The location in the flesh of the church at
Smyrna is not so apparent as for the church at Ephesus; it is
inferred from the text of other messages to the churches of Asia
by searching this way a little and that way a little-- in scripture,
in the flesh, in experience in the Spirit, and in the traditions
of kabbalah. As pertains to the first Adam, I found Smyrna to
be symbolic of the abdominal region. "If any man lack wisdom,
let him ask Elohénu, who giveth to all men liberally and
upbraideth not." The fullness of the stature of Messiah
Yahushúa comes in the unity of the faith by the aggregation
Malkuth is often signified by the key words
"stones" and "Rock," as used in the King
James version of "The Book." The order of authority
in the Kingdom of Elohim is conveyed by such words in Yahushúa's
teaching to Peter about the keys to the Kingdom: "Cephas"
(Kepa/PK), as Peter is also called, means "hollow rock"
or "stone"; "Peter" (Petros) means
"rock"-- larger than a stone, but connoting a piece
of rock; "Rock" (petra) means "massive
boulder," connoting the mass from which petros is
extracted. We therefore say that the keys to the Kingdom are
in this understanding: "A little, hollow stone can become
a rock, but the Boulder is boss upon the Mountain of Elohim."
Yesod, or Foundation, also has its key words
in the King James, among them "reins" and "foundation."
The abdomen, as traditional location of the reins, is also the
location of the beginning of life-- of its foundational moments--
in human reproduction. Not only is the abdomen the general location
of the mother's womb: the egg, having been fertilized and beginning
to divide and multiply, is transformed into the new tabernacle
of flesh from the navel outward, unto the completion of the entire
When the body has been formed and emerges
as a whole organism, furthermore, it is the functions of the
reins that predominate the early, foundational days of the child's
life-the taking of nourishment and the elimination of wastes.
As life continues, the faculties of the reins learn to extend
their foundational functions, becoming leavened by the influence
of other faculties-- the appetites broadening beyond their basic
attachments, to lead the organism into one activity for growth
and another for balance, and so forth.
It is significant that the spheres Malkuth
and Yesod are located on the same path line, the center path:
the relationship of the two is both sequential and uniquely direct.
In Malkuth the bride and groom are united; in Yesod are unveiled
the parameters of the partnership: the progression is from faith
during espousal and exchange of vows to knowledge of the significance
of unification upon consummation of the marriage.
In addressing the angel of the church at Smyrna,
Yahushúa confirms at once his identity and authority and
proceeds with a message containing no rebuke, but only words
of encouragement, recalling the image of the bridegroom preparing
his bride for the long walk they will share together. It is not
that there remains no more to be overcome, as the crown of life
(Kether) has yet to be bestowed. There is yet reason for rebuke,
which is indeed forthcoming in the next message to the churches
of Asia; but in Yesod, Yahushúa is busy strengthening
trust, or faith, and laying a foundational understanding for
the trials yet to come on the path to spiritual maturation.
The proper foundation is laid by removing
things movable and coming to bedrock. Spiritually, this is achieved
by affliction of soul-- by digging deep in relentless examination
of self to discover what is superfluous in one's life-- what
is contrary to the measurement of Messiah. This work is full
of tribulation, and its immediate end is a sense of impoverishment
at having shed physical, emotional, and psychological frills
and dainties. The loss of the various forms of the mammon of
unrighteousness, however, shall be compensated by ten-fold gain
of righteous mammon-- of enduring treasure, both now and in the
life to come.
As one nears freedom from vanity, however,
he is distracted by the realization that not all who are nominally
walking the same path are making the same sacrifices. This realization
is a great stumbling block, moving focus from the motes remaining
in one's own eye to the beams in the eyes of others; and a dual
focus, Yahushúa taught in his ministry upon Earth, is
the beginning of great darkness that only seems as light. Yahushúa
affirms progress and redirects the mind of the angel at Smyrna
precisely to that focus of faith which will consecrate the true
Jew's travail unto fruition.
The devil, that fallen angel of the carnal
mind, will cast some who have progressed thus far into prison
for trial and tribulation lasting ten days: he will sift them
into portions to try their purity. If the ten spheres, or sephiroth,
are symbolic of stages or levels or days of spiritual reality,
it is likely that every pilgrim will either pass through them
or become entrapped within them.
Those who wrestle with the realities of the
spheres are as those apt to become imprisoned within them. These
will have tribulation; for their focus is not perfectly Messiah
himself, but the garments of Messiah-- the doctrines and righteous
mammon of spiritual strengths with which the Father has clothed
him. This focus upon garments is a way that seems right to many;
but its end is, mercifully, destruction culminating not in annihilation,
but in restoration of proper focus by the paring away of error.
Iniquity in the Body operates in a mystery.
We are not called to serve forms, even if they be the highest
forms, but to serve the Spirit of Elohim, the Living Principles
from whence forms flow. Perhaps yet another metaphor will make
the point clearer: doctrines are not principles, though they
easily appear so from our perspectives below, but are as the
winds stirred by Principle as it moves against the shifting sands
of human values and mutable states of being. We enter into His
rest as we come to know the still, small, inward voice that wears
against all turbulence.
The ways of Principle are not somewhat higher
than the ways of forms; they are vastly higher. Heaven and Earth--
the context in which we presently interpret the written Word
and by which we understand Messiah, the Living Word made flesh
by the anointing of Y'shúa-- will pass away; but the Word
will endure unto eternity, being eternally reinterpreted by forms
according to their experience of the transforming revelations
In the week ordained by Messiah from the beginning,
there are not ten days, but seven-- seven appearances of one
light. Similarly, there are seven churches of Asia-- of one continent--
not ten. The countenance of Messiah is as the sun, whose power
supplants or greatly diminishes lesser lights ordained for mercy
in periods of darkness. As children of the Light, we are not
permitted to focus forever on the lesser lights; for we, ourselves,
have been kindled with enlightenment.
Proper focus on the Single Light of Elohim
moves us upward in Adam Kadmon not through ten levels, but through
seven-- as three levels are lighted, as it were, by binary stars.
At no level are we to become enamored with the angels, or lights,
residing therein. If we should find ourselves encumbered by multiple
focuses on lesser lights, the message to Ephesus would still
apply: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because
thou hast left thy first love."
When we are lighted by the Light of Messiah,
every bowl and knop of the Menorah-- of the human tabernacle
as the Body of Messiah-- is revealed as being lighted by that
one Light: the prayer is that we may be One! As we lift Him up
from the Earth in our members, we become the city set upon the
hill: not only is the single Light that is in each of us visible
to all, but it is also incapable of being hidden-- by bushels
(measures used in commerce), by powers and principalities, or
by any such thing. The Light of God's Son shines outwardly and
inwardly, exposing all things to our understanding in accordance
with our needs, whether they be the hidden thoughts of men or
the hidden things of progressive levels of spiritual reality.
We proceed not by contemplation of such holy
mammon as doctrines, nor by mastery of mysteries or of sephiroth,
but by continuing to seek first the Kingdom of Elohim and His
righteousness: His Light, whereupon all these things shall be
added unto us. It is our discipline only to order our minds correctly,
giving glory to Principle for all things, that we shall be prepared
to walk without offense in the many garments with which we shall
be clothed in the eons of eternity.
That our spirits and their angels shall be
so clothed is conveyed in the promise, "He that overcometh
shall not be hurt of the second death"; for we know both
that, "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life,"
already (one can truly and fervently believe while still vulnerable
to sin, and those so coming unto the Son shall in no wise be
cast out), and that, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Eternal life does not depend upon perfection; eternal identity
does. Praise the Holy Name!