Saturday, August 17, 2019

THE MYSTERY OF THE LIAHONA & THE PATHS OF WISDOM

The account of the Liahona or "ball" is by far one of the most enigmatic accounts given in the Book of Mormon. At first glance, the existence, the function, and form of the Liahona appear to be unlike the description of anything preserved in the records of the House of Israel. Over the years, many scholars speculated regarding this mysterious device. Not knowing really what to make of it, the Liahona is relegated to being a "compass" and its' place in the Book of Mormon is often glossed over without any real discussion of substance.

The existence of the Liahona is first mentioned by the Prophet Nephi immediately after his second account of ascension. It is strategically placed after this account to teach the reader a very ancient doctrine connected to the Tree of Life and our return to the presence of God. Nephi records:

“And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord spake unto my father by night, and commanded him that on the morrow he should take his journey into the wilderness. And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 16:9-10)

There are prophetic word markers in this verse that are designed to alert the Israelite reader to a teaching connected with the paths of righteousness and Moses' tabernacle or tent in the wilderness. The first marker in the above referenced Scripture are the words "tent door" and the words "curious workmanship". The usage of these words are meant to direct the reader to the Torah.  Here the Prophet Nephi strategically places these words after an ancient manner of teaching in Israel designed to draw the mind of the Israelite reader to those accounts in the Torah related to these references:

The first is the appearance of the LORD to Abraham:

"And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground," (Genesis 18:1-2)

It is also connected to the Mishkan or Tabernacle in the Wilderness in reference to the design of this wilderness temple:

"And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them." (Exodus 26:36-37)

and

"And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.

And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.

And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door." (Genesis 33:8-10)

The idea being communicated by Nephi is that the "tent door" is meant to indicate to the reader that his father's finding of the Liahona at his tent door is connected with a temple teaching and ascending to the presence of God.

In addition, Nephi's usage of the words "curious workmanship" is designed to indicate to the reader that the function of the Liahona is connected to another temple related item of fine or curious workmanship-the Ephod:

"It shall have the two shoulder pieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together. And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:" (Exodus 28:7-9)

In connecting the Liahona with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the mysterious Ephod that was designed as a device to reveal the perfecting light of God (YHVH), Nephi is revealing and restoring to us an ancient temple teaching designed to restore us to the presence of God.


THE LIAHONA-A PATTERN OF THE TREE OF LIFE



The Tree of Life serves as a grand archetype in the teachings of the House of Israel. The teachings and lore regarding this tree can be traced to the foundations of the earth and the Garden of Eden story. Traditionally, the tree of life is often depicted as a two dimensional figure illustrated below:


While depicted as a two dimensional figure, it was taught in ancient Israelite thought that the Tree of Life instead of being a two dimensional figure was actually a three dimensional figure depicted below:



The large spheres and the diagrams above are what are termed sephiroth or the emanations or attributes of God.  The lines connecting the the sephiroth of the Tree of Life are called the twenty-two Paths of Wisdom. These paths of wisdom correspond with the written twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. They represent the experiences we undergo as we travel or take our journey of ascension from this fallen world to the presence of God.  The combination of the letters in these paths represent the directions or revelations of God to assist us in our upward journey.

Nephi further connects the Liahona in both function and form as he describes how writings would appear upon the ball and were changed from time to time:

"And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness. "

"And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them. And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things." (1 Nephi 16:9, 10, 28-29)


The journey from this world to the throne room of God is called the wilderness. Whether it be Moses and the Children of Israel leaving Egypt to descend into the wilderness to come unto the presence of God at Mount Sinai or Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem and descending into the wilderness to reach the Land of Promise, we are meant to understand that our journey of ascension is our wilderness journey. The function of the Liahona was to lead them in the more fertile parts of the wilderness or those places where God nourishes his people in the wilderness to prepare them to come into his presence. Whether it be the gift of manna or quail along the path (in the case of Moses and the Children of Israel) or the provision of game in Nephi obtaining food for his family the spiritual message being presented is the same. Each step along the path offering a means of of drawing closer and closer into oneness with God or the option of straying from the path directed by God down the forbidden paths that lead to destruction.

The Prophet Alma gives us further insight into the function of the Liahona and its relationship to the Tree of Life in Alma 37.  Here Alma gives reveals and reaffirms the connection between the Liahona and the "stone" that would be prepared for a future seer that in function is similar to the stones described above in reference to the Ephod:

"And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations. And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying:

I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land." (Alma 37: 23-25)

He then immediately proceeds to teach his son regarding Wisdom or the path of Wisdom and how he is teaching his son to take his journey of ascension:

"O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God." (Alma 37:35)

The admonishment to learn wisdom being a prophetic marker that he is about to reveal a key "wisdom" teaching to his son.  He goes on:

"Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:36-37)

Here Alma directs his son to YHVH and tells him that his heart is the drawing board upon which the designs of our thoughts (heb. the heart being the center of thoughts; ie. thoughts of their hearts) should be placed and drafted to God.  He then commences in describing the daily actions of our journeys that lead us to our ascension experience of being "lifted up at the last day."


After this Alma then proceeds to deliver teaching regarding the Liahona:

"And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.

And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.

For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land." (Alma 37:38-44)

While the Liahona as a physical device directed Lehi and his family in the wilderness, the device served as a type and shadow which Alma equates with the Words of Christ.  The straight and navigated course that leads to the presence of God or the promised land is connected with the ancient Israelite teaching of the Tree of Life and the Presence of God.

"And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.

O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever." (Alma 37:45-46)

WORKING OUR LIAHONA TO REACH THE PROMISED LAND


"And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness." (1 Nephi 16;16)

In Israelite thought men and women represent trees or within each of us is a representation of the Tree of Life. Like the Liahona, the tree of life was depicted as having two legs or spindles:

All creative acts begin with the single point of Desire (heb. kavvanah or intention of the heart).  It is the power, fuel, or force behind all creative acts (whether the creation of life or the creation of destruction).  In true Israelite fashion we see this creative process in play with real people connecting Heaven with Earth:

"And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost (Ruach Elohym or Mind of God) should be given unto them...And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire." (3 Nephi 19: 9,24)

The Light of Life:


The Light of Life is representative of the Messiah or The Son or The Only Begotten as both function (process) and form.  Jesus (Yeshua) being the living embodiment of both. It is connected with the Judgment of God:

"Behold Eyeh*
Yeshoshua Messiah
of which the prophets testified
that should come into the world
And behold Ehyeh
the light and the life of the world
And I have drunk out of that bitter cup
which the Father has given me
And have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins
of the world in which I have suffered the will
of the Father in all things from the beginning"
(Voices From the Dust Volume 3, compare to 3 Nephi 11:10-11)

*See Exodus 3:14-"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.)  Moses and the burning bush/tree.



The Light of Mercy:

The Light of Mercy is representative of the Messiah or The Son or The Only Begotten as both function (process) and form.  It is connected with the true beauty that the Messiah reveals as he balances judgment and mercy:

"Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm (spindle) of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." (3 Nephi 9: 14)


5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.

6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy. (3 Nephi 17:5-6)





The Messiah is the balancing force of the tree of Life.  Through him and his teachings the attributes of God are balanced and the trees (men and women) are fashioned after "curious workmanship".  As men and women take their journey in the wilderness to ascend the Holy Mountain, God has provided direction in the wilderness to lead us in the more fertile paths until we come to our land of Bountiful where we receive the further light and knowledge to fashion additional tools to build our vessel that will allow us to cross the great deep and arrive at The Land of Promise (The Presence of YHVH).

As with any journey we must obtain the record of Heaven, our Liahona in the Wilderness, and our land of Bountiful.

WHO KNEW ALL THAT WAS PACKED INTO A BALL?!

(To be continued)

Article Copyright 2019- Robert Kay



Saturday, August 10, 2019

ACTUALLY NOT SO STRANGE AFTER ALL




"In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it into motion, sits the leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated a spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his "intangible preponderance." 
(Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism)


There are many false shepherds who come among the people declaring that they have been called of God to be the New Messiah, The New David, The New Holder of the Keys, The New Dispensation Head, etc. etc. They make many profound and sometimes wild claims regarding their particular brand of prophetic calling and when anyone questions them they are usually met with scorn, derision, accusations of faithlessness, and a number of self appointed mind guards ready to pounce.  At their disposal is usually their greatest weapons like "The Shunning" or "The Group's Gossip Machine" that goes about attempting to belittle those who question and to destroy their reputations.

Often when their leaders or followers are questioned, they usually cite something like, "Well the reason you don't recognize it is because it is the Lord's Strange Work" or "The Lord's Strange Act".  And I will admit they are correct on one major account--IT IS STRANGE.  In fact so strange, they they and their followers usually disregard God's word, his commandments, and his teachings all the while introducing twisted teachings and doctrines to gain more followers by stroking their egos and making them feel like they are among "The Lord's Chosen" or elite band of followers. I mean, "Hey, who doesn't like to to have their ego stroked?"  Most of us natural or carnal men and women do. 


WHAT IS THE 'STRANGE ACT'


The idea of the Lord's "strange act" comes from the words of Isaiah:

"For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." (Isaiah 28:21)

This chapter in Isaiah commences with YHVH condemning the political leaders of Ephraim and the norther Kingdom of Israel whose capital was Samaria.  At the time the political and religious establishment of the Northern Kingdom had become so idolatrous and so corrupt, God presented his covenant lawsuit against her, and rendered his covenant judgment upon her. 

The word for "strange" here is the Hebrew word zoor which can mean strange or used in reference to someone who is a foreigner, that which is profane, and and to a person or nation who has committed adultery/idolatry.  In this case the Lord's "Strange Act" has to do with the cutting off of the Northern Political and religious leaders from their covenant status and covenant land grant. He then introduces Israelite allegorical and metaphorical symbolism regarding a farmer who plows, threshes, and then preserves what fruits he can.  His "strange act" being a prophetic allusion to the cutting off of an unfaithful nation.

This same phrase is used in similar context by Joseph Smith in D&C 101 in regard to the cutting off of the Wicked:

"Thus will I liken the children of Zion. Let them importune at the feet of the judge; And if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor; And if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president; And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation; And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; Even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

 Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them. What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse; That wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.  (D&C 101:85-95)

Both Isaiah and Joseph Smith draw upon the same imagery to communicate that the Strange Act has to do with the cutting off of the political and religious leaders who are in covenant rebellion to him and who seek to oppress those who uphold the terms of his covenant.  It has nothing to do with teaching "strange", foreign, or unrecognizable doctrines and ordinances invented by false prophets who seek to reshape the gospel and their followers into their unique version of the golden calf.

These false prophets seek to declare a gospel from their own imaginations and the false and delusive spirits they listen to.  They twist the commandments and do not teach their followers God's commandments.  You will however hear something similar to the following "permissive" commandments:

"I can't say or do anything regarding sexual misconduct, pedophilia, rape, theft, ritualistic sex abuse, etc etc,  the lord gives the people enough rope to hang themselves."

or something like

"I can't say or do anything regarding sexual misconduct, pedophilia, rape, theft, ritualistic sex abuse, etc etc, the people have to rise and fall on their own."

or something like

"Those old things/commandments are done away and don't apply to us, we live a higher law."

or something like

"You can't hold us up to this (i.e. as he holds up the scriptures), these are lesser, we live by the higher law of revelation."

or something like

"The Kingdom of God is a theocracy.  We the council,leader, prophet, holder of the keys, tells the people what to do.  And you don't want to make us enforce it."

which pretty much can be summed up in one simple doctrine:

"DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW" (Aleistar Crowley)

This is why Isaiah warned the Kingdoms of Israel earlier regarding these false prophets:

 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."  (Isaiah 8:20)

And

Why the Book of Mormon warns us:

"For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord"

People often ask, "Why would anyone do such a thing?"  Is it Money? Sex? Power?  What?  To which the answer would be yes to all, but often times their desires can be distilled down feeding their egos and to gaining control all the while deluding themselves into thinking they are doing the work of God.

THE WORKS OF THE MESSIAH WERE NOT "STRANGE":


The work of the Messiah commenced with a small nucleus of followers, but grew into a massive following of thousands of Jews.  Word of his works and his words not only spread throughout the land but extended even beyond the borders. Many believed him and believed in him.  At the same time, jealousy of him and the potential threat to the Jewish religious and political bodies that existed at the time made him worthy of notice.  In fact, so noteworthy that he was required to attend the Feasts of Israel in anonymity so as not to draw their attention.  While there were those who saw him as a troublemaker, there were many more who saw him as a Messiah, The Son of David, even the King of Israel.

While there are those who believe that he made little effort to be understood by the religious bodies of his day, this teaching would be erroneous.  To his Jewish listeners his words and his works struck to the very center of Jewish religious observance, piety, and political expediency.  His parables were drawn from similar parables and teachings of his day.  His words cut to the heart of the various sects of Judaism in his day.  His teachings were consistent with the Torah and the Prophets and make no mistake they were all distinctly Jewish in content, nature, and tone. 

His parable of the seeds which drew upon even more ancient teachings preserved by the House of Israel and their Mystery Schools is just one example.  It had nothing to do with him declaring his status as Messiah but much more to do with Ruach Elohym, the manner of the true disciple, and the ascent of his people. These doctrines of such a nature that they were communicated in a manner to both reveal and conceal, but never to alter the commandments of God or to give him an excuse to set them aside for expediency.

The true fruits of many false prophets lay in the synchronization of the holy with the profane.  They wink and nod at the commandments of God and quote scriptures when it suits their fancy or they need them to manipulate the people into doing what they want, but in the end the fruits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are absent, their revelations fall to the ground unfulfilled, and their people are left wondering in a state of confusion usually asking something like, "What the hell is going on?"

BEHOLD THE DOCTRINE OF ELITISM, THE TRUSTED FEW, THE HEARTS CORE WITHIN A HEARTS CORE, THE FAITHFUL REMNANT, ETC. ETC. ETC.


To answer the questions of the people or to again stroke their ego, the people are flattered that those who remain faithful to the leader and his movement are among the trusted or faithful few who really "get it". They transform the Great and Marvelous Work of God in which it was declared:

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land." (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

INTO the SMALL AND PATHETIC WORK OF MAN wherein the "trusted few" who do continue to follow their delusional prophet somewhere out into the middle of nowhere where they establish their Zion/New Jerusalem/ Temple etc etc which is comprised of unfinished homes, tents, and mobile homes, arranged in chaotic mess where they and their people continue to "Do Whatever They Wilt" all the while destroying the lives of their families, their friends, and their children's children's children even to the fourth and fifth generation.

Unto such I can only say that I personally testify to you as a first hand witness that the words of YHVH are true wherein he declares;

"My heart is broken because of the false prophets,
and my bones tremble.
I stagger like a drunkard,
like someone overcome by wine,
because of the holy words
the LORD has spoken against them.

For the land is full of adultery,
and it lies under a curse.
The land itself is in mourning—
its wilderness pastures are dried up.
For they all do evil
and abuse what power they have.

“Even the priests and prophets
are ungodly, wicked men.
I have seen their despicable acts
right here in my own Temple,”
says the LORD.

“Therefore, the paths they take
will become slippery.
They will be chased through the dark,
and there they will fall.
For I will bring disaster upon them
at the time fixed for their punishment.
I, the LORD, have spoken!." (Jeremiah 23:9-12)


Note:  For those who email me questioning whether I am referring to their particular prophet, David, group, movement, or church I can only say that when I wrote this I had no ONE particularly in mind as there are so many.  But what I can tell you is that if it looks like a duck, has feathers, and walks like a duck--it might be a duck. Oh and remember.....there is a test, a Test, a TEST coming!"



Friday, August 9, 2019

THE MYSTERY OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS -- A FRESH LOOK AT THE 10 WORDS

Many Mormons are not aware that the "Ten Commandments" are never actually called the “Ten Commandments,” but rather, eseret ha-devarim or the "Ten Words” (Exodus 34:28). They are ten unique divine utterances that function in a very special way in the scriptures.  In our Western tradition, we have been taught to view them as a series of prohibitions that carry with it strict penalties if disobeyed.  We have been taught to see them as mundane or "lesser" in comparison to other teachings from the New Testament or Book of Mormon by viewing them as a series of  do's and don'ts applicable to a fallen/temporal world.  Yet, there is a mystery contained in these utterances that comprise a spiral staircase of progression into the presence of God- a ladder of spiritual ascension into oneness with God.


THE HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE AND FUNCTION OF THE TEN


First, the Ten Words were  given in the direct hearing of the people (Exodus 20:18-21).  Unlike the traditions that we have received that they somehow comprise a "lesser law" given because of the transgressions of Israel, the Ten Words were delivered by the voice of God to the entire assembly of Israel before they plead with Moses not to let God speak to them or the episode of the Golden Calf. The experience was so terrifying that it has been said in some literature that the rocks split in two, pregnant animals immediately gave birth, and the people were so overwhelmed that they never want to experience it again.

Second, of all revelations received by Moses from God, only these Ten Words were written by the finger of God. In fact, these utterances were so important in the founding and the establishment of the House of Israel, they were recorded in every testament including the Book of Mormon. (Mosiah 12-13)

Third, the Ten Words are unique in that they in particular are often referred to as “the covenant” (Exodus 34:28). This is why they were placed among the items inside the “aron ha-berit,” the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat, or Throne of the Most High.

As recorded in the scriptures there was  more given at Mount Sinai than just the Ten Words, but the function of the Ten Words was to establish and bring to remembrance the entire covenant in the minds of the people. These Ten Words capture the essence of God's covenant with Israel, while the rest of instructions given to Israel elaborates on their function and application among the people similar to our modern case law. In the mind of an Israelite, the Ten Words represent the whole Sinai covenant in a manner similar to how we refer to the Constitution or Bill of Rights representing the governing body of law for the United States of America.

The Ten Words function as the foundation of God's covenant. In a literal sense they function as the legal framework that establishes Israel as a nation and the national boundaries they are not to exceed. The Ten Words like the rest of the Torah are filled with principles of morality, but they also establish the basis of God’s relationship with ancient Israel.   This relationship was based first on deliverance as in God delivering Israel out of bondage as expressed in the first utterance “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery...” (Exodus 20:2). Israel's covenant relationship was based on an act of deliverance through the taking of the first born of Egypt in the Passover. This is important because Israel’s salvation was established by God first before he gave them further directions to live by.

Honoring God by keeping his instructions under God's Covenant is similar in that it too is a response to God’s salvation. Many have adopted the Ten Words as just a moral code. Others have rejected most, if not all of God's commandments as being relevant today. But what we are being called to is a relationship of transformation.  Instead of God's commands being written on tablets of stone they are now to be engraved upon our hearts. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:3). The spiritual ladder of the Ten Words is pathway of transformation and progression into the presence of God brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


WALKING THE TEN WORDS INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD- THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE OF TRANSFORMATION





Because of our traditions and our Greek/Western mindset we are often accustomed to reading the 10 utterances by God in a linear/descending fashion.  We start with Commandment  #1 and then read down the list of what we think are a list of do's and don'ts until we reach Commandment #10.  This type of carnal reading of the 10 Commandments/Utterances is correct, but in an of itself it does not reveal the multi-dimensional revelations that the utterances contain. Let us start at the bottom:

"When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel– you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:306-307

THE TREE OF LIFE GIVEN TO ISRAEL:


Everything in the Torah has a purpose.  The words contain not only the literal rendering of the text but also the hidden plain and precious truths for those who seek further light and knowledge. Rather than just cold letters engraved upon tablets of stone, the 10 Commandments represent the Tree of Life and the pathway we are to walk to ascend back into the presence of God. The path back into the presence of YHVH commences at the Base of the Tree of Life which represents this world in which we live and corresponds to the place where we commence our journey back into the presence of God- You Shall Not Covet.

THE FIRST LESSON- THE FIRST RUNG OF THE LADDER


The first lesson of Holiness and Discipleship to be embraced in our journey from the world here below back into the presence of God is the Lesson Regarding Covetousness. In the Israelite mind covetousness has to do with lusting, possessing, and controlling another person or thing.  It is the opposite of tzedekah (charity).  In fact if we were to paint an Israelite picture of covetousness it might read something like this:

"And covetousness embraces power and is unmerciful, and its face is lust, and is prideful, seeks  his own self interest, is  easily provoked, meditates on evil, and rejoices in lawlessness and in lies, is unwilling to bear the burden of anyone or anything, looks only to themselves, has no expectation of God's promises or judgments, and endures nothing to satisfy the self." (Moroni 7:45- The Adulterated Version).

True Covetousness is the Epitome of Unrighteous Dominion:


"That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." (D&C: 121:36-37)

So In Israelite thought Covetousness has to do with control, possession of another person or thing, and lust.  It is the fruit of the ego or natural man and woman.  To Ascend the first rung of the ladder in our journey into the presence of God, the first lesson of the traveler is the abandonment of the need to possess or control another person or thing to satisfy ourselves, our natural desire for forced order and control, and our the quenching of our fear through the subjugation of another person or group of people.

Putting off the desire to control, subjugate, or possess another person or thing is the first step as we leave the world we have been born into and then commence our journey into the wilderness like Nephi and Lehi leaving Jerusalem to travel to the Land of Promise and the presence of God. In letting go, we open the doors to higher spiritual experiences as we journey in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.  These disciples understand that the path of Godliness and the power of God is only manifest "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death." (D&C 121:41-44)


(To Be Continued)






Sunday, August 4, 2019

I have the power! Wait, no, No, NO! I HAVE THE POWER



Over the last 30 years I have had the opportunity to meet many self declared Masters Of The Universe-aka. Noble and Great Ones, Ones Mighty and Strong, Davidic Servants, Reincarnated Dead Prophets, Holders of the Keys, etc. etc. They come in many shapes and sizes and while they proclaim their "Chosen Status", "Prophetic Calling", and "Dispensational Kingship" they unfortunately fail to produce any of the works that God proclaims should follow those who are true disciples of Christ (Messiah).  They have words mind you-- OH DO THEY HAVE WORDS! (Some of whom declare their prophetic significance and roles by the number of Books they Produce or overall word count.) Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the sum total of their Great and Marvelous Work is a stack of dusty books and papers in a used bookstore--their dead words that fall to the ground unfulfilled.  Rather than a GREAT AND MARVELOUS WORK it turns out to be SMALL AND UNDERWHELMING. (AKA. GOD'S SMALL AND PATHETIC WORK).

The disciples and fan club of these "great and mighty men" will testify with great conviction regarding their particular prophets calling and importance, but so many live out their lives in quiet desperation waiting for something -anything in fact- that their particular brand of prophet pronounces to be fulfilled. They form groups, fellowships, and movements with their own brand of self proclaimed priestcraft (committees, councils, and quorums) all of which are designed to shore up the words of their leader and their self-important egos- each waiting for their chance in the lime light or their moment in the sun to be seen as THE important authority.

The names and places of these prophets and their groupies may change, but as human nature doesn't change, the story basically remains the same- unfulfilled promises, dashed hopes, victims of abuse, and destroyed lives. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!  And by the way, the reason everything went wrong and didn't happen is because IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! YOU WEREN'T FAITHFUL ENOUGH! YOU WEREN'T GOOD ENOUGH!  THE PEOPLE (not the leader) ARE TO BLAME! And the cycles of spiritual abuse go on and on and on and on.

FALSE PROPHETS AND ANTI-CHRISTS ABOUND


"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:15-20)


The idea here being communicated by the Messiah is one that goes back to an ancient teaching of "THE SEED" as preserved by the House of Israel:

"Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:11-12)

Every seed produces after its kind.  An apple seed brings forth an apple.  A fig seed produces a fig tree which produces figs.  A monkey produces a monkey.  A human produces and a human baby.  A False Prophet produces other false prophets. 

THE WORD IS THE SEED


In relation to the principle of THE SEED and false prophets we must understand that False Prophets plant their seeds.  What is their seed?  In Israelite thought- THEIR TEACHINGS OR WORDS ARE THE SEEDS.  As we take in the words of God or the words of men these seeds being to take root in our hearts (thoughts) and as we nourish them they begin to grow. The Messiah in what is called the Parable of the Seed demonstrates this ancient principle:

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." (Luke 8:11)

The Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon reiterates this ancient principle:

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." (Alma 32:28)

God's seed is considered "the good seed".  In Israelite thought, that which is "GOOD" leads us to fulfill God's commandments.  We must be careful though because even as the word of God is a seed the words of The Adversary or even those words that come from the Hearts of Men are also seeds.  From whatever source, having ingested the seed, we then proceed to produce the fruits or works that the seeds are meant to produce.  This is why the accounts of false prophets/anti-christs in the scriptures are given- as in the case of Korihor:

"And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me...

And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell." (Alma 30: 52-53, 59-60)


WE ARE IN NO LESS PERIL



The Apostle Matthew relates the following warning, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Mat. 24:24)

If it were possible even the very elect would be deceived.  In Israelite thought an elect person or set apart person was set apart because of the terms of God's covenant.  The Prophet Joseph Smith in his commentary on Matthew's writings made the following additions:

"And except those days should be shortened, there should none of their flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened...

 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant." (JST Matthew 1:20-22)

An elect or set apart person is in the condition of being elect or set apart because they do so according to the terms of God's Covenant.  We may then ask, "What Covenant?" 

The Messiah himself answers the question:

"And it came to pass
that when Yeshoshua had said these words he perceived
that there were some among them
who marveled and wondered
what he would do concerning the Torah of Moshe
For they understood not the saying that old things had passed away
and that all things had become new
And He said unto them

"Marvel not that I said unto you that old things had passed away
and that all things had become new
Behold I say unto you that the Torah is now properly interpreted and established
that was given unto Moshe
Behold I am he that gave the Torah
And I am he who covenanted with my people Isra’el
Therefore the Torah in me is now properly interpreted and established
For I have come to  properly interpret and established the Torah
Therefore it has a purpose
Behold I do not destroy the prophets
For as many as have not been properly interpreted and established by me
Truthfully I say unto you shall all be properly interpreted and established
And because I said unto you that old things had passed away
I do not destroy that which has been spoken
concerning things which are to come
For behold the covenant which I have made
with my people is not all properly interpreted and established
But the Torah that was given unto Moshe
has a purpose in me
Behold I am the Torah and the Light
Look unto me and walk to the end and you shall live
For unto him that walks to the end will I give eternal life
Behold I have given unto you the mitzvot
Therefore keep my mitzvot
And this is the Torah and the prophets
for they truly testify of me"

(Voices from the Dust/ 3 Nephi 15:5 Hebrew Roots Version)


The elect or set apart ones are able to detect the false seeds or words of the Adversary or False Prophets because they know the Terms of Gods Covenant with the House of Israel. It is the same covenant given to Adam and extended down through the Patriarchs even to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It is the same covenant restored by Moses to the House of Israel.  It is the same covenant renewed by the Messiah and it is the same covenant that exists today.

"For I am YHVH, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the YHVH of hosts (Heaven's Armies). But ye said, Wherein shall we return?" (Mal: 3:6-7 or 3 Nephi 24:6-7)

A True Prophet, One Mighty and Strong, Davidic Servant, etc etc sent from God will follow in the footsteps of the Messiah and properly interpret and establish the Torah.  We can only detect the true messengers of God according to the terms of the Covenant.  A false messenger will lead his followers away from the Messiah and his Torah.

"Wherefore, all things which are good (that which leads you to fulfill God's commandments) cometh of God; and that which is evil (that which leads you away from fulfilling God's commandments) cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually." (Moroni 7:12)

Beware the wolves in sheep's clothing:




Saturday, June 22, 2019

Israelite Keys To The Last Days (Part 1)




In the year 999 it is recorded that Saint Peter's basilica in Rome was packed with people who were crying and paralyzed by fear believing that The End Of The World was near. It had been a millennia since the first advent of the Messiah and now 1000 years later the Apocalyptic Events of John's Revelation were upon them.  To their surprise, they miraculously survived the night and a new millennium commenced.  There were no appearances of seven headed beasts, no forced marks placed in their hands and foreheads, and Christ did not return to usher in a millennium of peace and leaping through Edenic lily fields.

Over the past 2000 odd years, there have been many "Last Days" prophets, teachers, and soothsayers who rise up to warn the people that, "The End Is Near! Christ Is Coming Back! Your Unbelieving Asses Are About To Be Roasted!" Attending these voices are the throngs of fearful people, waiting in fervent expectation that the horrific events artfully described in the Book of Revelation are upon them.  Strangely enough in the year 2019, not much has changed, except that now we have new actors on the world stage who are being declared The Beast, The anti-christ, Gog and Magog, etc.

The selling and marketing of the Book of Revelation or what is commonly called The Last Days is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with books, movies, and churches springing up everywhere to capitalize on the frenzy.  But what if I told you that an Israelite would not interpret the Message of the Book of Revelation in the same way as a gentile/modern/ western/ American/ Greek based person or culture?

Revelation- Not Specifically For Our Day


Despite two thousand years of interpretation, mis-interpretation, cultural obscurity, and outright twisting, the Book of Revelation still stands as a prophetic enigma to the Gentile Mind.  To an Israelite reader, the Book was written by a Jew to a believing Jewish audience after the manner of the Jews and meant to be interpreted in the context of a Jewish Culture.  The specific message and symbolism has no immediate application or message to a Gentile Culture who speaks English 2000 years or 5000 miles from the date and place of delivery.  This does not mean that the Book of Revelation has no meaning for us, but that its' message was meant to be interpreted using the culture, language, and local atmosphere of the Jews to whom the message was delivered. 

The author of Revelation was  a Jew:


John (Yochanan) the Revelator was a Jew.  He was one of the original disciples of Messiah Yeshuah. As such, his locale and cultural context was that of the Jews in the Roman ruled world of the Mediterranean between 30 to 70 AD. In point of fact, almost all the original disciples and followers of Messiah would have been Jews or of Jewish connection or descent. They would be very familiar with the history and writings of the Jews. 

The Revelation That Shortly Came to Pass:


The opening of the Book of Revelation is clear that the events they are being warned about would occur in the generation in which it was given:

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" (Revelation 1:1)

In the very first verse of the Book of Revelation, the author clearly communicates that these things must shortly come to pass. That which "must shortly come to pass" written by John in his lifetime does not mean 2000 years later.  In fact the Greek word for "shortly" (en tachei) refers to temporal proximity--i.e. the events were very close to happening at that time.  John goes on to reiterate in verse 3 of Revelation:

"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3)

The word near (engus) expresses that the events being related in this book are near or close in time to actually happening.  In other words, the message of the Book of Revelation is speaking to the authors immediate audience about impending events that "must shortly come to pass". 

Not only does the Book of Revelation open with the message that the things communicated are those events which "must shortly come to pass" and are "near", but the End of the Book of Revelation also closes with the message that the prophetic events just revealed are those things which "must shortly come to pass" and "near":

"And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done." (Revelation 22:6)

"And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." (Revelation 22:10)

In both opening and closing statements, the message being communicated by the Apostle John to his followers is that the events he is warning them about are impending for the various churches/assemblies that he is addressing--not 2000 years later.

The Manner Of The Jews


What a minute?  You mean to tell me that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the mark of the beast, the Battle of Armageddon, and a ginormous star called Wormwood that destroys pretty much of a third of all life on earth-- all of this already happened and was fulfilled in Johns' time and with the destruction of the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem about 70 AD?   

YES!

To understand these ancient symbols requires a knowledge of Jewish Culture, The Temple, and Jewish History. That being said, however, it does not mean that the Book of Revelation carries no prophetic meaning for us.  What it should tell us is that John recorded this message after the manner of the Jews to not only communicate a warning to all the believers in his day of impending events, but is also concealing a greater prophetic message for Israel in the future. To unlock the message of the Book of Revelation means we must learn what these poetic and picturesque symbols would mean to the Jews in that culture at the time when these events took place.  Upon learning what the symbols meant to them in their time, we can then, by understanding the cyclical nature of Israelite Prophecy, understand how to apply the meaning of those symbols in our current situation. 

To Be Continued:

(The Jewish Wars with Rome- The Context Of The Book of Revelation)

  





Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Science of the Fathers- Praying Like The Fathers



Because of the fall, our souls are incomplete. This idea of being complete is what is communicated in the phrases, "Be ye therefore perfect" and "Be ye holy". Because God is complete or whole, he can also make us holy or complete. In fact, God's greatest desires to make us whole and one with him. To do this, we must connect or become one with him.

In the ancient Science Of The Fathers communicated to the House of Israel, the greatest tool used along the path of wholeness or holiness is that of prayer. The practice of prayer in the Western Gentile cultures is a far cry from the practice of prayer taught by The Fathers. In our Western tradition, we often view prayer in a form of supplication where we ask God for the things we want etc. The idea of prayer taught by the ancients was that when we pray we are asking God to fill us. It does not have to do with the multiplying of many words, but depends on the desire of the heart.

In the Israelite concept of prayer, man is viewed as a vessel to be filled. He is seen as lacking, having an absence, or space within. The vessel is seen as having a lacking of love – both for God and man. This kind of love is the characteristic of bestowal- the characteristic of receiving to bestow.  In this ancient practice of prayer, the disciple is taught to pray to fill the space within like water being poured into a vessel.  This is the meaning behind the teaching of the Messiah:

" And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost." (3 Nephi 12:6)

This idea of praying desire is also seen with Nephites as they prayed before the Messiah:

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire." (3 Nephi 19:24)

Words are not the desires.  Partaking of the Word was meant to evoke the desire or intention.

Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness feel the void or lacking within-they feel the hunger.  Hungering for righteousness was to receive the attributes of male and female, mercy and judgment, long suffering and power to reach a state of beauty, wholeness, or holiness before God. When a disciple prayed desire to be filled with YHVH or with these attributes (and the balance that should exist between them) that portion of God (the Ruach Elohiym/Holy Ghost) is poured into them and they in turn bestow that portion in blessing God and blessing others. In doing so, they receive from the never ending river of the living waters of grace by bestowing grace upon others.  This same sentiment was expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

"And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us. And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;  And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness...I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace." (D&C 93: 11-13,19-20)

When a person desires or changes his intention from wanting to receive to covet (i.e. the natural man) to desiring to receive to bestow (the spiritual child of God) it was taught that he created a screen (masach) or a reflective surface. This screen or reflective surface enables us to reflect the joy (condition of oneness with God) to both God and mankind.  The simple change of intention or desire to receive the essence or attributes of God is what was known as the mighty change of heart. This is the ancient Hebrew Idea behind the scriptures:

" And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" (Alma 5:14)

I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? (Alma 5:19)

When the offering of prayer is sincere desire and intent, we are filled with strength (gevurah) and we receive the light or Spirit of God.  The light we receive is mercy which allows us to receive wisdom and understanding.  As we are filled with light and truth, we understand the attributes of a spiritual condition or world (i.e. Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah, Atzilut or This world, Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial).  As we are filled and progress receiving the conditions/attributes/ or spiritual substance, we progress from one world to another or one degree to another. Each world or degree corresponding with a greater state of wholeness/holiness/perfection and each degree having a new name.

Each degree or world represents our state or condition of spiritual progress. As we ascend this ladder, our minds, hearts, and consciousness become closer or in a state of greater oneness with God. As we progress up the ladder, the natural man is subdued as we submit to oneness with God.  We cannot destroy the natural man because in this world it is us, BUT we can transform the natural man like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

This type of prayer, the offering and purification of our intentions or desires, is real repentance.  No fruits or works are manifest until after the intentions or desires are purified or transformed. While many religions teach that repentance is the changing or stopping of an action, the Science Of The Fathers teaches that true repentance takes place in the intentions or desires with the resulting fruits being naturally produced afterward.  The focus is on mirroring our desires and intentions with God. This is why Israelite repentance looks so bassackward to the western gentile mind.  The battle is not in the actions, but the battle is in the intention or desires. This is the understanding behind the phrase, "Repent, therefore, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance;" (Matthew 3:8).

True Repentance is the purification of intention and desire.  After the intentions and desires are purified, the works or fruits will naturally be produced.  Attempting to destroy or change the fruit is like trying to destroy the fruits or branches of a tree or weed without addressing the roots.  The roots are the unseen spiritual forces (intentions and desires).  If the roots are neither tamed, transformed, or pulled up then the branches can do nothing but produce the fruit that the roots provide nourishment for.  This is the ancient teaching behind the scripture, "And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so."

Every Tree (Man or Woman) produces after his or her own kind.  The outward branches and fruits (works) being a manifestation of the roots (desires and intentions).

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (3 Nephi 14:16 and Matthew 7:16)


To be continued.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Science Of The Fathers- The Book of Remembrance and The Scriptures of Israel

ADAM THE FIRST SCIENTIST


The history of this science that God delivered to The Fathers is traced to the foundations or the creation of this world.  In fact, however, the science is actually much older than this earth and contains the laws and principles upon which all creation was organized.  In Israelite tradition and lore, Adam and Eve kept a record of this knowledge and the  revelations of God that were supposedly passed down from one patriarch to another. Over the centuries there have been some oral teachings passed down through various sects of Judaism that claim to have preserved various portions of this knowledge, but no single sect appears to have preserved all of the teachings-with many teachings being lost all together.  It was also taught in the oral traditions of Israel that these records were preserved in the undefiled language of Adam and were the records by which his descendants were taught.  (Of note there are still some books in Judaism brought forth in the middle ages that claim to be this record, but there is no proof that the extant texts that make the claim are valid or of ancient date.)

What is important is that both Mormon and Jewish teachings share this concept of an ancient record composed by Adam. This same tradition and teaching regarding the existence of  the "first records" was also a teaching delivered by Moses:

"And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration; And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled."  (Moses 6:5-6)

According to Israelite tradition and lore, the record of Adam tells of the creation of the earth and the descent of the souls of man from heaven to earth.  It also supposedly detailed his interaction with different angelic beings assigned to this world and the eternal cycle of progression of God's children between the worlds.  The record also supposedly contained a revelation to Adam entailing the beginning of creation to the end of the world and progression into "the world to come".

ABRAHAM THE SCIENTIST


In Israelite tradition, Abraham was also a great teacher and preserver of the Science of The Fathers.  It is also told that he passed this knowledge through not only Isaac, but Ishmael, the Children of Keturah, and his many servants.  It was taught the he was shown the wonders of creation, asked direct questions to God, and ascended to through the worlds above like Enoch. It was also told that he passed the knowledge and keys of how to ascend into these upper worlds to his descendants as well as a knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and language, among many other things.

This same sentiment also exists within Mormonism as well.  As it is recorded in the Pearl of Great Price:

" In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence; And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers." (Abraham 1:1-2)


MOSES THE SCIENTIST


During Israel's sojourn in Egypt much of the knowledge of the Fathers had become lost or corrupted with idolatrous influences.  In response to Israel's condition, Moses was commanded by God to restore much of the Science of the Fathers to the various tribes of The House of Israel.  His disciples such as Joshua the son of Nun and the 70 Elders of Israel being the primary students and teachers to dispense this knowledge to the rest of the nation.  Unfortunately, due to Israel's rebellion, much of the great knowledge was withheld from the masses, but still preserved by the various disciples of Joshua and the 70 Elders for those who desired and qualified.  Part of the transmission of this ancient science was the revelation of the Torah which included the instructions whereby Israel on earth could obtain what was known as the "promised land"/Atzilut/ or the presence of God. Written in a manner to both reveal and conceal, the Torah of Israel contains this ancient science written in true Israelite Fashion to convey a story so simple a child could remember it and yet so sublime that those who were taught with the keys of the ancient knowledge could unlock the deeper teachings.

"The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, and he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence. And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless?

And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease. Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth. And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all." (Moses 1)

To understand The Science of the Fathers, we have to understand the manner in which it written. While it is not necessary to read and write Hebrew, we have to understand that this knowledge was transmitted using stories to present concepts and ideas. Stories about the events, people, and journeys become a method of transmitting great principles and ideas of the celestial worlds. The symbols in the accounts describe how the forces of the celestial worlds interact with this world. They transmit knowledge of how this world and the universe work. When the Scriptures are approached in this manner the stories in the Book of Mormon in the Bible take on new meaning.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree



In the Science of the Fathers, one of the first principles taught to a disciple when reading an account in the Scriptures was to identify the causative actions and their effects in every story. Tree of life symbols, philosophies, and paradigms permeate the world and words of the Scriptures. For example, in the Israelite mindset, the symbols of a tree or a plant with both branches and roots represent a series of causes and effects. Literally and figuratively the roots of the tree are equated with the cause. The effects are literally and figuratively considered the branches and the fruits. This same principle is encoded in the Hebrew language as Hebrew words have both parent roots and children branches.

The same is true with the stories and accounts recorded in the Scriptures. The roots are equated with spiritual principles, laws, and ordinances that cause certain effects be produced in this world. The branches and the fruits that come from them are the effects that are connected and originate from these roots or causes. It is taught that the roots exist in the celestial worlds while the branches exist in this world. In other words, just as roots grow below the ground and cannot be seen, so are the spiritual principles, laws, and forces unseen. This is why the prophets defined faith as follows:

"And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32:21)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

We exercise faith based upon promises that are expected to be fulfilled, spiritual laws, and principles which are unseen or not yet materialized in the world that we live in. This is why the words of the Prophet Alma are so important because his parable of the seed and the tree in Alma 32 are perfect examples of this eternal principle:

"Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." (Alma 32: 26-28)

The seed is the word that is planted below the ground-the unseen world of the spiritual. Being nourished it begins to take root.  The roots representing the spiritual principles, laws, and forces of the unseen world.  The results or effects of these spiritual principles, laws, and forces being the seen trunk, branches, and fruit.

That which happens in the celestial or unseen worlds shows up in the material world. Stated another way, that which happens in the roots manifests in the branches and fruits (i.e. the kind and type of fruit or lack thereof). If the seed is nourished according to the principles, laws and forces of the celestial, they produce the desired fruit or effects. As man is both spiritual and physical, he exists as the link and mechanism between these two worlds being able to influence the spiritual and manifest in the physical.

As they read and studied the accounts given in the Scriptures, the disciples of the Science of the Fathers were to discover causes and effects or roots and branches of every story.  Each event, occurrence, and outcome of the particular story that occurred in their physical world capturing principles and laws of the Science of the Fathers.  Adam partaking of the tree of knowledge, Moses parting the Red Sea, Nephi obtaining the plates from Laban, Lehi finding the Liahona at the door of his tent, Nephi breaking his bow, or Nephi obtaining food, or building a ship to sail to the promised land being stories that both reveal and conceal great principles of this eternal science.  In feasting upon the words of the scriptures, they learned the celestial principles to transform their hearts and the world around them. This concept of unseen and seen or cause and effect being the Israelite understanding and practice communicated by Moses;

"And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word."  (Moses 3:7)

The various accounts in the Scriptures relate many stories and events. In addition to the literal rendering of the stories, the events were written in such a manner to preserve and teach the laws and principles behind the spiritual forces that govern the Heavens as well as mankind and world around us. Men and women such as Abraham and Sarah, Joseph in Egypt, Moses, Lehi, Nephi, etc are not only to be considered as people but also represent but spiritual elements/forces that work on and transform the desires of the heart.

For example, let's take the story of the Exodus.  Besides being an account of the physical events, the story was written in a manner to communicate certain teachings regarding The Science of the Fathers. As they were delivered from Egypt (Mitzraim-representing the trouble and tribulations of the World), they commenced their journey to ascend the Holy Mountain of Sinai into the presence of God.  The physical leaving of Egypt into the Wilderness being what was taught as a separation of the spiritual child of God from the world of the Natural Man.  Each event of the Exodus revealing and concealing the process and principles by which men ascend into the presence of God.

THE BOOK OF MORMON AS A SCIENCE BOOK


The purpose of the Book of Mormon was to preserve and restore many of the plain and precious truths of the Science of the Fathers as transmitted by the prophets Lehi, Nephi, and their descendents. In doing so Nephi follows the ancient method and pattern of transmission by communicating his journeys in a manner that captures both the literal events and preserves the principles of this ancient science. When Nephi obtained the Record of the Jews, he not only obtained the physical record, but also preserved teaching of how to obtain the Record of Heaven. When Lehi obtained the Liahona he not only obtained the ball of curious workmanship but also preserved teaching regarding the ancient Paths of Wisdom. When Nephi came to the land Bountiful and worked timbers of curious workmanship, he not only built the ship, but also preserved teaching of how man constructs his vessel to reach the promised land or the presence of God. Each word and event of the stories carefully preserved and chosen specifically to be communicated in a way to both reveal and conceal this ancient science. This is why Nephi draws upon various stories and teachings from the Torah of which the Exodus is but one:

"Therefore let us Go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea." (1 Nephi 4;2)

This portion of the Torah cited contains the primary teaching regarding the overcoming of our Mighty Adversary in the obtaining of the Record of Heaven. In the Exodus, Pharaoh and his armies represent a Mighty One in his forces who attempt to prevent the children of Israel from leaving spiritual Egypt to obtain the Torah of God and his presence. In Nephi's account Laban and his 50 representing a Mighty One who attempts to prevent Nephi and his brothers from obtaining the
Record of Heaven before their Exodus into the wilderness and their ultimate goal of reaching the land of promise. The fullest purpose of the story not being that the Exodus happened, or that Nephi just obtained plates, but that these events are happening to you. Not only that they are happening to you, but the stories contain the path and principles by which you are to obtain the same.

The Scriptures in general and specifically the Book of Mormon when understood in true Israelite manner really are a Great and Marvelous Work. The message being communicated in a multi-dimensional format. Many of the keys to understanding the Scriptures have either been hidden, lost, or disregarded because of the ignorance and stupidity of men throughout the ages. Yet despite this predicament, God has preserved these teachings and in his mercy extends them to us in our day. The language of Israelite symbols is a discipline of deep thought, revelation, and study. Where one may read the simple story of Adam and Eve and the serpent, another sees the ancient meaning of Adam as the desire to give/bestow while Eve is seen as the desire to receive with the serpent being the ego or natural man.

"And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.

And in that day Adam blessed (blessing - bestowal) God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed (i.e. woman being a receiver of the seed which brings life), and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient." (Moses 5:9-11)



To Be Continued