Just prior to the beginning of this revelation, I was one seeking earnestly to bring every faculty into obedience to Torah-- not as one under the Law, in fear of wrath, but as one growing unto true fulfillment of the Law in grace-- that my knowledge of the Father's righteousness and my relationship with Father and Son might be complete. Among my many apparently contradictory resolutions at that time was that I should purge from my mind all servitude-- both conscious and unconscious-- to religious imagery of all kinds: I wanted nothing at all to distract from my feastings in the Spirit. Had I been able, I would have dismissed from my mind the Holy Scriptures, themselves (John 5:39).
In the context of this immature zeal, which was nonetheless holy in the sight of Elohim, I understood the parable of the rich young ruler who asked the Savior what he must do to inherit eternal life. The Master's outpouring of compassion in response to the man's sincere response, "All these I have kept from my youth," gave to me new meaning to the teaching, "One thing thou lackest."
In obedience to the letter of the Law according to the logic of the carnal mind, the young ruler-- whether he was rich only in the filthy mammon of this present world, or whether he was blessed with the righteous mammon of the spiritual life that is open to a man who is operating by the understandings born of natural wisdom-- had not even begun to obey in accordance with the vastly higher standards demonstrated in the perfect spiritual mind of Messiah. The first and greatest commandment was yet far beyond the man's comprehension; how, then, was it possible for him to observe the rest of them?
So many times, my own children have listened to my instruction concerning a thing commonplace to adults, assuring me they have understood every detail of my intent-- protesting so, even against the most solemn warnings! Disasters later, they acknowledge that the context into which they received the instruction was, in fact, insufficient to assure adequate performance.
Coming back for hasty clarification, time after time for detail after repeated detail, they remain all too ready to mistake progress for mastery and to run headlong, again, into catastrophe: confident that their grasp of the latest detail has provided all they needed to know. Finally, however, they learn to wait for my fullest explanation; and when our communication has at last become truly complete, the obstacles to their success and our mutual satisfaction become as though they had never been.
Our heavenly Father desires much more for us than that we should merely be able to follow his instructions by rote. He cherishes our obedience according to our understanding; for He desires that we also come to know the fullness of the divine Wisdom that gives birth to His utterances. Only full discernment of the faces of Elohim can satisfy the first commandment. Until we truly know Him as He is, therefore, we cannot help but put gods of our own invention before Him. A young child's father is a wonderful fabrication in the young mind, and only their life together can unfold the true reality of the relationship.
The wealthy ruler was yet young, but he no longer had the faith of a child. He had developed well-tutored habits of rote obedience without ever having learned the commandments' spiritual basis, and his zeal consisted of devotion to form.
To move from the impoverishment of mere literal observance to the fullness and perfection of the spiritual, the young ruler first had to abandon everything he was capable of leaving-- not the letter of the Law, but his carnal understandings of it, as the letter has its own, eternal existence apart from those captives of time who study it; and the written Torah will eternally reassert itself at proper moments in the spiritual sojourns of mankind, serving as a good goad of guidance along the narrow path to perfection that lies within.
The carnal mind contemplates the Ten Sayings as commandments; the spiritual mind wonders at them as holy prophecies, knowing that their fulfillment is the gift of Elohim (Zech. 4:6). Unaware until the teaching from the Master that his attachment to possessions mocked his piety, the rich young ruler had to turn away in sorrow: he was unwilling to die to mammon, that he might live to YHWH. In order to follow the Father's words of spirit and life by the mouth of the Son unto their prophetic fulfillment as they are written upon the heart by the walk in Messiah, the man's thinking self needed to be reborn, that it might fill again with the letter of the Law as it speaks to those born of the Spirit.
A dear scripture comes to mind: "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." As the written word came by holy men, so must it be interpreted by holy men-- and not by only some holy men, but by every member of the Body of Messiah, as their voices, combining together like the many instruments of an orchestra, declare the unified overtones and harmonics of every notation in the entire score.
When the revelations that resulted in this book began to come in my life, I was in a position not unlike the man in the parable of the rich young ruler. Unlike him, however, it was given to me to take that first step along the indicated path; and I soon found help along the way.
On the threshold of a new understanding of scripture and the ways of Yah, I was led by the Holy Spirit into a close relationship with a brother in Christ Jesus who was deeply engaged in the study of both Jewish and Christian kabbalah, or "qabalah," as it is sometimes rendered into English. Often translated as "tradition," kabbalah is the study of the oral, apocryphal, and pseudepigraphical traditions of the Congregation, from the time of Moses to the present; and most kabbalistic works evidence a great reverence for the accepted, written canon.
Distinguishing it from the work of other schools of scriptural exegesis, the literature of kabbalah includes commentary, works of revelation, and collections of both scholarly and mystical speculations on the meaning of a symbol known as Etz Chaim, "the Tree of Life," which symbol is also known as the ten sephiroth, or "spheres," and as Adam Kadmon, meaning "the Projection of Man."
I had heard vague rumors of the mystical system of kabbalah, but I supposed that its secrets were contained in a single book somewhere. Imagine my surprise when I found that diverse system rushing upon me like a mighty flood, well before a first kabbalistic text had been given into my hands! Still a novice at that time concerning accepted scripture, and therefore standing with one leg in the realm of literal understandings and the other in the realm of spiritual interpretations, I had many opportunities to thank the Father that He had founded me on the Rock that underlies all sound interpretation some thirteen years before I began an intensive study of scripture.
This background is not of great significance in itself, nor does it add greatly to this presentation; but those unfamiliar with kabbalah might be encouraged to know that these pages were not given to a kabbalistic apologist, but to one who-- just three years previous to the first writing-- was, himself, reluctant to take up this cross.
In prayer for guidance at the beginning of my serious study of scripture and my cautious inquiry into the value of kabbalah, I was admonished through the Holy Spirit, "If I open a door for you, you ought to go through it!" Amazed at such a gentle rebuke for my lack of faith, I determined in myself to abandon-- once and for all, I thought-- the paths I had imagined that I ought to be taking and to take daily, as I should be enabled, those steps prepared for me from above: "Sufficient unto the day," as it is written.
Immediately upon settling my will upon obedience, I began receiving visions of lines written upon my soul-- such as David must have seen when he received the pattern for the first temple at Jerusalem. One of my impressions, when I first saw the traditional representations of Adam Kadmon, was that the symbol was, in some way, incomplete; and I had begun, even then, extending its lines beyond their usual limits. Now, I saw in the Spirit that those lines were leading somewhere specific, or to some specific thing-- a new or greater or more complete symbol and revelation: if not new, then a restoration of something very old, indeed.
A word to those who correctly call Adam Kadmon the symbol of the Tree of Life: it is, indeed, a symbol of the Tree, but of the dry Tree-- the Tree in winter, when the sap and the life it sustains have withdrawn into the roots for a season. As such, its correlations in Messiah are hidden; for we know that the Tree of Life, which stands in the midst of the paradise of Elohim, bears fruit month by month, sustaining us through every season. The paradise of the kingdom of heaven lies within.
Adam Kadmon is an ancient symbol of the first Adam, who bears in his design the image of the Living Elohim, and in whom spiritual men can discern the clear imprint of the Complete Adam. These pages present that Tree both in its familiar form and in its expanded form of young foliage: know, therefore, that full summer is, even now, at the very doors.
The diagrams collected into this book are presented to aid the Body of Messiah in learning the dimensions and applications of the symbol of the Believers' Tree of Life. Studies of the Tree-- and these pages merely present symbolic representations of that Tree, which are by no means to be mistaken for the Tree, Himself-- are lawful for all who have risen from the dead (Matt. 17:9) and who have overcome in the church of Asia at Ephesus (Rev. 2:7).
Such a one will look upon these symbols in prayer, trusting that the Spirit of Truth will reveal the twelve manners of fruits in their seasons. He will not struggle idolatrously to attain insights (1 Tim. 4:8), but will rest in the blessings of those who wait upon YHWH; for "it is not for man to direct his steps."
To paraphrase the words of the author of The Zohar to students engaged in studies of Adam Kadmon, "Blessed is he who has entered therein and departed therefrom, but cursed be he who enters therein and does not depart therefrom; it would be better for him if he had never been born." The carnal mind cannot learn the secret things of Elohim by this or by any other means. The Tabernacle of David, like the temple being built without hands, is rebuilt in the Spirit.
Any insights, revelations, and applications derived from this study, it is therefore understood, must be evaluated in terms of their harmony with both Holy Scripture and the indwelling witness of the Holy Spirit, both of which shall continue throughout the eternal ages in which the Tree of Life shall be revealed in its great fullness.
Genesis 15:19 tells us that the land of the Kadmonites (those who study the Projection of Adam) is given unto Avraham and to his seed, the Body of Messiah. To inherit this land as a lasting possession, it must be stressed, one must remain certain that his eyes are fastened resolutely on the second Adam, who pointed the way to the true Door to the holy of holies within the City of David: the Chamber of the High Father-- His Meeting Place, which room is the bosom of Avraham. Some other focus, as upon the symbols themselves, will end in the violation of idolatry, an invalidation of truth.
It is not the purpose of this work to develop an infallible system of interpretation, though many interpretations are included herein, and not without system. Interpretations belong to YHWH/hwhy and come by the Spirit through whatever means He might choose. Nor is the purpose of this book to generate applications, which also belong to HaShem, and which shall unfold by His Wisdom in due course. Neither is this work's purpose to present every insight expedient for understanding the symbols, themselves, which purpose is fulfilled by the ongoing guidance of the Spirit of Truth, which has testified already by John the Revelator that the twelve manners of fruit come in their seasons-- in their times.
The purpose of this work is simply to present the fruit of the Spirit as it has been received; for the fruit contains the seed, which, finding fertile soil, will raise unto the Life that beget it yet more abundant life.