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Revelation vs. Lord of the Rings
Many, many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, say they find the Book of the Revelation ‘uncomfortable’. They find much of the imagery disturbing, and are put off by the concept of God’s judgement on the world. Yet in recent days millions of people have flocked to the cinema to see the film ‘Lord of the Rings’, in which state of the art special effects are used to bring to life J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Many of the images in the film are also quite frightening, but that does not seem to put people off.
Indeed much of the message of both books is the same, of an on-going war between the forces of good and evil. In both cases too evil is ultimately defeated, and destroyed, whilst the forces of good prevail. The difference of course is that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is fiction, and will never come true, whilst the really disturbing thought for people about the Book of the Revelation is that it just might.
Revelation 1: 1 – 3; Revelation 4:1; Revelation 20: 18 - 20
When I was preparing this sermon I had just seen again the film ’Gandhi’ and was moved by the account of that great Indian leader - how he overcame injustice and oppression, not by force, but by non-violent resistance. He said to his followers, ’so long as we’re peaceful, the initiative is ours, we are in control’. But oh, what suffering he and his followers endured before freedom was finally won. This is a picture of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. It would come through suffering and servanthood - values that the wisdom of this world scorns - but the kingdom of God finally will come in power. The book of the Revelation leaves no doubt about that.
END TIMES AT THE MOVIES
The movie world seems to be obsessed with the end of the world. There has been a steady stream of films coming out of Hollywood around the theme of end time events and takeoffs on the book of Revelation. Films like “End of Days,” “Armageddon,” “Deep Impact,” and “Independence Day” are just some examples. One series of films that came out a few years ago was the “Omen” trilogy. The films specifically centered around the antichrist of the book of Revelation. The first film deals with the birth and childhood of the antichrist. His parents suspect there is something different about their creepy little son, but they find out the awful truth when they discover 666 tattooed on his forehead. The second film, “Damien: Omen II,” showed him as a teenager and what happened when his identity was revealed to him by satanic agents. I haven’t seen the movies, but the reviews sound like they would send you to bed with a nightmare waiting to happen.
SOURCE: Rodney Buchanan.
Leonardo was “skilled at painting the difference between the sexes,” and the “delicate folded hands, and the hint of a bosom. It was, without a doubt…female.”
The reference to delicate folded hands as a proof that the figure traditionally identified as John was really Mary Magdalene is forced. In the Study for the Hands of John in the Windsor Castle Royal Collection (no. 12543), they do not appear distinctly feminine. They may be the hands of a woman, but then again they could as easily be those of a man. In The Last Supper itself, John’s hands are no less masculine than most of the other hands in the picture.
As for the hint of a bosom, this is entirely unjustified. Even if an overly fertile imagination might find such a “hint” on the character of John where his clothes are loose, on the other side, given the absence of the loose cloak, we should be able to detect even clearer evidence of a bosom, we see instead that John’s chest is conspicuously bosomless. Here again Brown’s assertion may derive from his reliance on the conspiracy book The Templar Revelation, where we read of “the tiny, graceful hand, the pretty, elfin features, the distinctly female bosom and the gold necklace” (p. 20).
Interestingly a more recent, post-1999-Last-Supper-restoration book by The Templar Revelations author Lynn Picknett now replaces the old distinctly female bosom claim, with the equally groundless assertion that there is “a dark smudge where ‘his’ breasts should be.” Picknett apparently wants us now to believe that the female bosom was originally there, but that it was subsequently rubbed out.
In a posting from ABC News (Nov 3, 2003) we read.
“Many art historians have dismissed the theory that the figure is a woman, saying it’s just a tradition to paint John as beardless and long-haired. ‘It looks like a young male. I see no breasts,’ art historian Jack Wasserman told ABCNEWS.” Wasserman is a well-known Leonardo scholar.
Finally, John’s face is admittedly effeminate, but not more so than th...