This is a page that focuses on religious and theological issues, as well as providing comprehensive teaching from a classic Catholic perspective. As you read the articles, it is my hope they will educate and bless you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Biblical Truths Behind Myths and Legends Part III - The Frankenstein Monster; A Prophetic Harbinger of Things to Come??

I have been exploring a lot of interesting subject matter, some of which may be a little controversial as many Christians would have never given it a second thought but which have some significance in lieu of Bible prophecy and historical reference.  We have talked about dragons, the Hercules legend, and now I want to deal with something a little more contemporary, because it is the subject of a fictional book by a modern author that ironically is based on both fact and legends of the past that relate to the subject.  Then, I want to tie this into the prophetic, as I believe personally there is a connection.  Like I have said, this is all very new territory, so don't freak out too much before you read the text first.

The Frankenstein monster is something that popular culture has cashed in on since Mary Shelley (wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley) wrote her novel Frankenstein back in the year 1818.   From the lovable Herman Munster of the 1960's sitcom to the millions reaped by toy manufacturers for decades in costumes during the Halloween season, to a series of Hollywood films based on Shelley's novel, Frankenstein has become sort of a macabre cultural icon.  The giant square-headed, bolt-necked creature of fiction though may have a more sinister source, and ironically it could be the inspiration for a Scriptural prophecy being fulfilled that I want to touch on later.  However, let us first talk a little about where this Frankenstein thing came from. 

I actually watched a documentary on the History Channel just last night before writing this study that dealt with the real Frankenstein, and as it turns out, Mary Shelly and her famous poet-husband were actually fascinated with the occult.  As a result, they traveled a lot, being they were rich people who had a lot of time on their hands (which is why they could write books and poetry as well!) and one place they visited was the town of Darmstadt in Germany.  For committed Christians today, Darmstadt is commemorated as the birthplace of the godly Protestant nun Mother Basilea Schlink, and the order she founded, the Evangelical Sisters of Mary, still has their headquarters there today.  The Sisters are a great inspiration, and Mother Basilea wrote on spiritual renewal a few decades before the charismatic movement became more widespread, but aside from this spiritual legacy Darmstadt is also the home to the Castle Frankenstein, which was constructed in the 1250's.   A German noble family by the name of Frankenstein later possessed the castle, but in 1673 the place achieved notoriety for it became the birthplace of a guy by the name of Conrad Dippel, and here is where Mary Shelley was inspired to write her novel.

Dippel was a practioner of an occult-based pseudo-science called alchemy, which in those days was widely practiced and is even today considered wrongly by some to be the forerunner of modern chemistry.   It is rumored to have been developed by the ancient Egyptians, but in modern times its history goes back to at least the 1200's when it became widely practiced in Europe because people were seeking to accomplish two things:

1.  Creation of gold from other substances
2.  Achieving immortality and the creation of new life

Alchemy is part of an old lie that Satan deceived Adam and Eve with in the garden, and why they were also forbidden from eating from the Tree of Knowledge.  Satan's ultimate deception for mankind is by influencing people that they themselves are "gods" and thus capable of the same potential as God Himself (see Genesis 3:5).  By doing so, Satan can ultimately control mankind by demonic manipulation.  This is really what the essence of the occult is about - "secret knowledge" to become a creative force ("god") as an individual.  All the occult disciplines more or less focus on this deception, and alchemy is no different.  To explain these three major occultic disciplines, they are:

1. Spiritualism
2. Divination
3. Magick

Alchemy would fall under the third actually because it is a bastardization of magic mixed with pseudo-science, and thus seeks to create one thing (either life or gold) out of something else unrealistically by manipulating nature to accomplish its goals (Mather, Nichols, Schmidt, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and New Religions. {Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006} p. 428.).  The Bible strongly condemns all these practices, as well as another dimension to the occult that in recent years mixes occult disciplines with Eastern philosophy, and this of course is the New Age Movement, which has its roots back in the mid-1800's with Helena Blavatsky, a lesbian occultist/mystic who founded the Theosophical Society, and her 20th-century disciples such as Alice Bailey.   The New Age Movement is very broad, and spans a spectrum as diverse as so-called "Christian" groups such as the mind sciences like Unity to blatant occultic racism like the Theosophists.  And, it is more pervasive today.   Getting back to our original discussion though, it is interesting that alchemy also has roots in another school of thought, a Jewish mystical/occultic philosophy called the Qabala, and it was believed to have reached medieval Europe from Islamic Spain, where a lot of Sephardim settled and many Qabalists flourished at the time.  The Frankenstein concept, as well as Dippel's research (Dippel was not Jewish, incidentally, but did draw from the Qabala to develop his alchemic research, no doubt), I believe have roots in the Qabala, which ironically has influenced a lot of occultic practices.  I must note though that Qabala is NOT accepted as authentic Judaism at all, nor is it the primary source of occultism, which has many roots, all of them ultimately leading back to Satan himself.  However, the Qabala gave an interesting twist to the Frankenstein story because a qabalic formula is involved that makes up something with a direct connection, and that is the concept of the golem.  To explain what this is, we go back to a qabalistic Hasidic leader of the 13th century by the name of Eleazar of Worms, who had "recipes" to create these atomatonic creatures out of common substances by "breathing life" into it with a divine name of secret/magical origin.  The resulting creature, a golem, was then the servant of its creator, and it had the potential of causing destruction and ruin at will (Wigoder and Ben Isaacson, The International Jewish Encyclopedia {Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973} p. 126).  Shelley's Frankenstein is about a creature like this that gets out of control, and there is no doubt that somewhere down the line Conrad Dippel may have gotten occultic inspiration for his alchemic experiments from some qabalistic source related to the creation of the golem.  The History Channel documentary, unfortunately, ignored that connection, but as many practicing occultists know, the Qabala plays a very significant role in the development of modern occultic practice and belief, and one of its sacred texts, the Zohar, is widely-read by occultists and New Agers alike.  In short though, and in my personal belief, the Qabala was a deception engineered by Satan to deceive God's people, Israel, into false doctrine and appealing to their pride by making them into "God" individually.  Many Christians, and popular culture, have romanticized the Qabala and even baptized it, but they don't realize that it opens the door to demonic deception.   The Frankenstein story, although few secular historians refuse to accept the fact, has also romanticized qabalistic practices.  And, although there is no harm necessarily in watching Boris Karloff or Lon Chaney play Frankenstein in those classic movies, nor will you go to hell for watching the loveable Herman Munster on TV Land re-runs, it nonetheless has an underlying principal that cannot be ignored, because in the past this was taken seriously by men who, although blessed with intelligence, nonetheless were deceived by occultic nonsense into thinking they could create life, whether that be through the pseudo-science of alchemy or some mystical qabalistic ritual.  That being said, let us look some more at Dippel and others who practiced this stuff, and then I want to bring it all home by showing how this occultic belief could produce something prophetic in the future. 

Dippel's research goes further by an indirect link to a 19th-century homosexual chemist by the name of Andrew Ure, who took the body of a hung murderer and tried to stimulate it back to life with electric pulses.  This was also a product of the burgeoning Industrial Revolution as well, which began through Darwinian influences to view man as just another machine, and Ure and others thought that electricity was the key to life.  Although this did lead to some significant scientific developments later, nonetheless it was based on a devaluation of human life, which new industrialists believed could be manipulated to serve others in making a lot of wealth.  Again, in addition to playing God, the people behind this also had greed as a motivation, and sadly this mix of what later became a foundational premise for neo-Malthusian eugenics and Theosophical/qabalistic occultism would have tragic consequences in a lot of areas, ranging from the abuses of Corporate America in eroding American society to Hitler's Nazism.  However, the frightening aspect of this is the impact it will have on the future.

Although Shelley's Frankenstein was a fictional classic, I believe that it both has roots in alchemy and qabalistic occultism of past centuries, as well as future prophetic implications.  Let us go now to Revelation 13:14-15, and look at the verses:

And he (the False Prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the Beast, telling those on the earth to make an image of the Beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
He was granted power to give breath to the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the Beast to be killed.

Did you see that??  The False Prophet gives breath to the image of the Beast!! Let us remember what the Qabalistic Golem was all about then, shall we?  A golem was an atomaton image that the qabalist breathed life into by the magical use of one of the divine names, according to Wigoder and Ben Isaacson's New International Jewish Encyclopedia!  I have a theory that is based on a lot of centuries of Church teaching here, and that is the idea that the False Prophet who serves as a sort of high priest to the Antichrist will be an apostate Christian leader, more than likely a dissenting Pope - many sources, Catholic and Protestant, substantiate this.  Being this False Prophet will himself be possessed with deceptive spirits, it is my belief that this will be a man learned in mystical/occultic arts, and through the demonic powers that control him he will be able to do things that occultists of old only dreamed of doing, and many will even believe this man to be a "Christ" in essence, but not the Lord Jesus Christ as we who are Christians understand it.  This ties also, interesting enough, into the Islamic teaching about the Imam Mahdi, who it is "prophesied" in the Quran will be proclaimed "Messiah" by "Jesus" who will renounce his own Messiahship and thus lead Jews and Christians to believe and convert to worship this Mahdi.  Being an assasination attempt is prophesied to happen against the Antichrist at mid-Tribulation, the idea is that he, like Jesus who he is trying to counterfeit, will feign a resurrection at first.  Therefore, here is what I see occurring - the False Prophet, probably using some demonically-inspired alchemic and qabalistic mojo, will create a flesh-and-blood likeness of the Beast, and through magical/demonic power, he will breathe life into it (in reality, what will probably happen is a demonic spirit will possess and animate the image).  This "miracle" will be so great to people that worship will become mandatory of the slain Beast.  Then, again "miraculously," the Beast will be indwelt by Satan himself and will resurrect, thus the image and the real Beast will both be objects of worship.  That being said, it is my belief also that some demonic influence showed these ancient qabalists this knowledge of the creation of the golem, and also, due to the macabre death-experimentations of alchemists at around the same time, demonic wisdom was imparted to lay the foundation for this future prophetic event.  Demons have imparted many things to their followers since the beginning of civilization, and although some of this knowledge is based in fact, much of it has consequences for people's souls.  This is why, for instance, the Maya have that calendar that all the 2012 hubub is being generated over, and it also could explain why an ancient people such as the Egyptians could build something as sophisticated architecturally as the Pyramids.  Again, these are the fruits of fallen angels, called "sons of God" in Genesis, and they embody Satan's futile attempts to thwart God and his sovereignty by using his own creation - man being of course the pinnacle of that - against him.  Good news for us who serve the TRUE God though is that in the end, Satan will lose and meet his end in the fiery pits of hell, along with all those who served his interests.  Therefore, although some prophetic events look frightening, we as Christians have nothing to fear, for our redemption draweth nigh!!  Thanks be to God for the Cross and our redemption! 

I hope this was an interesting study for you, and although you may find it a little different from most of the stuff you may have read, it is my hope and prayer that it will make you hunger to study the deeper things of God in His Holy Word.  Thank you and God bless.