The Path to Pentecost: Day 12


12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

Rev 2:12-17

The I AM describes itself as the one “who has the sharp two-edged sword”. The sword represents the will, but it is two-edged because will does not operate on its own, it is influenced by the adrenal centre, the centre of emotion and desire. 

When the centres open in a spiral, then they are paired in symmetry around the heart centre. When the will centre opens, so does the adrenal centre, the centre at the solar plexus. John calls this centre, “Satan’s throne”, because this is the centre of the astral forces. The influences of the spiritual being known as Lucifer occupy this centre, and permeate our astral. The Luciferic influences create a sense of self, but it is a sense of self that is focused around my needs, my sense of importance. Other people become projections of my needs and understanding of who I am. I lose contact with my spiritual origins. 

What this new self craves is comfort. It also craves control and rulership. Balak is King of Moab when the Israelites arrive in his territory. He asks a local prophet, Balaam, to curse the Israelites so they will not take and overcome his kingdom. In the Old Testament story, it is the king who uses the prophet to support his agenda, but John has turned the story around. Here it is the spiritual force of the prophet who teaches the king, the ruling thought principle, to tempt the Israelites, the higher, evolutionary spiritual energy, to forget their purposes and to live from “food and sexual immorality.” Balaam is the Luciferic energy that dissuades us from higher purpose and persuades us to live purely for sense gratification.

The I AM has a weapon which can sunder the veil of illusion created by the astral. This is the “sword of the mouth.” The sword represents the power of spiritual thinking. When we learn to think from the real self, then the cobweb world of comfort and self importance and sensual gratification begins to fall apart. We have seen the power of independent thinking within the world, particularly in the last few centuries. Many old spiritual dogmas have been shown to be obsolete and we have cast aside many of the teachings of conventional religion. This is only a beginning. The sword of truth can destroy the old, but it cannot create the new.

John’s Book is about the destruction of the old, but for a purpose. This purpose is that we might enter into a new consciousness, a new understanding of our origin and purpose, an encounter with Christ, because, as John will tell us at the very end of his book, “He makes everything new.”

The image

The angel of the Church of Smyrna
The Angel of the Church of Smyrna, from The Swedenborgian Angels, Tiffany Studio 1902

The angel of the Church of Pergamum holds the white stone. The name written on the white stone is our very own name. It is the name of our “I AM”. No one else can ever say “I AM” on our behalf, we are unique as individuals.

Today, let us focus on our uniqueness. Notice how often our uniqueness is called upon. Perhaps we are not used to responding from this very individual level, in that case, we should notice where and when we respond from other levels. Will we see ourselves responding in a role, perhaps in order to please others, or to gain something we want - in other words acting as Balaam instead of as Christ?

The Book of Revelation says, ‘Repent’. Turn around and look at your attitudes. Respond to the Christ. When this is all done then you will be given the white stone with your name written on it.  Your name is your I AM, your individuality. You will get to know yourself, you will be yourself. Each and everyone will be different. Christ never repeats himself.  Christ to each and every person acts differently. The white stone which you have is different than my white stone. The name on yours is different. This has nothing to do with secret names, that name only signifies your I AMness, your individuality. I have noticed how wonderful the power of the name is. I only have to write a cheque and my bank immediately pays it. So a name is powerful. So to have your I AMness, that white stone, indicates that you become a powerful individual within the spiritual realms of the Christ. In that sense you become the co-reigner, co-worker and co-creator with the Christ, as St. Paul says in Ephesians 2.

Rev Mario Schoenmaker, The Book of Revelation, 1982 Lecture Series

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