Back in the Wilderness: and the Rough Places, Plain

Yesod, the Church at Smyrna






And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


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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 of affirmations.

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 body.

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 of Principle.

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!






Churches of Asia