In the 1st chapter of the Revelation John describes the first vision of Christ after the ascension. "I turned round to see", or more clearly in the 4th church "come up here…", "and at once I was in the spirit" means, that here Christ didn't come down to John, but John was able to "climb" up temporarily consciously to that level which is spoken of. This is important and not symbolic. "I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead…. And I hold the keys of death and Hades."The Christ united with God speaks to him. So here he also designates the general topic, which runs through the apocalypse like a thread: The penetration of the various levels of life which are left or "darkened", not by any kind of light, but by the "true light" of John's Gospel 1, by Christ. At the beginning, everything is put into the context of the now repeated prophecy of a Second Coming of Christ "in the clouds".
Christ shows himself in his capacity as the centre (center) of the seven
communities in Asia, – like the sun; "dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet" -his spirit penetrates everything, including his feet representing the will-; "with a golden sash round his chest" -the love of his heart is connected with wisdom-. "His head and hair were white ..." -by that connection with love the head is shining-; "and his eyes were like blazing fire" -his eyes shine on the world-; "his feet were like bronze (/gold) glowing in a furnace" -his steps have a purifying effect outwardly-; "and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters" -in his voice vibrates the spirit too-. "In his right hand he held seven stars" -God attracts all powers and human characters towards him, with his right hand representing the future, they follow him-; "and out of his mouth came a sharp, double-edged sword..." -he brings the real
ability to distinguish and differentiate.
This vision looks like an analogy to the vision of John the Baptist at the beginning of John's Gospel, with the dove of the "real spirit"; the seven communities are analogous to the appointment of the disciples (e.g. John's Gospel 1...).
The "seven communities" (seven churches; Revelation 2-3) really existed. They embodied various cultural problems, qualities and possibilities which Christ let the "angels of the communities" write . In this context "angels" seem to refer to earthly leaders of these communities too. The letters are not a matter of purely "supernatural" affairs. Besides this, the communities presumed that there was an angel accompanying their work. But using the term angel - as an impersonal being and power - the term angel can also point out that the Christian communities in the seven towns also represent the kind of qualities they embody, which are expressed elsewhere too.
Therefore there must be some truth in it, when Theosophical, Rosicrucian and Anthroposophical movements all agree that the "7 communities" are cultures - described as one following each other. The contemporary transition of occidental civilisation to a more gentle culture emerging is identified as the change from the 5th/6th or from the 6th/7th communities. Sometimes there are attempts to establish a relation to the ideas of an "Aquarian Era" which would begin, according to various astrological and New-Age trends, between 1961 and 2000 or even 2242, or according to R. Steiner its full effect would not be apparent until 3500. This was connected with the assumption of sub-eras of 300-400 years. In spite of having a real basis in the cosmic cycles, something important has been overlooked here:
The nature of the apocalypse is not based on the "cyclical eternal recurrence of the same twelve zodiacal qualities". The image of a spiral, in which everything develops onto higher and higher levels, would be a better description. However, the very fundamental "quantum leaps" of mankind and world evolution in the apocalypse can not only be seen on the basis of the continuous movement of the earth's axis like a gyroscope and attendant astrological circumstances. If contemporary history is considered, increasingly faster developments have come about. Here one can feel the intervention of something superordinate. If one wants to search for cycles as the origin of apocalyptic changes, an additional, larger cycle would have to be accepted. It could, however, also be those influences which the apocalypse speaks of.
If the investigation of cosmic modifications in the time of early history - not taken seriously enough - are considered, as found in old calendars, archaeological discoveries, written records, legends by H. J. Andersen and others, the astrophysical realities and therefore also the eras as seen connected with that, are not as constant as we originally thought. It seems to change or to be put out of function temporarily by drastic influences. In such cases the significance of the classical time cycles would be even more limited than at the time of the first "5 communities" which Theosophists tried to explain as the cultures of India, Persia, Egypt & Chaldea, Greece & Rome… and the occidental culture up to now.
"Enlightenment on the Apocalypse" (... by Helene Möller -
1884-1969 -, Publisher: Radona-Verlag, Am Buchstein 14/15, D-61250 Usingen,
Germany, available in English too) relates the "7 churches" to
various times in church history:
1. 33- 333 A.D.: Struggles to observe the Lord's instructions correctly... .
2. 333- 633 A.D.: Problems and faithfulness of the old Church... .
3. 633- 933 A.D.: Enlightenment through the (Holy) Scriptures... .
4. 933- 1233 A.D.: Danger to the Church through "vanity, love of ostentation, greed, sensuality".
(Annotation: wars and the inquisition came within this period too.)
5. 1233- 1533 A.D.: "Impurity and selfishness" in the Church, followed by "apostasy".
(However, that book looks at the Catholic and Protestant Churches, as "the two witnesses" of Rev. 11 - like two partners matching each other.)
6. 1533- 1833 A.D.: A superficial Christianity... .
(Annotation: the beginning of rationalism and the old mechanistic science were during that time period too.)
7. 1833- 2000 A.D.: Indifference of many people concerning the churches and God.
(Then we are said to be nearing the radical change with the Second Coming of Christ, as written in the rest of John's book of Revelations. This is explained as one cosmic incident, looked at from several sides. Although that (old) scenario prevails, which includes major wars; but in contrast to the idea that "the prayer of the peoples" may change this - and especially that the faithful will connect themselves to God and his inspiration, and so become lifted up to him.)
As far as websites or books of others are mentioned, "Ways of Christ" does not automatically support all (of) their contents.
Compared with the following steps of the Revelation the "7 communities" represent anyway a level (levels) which might still be grasped with the powers of the consciousness of outward life.
Extra window: The "7 communities", and the churches of today
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