Monday, March 25, 2019

The Tools Of The Disciple - Part 8 In The Watchers Series




The initiate into the ancient School of the Prophets embarked on a journey of holiness and discipline. The disciplined life created the conditions of holiness which allowed the disciple to be a connecting link between Heaven and Earth. As we become skilled in the art of the ancient disciplines taught to and by the Prophets, we follow in their footsteps to become vessels of spirit and light that are meant to draw people to God (YHVH).

The ancient art of the Prophets was composed of disciplines designed to bring the disciple to a knowledge of God (to know in Hebrew is to experience).  The disciplines were comprised of practises that schooled the disciple's daily habits and practises which ultimately led to the correction of the heart.  The correction of the Heart is what was known as walking after the order or pattern of the small face of God or as is also communicated as The Only Begotten.  When the heart is made whole the spirit of man is elevated and vibrates in concert with the Spirit of God (YHVH).  When a group of people heal their collective heart the Kingdom of God is restored to the people.  It is our direct experience (knowledge/knowing) that leads us down the path of darkness or the path of light.  Unless we enter our experiences with God and man with a corrected and healed heart, we will continue to walk in the footsteps of the natural man and woman, who are an enemy to God. As we begin to experience life with a healed and corrected heart, true beauty will follow.  As we create the beauty of God here on earth, the Kingdom of God is on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Just as the new disciple is immersed in the water grave of the tevilah (i.e. baptism/immersion) they die as to their old person. You as (Fill in your name here) become dead and arise as a new creation in Messiah.  In this new creation, all our old patterns and habits are meant to be shattered.   The old person, patterns, and habits belong to the world of the dead and darkness and must be returned to that world. In doing so, the disciple becomes a Son or Daughter of Light.  Is all done at this point? No. Because in this death, they have only walked through the gate.  Now comes the journey of filling our lives with the milk and honey of God's teachings and instructions.  The Son or Daughter of light is then on a journey to learn the disciples way and the art of Warfare.  True ascension to the Throne of God is not something that we do only once and we are done.  True Ascension is raising our spiritual consciousness and resonating with the Spirit of God (YHVH). It is something we live every day. It is a journey. 

The Prophet Nephi teaches this same ancient principle: 

"And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?

Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.

Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them."  (2 Nephi 31:6-9) 

He goes on by saying:

"Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive." (2 Nephi 31:17-18)

Nephi continues to follow this ancient pattern also communicated in the ancient Schools of the Prophets:

"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." (2 Nephi 31: 19-21)

Tool 1: Emunah-The Decision to put your Loyalty and Trust in Messiah:


The journey of the disciple is the journey of decision.  Most of the doubts and insecurity we face is because we have not made the decision of Faith (Emunah).  In Hebrew faith is not mental belief or assent, it is a principle of action wherein we have made the decision that we are putting our Loyalty and Trust in Messiah.  How do we have more faith?  The question we should ask is "How can I be more loyal to Messiah?"

This principle of faith as loyalty is demonstrated by the Messiah when asked:

"The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’?

Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’?

Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?

So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

In the above teaching of the Messiah, he demonstrates faith/faithfulness (emunah) as being tied to actions of loyalty as a servant would be loyal to a master.  He is not saying to squint your eyes and grunt until you make your brain believe something that is not true or might be true.  He is admonishing us to trusting and loyal service to him as a servant would to a master.  True faith is not hypnotizing yourself to believe something that isn't there, it is a decisions to be loyal and trust the Master in all things- that whether good or unpleasant, all experiences bring us to him.

Tool 2: Having a Perfect Brightness of Hope


In Hebrew hope (tiqvah) is not wishful thinking.  It is an expectation based on a literal promise made by God.  When we place our hope in God, we are placing our expectations of an outcome based upon a literal promise made by God.  Our Hope or expectations are founded upon a declaration made by God.  If God has declared a promise, then a disciple sets his or her expectations based on the promise God has made.  If God made no promise, then there is nothing to base your expectation on.  When there is no promise, we are then engaging in wishful thinking. In wishful thinking there is only found doubt and uncertainty. To know what to expect, we must learn what the actual Promises of God are. 

Tool 3:  A Love of God and of all Men


It may seem strange to refer to Love as tool, but it is in our desire to receive from God to bestow upon God and upon our brothers that the power of God is revealed. When asked the question, What is the Highest law, the Messiah responded by declaring the Heart of Israel Given by God and recited by every observant Israelite to this day- The Shema:

"Hear, O Israel: YHVH our God, the YHVH is one.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9)

This scripture known as the Shema is the epitome of Oneness of Heart and Oneness of Mind. In Israelite thought the Heart is the center of our Thoughts.  To be ONE HEART is to have the thoughts or words of God always in our conscious and unconscious thoughts.  Our thoughts should be on the fulfilling of his Words and Goals.  The Mind is the center of our will power or force of will which is the source of all our actions. Our deepest need is for the joy and fulfillment of being in a state of Oneness with our God. We receive this joy and fulfillment because of the transformation that comes when we connect with the Light of Christ/Messiah wherein his nature of love and sharing becomes our nature. In other words, we receive his image in our countenance.

Acting in the Love of all Men is a reiteration of the 2nd greatest commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39)  When we live in a state of desiring to receive from God to bestow upon others we fulfill the condition of "no poor among them".  When we live in the state of Desiring to receive from God to covet- THE LIGHT OF CHRIST/MESSIAH IS RESTRICTED AND ALL BLESSINGS CEASE.  There can be no coercion in the things of God. No one, not even God, can impose light and truth upon anyone that is not prepared to receive it. But once someone is prepared to receive, the Light of Christ is there to supply all things. The highest level of Tzedekah and of having no poor is to transform the desire to receive for ourselves alone into the desire to receive to share with others. 

Love is the answer.  It is not just a feeling.  It is expressed in our actions.  We must care about the one lost sheep.  We must be willing to descend below all things in order to ascend above all things for the Love of God and the Love of all Men as Messiah did. The word of God heals, but only for those who are willing to partake of it.

Tool 4: Feasting Upon The Word- 


The idea of reading the scriptures is less that 1% of the Israelite meaning of the phrase "Feasting Upon the Word".  It is taught among the sages of Israel that the Word of God is the fruit of the Tree of Life.  The scriptures are the doorway to higher knowledge.  Without the word of God, mankind will remain conflicted and tossed to and fro by the winds of doubt.  It leads us along the path to receiving the love of God.  The idea of "Feasting on the Word" is connected with a principle taught among the ancients that as we meditate upon and contemplate the word of God our spirit begins to resonate with the Spirit of God that was the original source of the Words.  It was this idea that is connected with Nephi's instructions:

" And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?

Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark." (2 Nephi 32: 1-4)

As a person's spirit begins to resonate with the Word of God the light of God begins to transform the person even as the Angels speak by the power of the Ruach Elohiym (Holy Ghost/ the Essence or Mind of God). It is partaking of the word of God (whether we are conscious of it or not) that we are transformed and the Ruach Elohiym also flows through our hearts and minds into our manifest actions.

The phrase "ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark" is connected with an ancient meditative practice taught in the School of the Prophets called Hitbodedut ( meditative isolation or separation) wherein the disciple begins to cleanse the mind by separating from the distracting thoughts and distractions going on around us or in our heads (sometimes called mental clutter or the monkey mind).  It is when the mind becomes separated from this sensory clutter that we will begin to hear the voice of God that pierces the hearts of man. When the prophets came befoe God in prayer they detached from the sensations and sensory clutter of the world and their bodies and mind became quiet and still.  Once they reached this quietness of soul, they begin to reach a condition of spiritual balance wherein the rhythm of the opposing polar thoughts and forces are neutralized and the path of spiritual connection is open.  The idea of asking, seeking, and knocking does not mean that we repetitively hound God until we get what we want but that we first find the place of quietness, then ask with our desire or intention.  It is then that the prophet descended into the klipot/the veil/the internal barrier into the darkness wherein they reached a point of almost total consumption by the darkness wherein they called upon the Name of YHVH (knocking) whereon they were then brought into the light.

This same principle is demonstrated by the Prophet Lehi:

"And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.

And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.

And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.

And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy." (1 Nephi 8: 7-10)

It was also demonstrated by the Prophet Alma:

"And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there." ( Alma 36:17-22)

Even so it was also demonstrated to the Lamanites because of the Emunah (faith/faithfulness) of Nephi and Lehi:

"And it came to pass that they were overshadowed with a cloud of darkness, and an awful solemn fear came upon them.

And it came to pass that there came a voice as if it were above the cloud of darkness, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.

And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—

And notwithstanding the mildness of the voice, behold the earth shook exceedingly, and the walls of the prison trembled again, as if it were about to tumble to the earth; and behold the cloud of darkness, which had overshadowed them, did not disperse—

And behold the voice came again, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; and seek no more to destroy my servants. And it came to pass that the earth shook again, and the walls trembled.

And also again the third time the voice came, and did speak unto them marvelous words which cannot be uttered by man; and the walls did tremble again, and the earth shook as if it were about to divide asunder.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites could not flee because of the cloud of darkness which did overshadow them; yea, and also they were immovable because of the fear which did come upon them.

Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them.

And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels. And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven; and they were in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld...

And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?

And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.

And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.

And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, behold, they saw that they were encircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire.

And Nephi and Lehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory." (Helaman 5:28...44)

Whether through willing submission as with the Patriarch Lehi and his descendants Nephi and Lehi in the Book of Helaman, or through judgment as was the case with Alma and the Lamanites who sought to kill Nephi and Lehi ALL must descend into the darkness and in that place of utter submission to YHVH (God) they then call out to him.  It is in that moment the gates of the Kingdom are manifest and the Light of God is revealed.

Tool 5: ENDURING TO THE END


The western gentile concept often associated with the phrase, "endure to the end" is something akin to, "He who dies in the most pain and suffering wins!".  In the Israelite mind the word for endure is the word regel which communicates the idea of walking forward as in walking forward on a road to a destination or goal.  The Torah is often called the way or the path and as we endure or rather more accurately walk forward on the path of dicipleship outlined we then reach our destination.  It has nothing to do with "grinning and bearing it" as much as it has to do with being decisive and focused that we desire to walk in the path of God's instructions of the heart-The Sermon at the Mount/Temple and the Ten Commandments. This pathway of the heart is what leads us to the end- Eternal Life with God.

We walk this pathway of the Heart as we engage in true Israelite Prayer which in essence is that our desires come into harmony with the desires of Heaven.  In all that we do, we seek oneness with God (YHVH).

"And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.

But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." (2 Nephi 32:8-9)



TO BE CONTINUED- The Key to the Gifts of the Spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. Thank you.
    What sources do you have for what you refer to as the "ancient school of the prophets"?

    ReplyDelete