Return of the Titans

Derek and Josh Peck explored the idea of the return of chaos–Leviathan–in their book The Day the Earth Stands Still. While the book is about the occult origins of many of the beliefs common in the UFO community, we noted a strange attraction to the god of chaos in UFO circles. Occultists Kenneth Grant and Austin Osman Spare, who learned directly from the man who called himself the Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley, developed Crowley’s occult system into what Grant called the Typhonian tradition. That’s been further developed into something its practitioners today call chaos magick. Ironically, chaos magick isn’t anything new. Job 3:8 makes a reference to those “who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.”

The key detail is that around 1955, Grant claimed he detected a “Sirius-Set current” in Crowley’s teachings. That apparently convinced him and others that the chaos-god is out there near the star Sirius, in contact with Earth, and planning his big comeback.

Well, he is coming back, but not in the way the practitioners of chaos magick think.

While the chaos-god Typhon wasn’t one of the original Titans, he was believed to be their half-brother and is sometimes referred to as a Titan. Interestingly, at least one of the early church fathers thought a Titan would return at the end of days. Irenaeus, a Christian theologian of the second century, offered these thoughts on John’s prophecy of the Antichrist:

Although certain as to the number of the name of Antichrist, yet we should come to no rash conclusions as to the name itself, because this number [666] is capable of being fitted to many names.… Teitan too, (ΤΕΙΤΑΝ, the first syllable being written with the two Greek vowels ε and ι), among all the names which are found among us, is rather worthy of credit. For it has in itself the predicted number, and is composed of six letters, each syllable containing three letters; and [the word itself] is ancient, and removed from ordinary use; for among our kings we find none bearing this name Titan, nor have any of the idols which are worshipped in public among the Greeks and barbarians this appellation. Among many persons, too, this name is accounted divine, so that even the sun is termed “Titan” by those who do now possess [the rule]. This word, too, contains a certain outward appearance of vengeance, and of one inflicting merited punishment because he (Antichrist) pretends that he vindicates the oppressed. And besides this, it is an ancient name, one worthy of credit, of royal dignity, and still further, a name belonging to a tyrant. Inasmuch, then, as this name “Titan” has so much to recommend it, there is a strong degree of probability, that from among the many [names suggested], we infer, that perchance he who is to come shall be called “Titan.”[1] (Emphasis added)

To his credit, Irenaeus concluded that he wouldn’t say absolutely that the Antichrist would be named Titan. He reasoned that if the precise name had been important, John would have revealed it instead of a number.

Still, it’s intriguing. And consider this: Jesus demonstrated His mastery over chaos to the disciples one night on the Sea of Galilee:

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Mark 4:35–41, ESV

The storm-god, Baal/Satan, and the chaos-god, Leviathan, were no match for the Messiah. They won’t do any better at Armageddon.

One last note before moving on: Typhon was identified by the Greeks as the Egyptian chaos-god, Set. Isn’t it odd, then, that after decades of fascination with the return of a chaos-god to Earth, the acronym of the best-known group hunting for signs of life among the stars, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), is an Egyptian word that literally means “man of Set”?

It’s worth asking whether it’s possible that an entity such as Typhon/Set/Leviathan—with a hundred dragon-like heads, vipers for legs, or something similar—could even be the Antichrist. The answer is yes. Satan is described as “a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns” in Revelation 12:3, and he entered into Judas Iscariot,[2] the betrayer of Jesus. Since Satan was able to possess or control Judas, then the Beast, whatever spirit it is, can and will do the same with another human host. What we perceive with our natural eyes is not the full picture. Remember, as Paul warned us, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”[3]

Now, what about the Titans? Let’s look at Revelation 9. When the fifth of the trumpet-blowing angels sounds his horn, a star falls from Heaven to Earth with a key to the abyss. This marks the return of the old gods.

He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. 

In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

Revelation 9:2–11, ESV

What people in the ancient world knew thousands of years ago as Titans, Watchers, Anunnaki, and apkallu is what roars out of the abyss in Revelation 9. That’s where they are now, confined until the Judgment. They’ll get a short time to torment humanity, taking revenge on God’s prized creation for the punishment of watching their own children, the Nephilim/Rephaim, destroyed in the Flood of Noah.

Granted, the description of the things from the pit doesn’t match Mesopotamian images of apkallu or Greek sculptures of the Titans. Remember, though, that those entities were sent to the bottomless pit around the time of the Great Flood. Hundreds of years, and maybe a thousand or more, had passed by the time time the Sumerians began to create images of apkallu on cylinder seals and clay tablets. Those descriptions captured handed-down memories of supernatural human-animal hybrids, however, and that’s basically what John described. The Titans, the Watchers of the Bible, return when Apollyon opens the pit. And for humans without the seal of God on their foreheads, it will literally be Hell on Earth.

By the way, the description of the Titans/Watchers in Revelation 9 also applies to the supernatural army of locust-like beings in Joel chapter 2. It’s hard to understand why, but some Christian churches today teach that being part of Joel’s Army is a good thing, like being selected to serve as a warrior for God. Listen carefully: Joel’s Army fights for the wrong team. What Joel saw was the army of Gog marching to the battle of Armageddon. Bad things happen to Joel’s Army. Read all the way down to verse 20:

I will remove the northerner far from you, 
and drive him into a parched and desolate land, 
his vanguard into the eastern sea, 
and his rear guard into the western sea; 
the stench and foul smell of him will rise, 
for he has done great things.

Joel 2:20, ESV

Not to put too fine a point on it, but God destroys Joel’s Army. This verse is Yahweh’s prophecy of what will happen on the Day of the Lord, the day when God judges the unbelieving nations of the world.

At the end of Joel 2, God promises Israel that He will take pity on His people and put an end to the invasion by “the northerner.” The Hebrew word there, tsephoni, is from the same root as Zaphon. It’s easy to immediately see the connection between Joel’s Army and the mountain of Satan/Baal. Some English translations translate the word “northern army” or “northern horde,” which is the multitude that follows Gog into battle against Israel.

Even Joel’s prophecy of the destruction of “the northerner” matches Ezekiel 39. The Valley of the Travelers, in the desert east of Jordan River, is indeed “a parched and desolate land.” Ezekiel calls the burial place of Gog and his army the Valley of Hamon-Gog, which means “multitude of Gog.”

A multitude of dead? “Stench and foul smell,” indeed. 

One final note: In whatever way this drama unfolds, we can be sure that Armageddon is the day the old gods return. Just as Adolf Hitler increased his efforts to exterminate the Jews within his reach in the closing days of World War II, even as his military commanders begged for resources to hold back the advancing allied armies, the Titans/Watchers/Anunnaki, facing their own destruction, will be driven by an unimaginably intense hatred to slaughter as many humans as possible before the end.

[1] Irenaeus. Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 30.

[2] Luke 22:3.

[3] 2 Corinthians 11:4.

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