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Zechariah, Prophet of the Apocalypse

   The Book of Zechariah has been called, although not with entire accuracy, the beginning of the Apocalypse. It stands at the opening of the apocalyptic period, preceded only by the Apocalypse of Ezekiel thirty-eight and thirty-nine, and of Isaiah twenty-four through twenty-eight. it represents a new type of prophetic literature, a type which points to the end of an age and takes account of the present only as it is related to the end. Zechariah defines the limits of the then current Age and prophesies quite closely when it would end and the Messianic Age begin, definitions which point to the very century in which Jesus of Nazareth appeared.

   To the esotericist, apocalyptic writings are the Mystery literature of Israel. They were centered wholly in the Christ Mystery and were dedicated to preparation for His Coming. Hence, when Judaism rejected the Christ it also rejected all of the apocalyptic literature pointing too clearly to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, retaining only such as could be otherwise interpreted. Esdras was rejected but Zechariah was accepted. Although Christians read the prophecies of Zechariah as relating to Jesus of Nazareth, it is possible to give them a different interpretation; this cannot be done with the Apocalypse of II Esdras.

   It has been truly said that the Apocalypse is the cradle of Christianity. Previous chapters have shown that active preparation for the Christ Advent in Palestine began with the Exile, and it was at this time that the Apocalypse appeared in Hebrew literature — although it did not reach its culmination until the Greek Period. The Messiah of the Apocalypse is no mere national hero of the Jews. He is the Savior of mankind, the Spirit of Light that overcomes the darkness of this world.

   Prophecies concerning the End are couched in pictorial language familiar to every mystic as the "Jupiter Picture Consciousness" of a high Initiate, of which many examples have been given. It is a living language, symbolic and dramatic. It appears in mental space before the inner eye of an Illumined One, and at the same time is heard inwardly in speech understood by his heart. Such a type of prophetic communication is not to be confused with reading in the Memory of Nature. A disciple may or may not be in his body when he receives instruction of this kind. Ezekiel was taken out of the body; so was Esdras in the Field of Ardath. There are instances, however, where a disciple received instruction while remaining conscious within his physical vehicle.

   Zechariah appeared in Jerusalem during the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspus, about 520 B.C., and by his spiritual insight helped to mediate an understanding between the High Priest Joshua and King Zerubbabel — as shown in his visions of the olive trees in the House of the Lord. Unlike Ezekiel and Ezra who put the theocratic state foremost, he appears to have favored the separation of Church and State. But eventually the line of David disappeared and work an the Second Temple was halted until the prophets of the Restoration ordered building resumed.

   It is significant to observe the reappearance of the name Joshua in connection with the Christ tradition. Joshua is the Hebrew original of the name changed to Jesus in the Greek Period. It was a Joshua who conquered the land of Canaan following the death of Moses; it was another Joshua who, with Zerubbabel, restored the Temple; and later a third Joshua, as Jesus, who became the Christ-Bearer.

   These Mystery Teachings relating to the secret preparation for the Messianic Advent are included in the Book of Zechariah, for this prophet sounded what is, perhaps, the highest spiritual note of any of the twelve Minor Prophets. His visions embody the beautiful mysticism of the sign Cancer. His keynote is Holiness unto the Lord.

The Initiate Visions of Zechariah

The First Vision: The Angelic Horsemen

   In Chapter One the Prophet is shown to be out of the body during the night hours: I saw by the night." He refers to the preparation of Jerusalem for the coming of the Messiah in the two statements "my house shall be built in it ... and a line shall be stretched forth from Jerusalem" and "the Lord will be unto her a wall of fire round about and will be the glory in the midst of her."

   By a threefold Emanation from the Absolute all things are created, and through it they evolve. It is the combined Will, Wisdom and Activity Principles of God. The white horse symbolizes the Will or Father Aspect; the speckled horse is the Wisdom or Son Aspect; the red one is the Activity Aspect, the Power of the Holy Ghost. This threefold Emanation is at work throughout the universe, from atom to God. Man does not yet realize fully how to lay hold of these Principles and cooperate with them; hence, the expression "the earth sitteth still, and is at rest."

   Nevertheless, all humanity is being urged forward, both physically and spiritually, under this threefold Ray. According to his temperament and state of unfoldment, man finds his place in one or the other of the two great evolving streams of life, the occult (red) or the mystic (white), and is prepared for a higher state, designated as "speckled," wherein the two are blended into one . Those in whom this blending is consummated have become Christed Ones and will form the vanguard of Christ's helpers when He returns.

The Second Vision: The Four Horns and the Four Builders

   From the primordial Triad, the vision now turns to the Holy Quaternion, the Sacred Four which is the number of attainment because it is the number of God in manifestation. The cross or square lifted becomes the perfect four square. Cancer, the mystical sign of spiritual ecstasy and vision, is the fourth sign of the Sacred Circle, celestial correspondent of the Summer Solstice. The four carpenters are powers that build the material universe in the image and likeness of God. They are the Lords of Karma who destroy and scatter forms which have outlived their usefulness so life can build new forms better suited to express spirit on a higher are of the evolutionary spiral. Thus, Judah and Israel were scattered and Jerusalem was destroyed that the New Jerusalem might be built and a people sanctified for the Messianic Work to be established in Palestine.

 — Corinne Heline


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