As in the case of Abraham, faith – in a promise of immortality as yet visibly unfulfilled – is superior to obedience to the Law. While access to the Commandments was through the procreative line of Israel, faith involved a renunciation of all rights proceeding from membership of that procreative line – as in Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac and his faith in an implied promise of resurrection. The New Israel of the 144,000 sealed in Revelation are described symbolically as virgins undefiled by women. That is, they have renounced salvation by means of the procreative line. It is these who will reign with Christ on earth for 1000 years – that is, for a time equivalent to the post-lapsarian life-span of Adam, thereby putting right his flawed dominion.
The Spiritual Israel of Gnosis is symbolised in Revelation by the 12 stars crowning creation’s progenitrix Sophia (Revelation 12:1) – the faithful remnant of the “old” covenant – and by her child who, withdrawn from the world of carnality, is the ever-growing great crowd of adherents to the “new” covenant. The child’s sustenance is Scripture truly understood. The two witnesses – the Old Testament and New Testaments – were suppressed by a corrupt religion during the Constantinian apostasy (Revelation 11). No human institution can be an infallible depository of Truth; all religions are corrupted by carnal considerations. The Gnostic must turn to the lampstand of true light and the olive tree of its sustenance wherever it is to be found.
The new Exodus began in fact with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Thus the “great crowd” carrying their palms (Revelation 7:9) are compared implicitly to the throng who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and hailed him as he embarked on the series of events which will saw him crucified by the false religion of Babylon (Revelation: 7:4-10, 14:1). The New Jerusalem is founded on both the “old” and the “new” covenants (Revelation 21:12-14): Gnostics of all ages of history are able to recognise that higher Truth and imperative which inevitably leads to martyrdom at the hand of those religious Powers-that-Be which, though unmasked by the knowledge of Truth inherent in the Gnostic, have a Protean ability to form new images of themselves to worship (Revelation 13:13).
The remnant saved by the “old” covenant is symbolised in Revelation by the 144,000 sealed; those saved by the “new” covenant in Jesus (who offers himself as a new Passover lamb and by so doing reveals his understanding of God’s plan, and is therefore alone worthy to open the seals hiding the scroll of history) is represented by the “great crowd” (Revelation 7:9). Both are symbolised by the 24 elders seen in the initial tableau beyond the door opened onto Heaven for John at the beginning of Revelation. The “old” covenants are brought about by physical movement from an old geographical place to a new one: to Ararat, Haran, Sinai, Gilgal and Jerusalem. The ”new” covenant is effected by Jesus’ physical passing into Heaven at his Ascension.
The six periods of sin-induced catastrophe on the earth are punctuated by six covenants which are part of God’s salvage-operation: through Noah, through Abraham, through Moses, through Joshua, through David, and through Jesus. Each covenant is an agreement by means of which a faithful remnant is defined by its commitment to Higher Truth and sets itself apart from the world, so that it may not only be spared the second death in the lake of fire, but be re-admitted to Paradise and access to the Tree of Life (Revelation 20:11-15). In each case in the Biblical account the spiritual movement towards God is symbolised by a geographical movement, and each covenant is sealed by the blood of sacrifice.
In the Apocalypse the 42 months of God’s judgement on the natural order of creation is spoken of as 1260 days and 3½ years: 6 times 7 months. After the half-hour complete “rest” of God His Sabbath continues with Jesus: the human son of God, the second Adam, ruling on behalf of his Father for 1000 years. Thus the 49 months of post-lapsarian creation is completed: the Great White Throne Judgment concludes a period of 7000 years from the death of Adam and the Flood, itself 7000 years after the creation of the Light of Gnosis. Creation is re-run and the world is renewed. A word of caution, however, is needed: the numbers are symbolic, as is the number 144,000 of the spiritual Israel.
During the seventh period of seven months there is first a “silence” in heaven (Revelation 8:1): God “rests” completely for “half an hour”. This is the time of Armageddon and the Great Tribulation when Satan and the wicked angels once again briefly seek to gain the upper hand. The millennium then begins: a period of a thousand years during which the earth is ruled by a righteous regent as it should have been during the thousand years of Adam’s lifetime. God is able to rest easy in the knowledge that His son has things in hand. Finally, the last gasp of the forces of evil and those who choose to follow them into disobedience initiates the final judgement when they are consigned once and for all to the lake of fire.
During the lifetime of Adam all the patriarchs up to the time of Noah were born. Noah was 14 years old when Adam died. Once Adam had died and God’s period of “rest” was over, the Almighty began His salvage operation. It began with the olive-branch brought back by the dove after the Flood (Genesis 8:11), and will end with the Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-18). The earth is and will be renewed over seven periods of time, each characterised as seven months – the final period being a grand jubilee (Deuteronomy 15:1). During six periods of seven months (mentioned in Revelation as 42 months or 1260 days) , God’s judgement on the earth takes the form of the disastrous consequences of the Fall on the natural order.
God allowed the Fall to happen. He did not intervene. He was “resting” for a “day”. During this time Satan and the wicked angels were active on earth (Genesis 3:1, 6:1-4; Revelation 12:1). The period of “rest” ended with the death of Adam after 1000 years. God then brought about the destruction of the Flood, which removed from the earth the evil which had been brought about by the wicked angels – without destroying the Gnostic remnant of Noah and his family (Revelation 12:15-16), or the hybrid progeny of the wicked angels and humankind, indestructible spirit in nature but bound to the earth. (These are the demons found in the Gospels; see the Book of Enoch.) Unfortunately, the Gnosis cannot be inherited by the flesh; Gnostics remain the true seed among the tares of humanity. The eventual millennial rule of Christ may be seen as another period of “rest” during which the wicked angels will not this time be allowed to take control of the earth: Satan will be bound during the restorative reign of the second Adam.
Adam and Eve were able to eat all the trees of the Garden that were available for their food, except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. These trees included the Tree of Life, conferring immortality. But as result of their disobedience, God passed a sentence of death. The pair did not die immediately: the sentence took the form of an exclusion from the Tree of Life. Adam then went on to live 930 years reckoned in mortal time. If Adam was 70 years old – a mature man – when he ate the fruit, he was in fact alive for 1000 years. All of Adam’s children now pass into oblivion until the second coming of Christ. The perfect obedience of Jesus – after Adam, a second son of God – earned him the immortality denied to Adam.