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Ward and the First Apocalypse

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Last of Ward's priests; Peter Gilbert Strong
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Ward and the First Apocalypse
Other Key Apocalypses
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WARD'S THEOLOGY; The Nature of God
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WARD'S THEOLOGY; God's Great Plan
The Mystical Theology of J.S.M. Ward

 

DATED 22ND OF FEBRUARY 1934 THE FIRST APOCALYPSE OF BROTHER SERAPHION GAVE HIM CAUSE TO CHANGE SOME OF HIS LONG-HELD TRADITIONAL THEOLOGICAL VIEWS, IN A MOST DRAMATIC FASHION.

Of course many of those who came after him and have seen the unblemished symmetry of the teachings that he later proclaimed to the world may find it hard to believe that Ward himself was once a seeker just like the rest of us.
 
However, after reading the First Apocalypse, which to the best of my knowledge has not previously been published in full, perhaps this will become more apparent, for his amazement at discovering the true role of the Tester is clear to all.
 
Nevertheless, the first Apocalypse provides much more than a glimpse into Ward's personal journey. In essence it sets out what by that time had aleady become the whole purpose of his life - his duty to proclaim to the world the approaching Coming of Christ and the New Age that He will initiate after this Christian Dispensation has passed away.
 

 

THE FIRST APOCALYPSE OF

BROTHER SERAPHION

 

The Judgement Seat of the Most High

 

Introduction

 

In the First Apocalypse, Brother Seraphion is taken to the Judgement Seat of the Most High Who pronounces Judgement on the Christian Era that is now passing. There amidst the assembled Hosts of Heaven Seraphion feels like an insect among giants, but the Most High has called him thither for a purpose.

 

Broadly that purpose is to reveal unto Seraphion many things that will assist him in the Work to which he has been called. It is in this Vision that he discovers, among other things that Satan is a servant of God, not His Enemy, that the present Age, the Christian Era is almost at its end and although Christ will come ere it does end, there is yet another Age that will follow that and that his task includes not only preparing the world for the Coming of Christ, but also preserving as much of the wisdom of the past as he may for the benefit of the Age that is to Come.

 

From a literary point of view, the First Apocalypse differs from all the rest in that significant parts of it are written in blank verse. Long before this time, Brother Seraphion’s alter ego, John Ward, had been well-known in literary circles as a poet, but apart from the hymns that he was inspired to produce for his community church, this seems to be his only major literary use of this talent in God’s Service. 

 

It can be argued that in doing so he may have modified somewhat the message that he received, sacrificing faithfulness in representation to metre and alliteration. Yet he would have disputed this[1]. He would have claimed to have recorded that which he heard as best mortal speech allowed, and the latter point is important, for as all true mystics will know the Divine Message comes not in human words but in compressed thought that so burns itself into the human brain that its import is long remembered, though no actual words are heard. However, they will also know that it is only as it ponders the import of what it has experienced that the earthly mind is able to sort out the message into human words to form phrases that will convey the heavenly meaning to its fellow mortals.

 

It seems that the blank verse in this account was produced by Seraphion, quite unconsciously, in much the same way that earlier in his career he had been able to produce automatic writing[2]. It seems that it is employed to distinguish the formal speeches the Heavenly participants utter, from both their informal speech, and the author’s own descriptions of what he saw and heard. Perhaps it does indeed reflect the actual intent of the speakers, for who shall say that these Great Actors have any less ability as poets than the greatest of earthly bards?   In this case, we may well see the use of a different mode of speech as reflecting their intent, and any deficiencies in metre or variations in the number of syllables in the lines as imperfections of expression in the human mystic, rather than limitations in the abilities of the celestial participants.

 

 

Bearing these facts in mind we shall now begin to examine the text of the First Apocalypse itself which, we are told, Seraphion received on February 22nd, 1934

 

 

 

Text of the First Apocalypse

 

As I, Brother Seraphion, was in deep meditation on the twenty-second day of the second month, behold, there appeared unto me one in the similitude of a Man.  His face was as the sun and his robes of glittering fire, and he towered above me[3] as doth a mighty oak above the hawthorn and my heart was filled with fear so that it failed me, and my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth, and the Man spoke, saying:

 

‘Fear not, Seraphion, for although thou be as the dust and among the least of men, yet the Lord God of Hosts hath compassion on thee, and He will raise thee up and make of thee a messenger to reveal unto the sinful sons of men both that which hath been and that which is to come.’

 

And I said to him: ‘My lord, who art thou?’

 

And He said: ‘I am of the Order of the Thrones, being he who is set over the Work in preparation for the Coming of Christ the King[4].  Delay not therefore, but take my hand and come with me.’

 

And I said: ‘Whither goest thou?’

 

And he said: ‘Unto the dwelling place of the Lord of Hosts.’

 

And thereupon he caught me by the hand and it seemed as if we rose in the air and the world of men vanished from my sight and all around me was in utter darkness.  And through the darkness we sped with a speed incredible.  As the lightning flashes from the East even unto the West, so it seemed that we sped through space. 

 

And by degrees I was aware that the blackness of night was diffused with a ruddy glow, baleful and terrible and darkness yet light.

 

And as we sped, the colour changed till we seemed to be passing through fire red as blood, yet the fire burnt not.  And the red light faded into a grey mist, and the grey became tinged with blue, till all around me was as the colour of sapphire, glorious yet terrible to behold.  And by degrees this changed to green and so to yellow.  And the yellow light grew to a golden, and the gold to white, such as exists not on the earth of men[5].

 

Amid the sea of light I saw rising up the walls of a great city.  They were as if built of crystal or of diamond, white and clear[6].  Yet even as the diamond refracts the light, so that it flashes red, green and purple, orange and blue, so the walls of the fair city flamed in the white light around it, so that my eyes could see but dimly the nature of its glory[7].

 

Fair builded was that city and adorned with many palaces, but high over as if upon a mountain soared up a mighty Temple, for so it seemed.  And the Temple had many courts and fair gardens and trees decked with blossoms[8], which glowed with radiance, as did all around. And in the innermost court there stood a fair pavilion with pillars of adamant and a dome crystal clear.  And great fear fell on me as we approached this dome, for beneath it was a lofty throne.  And when first I gazed on it, it seemed as if there were three thrones, each equally high of ivory and gold.  And on the thrones were seated Three, awful in majesty an effulgent with glory. And the form of the One was a Man as if old and venerable, stern yet gracious His aspect, and terror filled me.  On one side there was seated a young Man, youthful of countenance, gracious in mien.  Whilst on the other side was One in the form of a Woman[9], tender and loving.  Yet even as I gazed these Three became One[10] and I stood in the presence of the Lord of Hosts.  And terror came upon me and I fell on my face and said:

 

‘I am but as the dust, how shall a mere man look on the face of the Living God?  Holy art Thou and I am sinful.’

 

And He Who sat upon the throne spoke and His Voice was gentle and He said:

 

‘O Seraphion, child of earth, though thou art but a sinful man and less than the dust, yet art thou also a child of God, and just because thou art nothing[11] will I make of thee My messenger and reveal unto thee that which hath been and that which shall be, that the men of earth may not be without a warning and a witness of My Majesty in these latter days, for I am slow to wrath and My Mercy endureth for ever. And though the children of earth be waxen evil and the earth be full of iniquity yet are they My children, and dear unto Me is every soul. And that thou mightest not be overwhelmed with fear, I bid thee stand up amid the assembled seraphim and then thou shalt both see and hear that for which I have called thee hither.’

 

And he who had brought me thither raised me and we stood amid the assembled seraphim.  And I looked and beheld, and the courtyard was filled and the very sky above with the ranks of the Hosts of Heaven.  Tier beyond tier and rank behind rank, in ever-widening circles stood the assembled Hosts. Seraphim and Cherubim and Virtues and Powers, Principalities and Dominions, Thrones, Archangels and Angels and each in their several stations[12].  And the Hosts could not be numbered for they were as the sands of the seashore.

 

And he who stood ever by my side, the Messenger of the Lord of Hosts, even he, laid his hands upon mine eyes and my ears and upon the top of my head.  And I said to him: ‘Sir, why didst thou touch me on the eyes and on the ears and on the top of the head?’

 

And he answered and said, ‘O man of earth, I touched thee on thine eyes that thou mightest be able to bear the glory and the unutterable majesty of the Lord of Hosts, of the Holy and Terrible.  And I touched thee on thine ears that thou mightest hear and understand that which is spoken in the presence of the Eternal. And on the top of the head I did touch, that thou mightest remember so that when thou returnest unto thy body on earth and it closes thee within iron bands[13], that which thou hast seen with thine eyes and heard with thine ears, thou shouldest remember lest it vanish like words that are written on the waves of the ocean.’

 

And behold there stood before the Lord of Hosts, the Eternal, the Ancient of Days, a being radiant with glory but terrible of visage.  There were beauty and majesty and yet was his face stern and his brows were knit as with furrows, as if he had suffered.  It seemed as if anger was in his eyes as he bowed before the Lord of Hosts, prostrating himself to the ground.

 

And I spoke unto the Messenger saying: ‘Who is this mighty lord, so noble of stature, who towers up amidst the Hosts of Heaven, even as thou towerest above me?[14]  Who is this radiant one, so stern of visage, so awful in majesty, who fills my heart with terror, so that I tremble in his presence? [15]  Is this Michael, Angel of Judgment?’ And he the Messenger answered and said

 

‘Michael is yonder by the steps of the throne,

Beside him is Azrael Dispenser of Death

Yonder is Raphael, Guardian of Life,

Next unto him Gabriel, Master of Birth[16].

He whom thou seest is Lucifer, Son of the Dawn.’

 

And I was astonished at his words and I said unto him: ‘Is Satan then free of the Courts of Heaven?  Hath he the right of entrance unto the Palace of God?  May he stand at the throne of the Ancient of Days? Is he not banished, cut off from God?”[17]

 

And he answered and said.

 

‘Give heed to my words for I speak ye a mystery:

That which is hidden, I am bidden reveal[18].

He in the Tester, the Accuser of Men.

In the midst of the Seraphim he stands to bear witness,

His is the duty of testing and trying,

Of sifting the wheat and the chaff which encumbers;

He is the fire, refining the gold,

He is the Tester of men and of angels,

Wherefore of right[19] he cometh to God,

Beareth his witness and layeth his charges,

Here in the Presence he reporteth his words.

None many approach until he hath passed them.

Hearken and heed, for that which he sayeth

Revealeth the future as well as the past.’

 

Then spake Lucifer, son of the Dawning[20]:

 

‘Lord God of Battles, King of the Seraphim,

Monarch Omnipotent, heed my complaint.

How long must I labour through ages unceasing,

Striving to mould men, testing their efforts;

How long wilt thou keep me, toiling unceasingly,

Testing and training the children of earth? [21]

Lo!  Since the Dawning[22] I have gone forth amongst them,

Testing and cleansing, and ever they fail.

How long will Thy patience remain unexhausted?

How long ere Thou cast them as useless aside?

Lord of the Seraphim, have I not proved them

Utterly worthless and utterly false?’

 

He ceased, and it seemed as if clouds filled the Pavilion and as if mists gathered about us and shrouded from sight the face of the Ancient of Days, the Lord of the Seraphim[23].  Then out of the cloud pealed a Voice, like the rolling of thunder, as the Lord God of Battles answered and said:

‘Son of the Dawning, when thou didst come to Me,

Asking a favour, to serve Me unceasingly,

Saying that I should decide what was best ,

Did I not show thee the tasks which were waiting,

Did I not grant to thee freedom of choice?

Then didst thou ask for the task thou art set[24],

To act as the Tester of man upon earth,

To sift him and try him until he prove worthy,

Returning perfected to stand by My throne.[25]

Didst thou not say, Who, Lord, is more fitted

Than I, the Lightbearer, to test Thy creation,

That no one unworthy may come near Thy throne?

Who but the Lightbearer can be more fitted

To carry Thy Light into the darkness,

Revealing in all things their flaws and their weakness,

Burning the dross with the radiance from Thee?[26]

Thus as Thy Lightbearer, Lord, I beseech Thee,

Send me with servants, to test and to train

This new Creation until it is perfect,

And fitted to dwell with Thee forever.  Amen.

Lucifer, when I received thy petition,

Did I not warn thee how dread was the task?

Did I not tell thee the direful conditions

Which must accompany thee throughout thy labours?[27]

Didst thou not answer, Who less than a seraph,

Lord, can be fitted to serve Thee in this?

Didst thou not say, Through ages unending

I have been toiling, I have been learning

All that delayeth the soul in its progress,

Do I not know, for have I not suffered? 

Who then more fitted to serve Thee herein?’[28]

 

Then answered the Seraph, the Prince of the Dawning:[29]

 

‘Lord of Eternity, Thou art the Truth.

Wherefore it follows that Truth Thou hast spoken.

Nevertheless, to me it was granted,

Ever to come and to stand in Thy Presence,[30]

Telling Thee truly how Thy Creation

Is journeying onwards unto its goal.

Where it has failed Thou didst charge me explicitly,

To show unto all who may stand in Thy Presence.[31]

Day after day, and moment by moment,

I have revealed to Thee those who have fallen,

And when they have passed.

Now I have come to Thee after long testing,

Accusing the whole of the children of earth.[32]

Lord, I submit they have shown they are worthless;

Time and again Thou hast sent to them aid,

Didst Thou not send to them prophets and teachers

Bid them repent and turn unto Thee?

Remember, I pray Thee, O Lord of Creation.

Have they not proved themselves utterly worthless?

How long will Thy patience remain unabated?

How long will Thou spare them to fail once again?[33]

Unto each race and unto each nation,

Thou hast revealed Thyself, sending Thy messengers,

Angels and prophets, seers and Redeemers.[34]

Remember, I pray Thee.  Didst Thou not choose Thee,

One special race from out of all nations,

Sending them Moses to show them the way?

Yet when I tested them, quickly they stumbled.

How long were they faithful, O God, unto Thee?[35]

Then didst Thou send to them prophets unnumbered,

Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah and others,

How did they treat these men Thou didst send them?

Some they rejected – many they slew.[36]

Then didst Thou send them John the Forerunner,

And him they requited as they had the others.

Yet hadst Thou punished them because of their falsehood

And when they turned to Thee, Thou didst restore them,

Yet when I tested them, once more they fell.[37]

Then, O Eternal, in Thine own Person,

Thou Who art God didst come to the earth,[38]

Took on Thyself the form of a creature,

Made Thyself Man, to show them the way.

Laying aside Thy glory and splendour,

Thou, the Eternal, didst make Thyself Man.

Humbled Thyself within Thy Creation,

Even submitting to be tested by me.[39]

As Jesus of Nazareth, did I not test Thee?

Didst Thou not laugh my temptations to scorn?

Didst Thou not live as a pattern to all men?

Did they accept Thee and follow Thy teaching?

High on the Cross did the children of Israel

Doom unto death, Messias their king;

He, for whose coming the nation had waited,

Foretold by prophets again and again.

Hadst Thou not warned them, hadst Thou not shown them,

Ere Thou didst come to earth, what Thou wouldst be?[40]

Then did I stand, Lord, and in Thy Presence,

Stand and demand that Thou shouldst destroy them.

I did remind Thee of words Thou hadst uttered,

That a tree which is barren is worthless to all.[41]

Did I not ask Thee it should be uprooted,

Cast on the fire, burnt and destroyed?

Didst Thou not grant me they should be broken,[42]

Their Temple destroyed, as a warning to all men

That those who reject the Lord of Creation,

By God are rejected?

‘And yet Thou didst spare some of those people, a fragment,

Out of Thy love, Thou savedst this race

From total extinction.  Yet did they turn to Thee?[43]

Did they then realise the crime they had wrought

Against Thee on earth?[44]  But Thou wilt say,

“At least there were some who heard and obeyed Me,

Those who had followed Me went forth to conquer,

Lifting My banner, with the Cross of Salvation,

Carrying it onwards to East and to West.”[45]

Yet, O Creator of earth, sea and Heaven,

Humbly I beg of Thee, hark to my tale.

I raised up an image, iron its casing,

Bright was its sword and mighty its shield; [46]

Yet was it inwardly fashioned of clay.[47]

Those who had followed Thee went forth against it,

Armed with Thy sword, the Cross of Salvation

They struck at the image and hewed it in pieces.[48]

Then, from the image of clay and of iron

Lo, they erected two images more.[49]

One in the East, they placed on a throne,

One in the West they placed on a hill;

And unto these they offered their worship,

Which, O Creator, is due unto Thee.[50]

Then did I shatter the first of these images,

Broke it in pieces and cast it abroad.

Where on the Mount in the West it had stood,

Nothing remained but debris and dust.

That in the East I permitted to linger

Because on its helmet they’d blazoned Thy crest,

The Cross of Salvation. [51]

‘Then did these miserable and troublesome pygmies

Run o’er the earth and gather the fragments;

In place of the image my war-sword had shattered,

Acting, O Lord, by Thy special decree.

Then fashioned they new gods, many and numerous,

Worshipping these instead of their Maker.[52]

Yet was their folly not yet completed,

Wherefore they came and returned to the place

Where first I had made them that monstrous statue,

And here they erected from clay and from iron

One which was like to it, placed on its forehead

The Cross of Salvation, and declared it was holy.[53]

‘Then by Thy orders, O Lord, did I shatter

Its peer and companion which stood in the East;[54]

Ground it to powder, that naught might remain of it,

And chastened its worshippers with sword and with fire,

That haply a remnant might learn and repent.[55]

Yet did they likewise do as did others,

Erected more statues, false gods which they worshipped,

One in particular huge and colossal, [56]

Making it bigger as ages rolled by,

Until the wide frontier where it was worshipped

Included a fifth of the earth where they dwell.

Then turned I westward and finally shattered

The statue they had so impiously fashioned, christened

And declared to be holy[57].  And from its fragments

They built up a hundred, taking them with them

Even to races to whom they were strangers.[58]

Then did I rise in wrath and o’erwhelm them,

Deluged the earth with the blood of the slain,

Shattered their cities, o’erwhelmed them with slaughter.[59]

Back to the East I turned me in anger,[60]

Smote off the land the idol whose subjects

Covered one fifth of the whole of that planet.

What did they do?  They tore from its breastplate

The Sign of Salvation and remade their image, [61]

By placing thereon the head of a swine.

Then did they call upon all men to worship it,

Saying, “This is thy god, O children of Men!” [62]

Lord of the Seraphim, Master Omnipotent,

Thou the Eternal and Creator of all,

Thus have I spoken, here in Thy Presence,

Here, ’mid the ranks of my peers, I have spoken,

Here in the Court of the Holy of Holies,

Master of Lies though menfolk may call me,[63]

Here in Thy Presence, Truth I have spoken.’

 

Then answered the Ancient of Days, He, the All-Terrible, King of Eternity, Awful in Majesty:

 

‘Truth hast thou spoken, O Son of the Dawning,

True are the words which thou hast uttered.

Yet there is one thing that I would ask thee:

What of the Saints and what of the martyrs?

What of My followers throughout the ages,

Who have borne witness unto the Truth?

Naught hast thou said of the children of God.’[64]

 

Then answered the Accuser:[65]

 

‘Even the Saints shall stand as my witnesses.

What of the help Thou gavest to them?

How have they journeyed, slowly or swiftly?

Where are they now, are they gathered around us?

Even those men who proclaim Thee as God,

How slow is their pace, how feeble their progress,

How far are they still from union with Thee?[66]

Nevertheless, Thou art the All-Merciful,

Gracious indeed to this Thy Creation,[67]

They have advanced, they are saved from the debris,[68]

It is not of them my indignancy speaketh.’

 

Then spoke the Lord of Hosts, and His words were stern and terrible:

 

‘O Tester of Men, the truth thou hast spoken;

Those I once died for have failed yet again.

Might have they worshipped and power and glory,

These have they deified, making them gods.

Riches and power and lust and dominion,

Avarice, greed, treachery and hate,

These they adore and these they have worshipped, [69]

Age after age – and though I have warned them,

Though I have punished them, though I have saved them,

Though I have pardoned their countless offences,

Yet am I patient for I am Eternal. [70]

Even the Seraphim are but as yesterday;

From the beginning of this My Creation,

Sore have I laboured for love of My children.

Are not all of you sprung from My Being,

Is not My Life loaned to each creature, [71]

Birds of the air and beasts of the forest,

Men of the cities, yea, Saints and the angels,

Even the Seraphim, are they not all

Born of My longing[72], sons of the Godhead?

How can I lose even the humblest?

How can I hate even the wickedest?[73]

Am I not Father, am I not Mother,

Am I not Brother of all I have fashioned?

Out of the love which liveth forever,

All that existeth draweth its life.

This I proclaimed on the mountain of Golgotha,

Raised on the Tree which darkened the earth;[74]

This I proclaimed ere earth was created,

Unto Eternity, ever the same.

Nevertheless, judgment and justice is mine,

Though I am Father, Judge I must be,

For Justice and Truth are part of My Being.[75]

Wherefore, O Lucifer, thus I reply:

This age is corrupt and the hour of judgment

Looms in the East and darkens the West,

Yet as the sun descendeth in darkness,

Only to rise once more in its splendour,

So, after judgment ariseth fresh mercy,

Out of the darkness cometh fresh light.[76]

Bring forth the scroll whereon I have written

All that should come since the hour of My birth,

When as a Man I sojourned with mortals

When as a Man I hung on the Cross.’[77]

 

Then from beside the Throne stepped forth Michael, Captain of the Hosts of Heaven, and the light from his armour flamed like the sun at noon.  And he held in his hand a scroll[78] of parchment, and he bowed himself to the dust and said:

 

‘O Eternal God, when Thou didst return from Bethany[79] to become one with Thy Eternal Glory, into my hands Thou didst commit this scroll and unto Thy Hands now I remit it.’

 

And the Lord God of Hosts stretched forth His Hand and took the scroll and unrolled it, and held it up before that great assembly[80].  And I looked and beheld, and lo, written thereon were many things.  The names of great kings, of mighty empires, of wars and persecutions, of saints and sinners.  And therein was written all that hath befallen from the day when He the Eternal became Man at Bethlehem, even unto the end of the age.

 

And the scroll was divided into many sections.  But even while He held it, He breathed on it and lo, it burst into flames and was consumed before mine eyes[81], all but a tiny fragment at the lower end, and this He still held in His hand.  And this fragment did not blaze but it smouldered along the upper edge, and I beheld that very slowly the line of fire crept downwards.[82]

 

And I gazed at the fragment which was left, and on it was much writing and words dreadful to behold, for they spoke of woe unutterable and of the fall of kingdoms and of the downfall of many nations.[83]  And amid the words, I saw there, written in letters of gold:

 

‘The Coming of Christ the King.’

 

And I said unto the Messenger who stood beside me: ‘What meaneth this?’

 

And he said: ‘This is the Scroll of the Dispensation of the Gentiles.  This is that which was foretold on Calvary[84] and is shortly to pass away.  And that which hath been consumed is that which hath already passed and the fragment which remaineth is that which is to come.’

 

And I said: ‘Is there another scroll or is this the end?’[85]

 

And he said: ‘Look at Gabriel.’

 

And I beheld and in Gabriel’s hand there was another scroll.

 

And I said unto tho Messenger: ‘What is the scroll which Gabriel holdeth?’

 

And he said: ‘It is the Scroll of the Age to Come, but hearken thou.’

 

Then spoke the voice of the All-Terrible, and the Pavilion filled with smoke and I heard the words which He uttered and they were these:

 

‘O Lucifer, thou hast My permission to go forth and shake the world to its foundations[86]. For all that the Church hath done, whether it be good or whether it be evil, and all that men hath done since I died on Calvary, is delivered into thy hands to be tried and tested[87].  And that which is gold shall survive the test and come forth purified, but that which is dross thou shalt consume. But among the children of earth are many who shall pass these tests[88], even those who welcome Me when I come again and those who prepare for My Coming.’

 

And then all the assembled Hosts of Heaven fell down before the Lord, and Lucifer bowed low also.[89]  And all the Hosts of Heaven lifted up their voices and they sang a song of praise:

 

‘Great and Terrible art Thou, O God,

Awful in Thy Judgment,

Yet All-pervading in Thy Mercy;

For Thy Love is a fire which purges,[90]

And it is without limit or end.

Holy art Thou, O God,

Unutterably holy.

Yet art Thou long-suffering

Unto men and all creation.

Thy Mercy never faileth,

And there is neither limit nor end.[91]

From all eternity Thou art God,

And all things are comprehended within Thee,

Thou art the Beginning and the End,

Thou art the Source and Ultimate Goal. 

The whole Universe is Thine.

All the realms of Spirits and of men,

Is but a fragment of Thy vast domains.’[92]

 

And suddenly it seemed as if darkness came upon me, and as if the light of life had gone out, and I was pressed down by an intolerable weight and bound in iron chains[93].  And lo, I was upon the earth and the vision had ended.

 



[1]

And probably with some justification, for as it has come to us the blank verse is far from perfect in a literary sense, being at times deficient either in syllabary or in metre or both. In many cases these lapses could have been simply rectified by adding or removing a word, or by a minor alteration in wording, and there seems little doubt that competent poet as he was, Seraphion could undoubtedly have polished the text in this way if he had wished to do so. The mere fact that he has not done so, perhaps says more for his reliability as a witness than anything else that might be adduced. He was totally convinced of the genuineness of this Vision.

[2]

As found in the early chapters of “Gone West”.

[3][3]

Angels of all ranks are obviously of more than human status and so appear to be of more than human size. The greater the Angel, the larger he appears to be, for although angels can obviously vary their apparent size by the power of their wills as they can their forms, they will not do so without a reason, and therefore, to the experienced mystic, apparent size usually provides a fair indication of the rank of Angel seen. In this case, the description of an Oak compared to a hawthorn indicates the relative sizes of a man and a Throne. This does not mean that Thrones are as large as oak trees, for the hawthorn can grow much larger than a man. Nevertheless Thrones are much bigger than mortals, and the Greater Angels are larger still.

[4]

In later years, Serapha was to remark, not only that she recognised the appearance of the Angelic Guardian, but that she was “very fond of the Master”, but at this time, both she and Seraphion were relative novices in mysticism and although Seraphion had met “the Master” before, soon after his Great Initiation, and regularly received messages from him, perhaps at this time he was not yet fully able to recognise him. On the other hand, seeing that he already knew (See the Introduction of “Gone West”) that Angels can appear in any form they wish, it should not surprise us that he asked the question.

[5]

The various colours of light clearly represent the way in which the human brain registers the increase in spiritual vibration levels, although the descriptions seem to vary slightly from one vision to the next and it is hard to identify specific colours with specific stages. Apparently, however, the black represents the Three Planes of sinful men, in which spirituality is comparatively non-existent. The “ruddy glow, baleful and terrible and darkness yet light,” does not necessarily represent Hell, but rather the evil that pertains to the human state, whether in Hell or not, but which is strongest on the Spirit Plane. The “fire red as blood” probably symbolises the suffering that karma brings upon us and the grey mist, tinged with blue, the gradual increase in faith on the higher parts of the Spirit Plane. The Sapphire changing to Green probably marks the ascent into and through the Planes of the Saints, whilst the yellow and golden light clearly links with the various Planes of the Angels. It is not quite clear at which point in the Angelic Hierarchy the yellow light changes to gold, yet it is quite high up, for in the Fourth Apocalypse, in which Brother Seraphion is taken to the Plane of the Powers, we are told that he did not reach the Golden light. The Pure White Light is clearly associated with the Presence of the Most High, but these colours should not be regarded as exact or unalterable, for Seraphion himself gives slightly different descriptions in the Fourth Apocalypse and other mystics have also given differing accounts: nor should the explanations given be regarded as unalterable or sacrosanct, but merely as symbols of which the Reality will vary according to many circumstances. 

[6]

In Revelation 4; 6 St John describes this view as a “sea of glass like unto crystal”.

[7]

The fact that as Seraphion says; “my eyes could but dimly see the nature of its glory”, probably accounts for the way that the descriptions provided by different mystics, vary so much. However, despite this obvious difficulty, they are surprisingly similar.

[8]

Seraphion had already had this phenomenon explained to him and it applies on all Planes of the spirit. (That is to say from the Spirit Plane upwards, but not on the Physical or Astral Planes.) The trees and gardens on any Spirit Plane are forms that exist by will of the spirits that dwell in that Realm – they are not living life-forms. 

[9]

Seraphion seems to have known that the Holy Spirit was Female from the beginning, for he expresses no surprise at this vision, yet it is a belief that seems to have been lost in the West from at least the 3rd century A.D, if not before, and one that his enemies have often attacked him for preaching..

[10]

The doctrine of the Trinity is one that is shared by most Christian denominations, yet as it is a mystical concept it is perhaps understandable that it is a doctrine that the theologians have always struggled to represent to the non-mystic. At least in part, this is because most theologians are not mystics, but it is also because few mystics have been able to report their experiences of this subject in words that non-mystics could comprehend and this account is perhaps the best representation of the Trinity in all mystical literature. Broadly it depicts God, not only as being both One and Three, but also as moving effortlessly from one state to another, as and when He desires, but always in a way that is completely subject to His Divine control.

[11]

Note that it was largely BECAUSE Seraphion realised his own insignificance compared to the might of God and the great Angels around Him, that God was able to use him. It is only through such humility that any of us can be of real use to God.

[12]

These ranks are given in descending order because the lowest are furthest from the Throne of God.

[13]

This description of the physical body enclosing the spirit with iron bands is most appropriate to those who can remember the freedom of life in even the lowliest of the Planes of the Spirit. It can also be compared with the descriptions of those who recall their coming into incarnation – usually as being compressed or crushed down into, and by, their infant physical bodies. 

[14]

Note again the allusion to the sheer size of the Great Seraph Lucifer as towering above the assembled hosts of Heaven as the Master of the Work towered above the mortal mystic. Because we are not told the rank of the “hosts of Heaven” to which Seraphion alludes, it does not provide us with any real comparison. Nevertheless at a later time, in a similar situation Serapha described the Sephiroth Michael as ‘towering above the Master even as the Master towered above me.”

[15]

There are a number of points to be made in connection with this description of Lucifer. Firstly it may be asked why it is that he is described as “radiant with glory but terrible of visage”, when Seraphion himself provides descriptions of Dark Angels in which he describes them as clad in Sable (a black fur) or Darkness. (See for instance bot the Fourth Apocalypse and the Eleventh.) It is because Dark Angels appear Dark to their fellows because of the Dark duties they undertake on those Planes, but here in the Presence of the Most High all appear as they really are. Lucifer is really a glorious Great Seraph, and equally as radiant as his fellows in the Hierarchy of Light, yet the furrowing of his brow and the sternness of his visage is equally real – it reflects both the torment he is currently undergoing in acting as Tester, and the mistakes of his own past that alone enable him to do so – and which perhaps have made it needful that he should do so. As to the fear and terror he inspires in Seraphion, and which indeed he would inspire in any mortal, it is born of the human realisation of the awesome power of this Opponent, whom none can hope to defeat without the help of God.  

[16]

These are the Four Sephiroth that are best known by name and whose labours impinge directly on mortal man. Here they are depicted as standing in pairs on either side of the Throne, just as they were depicted in the reredos of the Barnet Church and as they are still shown at St Michael’s Church in Caboolture. Michael and Azrael, respectively Lords of Judgement and of Death and therefore symbolising the aspects of existence that man most fears, are as it were, balanced against Gabriel and Raphael, the Lords of a Birth and Life, aspects that man sees as positive. In turn this demonstrates that man’s relationship with God must include both Fear and Love  - for without fear, love can become over-familiarity and lead us to neglect our duties both to Him and to our fellows, whilst without love, fear can make our service of little real value or effect.

[17]

Here, Seraphion clearly reveals that, advanced mystic though he was, to this point in his Seeking he had not yet realised that the medieval concept of the Devil as taught by the church of his fathers, was completely wrong.

[18]

The knowledge of the true nature of Satan had originally been concealed by the Medieval Church for a very good reason, and it should not be thought that this action was necessarily wrong. Had it been wrong, then God would have seen to it that it was re-discovered long since. Rather this action was forced upon the Church by the decline in the spiritual standard of its members that followed the Fall of the Roman Age. The statement by the Angelic Guardian that he was “bidden to reveal” this secret, makes it clear that this was one of the key teachings that Seraphion was to bring to the world in preparation for the New Age, and although there is ample evidence in the Bible, especially in the oldest parts of it, that this knowledge was taught by the Ancients, it is only through Seraphion that our present detailed understanding of the role that Satan plays in God’s Plan, has been revealed to modern man.

[19]

Normally it is only the Sephiroth (the Biblical Sons of God) that can always stand in the presence of God (St Luke 1; 19), but because of his special role Satan, though only a Great Seraph, has also been granted this right (See Job 1; 6)

[20] 

This term seems to be based on a Biblical reference in the King James Version, “Lucifer son of the morning” (Isaiah 14; 12) but the name Lucifer is not in the original Hebrew text. It comes from Latin and means “light-bearer” and in other translations the Hebrew is rendered “Day Star” or “Morning Star”, which can clearly be described both as the “son of the dawning” and as the “herald of the dawn” that will bring light into a darkened world. It is in this sense that the Latin name originally derived, for the work of the Tester is to shine God’s light into the darkness within us to show up the faults and failings that still lie hidden there.

To link the “son of the Dawning” with the Morning Star, Venus, which in the Bible is also linked with Christ (Rev. 22; 16) may seem surprising, yet as is indicated in our Teaching Services, Christ and the Tester are each equally involved in the spiritual progress of man, Christ by teaching and guiding us, and the Tester by testing whether or not we have learned our lessons properly.

Another aspect of the term “morning star” can be found in Job 38; 7, where the morning stars (plural) seem to be linked with the Angelic Sons of God. In that Lucifer is said to be the “son of the dawning” it is possible to see this term as indicating he is in some way inferior to the morning stars, the greatest “Sons of God” a term that in addition to being linked with Christ, seems also to refer to the Sephiroth, and this is true. Lucifer is only a Great Seraph, which beings, though truly awesome in majesty, are yet inferior to the Sephiroth.

[21]

It is important to note that Satan is not Tester only of men on Earth, but also of Angels and indeed we are told in the Heavenly Hierarchy Service that there are other worlds where he must also stand as Tester. In this passage, however, it is only earth and his work among mortal man that is being considered.

[22]

In this passage “the Dawning” although perhaps a play on the title “son of the Dawning” seems to refer rather to the “Dawn of Man” – the beginning of human existence on this planet.

[23]

This appearance of cloud can be compared with the description of the way in which God usually appeared to Moses in Exodus (especially chapter 24). Such a veiling of the Eternal Glory may well reflect the spiritual barrier that sin interposes between us and God. Yet it should be noted that God can still speak to us despite our sins, even as it were through the clouds of sin with we have surrounded ourselves, just as here He spoke from out of the cloud. In the context of this Vision, the “shrouding of the Face” seems to indicate Divine Sorrow at the failings of man as portrayed by the Tester, yet it seems that the clouds were but a transient phenomena for although we are not told when they were withdrawn, it is clear that this happened long before the end of the Vision, where the mystic describes seeing God “stretching forth His Hand” to take the great Scroll and holding it up before that great assembly. Clearly he could not have seen God’s Hand if He were still veiled in cloud.

[24]

It is important to know that no Angel is compelled to serve in the Dark Hierarchy. To those who do so it is a task they take upon themselves, out of a desire to serve God, yet it is a hard service, a service in which success is failure and in which total self-sacrifice is one’s constant companion. Only a mystic can hope to understand this in anything more than the vaguest outline, yet it is just because the service is a hard one that those who undertake it may well travel towards their goal more swiftly than those who do not do so, yet such is the desire for perfection exhibited by even the lowliest of the Angels that all will surely offer, but not all offers will be accepted. As to the reasons why God will allow some to take this opportunity to progress more swiftly and refuse it to others – that obviously is linked with karma, but who, even among mystics will dare to speculate too deeply on the nature of the karma of Angels? Yet the lines of the Apocalypse that follow this passage, will reveal much that pertains to this subject if we will ponder thereon.

[25]

It is clear that this is not a reference to the Final Union - the perfected man is described as “standing by My Throne”, not as achieving Union with the Godhead. It seems to infer that Lucifer’s task will be accomplished when the last of the human race have all achieved sanctity or perhaps when human life on earth comes to an end, yet we should be wary of assuming that his tenure of office is linked with the earth at all, for we know there are other worlds on which he must stand as Tester also.

[26]

From a spiritual point of view this is an excellent description of the work of the Tester, shining God’s light into the dark places of mortal nature so that that sin is revealed and may thus be eradicated.

[27]

It must be quite clearly understood that the work of the Dark Hierarchy is indeed a terrible burden. Highly spiritual beings are required to act in a manner that is completely contrary to their true nature, to associate with evil spirits whose very presence causes them pain and to attempt to mislead and deceive those whom they recognise as their younger brethren.

[28]

This passage perhaps provides us with a clue as to why some spirits are permitted to serve in the Dark Hierarchy and others are not. Those who have themselves fallen many times during their already long journey, and having learned through suffering the folly of evil, are obviously the best qualified to test and train others, hence they are most likely to be permitted to undertake this role. It is also true that in many cases, because they have done wrong and turned aside from the path so often in the past, they are less advanced than their soul-mates and it is only through the terrible burden of service in the Dark Hierarchy that they can be enabled to speed more swiftly onwards till they, as it were “catch up” with those soul-mates, whose own further progress is perchance, being delayed by the tardiness of the laggards.

[29]

This is the beginning of a very long speech in which Lucifer effectively reviews the whole story of God’s dealings with man through the Jewish and Christian Dispensations, right up to the present (the time of the Apocalypse), pointing out the sins of humanity and demanding that God punish them. We shall consider the key elements of his complaint one by one as he brings them forth.

[30]

We have already referred to the fact that this “right of continuous access to the Presence of the Most High” is a special privilege normally restricted to the Sephiroth, but specifically granted to Lucifer by virtue of the role he has accepted.

[31]

Note that here we have an indication that God is not a sole arbitrary ruler, for Lucifer is not merely required to report continuously on man’s failings to God, but also “unto all who may stand in Thy Presence” in other words to the Sephiroth  who “stand in the presence of God” whose several tasks are impinged by that information.

[32]

In thus accusing “the whole of the children of earth” Lucifer is in effect saying that all men are worthless and demanding that God destroy all human life on the planet.

[33]

Though not always valid, this point is all too often true. If God through mercy allows a sinner another chance, all too often mercy is mistaken for weakness and the sinner merely repeats the failure, frequently in an even worse form. 

[34]

This is a vital point, and one that is often ignored by the Christian world. God has revealed Himself to every nation; He has sent His messengers to each – some of these may have been Angels, others were prophets or wise ones (Seers) but in at least some cases the Messenger may have been a Visitation of the Redeemer Himself Who has undoubtedly visited earth on more than the two past occasions of which we have historical knowledge (Melchizedek and Jesus of Nazareth.)

[35]

The selection of the Children of Israel as a special nation, formed and trained for a special purpose, is thus acknowledged here. 

[36]

This passage can be compared with Christ’s own reference to Jerusalem as that which “killeth the prophets, and stonest them that are sent,” (St Luke 13; 34) as well as with Stephen’s complaint to the Jewish Council in Acts 7; 52 “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers”

[37]

John the Baptist was beheaded (St Mark 6; 27) by order of King Herod, but he was only the last in a long line of Messengers whom the Jewish Authorities had slain since they forbade anyone to prophesy and claim to be Messengers of God. The name of the last book in the Old Testament, Malachi, means “Messenger” and it seems to have slipped into the Jewish Canon by mistake, but it was the last such “error”, and thereafter, although the people frequently acknowledged prophets, (St Luke 1; 76), none of them were officially recognised and their writings were not been added to the Jewish Scriptures. This passage tells us that it was Because of this persistent refusal to recognise God’s Messengers that John the Forerunner was slain, and incidentally it was also the karma of these accumulated misdeeds that made it all but impossible for the Jewish authorities not to slay the Messiah. We still have free-will at all times, but if we constantly do wrong the karma that we thus accumulate means that it becomes increasingly difficult for us to do right and for the most part, any particularly terrible misdeed, does not occur just “out of the blue” – rather it is the natural culmination of a long succession of crimes such as happened with the Crucifixion of Christ. Thus although the sinner may seem to suffer extremely as a result of One Major Crime, .in actual fact his karma is also partly caused by many others.

[38]

It is God the Almighty, the One in Three, before Whom Lucifer is testifying, and therefore he does not refer to God the Son, coming to earth, for as One, the Three are One, and it was indeed God Himself that came to earth as Man. Of course we know this intellectually, but sometimes we fail to realise in our inmost being, almost as if we seem to regard Christ as some sort of demi-god rather than the Almighty Godhead, or as much Thereof as could be contained within a human Body and Mind.

[39]

Although clearly it was necessary for Christ as Man to be tempted by Satan, yet we should never lose sight of the fact that like all things pertaining to the Incarnation, this was an act of extraordinary condescension on the part of the Divinity. 

[40]

This is a reference to the many predictions about the Messiah sent by the ancient prophets, despite which the Jewish Authorities still failed to acknowledge Him, or perhaps simply were unwilling to do so, lest He take away their positions of worldly power and privilege.

[41]

This is apparently a reference to Christ’s parable of the barren fruit tree, (St Luke 13; 6 – 9) in which having failed to bear fruit for three years, the tree is given one more chance to do so. It is to be afforded the best of care for one more season, but if thereafter it does not bear fruit it is to be destroyed. This is often the way in which God’s mercy works. The sinner may be karmicly deserving of punishment, but still God may give it one last chance. If it fails to take that last chance, it will suffer the full weight of its accumulated karma as well as that added by its most recent failure. Oftentimes in fact, the imposition of punishment by God may be a greater act of mercy than the withholding of it, for through suffering the sinner may be led to learn to sin no more, whilst if it does not suffer it may well fail yet again and thus incur still more karma and there-through, eventually bring upon itself even greater suffering.

[42]

The destruction of the Jewish nation and in particular the destruction of the Jewish Temple, led to the effective end of Mosaic Judaism, which was formally terminated by a council of Rabbis thirty years after the destruction of the Temple. Judaism, as it survives today, is Rabbinical Judaism, a very different sort of faith from the Judaism of Christ’s time. (See below).

[43]

The remnant that God has saved is Rabbinical Judaism, which has abandoned much of the Jewish Law as it was kept in Christ’s day, including the slaughter of the Passover Lamb and the whole Mosaic Sacrificial Law. It has also abolished the Priesthood of Aaron, and although it has many synagogues, it has no Temple and does not even plan to restore Temple Worship, now that it has custody of Jerusalem once more.

[44]

This refers to the fact that the Jewish remnant has not, as a group, yet accepted Christ and acknowledged the crime of their ancestors, although some individuals may have done, and we may hope and pray that all will eventually do so when Christ comes again.

[45] 

This of course refers to the actions of the First Apostles and Disciples of Our Lord, who did indeed carry His message to most parts of the then-known world within a century, as we have elsewhere considered.

[46]

This is a double allegory; firstly and most obviously it represents the Pagan Roman Empire, against which the first Christians had to struggle for centuries before finally they were able to convert it to Christianity. But it also represents the desire for worldly power, which is not so easily overcome, and which still challenges the servants of Christ even today whenever any of them seem to be on the brink of bringing his message to large numbers of people.   

[47]

The description of the Image as being outwardly made of iron, but inwardly of clay indicates that although worldly power may seem invincible it is merely a sham – that although it may seem outwardly strong, yet it has no real substance, and can be withstood through the power of God.

[48]

This refers to the destruction of Roman Paganism, which history indicates, took place in stages. The first of these was marked by Constantine’s edict of toleration in 313, by which the official persecution of Christians was terminated. This was followed by various acts of Imperial support for the Church as well as a number of discriminatory edicts against paganism, during the rest the 4th century AD, culminating in the outlawing of Paganism and the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by the Emperor Theodosius in 380.

[49]

This refers to the formal division of the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern halves, under Honorius and Arcadius after the death of their father Theodosius in 395. In the West the idea of Empire began to be centred on the Imperial city of Rome and its seven Hills, especially the Palatine Hill, traditional site of the first Roman settlement and also of the Imperial Palaces, whilst in the East the Imperial throne remained the symbol of power.   

[50]

The first Christian Roman Emperors, did not claim Divinity as their Pagan predecessors had done, but their subjects treated them with almost as much respect. This was especially true in the East, where the Emperors often had the power to appoint Church leaders, and dictate Religious teachings. In the West, after the fall of the Empire, the Papacy began to assume both temporal and spiritual power.

[51]

This refers to the sacking of Rome in 453 and the destruction of the Roman Empire in the West, in 476, whilst the Byzantine Empire was permitted to remain as at least a nominally Christian realm, inextricably linked with the Greek Church. 

[52]

After the fall of Rome, there arose in Western Europe many small warring kingdoms, in the late 5th, 6th and 7th centuries, in most of which Christianity played little real part and in which men still worshipped power; and saw might as right.

[53]

This refers to the formal establishment of the Holy Roman Empire which took place in the city of Rome on Christmas Day 800 AD with the coronation of Charlemagne by the Pope. 

[54]

The final downfall of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453 may have seemed sudden to those who lived in that day, but, humanly speaking it had been made inevitable by the sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. 

[55]

The sword and fire of conquest and subsequent persecution by the Moslem Turks.

[56]

This refers to the fragmenting of the Eastern Church after the fall of Constantinople and particularly to the rise of the Russian Church and the Russian Empire, that like their Byzantine parents were inextricably linked and which eventually came to cover a fifth of the surface of the earth.

[57]

The Holy Roman Empire ended not with a bang but with a whimper when in 1806 the last Emperor, Francis II abdicated on the orders of Napoleon. His French Empire eventually embraced almost all of continental Europe except for Russia, but ended in 1815 with his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

[58]

After the end of Napoleon, Western Europe split into many different nations, most of which participated in a mad rush for colonial empires in the mid to late 19th centuries, whereby they spread their own desire for material wealth and power throughout the whole world.

[59]

It was largely as a result of this mad rush for colonies that the First World War eventuated, when indeed the earth was “deluged with the blood of the slain” and the cities of Europe in particular were shattered by the conflict.

[60]

Even before the First World War was ended, the Russian Empire and its associated Church were smitten and destroyed by revolution. 

[61]

The revolutionaries, however, did nothing to improve the Russian government. Rather they tore from it the only thing of value within it, its support for the Church.

[62]

They replaced the Cross with what is symbolised by the swine - a belief system based on hatred: in other words the informer-ridden police state that Communist Russia became after the Bolshevik Revolution. This use of the Swine to represent hatred is explained in more detail in the Second Apocalypse.

[63]

The Tester is often called the Lord of Lies, for his task is to tempt us and to deceive us if possible. Yet even he cannot lie in the Presence of God, Who is All Truth.

[64]

Lucifer’s presents his case as best he can. He cannot lie to God, but neither does he present a balanced picture. He only emphasises the negative side of humanity and all the wrong that has been done in the Age that is past. God, however, knows this, and here He requires Lucifer to take note of the good as well as the bad.

[65]

The word “Satan” comes from Hebrew and means “accuser” or “adversary” specifically in relation to obtaining a judgement and this is how Satan acts as several Biblical references make clear. In Zechariah, 3; 1 the prophet is shown a vision of “Joshua the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him” (R. S. V.) See also Job 1; 9 – 11 and Revelation 12; 10.

[66]

Seeing that he has to include the saints in his assessment of the human race, Satan points out that even they are far from perfect. They may have finished their round of earthly lives, but they are still far from Union with God – they are not even “gathered around us” as are the lesser Angels. In other words they have not yet even reached Angelic status; they are still merely perfected men. Whilst this was true at that time, modern mystics assure us that since Christ the King has passed through the Saintly Planes on His way to Earth, many of the older Saints of Christianity have now taken this great step.

[67]

This is a veiled allusion to all the spiritual help that God has given to mankind, and in particular to His coming to dwell among them and dying on the Cross.

[68]

Having passed beyond the need to return to mortal life, the Saints will not be affected by the doom that Satan is demanding that God wreaks upon the human race and the physical earth

[69]

God acknowledges that what Satan has said is essentially correct; that “those I once died for have failed yet again”. Instead of worshipping God they have served various vices, each to his own, but each effectively treating it with the respect that should have been offered to God alone. .

[70]

Time after time God has warned mankind, He has punished us and warned us again and again, yet for age after age the human race has continued to do wrong. Yet He is patient, for He is Eternal, and therefore He can continue to wait for as long as it is needful. 

[71]

The phrase “Is not My Life loaned to each creature” perhaps requires explanation. By creature is meant the outer shell - the physical body, which is animated by the Divine Life Force for a season, and which rapidly decays when once that Life Force is withdrawn. That part of the Divine Life Force that was once you or me continues long after the physical creature is no more. In fact it persists until eventually it is able to rejoin the Divine Source from which it first came forth so many aeons ago.

[72]

This is perhaps one of the hardest mystical concepts to grasp. God’s longing for even the most aberrant of His creatures to return to Him is matched only by the joy that suffuses the Godhead when at length it does so. In Life’s Problems, Ward tried to explain this concept as “the Law of God’s own Being”, yet here, perhaps we may glimpse a little more detail. It is not that He needs to send forth Sparks and receive them back again much as mortals need to produce and eat physical food that they may live. Rather it is inherent in the Perfection of the Divine Nature. All virtue needs to be exercised if it is to flourish or even survive, and God is Love. That love must of necessity be exercised, therefore it is only through love for his Creation, manifested by His Desire for it to return to Him, that Divine Love is exercised and thus enabled to flourish.

[73]

It is impossible for God, who is all Love to feel hatred for even the wickedest, and equally it is impossible for Him to lose perpetually even one of His children. This is another key part of the Message that Brother Seraphion was given to proclaim to the world. 

[74]

Clearly a  reference to His Crucifixion, when “there was a darkness over all the earth”(St Luke 23; 4)

[75]

Reluctantly, perhaps, for although “Justice and Truth are part of My Being” it is Love that dominates, but God must also act as Judge, and He acknowledges that it is now time for Him to render Judgement on the earth.

[76]

All existence is a ceaseless cycle; and although judgement must come, after it there will be fresh mercy, fresh spiritual knowledge, fresh spiritual help brought by the Salvator once more even as He has done so many times before.

[77]

Though some may see the scroll as allegorical, yet in one sense it is very real, for remember in the Spirit realms Space and Time, as we know them, do not exist. The Scroll is at one and the same time the outline of God’s Plan for the Age, and the way in which it will be fulfilled.

[78] 

As Angel of Judgement it is Michael’s role to ensure that God’s Plan is followed as strictly as the Law of Free Will allows.

[79]

This seems to indicate that the Scroll was one that Christ had written only after His Incarnation – that it was in essence the Result of His Incarnation. Nor should this surprise us, for although God knows all, and His Will shall eventually prevail, the future is not immutable in detail, and the Free Will of Man is perhaps the most important factor involved in modifying it. In other words, although God would have known that Man would reject Him, until Man had done so, the karmic effects of that rejection, could not be regarded as certain. After He returned from Bethany He was able to deliver to Michael, what we have called “The Divine Plan” for the Christian Dispensation, and it is that Divine Plan that is being described here.

[80] 

It is clear that on earth, no such scroll could have been able to be read by such a mighty assembly, for if the letters were large enough for them to see at a distance, they would have been too large to fit everything on to the scroll. Nevertheless in the Spirit Realms, such things are clearly possible. By holding it up before the assembly, the Most High clearly desired all to be able to read it, and so they were able to do so, even the mortal Seraphion, who at least read enough of it to be able to tell us that it contained “all that hath befallen from the day when He, the Eternal, became Man at Bethlehem, even unto the end of the age”.   

[81]

Thus indicating that the writing it contained described the Past and that judgement had been rendered thereon.

[82]

This appears to indicate that time was passing even as the Mystic stood in the High Courts of Heaven and helps to confirm that this First Apocalypse was a real-time experience, not merely a vision in the normal sense of the word.  .

[83] 

We may perhaps regret that the mystic was unable or unwilling to tell us more details of what he read therein, yet we should remember that God’s purpose in granting him this experience, lay not in predicting events that whilst interesting would have little effect on his work, but in giving him knowledge that would enable him to lead others to take part therein.

[84]

It was foretold on Calvary, though not in words, for it was there that it became inevitable.

[85]

Clearly, up to this point, Seraphion was still imbued with the traditionalist view that the Coming of Christ would mark the end of the World. Here he is told explicitly, and so far as we know for the first time, that this is not so; that a NEW AGE will follow this one, just as the Christian Era succeeded the Jewish Dispensation nearly 2000 years ago. .

[86]

This command can be understood both literally and figuratively. Literally, there will be earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other extreme events, some natural, and perhaps some of them, man-made. It can also be understood figuratively, in-as-much as the ways of man must be changed dramatically; materialism will need to give way to spiritual idealism and even within religion, many long-cherished beliefs must be abandoned if this Physical World is to be made ready to welcome its Divine King.

[87] 

Just as in the Biblical story of Job, (Job 1; 6) all things are delivered to the Tester to be tried and proved whether or not they are worthy, so in these Last Days, will both secular and religious organisations, be tried, as indeed will all individuals, great and small. 

[88]

Clearly this is a promise of potential success to Seraphion and his followers, but it is also an indication that whether or not they are directly associated with him, all who try to prepare the world for the Coming of Christ can likewise expect to receive His commendation.

[89]

This indicates, firstly that Lucifer, as well as the Hosts of Light, fully accepts the decisions of the Most High, but it may also be included to support what to Seraphion at this time was a new teaching, that Lucifer is also a loyal, if different, servant of God.

[90]

The reader will be familiar with the concept of God as a Refiner’s Fire (Malachi 3; 2) yet this takes the concept a little further, indicating that it is Divine Love that acts in this way.

[91]

God’s mercy never ends - this too is an essential part of the concept that all will be saved, that no matter how long it takes, no Spark of the Divine Fire can ever be lost eternally, because God is both the Beginning and the End of all things. (Revelation 21; 6). 

[92]

This seems to indicate that all that we know of the Physical Universe and of the Angelic Hosts, are only a part of God’s Realm, and perhaps provides support for the modern scientific theory that this Universe is only one of many that exist on the Physical Plane, but that we can never know anything about them.

[93]

The descent from such a spiritual high is almost as hard as the ascent, and this is something that only a mystic can comprehend. Nevertheless, it is important to note the description of the phenomenon of the re-entry into the physical body, for many others have written similar accounts, some, like this after a mystical experience and others, describing the re-entry into matter, prior to rebirth on earth. Once having been “free” of the encumbrance of the body, which most mortals regard as “normal”, the re-entry is always felt as if one is being compressed and constricted in an intolerable way. Let us pray that the time may not be too far distant when our spirits may no longer need to be so restrained and we be judged worthy to leave the physical plane behind for the last time.

And probably with some justification, for as it has come to us the blank verse is far from perfect in a literary sense, being at times deficient either in syllabary or in metre or both. In many cases these lapses could have been simply rectified by adding or removing a word, or by a minor alteration in wording, and there seems little doubt that competent poet as he was, Seraphion could undoubtedly have polished the text in this way if he had wished to do so. The mere fact that he has not done so, perhaps says more for his reliability as a witness than anything else that might be adduced. He was totally convinced of the genuineness of this Vision.

 

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Christ is Coming
WILL YOU HELP PREPARE HIS WAY?
 
For Further information
Contact:  Rt. Rev. John Cuffe
               St Cecelia's Orthdox Catholic Church
               Caboolture Qld 4510 Australia.
               email orthcathcab@yahoo.com.au
               Telephone  61 7 5495 3393
               web sites: http://Orthodoxcatholicnew.tripod.com