Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The New Temple of Solomon

What happened to the temple treasures of Jerusalem? Get a glimpse in this chapter of the book Discovering the Keystone, Solving the Riddle of The Red Serpent after 40 years by Guillaume Brouillard (Griffel Media, Cape Town, 2009). The tenth stanza of the poem Le serpent rouge is discussed. The focus is on the secret new Temple of Solomon built by the order of the Children of St. Vincent. It once held the keystone with directions to the final resting place of the temple treasures. It is recommended that the BackgroundThe Manuscripts (chapter 1), Pierre Plantard (chapter 2) and The Fountain of the Magdalene (chapter 7) be read before this chapter. Chapters 3-6, 8-9, 11-13 are not published on this blog. 

Vision céleste pour celui qui se souvient des quatre oeuvres de Em. SIGNOL autour de la ligne du Méridien, au choeur même du sanctuaire d'où rayonne cette source d'amour des uns pour les autres, je pivote sur moi-même passant du regard la rose du P à celle de l'S, puis de l'S au P ... et la spirale dans mon esprit devenant comme un poulpe monstrueux expulsant son encre, les ténèbres absorbent la lumière, j'ai le vertige et je porte ma main à ma bouche mordant instinctivement ma paume, peut-être comme OLIER dans son cerceuil. Malédiction, je comprends la vérité, IL EST PASSE, mais lui aussi en faisant LE BIEN, ainsi que CELUI de la tombe fleurie. Mais combien ont saccagé la MAISON, ne laissant que des cadavres embaumés et nombres de métaux qu'ils n'avaient pu emporter. Quel étrange mystère recèle le nouveau temple de SALOMON édifié par les enfants de Saint VINCENT.

Celestial vision for the one who remembers the four works of Em. SIGNOL around the Meridian line, even at the choir of the sanctuary from where radiates this source of love from one to another. I turn around, letting my gaze pass from the rose of the P to that of the S, then from the S to the P ... the spiral in my mind becoming like a monstrous octopus expelling its ink. The shadows absorb the light. I am dizzy and I bring my hand to my mouth, instinctively biting my palm, perhaps like OLIER in his coffin. Curses, I understand the truth, HE HAS PASSED, in doing THE GOOD, like THE ONE of the flowery tomb. But how many have sacked the HOUSE, leaving only embalmed corpses and numerous metal objects they were unable to carry. What strange mystery is concealed in the new temple of SOLOMON set up by the children of Saint VINCENT.

The poet is now taking one to the St. Sulpice Church in Paris. The fact that this entire stanza centres around this church – just like the sixth stanza around the Church of Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Château – implies that it is also somehow related to the geometrical pattern in the Rennes-les-Bains area. The poet starts off with a 'celestial vision' of the church, which implies that the layout of the church is particularly significant.

10.1 The St.Sulpice Church

The St. Sulpice Church lies in the heart of Paris, in the part called St.-Germain-des-Prés, just one block north of the gardens of the Luxembourg Palace. The easiest way to get there is to take the metro to the St. Sulpice Station and then walk east from there down Rue du Vieux. The open square of St. Sulpice suddenly appears among the high buildings. In front there is a huge fountain dating from 1844, the Fontaine des Quatre Points Cardinaux, with statues of Bossuet, Fénelan, Massillon and Fléchier. The name of this fountain is ambiguous: It could either mean 'Fountain of the Cardinal Points' or 'Fountain of the Four Cardinals who Never Were' – the latter arising from the fact that none of the aforementioned four churchmen ever became a cardinal.

One subsequently walks down Rue St. Sulpice, which runs along the left side of the church. At the junction of Rue St. Sulpice and Rue Lobineau, a side entrance to the church can be found on the right.

Upon entering a church everyone has a unique and singular experience, and this holds especially true for St. Sulpice. The decorative style is bold, almost overwhelming, and strongly resembles the church of Rennes-le-Château, which is embellished in the same style. (I have to admit that to me, the St. Sulpice Church holds a very distinct charm. It is one of the most magnificent churches I have ever seen – and I have visited quite a few! The shades of golden brown in particular evoke the feeling that the church is 'alive'.)

Once inside, one of the first things one notices is the impressive statue of Mary with the Son in her arms right in the front on the left-hand side, in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin. She is standing on an enormous serpent that lies stretched out over the globe. The statue is rich in shades of gold and yellow.

The choir chancel is at the centre of the church, and around this chancel, the chapels are arranged against the outer walls of the church. As the guide to the church describes it: '[The] choir ... ends in a semi-circle, surrounded by an ambulatory, which opens into chapels radiating from the centre.' The last chapel on the left-hand side, at the rear of the church, is the Chapel of the Holy Angels, wherein Delacroix had painted three works with angels as the central theme. One's eyes are also drawn to the imposing wooden organ case at the back of the church, which resembles the facade of an ancient temple.

According to the poet, one has to go to the meridian indicated by the copper strip across the floor, which represents the Rose Line. This strip is to be found at the centre of the church and runs diagonally from the southern to the northern transept. The reason it runs diagonally across the floor is that the church does not face exactly east-west but in the direction of the rising sun. The strip crosses the front of the choir, exactly as the poet states: '... around the Meridian line, even at the choir of the sanctuary ...'

One is looking for the four 'works' of 'Em. SIGNOL' around this meridian. There are two paintings by Emile Signol – a contemporary of Delacroix – against the walls on either side of the meridian in the northern transept. In the one, Judas's betrayal is depicted, and in the other, Jesus's death. The paintings are signed 'Em Signol'.

In their article, 'Notes on Le serpent rouge' [53], Marcus Williamson and Corella Hughes remark that the anagram 'La Signol' yields the word 'Langlois'. Langlois was the engineer responsible for completing the gnomon in the St. Sulpice Church in 1744. He performed four tasks in the erection of the gnomon, which are most probably the 'works' that the poet is referring to: He laid the copper strip across the floor indicating the meridian; fixed a lens in the southern window in order for the sunlight to fall on the copper strip each day at noon; erected a marble obelisk of 10.72 m (on which an inscription and the symbol of the Lamb of God appear) on the northern side, which catches the sunlight in winter, and also fixed a marble plaque (that had once been covered with copper) on the southern side, which catches the sunlight in midsummer.

This gnomon enabled the Cassinis (father and son, who succeeded each other as directors of the Paris Observatory) to determine the change in the angle of the earth's axis as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. According to their calculations, it had been 45 seconds per century, which is very close to the computation acquired by means of modern technology, namely 46.85 seconds.

The name Signol clearly alludes to some or other 'sign'. It could therefore be that he, just like Delacroix and Poussin, had specifically been chosen as the painter on account of the meaning that could be linked to his name. The fact that Emile Signol had painted the paintings 'around' the meridian could relate to this 'sign'. It could therefore be that one is dealing with something 'around' a point on the meridian.

'Langlois' also sounds a lot like the French word 'langouste', which refers to a crayfish. This calls to mind the fact that there are also other objects in the church that are associated with sea animals. There are two holy-water stoups of giant clam (Tridacna gigas), which had been a gift from the Venetian Republic to Francis I of France. The fact that the poet refers to an octopus calls to mind that the word 'pulpit' is quite similar to the French 'poulpe', which means 'octopus'. (The impressive pulpit in this church dates from 1788.) These sea animals could therefore be connected with the 'sign' around the meridian.

10.2 Rotating P and S

The letters P and S now enter the spotlight. On the floor plan of St. Sulpice in the notes in Le serpent rouge, these are written on either side of the meridian. The S appears to the right of the southern transept and the P to the left of the northern transept. They therefore relate to the meridian. There is of course also the PS symbol above the vertical line on Marie de Blanchefort's tombstone that has a bearing on the Rose Line, which is represented by this meridian. The poet indeed also mentions the 'rose' of the P and S, which clearly alludes to the Rose Line.

Interestingly, one also finds P's and S's combined with a rose in the nearby located church of St.-Germain-des-Prés (mother church of St. Sulpice). In the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, two SP symbols appear across from each other high up on the walls, referring to the names of these saints. A rose is depicted between the S and P in each of the symbols – which could surely be indicative of something other than the obvious.

Back to the St. Sulpice Church, where the poet states that he is looking from the rose of the P (that is the northern side of the meridian) to the rose of the S (the southerly direction of the meridian) and then again from the S to the P. He is therefore turning around, as he indeed mentions, and then keeps spinning until he is dizzy. The description '[t]he shadows absorb the light' also alludes to this dizziness. It is furthermore an embroidering on the theme of light and darkness; white and black. This repeated going in circles of the poet leads one to suspect that the Rose Line, which is defined by the P and S, also has to be 'circled', in other words, rotated.

The most logical point to rotate the meridian around would surely be the centre of the church, in the middle of the copper strip across the floor, which also cuts through the choir chancel. The rounding of the choir around this point also suggests that it should be rotated as such.

This centre point is also called the 'heart' of the church – to which the poet actually refers: '... around the Meridian line, even at the choir of the sanctuary from where radiates this source of love from one to another'. This phrase contains very clever wordplay: The poet is employing the similarity between the French words 'choeur' ('choir') and 'coeur' ('heart') – which corresponds with the fact that the 'heart' of the church lies in the choir chancel. It is indeed from the heart that the 'love from one to another' flows (cf. John 13:34-35). The line therefore without a doubt has to be rotated around this 'heart' of the church.

10.3 The octopus

The fact that the poet connects the rotation of the meridian with an octopus is certainly not without reason. As was already mentioned, the octopus could allude to the pulpit. One therefore possibly has to draw a line athwart the meridian so that it runs through the centre of the church as well as the pulpit.

The pulpit is located in front of the fourth chapel, which is dedicated to Joan of Arc, and this is where the martyrdom of St. Maurice and his companions is commemorated. This is the third chapel after the Chapel of the Holy Angels on the southern side of the church.

Drawing the above-mentioned line athwart the meridian, one discovers that it runs through the chapel just to the right of the door through which one had entered. This chapel is dedicated to St. Louis, Blanche of Castille's son, as well as St. Theresa of Lisieux. This Carmelite nun is holding a bunch of roses in her hands according to her vow to let it rain roses. This indicates that one is still on the right track.

In the centre of the church, this line crosses the meridian at an angle of 65.5º. On the western side, it runs through the pulpit to the first chapel in which Delacroix's paintings appear. Since these paintings figure exceptionally prominently in the whole mystery, it is highly unlikely that this orientation is coincidental. It may therefore very well be that the St. Sulpice Church was specifically laid out as such that this line would cross the meridian at the exact mentioned angle.
Fig. 33. A depiction of the rotated meridian on the floor plan of St. Sulpice
What immediately strikes one, however, is that this line across the meridian corresponds exactly with the 17th January line of sunrise in the Rennes-les-Bains area! Both these lines cross the meridian (the Rose Line) at an angle of 65.5º (114.5º in respect of the horizon implies an adjacent angle of 65.5º). The line in the St. Sulpice Church also runs past the plaque against the wall at the Chapel of the Holy Angels on which reference to the mud-fountain is made. This corresponds to the 17th January line in the Rennes-les-Bains area, which actually runs through a mud-fountain (the Fountain of Dogs) (see Figure 27).

The geometrical layout of the St. Sulpice Church therefore corresponds exactly to that of the area around Rennes-les-Bains. The fact that the 17th January line of sunrise is indicated in the St. Sulpice Church is clearly also very fitting since it is the holy day of this saint!

Fig. 27. Map of the area with lines of sunrise (taken from chapter 8)
If one now tilts this line in the church 2.5º, just like the 17th January line in the Rennes-les-Bains area (obviously in the same direction), one discovers that it runs almost directly through the middle of the painting of Heliodorus – close to exactly where the tiny cross on Heliodorus's chest appears and which had earlier also been linked to the cross at Roc d'en Clots!

In the Rennes-les-Bains area, this line corresponds with the one running from the Fountain of Lovers through the 'fountain of love' (the Holy-water Stoup) to Roc d'en Clots. This line therefore literally runs through 'this source of love' to 'another', as the poet states. He therefore indeed draws parallels between the layout of the church and that of the Rennes-les-Bains area, although the latter only implicitly comes under discussion.

The line from the Fountain of Lovers to Roc d'en Clots was discovered after inspection of Marie de Blanchefort's tombstone (see Figure 24), on which a vertical line (the Rose Line) with the letters P and S appear at the top and the words 'PRAE-CUM' appear at the bottom thereof. To the right appears the letters AD (as part of the inscription ET IN ARCADIA EGO), which has a bearing on 'Des Amours' (its mirror image, as discussed), and to the left the letters RC (written as PX on the tombstone), which is linked to Roc d'en Clots at the mud-fountain. Right underneath 'PRAE-CUM' appears the symbol of an octopus, which hints at the rotation around the Rose Line (like in the St. Sulpice Church), according to which a line linking the mentioned two landmarks has to be drawn across the Rose Line. This implies that the person who created the depiction on the tombstone must certainly have been aware of the wordplay contained in 'octopus' in the St. Sulpice Church.

Fig. 24. The horizontal tombstone of Marie de Blanchefort (taken from chapter 8)
The symbolism in both the St. Sulpice Church and on Marie de Blanchefort's tombstone undoubtedly refers to the same element – the geographical layout of the Rennes-les-Bains area. The depiction on the tombstone is however much less complicated and therefore easier to decipher. No wonder Saunière removed it!

There is also no doubt whatsoever that the geometrical layout of the church, which corresponds exactly to the geometry of the area, had been devised calculatingly. This means that, right from the beginning, this church had been designed to include the geometry of the Rennes-les-Bains area, and also that the detail had been added over hundreds of years to form a link with this geometry. As the church of Rennes-le-Château was laid out to indicate the route through the area (see the previous chapters), the St. Sulpice Church was laid out according to the geometry of the area in which the route lies.

It is a phenomenal discovery that an entire church was laid out to incorporate a secret geometry. Although Saunière had certainly taken particular trouble with the design of his church, it does not compare to the fine planning the St. Sulpice Church must have required!

This can mean only one thing: The Rennes-les-Bains area was irrefutably not laid out as a mystery for the sake of a mystery; the design was planned and executed with the greatest care for literally centuries to hide a secret of the utmost significance. The magnitude of the work that went into the St. Sulpice Church is an indication of just how incomparable this treasure is!

10.4 Olier and De Fleury

The poet subsequently refers to Jean-Jacques Olier, the founder of the new St. Sulpice Church, of which the cornerstone had been laid in 1646. He states: 'I am dizzy and I bring my hand to my mouth, instinctively biting my palm, perhaps like OLIER in his coffin'. The fact that this gesture reminds him of Olier in his coffin could allude to silence and secrecy.

In view of the close connection between the St. Sulpice Church and the area around Rennes-les-Bains, it is to be remarked that the poet refers to Paul-Urbain de Fleury in the same breath – 'THE ONE of the flowery tomb'. The French word 'fleurie' clearly alludes to 'Fleury'. This echoes the structure of this stanza, wherein the St. Sulpice Church is in the foreground and the geometry of the Rennes-les-Bains area all the while implicitly in the background. The graves of both Olier and De Fleury are now under discussion, from which one can derive that De Fleury – the grandson of Marie de Blanchefort – had probably played equally as big a role in the geometrical layout of the area as Olier in the erection of the new St. Sulpice Church.

The poet uses the words 'IL EST PASSE ... en faisant LE BIEN' ('HE HAS PASSED ... in doing THE GOOD') – which corresponds exactly to the words on the grave of Paul-Urban de Fleury in the Rennes-les-Bains cemetery. Here it is stated that he was born on the 3rd of May, 1776, and died on the 7th of August, 1836. On another tombstone, at the foot of De Fleury's grave, the words 'Restes transférés' appear, which indicates that his remains had been moved here. According to this tombstone, he died on the 7th of August, 1856, at the age of 60!

10.5 Terrain Fleuri

The extraordinary fresco at the back of the Rennes-le-Château Church, right above the confessional, could also be connected with the mentioned De Fleury grave. As was mentioned earlier, it is a depiction of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus is standing at the top and the disciples are half sitting, half lying around Him against the hill. This hill is called Terrain Fleuri ('Flowered Terrain'), obviously due to the many flowers growing on it.

As was also mentioned, the confessional seemingly represents the church of Rennes-les-Bains (in Saunière's scheme). The fact that the fresco is behind the confessional could therefore imply that the De Fleury grave is right behind that church – where it indeed is.

The arrangement of the people sitting around Jesus also corresponds greatly to the depictions of the blessed (deceased) in Paradise in accordance with Dante's description of it as a 'rose'. Their half sitting, half lying postures is how the blessed are portrayed in the petals of the rose in an illustration of the Celestial Rose in Dante's Divina Comedia by Giovanni di Paoli. In this case, it clearly has a bearing on the cemetery. The fact that a rose is under discussion confirms that the De Fleury grave lies close to the Rose Line.

Fig. 34. At the top, the mural 'Terrain Fleuri', and above, an illustration of the Celestial Rose by Giovanni di Paoli in Dante's 'Divine Comedy'. Note the similarities in the depictions.
According to Pierre Jarnac, this fresco could also portray the miracle performed by St. Germaine of changing a bag of bread into roses, which would explain the bag at the bottom of the fresco. Fact is that Jarnac's interpretation also relates directly to roses and the Rose Line.

However, this bag could also be indicative of a money bag, which could imply that something had been hidden in the De Fleury grave. The fact that the bag has a hole in it could mean that it had been removed from the grave. In that case, it would relate to the epitaph 'Restes transférés'. Some of the items could have been robbed – as allegedly happened with the items that were found in the crypt of the Rennes-le-Château Church. The fact that the poet speaks of 'embalmed corpses' that remain could mean he is referring to the tomb (possibly in the church). He curses the robbers when he realises what had happened – that they had 'sacked the HOUSE'.

10.6 The new temple of Solomon

Opposite the 'house' that had been pillaged stands a new 'temple' that had risen – a glorious temple, which is even called 'the new temple of SOLOMON'. Since this is exactly what the St. Sulpice Church embodies, this name is everything but unintentional. As Tatiana Kletzky-Pradère writes in Rennes-le-Château: A Visitor's Guide: 'St. Sulpice [is] an esoteric temple copied from the Temple of Solomon' [54]. This description, however, applies just as much to the geometry of the Rennes-les-Bains area. It is not by accident that both the St. Sulpice Church and the geometry of the area are set as parallels in this stanza.

It is noticeable as to how many times in the poem reference to Solomon is made. His famous seal is mentioned, there is an allusion to his ring, and now his new temple is under discussion. What is more – the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, whose headquarters were at St. Sulpice, were also called Les Enfants de Salomon ('The Children of Solomon'). This implies that one is dealing with a group like the Freemasons or the Templars, in which Solomon's Temple is a central theme. Maybe the 'ship' the group is associated with (cf. the second stanza) is nothing other than the ship of Solomon one reads about in the Grail legends.

The fact that a 'strange mystery' is hidden in this new temple of Solomon clearly hints at some or other treasure, and the treasure that is above all associated with Solomon's Temple, is obviously the temple treasures. The temple treasures are then also what is depicted in Delacroix's painting in the St. Sulpice Church, being 'the new temple of SOLOMON'. This very clearly implies that this is the treasure that is under discussion here. It is therefore 'the new temple of Solomon' wherein it is hidden.

However, the 'temple' that is under discussion is most probably not the one that is so pertinently mentioned in this stanza, but rather the one that lies beneath the surface – the geometric layout in the Rennes-les-Bains area.

10.7 The Children of St. Vincent

It is significant that the poet applies the description 'HE HAS PASSED, in doing THE GOOD' to both Jean-Jacques Olier and Paul-Urban de Fleury. It could possibly be a Rosicrucian motto, which means the poet is implying that they had been part of a Rosicrucian organisation. This could refer to the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, which later appears to have been called the 'Children of St. Vincent'. According to the poet, this group had been responsible for erecting the new temple.

It appears that the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement was founded by Henry Levis in 1629. He must surely have been a member of the Levis or Levy family, who had been linked to the Plantards from very early on. Merovée Levi, the knight who is said to have brought Sigebert to Rhedae in 681, was certainly an ancestor of this family. They seem to have been the most important and loyal supporters of the Plantard family throughout the centuries. Robert II Saint-Clair-sur-Epte married Isabelle Levis (Levy) in 1188 – the same year in which the Rosicrucian Order the Prieuré de Sion was allegedly founded. This marriage has possibly resulted in their support shifting to the Plantards. The Plantards later on married descendants from this marriage and consequently acquired the title of St. Clair.

St. Vincent de Paul was one of the most prominent people in the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement. At some stage he, together with Jean-Jacques Olier and Nicolas Pavillon, had been at the helm of this order. According to the authors Jean-Pierre Deloux and Jacques Brétigny (who were friends of Pierre Plantard), the well-known story of St. Vincent de Paul – according to which Barbary pirates captured him close to Marseille, took him to Tunisia and sold him to an alchemist – refers to him being brought to the Barberie castle, where he had met the alchemist Jean Plantard. This could confirm that the Plantards had indeed been the power behind the Compagnie, and that the destruction of their castle in the time of the struggle between the Compagnie and the French throne did indeed have something to do with this very fact. It appears that St. Vincent de Paul had also been one of the first people to refer to Sigebert.

After the apparent dissolving of the Compagnie in 1665, it would seem that it had been refounded on the 17th of January, 1681. According to the statutes of the Prieuré de Sion, it was the order known as the Children of St. Vincent that was founded on this day in 1681. One could deduce that this is the same secret order that is under discussion since it is said that the Children of St. Vincent also existed before 1681. This 'St. Vincent' possibly not only refers to the early St. Vincent that is associated with the monastery of St.-Germain-des-Pres, but especially to St. Vincent de Paul. The priests who studied under Olier at the St. Sulpice seminary, as well as those who studied under Pavillon at the seminary at Alet-les-Bains, close to Rennes-le-Château, would have been candidates for this Children of St. Vincent order. According to Boudet, the latter had also been in charge of the church of Marseille. It is interesting to note that Saunière himself had been the vicar of Alet-les-Bains prior to his moving to Rennes-le-Château.

According to the Vaincre of September, 1989 – a paper of which Thomas Plantard de Saint-Clair (Pierre's son) had been the editor – the order that came into existence on the 17th of January, 1681, was founded by Jean-Timoleon Nègre d'Ablès, Blaise d'Hautpoul and the abbot André-Hercule de Fleury. They represented the most important families of the Razès. If they had been involved with the same organisation as the priests of St. Sulpice, it would explain why the layouts in Paris and the Rennes-les-Bains area correspond to the extent that they do. Paul-Urbain de Fleury also descended from one of these families. His parents were Paul F. Vincent de Fleury and Gabrielle de Blanchefort, the daughter of the famous Marie.

10.8 The families of the Razès area

Just as St. Vincent de Paul is associated with the Plantards, so are some of the other families in the Razès, and this association apparently goes back a long time. According to Généalogie des rois mérovingiens, the Blancheforts had originally descended from a branch of the Plantards. The Blancheforts' ancestor was Aureol, the son of Rotaude Plantard (who died in 855) and who was the sister of Argila, through whom the Plantard line ran. It appears that Aureol's sister, Anne, was married to a descendant of Mérovée Levi.

The goldmine in which the treasure seems to have been hidden initially was on Blanchefort land, and if it is true that the treasure belongs to the Plantards, the Blanceforts would have safeguarded it on their behalf.

The Blancheforts can be linked to all of the parchments Saunière allegedly discovered. The earliest association goes back to the time when the religious group the Cathars had been active in the Languedoc. One of the main figures during this time, Ramon (Raymond) d'Aniort (Niort), can be directly linked to the Blancheforts: His son Ramon was married to Alix de Blanchefort, as Jean Markale points out in Rennes-le-Château et l'énigme de l'or maudit. Ramon was the person who in 1244 acted as the negotiator between the besieged Cathars in the mountain fortress of Montségur and the Inquisition. According to the authors Jean-Pierre Deloux and Jacques Brétigny, the commander of Montségur, Pierre-Roger de Mirepoix, was Ramon d'Aniort's father-in-law. Pierre-Roger de Mirepoix himself had apparently also been a direct descendant of Mérovée Levi, who is said to have brought Sigebert to Rhedae.

Following the escape of four Cathar Perfects with a certain 'treasure' from Montségur, Ramon's delegate, Escot de Belcaire, struck up a fire to signal Pierre-Roger de Mirepoix up in Montségur that the mission had been successful. This could mean that Ramon d'Aniort had indeed received the 'treasure', which possibly consisted of certain documents. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the oldest of the parchments Saunière is said to have discovered, also appears to date from 1244. Furthermore, Ramon, despite his Cathar associations, was later received with much hospitality by Louis IX, the son of Blanche of Castille (whose seal is said to appear on the mentioned parchment). Later, in 1283, also Philip the Bold of France called on his son Ramon and his wife, Alix.

According to Généalogie des rois mérovingiens, the Blanchefort inheritance came into possession of Francois-Pierre d'Hautpoul's grandson, Louis, in 1644, following the death of the last heir of the oldest branch of the Blanchefort family, with whom the line had died. The Hautpoul family also had close ties with the Plantards. According to Les descendants Mérovingiens, one of Sigebert VII Plantard's daughters, Claudia, married a Hautpoul in the early 1000's. The Dossiers secrets d'Henry Lobineau also mentions that in 1372, Jean VIII Plantard's great-granddaughter, Hermininde, married Guillaume Pierre d'Hautpoul, from whom all the subsequent Hautpouls are descended.

The second parchment dates from the year when the Blanchefort heritage came into possession of the Hautpouls. It apparently also contains the testament of Francois-Pierre d'Hautpoul, which could imply that this testament is related to the Blanchefort inheritance. It had been regarded as such an exceptional document that Jean-Baptiste Sian, the notary of Espéraza, in 1780 refused to hand it over to Pierre Francois d'Hautpoul from a related branch of the family. According to Sian, the testament was 'of great importance'. It is quite noteworthy that Blaise, the baron of Rennes-le-Château and son of Francois-Pierre d'Hautpoul, who had the document drafted, appears to have been one of the founding members of the Children of St. Vincent in 1681.

The third parchment Saunière allegedly discovered was apparently a testament of Henry d'Hautpoul, Blaise's son. Henry's son, Francois d'Hautpoul, inherited Blanchefort following the death of Henry's brother, Louis. This testament is dated 1695, and the contents thereof apparently a 'state secret'.

In 1732, Francois d'Hautpoul married Marie de Nègre d'Ablès, dame de Niort and de Roquefeuil. Jean-Timoleon Nègre d'Ablès, from the previous generation of this family, had apparently also been involved in the founding of the Children of St. Vincent in 1681. Marie was the heir of the Niort (Aniort) family of whom Ramon d'Aniort had been an ancestor. Marie was the one who inherited this family's archives. It is this Marie that died on the 17th of January, 1781, and who is said to have disclosed the family secret to the priest Bigou on her deathbed.

Francois and Marie had three daughters, one of whom, namely Elizabeth, never married and later lived with her mother in the castle of Rennes-le-Château. Elizabeth refused to make available certain documents in her possession to her sister Marie, who in 1752 married Joseph-Marie d'Hautpoul-Felines – marquis of the parallel branch of the Hautpoul family that had branched off from this family about three centuries earlier – as well as to her cousin, Pierre Francois d'Hautpoul of Seyres, whom the notary of Espéraza had also denied access thereto. Both apparently pestered her about it, but she is said to have pointed out that it would be 'dangerous' to see the documents, and also implied that some of the documents that had been in the custody of the family, did in actual fact not belong to them.

Blanchefort came into possession of the third sister, Marie-Gabrielle, who in 1767 married Paul Francois Vincent de Fleury. André-Hercule de Fleury, who also appears to have been involved in the founding of the Children of St. Vincent in 1681, was from this very same family. The grave of their son Paul-Urbain is mentioned in the poem, as well as that he played an important role in the building of the 'new temple of SOLOMON'.

The Blanchefort family, as well as the families who came into possession of their inheritance, have therefore throughout history been very closely associated with the documents featuring in the Rennes-le-Château mystery. This could suggest that a treasure had indeed been hidden at Blanchefort and that the mentioned testaments contain information pertaining to it. It could therefore very well be this treasure that had been rehidden in the area.

One cannot help but wonder whether the 'twin children' of St. Vincent do not perhaps refer to two groups within the Children of St. Vincent, namely the priests and those who had in some or other way belonged to certain families. This would once again hint at the white and black theme – with the priests perhaps representing black? In the St. Sulpice Church, this saint is indeed depicted with two children on his lap. Interestingly, both Jean-Jacques Olier and Paul-Urbain de Fleury are also linked to St. Vincent de Paul: Olier was his spiritual child and Paul-Urbain de Fleury's father was also called Paul F. Vincent de Fleury, evidently in honour of St. Vincent de Paul.

Furthermore, the families that are linked to the mentioned bloodlines are associated with the Templars as well as the Cathars. In later years, these families appear to have been linked with the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, the Children of St. Vincent and the Rosicrucian Order. Paul-Urbain de Fleury, too, is associated with the Freemasons as well as the Rosicrucian Order.

It appears that the Rosicrucian Order had carried on a tradition that dates back to the Templars. In contrast with this, the other branch of the Hautpouls, who wanted to lay their hands on the mentioned documents, is very closely associated with the Knights of Malta. It also appears to have been these knights who later on unlawfully obtained possession of some of the documents.

10.9 The geometrical pattern in the second text

Back to something more tangible!

The reference in the poem to De Fleury's grave once again refers to a landmark on the route in the Rennes-les-Bains area – the only one mentioned in this stanza. This landmark, however, lies on the way back after the poet had reached El Casteil. The fact that there is indeed another landmark could imply that one has not yet uncovered the full geometrical pattern that has been hidden in the area.

It is noticeable that the landmarks highlighted in the previous and this stanza, namely El Casteil and the De Fleury grave, are related to two objects that are to be found directly opposite each other in the Rennes-le-Château Church, namely the altar in the front and the fresco at the back of the church. On a map, El Casteil and the De Fleury grave also lie virtually opposite each other on the Rose Line. The De Fleury grave lies very close to the heart of the Rose Line, which runs through the Jean Vie grave, and El Casteil further south, just to the west of the Rose Line.

Drawing a line from El Casteil to the heart of the Rose Line one discovers that it runs at an angle of 2.5º in respect of the Rose Line (see Figure 35). As was indicated earlier, the line between the Fountain of Lovers and the Fountain of Dogs does indeed have to be tilted 2.5º. The position of El Casteil may therefore very well serve as confirmation of the fact that this 2.5º tilting is essential in uncovering the geometrical pattern in the area. It could in actual fact be the clue that one has to tilt the mentioned line 2.5º (if this discovery has not yet been made).

This makes one wonder whether these two landmarks – El Casteil and the De Fleury grave – do not also relate to the geometrical pattern that is hidden in the second Latin text (see Figure 35). As was mentioned earlier, one can draw a line between the two roselike symbols at the top and bottom of the text, and then produce a line through the two tiny crosses in the two separate lines at the bottom. The latter crosses the 'rose line' at an angle of about 2º.

To determine the exact angle of this crossing, one has to determine the exact point at which these two lines cross. The 'NOIS' symbol at the bottom to the right of the text now comes into play. There is an upside-down A underneath this peculiar symbol of which the one leg seems to be begging to be elongated in the direction of the 'rose line', which would then indicate where the other two lines should cross. When elongating this mentioned leg, it indeed results in the other two lines crossing at an angle of 2.5º!

What is important now is to turn the text 180º so that 'NOIS' reads correctly as 'SION'. The N symbol underneath 'SION' then also indicates North. The fact that the two Latin texts had originally been on both sides of the same parchment, one on one side and the other on the other side, implies that one has to look at the geometrical pattern of the second text from the other side – in other words, when holding up the 'parchment' with the first text facing one.

If one now compares the geometrical pattern in the second text with the one on the map, one finds that the 2.5º tilted line in the text corresponds exactly to that on the map in respect of the Rose Line. The 'heart of the rose line' in the text (where the lines cross) also corresponds exactly to the point on the map where the Jean Vie grave lies – at the heart of the Rose Line in the area. The geometrical pattern on the second text and the one on the map are therefore one and the same!

10.10 The 17th of January, 681

It must be said that the people who devised the riddle thought it fit to devote the whole geometrical pattern of one part of the parchment to this 2.5º angle. This just goes to prove how significant this angle actually is. It is not only crucial in order to discover the hidden geometrical pattern in the Rennes-les-Bains area, but above all to find the line of sunrise on 17th of January, 681, the date when Sigebert is said to have arrived in Rhedae (see chapter 8). The entire layout of the St. Sulpice Church, and even that of the church of Rennes-le-Château, was also intended to draw one's attention to this line of sunrise.

Finally, one can now try and figure out exactly where the 'strange mystery' the poet speaks of, is hidden. The aim of the brilliant layout of the landmarks in the area had unquestionably been to indicate the location of the treasure of the Blancheforts.

Fig. 35. On the left: The second Latin text with its geometrical pattern. The text has been rotated 180º and must be viewed from the other side to correspond to the pattern on the map. On the right: A map of the area with the geometric pattern shown. 

[53] It was published on the internet in 1999.
[54] Kletzky-Pradère, T. 1990. Guide du visiteur. Quillan: Author. Translation: Brooke, C. & Dawe, N. 1997, p 12.


Content of Discovering the Keystone

Preface / i
Background / 1
1. The Manuscripts / 11
2. Standing on the White Rock (Pierre Plantard) / 23
3. Finding the Way / 33
4. With Measured Steps /41
5. Reaching the Meridian Line / 53
6. A place called the Holy-water Stoup / 65
7. The Fountain of the Magdalene / 77
8. The Horseshoe Bend in the River / 85
9. Ending at the Ruined House / 109
10. The New Temple of Solomon / 125
11. The Purest Gold /143
12. Returning to the White Hill / 163
13. A Dream / 167
Conclusion / 171 
Notes / 173

For all those lovers of secrets:

For Sampo Lanthardt

The only advice I have, my friend,
is to search for the beginning
right at the end.
In so doing, it seems to me,
even the fool
wise can be,
like the dim Parceval,
at first to fail,
in the end became
king of the Grail.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Die Christen en die Markplein

Ek bespreek 'n onlangse artikel in The Economist asook my eie ervaring van die sosiale media as gespreksforum.

Ek het oor die afgelope 7 jaar verskeie essays op my blog gepos oor die uitdagings wat Christene vandag in die oë moet kyk. Ons samelewing het onherroeplik verander en baie van die metodes wat ons vroeër gebruik het om die evangelie met ons medemens te deel werk nie meer nie. In 'n donker wêreld waarin al meer mense geen sin in die lewe sien nie, is die evangelie van verlossing deur die bloed van one Here Jesus Christus so broodnodig. Maar hoe sal ons andere bereik?

One kan die plek waar ons met mense te doen kry en waar ons met hulle in gesprek gaan, die "markplein" noem. In die ou tyd het filosowe soos Sokrates op die markplein met mense gesels en Paulus het dieselfde gedoen toe hy in Athene was. Deur die eeue het die "markplein" 'n meer uitgebreide konsep geraak waarin alle soorte media gebruik word om met ander persone in gesprek te tree. Ons kan inderwaarheid van die "markplein van denke" praat – dit is die ruimte waarbinne denke oor allerlei dinge met mekaar uitgeruil word.

Image result for market place ancient painting
Die antieke markplein

In ons tyd het sosiale media tot een van die belangrikste forums vir gesprek ontwikkel. Alhoewel ander mediums steeds belangrik is – wat natuurlik eposse en sulke elektroniese media insluit – het sosiale media platforms soos Facebook en Twitter 'n totaal nuwe ruimte vir gesprek geskep. Of so sou 'n mens dink. In 'n onlangse uitgawe van The Economist (11-17 November 2017) waarin die nuuste bevindinge oor sosiale media as gespreksforum bespreek word, word hierdie gedagte egter in twyfel getrek. Ek gaan in hierdie essay kortliks die implikasies van hierdie artikel in die lig van my eie ervaring bespreek.

Sosiale media

Navorsing wat oor die afgelope 10 jaar gedoen is toon dat die sosiale media 'n baie negatiewe effek op gesonde en oop gesprek gehad het. Waar mense vroeër baie meer genuanseerd gedink het en daar heelwat gemeenskaplikheid was, is een van die belangrikste uitkomste van sosiale media dat dit mense in opponerende kampe verdeel wat 'n radikale standpunt teenoor mekaar inneem. Mense luister nie meer na ander standpunte nie – hulle stel gewoon net in hul eie siening belang. Dit sluit aan by die gedagte van 'n post-waarheid era waarin daar 'n ongemak is met die "waarheid" insoverre dit van iemand se siening verskil. Daar is dus al minder plek vir eerlike en oop gesprek waaraan mense met intergriteit deelneem. Alhoewel die artikel in The Economist op politiek in die VSA fokus, is dit duidelik ook waar van die godsdiensfront.

Ek kan hier uit ervaring praat. In my gesprekke met ateiste en agnostici (in baie verskillende forums) op Facebook, is ons bewus dat daar baie mense is wat die geprek volg. Die gevolg is dat deelnemers soos in 'n Romeinse arena die impuls ondervind om op enige moontlike wyse goedkoop punte te behaal en om ten alle koste te wen. Voor so baie toeskouers kan die deelnemers dit nie bekostig om gesig te verloor deur te toon dat hulle onseker is of nie antwoorde het nie. Daar is dus geen plek vir eerlikheid, openlikheid en 'n soeke na ware antwoorde nie. Soms sal persone doodeenvoudig net aanhoudend memes (kort slagspreuke) of skakels pos sonder om werklik met die kwessie voor oë in gesprek te gaan.

Wat ek ook vind, is dat daar sekere mense of Facebook is wie se ondersteuners soos 'n span wolwe op jag is om enige persoon wat verskil of 'n ander mening het aan te val en te beledig. Ek het 'n tyd gelede (op 4 Augustus) nogal deurgeloop nadat ek 'n ope brief aan Jean Oostuizen geskryf het (en op my en sy fb muur gepos het) waarin ek beswaar gemaak het teen die wyse waarop 'n gas in sy program "Uit 'n ander hoek" die Bybelse God beledig [1]. Soos ek dit in my skrywe aan Jean gestel het, het ek geen probleem dat diegene soos hy wat agnosties is 'n geleentheid kry (soos alle ander gelowe) om op die SAUK oor hul geloof te gesels nie: "As jou program suiwer daarop ingestel was om 'n agnostiese geloof te bely sonder om die Christelike geloof te betrek (is so iets moontlik??) soos al die ander gelowe doen en poog om verdraagsaamheid en respek teenoor ander gelowe te bevorder, sou dit 'n ander saak wees". 

Persone wat my van geen kant ken nie het my dramaties aangeval en beledig. Sommige het my karakter probeer swartsmeer en selfs van my familielede op Facebook aangeval. Daar was geen poging om werklik oor die inhoud van die brief (wat reguit maar in 'n goeie gees geskryf is) in gesprek te gaan nie – eerder net om 'n wanvoorstelling daarvan te maak asof ek vir Jean in persoon sou aanval. Alhoewel ek Jean nog altyd as 'n gawe persoon geken het (in soverre ons per geleentheid in dieselfde geselskap saam was), het hy geen moeite gedoen om my besorgdheid aan te spreek nie maar het hy my eerder van "fundamentalisme" beskuldig (ek is konserwatief/behoudend maar soos die essays op my blog toon is ek beslis nie "fundamentalisties" nie) en in gesprekke aan mense genoem dat my teologie verdag sou wees (ek veronderstel dat 'n agnostikus soos hy in 'n goeie posisie is om my "teologie" te beoordeel).

Hierdie optrede maak dat Christene baie versigtig is om hul nek uit te steek. Daar is 'n kondisionering deur vrees wat tot gevolg het dat Christene nie by sulke gesprekke wil betrokke raak nie. En ek kan dit verstaan. In sommige gevalle is diegene wat vir my opgekom het ook so swartgesmeer en hul karakter en familie op Facebook beswadder. Duidelik gaan dit lankal nie meer oor integriteit en "oop" gesprek nie – dit gaan slegs om die opponent te probeer vernietig. Ek het wel die feit dat so baie Christene die brief met andere gedeel (geshare) het waardeer – dit 'n effektiewe manier om ons stem te laat hoor. Voorts moet ek ongelukkig erken dat Christene ook soms so sonder liefde op Facebook optree en in die verlede die narratief probeer beheer het (soos in die Apartheid tyd toe die NG kerk dit vir ander Christelike denominasies en groepe baie moeilik gemaak het om hul stem te laat hoor). Baie onder ons het vandag nog letsels omdat hulle destyds selfs nie werk kon kry as hulle nie 'n brief van 'n NG predikant kon toon nie! 

Wat Jean se program betref, is daar ook 'n klagte by die uitsaaiowerheid ingedien. Alhoewel ek dink dat die klag nie baie goed geformuleer was nie, was dit nie vir my vreemd dat daar in Jean se guns beslis is nie. Hy het inderdaad nie self die godslasterlike stellings gemaak nie [1]. Dit was een van sy gespreksgenote. Tog is die program voor die tyd opgeneem (wat aan die SAUK tyd gegee het om op regstellings aan te dring) en Jean het ook niemand op die program gehad wat bekwaam was om die Christen saak te midde van sulke aantygings te stel nie (en dit terwyl die Christelike geloof baie direk en radikaal daarin aangeval is). Daar is by my geen twyfel dat die SAUK nooit sou toelaat dat soortgelyke dinge oor die Moslem geloof gesê word nie! So, dit lyk vir my ons is nou in 'n era van dubbele standaarde: die SAUK kan as forum gebruik word om die Christen standpunt aan te val maar nie die Moslems nie!

Die toekoms

Ek dink ons as Christene moet aanvaar dat die establishment media lankal nie meer vir ons vryelik toeganklik is nie. Tydskrifte en koerante soos Rapport dans gewoon na die pype van ateiste wat aggressief en aktivisties die openbare narratief probeer beheer. Dit beteken dat ons toegang tot die openbare media baie beperk is. Ook op sosiale media probeer hierdie aktiviste die narratief beheer. Hulle aggressie toon dat hulle hoegenaamd nie in enige "oop" gesprek belangstel waarin 'n baie beter narratief as hulle sin op die tafel geplaas kan word sodat mense self hulle opinie kan vorm nie. Die kenmerke van sulke interaksies ('n mens kan dit seker nie meer "gesprekke" noem nie) is woede, onverdraagsaamheid, haat en 'n totale onwilligheid om met integriteit na ander persone te luister.

Is dit hoe die toekomstige markplein daar gaan uitsien? As die samelewing al meer in sulke kampe verdeel en die Christen stem stilgemaak word in die openbare media, dan staan ons in 'n baie nadelige posisie en gaan die ateiste oënskynlik maklik veld wen. Of gaan hulle? Ek dink dat daar by baie mense 'n groot ongemak is met sulke negatiewe en barbaarse optrede. 'n Dogmatiese en ideologiese benadering maak dat mense (ateiste en Christene!) alle morele waardes prysgee om hul doelwit te bereik – maar daar is steeds baie mense wat nooit met 'n narratief wat sulke optrede goedpraat en verdedig gemaklik sal wees nie. Ek glo dat daar ook baie ateiste en agnostici is wat sulke optrede ten sterkste afkeur maar dit lyk ongelukkig of die sondebokke grotendeels in hul kader val (ek praat nie hier van net een voorval nie - alhoewel dit 'n mooi voorbeeld is - maar van verskeie gesprekke waaraan ek deelgeneem het waarin soortgelyke dinge gebeur het).

Wat van die toekoms? Ek dink dat gesprekke oor godsdiens al minder op sosiale media gaan voorkom en dat forums vir daardie doel uiteindelik gewoon die skape en bokke in hul kampe gaan verdeel. Ek dink ook nie debatte is die antwoord nie. Alhoewel dit impas by die huidige markplein as 'n gevegsone, dink ek nie dat rasionele argumente die geveg gaan wen nie. Hierdie tipe gesprekke het 'n sterk emosionele ondertoon en dit reflekteer 'n samelewing met baie innerlike wonde en seerkry.

Soos ek dinge sien sal ons as Christene op veral twee vlakke moet opleef tot die eise van ons tyd. Ten eerste sal ons moet besef dat ware Christenskap altyd impliseer dat ons Christus se liefde moet uitleef. Christenwees is om 'n gekruisigde lewe te lei – dit is 'n lewe wat volkome aan Christus oorgegee is. Dit beteken dat ons ook bereid is om vir ons Meester op te staan en te ly soos ons lees: "Salig is julle wanneer die mense julle beledig en vervolg en valslik allerhande kwaad teen julle spreek om My ontwil. Verbly en verheug julle omdat julle loon groot is in die hemele: want so het hulle die profete vervolg wat voor julle gewees het" (Matt. 5:11-12). Dit beteken nie dat ons dwaas moet optree in 'n vleeslike ywer nie; ons moet altyd onder die leiding van die Heilige Gees beweeg.

Ten tweede beteken dit dat ons as Christene op ander vindingryke wyses die markplein sal moet betree. Ons sal meer onder mekaar moet praat oor hierdie kwessies [2]. Ons sal baie meer moet saambid. Ons sal te alle tye Christus se liefde moet uitleef. En ons sal moet volhard om met integriteit aan gesprekke deel te neem. Dit gaan nie daaroor dat ons al die oplossings moet hê nie (al kan ons baie goeie antwoorde gee!) maar dat ons met eerlikheid en integriteit met ander in gesprek gaan oor die wonder van verlossing in Christus.

[1] In "Uit 'n ander hoek" op Sondag 6 Augustus 2017 op SAUK uitgesaai. Pienke: “... Hoe iemand wat rampspoed skep [i.e. God] aan moraliteit gekoppel kan word, is vir my onbegryplik. Moses en Josua, wat in opdrag van God optree, al die oorlogsmisdade, die slagtings, die honderde duisende vroue en kindertjies doodgesteek, doodgekap, slawerny en menslike offerhandes, verkragtings, die verdierliking van vroue, die ongebore babas wat uit vroue se baarmoeders uitgesny word en dan is daar nog daardie wreedaard, Abraham, wat so waar as wragtig amper sy eie kind se keel afgesny het. Al hierdie gruwelikhede word aan religie gekoppel en WEL aan die Skepper daarvan, naamlik: die Abrahamitiese God van die Bybel." [My beklemtoning]
[2] Lesers is welkom on hul gedagtes oor hierdie dinge met my te deel by

Skrywer: Dr Willie Mc Loud (Ref.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Revival is of the Lord

Most Christians are familiar with the idea of a spiritual "revival". I believe that what is needed today is a true revival in which God pours out His Spirit on His church. In this short essay Arjan Baan of the Netherlands gives some guidance about this very important issue.

This study deals with the blessings of revival or regeneration and about the conditions needed to see such a revival happening. About this subject is also much more to say than we can discuss in this essay. Therefore the advice is to study the Bible and church history to find out more about the times in which the Spirit of God worked in miraculous ways. Your heart will start burning in you when you hear and read about the mighty works of God and the great revivals that have taken place and still take place.

First, we want to emphasize that you cannot separate revival and prayer. There will be no revival in your church if there is no prayer.
To pray effectively for revival one should know what revival is and what it is not.

Revival is not:
– a special meeting with a special guest speaker
– an (evangelism) campaign, accompanied by all kind of special miracles and signs
– a special healing service or a great conference
– a special youth service or a special music concert
– a good Sunday morning service.

Revival is much greater, deeper, wonderful and more blessed!

The word revival or regeneration means renewal of life/resurrection. Here some statements of preachers who experienced a revival:

1. Revival is the reawakening of believers of the church. There can only be revival where there is life. It is necessary that this life will be rekindled again.
2. Revival is the revelation of God in His holiness and irresistible power.
3. Revival is a renewed awareness that God is holy and a renewed consciousness how terrible sin is.
4. Revival is a time of refreshment in the presence of the Lord.
5. Revival is a community of believers who are immersed in God.
6. Revival is the flow of godly life in a body that is endangered to become a corpse.
7. Revival is God's sovereign act to open the floodgates of heaven in His great mercy and bless His children abundantly so that the streams of living water can flow through them to unbelievers.
8. Revival is that God the Father is going to reveal His Son more clearly to all believers.
9. Revival is giving the Lord Jesus Christ the authority and honour He deserves.

In other words, revival is:
a. the extraordinary work of the Spirit of God by whom sleeping believers, whose life is arid and dry, come to renewed life again. (Ez. 37:1-10)
b. the habitation of God in His church, by which His presence and glory are intensely experienced. (Isaiah 64:1-5)
c. an extraordinary work of the Spirit of God, by which God's people undergo a deep purification in regards of specific sins. (Mal. 3:1-4)
d. an awakening of many unbelievers, caused by the burning hearts and frank testimonies of revived believers.

Who needs revival and why?
In the first place, revival is necessary for the people of God (Ps. 85:7), known as believers. When believers receive renewed devotion to the Lord, the world will become aware of this and share in the blessing. The blessing will flow to the world around us. If God’s people really experience revival, it will be used by God to bring sinners into a new life.

Revival is necessary for the following reasons:
1. Without revival, churches will lose their spiritual power more and more. They will slowly have less attendance or die spiritually.
2. Without revival, Jesus will not be glorified. Worldliness, sin and indifference will increase.
3. Without revival, churches do not have any attraction and many will not be reached with the Gospel and be lost forever.
4. Without revival, we cannot show the world in an undeniable way that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the only way to God and that He has risen from the dead. (1 Kings 36-39)
5. Without revival, churches will be without prayer.

Of Whom revival comes
Revival comes from God (Ps. 85:7): “grant us Thy salvation”. It doesn’t come from prominent preachers or leaders. One cannot plan, organize or support revival. Revival doesn’t arise by applying a certain method. The Bible points out obstacles and hindrances for revival. Also how they could be taken out of the way. Nevertheless, God is sovereign to grand or not grand revival.

Hindrances to revival are:

               1. Lack of humility and no confession of sins (Jer. 29:12, 2 Chron. 7:14)
               2. Lack of fearless Spirit-filled preaching (Eph. 6:19)          
               3. Lack of continuous prayer (Matt. 21L13, Luke 11L13, Marc 9:29)
               4. Lack of faith (John 7:37, Hebr. 11:6, Matt. 21:21, 22)
               5. Lack of true Spiritual life (John 6:63, John 4:23, 24, Matt. 15:8)
               6. Lack of emphasis on sanctification (2 Cor. 7:1, Hebr. 12:14)
               7. Lack of humility and mercy that makes one honest and sincere (Rev. 3:17)

When to expect a revival
We can expect revival when we are willing to pay the price for it. We can find this price in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’

In this verse four things are highlighted:
a. Humble yourself. Bow for God, confess your sins and faults, surrender yourself to Him and die to your old self.
b. Praying. Pray continuously and persistently, in private as well with others.
c. Seek God’s countenance.  Live in continuous communion with the Lord.
d. Repent from wicked/bad ways. Restrain yourself from sins, live holy for God, obey God’s Word in all areas of life.

In times prior to revival, we see in the Old and New Testament and in church history that God calls men and goes a certain way with them. The disciples walked with Christ for three years. The same we see with men of God who are used for His glory. If you want to become a powerful instrument in God’s hand, allow the Lord to go His way with you. Before He gives revival, He will search for men, women and young people who have totally committed themselves to Jesus Christ’s dominion. These are people who cannot trust their own power and knowledge anymore. They have died to their own plans and dreams. When believers purify their hearts, they will first experience personal revival. And if they start to pray that the Spirit of God will work again like in Acts 4, revival will come. All revivals are the effect of persistent prayer! The spiritual need became pressing…

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14a).

God looks for people whom He can use as leaders: people who have fully surrendered to Christ, who are willing to live a holy and pure life and who have started praying. These are also the people who continue in prayer until the power of God will start working with new strength. This can be at school, university, church, youth club, prayer community or where ever… Praying for revival is a difficult task because by nature we like to hurry things. We should not think a new revival will take two or three months of prayer. Of course, it might be so, but the history of the church shows that often it takes a long time of prayer for revival.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Math.18:19, 20).

There is an incredible power in a small group of people who pray for revival. Do not get depressed if you start to pray and it seems the prayer will not be answered. Keep on praying, because a very prayer that comes from the heart and is purified by the blood of Jesus will be answered in one way or another. In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells a story to make clear that you should continue praying until He answers.


Marks of Revival
A true revival always has these marks:
1. God reveals Himself in glory and holiness. (Is. 6) This leads to a deep and serious conviction of sin in His children. (Acts: 2:37, 19:17) They start to confess their sins and get their lives in order. This is the most prominent sign of a revival worked by the Holy Spirit.
2. Believers become, after they have purified themselves, powerful and gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:14, 4:31)
3. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus will be magnified. (Acts 19:17) People will not say: “Where is your God” anymore. There will be a great joy in the church. (Acts 2:16, 8:8, 13:52, 15:3)
4. Great numbers of unconverted people will be saved, sometimes without any human interference (Acts 6:7) and sometimes even large cities. (Acts 9:35) Every day, people will be saved. (Acts 2:41-44, 5:14, 6:7)
5. During revival one comes to true obedience to God's word. (Acts 4:18-19, 5:27-29) Believers are willing to totally submit to and bow for the entire Word of God.
6. A great hunger for God and His word arises. (Acts 2:42-46, 19:9)
7. There are unity and love among all believers. (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-37)
8. Believers are filled with zeal for evangelism and an urge for missions. (Acts 4:33, 8:4, 11:19-20, 19:8-10, 8:25-40, 9:32) The gospel is spread rapidly. (Acts 12:24, 13:44-49, 19:10, 20-26, 21:20, 2 Thess. 3:1) This is because younger and older people are passionately anointed by the Holy Spirit.
9. Believers become passionate and fearless in giving their testimonies. They testify everywhere. (Mark 16:20, Acts. 5:28, 8:4, 21:28, 22:15) They testify without end. (Acts 4:20, 5:42, 14:19-21). Nothing can stop them: no threat, whipping or imprisonment. (Phil. 1:14) They testify every day. (Acts 5:42, 17:16-17) And they testify frankly. (Acts 4:13)
10. The Word of God appears to be what it really is: a hammer, fire, water, balm, bread, honey, a mirror and it will conquer! (Acts 19:20, Hebr. 4:12, 2 Thess. 3:1, Acts 12:24, Isaiah 55:10-11, 1 Thess. 1:5, 2:13). The gospel appears to be what it really is: a force of God to save. (Rom. 1:16) The Word becomes irresistible. (Acts 7) It conquers sin, evil forces, false lessons, unbelief, doubt and opponents of the gospel.
11. There will be resistance from settled and lukewarm churches. From church history, we know that revivals took regularly place outside the 'big churches'. Often these revivals are considered with suspicion or are even slandered and opposed. (Acts 4:18, 19:9, 23:14)

Arjan Baan 
Evangelist (MA Theology)
The Netherlands