The next chapters follow
the steps within the Revelation. One can read single chapters or - better -
the chapters in this sequence for
Who, in addition to this, is interested more closely in a holistic approach to this concentrated considerations - including meditation on the Gospels - may click here for methodical tips. It may help, to seek and find an own access to the reality behind all words, and participate in it.
An intense meditative examination of John's Gospel shows that it is mainly based on his own meditative reflection of his life with Jesus.
John's Revelation on the other hand, shows that it originates in visions. Here we find no mental extrapolations of external knowledge of life into the future. The form of these visions also shows - provided one has the ability to interpret one’s own inner visions and so forth - that they come from higher sources than those in which external expectations take shape in our imagination. In this case, any mixing with the personal mind is not perceivable. The source is also designated clearly - although this fact alone would not be a guarantee in such experiences : "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John…".
Most modern protestant theologians are not interested in this kind of apocalyptic writing. They would not really be able to decrypt it with their intellectual methods - or at most only fragmentarily, because they cannot derive the "method" of their origin and the associated symbolism from their own experiences. In the Catholic Church there are some ideas about the apocalypse*, but the people hardly read this because it is too far from the self-satisfaction of many people and churches in today’s world. Free Churches and sects, on the other hand, refer directly to the apocalypse*, but have an insufficient, intellectual understanding of the prophetic vision, leading them to believe in an external disaster and in most cases see themselves as the chosen ones or at least as the most directly chosen ones (*apocalypse: from Greek = uncovering.)
In the chapter "The Whitsun event (Pentecost)" transitions between the individual work of Jesus in his immediate sphere and developments on a large scale have already been pointed out.
If we look at St. John's Revelation in the same integrated way as his Gospel, as proposed in the "Introduction…", unexpected insights become apparent which can not be found in literature.
This revelation shows a sequence related to the sequence in the life of Jesus. But here the development of mankind, earth and cosmos is definitely being spoken of. Even the most inward and mystical work on it simply confirms that it is not simply a collection of images for the development or "initiation" of individual people, as some thought - although it can be of help to individuals, due to the parallels to the gospels. The actual stage of the revelation itself is rather one of consciousness, which compares the archetypal events surrounding Jesus Christ two thousand years ago with the development of mankind and the earth in the cosmos, interwoven in the same way by archetypal steps. Here too, the universal aspect of Christ is included, in contrast to his work as a Son of Man two thousand years ago. Seen from this viewpoint, it would in turn be possible to draw some conclusions concerning the events that happened on the smaller scale approx. 2000 years ago.
The revelation is, however, inimitably more complex than the description of the gospels. It is not simply a "projection" of what John saw in the life of Jesus onto world events.
The revelation in its "element" describes events in several dimensions or levels of existence. The chronological sequence is only secondary. This alone shows that many interpretations as historical events can only be regarded as visions and are often quite misleading.
From another, but also permissible aspect, R. Steiner sees that some modern spiritual disciples can anticipate future states of consciousness today. See R. Steiner in: "Die Apokalypse des Johannes", lecture cycle 1908.
According to Otto Hanish, founder of the Zoroastrian-oriented old "Mazdaznan" life reform movement, Oberdoerffer found parallels to the physiological systems, e.g. the nervous connections in the human being. Book: "Apokalypse", from the "Deutsche Mazdaznan- B." Gablonzer Str.7, 76185 Karlsruhe, Germany, - if still available; possibly only in German).
Arthur Schult: "Das Johannesevangelium als Offenbarung des kosmischen Christus" (The St.John's Gospel as a manifestation of the Cosmic Christ) and „Weltenwerden und Johannesapokalypse" (Development of worlds and St. John's Revelation) attempted a chapter-for-chapter esoteric interpretation. Of course these are approaches to knowledge, mainly based on studying symbols, to which many annotations could be made.
A note: it does not help much to mix the Revelation with the prophecy of the Old Testament. Although there are some passages with similar images. It is, however, necessary to compare it with the historical events of pre-christian times, given in the Appendix of many Bible editions. So it becomes clear that those prophets in most cases foresaw pre-christian incidents like the Babylonian Captivity and the return from there, and the later wars in the country and a victory of the Jews at that time; also the events concerning the Messiah or Christ (concerning the Messiah compare our page about the Old Testament). Only a few places additionally indicate matters of our time or of the contents of the Revelation (for instance Jesaja 24; 25; 27; 66:15; Daniel 7:9-28; Proverbs 2:21-22.)
In traditional (Christian) theology, Rev. 5:6 was presented in detail as a fundamental vision: the lamb that was slaughtered and nevertheless stands upright before the throne of God. In an ecclesiastical view of things, the church has been seen as the first place where the new is implemented. Otherwise, theologians treated the Book of Revelation in connection with the eschatological trust in a "kingdom" of God to come, particularly in connection with the corresponding speeches from the time of Jesus’ ministry. That which God began with Jesus, but which has yet to be completed, continues to unfold until completion; see Philippians 1:6. It occurred that a beginning of a "new heaven and a new earth"(Rev. 21) with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus had been assumed – and then a continual development in this direction was assumed. However, the Book of Revelation speaks of an upheaval of unheard dimensions, no matter how symbolically it may be seen. The apparent contradiction between something actually already existent and a later realisation will only really be resolved when that awareness is meditatively comprehended to some degree, which Jesus shows when he repeatedly says words to the effect of "The time is coming and it is already now…"(Rev. 4 and 5): It states that something on a more spiritual level already really existing will come into its own on the visible plane at a later point in time.
To the "small Apocalypse" in the Gospel of Matthew
Reference to a complete version for print, and Copyright Ways of Christ™