The Eternal Gospel (Rev 14:6), is unveiled in the desert as the hidden gospel concealed from before the foundation of the world, the primordial gospel unveiling the most ancient of days, the timeless Day of the revealed Name, awareness of wisdom and presence of glory. The Eternal Gospel unveils ‘I AM’ in the midst, inspiring glad tidings that are timeless, holy and hallowing. The Book of Revelation sees God’s coming Kingdom as the Name unveiled, as Christ’s wisdom and glory overcoming satanic confusion and separation. The Gospel of John embraces this Eternal Gospel, wisdom beholding Christ’s glory already unveiled in his glorification of the Father, opening heaven’s glorification of God to God’s glorification of Christ in the saints. The Book of Revelation first unveils glorification of the slaughtered Lamb, then glorification of the descending Bride, but John’s Gospel unveils glorification to be God’s glorification of both Lamb and Bride in the saints. The Lamb’s Bride is Holy Church unveiled in the timeless holiness of the Holy of Holies, glorification turned inside out and outside in by Holy Trinity. The desert has always lived this doxological reciprocity as revelation of Holy Trinity, intrinsically ineffable, but paradoxically communicable in prophecy through sacred images and ancient symbols. This is the continuing legacy of the Book of Revelation in the desert, utterly Scriptural as well as Patristic but enshrining wisdom far older than all conventional interpretations of Scripture. This is the timeless legacy of the Eternal Gospel, completeness of glory unveiled as God’s Kingdom come, fulfilling the incompleteness of time in the completeness of timeless glory, which is wisdom’s vision inspiring John’s Gospel.
Discernment of glory by wisdom is experienced in the desert as revelation of presence to awareness in the awakened heart, which is the Name unveiled in the timeless presence of the Eternal Gospel. Purification in time still has these mysteries in view as a temporal gospel, but illumination envisions the eschatological unveiling of these mysteries of the timeless in time. Glorification, on the other hand, communicates the completeness of timeless glory to all in all, consummating this union in the timeless light of the Eternal Gospel. The desert discovers anew these unfolding mysteries in every generation, retrieving wisdom from confusion and glory from division so as to restore glory to the Father through the Son. The desert’s ascetical experience of glorification lies here at the heart of the Son’s restoration of the completeness of wholesome glorification to the Father. The hiddenness of the Eternal Gospel unveils a secret alchemy of transformation: mysteries of purification and illumination, of dissolution and crystallisation, of transmutation of energies and transfiguring glorification, of unconfused union and indivisible communion through the Name. This is the desert’s ancient legacy of timeless completeness as wisdom, glory and the Name and it bears enduring witness to the timeless light and expansive glory of the Eternal Gospel. It begins at the end with wisdom’s awareness of the coming Kingdom already present as God’s presence in glory, embracing time within timeless hallowing of the Name, then timeless hallowing of all things by the Name. Saint John’s Gospel calls this eternal life, but the desert has always also called it angelic life, the inmost mystery of deification that inspires monasticism.
The Book of Revelation says the Eternal Gospel embraces every nation, tribe, tongue and people, opening every heart to the mystery of the Name, of ‘I AM’ unveiled in the midst, revealed through timeless turning, (metanoia), seeing, (theoria) and deification, (theosis). The Day of ‘I AM’ dawns when wisdom discerns what was hidden, when uncreated light unveils timeless glory before time, when the age to come completes all incomplete, temporal ages by unveiling presence to awareness as completeness of glory revealed to hallowing wisdom. Wisdom is older than creation, being uncreated, just as glory is greater than creation, being uncreated. Christ unveils the Name enthroned, glory upholding ‘I AM’ in the midst as an Eternal Gospel of wisdom unveiling glory face to face. What temporary purification sees partially as a temporal gospel of a Kingdom yet to come, wisdom sees as completeness opening to God face to face, unveiling every temporal face to reveal God’s timeless Face of glory, God’s awareness face to face with his presence in the midst. This is the desert’s witness to the Eternal Gospel of the hallowed Name, which is the timeless glory of wisdom’s awareness of God’s unveiled presence in the Kingdom come.
Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17 interprets his seven ‘I AM’ sayings with predicates in the timeless light of his seven ‘I AM’ sayings without predicates, unveiling their wisdom as union in the Name and communion born of glory. Desert silence, hesychia, acknowledges the ineffable character of these mysteries but does not let stillness descend into nihilistic despair, quenching prophecy or prayer. Glorification is living flame at the heart of luminous translucence, purifying fire within crystalline transparency, holy silence unveiled yet veiled in ineffable speech. Wisdom renews prophecy so that glory can sustain prayer. Wisdom indwells those who indwell glory, restoring glory to the Father through the Son. Theophanic images help unveil the glory of the Name, unveiling uncreated presence to uncreated awareness. Grace is light then glory as hearts awaken, turn and see. The desert lives Christ’s Eternal Gospel first as purification and illumination of the heart, then as glorification of the Name that reciprocally glorifies all who hallow the Name, deifying all who welcome home the Kingdom. The Eternal Gospel is wisdom restoring glory to God, then God sharing his glory with all for whom God-centred glorification is deification of all in God through God, revelation of Holy Trinity by Holy Trinity.