The Reptilians I:II

The Reptilians

The Reptilians are the creation of the Carians, their parent race. They evolved on a planet in the Alpha Draconi star system of the Orion Constellation. The royal line of Reptilians are the Draconians, the winged dragons. The name of their royal line is the House of Aln. This is not the exact spelling, but it is close. It is more like Oln or Ahln. Still, keeping this in mind, the Council requested I spell it Aln.

The Reptiles have two other major sub races. They are known as the Winged Serpents (Snakes) and the Lizards called by some, the Lizzies.

The Reptilians are less emotional that their Human counterparts. Yet they have a highly refined knowledge of universal physics and laws. The Reptilians are responsible for the Mystery Schools on Earth and their teachings are from the ancient knowledge held by their parent race, the Carians.

The Reptilians were given a creation myth by their parent race, the Carians, that clashed with the creation myth of the Humans. The Reptilians were told that they had the right to colonize all planets and star systems in the universe and when they did, they also had the right to conquer or destroy any civilization they found there.

This creation myth has been the source of the many conflicts between the Reptiles and the Humans throughout the dimensions. Yet, it was given as part of the Universal Game (Polarity Integration). Without it everyone would have lived in peace and there would be no conflict. If this were the case, soul evolution would cease and the universe would become stagnant.

The Reptilians represent the Dark in the Polarity Integration Game while the Humans represent the Light. Through this game, of the highest order, all souls in this universe have the opportunity to spiritually evolve and rejoin the creative god source.

Jehowah is the reigning patriarch of the 9D House of Aln and Enki is the reigning patriarch of the 4D House of Aln at this time. Until recently, Marduk, Enki’s son was the current commander of the Federation Flagship Nibiru, having seized control of it from his grandfather Anu, the former commander. It is also my understanding that Enki has become the patriarch of the 5D House of Aln and also Head of the 5D Nibiruan Council representing the Dark.

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The Reptilians II:II

THE REPTILIANS

WHO ARE THEY REALLY?

WHAT DO THE REPTILIANS LOOK LIKE?

King Leo: A Message – (This is one of the good types)

Other Types

The Reptilian Aliens which are called Reptoids are proportional in size to modern humans. They have a snake like or lizard appearance. These are highly advanced entities but viewed as being of a negative, hostile or dangerous disposition since they regard humans as a totally inferior race. They would perceive us much the way we would perceive a herd of cattle. The information about these creatures varies from source to source. Supposedly they consider Earth their ancient outpost and want to have complete control over it because their planet is becoming unable to adequately support life.

The so-called “Reptilians”, or “Reptoids”, is noted that there is no implication in these descriptors other than of intelligent, communicative persons. What distinguishes these “Reptilian” extraterrestrials is their skin, which has small, fine scales, rather than smooth, their face, which has larger-than- human yellowish-green eyes with a “starburst”-shaped pupil, the eyes often oval, and an almost snout-like blunt process in the area of the nose and mouth, giving this type an almost dragon-like humanoid appearance.

Another group of extraterrestrials for convenience, I call the “Jawas”, after their resemblance to the creatures in the film, Star Wars. This group is distinguished by their clothing. They wear hoods and robes, are generally short (three to four-and-a-half feet tall), and their faces are concealed by the shadows thrown by their hoods. Sometimes there is a much taller hooded and robed one on board the UFO, who often stands to the Experiencer’s left as s/he lies on the ET medical examining table.

This Tall One appears to direct the procedures, and often is the one who telepathically communicates with the Experiencer. A few Experiencers have noted glowing eyes under the “Jawas'” hoods.

Other Experiencers have reported that when they got a glimpse of the Being whose face was shadowed by the hood, it was a type of “Gray”. Still others saw neither glowing eyes nor “Grays” under the hoods, but rather never could distinguish the features in the shadows of the hoods. There are often mixed- race crews on the UFO’s. In such cases there could be “Jawas” or “Praying Mantis” types or “Reptoids” or “Grays”, joining in a coordinated effort in carrying out scientific or medical tasks.

A few Experiencers have noted robot-like figures, whose movements and “vibes” (or rather lack thereof) strongly suggest that these are robots sent remotely by the extraterrestrials to observe, reconnoiter, and possibly retrieve objects. The robot-like figures appear to be relegated to the more impersonal tasks of information – gathering and stealthy surveillance, without the risk to the extraterrestrials that they would otherwise run of possibly encountering hostile human responses.

Upon closer looking, the experiencer was able to see the actual nonhuman face of the extraterrestrial behind the mentally-imposed “human” mask. Extraterrestrials are capable of producing ‘screen memories’ and what the abductee sees is not necessarily what is the true version of what has been seen.

Few races today have actually remained as pure genetic stock, with the exception of two races that the Andromedans say are really genetically clean. That is the Reptilians from Alpha Draconis, and the other is what we call, or know as the Elohim, which are a very ancient race of humans that survived Lyra. All other races are a varied degree of hybrid or mixture of races of different genetic stock.

DRACO MOTHMEN In the constellation of Draco, there is another race of entities which has in the past visited Earth. They are 8-foot-tall. dark, nocturnal aliens who appeared around graveyards and parks. They have red eyes that glow in the dark and wings to fly. They are referred to by us as Mothmen. They are also the source of legends of the past relating to gargoyles and Valkeries. Even some qualities of vampires have been taken from the qualities of this creature — the ability to fly and nocturnal habits. The Mothmen have no particular influence on earth at this time other than as causing panic and a cause for curiosity. They are mostly hidden underground and do not wish to attract attention

RELIGIOUS CONNECTIONS

The Vedas divide the beings of the Universe into 3 basic classifications:

The Buttahs:

Being that dwells in spiritual darkness. The person may be intellectually developed. The Buttah are normally associated with nightmares, abductions and the taking of small children. They usually come around at night. The Grey aliens who do abductions falls into this category. The Reptilians are also part of this group. They are usually not very physically attractive. Apparently long ago there was a visitation long ago by Buttahs called Wacshashas who were negative, powerful, aggressive beings.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE REPTILIANS AND THE GREYS

The most common encounter between Humans and Aliens appears to be with the beings called Greys. They are said to be about four feet tall and get their name from the color of their skin. They look insectoid in nature with large heads and large black eyes. They have limited facial features including a dot of a nose with a slit type mouth. They have no visible reproductive organs. It is reported that they are subservient to the Reptilians and appear to be a worker-technician class. Some people relate that they are cruel, others state that they appear benevolent

In addition, they are supposedly here to ready us for our next step. The problem is that what the next step is, varies from one source to another. Some say that they are here to infuse new life in their dying species through genetic manipulation with human DNA. Others say that they are here as a scouting type party for a full scale invasion from the Reptilians. Another opinion is that they are here to help humans move to the next step of our evolutionary process.

According to the Andromedans, the Greys are training us to fight their war against the Draconians (One of their masters) when they get here, because they are going to use us as their soldiers. Just like when our military sends in the infantry and marines, those implanted will be the first ones on the beach. While the Greys sitting back on board their ships, and wondering how the battle is going. they have chosen our world to be the battle ground.

At the same time they are still going about preparing the earth for its new owners. Apparently, the Greys are going to make this attempt, but the inevitable truth is that the Reptilians from Alpha Draconis are on their way here now. And this has very serious implications for us. We have boxed ourselves into a corner and the only way we can change the outcome is that we have to consciously become aware of what our world is really about, what’s really going on here.

WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE OF ABDUCTIONS?

According to Britain’s highly respected UFO abduction researcher and retired police officer, Anthony Dodd, reports of Grays comprise about 75-80% of alleged encounters while Nordics, Reptilians and Praying Mantis types round out the other 20-25%

THE REPTILIANS VS THE RENEGADE MILITARY

The renegade military-intelligence units deliberately intimidate, physically abuse, and even gang-rape the civilians they kidnap. The extraterrestrials do not. (Although the psychological warfare division of the rengegade military-intelligence units, and their dupes who swallow their progaganda, put out lurid false stories in UFO magazines, books and internet newsgrpuos about “raping reptilians” and other sci-fi comic book fantasies.)

WHERE DO THE REPTILIANS LIVE?

CALIFORNIA
NEW YORK CITY – may prove that giant cavities exist in granite at depths of more than 11 miles, conclusions which have also been supported by Louis V. King, a mathematician who calculated that, at normal temperatures, a cavity would exist at a depth of between 17.2 and 20.9 miles. R. L. Blain-Sanders, in an article titled ‘TUNNELS AND CAVERNS BENEATH NEW YORK CITY,’ which appeared in the Fall, 1981 issue of SHAVERTRON, described the author’s knowledge of a large triangular system of tunnels utilized by a ‘Masonic lodge’, deep below the surface of New York City. There is in fact evidence that Dorr did dynamite shut the lower level of ‘Kin Sabe’ cave in Kokoweef Peak, and there are present-day attempts to break through into this underground system.

ASIA – AGHARIANS – (or Aghartians) -A group of Asiatic or Nordic humans who, sources claim, discovered a vast system of caverns below the region of the Gobi desert and surrounding areas thousands of years ago, and have since established a thriving kingdom within, one which has been interacting with other-planetary systems up until current times. Vast cavern systems below Tibet allegedly link the Agharti systems of central Asia to “Snakeworld”, a multileveled cavern system under the southwestern slopes of the Himalayas where the “Nagas” dwell, according to Hindu legend. Here a serpent cult of human and reptilian collaborators dwells, one which is said to have had contact with the Nazi Thule society during World War II. Long ago an Asian prince is said to have led several militant followers — warrior monks — into the caves and came in conflict with this serpent cult. Following the conflict the reptilians and collaborating forces were driven out, however in recent centuries they have regained some ground (Evadamic).

A PREDICTION FOR THE FUTURE FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID

Between now and 2007 AD, our planet will have a 70 degree pole shift. Saudia Arabia will become the new North Pole. In the next 10 years, these are the changes we’ll be witness to:

1. We will all become telepathic.

2. The Andromedan Council has ordered all extraterrestrial presences on the planet, in the planet, and on the moon to be completely out of our space. They want everything that’s ET, benevolent or not, off the planet. This will be very interesting since there are over 1,833 reptilians living in our planet and over 18,000 grays living underground and on the moon. The council would like to see how we will live with each other when we are not being manipulated by ETs, as we have been for the last 5,723 years.

Concerning the demons I:II

The relationship between believers and the demons is quite a controversial issue in some circles in our day. At one end of the spectrum are those who say it is absolutely impossible for a believer to be “possessed by a demon.” At the other end are those who will minister to none but believers — on the ground that an unbeliever has no defense against a demon’s re-entry. I have known and read a number who are at each extreme. But the controversy is not incapable of solution if we look closely at the Scriptures. And what do we see there about demonic affliction?

Demonic affliction in the New Testament
For one thing, we see that the term “possessed by a demon” does not even occur in the Scriptures (in the Greek). The most common expression is “to have a demon.” The next most common is, literally, to be “demonized.”1 Neither of these terms is as provocative as the term “possessed by a demon.” This latter term admits only of total control, while the two Biblical terms mentioned above allow for any range or degree of affliction.

And “demonization” is indeed an affliction of body; it is always — without exception, as far as the Biblical evidence — manifested through physical affliction or bizarre behavior with one’s body. Read the New Testament very carefully and you will never see such a thing as a “spirit of jealousy” (or gluttony, or lust, or anger, etc.) being cast out of anyone: yet, strangely enough, these kind of”spirits” seem to be the most popularly encountered in the deliverance ministries current today. True “demonization” was, in New Testament times, detectable by its bizarre physical manifestations: people would periodically lose control of their bodies (e.g., Mark 9:14-29), appear as insane (e.g., Mark 5:1-20), or be physically afflicted (e.g., Luke 11:14, 13:10-16).2 To have a demon cast out is a form of healing (Matt. 4.24); therefore one should not be considered a particularly “evil” person (i.e., no worse a sinner than the rest of us) to have become afflicted by a demon, any more than is a cancer-stricken patient, for example. The only Biblical example that does not seem to show demonization as a condition of physical affliction is that of the young slave girl who had a spirit of “divination” (Acts 16:16-18).3 But even in that instance, the girl manifested quite bizarre and compulsive behavior.

Thus, we see that to have a demon, or to be demonized, in the New Testament sense — the only authorized sense — means to carry about within your body one or more of the citizens of Satan’s fallen spiritual army. All the world’s citizens have Satan working within them (Eph. 2:2), seducing them into sin and bondage. Such a condition is more properly considered true “possession” than what we are considering — for in that former situation he owns your heart, your goals, your loyalties and your destiny. The demons involved in such “possession” and in temptation are not at all subject to exorcism, from Biblical testimony. Feeling strong urges to turn into a pornography shop or to steal does not mean that you are demonized and must seek exorcism. It means that you are especially vulnerable to satanic temptation in that area — you are feeling the fire of his “fiery darts” (Eph. 6:16). You need, in that situation, not the ministry of exorcism, but the shield of faith with which to quench the fiery darts of the enemy. According to the New Testament, you are demonized when you have come into a condition in which you have lost control of your body or of your mind (in varying degrees and durations) — or in which you have developed sickness of body.

Not all sickness of body is demonization, nor is all loss of body function: but, from biblical example, we must conclude that some of what this world’s medicine attributes to purely physical malady is actually a symptom of demonic presence.4 Just because we see signs of infection, of viral activity or bone deformation does not mean that the affliction is purely physical in its cause. The god of this world knows our physical systems far more thoroughly than the best anatomist. If a man can disrupt an organ’s function through chemical or physical means, and cause a body to develop or function improperly, or to become prone to certain diseases, then so can a demon. A condition that the world considers to be a physical cause may actually be the physical effect — a spirit’s presence being the actual cause. To cast it out of the body will also remove the cause of the physical or mental malady that it had created.

Can a believer have a demon?
Before we undertake to resolve this controversial question let us first make sure that we know exactly what we are asking. Can a believer be physically controlled by Satan so that he or she cannot know the difference between God’s revelation and Satan’s lies? Of course not; for that is the very thing that distinguishes a believer from an unbeliever. Well then, can a believer be subject to demonic temptation, continually succumb in that area, and thus be in bondage to Satan in that area of his life?: of course he can — Satan has incredibly “fiery” darts, and even has doctrines and prophecies for believers to yield to (1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 4:1). But, as has just been pointed out above, this is not “demonization,” in the Biblical sense. Thus, this is the question that remains: can a believer in our day enter into a condition (or remain in a condition, after believing) in which, through demonic presence, he manifests the symptoms of “having a demon” that we mentioned above: loss of bodily or mental function, bodily affliction or supernatural manifestations of demonic knowledge and power?5

Personal testimony, unfortunately, is of little help in resolving this. My personal contact with those who claim to have received deliverance continues to leave me skeptical about most claims. The average believer is very unconscious about his own inner life — about what underlies his feelings and motivations — and has not learned to recognize his more subtle manifestations of flesh. Consequently, he can be too easily led to confuse a disturbance or excitement of flesh for a manifestation of a demon, in order for his personal testimony to be received by the cautious. The same reasoning applies to the value of the manifestations we might see taking place during a deliverance session: the fact that you hear voices or see people writhing on the floor and vomiting does not mean that a demon is causing it. In therapy it has been observed that patients of Jungian analysts tend to develop Jungian type symbolism in their dreams, while patients of Freudian analysts tend to develop Freudian symbolism in theirs: in other words, there is something in our fleshly constitution that inclines us to manifest the behavior that is expected of us by those we consider in authority; and if we are not cautious we shall do just that — even in a deliverance session. Thus, we must thoroughly sift personal testimony before admitting it as evidence.

Furthermore, the attempts to prove from the Scriptures that the deliverance of Christians is Scriptural are utterly unconvincing.6 There is not one clear example in the Scriptures of a demon being cast out of a Christian; nor do the many pastoral directives in the Epistles ever even hint that any of their readers might need to have a demon cast out. Resistance, not exorcism is the only advice given to Christians regarding Satan (e.g., James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9; Eph. 4:27, 6:11).

But this does not end the argument. Remember, the Scriptures were written to Christians who had received a gospel ministry of apostolic depth, apostolic thoroughness and apostolic anointing — which is hardly ever the case in our day. Therefore, all you can conclude from Scriptural testimony is that a person who received the gospel through the ministry of Paul or Peter had his demon problems taken care of before baptism, through exorcism, and would not therefore need any such ministry after baptism. But in our day, when the anointing and the gospel content are ordinarily so weak by contrast, if a man is not delivered from his demonic affliction before his acceptance of such a gospel, it hardly seems likely that his problem would simply disappear. Paul, who preached a complete gospel under powerful anointing, would have in addition spent time exposing and expelling the demon from a man.7 Can we safely assume that the man who responds to a truncated gospel ministered in little or no anointing of the Spirit, and who receives no exorcism ministry at all, is going to be somehow automatically released by Satan’s demon? It does not seem a safe conclusion to draw at all.

What is the natural conclusion to draw is that if you accept a man who believes in Christ into your fellowship without first casting out his demons then his demons will continue to afflict him after he enters the fellowship. It is not belief or baptism, but exorcism that was designed for dealing with demons. But please remember: this in no way means that an average Christian in our day needs to have demons cast out of him. We have already examined the symptoms of demonization and know how easily demons are usually discerned.8 It is certainly true that one of the most important ministries to be restored to Christian communities is that of discerning and casting out demons. But the whole deliverance ministry will suffer increasing disrepute if those involved in it do not learn proper diagnosis.

FOOTNOTES

1 Greek: “daimonizomai”

2 This is not to say that demons might not seduce us into the bondages of jealousy, gluttony, anger, etc. It is to say, however, that such demonic activity is not subject to the ministry of exorcism — not with Scriptural authority, at any rate. Some demons are to be resisted, some cast out (e.g., James 4:7).

3 That is, a form of prophesying that is not of God. This example shows the great dangers of the occult — of opening up your inner being to permit ungodly powers to speak or act through you (as with ouija boards and in seances).

4 One of the functions of the gift of the discerning of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10) would be to sense when a physical condition is actually a manifestation of a demon.

5 With regard to the latter we must distinguish between someone who receives a “spiritual” revelation and someone who assents to it and uses it; the latter person is without doubt sinning against God, but the former one is not.

6 For example, see Don Basham’s, Can a Christian Have a Demon? (Monroeville: Whitaker Books, 1971). This is perhaps the most popular work that expresses such a viewpoint.

7 There is abundant evidence that in the early Church it was the normal practice for exorcism to be ministered prior to the administering of baptism whenever it was discerned to be necessary. See, for example, Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition, xvi. 8 and xx. 3-4, for instruction to the Roman Christians in the year 200 A.D. (London: S.P.C.K., 1968; Gregory Dix, ed.).

8 Consider the deliverance ministry of Jesus and the apostles. The great majority of those who were demonized were brought to Jesus and the apostles by those who knew the victims and who were themselves unregenerate. One does not have to be regenerate or baptized in the Spirit (which those people in Jesus’ day were certainly not) in order to know that someone has a demon that must be cast out, at least in most cases (one might need special discernment, for example, with the woman in Luke 13:10f).

Concerning the demons II:II

Concerning the demons II:II

SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD

 

But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Gal. 6:14).
We are now going to address the issue about which compromised Christianity has been led into perhaps its deepest deception. It is the issue of our separation from the world as disciples of Christ. Just how separate must a disciple be in attitude and in practice? What are the practical consequences of my being so separated from the world that Paul calls it a crucifixion of me to the world and of the world to me?

With respect to this statement of Paul, we may observe that the degree of separation between a person and the society around him is capable of considerable variety. Your obedience as a disciple could bring you, theoretically, into no withdrawal, or into enough tension that you cannot participate in some aspects of that society’s life which it considers important, or even into various degrees of physical seclusion (as in monasticism or the Hutterite Anabaptists). From the perspective derived from taking the pertinent Scriptures in their natural sense and when we observe early post-apostolic Christianity, we shall see that it was clearly understood, clearly taught and definitely required that the crucifixion attitude regarding the world had so many important consequences that the disciples of Jesus had to withdraw from participation in many important social institutions. This restricted participation by apostolic and early post-apostolic Christians is commonly observed by historians of the early Church, but is typically interpreted by them as being the result of living in a society that required its key participants to worship pagan gods. Since Christians could not do this, so their interpretation goes, they were forced into a nonparticipatory lifestyle; but once the idolatrous requirements were abolished then there were no reasons left for them to stay aloof from those areas of social responsibility and involvement. We shall see that this line of reasoning is not faithful to the Scriptural principles and commands given to disciples of Jesus. And we shall see that early Christians did not restrict their defense of Christian nonparticipation to the grounds that such participation required idolatry (far from it!). There are factors inherent within the gospel itself that prohibit certain kinds of involvement in any society of man, whether or not it requires idolatry.

The relation of Jesus and His body to this world

These all died in faith … having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth … seeking a homeland. … But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city (Heb. 11:13-16).
We have already seen that the Church is called to be a society in its own right, a separated society that manifests the social life found in the heavenly kingdom of God. The relationship of the Church to the world is to be the same as the relationship of the kingdom of God to this world. And with respect to this world, the author of Hebrews tells us, God’s people are aliens and sojourners within a strange land. This was true even under the old covenant (Lev. 25:23), to a certain degree; but it is especially emphasized for those under the new covenant (1 Peter 2:11), who have had no country set aside for them by God.1 Aliens who dwell in the land had neither the full privileges and protections enjoyed by its citizens, nor the full responsibilities of the citizens. As He is, so also are we in this world (1 John 4:17).

Christians stand in relation to this world in the same way that Jesus did: it by rights belonged to Him, but since it was not yet the time for Him to assert those rights, He had no place to lay His head. And so with us: the earth will belong to us one day, but until His return we must bear His reproach and feel out of place here (as well as be considered out of place by that very world).

Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you (I John 3:13).

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:18-19).

…do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).

The “world” is every society that refuses to openly acknowledge and submit to Jesus in a disciple’s obedience. From God’s perspective, Christian England, Christian Europe, Christian America, were never anything more than the world in disguise, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, societies whose god is Satan despite professions to the contrary. And while those expressions of the world may have been in recent times more tolerant of true believers than militantly atheistic states, they nevertheless have in truth always rejected the full teaching of Jesus — and Jesus Himself — because His wisdom is destructive foolishness in the eyes of the world. Turning the other cheek is very bad foreign policy, you know. But then, if you reduce His teachings to “Love one another,” and then define love in a manner that is convenient to you, you would not find “Christ’s teaching” to be a threat to personal or national interest. And yet His teachings are painfully more specific than that, aren’t they.

Some hard sayings of the kingdom

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any one wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two (Matthew 5:38-41).
Jesus clearly teaches that we, his disciples, are not to resist the evil person when he hits us, sues us, or forces our labor. Rather than give us any grounds for not taking His teaching exactly as it stands, He warns us that He will consider us His friends only if we do what He commands us (John 15:14). Only the man who is willing to die to this world will even want to obey this teaching; and only the man willing to die to this world can be saved! The Christian policeman or president who says, “while I will obey this teaching in my personal life, I do not have to take it into my public or business life and therefore I can shoot, vote for war or take retaliatory measures in good conscience” — such a man is deceived, thinking he does not always have to act according to the principles of discipleship.

Christ and His Spirit call forth from us the commitment to a gentleness that simply cannot be mixed with the personal or institutionalized violence of this world. Samuel and David could engage in that violence because they were still outside of the kingdom of God, waiting for its coming; Peter, however, was forbidden to (Matthew 26:51f). You have to make a choice about this when deciding whether to become a Christian, otherwise you are not becoming a disciple of Christ.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone… Never take your own revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay says the Lord” …Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17, 19, 21).

You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you (James 5:6).
There is simply no room for any form of revenge in a disciple’s personal, business or public life. Consequently, for example, a disciple of Jesus cannot realistically expect to take part in formulating or executing national policy; national policy is solidly rooted in the principle of self-seeking glory and revenge (as God defines those terms), and anyone who advocated eliminating those principles from national affairs to the degree that Christ requires of His disciples would be laughed out of politics. Yet anyone who claims to be a Christian and does not make such an announcement is playing games either with his constituency or his God.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, for example, the U.S. declaration of war was an application of the principle of revenge, and no disciple of Jesus could agree with it. When the colonies went into revolt against the authority of the king of England it was an application of the principle of revenge, and no disciple of Christ could agree to it, let alone fight for it (especially in light of Romans 13:1-7). The American Revolution and the World Wars were the worldly way of resolving a conflict that the world’s godlessness makes inevitable; faithful citizens of the kingdom of God have withdrawn from the world’s godlessness and the world’s solutions to the problems created by that godlessness. The Christian who engages in these worldly methods, whether in politics or business has received the sentence of “disobedient slave” (Luke 12:45-48), and will receive one of the three judgments mentioned by Jesus in that passage. If a man in public office were to become a disciple of Jesus he would have to announce to his electorate his decision to follow the principles of the kingdom of God very carefully, which decision would require his frequent and radical departure from the popular will. If his constituency accepted this, fine — he could remain — but, of course, they will not.

In response to the charge that this kind of uncompromising attitude would open up our country to being ruled over by aggressors, the Christian can say several things. First, we can say that from God’s revelation we know that the cycle of action and reaction that gives birth to everything from juvenile delinquency to police brutality to terrorism and international war will never be overcome; yet the only real reconciliation that will ever be created on this planet will be achieved by those who separate themselves from that complex chain of action and reaction and — in imitation of the crucified Son of God — absorb the wrath of the “enemy,” overcoming evil with good. Secondly, we can say that God listens to the prayers of His children, and fights for them if and when they really need deliverance. If all of America were to become disciples of Jesus — which they will not — they would have protection against foreign conquest to whatever degree God desired. Thirdly, the true follower of Christ will say that he is quite ready to be ruled over by unfriendly communists or unfriendly capitalists (neither of them obeys God, yet one or another of them must rule over us, it seems). A Christian is entitled to his preference over the form of society he desires, of course — but he will not wield the sword for that personal preference.2 He will vote for “the better man,” or “the lesser of two evils,” but he will not fight for the right to vote. At this point, a protest may begin to grow within you: “This is madness! Hitler and his Nazis were defeated by people who armed themselves and destroyed his evil power with a just power. You would just sit there and let his holocaust go unchecked!” But that is too simple an argument to fit the facts. Hitler and Nazi Germany did not just “happen;” they were part of that complex chain of action and reaction described earlier. If the allies had acted honorably after World War I — in a reconciling way, instead of a vindictive way — they would not have put upon Germany a burden of restitution that was impossible to achieve, nor would they have sent troops into the Rurh Valley in 1923, nor would they have had a hand in the horrible inflation that wiped out the life savings of millions of hard-working people and drove them to enough desperation to make Hitler’s rhetoric sound believable and help them to believe that their cause was “just” enough to warrant German rearmament. But of course, you would then have to look at the causes of World War I and so on, back through time. Only by stepping altogether outside of this chain of action and reaction, and by yielding ourselves to the Son of God and His holy Way, can the healing that is so desperately needed come to pass. Christians are not “idealists,” however; they know from God’s revelation that the human race will never, as a race, accept God’s solution: what theoretically could happen, will not in fact happen.

Through Isaiah God promised, “in the last days … they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Isaiah 2:2, 4). He prophesied that when the “shoot” springs up from the stem of Jesse, “they will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:1, 9). Well, Jesus — the shoot of the stem of Jesse — has come, and since it is us disciples upon whom the promised end of the ages has already come — although in first fruits form (1 Cor. 10:11) — we will beat our swords into plowshares, regardless of whether anyone else does so. We shall neither hurt nor destroy, we who have entered into this knowledge of the Lord. God has indeed made a provision for a civil arm of wrath to deal with the rebellion of a worldly man (Romans 13:1-4), but children of the kingdom of God do not operate that system. It is to be run by the world’s citizens to deal with their problems.3 We who follow Jesus do not take part in worldly rebellion nor do we punish those who do. We cannot act as policemen or warriors for the world because we cannot exert force upon people (with the mild exception of disciplining our own children). We cannot act as judges, because if we did we would be obliged to judge with the judgments of God’s law and not the law of the United States courts. We would not, for example, be able to grant most divorces or remarriages — nor allow abortions to go unpunished. As disciples, we are never free from the law of Christ!

“Oh, but if Christians withdrew from these activities where would all the justice go?” This complaint is often given, but it is naive. First of all, Christians are not called upon to withdraw from all aspects of society: we may not be able to pursue their criminals, but we can certainly risk our lives putting out their fires, and we can serve as teachers and social workers. Secondly, God has been quite able to work in societies (to whatever degree He has desired) before Christians ever came along: our society will progress toward its appointed end, whether or not we take charge of its institutions. Thirdly, whatever secular society loses from such direct participation (and therefore compromised participation) of its Christians, it will more than make up for by the presence and inspiration of an uncompromised alternate society called the Church. Christians who are participating in worldly society in disobedient ways cannot give it the inspiration that early Christians provided theirs.

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm (John 18:36).
If the servants of Jesus were not to fight to prevent injustice against the only truly innocent person this world has ever known, how can anyone suppose that they ought to fight to prevent lesser forms of injustice. If we Christians cannot fight for Jesus, do you think we can fight for the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., the U.A.R. or anyone else? If His kingdom were of this world his servants would fight; consequently, those who do fight are aligning themselves with the kingdom of this world. They may not like that judgment, but it is the Lord’s judgment nevertheless.

If persons were in warfare prior to coming to Christ, or prior to coming to knowledge of the ways of His kingdom they ought not to feel ashamed. While people were called to feel guilty for their fornication and theft by apostolic preachers, they were never called to feel guilt for their military participation. Such participation is appropriate for members of this world: it is one aspect of the way that worldly society is forced to take care of worldly rebellion and aggression — as is police work and the judicial system. It is only after one leaves the world that one must renounce these things.

Testimony from the early church

In this area, as in many others we have examined, we find that the early Christians demonstrate that what they taught was what we learn when we take the Scriptures in their literal, grammatically natural sense. This attitude, of course, produced the attitude of non-combat and the virtual non-participation in executing the affairs of secular government we have seen to be taught by the Scriptures.

The basic attitude of these Christians toward the society around them is summed up beautifully in the “Epistle to Diognetus,” written by an anonymous Christian disciple around the year 130 A.D.

They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers.4 They marry, as do all (others); they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed.
To sum up all in one word — what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world… The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world… The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it — though itself enjoying no injury — because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians — though in nowise injured (by them) — because they abstain from the life of pleasures… The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world… God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it would be unlawful for them to forsake.”5

Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 A.D.) was born in Samaria, but seems to have spent most of his life in Rome. He writes of warfare as a thing of the past for Christians:

We who formerly used to murder one another do not now only refrain from making war upon our enemies, but also, that we may not lie, or deceive our examiners, willingly die confessing Christ. But if the soldiers enrolled by you … prefer their allegiance to their own life …, it would be verily ridiculous if we, who earnestly long for incorruption, should not endure all things …”6

Tertullian (c. 145-220 A.D.), who resided in both North Africa and Rome, describes the typical attitude of early Christians about personal reaction to aggression:

If one attempt to provoke you by manual violence, the admonition of the Lord is at hand. “To him,” He says, “who smites you on the face, turn the other cheek likewise.” Let outrageousness be wearied out by your patience.”7
Regarding the office of magistrate, Tertullian’s argument against Christians’ acceptance of it was not restricted to the idolatrous aspects of it, nor even to the temptations that tend to go with the office.

“Hence arose, very lately,8 a dispute whether a servant of God should take the administration of any dignity or power, if he be able, whether by some special grace, or by adroitness, to keep himself intact from every species of idolatry, after the example that both Joseph and Daniel, clean from idolatry, administered both dignity and power in the livery and purple of the prefecture of entire Egypt or Babylonia. And so let us grant that it is possible for any one to succeed in moving, in whatsoever office, under the mere name of the office (only), neither sacrificing nor lending his authority to sacrifices; not farming out victims; not assigning to others the care of temples; not looking after their tributes; not giving spectacles at his own or the public charge, or presiding over the giving of them; making proclamation or edict for no solemnity; not even taking oaths; moreover, (what comes under the head of power), neither sitting in judgment on any one’s life or character, for you might bear with his judging about money; neither condemning nor forecondemning;9 binding no one, imprisoning or torturing no one — if it is credible that all this is possible.10
The highest office, that of emperor, is similarly considered to be both necessary, and yet obviously against the calling of a disciple of Christ. In the following passage Tertullian is reflecting the teaching about the separate nature of the two kingdoms we have seen above. Just before the quote begins, Tertullian had been discussing the report about Jesus that Pontius Pilate had sent to the Emperor, a report that had the Roman government considering recognizing Jesus as a god.

… the Caesars too would have believed upon Christ, if either the Caesars had not been necessary for the world, or if Christians could have been Caesars.11

With respect to soldiering, the same faithfulness to Scriptural principles is maintained by him.

But now inquiry is made about this point, whether a believer may turn himself unto military service, and whether the military may be admitted unto the faith, even the rank and file, or each inferior grade, to whom there is no necessity for taking part in sacrifices or capital punishments. There is no agreement between the divine and the human oaths of allegiance,12 the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness. One soul cannot be due to two masters — God and Caesar. And yet (you say), Moses carried a rod, and Aaron wore a buckle, and John (the Baptist) is girt with leather, and Joshua the son of Nun leads a line of march; and the people warred, if it pleases you to sport with the subject. But how will a Christian man war, nay, how will he serve even in peace, without a sword, which the Lord has taken away?13 For although soldiers had come unto John, and had received the formula of their rule, although, likewise, a centurian had believed; still the Lord afterward, in disarming Peter, unbelted every soldier. No dress is lawful among us, if assigned to any unlawful action.14
To begin with the real ground of the military crown, I think we must first inquire whether warfare is proper at all for Christians. What sense is there in discussing the merely accidental [i.e., Christians’ accepting military honors], when that on which it rests is to be condemned? Do we believe it lawful for a human oath to be superadded to one divine, for a man to come under promise to another master after Christ? … Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword? And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law? And shall he apply the chain, and the prison, and the torture, and the punishment, who is not the avenger even of his own wrongs? … Of course, if faith comes later, and finds any preoccupied with military service, their case is different … Yet at the same time, when a man has become a believer, and faith has been sealed, there must be either an immediate abandonment of it, which has been the course with many; or all sorts of quibbling will have to be resorted to in order to avoid offending God, and that is not allowed even outside of military service; or, last of all, for God the fate must be endured which a citizen-faith has been no less ready to accept. Neither does military service hold out escape from punishment of sins, or exemption from martyrdom. Nowhere does the Christian change his character. There is one gospel, and the same Jesus, who will one day deny everyone who denies, and acknowledge everyone who acknowledges God.15

[Regarding our being likened unto sheep:] No one gives the name of sheep to those who fall in battle with arms in hand, and while repelling force with force, but only to those who are slain, yielding themselves up in their own place of duty and with patience, rather than fighting in self-defence.16

Origen (c. 185-254 A.D.) wrote his work “Against Celsus” in the last years of his life. He had been born and raised in Alexandria, and had spent the latter part of his life in Caesarea (of Palestine); but he had also traveled extensively throughout Asia Minor and Greece. While one may well indeed be critical of his tendency to indulge in non-Scriptural speculations, he was nevertheless known by all around to be a very truthful and humble person, as well as an excellent scholar; his discriptions of contemporary Christian practices can be believed. When he describes the pacifistic attitude as being the attitude of Christians in general, we know, by virtue of his travels, his character and his intelligence, that he is a witness to be taken seriously.

[Celsus, the pagan critic, says] .”..you [Christians] surely do not say that if the Romans were, in compliance with your wish, to neglect duties to gods and men and were to worship the Most High, or whatever you please to call him, that he will come down and fight for them, so that they shall need no other help than his…” We say that … if they all unite in prayer with one accord, they will be able to put to flight far more enemies than those who were discomfited by the prayer of Moses when he cried to the Lord… But if all the Romans, according to the position of Celsus, embrace the Christian faith, they will, when they pray, overcome their enemies, or rather, they will not war at all, being guarded by that divine power which promised to save five entire cities for the sake of fifty just persons.
In the next place, Celsus urges us, “to help the king with all our might, and to labour with him in the maintenance of justice, to fight for him; and if he requires it, to fight under him, or lead an army along with him.” To this our answer is, that we do when occasion requires, give help to kings, and that, so to say, a divine help, putting on the whole armour of God. And this we do in obedience to the injunction of the apostle, “I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority;” and the more one excels in piety, the more effective help does he render to kings, even more than is given by soldiers, who go forth to fight and slay as many of the enemy as they can … And as we by our prayers vanquish all demons who stir up war, lead us to the violation of oaths, and who disturb the peace, we in this way are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them… We do not indeed fight under him, although he require it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army — an army of piety — by offering our prayers to God.

Celsus also urges us to “take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintenance of the laws and the support of religions.” But we recognize in each state the existence of another national organization, founded by the Word of God, and we exhort those who are mighty in word and of blameless life to rule over Churches… And it is not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a diviner and more necessary service in the Church of God — for the salvation of men.”17

There is additional significance in the fact that Celsus wrote his attack upon Christianity some seventy years earlier than Origen’s reply, and either from Rome or Alexandria. This tells us that the pagan of Rome (or Alexandria) in 180 A.D. knew what the Christians of the eastern Mediterranean still upheld in 250 A.D. — that Christians refused to hold office and to participate in warfare. In his reasoning, there is no hint of saying “if only you freed us from the obligation to worship your gods we would be glad to rule over you and fight your wars.” Idolatry was not the foundation of the reason for their refusal, although it of course added conviction to their refusal. The Christian tradition of nonviolence and refusal to assume positions of judgment over others was rooted in the conviction that each Christian must necessarily imitate the way of Christ, who turned the other cheek and refused to act as a worldly judge or king.

Hippolytus (c. 160-235 A.D.) wrote the “Apostolic Tradition” around the year 215 A.D. It recorded the Roman church’s liturgical tradition and baptismal discipline as it had come down to them. In one section it deals with the occupations that were forbidden to Christians; as a matter of fact, they were not admitted to baptism until three years after they had abandoned these professions (undoubtedly a more stringent discipline than the apostles required). The professions dealt with are pimp, idol carvers, actors, charioteers, gladiators, temple priests, prostitutes, magicians and astrologers and, in addition, soldiers, governors and magistrates.

A soldier who is in authority must be told not to execute men; if he should be ordered to do it, he shall not do it.18 He must be told not to take the military oath. If he will not agree, let him be rejected [i.e., rejected as a baptismal candidate].

A military governor or a magistrate of a city who wears the purple, either let him desist or let him be rejected.

If a catechumen or a baptised Christian wishes to become a soldier, let him be cast out,19 for he has despised God.20

This ancient ecclesiastical policy is in perfect harmony with the positions defended by Origen and Tertullian. Rome, North Africa, Alexandria, Palestine, Asia Minor and Greece are all in agreement. Christians cannot exercise ruling authority over unbelievers because of the inescapable compromising of Jesus’ teaching that must accompany worldly rule; furthermore, no disciple of Christ can use violence against other men, whether in self-defence, police activity or the military.

Can there be any doubt, dear pilgrim, that early Christians had been taught to take the full teaching of the Scriptures quite literally because that natural reading of the Scriptures was the very same as the apostolic instruction? Can there be any doubt in your mind that in order to return to the Christianity of the apostles we must do the same thing, congregation by congregation? The way a convert responds to the world is certainly one of the most accurate indicators of how he has in fact responded to Christ; and a person’s refusal to fight the world’s wars or to administer its rebellious social institutions is one of the ways we are instructed to respond to the claims of the world. These refusals teach a man to “hate” his own life in the world for the sake of Christ. And they demonstrate that the kingdom of God cannot be harmonized or blended with the kingdom of man, no matter how benevolent and tolerant of believers that latter kingdom might appear to be.

 

FOOTNOTES

1 “With the disappearance of the Jewish political base for the life of God’s people, Christians consider themselves as aliens on the earth, like the patriarchs (Acts 7:6, 29; Heb. 11:13; I Peter 2:11)…” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. E-J (New York: Abingdon Press, 1962), p. 311.

2 Such, for example, is the attitude we see in Paul toward slavery (I Cor. 7:20f).

3 However, we do help support that system by paying all of its taxes (even the portion used for war). We obey all its fair laws very carefully, for such laws of state are for us laws of God.

4 Not much “Christian patriotism” or “Christian nationalism” here, is there?

5 Chap. 5, 6. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 26-27.

6 “The First Apology,” ch. XXXIX. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 176. Notice how he speaks of soldiering as an occupation of the world.

7 “On Patience,” ch.viii. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.III, p. 712.

8 Note here a clue to the date of the beginning of the willingness of some Christians — in North Africa, at least — to entertain the idea of accepting public office.

9 To the Romans, the magistrate was said to condemn, while the legislature was said to “forecondemn,” by virtue of passing laws upon which the condemnation was based.

10 “On Idolatry,” chap. xvii. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III. Of course, the whole thrust of his argument is that it is not possible. When the magistrate was freed from the idolatrous obligations nothing else was changed to vitiate the force of Tertullian’s argument.

11 “The Apology,” chap. xxi. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, p. 72. The logic here is clear: what is essential for the maintenance of the unsubmitted world’s machinery is at the same time impossible for Christians.

12 Latin: “sacramentum.”

13 Notice the presumption, though not the delineation, of the theology that the old covenant is set aside when the new has come.

14 “On Idolatry,” ch.xix. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.III, p. 73.

15 “De Corona,” chap. xi. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, p. 99. Given this understanding of Tertullian, an understanding that is so clearly thought out and expressed, his description in the “Apology” (chap. xlii), of Christians as people who even “fight” (Latin: “militamus”) along with the pagans, undoubtedly means people who “serve in the military” with them in the manner described in this passage. See Lewis & Short, A Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879), p. 1144. “(1) to serve as a soldier.” See also P.G.W. Glare, Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), Vol.V, where the same primary meaning is given (p. 1109).

16 “Against Marcion,” chap. xxxix. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, p. 415.

17 “Against Celsus,” ch.73, 75. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, p. 667-668.

18 Note well that there is no mention of idolatry being a factor in the prohibition against military life. Actually, as we see in both Hippolytus and Tertullian, it is not military life that is prohibited, but violence against humans. Even after idolatry ceased being a factor in military life, this prohibition would remain.

19 A catechumen was a person who was preparing for baptism.

20 The Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus, Gregory Dix, ed. (London: S.P.C.K., 1968), II. xvi. 17-19.

The Depth of Human Experience – Bullshit or not?

Religious, structured, and orderly. Although this book is religious through and through, it is also very earthly. You seem to never leave the earth. In fact, there seems to be no difference between earth and the heavenly sphere.

It is a solid world, no distinction between mind and matter, everything is touchable. The physical expresses the spiritual, the spirit of God is physical and pervades the physical universe–it’s all one place. There is no heaven and hell, it is just all here. For this reason, this book answers all of those questions you had as a kid in Sunday school and nobody could give you a satisfying answer, for instance, where do people go when they die, what does hell look like, what does heaven look like, what is purgatory, and how does one get from purgatory to heaven. Sunday school teachers should just read Dante to the kids–it is the end-all encyclopedia of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

The symbolism of the beginning is nice, that he is in a forest being chased by various animals. I can imagine that each of the animals represents some kind of vice and that the part in the woods symbolizes the sinful, confused life full of temptations. It was interesting that Virgil was his guide. I was expecting a more religious character, for instance, Moses–but it later turned out that he was sitting in hell himself! That was an eye-opener. It makes you realize the difference between the old and the new testaments. Even Noah was in hell.(!) But at least they weren’t very deep in hell.

“All hope abandon ye who enter here.”

I liked how Hell is an interactive place for Dante. He isn’t afraid to “touch the merchandise.”

Then seizing on his hinder scalp, I cried:
“Name thee, or not a hair shall tarry here.”

He is human, he takes part and overreacts. And he keeps fainting. It’s not a Universal Studios ride through hell, but you can actually grab ahold of the props, talk to old friends and acquaintences, and the guide will patiently wait for you when you faint.

Another aspect of hell that surprised me was that the devil was standing on a frozen lake. This isn’t the picture of Larson’s Far Side hell scenes, nor is the devil the cool, rebellious bad boy of Milton’s Paradise Lost. For Dante, the Devil is an impotent lump of frozen hate. He shows us that evil is not only stupid, but self-destructive as well.

I like the short cantos for each level and the “proceeding on.” I couldn’t help thinking during the trip down into Hell that this would make a fantastic video game. All of the levels are already there, and at each level you have a different kind of enemy, here flying, metamorphosing dragons and on the next level a pool of liquid tar with demons swooping down at the sinners. If you make it through all levels, you and the devil could skate around on a frozen lake throwing fireballs at each other! Maybe some programmer/English teacher has already made it, I’ll have to check the Internet.

Each level is interesting because the punishment always matches the sin of the people there, e.g. the murderers are in a river of blood and the grafters are being fought over by demons just as the grafters fought over positions in their beauracracies. In this sense, each sin is graphically represented in some way (but not always in an obvious way) so that you can understand the sin better.

You realize in hell that Dante certainly had an ax to grind with the city of Florence in this book! My reference notes identified most of the people in hell as people he had known in Florence.

Purgatory is everything that hell wasn’t: light, above ground, things are clean and white and orderly and safe. It is a nice contrast after the bloody jungle ride through levels of hell. Purgatory for Dante is a “school of love designed to correct the erroneaous forms human love has taken.” Again you have levels with people there who were guilty of lighter sins. My favorite group was “The Slothful Souls” who as penance were hurrying around uttering quotes about swiftness and speed:

Soon they o’ertook us; with such swiftness mov’d
The might crowd. Two spirits of their head
Cried weeping: ‘Blessed Mary sought with haste
The hilly region. Caesar, to subdue
Ilerda, darted in Marseilles his sting,
And flew to Spain.”–“Oh tarry not: away;”
The others shouted; ‘let not time be lost
Through slackness of affection. Hearty zeal
To serve reanimates celestial grace.”

Dante’s symbolic dreams were nice. My reference notes explained them thoroughly which brought out all their meaning. Dante seemed to have packed this poem with interrelated meanings which could take years to discover. Everything he described seemed to have another meaning. Here he is describing steps in purgatory. By the way he carefully decribes the scene, you know that each step represents something distinct, as well as the colors and textures:

The lowest stair was marble white, so smooth
And polish’d, that therein my mirror’d form
Distinct I saw. The next of hue more dark
Than sablest grain, a rough and singed block,
Crack’d lengthwise and across. The third, that lay
Massy above, seem’d porphyry, that flam’d
Red as the life-blood spouting from a vein.
On this God’s angel either foot sustain’d,
Upon the threshold seated, which appear’d
A rock of diamond. Up the trinal steps
My leader cheerly drew me.

This made the book a series of riddles, more than you could possibly digest in one reading of the poem.

The long anticipation of Beatrice builds suspense until he finally sees her. He of course faints at her beauty. You feel that his love is not really for her but for beauty itself. It was also interesting that Beatrice became his guide in heaven as Virgil, being a more earthly character and representing reason, could only take him so far. Beatrice, representing faith, would have to take him the rest of the way so that he could understand heaven.

In paradise, I liked the symoblism of light. It is a strenghth of the poem that even though everything in the story is so literal and touchable, Dante describes Christ and God not as people, but as light and energy and warmth. It retains their mystery and wonder:

As one,
Who vers’d in geometric lore, would fain
Measure the circle; and, though pondering long
And deeply, that beginning, which he needs,
Finds not: e’en such was I, intent to scan
The novel wonder, and trace out the form,
How to the circle fitted, and therein
How plac’d: but the flight was not for my wing;
Had not a flash darted athwart my mind,
And in the spleen unfolded what it sought.
Here vigour fail’d the tow’ring fantasy:

But yet the will roll’d onward, like a wheel
In even motion, by the Love impell’d,
That moves the sun in heav’n and all the stars.

This book is for the love of God, of the universe, and personal experience. It is a masterpiece which threads these themes into a tremendous journal through the three known areas of the afterlife. Shakespeare shows us the width of human experience, and Dante the depth. Nor does Dante preach. His religious message is positive. He shows us what a joy it is to live according to the will of God and encourages the reader to embark on the long journey of getting to know the meaning of faith and love. The Divine Comedy gives wonderful meaning to Christian life as it was understood in the Middle Ages. It should be required reading for the study of Christianity. It is the personal and vivid story of a soul’s journey through salvation.

The Evolution of Lilith

The first appearance of Lilith came in the form of a cameo in a story called the “Prologue of Gilgamesh”. In it, a great tree is described, obviously the tree of life. On the top of a tree rests a bird, possibly an eagle, and in the center lives a “dragon[who] had build it’s nest there…the demon Lilith…” This can be equated with the Midguard Serpent of Norse mythology and various other chaos creatures who lived and gnawed on the Tree of Life. The purpose these entities served was one of balancing the Yang with the Yin, tempering the force of Creation with the force of Destruction, order with chaos, as one cannot exist without the other.

Thus Lilith, and other so-called “serpents” served an important purpose, that of keeping the Yang under control, and thus also serving a psychological purpose. When one rests too much in the light, one can develop a self-righteous attitude, and starts to think that they know everything. This was the true nature of the state Adam and Eve were in before the serpent in the garden, who was Lilith as we shall later see, were in….Adam and Eve had the false sense of security that they knew everything there was to know and carried within them the forces of creation (Yang). Lilith, on the other hand, who was the personification of Yin brought them down to earth when she got Eve to eat from the tree. Where Yang says “I know the right way, I know everything”, Yin says “You don’t know everything, you never will know everything, and there is no right way.” Thus, Adam and Eve were brought down to earth, so to speak, when they partook of the fruit. The expulsion from paradise symbolized their acceptance of reality, and Yahweh’s displeasure symbolized humankind’s need to control and escape reality. As one can see, each character in the story of the fall are archtypical symbols for forces within the human psyche…

Going back to Lilith, after her appearence in the Prologue, she became described on tablets found in ancient Sumeria as “the hand of Inanna” who swept men into her temples for sacred sexual rights. Lilith became the symbolism of feminine allure, the dangerous seductive qualities of the dark moon. Though she was never a Goddess in Sumerian lore, Lilith was nonetheless an important enough figure for later cultures to take note of her.

Later, when patriarchal Judiasm came along, the first Rabbis, in an attempt to draw worship away from the Goddess, rewrote creation myths with Lilith in them. In their new myth, Lilith became a creature created from dust from a motherless God along with Adam, and they were the first man and woman. Adam, observing his greater physical stature, demanded Lilith serve him as a slave, claiming that since he was the day, the sun being male, and she was the night, the moon being female, and since day was longer than night, that she should serve him. Then he told her that since in light one can see everything, that was further proof that she was subserviant, for she was darkness, where everything had to be guessed and intuited. Lilith tired of this, and refused to serve him. Then the time came for the two to mate. Adam demanded Lilith lie beneath him, despite her protests that she recieved no pleasure from the way he like to do it. Lilith, in anger, called out the name of God and flew out of the garden. Out in the wilderness, Lilith consorted with demons, and refused to return to the garden when three of God’s angels begged her. In anger, God decreed that one hundred of Lilith’s children would die each day. Lilith, out of revenge, became herself a demoness, the killer of babies, sparing only those who wore an amulet bearing the names of the three angels who came to get her, out of a promise she made.

Again, the archetypical symbolism is obvious. Adam is humankind, and Lilith is nature, as she was a goddess of nature in the Sumerian pantheon. Adam’s demanding Lilith serve him is mankind’s desire to control nature and the Earth. Nature is chaotic, and humans instintively fear chaos thanks to patriarchal programming. Lilith’s eventual demonization symbolizes mankind’s, and patriachy’s, view of nature..as something to fear, and fight and control, just as “holy” men controlled demons.

On another archtypical level, this also symbolizes Yang’s desire to control Yin, to suppress Yin and keep Yin from shading mankind in the darkness from Yang’s blinding light, which gives humanity false hope and false security, the same that Adam and Eve rested in before Lilith brought them awareness.

In modern times, Lilith has become adopted by feminists and others to symbolize individuality and freedom of self, much as Lucifer/Satan is to Satanists. It actually was not until the 20th century that Lilith became deified, but that doesn’t make the cry of Lilithians any less powerful: “I am a daughter/son of Lilith…I was made from no one’s rib and will not be placed under anyone’s heel.”