved in) in a good light (e.g. Micah 3:6-7; also see Witchcraft). The Bible is not a Christian "book," but rather, a compilation of occultism and differing theological perspectives (which certainly oppose one another at times; see Is The Bible Biblical?).

In summary, this custom is seen as one of mental relevance. Psalm 119:99 speaks of understanding gained through meditation, and this concept applied to a "dark" context (death, the underworld) is a good outline of what necromancy truly means. In the association of "the dead" with spiritual research, a humbling view is indeed acquired.


- Robert Anthony


Joy of Satan?

5/24/2019

The "Joy of Satan" website (www.joyofsatan.com, www.satanisgod.org) is something that I came across several years ago, I believe in a comment section on youtube. The Bible? Christianity? Satanism? These are all topics that I deal with quite regularly. And so, I payed the link a visit. 

In one of their articles they write:
There is nothing at all spiritual about the Bible or Christianity. (https://www.satanslibrary.org/ExposingChristianity/Jehova_A_Murderer_and_a_Liar_from_the_Beginning.html)
Christianity is not spiritual? I am fine with that being said (since the Christian religion is based on a dishonest and compulsive dogmatic point of view), but to assert that there is nothing spiritual about the Bible is simply absurd. The Bible is a compilation of occultism, esoteric mythology and several different Gnostic texts. It is not a Christian source (see Is The Bible Biblical?). This website even elsewhere admits that the Bible is "Jewish witchcraft."1 Witchcraft is very spiritual, as the Bible is very spiritual. 

Additionally, in their article entitled Exposing the Old Testament they attempt to argue in the context of comparative religion. However, they apparently think that if one mythological story "predates" another, that this demands it was stolen by the latter. This is actually a typical assumption, but it is not a good way to go about the research. For instance, the text which dates later may actually predate the supposed "earlier," just simply have not been written down (until after). Remember, ancient cultures are in no way limited to texts or scrollsl; they could easily pass traditions by word of mouth. And moreover, notice archaeological discoveries such as the Papyri, or the Dead Sea Scrolls; they both contain textual variation. Thus, who knows what else is out there yet to be discovered. Therefore, we should not assume one is stolen from the other merely based on the method of "dating." It is not enough evidence. 

Lastly, they say "There are endless contradictions and opposing verses in the Bible.There are contradictions with the Epic of Gilgamesh. There are also contradictions in Dionysus mythology. Such a thing is not considered "surprising" in archaeological studies. But why pick on the Bible specifically? Doing so comes across as a bit, well, selective. There is no reason to distance the Bible from these other mythological records. And further, this website contains contradiction. They say there is nothing spiritual about the Bible, and yet call it witchcraft. That is double talk.

Robert Anthony

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Footnotes:

1. https://www.satanslibrary.org/666BlackSun/Bible_Jewish_Witchcraft.htm

2. https://www.satanslibrary.org/ExposingChristianity/Jehova_A_Murderer_and_a_Liar_from_the_Beginning.html






Zeitgeist

5/21/2019

In dealing often with mythological parallelism, I have noticed quite a repetitive mention of Zeitgeist (the 2007 film) over time. It is as if the people digging up the film (and dusting it off) never even bothered looking into the subject with much effort in the first place. Of course, the film rightly points out the connection between Christ and the sun (nothing out of the ordinary there), but such a point is not without conflict. Don't get me wrong, Zeitgeist serves as somewhat of an introduction into general solar mythology; yet, it also contains several blatant errors.

Besides the films "Orion's Belt" and "three kings" parallel being problematic (the text does not specify three kings, but rather, gold, frankincense, and myrrh; the correct "three"), it's jump back to Exodus and Moses is even worse. The narrator asserts that "the golden bull is Taurus the bull" (referring to the constellation). This is a ridiculous handling of the text however. Notice, the context of the bull in Exodus is not Taurus, but rather, sacred mountain worshipConnecting any random bull with Taurus is in opposition to the surrounding setting; doing things in this manner (carelessness) simply gives comparative religion a bad name. It is chaotic in nature, and meaningless in definition. Truthfully, Taurus is in connection with battle and war with Orion (e.g. David vs Goliath, Theseus vs Minotaur, Gilgamesh vs Humbaba, or the bull of heaven). The bull is not in that sort of context here in Exodus—it is in the context of Mount Sinai. The ram's "horn" is not connected with "the new age of aries the ram" (as the film claims), but rather, the mountain (see Exodus 19:13). Moses is horned in the context of the mountain (Exodus 34:29-30, 35). The altar of burnt offerings had horns on its four corners (Exodus 27:2); the relevance being that Mount Sinai is the "smoking mountain" (Exodus 19:18; Deut 4:11; 9:15; Psalm 144:5).

In summary, comparative mythology is a serious endeavour. Connecting random baseless parallels is not how it is done. A multiplicity of parallels are involved (regarding each motif), careful and sincere archaeological examination being the accurate method.


- Robert Anthony


Turned into Hell

5/5/2019

While browsing Instagram, I came across a Christian post which read "Hell Is Real!" followed by a Psalm 9:17 reference. That is, "The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God." I simply commented on the post: "You mean... Sheol?" I was told in response:

savedbychristalone: No the final destination of Hell is being referred here. The lake of fire, mentioned only in Revelation 19:20 and 20:10, 14-15, is the final hell, the place of eternal punishment for all unrepentant rebels, both angelic and human (Matthew 25:41). It is described as a place of burning sulfur, and those in it experience eternal, unspeakable agony of an unrelenting nature (Luke 16:24; Mark 9:45-46). Those who have rejected Christ and are in the temporary abode of the dead in hades/sheol have the lake of fire as their final destination.
And so I replied,
whathasbeenwritten: No? Sheol is exactly what is used in Psalm 9:17 (specifically לִשְׁאֹולָה). Yet somehow, you manage to insert "the lake of fire" into Psalm 9:17? Eternal punishment? Matthew 25:46 calls it eonian chastening (Concordant Literal Version, following the Greek text: κολασιν αιωνιον). You also reference Luke 16:24 in the context of the lake of fire. The Bible never calls the "place of torment" there (Luke 16:28) "the lake of fire" specifically. Mark 9:45-46 is about gehenna (γεεννα), which according to James 3:6 is a spiritual concept, something that sets the tongue on fire in this present life.
And I was told after,
savedbychristalone: lol you’re wrong. Hell is a place of torment Greek βάσανος-of those in hell after death. Ps. 9:17 Sheol שְׁאוֹל-sheol, hell, OT designation for the abode of the dead place of no return, wicked sent there for punishment. Repent of your unbelief. 
What started off as a simple question, would later turn into both the discussion displayed here above, as well as a chaotic set of responses sent to my Instagram page afterwards. Not replying any further, I later noticed that my page had been blocked by this individual. That is odd, being all I did was ask a few questions, and state a few points (mostly in response).

More than this, it is clear that "savedbychristalone" is speaking with a double-mind (James 1:8). First they say "No", that it is not Sheol in Psalm 9:17; then, they say the opposite, admitting that Sheol is contained in Psalm 9:17. This is not the first time that I have seen this sort of, let's say, "Christianized" behavior before either (regarding the topic of hell). This subject seems to get handled in a manner of carelessness. But in my view? Any form of ancient literature should be approached with an honest and professional perspective⁠—not a point of view coated in religious bias. The very fact that "No" was said in response to "Sheol?" (regarding Psalm 9:17) should say much. Yet, in this dogmatic scenario of arm stretching desperation, "savedbychristalone" is left conjecturally reading ideas into ancient literature, and what good has it done?

savedbychristalone: Sheol- שְׁאוֹל/ hell, the OT designation for the abode of the dead, place of no return, wicked sent there for punishment. Hades- ᾅδης/ Hell, In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked, Luk 16:23, Rev 20:13, 14; a very uncomfortable place.
Hades (Sheol, Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27) has to do with death in its definition (1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm 6:5; 18:5; 116:3; Hosea 13:14; Habakkuk 2:5). To be in sheol is to be dead (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3, 10), and that is the Biblical meaning of the word. Therefore, God turning the wicked to sheol is language of death upon them if anything. Moreover, there is this association of sheol and "the wicked" at times in the Bible (e.g. Psalm 9:17; 31:17; 55:15; Proverbs 5:5; 7:27; 9:18), and although the Hebraic teaching is that all who die, die by the hand of Yahweh (1 Samuel 2:6; Deuteronomy 32:39; Ezekiel 21:3-4), there is also this sense of God killing the wicked in a specific context seen in the Bible (e.g. Genesis 38:7, 10; Psalm 9:5; 94:23; 145:20; Job 38:13; 40:12-13). Like Ecclesiastes 7:17 says: "Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish: why should you die before your time?" (also see Proverbs 15:24; 23:14). This Christian idea being presented is that Hades is a place where the wicked are tormented. Such an understanding apparently stems from the KJV sort of reading in Luke 16:23, combined with an assumption of "synonymous terms."
Luke 16:23-24 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
It is this combination of the rich man1 being "in hell" (hades) and being "in torments," or tormented in the flame, that may lead one to conclude that hades is the place of torment mentioned (given their theology). However, the passage simply fits with the normative usage of hades and sheol. That is, the man was dead.
Luke 16:22 . . . the rich man also died, and was buried;
He died, and therefore was in sheol (dead), just like the righteous are elsewhere in the Bible (e.g. Genesis 37:35; Psalm 88:3; Joshua 1:2). Like Psalm 89:48 says: "What man can live and never see death? Who can save himself from the power of Sheol?" (HCSB). And as for his physical location, the rich man was particularly in a "place of torment" in the story (Luke 16:28). However, nothing shifts the "hades" definition into this place of torment, as its same definition of being dead fits the passage perfectly (Luke 16:22-23). So, the confusion is within the mind of people not realizing this evidently. 
savedbychristalone: Hell - γέεννα/ Gehenna, Mark 9:45 γέεννα géenna, gheh'-en-nah; of Hebrew origin (H1516 and H2011); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:—hell
This frequent "valley of Jerusalem" argument is in part based on the Hebrew words גַּיא (valley) and הִנֹּם (Hinnom), verses like Joshua 15:8; 18:16; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:2, 6; 32:35 perhaps also being referenced. However, as I pointed out in my Instagram comment (but was not addressed), according to James 3:6, gehenna (γεεννα) is a spiritual concept⁠—something that sets the tongue on fire in this present life. Notice the present tense usage via the indicative verb καθισταται (which is the context of the later participle, φλογιζομενη [being set aflame]). Furthermore, as shown in this passage, to be evil equals "set on fire by the gehenna." And, this "present time fire" concept in James 3:6 parallels Jude 23 which says: "but others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." To be pulled "out of the fire" describes being made alive spiritually (theologically), since those in it are said to be dead (see Matthew 8:22; Ephesians 2:1).
savedbychristalone: Mark 9:43: “hell” indicates that Jesus was referring to eternal life. hell. The Gr. word refers to the Valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem, a garbage dump where fires constantly burned, furnishing a graphic symbol of eternal torment, the fire that shall never be quenched. 
The "never be quenched" (or more literally, the unextinguished [το ασβεστον]) here refers to gehenna (γεενναν), the same fire of James 3:6 which occurs in the here and now. In Jeremiah 4:4 Yahweh says: "Lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that no one can quench."  Interestingly enough, this "no one can quench" idea applied spiritually fits Ephesians 2:8-9 (i.e. no one can grant salvation to themselves, escaping the flames of evil [James 3:6; Jude 23]). Very Gnostic sounding material.
savedbychristalone: Matthew 25:46 (MSB): 25:46 everlasting punishment … eternal life. The same Gr. word is used in both instances. The punishment of the wicked is as never-ending as the bliss of the righteous.
And which Greek word is that? It is αιωνιον, a term that clearly has nothing to do with "eternity" (as shown by its repeated usage in the Bible). Both the Hebrew term עוֹלָם along with it's Greek equivelent αἰώνιος (αἰών) instead depicts "eon" (eonian as an adjective). As the Concordant Literal Version exemplifies in its translating: "the fire eonian" (Matthew 18:8; 25:41 CLV), "fire eonian" (Jude 7 CLV), "chastening eonian" (Matthew 25:46 CLV), "eonian extermination" (2 Thessalonians 1:9 CLV). The term "eonian" is "pertaining to an eon." Thus, eonian punishment would be punishment of the eon (i.e. not a comment of the length, but rather, the adjectival relation). 
Matthew 13:40 “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this eon.
Which eon is in view in Matthew 25:46? The Bible mentions several eons (e.g. Hebrews 1:2; Matthew 12:32), even "the consummations of the eons"  (1 Corinthians 10:11). 

Additionally, notice how the Greek and Hebrew terms2 are used in the Bible. Micah 5:2 gets translated as "from everlasting," but is actually "from days of eonian" (מִימֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם). Notice, days, not eternity. It's usage demonstrates that it does not mean eternal (to the disappointment of Christians). Another instance is Daniel 12:2 which would be saying "forever and further" instead of "for eon and further." There is no further beyond forever, otherwise the concept is cancelled out. Notice also in the Septuagint, Psalm 52:8 (51:8) says "I have trusted on the mercy of God into the eon, and into the eon of the eon" (ηλπισα επι το ελεος του θεου εις τον αιωνα και εις τον αιωνα του αιωνος). This "I have trusted" is past tense (ηλπισα), yet into the eon, and into the eon of the eon.  The blatant error of "forever" can be seen in Brenton's translation:

I have trusted in the mercy of God for ever, even for evermore. (LXXE)
If he trusted already, then "for ever" has passed. The past tense of the verb exemplifies that "the eon" or even "the eon of the eon" can occur within one's lifetime. In light of this, notice Isaiah 65,
Isaiah 65:20 “No more shall an infant from there [live but a few] days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner [being] one hundred years old shall be accursed.
This "die one hundred years old" is in the context of "rejoicing" and "joy" within Jerusalem (Isaiah 65:18-19). In essence, it is an "eonian life" (life of the eon) which has an end (100 years), but is nevertheless a reward. See, regarding the argument of "punishment of the wicked is as never-ending as the bliss of the righteous," the Bible doesn't demand some "eternal life" as translations often read. It is eonian life, a reward of life (like Isaiah 65:20). See, the "life of the eon" is distinct from immortality Biblically. Immortality is also something that is "put on" according to 1 Corinthians 15:53. Where does the Bible demand that it "stays on" throughout all eternity? Notice Revelation 22:2, "leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations." Healing? What if one refuses the leaves? Either way, neither the righteous or the wicked are given "eternal" in Matthew 25:46.
savedbychristalone: a place of torment with “fire and brimstone” where “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” (Rev. 14:10, 11); and a “lake of fire and brimstone” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). Here Jesus indicates that the punishment itself is everlasting—not merely the smoke and flames. 
This connection of Revelation 14:10, 11 and Revelation 20:10 is simply unsubstantiated. The punishment in Revelation 14 is being tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the angels and the lamb. The smoke of their torment ascends into eons of eons (cf. Isaiah 34:10), but notice, fire and brimstone kills people in the book of Revelation (Revelation 9:17-18; 11:5), and nothing indicates anything is different here. It is all a matter of assumption in the Christian's mind that this is some continuing process of hell torment. The smoke ascending into eons of eons does not reveal that they are still alive while it ascends either. It simply ascends from their torment (like it says), and how long the torment lasts is not mentioned. Moreover, "they have no rest day or night" is in the same present indicative tense (εχουσιν) as the verb λαμβανει ("is getting" speaking of the mark). Thus, when they receive the mark is when they have no rest (the same timing). When did they receive the mark? Verse 9 shows they receive it, and as a consequence that follows they are tormented with fire. Just compare this wording with Revelation 4:
Revelation 4:8 [The] four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they have no rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
This is used in a context of worship here. That is the same context in Revelation 14:9 ("If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives [his] mark"). Thus, they have no rest day or night while worshipping the beast and his image (beforehand), as this is when they take the mark. As a result, they are tormented with fire and brimstone, and the placement of verse 11 after appears to be a focus on why they are tormented in the verse prior (i.e. for their evil). Thus, they have no rest in worship, are punished by God with torment therefore, and the smoke ascends into eons of eons from that torment. Other than this, we are not given specific detail. 

The lake of fire is defined as "the second death" (Revelation 20:14; 21:8); the righteous are said to not be "hurt by the second death" (Revelation 2:11), and of those who reign with Christ for 1000 years it says "Over such the second death has no power" (Revelation 20:6). Who it does hurt⁠—if anything⁠—is "the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars," as they are said to go there (Revelation 21:8). It says that "anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15) as well. This is close to the concept of "hell," but there is nothing describing it as lasting for eternity (as the Christians teach).

Revelation 20:10 And the Adversary who is deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the wild beast and where the false prophet are also. And they shall be tormented day and night for the eons of the eons. (Concordant Literal Version)
Frequently, the eons of the eons get's changed into "forever and ever" in translations, pushing the eternal idea (like some sort of promotional pamphlet). The fact of the matter is, there is no such "eternity" in the Hebraic belief. They were a culture of "eons" (as shown). Many of these translations ignore the genitive construct of Revelation 20:10 as well (i.e. τους αιωνας των αιωνων) and end up adding the word "and" in (even though there is no such "και" found there). And moreover, the general group of unbelievers (Revelation 21:8) are never said to remain in the lake of fire "for the eons of the eons" like the devil in Revelation 20:10. It doesn't specify the exact length of time for the wicked in general.

There is also an argument some may make, that the same words in Revelation 20:10 (εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων) are used for God who lives εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων (Revelation 4:9-10; 10:6; 15:7), the argument being that God lives forever. But as it turns out, the Bible does not necessarily teach that God lives forever (see Eternality of God). The ancient tribal view of what a God was differs from today's church theology. Really this topic can be summed up with a few passages:

Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation goes, and another generation comes, yet the earth is standing for the eon. (CLV)
Here, לְעֹולָם is used. Some translations of course turn this to "forever," but according to 2 Peter 3:7, 10 and Revelation 21:1, the earth does not abide forever (see also Isaiah 65:17). Yet the point can still be made that generations of people come and go, while the earth remains for the eon. That is, the earth stays as people come and go, but this does not comment on just how long the earth remains for overall. Other passages say it has an end. This same kind of comparison is made with Yahweh and mankind:
Psalm 90:1-2 Yahweh, You Yourself have become our Habitation in generation after generation; Ere the mountains were born, And You travailed with the earth and the habitance, From eon unto eon You are El. (CLV)
Psalm 90:1-2 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You [are] God. (NKJV)
This is very parallel to Ecclesiastes 1:4. God remains from eon to eon, while generations of people come and go (Psalm 90:1-2, 4-6, 9-10). Yet this is in comparison to mankind; it does not comment of if Yahweh lives eternally or not. It simply comments on Him remaining eon unto eon while generations of people come and go. And, the eons have an end ("consummation of the eons" 1 Corinthians 10:11). Additionally, some may argue that the plurality seen with τους αιωνας των αιωνων proves eternity. This view is simply a reach for the stars however. It's amazing how "forever" means eternal in the Christian mind, and yet "forever and ever" somehow means the same thing. What is the and forever? The plurality is no different than the "eons" (αιωνων) in 1 Corinthians 10:11 which have an end.

Moreover, some may claim that the "they" in Revelation 20:10 refers to the beast and false prophet who are cast into the lake (Revelation 19:20). It actually appears to refer to the devil as "they" (βασανισθήσονται, third person plural indicative). The "where the beast and the false prophet are" can be translated "where the beast and the false prophet were" (e.g. ESV), since it is a matter of context, and nothing demands that they are still in the lake of fire at this time or not. If they are not, the "they shall be tormented" refers to "the Devil" as the antecedent. That is, the serpent of old, the great dragon, the devil (Revelation 12:9). A singular can be referred to as a plural Biblically (see Mark 5:9).


Additionally, later in Revelation, "Death and Hades" are cast into the lake of fire (Revation 20:14), and Revelation 21:4 says there will be "no more death" after. It is not eternally in existence after being cast into the lake of fire therefore. It is no more. But what about the people in Revelation 20:15?

Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
After stating that "anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15), it says "the former things have passed away." Who is God wiping away every tear from? What pain is there no more of? The context is judgment, the second death. Evidently, the belief here was that after being cast into the lake of fire, all people are reconciled. The timing is very odd in Revelation however. At times it is not only hard to determine who is speaking (e.g. see Revelation 22:6-21), but also what time frame is in view. The claim of the wicked having their part in the fire in Revelation 21:8 referencing back to 20:15, at the judgment. Revelation 21:10 shows Jerusalem descending out of heaven, and yet this occurs before in 21:2. What is shown in Revelation 22:14-15 appears to go back to in judgment time of chapter 20. Based on Revelation 21:4-5, it appears that the wicked are eventually made new (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Here again you can see this reconciliation of all things doctrine. The context here is in Colossians 1:16, "all things were created" by God, the same "all things" he reconciles to himself. The idea is salvation ("the blood of His cross"). Colossians 1:21 speaks of believers saying "yet now He has reconciled" them, and defines this as having faith (Colossians 1:22 "in the faith"). Thus, the reconciliation here is defined as faith, and 1:20 says this occurs with "all things." When does it occur?
1 Cor 15:28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
This passage speaks of the future. This "God may be all in all" is parallel to Galatians:
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
That is, Christ (God) is Paul ("it no longer I"), and "Christ lives in" Paul. Just as 1 Corinthians 15:28 says, "that God may be all in all." It is clearly language of salvation, just as in Colossians 3:11 ("Christ [is] all and in all"). Moreover, Ephesians 1:10 mentions God gathering "together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him," and later "the whole family in heaven and earth" are mentioned (Ephesians 3:15), yet given the Colossians 1:16, 20 description, even angelic spirit beings (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 1:6-7) are in view. Nothing forces the concept of people "dying and entering heaven" in the Bible. The view is that God is in the sky, he is even seen riding upon a cherub in the context of "the wings of the wind" (Psalm 18:10). In Genesis 28:12, angels are seen ascending and descending. Zechariah 6:5 mentions "four spirits of heaven." There are clearly angels in heaven in the Bible (Mark 13:32). The Philippians 2:10 passage that states: "every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth" apparently refers to angels, men who are alive on earth, and those who are in the sea, as "under the earth" is a apparently a reference to the sea in the Bible (e.g. Exodus 20:4). In Revelation 5:13 it says "every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea."

More than this, what is interesting about the Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John) is the way it is structured. As mentioned, the time frames are written randomly, and the speaker change is complicated. At the end of the book, there is a warning given to not add or take away from the book (Revelation 22:18-19). It is possible that this is exactly what was going on, hence the warning at the end (kind of like the "longer ending" of Mark's gospel) to perhaps put a nail in the coffin once and for all.

Besides this, the Apocalypse of John (Revelation) appears to draw from the Apocalypse of Peter. Some may date it before Peter, but the dating is clearly ambiguous. Where Revelation mentions things randomly without explanation, the Apocalypse of Peter gives context and flow. For instance, "the prayers of the saints" spoken of in Revelation 5:8 and 8:4 are not explained, yet in Peter's Apocalypse Jesus says:

"It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men." (Ethiopic)
This concept parallels Revelation 20:15- 21:4. Also, the second death and lake of fire are spoken of in Revelation as if it is understood what they are already. Peter gives a context of Jesus showing things to his disciples and says:
23 And there was a great lake full of flaming mire, wherein were certain men that turned away from righteousness; and angels, tormentors, were set over them. (ibid.)
In summary, the ancient Hebraic point of view is certainly coated in punishment of the wicked (even lasting for eons in the case of the Dragon/Satan). However, it is the Christian idea of "Hell" that differs from the Biblical view. Thus, it is all a matter of handling ancient literature from an honest perspective.

Robert Anthony

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Footnotes:


1. 
What is interesting about Luke 16:19-31 is, it shows dead people conscious, speaking as if they are alive. This idea of the dead is similar to what is seen in Homer's The Odyssey, and "the house of Hades" in general. This is quite different than teachings on the dead found elsewhere in the Bible (e.g. Job 3:11-19). The rich man being dead, yet oppressed in torment is the opposite of what is seen in Ecclesiastes actually.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter–On the side of their oppressors [there is] power, But they have no comforter. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both [is he] who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 
Here, the belief is that the dead are not oppressed, but instead, they are comforted (contrary to the living). The dead are basically placed in the category of non-existence, the difference with those who have "never existed" being that they have not seen the evil under the sun (unlike the dead). Nevertheless, both are in a better position than the living. This sort of teaching of the dead being praised in comfort completely opposes what Luke 16:23-24 says. 

However, this "place of torment" is very close to the idea of "hell." The problem is, it does not specify that all unbelievers go there (which is a vital concept when it comes to the Christian Hell). It mentions the rich man, and the context is "the Pharisees, who were lovers of money" (Luke 16:14). That is who this entire thing is spoken to. Thus, this implies a condemnation of the rich (e.g. Matthew 19:23-24), and nobody else specifically. With this context in mind, the rich man's brothers were apparently under the same condemnation as he was (riches). It also does not say that the "torment" will last for  eternity. The Bible mentions "greater condemnation" when it comes to the Pharisees (Luke 20:47). This may have to do with length of time, but no specific details are given beyond that.


2. When it comes to עוֹלָם or αἰώνιος (αἰών), some might argue that the words can mean eternal or forever sometimes, and that it simply depends on the context. The issue there is that in every single usage (in the Bible), nothing demands an eternal context. The eon (or eonian) concept fits in every single case. Therefore, such an argument is completely unconvincing.



[note: parts of this post contain excerpts from a lengthier study on the afterlife I did over time. To request the full written study, send an email to whathasbeenwritten@gmail.com]