7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
We have crossed the abyss the first time through the gift of grace. We have had a spiritual experience. Once we have had this experience then we know that spirit is real. In ancient days this might happen through a formal initiation. The negative energies within the candidate were absorbed for a time by the initiating priests and the soul was able to ascend into the spiritual worlds where it could be taught about its purpose as a spiritual being. The soul had to return and reabsorb the negative energies, which Revelation calls Satan, into the soul vehicles. The task of the initiate once returned, would be to use the spiritual knowledge and power given to them to overcome the energies of the dragon by their own efforts.
In our era the gift of crossing the abyss often comes through a Near Death Experience. The initiation chamber has become the operating theatre. The hierophant and the priests are the surgeon and the assisting doctors and nurses. The individual returns from the experience of spirit with the task of transforming their life through their knowledge.
We return to normal consciousness. Satan is released. Satan is the great deceiver. It is the voice within our consciousness that tells us that our experience was an illusion, it doesn’t mean anything. We should fall asleep again. T. S. Eliot calls this force of sleep, indifference:
There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them,
Which resembles the others as death resembles life...
T. S. Eliot Little Gidding
Normal consciousness is a sleep consciousness. We have lost our memory of our nature as spiritual beings. The spiritual fight is not a physical or emotional combat, it is a war against indifference, the consciousness that says, "I don’t care about you", and in the end the consciousness that says “I don’t care about me either.” These thoughts are the “nations at the corners of the earth.” We overcome them through the “fire that comes down from heaven”.
At Pentecost the fire comes down from heaven for those souls who gather together in the name of Christ in the upper room. This fire is the gift of the I AM as the Christ Self. Prayer is an action of remembering. When we pray, we are remembering that we are spiritual beings.
The fire enters into our spiritual centres. They become fiery roses. From here the fire spreads throughout the whole of the subtle bodies, the astral and the etheric. These bodies become a “lake of fire”. The old thought patterns, the energies that create indifference, that put us to sleep, are burned up. Rev Mario described this as being “on fire for God.”
We come to live constantly in communication with the I AM, this is the one who sits upon the throne. We are not living in Christ consciousness yet, that will come, but we can now place our thoughts, emotions, impulses and memories before the throne of the I AM and decide whether they belong to death or to life. The death energies are thrown into the Lake where they are dissolved. The life energies, those whose names are written in the book of life, are available to us, and will assist us in our future evolution.
This stage is described in all its power and beauty by T.S. Eliot:
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding
“Judgment” may seem to go against our idea that we have free will. If we have free will, why should we be judged?
The spiritual worlds give us our freedom to make choices, but this freedom does not release us from the results of our choices. There is a point in our evolution when we face these results. Revelation makes it clear that our memories of past lives, the “opened books”, will need to be addressed. There is another book however, that records not our choices, but our response when we discover the results of these choices. If we accept what we have done with an open heart, and commit to rebalancing the scales – which is what the Greek word for judgment, krino, means – then our name is written in the “Book of Life.”
For today, revisit a choice you made, and look at the results. If you are unhappy with the results of your choice, then commit to rebalancing these results in the future. Become part of the Christ Spirit. Move forward.
“O Lord supreme, who governs our being yet leaves us free in our choices, grant that through the operation of what we have learned we may be able through our deliberate choice to enter into that field, through that gate, whereby our Will is unified with Thine. Grant that we may go forward with clearer eye, deeper understanding, greater courage and wonderous hope. This we pray in the name of the Christ. So shall it be.”
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, The Book of Revelation, 1984 Lecture Series