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The Day the Sun Stood Still!

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

… but was it a miracle wrought by Adad in aid of Joshua’s war effort or it was a perfectly natural phenomenon?

Having vanquished the great city of Jericho, General Joshua now set his sights on the next equally momentous target, if not more so – the city of Ai, today identified with Et-Tell. Located in central Palestine, just east of Bethel (modern Beitin), Ai was almost as rich resourcewise as Jericho but was significantly smaller.  The main reason Joshua targeted it next in these early stages of his campaign was by virtue of the fact that it occupied a strategic position being situated in the loftier parts of the hill country.

The capture of Ai, which lay about 16 km north of Jerusalem, the grandest prize of them all, would give Joshua a command post from which he could easily take control of major portions of Canaan. In fact, both AI and Bethel had potentially great religious significance. Abraham had erected an altar somewhere between these two cities during his first journey through Canaan (GENESIS 12:8; 13:3).

Before squaring up to face Ai, Joshua dispatched an advance party of secret agents  to spy out the city as per his standard modus operandi. The spies gave a rather cynical report. They said the city-state had such a tiny army there was no need to unleash the entire Israelite army on it: two to three thousand men would suffice. A trusting Joshua took the report as gospel truth at face value. He didn’t even bother to ask for sophisticated weaponry, like the “trumpets” (sonic weapons) his army had used against Jericho, so confident was he of making mince of Ai.

Big mistake. The Israelite troops were routed by the Aians, losing 36 men in all. They were forced to beat a hasty retreat back to their general, with tails humbly wedged between their frantic legs. Just when Joshua and his army thought they were the invincible Israelites, they found themselves fleeing from the tiny army of Ai. Just when they should have mounted the podium to be crowned the undisputed conquerors of the great fortresses of Canaan, they found themselves fleeing for safety from the underdogs of Ai.  Before the national anthem could be played to mark their victory, they found themselves running, not the lap of honour, but for dear life. Just what went amiss?

ACHAN IS SACRIFICIAL LAMB FOR STIGMATIC DEFEAT

Joshua’s first reaction to the whole ignominy was to point a bristling finger at his god Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the exodus.  He remonstrated thus as per JOSHUA 7:7: “Ah, Lord GOD! Why have you brought this people across the Jordan at all, to hand us over to the Amorites so as to destroy us? Would that we had been content to settle beyond the Jordan.”

As far as Joshua was concerned, his men had been repulsed because Adad had somewhat neglected them. It was inconceivable, Joshua said, that a people who belonged to such a mighty god would lose a battle in so opprobrious a fashion. The reputation of Adad was certainly at stake. Joshua might as well have been passing the buck to his own god as a lame excuse for his first poor showing as a general.   On his part, Adad was chagrined and he too decided to sort of exculpate himself.

He told Joshua the reason the Israelite army had been defeated had to do with the fact that one of them had kept part of the plunder, when Adad had made it clear that all the “precious articles” were to be reserved for he himself. Until the culprit was exposed, Israel would yet lose the next battle too.  “Israel has sinned,” Adad thundered. “They have transgressed my covenant that I imposed on them. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have acted deceitfully, and they have put them among their own belongings. 

Therefore, the Israelites are unable to stand before their enemies; they turn their backs to their enemies, because they have become a thing devoted for destruction themselves.” (JOSHUA 7:11-12). Of course Adad’s reasoning was puerile, but he had to find a way of saving face and was aware that the prospects of his “vindication”were very high. In every war, soldiers retained a bit of the plunder: that was how they earned their keep as they were never paid for their services.

Even when they were expressly told not to keep the booty but surrender it wholly to the general for nobler purposes, there was certain to be a few stubborn elements who simply would not heed the call. One such person was Achan. Following Joshua’s patient but exhaustive quest for the culprit who had caused his otherwise gallant warriors such a telling defeat, Achan was unearthed. Achan had kept for himself a beautiful robe imported from Sumer; 200 silver coins; and a bar of gold. He could have easily disposed of that whilst the search was on-going, as surely others in his position must have done, but he probably foolishly thought his stash might not be found.

Adad ordered that Achan be stoned to death along with members of his immediate family and all the livestock they possessed and that their remains be burned to a cinder.  Achan had committed the sin singly, but his family had to perish along with him when they were totally innocent. The gods of Christianity are for lack of a better word utter savages.

JOSHUA EMPLOYS WITCHCRAFT TO DEFEAT AI!

In the  follow-up  battle with Ai, Joshua this time around deployed up to 30,000 soldiers. Moreover, he opted for the ambush approach as his mode of offence. And in order to incentivise the soldiers, they were  given the green light  to keep the spoils of war. It seems Achan and his family had died a vain death after all,  for the crime they were accused of ceased to be a crime literally overnight.   

However, it seems Joshua’s meticulous preparations this time around were not sufficient for the purpose anyway. The Aian army might have been a small force, but they were a magnificent fighting machine and BOTH  JOSHUA AND HIS GOD ADAD WERE AWARE THAT THE ISRAELITES SIMPLY COULD NOT DEFEAT THE AIANS USING CONVENTIONAL WARFARE  ALONE. Joshua and his god therefore decided to resort to magic, as was the case when the Israelites fought the Amalekites  under Moses at Rephidim.

If you recall, Moses had to have his hands  kept aloft for the Israelites to win that war: as long as he held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but when he lowered them, the Amalekites were winning. Two compatriots, Aaron and Hur,  actually had to assist him to keep the momentum  of his posture going. It was pure witchcraft at play here and Adad now was about to replay it albeit in a slightly altered form.  

ADAD INSTRUCTED JOSHUA TO HOLD OUT HIS JAVELIN TOWARDS AI THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE WAR (JOSHUA 8:18).  Joshua did not draw back the hand that held his javelin until all the Aians, along with their allies, the Bethelians,  had been annihilated (JOSHUA 8:26). Joshua’s sorcerous gesture worked. Over 12,000 Aians, including women and children,  were killed: the Luciferian god that was Adad really revelled in bloodshed. The king himself was given a “special” treat: he was captured alive, brought to Joshua, and sadistically impaled on a tree.  


Following the destruction of Ai, Joshua led the people  of Israel to two mountains in the centre of the land. In what amounted to a satanic ritual of some sort, they divided into two groups, one standing on Mount Gerizim shouting blessings of Moses’ covenant with Adad, and the other on Mount Ebal shouting the curses.  Joshua also built an altar to Adad on Mount Ebal.

THE GIBEONITE DECEPTION

The news of the defeat of Jericho and Ai spread rapidly and engendered fear in many Canaanite kings. They naturally began to work on survival strategies. Some of them chose to work together to stop the Israelite army. The kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perites, Hivites, and Jebusites set aside their differences  and agreed to form a united alliance against Israel.

However, a nation of the Hittites known as  Gibeonites, knowing that they had no hope of defeating Israel opted for a different approach. They decided to use deception. Gibeon was an important city because it guarded the Beth Horon Pass, which was on a major trade route to the coastal  lowlands to the west. It   was also like one of the royal cities in that it provided a safe haven for royal leaders. Gibeon was even stronger than Ai and had good fighters.   So when its ambassadors approached Joshua to seek an alliance, Joshua was surprised but he trusted them anyway.

The Gibeonites said they sought to ally with the Israelites having heard of their record of conquests under their mighty god Ishkur-Adad. The Gibeonites’ aim was to somehow  undermine the Israelites, that is, strategically emasculate them  so that the Canaanite coalition would have a field day when they attacked the nation. The unsuspecting Joshua was taken in and proceeded to make a peace treaty with them agreeing not to harm them in any way  and even swearing to that so that the promise was irrevocable.

However, about three days later,  Joshua discovered that the Gibeonites were not sincere and he confronted their leaders about this.  Joshua however, could not exact retribution on them in that he had promised not to inflict any kind of harm on them under oath. Instead, he imposed on them slave labour. The Gibeonites were to serve as Israel’s servants. They were to be woodcutters and water-carriers for the entire community and their four city-states now became the Israelites’ vassal states.  

UNUSUALLY LENGTHY DAY   AIDS JOSHUA’S WAR EFFORT

The turncoat peace pact the Gibeonites had made with the Israelites revolted the other Canaanite kings, particularly King Adoni-Zedek (“Lord of  Righteousness”) of the Jebusites of the city-state of Jerusalem. The king rapidly got in touch with four other Amorite kings and soon they had combined forces and were poised to launch an attack on  Gibeon.

The Gibeonites there and then sent an SOS message to General Joshua, who was presently based at Gilgal. “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us; for all the kings of the Amorites who live in the hill country are gathered against us.” (JOSHUA 10:6).  Joshua wasted no time in answering to the appeal.  

IT SO HAPPENED THAT THIS PARTICULAR DAY WAS A UNIQUE DAY NOT ONLY TO THE ISRAELITES BUT TO THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD AS A WHOLE. Various cultures have documented this day. This is how the day panned out according to JOSHUA 10:12-14: “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.”

On this particular day, the sun appears to have stood still for nearly 24 hours, thus lengthening hours of daylight and curtailing hours of darkness. And not only that: the day was punctuated by  hailstones, with the result that more of Israel’s enemies were killed by the hailstones than by the sword according to the Bible.  Both the stationary sun and the hailstones are attributed to the intervention of “Yahweh” in the Bible.

Ancient Peruvians of South America’s Inca Kingdom also document that one day in the third year of the reign of King Pachachuti II, the fifteenth monarch of the iconic empire, “there was no dawn for 20 hours”. Whereas in Palestine the sun delayed to set by about a whole day, in South America the sun delayed to dawn for 20 hours, which is to be expected since these are opposite sides of the global.  

Exactly how did this phenomenon come about? It cannot be explained by a possible solar eclipse because solar eclipses do not last that long: the longest on record went on for about 7 minutes. THE MOST LIKELY EXPLANATION AS PER MANY AN ASTRONOMER IS THAT A COMET CAME TOO CLOSE TO EARTH, DISINTEGRATING IN THE PROCESS AND DISRUPTING EARTH’S ROTATION ON ITS AXIS. The aftermath was for Earth’s rotation to slow down. The disintegration of the comet may explain the “hailstones” in the Joshua account: it  was the comet’s  debris.  

SCIENCE  CONFIRMS OCCURRENCE OF JOSHUA’S DAY!

Interestingly, the stationary sun of Joshua’s day  has been scientifically attested. Harold Hill was the president of the Curtis Engine Company of the US, a consultant to the American Space Programme. He wrote the following article (only quoted in part) in the Evening World newspaper in Spencer Indiana, which later appeared in another newspaper called The English Churchman on January 15, 1971:

“I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Indiana. They were checking the position of the sun,  moon, and planets out in  space where they should be in 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to know this in order that we do not send up a satellite and it collides with something later on, on one of its orbits…

“They ran the computer measurements backwards and forwards over the centuries and it came to a halt. ‘Well, we have found there’s a day missing in space in a lapsed time,’ the scientists noted. They  were puzzled and there seemed no answer. Then one man on the team remembered he had been taught at Sunday School of the sun standing still. They didn’t  believe him but as no alternative was forthcoming, they asked him to get a Bible and find it, which he did in the book of JOSHUA 10:12-14 …

“Well, they checked the computers going back into time. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes – not a whole day. They read the Bible again and it said ‘about a day’. These little words in the Bible are important. But they were still in trouble because if you can’t account for 40 minutes, you will be in trouble 100 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.

“It was the same man who  remembered that somewhere in the Bible it said the sun went backwards. The spacemen told him he was out of his mind but they got out  the Bible and found how Hezekiah  on his deathbed was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him he was not going to die  and Hezekiah asked what the promise should be. And Isaiah said, “This sign thou shalt have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward 10 degrees or back ten degrees?’

“And Hezekiah answered, ‘It’s a light thing for the shadow to go down 10 degrees: nay,  but  let the shadow return backward 10 degrees’. And Isaiah cried unto the Lord and he brought the shadow 10 degrees backward by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz (2 KINGS 20). “Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes. So 23 hours and 20 minutes in Joshua plus 40 minutes in 2 Kings make the missing 24 hours which they had to log in the log book as being the missing day in the universe.” The Anunnaki, the Old Testament gods, were not all-knowing divine beings but they understood nature so well they were able either to toy with it so they project themselves as gods or to utilise it to hoodwink mankind that they indeed were deities.     

NEXT WEEK:   ERA OF JUDGES BEGINS

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Flight To France

24th November 2021
THE “DRAGON” PURSUES THE “WOMAN”

The Lord’s wife seeks refuge in a European  “Wilderness”

In March 37 AD, General Atiku, Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar died after 23 years in office. He was succeeded by his nephew and adoptive heir Gaius Caligula. 

Caligula had forged a fraternal bond with Herod Agrippa, a grandson of Herod the Great, whilst hitherto cash-strapped Agrippa worked at Emperor Tiberius’ court in some capacity. It was on the basis of this mutual affinity that Caligula installed Agrippa as King of the Middle East territories his uncle Phillip the Tetrarch, who passed on in AD 34, had ruled over.

In 39 AD, Agrippa’s regal tentacles spread even wider when he was given the Herod Antipas domains after he politically poisoned the latter to Caligula. Thus it was that Agrippa became Rome’s client King of the whole of Palestine minus Judea. Meanwhile, the tiny territory of Chalcis in Syria was given to Agrippa’s brother Herod, best known to history as Herod of Chalcis, on the pleadings of Agrippa. 

It so happened, General, that during the rather short, six-year reign of Agrippa, four Jewish High Priests took turns in office, all appointed by he himself as per authority vested in him by the Emperor. One particular appointment, of a Boethusian High Priest at the expense of the incumbent Mathias Ben Ananus (the apostle Matthew), rankled with radical Jews.

Mathias was replaced in 43 AD, when he was scarcely one year in office. Given that the Boethusians held the Davidic dynasty in contempt, it goes without saying that the apostolate band were irate. In the event, Simon Peter and James the son of Zebedee with typical Zealot radicalism  conveniently saw common cause with Simon Zelotes and set about plotting the assassination of Agrippa. 

Somehow, General, the Herod establishment got wind of the plot and Herod of Chalcis had James executed and Simon Peter thrown into the slammer pending his own turn at the scaffold.  Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas were quick to hit back. First, Simon used his guile and connections to have Peter spirited out of prison, whereupon Peter sought refuge in Rome.

Simon Zelotes is the “Angel of the Lord” spoken of in the relevant passage (ACTS 12:7) as  that was his emeritus title as one of the Essene top brass. Second, Simon Zelotes had Agrippa assassinated by way of snake poison. Although Simon Zelotes got away with this intrigue, Barabbas, General, was not so lucky: as he made his getaway across the Jordan River and bogged down by age-related lethargy, he was seized and summarily executed by decapitation on the orders of Herod of Chalcis.  

Simon Zelotes set up a new base in Cyprus, leaving his step-daughter Mary Magdalene in the lurch in Judea. What would be her fate, General, now that she was associated with a fugitive from justice?

SCHISMS IN THE CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT

The accession and rather untimely demise of King Agrippa, General Atiku,  had quite significant ramifications on the nascent Christian movement. Of particular import was the relocation of the Qumran community to Damascus in Syria. Indeed, the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Damascus Document makes a point of highlighting “the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus”, which now the Essenes propagandised as the place where the awaited Jewish Messiah would appear and not in Jerusalem as the Old Testament prophets had foretold.   

The change of scene, General, was spearheaded by James the Just, the immediate younger brother of Jesus and the incumbent leader of the Christian movement. It was necessitated  by the fear that the perpetually impecunious Agrippa (whilst he was alive, that is), who at some stage had been declared bankrupt, might eventually deplete the Qumran kitty (a portion of which the Herods were entitled to), of which James was the custodian following the ignominious death of Judas Iscariot.

James had also served notice that the Herods would  have no part to play in a sovereign Israel, that the conduct of its affairs would be the preserve solely of the Davidic dynasty, which he now headed. As if to underscore this apartness,  James even went on to reprise the Star &  Sceptre political tag team with Theudas Barabbas (before his assassination), which harked back to a similar partnership of yesteryears between his father Joseph and the same Barabbas, who was still revered as the iconic Zealot revolutionary.  

The likes of Simon Peter (who had returned from Rome a free man since his alleged crime had lapsed with the death of King Agrippa as was the practice those days),  however, set up their base at Antioch in Syria, which suggests that there was a bit of dissonance between James and Peter at the time. Peter was reinforced by Paul and the latter’s personal doctor Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. The Peter faction was also anti-Herod but in its formative stage it touted Peter as the successor to Jesus at the expense of  James. 

In sum, General, there was a three-way split in the Christian movement after Jesus went into obscurity. This was the James party at Damascus, the Peter party at Antioch, and the Simon Zelotes party in Cyprus. It was the Peter party that with the benefit of hindsight stole the thunder in that it was at Antioch that members of The Way began to call themselves Christians. This was in AD 44. 

MARY MAGDALENE IN FRANCE

Meanwhile, General Atiku, Mary Magdalene was in a very precarious position. At the time, she was already pregnant with Jesus’ third child, having conceived in December AD 43.  It is not clear though whether she too had incurred the wrath of the Herods in view of what her step- father Simon Zelotes had done to King Agrippa, but taking precautions, she sought the protection  of Agrippa’s eldest son, Agrippa II. Agrippa II was only 17 years at the time and was based in Rome under the auspices of Claudius, who had become Roman Emperor in AD 41.

A former student of the Apostle Paul, Agrippa II was well disposed toward the Jesus family and so he readily acquiesced to Mary’s entreaty, whereupon he arranged for her safe passage to the famed Herodian estate in Gaul, France, in collaboration with his other brother Aristobulus. It was in Gaul that the brothers Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas had by turns been banished by the Roman Emperor after their ouster in AD 6 and 39 respectively .  

Mary Magdalene, General,  was not all alone on the ship that conducted her to France. She was accompanied by her step-father Simon Zelotes; her mother Helena-Salome; the apostle Philip; the three sisters of Jesus; the wife of James the Just; and Trophimus, who is mentioned in ACTS 20:4; ACTS 21:29; and 2 TIMOTHY 4:20. In his book The Life of Mary Magdalene, Archbishop Rabanus Maurus partly documents the voyage thus: “And favoured by an easterly wind they travelled on across the Sea between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land of Italy to the right. Then, happily changing course to the right, they came to the city of Marseilles in the Gaulish province of Vienne.” Upon arrival in France, Mary Magdalene had the privillege of being welcomed by the Queen of Marseilles. Once in 

France, Simon Zelotes, who  became known there as Lazarus the Great One, wasted no time in setting up a mission in Provence in south eastern France.

MARY MAGDALENE Vs ROME

Unbeknownst to much of Christendom, including the Christian clergy itself, General, the fate of Mary Magdalene is cryptically documented in the Book of Revelation! It is unfortunate that Revelation is placed last in the New Testament corpus when by rights it should have come immediately  after the Book of Acts and not after the  21 epistles in between since it is actually a continuation of the Jesus story. Although it is called the Revelation of Saint John, that is a misnomer.

It is a revelation by Jesus Christ himself, who we now know was very much in existence and in circulation more than fifty years after his sham crucifixion. That is exactly what REVELATION 1:1 states, although Christians have naively taken this to be no more than  figurative language. It was Jesus in his physical, blood-and-flesh  form who related much of the contents of Revelation to the apostle John, the literal author of the book. Jesus dictated the account; John  simply was the scribe. 

The relegation of Revelation (literally “The Unveiling”, the true meaning of the Greek world apocalypse from which the term “Revelation” is translated) to the very extremity of the biblical canon, General,  was contrived by Roman Emperor Constantine as the teachings of the Roman Church were founded, primarily, on the writings of Simon Peter and the apostle Paul. Says authoritative historian Laurence Gardner in his book The Magdalene Legacy:  The Jesus and Mary Bloodline Conspiracy: “At first glance it appears baffling that The Revelation was included in the New Testament at all, since it follows the post-Resurrection lives of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their offspring through a balance of the 1st century.

However, the inclusion of The Revelation proved to be a remarkable strategy in that its very esoteric nature enabled Rome to turn it to considerable advantage by misrepresenting its text from the pulpits; this, of course, was at a time when the general populace did not have Bibles to read for themselves.” Gardner goes on to say, “The Church has done its best to put people off this book ever since by portraying it as a sinister work of foreboding and doom. By way of propaganda from the 1662 Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, even the very word apocalypse has become emblematic of disaster.”

REVELATION CHAPTER 12, General,  is particularly pertinent with regard to the saga of Mary Magdalene. It talks about a pregnant woman  “clothed  with the sun” and with a “wreath of 12 stars on her head” (Verses 1 and 2).  This woman is being pursued and tormented by a  “great fiery-red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads seven diadems” (Verse 3). The dragon’s aim is to “devour her child when it is born” (Verse 4). The woman “fled into the wilderness, there where she has a place made ready  by God” (Verse 6).

Despite her trials and tribulations, the woman at long last “brought forth a son, a male, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club. And her child is snatched away to God and to His throne” (Verse 5). The dragon, though, will never relent: it  is “angry with the woman, and came away to do battle with the rest of her seed, who are keeping the precepts of God and who have the testimony of Jesus” (Verse 17).

As we  have reiterated time and again,  General, much of the New Testament was written  in a coded language with a view to keeping the Romans in the dark. Thus in the Book of Revelation, Mary Magdalene is simply referred to as “the woman” and Rome as “the dragon” or “the serpent”.  History documents that the Romans did display a reddish dragon on their imperial banner.  Moreover, Rome itself was known as the City of the Seven Kings in that this was the total number of Roman emperors before the empire became a Republic in 509 BC.

The woman is of royal pedigree because she is “clothed with the sun”,  an  age-old symbol of both royalty and divinity. The 12 stars on her head obviously refers to the 12 tribes of Israel, for whom she was the de facto queen being the wife of Jesus,  the Davidic King, and the wreath on her head denotes the fact of the nation of Israel’s enduring  subjugation to the Roman yoke.    The “wilderness” in this context is France, where Mary Magdalene as related above sought refuge with the assistance of Agrippa II.   

The pursued woman did give birth to a male child, which Mary Magdalene did as we shall relate in the next instalment. As a youngster, the child himself met no harm, but his relations, the broader Jesus family and their scions,  who became known as the Desposyni or the Sangreal, were continuously harassed  by Roman emperors, with some of them put to death, a detail we shall go into at the appropriate stage. 

Curiously, General, the Revelation passage indicates that the woman was transported to safety on “two wings of a large vulture”. This suggests an aircraft, and a hideous, military-type for that matter,   and not a ship as official history documents. This is not exactly far-fetched considering that the Anunnaki, who flew in aerial vehicles, have been ruling Earth from behind the scenes despite their official departure in the 6th  century BC. If Mary Magdalene had been earmarked as the progenitor of the planet’s blue blood, which she indeed was, then the Anunnaki had cause to ferry her to France in an aeroplane to make doubly sure she got to France in  one piece. It may explain, General, why upon her arrival in France she was welcomed by no less a figure than the Queen of Marseilles herself.  

NEXT WEEK: THE “QUEEN” IS IMMORTALISED

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Magma Carter

24th November 2021

When I was growing up dinosaurs didn’t exist.  I don’t mean I’m so old I pre-date the days of the prehistoric beast, simply that in those days, nobody bar a few nerdy scientists, gave them much of a second thought.  

But in 1993 all that changed.  Movie buffs amongst you will immediately recognise that year as the release year of the original Spielberg Jurassic Park movie.  That’s not to say there hadn’t been films portraying these ancient beasts before – several had come and gone, seemingly without a trace, the oldest being from 1933 and filmed in black and white.  But what set Jurassic Park apart, aside from the impressive special effects and the sprinkling of magic Spielberg dust, was the relatively recent discovery of DNA and its genetic significance.

The scriptwriters exploited this concept with the quasi-credible discovery of a living lizard species, derived from dinosaur DNA, captured from an ancient mosquito, and preserved for millennia in a chunk of amber.  From there several other species are cloned and kept on an island which acts as a dinosaur game reserve, now open to the public.  But that wouldn’t have made much of a story, so of course some of the more dangerous dinosaurs had to escape and cause mayhem and murder in the modern world.

The film grossed over a billion dollars and won 3 Oscars for sound and visual effects.  And more importantly it generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of palaeontology experienced a record increase in applications.

So that’s where all the dinosaur hype and fascination started and since then it has spawned more movies from the same franchise, animated series such as Ice Age, and  led to a global fascination with finding out more about these beasts of the past.  

But only recently something quite fascinating emerged concerning these creatures, and that is that they began life as much smaller creatures and it was a major climate event on earth which led to their monster growth.  This finding is the result of a study between scientists from the UK’s Birmingham university in conjunction with their Chinese counterparts at the China Institute of Mining & Technology.   Their joint team of researchers recently presented compelling evidence that massive volcanic events probably helped the dinosaurs diversify and thrive, reaching their monumental sizes. 

Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and explain that the Triassic Period, which began roughly 250 million years ago, was a time of massive ecological change after the largest mass extinction event on record.  Earlier dinosaurs had been skinnier, more reptilian, less of the massive, marauding Spielberg monsters but it was during this time period that dinosaurs diversified until they became wondrous beasts such as T. Rex and Triceratops, dominating ecosystems all over earth. 

Scientists looked at a phase spanning 2 million years during the Triassic Period known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode or CPE, ‘pluvial’ deriving from the Latin word for rain, meaning it was a period of warm, moist, cloudy meteorological activity . During that episode, from 234 million to 232 million years ago there was a huge increase in global temperature, humidity and rainfall — a climate often referred to as a “mega-monsoon.”

Researchers analysed sediment and plant fossil evidence from a lake in Northern China and were able to match four intense phases of volcanic activity with the changes of the Carnian Pluvial Episode.  The study links the timing of the episode with four distinct peaks in mercury levels, a well-established indicator of volcanic activity,  which led to changes in the vegetation. 

“We’re often able to link volcanism to global warming, but our study is unusual in that we’ve also linked it to periods of intense rainfall,” said Jason Hilton, a paleobotanist at the University of Birmingham in England and co-author of the study. “With each pulse of volcanism, we see an increase in plants adapted to wet and aquatic… settings.” Jing Lu, a researcher at the China University of Mining and Technology and also a co-author of the study, added that these eruptions “were powerful enough to drive evolutionary processes during the Triassic. During the episode, plant species that couldn’t adapt to the more humid environment went extinct, as did a number of animal species, from large reptilian herbivores on land to small gastropods in the water. “These changes freed up ecological space for other groups of organisms such as dinosaurs, to thrive”

But every dog, and every dinosaur, has their day and the dinosaurs also faded away, most likely due to a massive meteor strike on the surface of the earth in what is now modern-day Florida, which set up a massive tsunami and eventually resulted in a global Ice Age, temperatures too cold for dinosaurs to survive.

If there’s a moral to all this paleo-historical research it is that earth’s climate is governed by many factors, one of which may indeed by petrol fumes in the atmosphere but many of which are completely beyond our control.  Another massive meteor strike may occur next week or it may not. We could see a sudden surge in volcanic activity again or we might not.  But most of all the lesson is that talk of what is good or otherwise for the planet is based on a false premise.  Whatever happens on the surface of the earth, it keeps on spinning round and round the sun every 365 ¼ days  as it has done since the Big Bang and there is  no reason to suppose it will cease to do so, even if it were to transform into a an arid desert in its entirety.  That is the embodiment of perpetual motion, a force which man has yet to master.

No, what people really mean is ‘good for trying to keep the planet just the way we like it’ which is rather different and may be a complete impossibility.  Indeed mankind, like the dinosaur, may become extinct at some point in the future as part of the natural way of the world.

The planet, though, will be fine!

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Heaven on Earth

9th November 2021

 Jesus is admitted into the “Kingdom of Heaven”, which was a metaphor for the Essene priesthood

At Qumran, General Atiku, there were a number of caves on the cliffside (Qumran overlooked the Dead Sea), located  not very far from the site where the crucifixion had taken place.  Two of these caves were particularly important. One was Cave 4. Cave 4 was called Abraham’s Bosom. It was the burial cave for the Davidic King and the Pope, the Father of the Essene community. Across the chasm from Cave 4 was Cave 8. This was the burial cave of the Davidic Crown Prince. It was also known as Paradise.

Putting politics aside, the rightful Davidic King was Jesus and the Crown Prince was his immediate young brother James. Thus Cave 8 was owned and taken care of by James. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm this. One text thereof, called the Copper Scroll, says ‘there was a tomb of the son of the third Great One”. In the Essene hierarchy, the third-ranking person was the Davidic Messiah, Jesus. But Cave 8 would not have belonged to his son in that he had no heirs yet. As such, it belonged to James, who was next in line till Jesus produced a heir.  Also in Pesher, the term “son of” meant “next in line” or “deputy”.      

Cave 8 had another purpose – a storage of money that was in the custody of James.  This was Essene initiation fees paid by Gentiles. It was entrusted to the care of the more cosmopolitan Davidic princes, who directly received the money because coming from Gentiles it was regarded as unclean money. Because James was in charge of these funds, he was cynically referred to as “The Rich Man”. This explains why Joseph of Arimathea (James) is characterised in the gospels as a rich man.

Cave 8 and Cave 7 were adjoined. The two caves had one entrance through the side of the roof, with steps leading from the entrance down to the floor of the cave. The entrance was covered with a huge stone that only people on the outside could roll away. The remains of the two joined caves can be seen even today in the ruins of Qumran. When Jesus was brought down from the crucifixion tree by James, he was laid in Cave 8 in keeping with his Davidic status. Judas and Simon Zelotes were laid in Cave 7. Note, General, that had he actually died, Jesus would have been placed in Cave 4.

Since this was the eve of the Sabbath, guards were posted around the caves to see to it that when the Sabbath took effect at midnight, Sabbath rules were not infringed upon in any way, shape or form. Ananus, the youngest son of former Jerusalem Temple High Priest Annas, was one of those who stood guard. In particular, he wanted to ensure that none of the three men in the tomb was removed during the Sabbath. He was to alternate with Theudas Barabbas, who had been strategically posted there as shall become clear shortly. 

THE DEATH OF JUDAS

At midnight, when Ananus took leave of his vigil and Theudas Barabbas replaced him, the latter stole into the cave (of course he had help to remove the huge stone cover). In the Passion story, Barabbas is disguised under the name Nicodemus (meaning “Conquering One,” exactly as Barabbas was hyped in his capacity as a leading Zealot revolutionary). The gospel of John says Nicodemus brought with him myrrh and aloes. From the nature and workings of these herbs, General, it is easy to tell what exactly transpired in Cave 8. 

Myrrh is used as a sedative (a drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep). This of course was used on Simon Zelotes, who along with Judas had been brought down from the crucifixion trees fully conscious. Both had received substantial scourging from the Roman soldiers and were therefore in acute pain. They badly needed some sleep as a form of provisional escape from the pain.       

Aloes are a strong and fast-acting purgative (a substance used to induce rapid bowel movements so that the bowels are quickly emptied).  No doubt these were used on Jesus to expel the poison that he had been fed as he hung on the tree. This was a task to which Theudas Barabbas as head of the Theraputae was best suited. The Theraputae specialised in knowledge of medicines and poisons, including snake poison. In fact, one of their assassination “weapons” was snake poison. In 44 AD, for instance,   Herod Agrippa I was murdered by the Zealots with snake poison. In his second volume, the Acts of the Apostles, Luke ascribes Agrippa’s death to having been “eaten with worms”. The term worms was a metaphor for snakes and snakes was a metaphor for the Theraputae top brass.   

Now, the emplacement of Jesus, Judas, and Simon Zealotes in the cave, General, was not only about hoodwinking Pilate. It was primarily about fulfilling a ritual. This was excommunication of the three from the Essene fold. However, the excommunication of Jesus and Simon in particular did not have the blessings of Herod Antipas, who was very close to Simon and held Jesus in high esteem, who he recognised as the bona fide Davidic King.

So Antipas had schemed with Simon Zelotes that while in the cave, he should reclaim the status of  Pope, currently held by Nathaniel, and invoke papal powers to  reinstate both and Jesus and he himself. This had to be done within three days of the crucifixion as beyond that excommunication would be irrevocable. This explains, General, why there were such frantic efforts to medically attend to the men in the cave. 

The herbs and therapeautic methods employed by Barabbas worked like a charm and the following day Simon and Jesus felt much better. Accordingly, Simon Zelotes wasted no time in reclaiming the papacy and exercised it by lifting the excommunication of  Jesus and he himself.   This gesture was communicated to the Jewish establishment by Barabbas. Sadly, Judas Iscariot, General, received the short end of the stick.

He never benefitted from the medical attention Jesus and Simon received. Simon denounced him as a traitor for betraying his colleagues. The adjoining cave – Cave 7 – had a ventilational window. Judas, who had been weakened by scourging, was thrown out the window. Hurtling headlong down the cliff, he landed on some jagged rocks and with his stomach punctured his bowels spilt out.  His death is recorded partly accurately by Luke in ACTS 1:18.    

SIMON FORMS OPPOSITION PARTY

Early on the morning of the first Sunday after the Passover Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, pregnant with Jesus’ first child, pitched up at Cave 7. She could have come on Saturday but movements of a certain radius were forbidden on Sabbath Day. Mary as the wife of Jesus was anxious as to his condition: she wanted to ensure that he indeed was safe, that he had indeed survived the crucifixion ruse. 

The gospels say she encountered two angels. Of one such angel, MATTHEW 28:3 says: “His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow.” This, General,  is either cryptic language or simply a distortion on the part of the translators. We already know by now that Simon Zelotes was nicknamed “Lightning”. We also have seen that he had at this juncture challenged   Nathaniel for the status of Essene high priest, that is, that  of  the Archangel Michael, and so had garbed himself in priestly attire with a view to reinstating to the Essene fold both Jesus and he. Thus, the correct translation should read, “His countenance was like that of Simon Zelotes in his priestly vestments”. 

MATTHEW 28:2 reads, “There was a great earthquake and an angel appeared”. Ancient records do not mention a single earthquake in Palestine in the first century. Once again, General, this was pure allegorical language. Earthquake was another of the nicknames of Theudas Barabbas. He was an angel because Simon Zelotes had designated him his No. 2 in the Essene hierarchy, that is, the Angel Gabriel. Thus, the two angels Mary saw were Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas. 

Mary also saw another man who at first she mistook for a gardener. Garden was another name for Cave 8. It was likened to the Garden of Eden, or Paradise – another of its nicknames – because the person in its charge, James the brother of Jesus, became the second Adam when he challenged Jesus for the status of the Davidic King. James was thus the gardener Mary thought she had seen. But it wasn’t James: it was Jesus. Apparently, Jesus and James looked very much alike. 

Realising that it was Jesus and not James, Mary was overcome with emotion and fervidly reached out to hug him but Jesus kept her at bay. Why, General?  Because according to Essene dynastic protocols, she was not, as a pregnant spouse, allowed physical contact with her husband for at least three years. 

All in all, General, the three men at  Cave 8 had, with the blessings of  Herod Antipas,  declared themselves as the heads of the new Essene shadow council of the 12 in opposition to the official one led by Nathaniel pending official elections. Simon Zelotes was the shadow Michael; Barabbas the shadow Gabriel; and Jesus the shadow Sariel. But it would take six more months before they became formally so. 

JESUS FINALLY IS PRIEST-KING

Although the so-called crucifixion took place in the relative quiet and seclusion of Qumran, General, it was not meant to be kept under wraps for long. Pontius Pilate wanted to demonstrate to his subjects that the key people in the AD 32 uprising had been dealt with decisively. The crucifixion though was publicly announced after the Passover celebrations were done with. This was tactical on the part of Pilate: he did not wish to foolishly provoke another uprising at a time when Jerusalem was teeming with the highly radical Galilean pilgrims. 

By the time the crucifixion became common knowledge, however, General,  Jesus was sufficiently fit to make appearances to people who were close to him – his family members and his so-called disciples. He would later appear to a gathering of over 500 at Qumran, most of whom were Diaspora Essenes.  To those who did not know about the crucifixion ruse, he had conquered death.

He was therefore hailed as a veritable Messiah. Voices now clamoured to make him Priest-King – the Melchizedek, the very status that he had laid claim to and that had put him at odds with the Jerusalem establishment. Jesus was careful though in his post-crucifixion appearances: he tactfully picked his audience and cautiously timed his showings. He didn’t wish Pilate to get wind of the fact that the crucifixion was a hoax. In fact, very few Jews were aware he had survived the crucifixion. 

Meanwhile, General, Simon Zelotes decided to make political capital out of what had transpired. In his campaign for the papacy, he boasted that it was he who was responsible for “the miracle in the tomb”. Hence, his marks of respect too grew exponentially. From that point on, he became known as “Simon Magus”, that is, Simon the magician. With his popularity reaching such dizzying heights, he was in September 33 AD elected as Pope, thus replacing Nathaniel.

With his accession to the papacy, he decided to heed the wishes of the people and have Jesus installed as the Melchizedek. This event is what has come to be known as the Ascension although it has been wrongly interpreted as   a physical entry into Heaven,   the abode of God. It is captured by Luke in ACTS 1:9, which reads, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight”.

The incident, General, is nothing more than the admission of Jesus into the priesthood as Priest-King of Israel. The “Kingdom of Heaven” was the inner sanctum of the Essene priesthood. Jesus was conveyed into this inner sanctum by his brother James, who now unequivocally recognised him as such, and ordained by Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas (the “two men who stood by in white apparel” as per ACTS 1:1011). It was the Exodus imagery at play here General. “Cloud”  was another title of James.

It was a cloud that had led the ancient Israelites into the Promised Land (EXODUS 13:21-22) and the appearance of God on Mount Sinai had been accompanied not just by thunder and lightning but by a cloud as well (EXODUS 19:6). Thus, the terms “Thunder” (Nathaniel); “Lightning” (Simon Zelotes); “Earthquake” (Theudas Barabbas); and “Cloud” (James) were retained as symbolic designations in the Essene community. 

If Jesus didn’t die in AD 33, what was his life like in subsequent years and when did he actually die? Thanks to the Pesher device, this we can partly glean from the book of  Acts, the Pauline epistles, and the book of  Revelation.   

NEXT WEEK: THE LORD SETS ABOUT PERPETUATING THE JESUS STOCK!

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