Elsa M. Glover
Some parts of the Bible were written in symbolical form because, at the time they were written, humanity in general was not ready to learn the truths hidden within the symbols. Revelation is one such part. To those who can read the symbols, however, Revelation describes the path of Initiation and the things which the Initiate can investigate in the higher Worlds, such as the Creative Hierarchies, the past, present, and future of man's evolution, and the story of the struggle between Jehovah and the Lucifer Spirits.
Chapter 1 of Revelation is of an introductory nature, telling the circumstances under which John received the revelation. Chapters 2 and 3 describe the Path of Initiation. The seven churches described are seven steps on the Path of Initiation. Different people may develop the qualities needed for Initiation in different orders, and also some of the needed qualities are worked on simultaneously. Thus, the seven steps described are not necessarily in the order in which they will be taken.
The church at Ephesus represents the dedication of the creative force to spiritual rather than passionate use. The aspirant is told (Rev. 2: 5) to remember from what he has fallen, to repent, and to do the works he did at first. In the Lemurian Epoch, man fell from non-passionate to passionate use of the creative force (as described in Gen. 2). The one who conquers will be allowed to eat from the Tree of Life (Rev. 2:7). The Tree of Life is symbolical of the power which gives one the ability to live on Earth as long as one desires. It is the power to heal and thence to maintain a physical body indefinitely. Thus the one who is successful in the regenerate use of the creative force will eventually gain the power to heal.
The church at Smyrna represents the withstanding of temptations associated with material wealth. The person who has material poverty but spiritual riches may be ridiculed by the worldly-minded (Rev. 2: 9). The aspirant may be thrown into prison for a time by the devil, that he may be tested (Rev. 2: 10). This means that the aspirant may need to live under restricted material conditions for a time in order to show that he considers some things more important than material comfort or wealth. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death (Rev, 2: 11). The first death is the lifting of one's consciousness above the material so that one no longer considers material things of intrinsic value. The second death is the death of the physical body. The spiritualized consciousness does not mind physical death.
The church at Pergamum represents the sending of the currents of creative force upward strongly enough to start the pituitary body and pineal glands vibrating. This gives spiritual sight. The creative force currents dwell in Satan's throne (Rev. 2:13). Satan represents the Lucifer Spirits. Their throne is the spinal cord, because they work in the spinal cord of man to stir up selfishness, passions , and immorality (misuse of the creative force). People who do not repent will be warred against by the one with the sword in his mouth (Rev, 2:16). The sword is symbolical of divine justice according to the Law. Thus, people who fall to the temptations of the Lucifer Spirits will be subject to retribution according to the Law of Cause and Effect. But to him who conquers will be given a white stone and a new name (Rev. 2:17). The white stone is the body of a person who has raised the creative force currents (often called the Philosopher's Stone). The new name represents a new state of consciousness, namely, perception in the higher worlds.
The church at Thyatira represents control of the emotions and feelings. The higher emotions manifest as love, faith, service, and patient endurance (Rev, 2:19). The lower emotions may beguile the servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols (Rev, 2:20). The servants are one's faculties. Eating food sacrificed to idols represents giving and then taking back what one has given or giving only where one can get a return. Those who do not repent may become sick and suffer tribulation, and their children may die (Rev. 2:22-23). Passions and selfish emotions do cause conflicts and hence sickness, suffering, and destruction. The children represent thoughts and desires produced by a passionate nature. The children dying communicates the fact that selfish thoughts and desires will sooner or later have to be eliminated. To him who conquers will be given power over the nations, and he will rule with a rod of iron (Rev, 2:26-27). The nations are the faculties of man. Thus, he who has control of his emotions will have self-control. Iron is the metal ruled by Mars, which is the home of the Lucifer Spirits. Thus, ruling with a rod of iron indicates control of the Mars forces and the ability to withstand the temptations implanted by the Lucifer Spirits.
The church at Sardis represents the making of the soul body. People who have the name of being alive and yet are dead (Rev. 3:1) are those who have a physical body with which to function in the physical world (and hence are physically alive) but who do not have a soul body capable of functioning in the higher worlds (and hence are dead to the higher worlds). The works of those without the soul body have not been perfect in the sight of God (Rev. 3:2). Note that good work (service) is needed to build the soul body. The second coming of Christ will be at some unknown time (Rev, 3:3), and He will come in the clouds (Rev. 1:7), that is, in the soul body. Those who have not developed their soul bodies will not be able to follow Him at that time. He who conquers shall be clad in white garments (Rev. 3:5). The white garments refer to the soul body (which is also sometimes called the Golden Wedding Garment).
The church at Philadelphia represents the separation of the soul body (which is the two higher ethers of the vital body and the higher part of the desire body) from the dense body, the two lower ethers of the vital body and the lower part of the desire body. This separation permits soul flights. Christ has set before the aspirant an open door, which no one is able to shut (Rev. 3:8). Prior to the Crucifixion only certain chosen people were given the training and conditions needed to prepare them for soul flights. At the Crucifixion the Christ Spirit changed the etheric conditions of the Earth in such a way that thereafter anyone could prepare himself for and learn to achieve the needed separation to be able to go on soul flight5. Thus, He opened the door to the higher worlds for all. Those who enter the opened door into the higher worlds will be kept from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world (Rev, 3:10).
When one enters the higher worlds one meets the Dweller on the Threshold, which is all of one's unredeemed past acts. One then consciously takes on the responsibility of paying one's debts to the world, and thus his record is cleared. He who conquers will be made a pillar in the Temple of God and will go out no more, and the names of God and the new Jerusalem will be written on him (Rev. 3:12). Being made a pillar in the Temple of God represents the end of the requirement to be reborn on Earth. Having the name of God written on one represents having attained the consciousness of God. The word "Jerusalem" means "abode of peace." Having the name of the new Jerusalem written on one means having attained a state of inner peace.
The church at Laodicea represents the development of the Will needed to tred the Path. When people are neither hot nor cold they will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ (Rev. 3:15-16). Those who have no desire and make no effort themselves will not be led on the Path of Initiation, but will rather be allowed to take the longer route which is taken by humanity in general. Those who feel no need for the gold refined by fire (the spiritualized body, the Philosopher's Stone) or the white garments (soul body) or the salve for the eyes (which gives spiritual sight) will not work for them and thence will not attain them (Rev. 3:17-18). Christ is knocking at the door (of man's consciousness), and if the aspirant opens the door, the Christ Spirit will enter in (Rev. 3: 20).
--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, September, 1977