Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The War Scrolls - The War Between the Sons of Dark and the Sons of Light

Available in its entirety on Kindle or in "The Encyclopedia of Lost and Rejected Scriptures: The Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha" available at www.fifthestatepub.com

The War Scrolls - The War Between the Sons of Dark and the Sons of Light

The War Scroll is a nine & a half foot scroll with as many as 19 columns, found in cave 1 at Qumran. It seems to be written as a sequel or expository to the eschatological war described in Dan 11-12. The author gives detailed instructions for a ritualized battle in which the "sons of light," led by Michael, destroy the Kittim, or the "sons of darkness," led by Satan. Many scholars identify the Kittim as an allusion to the Roman Empire.

The War Scroll, 1QM, was one of the original seven scrolls found in cave one by the Bedouin in 1947. The scroll has also been called "The War Rule" and "The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness." It was first published by E.L. Sukenik in 1954 and was re-edited as The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem: Hebrew University and Magnes Press, 1955.

The War Scroll contains nineteen columns and is written on five sheets. The end of the scroll is missing, but its beginning seems to be intact. At the bottom of the scroll there is damage and wear. The total length of the scroll in its present state is 9 feet, 8 inches. Since pieces of the scroll are worn away or missing, there are places within the translation where words are assumed to fit the flow of the sentence structure. These “best guess” words are noted by parentheses. If there are too many words missing or the meaning cannot be ascertained so that a “best guess” cannot be provided the missing words are denoted with the symbols (…).

The scroll is a mixture of apocalyptic and legal discussion. The scroll's main theological significance lies in the fact that this is a battle against the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. Although most scholars believe the story is about good and evil, this in itself could allude to a struggle between the forces of life and death. In the end, God will intervene, conquer, and save his people. There are parallels to the books of Revelation and Daniel in the scroll and it is assumed that the author borrowed from Daniel as well as other material of the day, according to the date of the text’s creation. All three books, Daniel, Revelations, and the War Scroll, share the common theme of life and light being victorious over evil and death. All point to fact that the outcome is already known, however, man must participate and is thus held culpable in the outcome.

There is controversy over the date of the scroll. Some say that the scroll was written between 50 B.C. and 50 A.D. because this is after the Roman Conquest around 63 B.C. but before the end of Herod’s reign (4 B.C.). Another view is that the scroll was written after 70 A.D. and possibly as late as 135 A.D. However, most agree the date must be some time after the Roman Conquest, because the author of the scroll describes the weapons and battle tactics of the Roman army.

The War Scroll

The Master Rule of War.
The first attack of the Sons of Light will be initiated against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, which is the army of Belial. The troops are from Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Amalekites, Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Asshur. Supporting them are those who have violated the covenant.

The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, and those exiled to the wilderness, will fight against them with (?) against all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light return from the Wilderness of the Peoples to camp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem.

Then after the battle they will go up from that place and battle the king of the Kittim and he shall enter into Egypt. In his time he will go out with great anger to do battle against the kings of the north, and in his anger he shall set out to destroy and eliminate the strength of Israel.

Then there will be a time of salvation for the People of God, and a time of the dominion of all the men of His forces, and a time of eternal destruction for all the forces of Belial. There shall be great panic among the sons of Japheth, and Assyria shall fall with no one to come to his aid, and the supremacy of the Kittim shall cease their wickedness and will be overcome without a single survivor. There shall be no survivors of all the Sons of Darkness.

Then the Sons of Righteousness shall shine into all ends of the world and continuing to shine forth until end of the appointed seasons of darkness. Then at the time appointed by God, His great brilliance will shine for all of eternity for the peace and blessing, glory and joy, and long life of all Sons of Light. On the day when the Kittim falls there will be a battle and horrible carnage before the God of Israel, for it is a day appointed by Him from ancient times as a battle of destruction for the Sons of Darkness.

On that day the congregation of the gods and the congregation of men shall engage one another and the outcome will be great carnage. The Sons of Light and the forces of Darkness shall fight one another to show the strength of God with the roar of a great multitude and the shout of gods and men. It will be a day of disaster. It is a time of distress for all the people who are redeemed by God. Compared to all their afflictions, no day exists like this and it is hastening to its completion as an eternal redemption. On the day of their battle against the Kittim, they shall go out to kill in battle.

In three groups the Sons of Light will stand firm to strike a blow at wickedness, and in three (parts) the army of Belial shall strengthen themselves to force the retreat of the forces of Light.

And when the banners of the infantry cause their hearts to melt, then the power of God will strengthen the hearts of the Sons of Light.
In the seventh section, the great hand of God will overcome Belial and all the angels under his control, and all the men of his forces shall be destroyed forever. And this is the total destruction of the Sons of Darkness and service to God during the years of war.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The 29th Chapter of Acts

This, and other fascinating lost books and fragments are available through http://www.fifthestatepub.com

The Sonnini Manuscript contains the account of Paul's journey to Spain and Britain. The document, purported to be the concluding portion of the "Acts of the Apostles" covers a portion of the period after Paul's two year enforced residence in Rome, in his own hired house. It is written in the style of the Bible Acts and reads like a continuation.

The Manuscript was found interleaved in a copy of Sonnini's Travels in Turkey and Greece and was purchased at the sale of the library and effects of the late Right Honorable Sir John Newport, Bart, of Ireland. Sir John's family arms were engraved on the cover of the book. It had been in his possession for over thirty years. With the book was a document from the Sultan of Turkey, granting to C. S. Sonnini permission to travel in all parts of the Ottoman dominions. The document was translated by C. S. Sonnini from an original Greek manuscript found in the Archives at Constantinople, and presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achment.

(The Biblical Acts of the Apostles and the Book of James are the only two New Testament books not ending in `amen.' This has led some Bible scholars to believe they are incomplete in their present form.)

Sometime in the late 1700's and before 1800, C.S.Sonnini published his copy of Sonnini's Travels in Turkey and Greece. Interleaved was a copy of the manuscript found in the Archives of Constantinople presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet. He was traveling during the reign of Louis XVI, who reigned from AD 1774 to AD 1793. He published his travels between those two dates, 1774 and 1793.

The above description is from Dr. Gene Scott “Doc Notes” on the book "Did the Apostle Paul Visit Britain?" by R.W. Morgan, available from Dolores Press.

The 29th Chapter of Acts has been used by some to bolster the "British Israelite" theory, which postulates that the modern day inhabitants of the British Isles are in fact an intermingling of the lost tribes of Israel and the native inhabitants of the area.

ACTS Chapter 29

Verse 1. Paul, full of the blessing of Christ, and overflowing in the Spirit, left Rome, having decided to go into Spain, becuase he had wanted to travel there for a long time, and he thought also to go from there to Britain.

Verse 2. Because he had heard in Phoenicia that some of the children of Israel, around the time of the Assyrian captivity,had escaped by sea to "the Islands far away" as proclaimed by the Prophet, and called by the Romans, Britain.

Verse 3. Since the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far and wide to the Gentiles, and to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

Verse 4. And no man hindered Paul because he testified boldly of
Jesus before the governents and among the people; and be took with
him certain of the brethren which lived with him at Rome, and
they boarded a ship at Ostium, and having fair winds were
brought safely into an safety (harbour) of Spain.

Verse 5. And many people gathered from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion of the Apostles, and the many miracles he had performed.

Verse 6. And Paul preached with might in Spain, and great many people believed and were converted, for they knew he was an apostle sent from God.

Verse 7. And finding a ship in Armorica sailing to Britain they departed from Spain. Paul and his company passed along the South coast and reached a port called Raphinus.

Verse 8. Now when word spread wide that the Apostle had landed on their coast, large numbers of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and was housed in the house of a Hebrew and one of his own nation.

Verse 9. And the next day he came and stood upon Mount Lud;(Now the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral.) and the people amassed at the gate, and assembled in the main street, and he preached Christ unto them, and they believed the word and the testimony of Jesus.

Verse 10. And at sunset the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, “BEHOLD IN THE LAST DAYS THE GOD OF PEACE

Verse 11. And in the last days new announcements of the Gospel shall come forth out of Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people shall be filled with joy, and they shall look and spring of water shall be opened, and there shall be no more disease.

Verse 12. In those days there shall be wars and rumours of wars; and a king shall rise up, and his sword shall be for the healing of the nations, and peace he makes shall last, and the glory of his kingdom will be a wonder among princes.

Verse 13. And it came to pass that certain of the Druids came to Paul privately and showed by their rites and ceremonies (to prove) they were descended from the Jews which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.

Verse 14. And Paul lived in his housing for three months proving the faith and preaching Christ continually.

Verse 15. And after these things Paul and his brethren left Raphinus, and sailed to Atium in Gaul.

Verse 16. And Paul preached in the Roman garrisons and among the people, encouraging all men to repent and confess their sins.

Verse 17. And there came to him certain of the Belgae to ask him about the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; and Paul opened his heart unto them, and told them all things that had happened to him, how Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed wondering among themselves about the things they had heard.

Verse 18. And after he preached and toiled muched Paul and his fellow workers went to Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus threw himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.

Verse 19. And immediately a torrent gushed from the mountain and washed his body (which had been) broken in pieces, into a lake.
Verse 20. And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 0 Lord God, give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate, which condemned your only-begotten Son, plunged down headlong in to the pit.
Verse 21. And while Paul was still speaking, they looked there came a great earthquake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the lake took the form like unto the Son of Man hanging in an agony upon the Cross.

Verse 22. And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate has escaped the wrath to come, (See second death, Rev.21:8) for he washed his hands before the multitude at the shedding of the Lord Jesus’ blood.

Verse 23. Because of this, when Paul and those with him saw the earthquake and heard the voice of the angel they glorified God and their spirits were greatly strenghtned.

Verse 24. And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius where two pillars stood, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.

Verse 25. And Paul was filled with the Holy Ghost and stood up between the two pillars, saying, Men and brethren, these stones which you see this day shall testify of my journey here and truly I say they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all nations, and the way will not be hindered throughout all generations.

Verse 26. And they went forth and came to Illyricum, intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches; and they prospered and had peace. Amen.