Back in the Wilderness: and the Rough Places, Plain

Netsach and Hod, the Church at Pergamos





And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Yisrael, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.



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Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the covering cherub of the governing forces of instability. A ruler of the second heaven (the first heaven is the mind of man), the adversary gains entrance into Adam-- into the Temple of Elohim-- through the use of air for speech; for we know both that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of him, and that death and life are in the power of the tongue as a former of words. As the exchange of air within the body is accomplished in the lungs, we understand that they are constantly open to the air-- dwelling, in a sense, within it.

Even as the firmament is the dividing line between waters above and waters below, the lungs are that bodily region in which one senses the line of demarcation between the higher and the lower faculties. In their lower function, the lungs supply oxygen to the body's metabolic fires; in their higher function, they are the bellows that fan the fires of the lips. In the more elevated service, however, the lungs supply only the raw material necessary for speech: yet higher faculties mold their contribution into intelligent sounds. Nevertheless, it is in the lungs, as in the firmament, that we begin to differentiate between things above and things below.

The overwhelming focus of the message to the angel of Pergamos is the power of speech. Yahushúa appears in His role as spokesman, reminding us that His words are of a different order than our own (they are Spirit, and they are Life): because by Him is enunciated the Living Word of YHWH Elohim. As the message proceeds, moreover, it compels us to recall the importance of the intricacies of oral communication in all contexts-both as concerns the revelations of Torah and revelations yet to come.

The binary light of Netsach (Endurance) and Hod (Majesty) comprises Pergamos. Identified with the lungs, their unity of operation in the Adam of flesh is well known to all. This third light of the Menorah has yet other traditional names, which speak more openly of their significance in the complete Adam: the spheres are also known, respectively, as the Remnant (the Body) and as Messiah. We could apply to them yet other names according to the binary principle displayed in the traditional names, to bring them closer to the context of the message to Pergamos-- for example, the disciples and the Apostle or the congregation and the minister, and so forth.

Overcoming in Malkuth and Yesod, the pilgrim in Christ has yet many way stations on his journey to perfection. As he approaches Netsach and Hod, which are representative of the collective Body of Messiah, there are forks in the road and choices to be made. Shall he continue to walk in the Light he has known, or shall he turn aside to the lights he perceives? The message to the angel of Smyrna has prepared him for the choice, but it remains a difficult decision-- especially as both spheres affirm the Light he has known, albeit with different hues.

Though he invites destruction by choosing for himself either the right- or the left-hand path (in which case, he risks being led not by the Spirit, but by the reasonings of the carnal mind-- a way that seems right to man), the pilgrim positively invokes destruction by judging those stationed in the spheres to which the branching paths lead as being contrary to Messiah: for as he judges, he will be judged; and he, himself, may be called to serve either in a congregation or as minister to a congregation, whether of one sort or of another. He will certainly be called to take some position in the Body. Before a pilgrim can find his proper place and function in the Church, therefore, he must overcome in Pergamos, that his mind will be ordered correctly to interpret meanings and to discern sources of the mixed sounds that will continue to fill the air therein as the Body moves towards the perfection of maturity.

The Foreword of this book deals with the difficulty of assessing the value and source of words spoken on behalf of the Kingdom of Elohim. To overcome in Pergamos is to learn the application of the messages to Smyrna and Ephesus. Focused in the single Light shining in all of God's Sons, we do not stumble because of its apparent movements among them. At one moment, a man's words seem true; at another, false-- what of it! Seek and serve the Light of Ruach haElohim. It may be necessary for another, truly serving that Light, to appear as a deceiver (while he, himself, remains true), that the focus of an immature brother may be restored to the Source.

Though we have ten thousand instructors in Messiah, yet we have not many fathers. Learn to hear the Father's voice from within the Body, that you may come both to hear and to speak in His power: not as the seer Balaam, who heard as from without and long remained deaf to the significance of that which was spoken unto him, agreeing with Balac that another altar in another time at another place might give other counsel.

A brother's words are received as clean only as they are heard and understood in Messiah. To hear in a focus that celebrates the individual is to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication, whether or not the words were spoken to that intent. See thou do it not: worship Elohim, and have fellowship with thy fellow servants who have the testimony of Yahushúa.

Manna-- literally, "a whatness"-- what is it? It is likened unto a little, white pebble-a clean word with which to nourish the growing Body: not unlike the stone used by Dawid to restore faith in Yisrael, whose covering of faith had been severely threatened by the boastings of Goliath.

There is a tradition that the written word of Torah, whose books are sometimes called "The Five Stones," is black fire upon white fire (as it is written, "He will magnify the law, and make it honorable"). In this context, manna is the white fire of Spirit surrounding every jot and tittle. The names written therein are known only to those to whom the fire is given; and thus, He who overcomes receives a baptism of fire.

Until the fullness of that day comes, let us rest, as we are given, in the Light emanating from the white fire of the written Word, that-- wherever we are positioned in the Body of Messiah-- we shall be prepared to move beyond Pergamos on the center path as we are drawn by the Father unto perfection in the Son. When Yahushúa returns to seal the firstfruits with the baptism of fire, He shall arise from within the hearts of those able to walk with him on the Mount of Understanding; and these shall carry forth to all the heavenly fire of Torah in the sweet savor of the Gospel of truth.m




Churches of Asia