Monday, April 8, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 19-22: Kitchen Nightmares

The last four chapters. Feels good to be almost free.

Chapter 19

 A great chorus of alleluias starts up in heaven because Jesus has judged the whore. The elders and animals get on the floor and worship god. The throne talks. Your typical acid trip, in other words. We're told that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth (v. 6) though not what the answer to the Problem of Evil is. Also, Jesus is getting married! And TMI, his fiancee is getting ready for her wedding night. Jesus invites John to the wedding, since it's the decent thing to do. John falls down to worship big J, but Jesus tells him it isn't necessary as they're equals. 

Now John looks up into heaven and sees a white horse being ridden by another incarnation of Jesus who has come along to judge and make war (v. 11). His eyes are aflame, he's wearing a bunch of crowns and bloody clothes, has a sword sticking out of his mouth and he has a secret name, though on his clothing and thighs his mother has thoughtfully written KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (v. 16) so no one will take them by accident at summer camp. He's followed by an army in clean clothes. 

Somewhere else in heaven, an angel is inviting all the birds to god's supper, which will consist of dead kings and horses. He also sees the beast and its armies nearby. The beast and a false prophet are taken captive and cast into a lake of fire. Jesus kills the rest and the birds eat.

Chapter 20

An angel comes along with the key to the bottomless pit and puts Satan in for a thousand years. After that, they'll let him out for a bit. John also sees the souls of martyrs, which are given thrones and allowed to reign in heaven for the same thousand years. The other dead people will need to stay that way for the same amount of time. Then they'll be resurrected and will get their turn at being gods for a thousand years. Satan will be let out of prison after the second thousand years and will go on fooling people, whom god will set on fire. The devil will be cast into the lake with the beast and the prophet. 

John now sees Jesus sitting on another throne the book of life. The dead are all lined up in front of him, including people who died at sea and people who were in hell, and he looks them up to see what it says about them. Death and Hell are personified so they can be thrown into the lake, along with anyone whose name isn't in the book.

Chapter 21

Now there's a new heaven and earth, but no sea. There's also a new Jerusalem with a new temple that god will live in. Then there will be no death or pain or resultant crying. Then god sits for a minute and says he's done and offers everyone a glass of water. He also tells us that even in this perfect new world there will still be assholes, and he'll still send them to the lake of fire. 

Now one of the angels approaches John and offers to show him the bride in a way that is not at all creepy. He shows him the new Jerusalem, which is all soft-lit and shot through a fuzzy lens. It now has a wall with 12 gates, one for each tribe. There are 12 foundation stones, one for each apostle. The angel has a ruler because the bible is obsessed with measuring things, and he also points out, in minute detail, every single gemstone used in construction of this Putin's Palace. It has no natural lighting, because it's a casino god's glow is enough. Anyone who is saved is welcome and the gates will never be shut because there will be no night time, which begs the question of why they have gates, then, but that isn't explained.

Chapter 22

God's throne is also the source of a river which flows down the main street of Jerusalem. A tree of life is planted on either side. It yields a crop every month that can be used to heal nations. There will be no curses, we'll see god's face, and we'll all have his name tattooed on our foreheads. This will all be happening very, very soon.

John reiterates that he really saw all this and worships the angel, who tells him to save his energies for god. He also tells him not to seal the scroll because again, this will all be happening any day now. Jesus reminds us that he's a descendent of David and invites all the righteous to come to Jerusalem for a drink. We're also told not to add or subtract anything from the bible, or god will curse us. He promises one last time to come real soon.

Done! I wish I could say it's been fun, but I can't.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 17 & 18: Dream Girls

Chapter 17

One of the seven angels tells John to follow him if he wants to see the fate of a whore ) who sitteth upon many waters (v. 1) and who has been fornicating with kings. The people have got drunk off the wine of her fornication, whatever that means. So John follows the angel into the wilderness, where they find a chick sitting on a red beast with the usual seven heads and ten horns, because heaven forbid we should learn a new number. Anyway, the woman is dressed in scarlet and purple and dripping with jewels and drinking from a cup  full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication (v. 4) and again, how is that possible and how does it taste? Like so many other people in this book, she also has a face tattoo which reads: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (v. 5). She's also drunk, though not on the usual stuff, but on the blood of saints and martyrs. John is oddly fascinated because who wouldn't be? 

The angel asks him why he's interested and promises to tell him the story. The beast used to exist, but currently doesn't, but will eventually come out of hell and go to its destruction. People whose names were not written in the book of life (v. 8) before the world's creation will be amazed. The seven heads represent the seven mountains and kings the woman rules over. Five of those kings are dead, one is alive, and one is on the way, but will only rule for a bit. The beast is also a king and will likewise be destroyed. The ten horns represent future kings who will meet with the beast, then rule for about an hour. They will have a hive mind and will give their power to the beast, which it will use to fight the Jesuslamb, but it will lose. The water the whore was sitting in represents the people of the earth. The horny kings like the beast but hate the whore, so they'll strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her. This is all god's plan. Oh, and the woman isn't really a woman, she's Babylon, though that doesn't really explain whether the kings are cannibals or not.

Chapter 18

Yet another angel flies down to earth, shrieking about the defeat of Babylon and telling us every king on earth has fornicated with a city. Another voice invites the believers to leave the city before the plagues start. They will include death, famine and fires, all within 24 hours. The kings will miss her, but like all men who fuck then discard women, they'll say it's her fault. The merchants will weep because no one will buy the expensive, tacky crap they imported from her, but I can't feel too sorry for them, because in my experience there is always a market for expensive, tacky, crap. All the shipmasters and sailors who imported the crap will also wail and throw dust on themselves. But heaven, heaven will be happy about the destruction of an economy because God hath avenged you on her (v. 20). An angel casts a rock into the sea and compares it to Babylon because both will disappear completely.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 15 & 16: Nightmare Beach

Chapter 15

John looks up and sees the last seven angels with the last seven plagues. In front of him, he sees a lake of fiery glass, surrounded by people who've defeated the beast. They're singing a song for Moses and Jesus. He looks up again and sees the plague angels coming out of the temple in pure white robes. One of the beasts hands each of the angels seven vials full of god's immortal anger. Then the temple fills with smoke that won't clear until the seven plagues finish.

Chapter 16

A voice tells the angels to pour out their vials. The first one causes the people who worshiped the beast to break out into sores. The second one kills everything in the sea. The third one turns the rivers into blood. This is fine because the heretics that shed Jesus' blood will now have to drink blood. The fourth angel's vial allows him to burn people to death. The fifth angel's elixir plunges the earth into darkness and causes pain so severe people chew their tongues off. I can't believe there are people out there who lap this up. The sixth vial dries up the Euphrates river. When that happens, the beast and the dragon yak up frog-like devils who gather up an army for the coming war. We're told not to sleep naked, because Jesus might come back any time and wouldn't that be embarrassing. The demons bring their followers to Armageddon, which I had no idea was a place. The seventh angel dumps out his potion and a voice says It is done (v. 17). 'It' apparently means earthquakes and thunderstorms, which break Babylon into three parts. God also gives them a wine glass full of wrath. The islands and mountains head for the hills. Then there's hail the size of a 'talent', which I'm told is 33 kilos.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 13 & 14: I Dream of Jeannie

Chapter 13

John stands on the beach and watches a creature emerge from the deeps. Like everything in this book, it has seven heads, each with ten horns, each horn adorned with a crown. Each head has the word 'blasphemy' written on it. It sort of looks like a leopard, except that it has bear paws and the mouth of a lion. One of the heads also has a terrible scar on it. Satan gives the beast a high position in his government and people start worshiping it because they figure they can't beat it.

The beast starts blaspheming and continues for 42 months, at which point it makes war on the christians. Non-christians, meanwhile, worship it. John warns us that this will be a very traumatic time and we must be prepared to be taken hostage or even killed.

Now John sees another beastie emerging from the earth. This one has a normal number of lamb's horns, but talks like a dragon. This one is kind of an enforcer for the first one, making everyone worship it and paint a picture of it, which he then brings to life. Except that unlike the paintings in Harry Potter, this one kills people who don't worship it. The second beast can also make fire fall out of the sky. It marks people with its name or number (666 natch) on the right hand or forehead. Only those people can engage in commerce.

Chapter 14

Jesus now appears on a mountaintop with his 144,000 fabulous followers, all with god's name tattooed on their foreheads and, unsurprisingly, all virgins. They burst into song, a song only they know. Nope, not gay at all.

Next, three angels fly across the sky. The first one is shrieking at us to worship god, because the end is nigh. The second one is shouting that Babylon has died of shame from getting drunk and hooking up. The third warns that people bearing the mark of the beast will be tortured with fire and brimstone and that Jesus will watch and laugh and laugh.

Now a voice calls out to John to write: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (v. 13) He looks up and sees Jesus sitting on a cloud, wearing a crown and holding a sickle. An angel flies out of the temple and tells him its harvest time. Two more angels with sickles come along to help and they all thrust their sickles into the earth, and come up with vines bearing grapes (humans, I assume), which they put into the great winepress of the wrath of God (v. 19). It's one of those old-timey I Love Lucy style wine presses, but rather than produce wine, they flood the city with blood that reaches the horses saddles.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 11 & 12: Nightmare before Christmas

Chapter 11

We're back to measuring things, a la Ezekiel. An angel hands John a ruler and tells him to measure the temple, the altar, and all the people inside. He doesn't need to measure the courtyard because the Gentiles have taken it over for the next 42 months. The angel promises to give his powers over to two witnesses, who will stand there prophesying in sackcloth for the next 1,260 days. No doubt they will be every bit as convincing as old Zeke. When they finish talking, a beast will come out of hell and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the streets for 3 1/2 days, and people will rejoice and send each other presents because there is nothing worth celebrating more than when a prophet finally shuts up. After those 3.5 days, the witnesses will go up to heaven on a cloud, and a great earthquake will hit Jerusalem, killing 7000 and convincing the rest to glorify god.

Then the angel points two two olive trees and two candlesticks and informs us they're pyrokinetic and will burn anyone who tries to hurt them alive. They also have the power to turn the rain off and to turn the rivers into blood, and to unleash plagues on the earth.

Apparently all that was the second woe? And the third starts when the seventh angel blows his trumpet. When he does, a chorus says The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (v. 15). Then the 24 elders all fall down to thank god for destroying the earth. Then the heavens open and the temple is visible through a thunderstorm, hail and another earthquake.

Chapter 12

Now a woman appears wearing the sun as a dress and some stars as a crown. She's standing on the moon, giving birth. Respect. Then a red dragon appears. He has seven heads, each topped by a crown and ten horns. He knocks down a third of the stars with his tail, then positions himself under the woman, ready to eat her kid. Alas, he doesn't get the chance as god scoops him up as soon as he's born and promises he'll rule the earth with an iron fist. The woman runs off into the wilderness, where god promises that whatever's in there will feed her for the next 1,260 days.

Now there's a war in heaven, with Michael the archangel and his angel army fighting the dragon. The dragon eventually loses and is kicked out of heaven. Another voice promises that everything will be fine now that Satan has been removed from the premises. Alas, the earth is SOL because Satan now lives here and he's got to do maximum destruction in a minimum amount of time. He immediately goes off in search of the woman, but she is given eagle wings and flies off to her nest, which has been stocked for the next 42 months.

Satan, not remembering that she can fly, upchucks a flood in hopes of flushing her out, but the earth helps her and swallows the water. This pisses Satan off, so he makes war with her descendents.