THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
Jeffrey Brackeen’s E-Mail Newsletter
Dear Friends: This series of studies deals with ancient Christian Magic Rituals. Yes, you read that correctly. That is the only terminology I know to describe some of these powerful rituals that have long since been forgotten. These rituals were not only powerful in a psychological sense, they obviously connected the initiate to much higher realms and in so doing had a tremendous impact upon the initiate.
EARLY CHRISTIAN MAGIC RITUALS
SUBJECTSCOVERED SO FAR IN THIS SERIES
Opening the Ears
Secret Teachings in the Holy of Holies
The White Robe
The Agape Feast
Baptism for the Deceased
The Holy Wedding
Secret Techniques of Effective Prayer
Passwords for Healing Others
The White Stone with a Secret Name on it
Ascending the Ladder
The Sacred Dance
The Mantras Jesus taught his disciples
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD &
THE SACRED MARRIAGE
Paul raised an interesting subject for the modern scholar interested in Christian Rituals, when he asked, "What shall they do, who are baptized on behalf of the dead, if the dead do not rise again? Why are they being baptized for the dead?" - I Cor. 15:29
Just what is this ‘baptism for the dead’ and is it being practiced today? I know that the Mormons practice a ceremony which they believe to be conducted on behalf of departed souls of by-gone days. Is this the same ‘baptism’ practiced by the ancient Church? In this article I hope to touch on
some ancient Christian practices, that I believe are little understood today and we will eventually come to the most sacred of all Christian rituals, the ‘hieros gamos’ (the sacred wedding).
EARLY CHRISTIANITY WAS A BURIAL ASSOCIATION
According to Roman archives, the earliest recorded legal license for the Christians in Rome was as a burial society. They were a duly licensed association that provided for the burial and care for their deceased ones. I find it interesting that art work from early Christian tombs actually shows scenes
from their rituals. A common motif in these murals is that of a meal at which Christ and various disciples are gathered, eating bread and fish. These were the main ingredients used in the ‘agape feast’ (love feast). The love feast was not the same thing as the ‘Lord’s supper’ which consisted of
bread and wine.
For many centuries, the Christians took especial care of their dearly departed ones. St. Mark, a famous Bishop of Ephesus said that those who had lived by faith, were assisted by the liturgies, prayers and almsgivings of the living and he pointed out that these customs have been practiced since antiquity.Before burial, the dead were anointed with holy oil and vespers were sang over them by the community, in which God was invoked to protect the departed one from the foul spirits which would seek to detain them at their toll houses and if possible consign them to some kind of torment.
Prayers were even offered for those who had not lived a devout life of faith, in the hope that they might be placed into a new body and be reincarnated in a family that would teach them the love of God and the faith of Jesus Christ.
The oldest churches in Christendom still possess ‘diptychs’, as part of their treasure. These were parchment like note books with the names of people that were to be prayed for in litanies. These were placed on the Altar as the community gathered about it in a circle to sing and pray. Cyril of Jerusalem said that these ‘diptychs’ were divided into two parts: one for the living and one for the dead. He wrote, "In the Circle, we pray for those who are sick and afflicted; in short, we pray for whoever is in need of help".
Eventually, the practice of reading the names aloud, during the mass was replaced by the priest simply referring to all the names recorded in the ‘diptychs’.
One of the secret ingredients in effectual prayer was to gather in a circle with purity of mind and body and offer up prayer, praise and supplication to the Supreme Deity.
THE LOVE FEAST AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Now, we come to another form of remembering the dead. The Love Feast. One of the oldest Christian writings, is one attributed to Clement of Rome, disciple of Peter. It tells us, "He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services and that it should not be thoughtlessly and disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. . . . So then, those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, for they follow the laws of their Master and do not sin." - I Clemintine 40:2, 4
In the ancient Greco-Roman world, a meal or supper was divided into two courses: the ‘deipnon’ and the ‘symposion’. The first course might have bread, vegetables and fish or meat. The second part consisted of removing the service and then a ritual libation or series of drinks was added.
In just the same manner, the ‘agape feast’ was held as a memorial for the dearly departed saints. Jude complained that there were pastors who had become greedy for gain, likening them to "spots in your feasts of love, who feast with you, feeding themselves without fear - clouds without water - carried about by the winds . . . "-Jude 12
Peter also complained of pastors who loved filthy lucre, saying, "They shall receive the reward for their unrighteousness - those who count it pleasure to riot in the day time. They are spots and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own self deceptions, while they feast with you." - II Pet. 3:13
THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
One of the oldest Christian documents, the Didache gives us the prayer that was offered during the observance of the Lord’s Supper. "First concerning the Cup, ‘We give thanks to thee, our Father, for the Holy Vine of David , thy child, which thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy Child, unto thee be glory for ever’.
"And concerning the broken Bread, ‘We give thee thanks, our Father, for the Life and Knowledge which thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy child. To thee be glory for ever." - Didache 9: 2-3
I am afraid that many Christians do not really understand what it means to partake of the ‘body’ and ‘blood’ of Christ. They look upon the sacraments as merely a memorial meal - which it certain is - but it is much more than that.Jesus himself told the people, "Truly, Truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life in him and I will raise him up at the last day. Because my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed and whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood live in me and I live in him." - John 6:53-56Matthew, in his gospel records one of Jesus’ parables that speaks very much to the issue. In that parable a certain king invited a goodly number of people to attend a wedding banquet. One man had the audacity to come to the banquet without having on a wedding garment. He was ejected into the ‘Outer Darkness’. - Matt. 2213
Now, we understand that in the ancient orient, garments were sometimes provided to guests at weddings. But there is a much deeper meaning here. And only those who had been taught the divine Knowledge would understand the real meaning.
You see, the series of divine instructions for attaining our forgotten Home - the ‘ladder of ascension, as taught by Christ did not start with Adam and Even eating an apple in the Garden of Eden. It began with the cruel trick played upon Man when he was divided into Male and Female.
When the Elohim clothed Man in flesh, they said, "Let us make Man in our own Image and in our own Likeness . . . in the Image of the Elohim, did Yaheve create him - male and female."- Gen. 1:26, 27 When the early Christians talked about finding their ‘soul mate’, they were not refering to a flesh and blood human being, but to their own, other half which had not been placed in a human body. In other word’s their ‘angel’.
In many places Christ taught his disciples that the real misery of Man began at the time he was separated into two parts. This is a great Mystery in
as much as it pertains to the first sacred marriage that must take place before Man can partake of the Five Seals. He must become United again or Un-divided.
Early Christian literature speaks of five great Seals that the Initiate must receive: First is the heavenly Garment of Light (which is his Angel), Second is a Baptism with Celestial Water, Third is being Seated on a Heavenly Throne and Fourth, receiving a Heavenly Crown.
Fifth is to gain entrance into the very Treasury of Divine Light, where the final Union takes place. But without his guide, his male part, man cannot ascend through these spheres. There must be Knowledge - a Map if you will - and a Companion to assist the Soul (the female part).
Now, I want you to understand that Jesus did not concoct some pie in the sky theology, which could not be verified in this life time or that must be accepted at face value, because it came from some magisterium. On the contrary, the advanced Initiate was taught how to ascend into the Light, while still in the body (or maybe out of the body) and during this lifetime.
ASCENDING IN THE LIGHT
Here, I must warn those who would attempt these practices, without the requisite purity of mind, body and soul, that they will, like the wedding guest, without a garment, be bound hand and foot and cast into the ‘Outer Darkness’.
When the time is right, the father will command his servants, "Bring out the best robe and put it on him and a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet."- Lu. 15:22 Please realize that this individual has not fully come into his inheritance. The father did not die. This is a special feast, a special occasion, a ritual of love. Too many Christians want to sit back in their seats and say, ‘I don’t need to do that, Jesus already did it for me 2,000 years ago’ or they will argue that these are things that will happen to us in the sweet by and by, after we have died and gone to heaven. Why then, did the early Christians enact these things in special rituals and ceremonies? To give the Initiate a foretaste of the real thing!!! Here I must ask a question.
HAVE YOU BEEN GLORIFIED?
Some will answer that question, ‘Well, I haven’t died yet!" Because they do not believe certain spiritual experiences can happen to them. Paul the apostle said something that flies over the heads of most of us. Listen carefully to what he said. "For whom He did predestine, He also called and whom he called, He also justified and whom He justified he also glorified."
Now, I grant you that we are looking forward to the Resurrection of our bodies and the great glory which we believe awaits us, but Paul was not speaking in a future sense here but in the past tense. If you have been called and justified in this life time, you can also be ‘glorified’ in this life time. (Contrast Rom. 8:18 and 30)
Peter wanted his friends to know that they had "not followed cunningly devised fables, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty, for he received from the Father honor and glory. . . when we were with him in the holy mountain." II Pet. 1:16, 17
Peter here refers to the time when he himself, and James and John witnessed the ‘transfiguration’ of Jesus on a mountain. They saw "the Kingdom come with power and glory" when Jesus was transfigured in their presence and his garment became exceedingly white. (See Mark 9:1-3)
Yet, Jesus when speaking of his death and resurrection, said "Now, shall the Son of Man be glorified." - Jn. 12:12
Today, there are many, "who have a form of godliness but they deny the power thereof" How do they do this? By postponing living experiences with the Savior now, till some day in the sweet by and by. They do not want to put on the robe of glory that will be theirs someday (Yes, Jesus did come back to his disciples in a gloried body after his death, but he also put it on for them, if only for a short time, to teach them the truth of his doctrine.) This is the ‘Epiphany’ which the modern church has turned into a festival instead of an actual experience. Jesus, after his resurrection gave his disciples clear instructions on how to ‘ascend into the Light’. I want to warn you that your position in the after life will be no greater than the level you attain in this lifetime. Jesus taught that whatever level you attain now is where you
will stand in the heavenly Kingdom. Permit me to speak of two great Mysteries.
TWO GREAT MYSTERIES
Jesus prepared his disciples for certain heavenly experiences, when he prayed to his Father, "The glory which you gave me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as we are one - I in them and you in me - that they may be made Perfect in one."- Jn. 17:22, 23 They would be ‘caught up to heaven and hear unspeakable things’ after his resurrection.
And we know that they did receive great revelations and visions because there are many records left to us. Paul, himself may have been ‘caught up’
to the third heaven. "It is not expedient for me doubless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago. . ." - II Cor. 12:1-5
Do you think that Moses is the only person whose face and countenance has become so brilliant, from being in the presence of God, that his friends could not look upon him? What about the prophet Isaiah?
There is a very interesting comment about Isaiah in the Ascension of Isaiah (4:15-17) He was instructed not to join in an of the circle dances ‘chorostasian’ (literal. ‘standing properly in a ring’) that he encountered in the first six heavens, since those angelic beings were actually worshiping the Most High God. So glorious was the central figure, seated on a throne, in each of those heavens, that one might be tempted to worship that entity.
It was this very failure on the part of certain ones in the church at Colossi that was causing problems. "Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, which he saw while ascending into the heavens - one puffed up to no purpose by carnal imaginations."- Col. 2: 18. As I have pointed out elsewhere, the language here literally says, "when crossing over" or in other words, when leaving one realm to enter the next.
It was only when one was admitted to the Treasury of Light that the real Sacred Marriage took place. May these thoughts be a source of blessing to you my reader. God bless. Jeffrey Brackeen