“There is a record in the Talmud of a heretical sect of Jews, called Melchizedekians, who frequented Hebron to worship the body (consult the spirit?) of Adam which was buried in the cave of Machpelah.”
The dream I has last night was about a carved head in a church. I was caressing it, adoring it, wiping away the cobwebs because it was lost up in the rafters. This head was me, or, what was left of my Bright Hope to be happy in this lifetime. I was grieving as I said goodbye to that hope.
In 1987, Hillary Larson, the head of Serenity Lane and Buckley Recovery House, suggested I was a Walk-in.
“Don’t repeat this.” My friend said, she counseling me one on one after my First Step caused a row. There was a hint of my death experience within that was brought fully into the light when a week earlier a Seer said;
“You own your own creation – you died!”
If it is true I am a Walk-in, then whose spirit shares the same place as my original spirit? I strongly suspect it is John the Baptist for the reason all my history has been utterly corrupted by my alcoholic family who took everything from me. I was not told my father was dead, and my mother was dying. I did not have a chance to say goodbye. But, when I died in 1967, they did not get a chance to say goodbye – to me!
I believe Salome danced for the head of John the Baptist because she wanted to hear his prophetic words – from beyond death! She wanted to get a preview of the afterlife by consulting John’s head. This was the custom of the Edomites who worshipped the heads of the Patriarchs in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron. Esau is here, as is Adam ‘The Red Man’. One could say the Root of the Tree of Life is here, that grow leaves like pages of words, from the Dawn of Humanity, to the End Day!
I suspect Herod adored John, and was ordered to kill this prophet by the wealthy Slave Masters in Rome because he was a threat to topple these Slave Owners who were declaring themselves god of the earth. Herod’s daughter probably had been baptized by John, and wanted to put John’s head next to Easu’s the ancestor of the Herodians.
There is no more hope that Gregory will recover his lost happiness. But, through my words – you will behold God as I beheld God, and will forever behold God. This is my gift to you, so you will be set free.
Jon the Nazarite
In 1979, Ruth Montgomery published Strangers Among Us, a collection of accounts of walk-ins. She included prominent historical figures among her subjects, such as Thomas Jefferson as having hosted walk-in spirits who wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Subsequently, a belief system grew up around the walk-in. It included New Age attributes such as the concept of ascending into higher frequencies of evolution, a variety of psi powers, traditional “predictions regarding Earth Changes” first cited in the Bible (Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation) but popularized by Edgar Cayce, and predictions of dire fates for those whose vibrational levels remain unraised. In the late 1980s and early 1990s a channelling team known as “Savizar and Silarra” (Extraterrestrial Earth Mission), emphasised their walk-in status, claiming successive walk-in experiences together with corresponding name changes. The New Age walk-in belief system now includes a number of variant experiences such as channeling, telepathy contact with extraterrestrial intelligences, or soul merging, where the original soul is said to remain present, coexisting or integrating with the new one. As of 2006, an increasing number of people claim some type of walk-in experience. Walk-ins were featured on the June 4, 1999 segment of the Unsolved Mysteries television series. According to information presented on this programme, there are walk-in conventions, one of them drawing approximately 500 people.
John the Baptist’s end. 6:14-29
In this episode Mark illustrates the effect of the apostles’ mission described in the previous episode, 6:7-13. The preaching of the gospel in word and sign has reached into the whole Galilean countryside. Even Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, has heard of the mission undertaken in Jesus’ name. Yet Herod, affected by guilt and remorse after his execution of John the Baptist, is overcome by superstition. Is Jesus the Baptist risen from the dead? This episode illustrates the exceeding value of the Baptist, and by implication, the value of the “one more powerful.”
v14-15. The response to Christ’s placarding before the people is not one of faith in the coming messiah, but rather superstitious speculation. Jesus is John the Baptist risen from the dead, or possibly the promised Elijah, or even like one of the wonder-working prophets of old.
v16. Herod has heard of the different conclusions drawn by the people concerning Jesus and as far as he is concerned, Jesus is an apparition of John the Baptist – the one he beheaded has come back to haunt him.
v17-18. In the rest of the passage Mark explains what has led Herod to the rather strange conclusion that Jesus is a fleshly, or spiritual, embodiment of John the Baptist. Guilt, acting on a superstitious mind, can produce bizarre conclusions. On the basis of Levitical law, John the Baptist openly criticized the marriage of Herodias to Antipas. In seeking revenge for this insult, Herodias drove her husband to arrest John and inevitably tricked him into taking his life, the life of a person Herod admired.
v19-20. Initially, Herodias’ murderous intent was frustrated by Herod’s respect for John. He even gave him a hearing, although with limited understanding.
v21. So it was that an opportune day came when Herodias could force Herod to take John’s life. It was at a birthday party when the leading courtiers of the realm were present.
v22-23. The daughter of Herodias, Antipas’ stepdaughter, now a teenager, dances before Herod and his guests. In polite society, dancing was usually performed by servants or prostitutes, but in first century Rome it was “anything goes.” Herod is so taken by her performance that he offers her a handsome reward. Obviously, she would know that Herod’s offer of half his kingdom was nothing more than a gesture, but the offer does illustrate the exceeding value of her request.
v24-28. Her mother prompts her to ask for the head of John the Baptist and she enthusiastically obliges. Herod is caught in a social trap and can’t escape. His distress again illustrates John’s worth, and by implication, the worth of Jesus.
v29. John’s disciples, a group which continues to operate even after Jesus’ death, takes his body and lays it in a tomb.
It’s all in the moves
Some stories are so rich in imagery that they live in us, in fact, they can even become entwined in our culture. The seductive Salome dancing before her stepfather Herod, Herodias plotting the death of the Baptist and then both of them enthusiastically going for the kill while Herod protects his social standing, makes for a great story. It’s such a great story; Hollywood did the film years ago. The characters are so real, Shakespearian even: Herod, the status-driven leader now overtaken by guilt and haunted by apparitions; the youthful Salome flaunting her sexual power; Herodias, embittered by her selfishness; John, the righteous man, overcome by circumstance.
Entwined in this powerful tragedy, this pure theatre, there is divine revelation. The story constantly projects the greatness of the good man done in by evil intent, yet whose greatness uplifts “the one more powerful” who follows in his footsteps. He too will be overcome by political intrigue and vacillating authority, but “you can’t keep a good man down!” Evil may have its day, but good will triumph.
Then there is the context for this story. Herod, with his dark apparitions, hears of the “miraculous powers” at work in Jesus. The mission of the twelve has stirred up the whole countryside, and yet, as is so often the case when the gospel is proclaimed, the crowd is confused. Who is this Jesus? For some he is Elijah, the one who prepares the way for the coming messiah; for others he is like a wonder-working prophet. As far as Herod is concerned, this Jesus is a manifestation of John the Baptist, come back from the dead to haunt him. Does anyone realize Jesus is the messiah?
The secular media has never been a great friend of the Christian church, although much of the negative press is self inflicted. The problem of pedophilia in the church, and our weak and vacillating approach to the problem, has left us wide open to criticism. So, a negative media is not necessarily the product of godless reporters. In fact, the general approach is to leave us alone, given our poor news value. Yet, our real failure lies with our unwillingness to promote the gospel through the mass media. Unlike the mission undertaken by Jesus’ disciples, we rarely get to see the gospel become “well-known” in our community.
So, may Jesus “become well-known” in our nation, with as least amount of confusion as possible.
1. What hinders our use of the mass media?
2. Identify the causes of popular confusion about the gospel.
During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus 134-104 BCE, Israel conquered Edom (which the Romans called Idumea) and forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism.
The Edomites were integrated into the Jewish people. In the days of Alexander Jannaeus one of them, Antipas, was appointed governor of Edom.
His son Antipater, founder of the Herodian Dynasty, was the chief adviser of Hyrcanus II and managed to establish a good relationship with the Romans, who at that time (63 BCE) had conquered Israel.
Julius Caesar appointed Antipater to be procurator of Judea in 47 BCE and he appointed his sons Phasael and Herod to be governors of Jerusalem and Galilee respectively.
Antipater was murdered in 43 BCE; however, his sons managed to hold the reins of power and were elevated to the rank of tetrarch in 41 BCE by Mark Anthony.
 Rise to power
In 40 BCE the Parthians invaded the Roman eastern provinces and managed to expel the Romans. In Judea the Hasmonean dynasty was restored under king Antigonus.
Herod the Great, who was the son of Antipater the Idumean and Cypros, a Nabataean princess, managed to escape to Rome. There he was elected King of the Jews by the Roman Senate. However Herod did not fully conquer all Israel until 37 BCE. He ruled for 34 years.
Herod ruled Israel until 4 BCE; at his death his kingdom was divided among his three sons.
Herod Archelaus, son of Herod and Malthace the Samaritan, was given the main part of the kingdom: Judea, Edom and Samaria. He ruled for ten years until 6 CE when he was “banished to Vienne in Gaul, where—according to Dion Cassius Cocceianus, “Hist. Roma,” lv. 27—he lived for the remainder of his days.” See also Census of Quirinius.
Herod Philip I, son of Herod and his fifth wife Cleopatra of Jerusalem, was given jurisdiction over the northeast part of his father’s kingdom; he ruled there until his death in 34.
Herod Antipas, another son of Herod and Malthace, was made ruler of the Galilee and Perea; he ruled there until he was exiled to Spain by emperor Caligula in 39. Herod Antipas is also the person referenced in the Christian New Testament Gospels, playing a role in the death of John the Baptist and the trial of Jesus.
Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod; thanks to his friendship with emperor Caligula he was appointed by him as ruler of the territories of Herod Philip after his death in 34, and in 39 he was given the territories of Herod Antipas. In 41 emperor Claudius added to his territory the parts of Iudea province that previously belonged to Herod Archelaus. Thus Agrippa re-united his grandfather’s kingdom under his rule. He died in 44.
His son Agrippa II was appointed King and ruler of the northern parts of his father’s kingdom. He was the last of the Herodians, and with his death in 92 the dynasty was extinct.
In addition, Aristobulus of Chalcis of the Herodian dynasty was king of Chalcis and Armenia Minor. His father, Herod of Chalcis ruled as tetrarch of Chalcis earlier.
During this period his general Joab killed Saul’s general Abner in Hebron (2 Samuel 3,27). It was at the pool of Hebron that David ordered the execution of the two men who had murdered Ish-bosheth, Saul’s last son, and had brought his severed head to David, who then had it buried in Abner’s grave (2 Samuel 4,7-12).
Graves says (p. 164):
J. N. Schofield in his Historical Background to the Bible notes that to this day the people of Hebron have not forgiven David for moving his capital to Jerusalem (‘Holy Salem’) which they refer to as ‘The New Jerusalem’ as though Hebron were the authentic one. There is a record in the Talmud of a heretical sect of Jews, called Melchizedekians, who frequented Hebron to worship the body (consult the spirit?) of Adam which was buried in the cave of Machpelah.
In fact, these Melchizedekians, though considered heretics, may have been adherents of a purer undistorted form of worship. And it may be that David was the great perverter of Judaism by moving Holy Salem away from Hebron.
For Adam, ‘the red man’, seems to have been the original oracular hero of Machpelah; it is likely that Caleb consulted his shade not Abraham’s, unless Adam and Abraham are titles of the same hero. Elias Levita, the fifteenth-century Hebrew commentator, records the tradition that the teraphim which Rachel stole from her father Laban were mummified oracular heads and that the head of Adam was among them. If he was right, the Genesis narrative refers to a seizure of the oracular shrine of Hebron by Saul’s Benjaminites from the Calebites.
Caleb was an Edomite clan; which suggests the identification of Edom with Adam: they are the same word, meaning ‘red’. But if Adam was really Edom, one would expect to find a tradition that the head of Esau, the ancestor of the Edomites, was also buried at Hebron; and this is, in fact, supplied by the Talmud . . . that Esau’s body was carried off for burial on Mount Seir by his sons; and that his head was buried at Hebron by Joseph.
Elsewhere (page 167) Graves says:
It is possible that though the Calebites interpreted ‘Adam’ as the Semitic word Edom (‘red’) the original hero at Hebron was the Danaan Adamos or Adamastos, ‘the Unconquerable’, or ‘the Inexorable’, a Homeric epithet of Hades, borrowed from the Death Goddess his mother.
Graves says that according to the tradition (p. 161): ‘Hebron may be called the centre of the earth, from its position near the junction of two seas and the three ancient continents.’ How similar this ‘centre of the earth’ epithet is to Delphi’s, as ‘the navel of the world’. All the main oracle centres were navel or omphalos centres of the earth.
Hebron’s description as such is what one would have predicted. The traditions of the creation of Adam at Hebron and of its being the site of the Garden of Eden, as Graves tells us in this chapter, make sense also when it is realized that Hebron was the base of the entire eastern geodetic octave of oracle centres. It was the eastern counterpart of Behdet itself.
Graves tells us at the beginning of Chapter Four of the later history of Hebron:
A confederacy of mercantile tribes, called in Egypt, ‘the People of the Sea’ . . . invaded Syria and Canaan, among them the Philistines, who captured the shrine of Hebron in southern Judea from the Edomite clan of Caleb; but the Calebites (‘Dog-men’), allies of the Israelite tribe of Judah, recovered it about the same time. These borrowings were later harmonized in the Pentateuch with a body of Semitic, Indo-European and Asianic myth which composed the religious traditions of the mixed Israelite confederacy.