14:6. Part B of Revelation had set events in Ephesus the capital of the Roman province of Asia, with its 7 churches. Ephesus continued to be the base
for the western Diaspora mission until a later change to Rome. The wealthy Herods
owned houses in the main capitals, and in Ephesus there were houses for Agrippa II the reigning
Herod, as well as for his sister Bernice who acted as his queen. The house of
Agrippa II had the structure that developed as a cathedral.
The method of supplying dates through events in
sets of 7 now was applied to the years 54 to 61 AD, the first 7 years of Nero's
reign. In each year "another angel": appeared. An "angel" was an abbot, wearing
long flowing white robes with loose sleeves like wings, so "flying". "Another
angel" was an assistant abbot, coming from a lesser abbey to the main abbey for
further instruction and a
council every year. Each one therefore indicated a year. The assistant abbot came from
lesser districts related to the capital. The area is identified by the number:
an odd number meant an area related to Ephesus, an even number an area related to Rome. These were the western
capitals where abbeys had developed on the model of the outer hall for pilgrims
at Qumran, loc 77.
The Christian gospels in Revelation 14:6.
At the noon meal each day in Agrippa's court the Law of
Moses was normally read for an hour , and readings from other Old Testament
books were given at subsequent hours. On New Year's Day of 54 AD , in the Ephesus house of Agrippa, Christian
writings were added.
Just before the beginning of Nero's s reign in
October 54, Roman Jews led by Antipas Herod had assumed that they would get on
well with him, as Antipas had previously got on well with Tiberius. They
treated Nero's first year as the first of an anticipated 7 years, and in fact
Nero did reign for two sets, 14 years, 54 to 68 AD To count a king's reign in
sets of 7 years came from the jubilee chronology, and the jubilees of 49 years
were associated with "good news" as they were years of release of slaves and
captives. In Greek, euangelion, translated "gospel" meant "good news".
It was therefore considered fitting to prepare for Nero's reign with an
"eternal gospel". meaning a book for a 7th year that would give religious
The "eternal (aeon aiōn) gospel" on
this occasion consisted of Parts A and B of the Book of Revelation, recently
completed. They recorded Christian history from 1 AD, and brought it up to 51
AD. This book was now declared in the court of Agrippa II in Ephesus to contain liberating
truth, and was read at noon at the outset of a new 7 years, so as to show that it
corresponded to the Law of Moses, which was normally read at noon.
That was the opinion in Ephesus, but the four canonical
gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had already been dedicated by Jesus in 49
AD at the coronation of Agrippa II
(Revelation 6:1-8 ). It had been the custom to read them as an alternative
scripture on New Year's Day, and they were now read, following Revelation, at 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm, in a differing order.
A disagreement on their status determined their current
order. After the 5 books of the Laws of Moses read at noon, the Old Testament
had further divisions, the Former
Prophets (Joshua, Judges, I-II Samuel, I-II Kings); the Latter Prophets (Isaiah
to Malachi); and the Writings (Psalms and the remaining books). The gospel of
Luke, completed about 46 AD, spoke for the mission to Gentiles of the Diaspora,
and was a favorite with Agrippa II. As Cornelius, Luke had helped him gain the
monarchy from Claudius
(Josephus, Antiquities 20, 10-14). It was for the ethnē,
Gentiles recruited through the Noah Sea mission, and the term refers to an Agrippa as the Noah or to a head of Japheth, Luke at this time. It was referred to as "All-Gentile",
the word "All" always meaning a Herod, and was read first of the four at 1 pm.
The next division was the Latter Prophets, the
major ones Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 Minor Prophets. There were 12
tribes of Israel, and Matthew's gospel
spoke for their interests as Diaspora Jews. "Tribes" in the list always means
Matthew. It was now read at 2 pm, but later in fully Christian usage would be placed first.
The Writings were characterized by the Psalms,
which were normally read at 3 pm. These books were favorites with Diaspora members who
spoke their own languages and did not have to confine themselves to Hebrew. The
gospel of Mark spoke for their interests and was referred to as "tongues".
There was yet another set of Writings, altogether
new books that were added to this group as the Writings were such a loose
category. The gospel of John had been newly composed by Jesus in 37 AD, with
some influence from Simon Magus, who was a hated enemy in the court of Agrippa
II, the Beast 666. Although it had been taken over by James Niceta of Agrippa's
court, when he "ate the little book"
(Revelation 10:10), it was still not trusted, being a radical
departure from Old Testament Judaism. It was called the "people", laos, as a non-sacred book of the laity, and read last, at 4 pm.
Structure of the cathedral.
Agrippa's house, which gave the model of a
cathedral, reproduced the plan of Ain Feshkha in the Judean wilderness.It had
two storeys, with the upper floor the place for the throne. The lower storey
held a middle floor reached by steps from the front, and a ground floor which
corresponded to the dais in the Qumran vestry. See Figure 10a & 10b, below for the sideways view:
Figure 10a. The Tower.
Figure 10B. Cathedral sideview with seated ministers.
and Figure 19 below for the view from the front. The middle floor could be called doma, the "roof", because it corresponded to the prayer platform in the Qumran vestry (loc 101), which
was indeed a roof, open to the sky.
Figure 19. Cathedral with Heavenly Man.
The higher priests were to be found on the upper
floor, called "Heaven", while the ground floor dais step was called "Earth". In
between, the middle floor was called "Mid-Heaven".On it stood the table for
the sacred meal, the only table now being used. It was the highest level for
men from abbeys, which were more open institutions, not demanding a lifelong
commitment to celibacy as the holy monasteries did.
The table was 6 cubits (3 yards, 9 feet) long and
2 cubits (1 yard, 3 feet) wide. It seated 12 men, 6 on each side, each
occupying 1 cubit (18 inches) on a bench. On the higher side the superiors
occupied a double space in the center, the main superior in the central eastern
space, his subordinate in the central western. On great occasions such as
feasts there were 3 superiors, two on row 6 (counting the cubit wide rows from
the north end of the room), and one in the center of row 7. The triarchy were
given different designations according to their function: sometimes Father and
Son on row 6 and (Holy) Spirit in row7; at other times Kingdom and Power on row 6 and Glory on
On row 7, on each side of the double center sat
lesser ministers, a bishop beside the east and a presbyter beside the west. In
the remaining outer places for guests, equal partners of the bishop and
presbyter were to be found, there because each pair divided one of the sacred
loaves between them. On the opposite side of the table sat men in the status of
servants, observing the rule that there must be an arm's length, 2 cubits,
between master and servant, consequently the table was 2 cubits wide, on rows 8
and 9, with the servants on its south side on row 10.
At noon each day "the Heavens were opened". The upper
floor for Heaven extended forward to row 7 as a platform above, while the
middle floor extended further out, to row 10 at the top of the front steps.The
custom had developed of opening a 2 cubit glass skylight in the center of row 7
above, to let down the noon light. The opening was called a window in
The light shone directly down on the Spirit in the double center of row7,
giving his position the name the Glory. While the skylight was open, men on
row 10 of the middle floor could look up diagonally to row 7 on the upper
floor, to see priests behind the opening. The men on row 7 directly below it
could not see the priests. This fact is drawn on in the detail of the Last
Supper, and in other episodes
The lectern from which the readings were given
stood in the presbyter's place on row 7. It was above the position of a man on
the ground floor on the west of row 13 at the foot of the steps. Row 13 was
called "the Earth" in relation to "Heaven" at the opposite extreme on the upper
floor."Upon of the Earth" meant the position of a man on the west beside the
center of row 13. For the man in that position, learning from the readings at
the lectern came directly down. He was at this time Antipas Herod II, who had
followed the first Antipas in having an agreeable nature, and it was assumed
that he would get on well with the new emperor as Antipas I had got on with
Tiberius. Antipas II was spoken of as "my witness, my faithful one" in a
letter from Jesus to his house in Pergamum north of Ephesus