Back in the Wilderness: and the Rough Places, Plain

Malkuth, the Church at Ephesus

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of Elohim.



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When Kether is the point of origin in study of the sephiroth, Malkuth is understood as fruition; but when Malkuth is the beginning focus, it is best understood as conception. Kether and Malkuth appear, visually, to stand at opposite ends of a continuum; in fact, however, they are more like a single point located on a circle, the number of degrees being represented by that point-- its value, or significance-- being determined chiefly by the direction of one's approach in the illusory dynamic of time.

The linear aspect of the inward journey from Malkuth to Kether is experienced by our minds; the circular aspect, by our spirits. The close relationship between the two spheres is understood even in their names: Malkuth is translated as "Kingdom" and is often associated with the tribe of Ephraim; Kether is rendered as "Crown," in association with Judah.

Ten (Malkuth) is, after all, another level of One (Kether); and in various studies throughout the centuries, several Adam Kadmons have been stacked, one above another, to signify progressive revelation, with Malkuth and Kether interchanging at successive levels of symbolic thought. This tradition recalls the Isaiah precept, HaShem's word to them was "here a little, and there a little."

In the ascending progression, which moves from thoughts of the created order to meditations upon the nature of Elohim, the student advances from Malkuth to Kether, finding in Kether insights that generate understanding that forms a new and richer Malkuth, from which to begin again. In the descending progression, which moves from conceptions of Elohim to conclusions on the nature of His creation, Malkuth transforms into another order of Kether-- new understandings of Elohim.

Using Malkuth as point of departure, we focus upon revelations of the first Adam, as known in our mortal tabernacles, seeking understanding of corollary implications for our walk in the second Adam. The sephiroth are also known as "emanations," or pourings forth of Light. As Malkuth is the root, or lowermost manifestation, of the Tree of Life, we consider our bodies to discover the lowermost member responsible for the manifestation of the physiological equivalent of light, or because of which is routinely generated conscious, motivational thought-- equating that member, and its functions, with Malkuth.

We adopt this procedure because of the unity of scriptural imagery: the menorah, or "candlestick," of the tabernacle of Moses is the prototype for both the seven candlesticks of the message to the churches of Asia and, in a mystery, for the ten silver and ten golden candlesticks of the temple built by Solomon.

The revelation to Moses is that these seven lights are branches of one holder; the revelation to John is that the lights are perceived as functioning individually, being united in the High Priest who both holds and moves among their lights, and whose Father is the Light thereof.

That it is possible for the candlesticks to be removed out of their places (compare, "if thy right eye offend thee"), connects this imagery loosely with Paul's teachings on the wild (silver) branches and the natural (golden) branches of the olive tree, a symbol of the Life Tree as revealed in Man, the Temple of Elohim.

The wild olive's branches are the ten silver candlesticks of Solomon's Temple, whose place was not specified in that revelation. The natural olive's branches are the ten golden candlesticks, which served to light the way into the holy of holies, proper home of the true Menorah. In Messiah, both the wild and natural olive branches are grafted into the true, Eternal Olive, the Tree of Light, which Light is the Life of men.

As there is but one Church-- one Menorah, one united Olive Tree, one Body-- and as the messages are sent to the seven churches that are in Asia, we conclude that Asia, lair of the fabled Dragon, is a symbol of the libidinal attributes of the flesh as measured in the astral plane, and that the individual churches of Asia are symbolic of the energies operative within the physical forms and faculties housed by the flesh-- by body, by earth, by galaxy, by universe. The flesh may be weak, but it is not unholy; for the flesh is also the true Temple in which the spiritual churches of Asia congregate to worship Elohim.

When the messages actually begin, moreover, it is not the churches, or body faculties, that are addressed directly, but the angel of the church assembled at each city, or dominion, of Asia. As the manifested existence of angels is in heavenly realms, the angel of each church of Asia is interpreted as being equivalent to that portion of the unconscious mind exercising control or spiritual oversight upon the locale entrusted to its supervision-upon those forms and faculties in its domain.

That the angels are addressed and that the churches are all invited to hear interiorizes the teaching by Paul, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." We do not imply that the angels of the churches of Asia are wicked, but that they are subject to wickedness as they succumb to the gravitational pull of lower, subterranean realms, forgetting their place of origin and their ultimate destiny.

The same judgment applies to the forms and functions ministered to by the angels of the churches of Asia as to the angels themselves: there is no wickedness in the flesh itself, nor, necessarily, in the exercise of its faculties (as supposed by the Nicolaitans, who practiced a rigid asceticism that indirectly accuses the wisdom of the Creator in providing His creatures with such troublesome dynamisms as are found in the flesh), but only in the uses to which the flesh may be subjected at the instigation of a faulty will or under the magnetism of a faulty inclination.

Human will is a faculty that operates as from below, and inclination is a force exerted as from above. The ancient maxim applies: as above, so below; and, inversely, as below, so above (compare Matt. 18:18). The act of will is answered by increase of inclination, whether according to the law of sin unto death or to the law of redemption under grace unto eternal life.

In his message to Ephesus, Yahushúa both commends and criticizes the fidelity of the libidinal angel, speaking through him to the congregations of all of Asia, which churches we have interpreted as representing the collective forms, functions, and faculties of the human body. The roots of fidelity among humans are found in the reproductive organs and the emotional and intellectual complexes involved therein. The judgment, "thou hast left thy first love," positions the axe head precisely at the root of the Life Tree in each of us. This root is Malkuth, the bridal chamber.

Even so, baptism into Messiah is as a wedding, making of twain a new man: wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh-- one Body. The fruition of that union is as a birth-the emergence of One. In birth, the head is presented first, in the process called "crowning." Again, we see the close relationship of the spheres Malkuth and Kether.

If we die daily to the isolation of sin that Messiah may be born anew in us, we also are resurrected daily into His life. It is this daily sacrifice of self and daily rebirth that builds faithfulness in the chamber of Malkuth. As we renew fidelity in Ephesus, the allegiance of the angel is assured; for he will be bound by the strength of proper nourishment flowing into the Tree from its roots.




Churches of Asia