The next chapter on the Gathering is long overdue. A while back Glenys asked me about the benefit of the gathering verses staying home and working with the people. I hope this supplies the answer.
For those of you who are new the previous chapters are in Samu's archives.
THE GATHERING OF LIGHTS
Chapter Seventeen - The Ensign to The Nations
Continuing with the interpretation of the scriptures let us quote: "And in that day there shall be root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
Here again we have a mention of the root of Jesse from which springs the BRANCH. Many Christian believers, and even Paul himself, thought this may be a reference to Christ, but the correspondence would indicate that Christ is the stem of Jesse instead, for he descended from him. The root of Jesse is more likely to precede him, as well as the Christ, since all nourishment comes from the root. The roots then would symbolize the Father aspect instead of the Son and he who most truly symbolized this was Melchizedek from the days of Abraham. Concerning Jesus' connection with him it is written: "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.,. As he also saith in another place, Thou art a priest forever ("for the age" -Greek) after the order of Melchizedek."
Melchizedek was overshadowed by "the ancient of days" and this is the one who called Christ to be after the order of Melchizedek, making the order of this priesthood the true Root for the Root feeds and precedes the stem (literally "trunk' in the Hebrew.). Excalibur was a symbol of the keys of this order and Joseph Smith was the last one who wielded them. From the foundation he laid will spring the BRANCH and one of the members of the BRANCH will again receive the keys of Melchizedek and be a correspondence to the Root living in our day. There will also be a correspondence to the Rod and eventually all the correspondences will be here simultaneously, producing a real living plant.
Concerning the Root (and possibly the BRANCH) it is written: "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations..." Isaiah 11:12
Exactly what is meant by the word "ensign"? It comes from the Hebrew word NEC. Its root meaning is "to gleam from afar". It can be translated as: flag, banner, pole, sign, signal, standard, or ensign.
The gathering is an actual principle that governs the evolution of all things. Each time a new leap in evolution is imminent a gathering of intelligence occurs.
This happened when humans evolved from tribal living into kingdoms. As the most intelligent tribes gathered into a kingdom an ensign was created that set a standard for other tribes who were scattered. It was not long before the benefits of kingdom living were so well demonstrated that many tribes gathered and formed numerous kingdoms and nations.
Then when the new world was discovered an ensign of freedom and self government was set up as a standard. Again many of the most enlightened peoples of the world were attracted to this standard and gathered by the millions to America.
The question arises: Wouldn't it be better for the enlightened ones to stay with the less ambitious and attempt to stimulate and help them?
Answer: The laggards will have cyclic opportunity to be stimulated by their more advanced brethren, but when the day of progress comes the lights must gather or the day of opportunity will pass.
Those who left their homes and went to America for freedom and opportunity were often criticized by their friends back home for leaving, but these hearty souls went to the new country and created a new step in social evolution that became an ensign, or an example to the others they left behind.
It was not long afterwards that a new type of constitutional government proved so successful that many other nations began to pattern their own constitutions and governing principles after it. It turned out that not only did those who gathered in the new land benefit, but in the end those who stayed behind had positive changes occur in their own country thanks to the example set by the ensign.
If those in Europe and England who sought for greater freedom and opportunity would have stayed home, few if any of the positive changes would have happened.
Even so it shall be with the future gathering. The lights will gather together and create a new society that will be the envy of the world. It will be an example of freedom, spirituality, efficiency, healthy inhabitants, and abundance. When new working principles are demonstrated people among the sluggish nations will say - "The Cities of Light are doing new things that work. Let us pattern our system after theirs so we too can prosper and benefit."
The word meaning "Ensign" was first used in the Bible in connection with Moses and the fiery serpents and was translated as "pole." As the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness they complained against Moses and against God. God then sent a plague of fiery serpents who bit the people and caused many to die. The people, of course, began to repent and asked Moses to save them. "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole (from the Hebrew NEC= Ensign), and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Numbers 21:9
Jesus commented on this event: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14-15
The serpent then is a symbol of Christ, either the one within, or the one in Jesus, but the Ensign was that which lifted the Christ up so he could be looked upon.
Another clue to the Ensign is given in the following verse: "...lift up a standard (Ensign) for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, bought out, a CITY not forsaken." Isaiah 62:10-12 Then two chapters earlier we are told: "They shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 60:14
The ensign that will lift up the Christ consciousness in humanity then will be Zion "the city of the Lord".
This correlates with a revelation given to Joseph Smith: "For behold, I say unto you that Zion shall flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her; AND SHE SHALL BE AN ENSIGN UNTO THE PEOPLE, and there shall come unto her out of every nation under heaven. And the day shall come when the nations of the earth shall tremble because of her and shall fear because of her terrible ones. The Lord hath spoken it. Amen." D&C 64: 41-43.
This correlates with the ancient prophecy: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh (Christ) come; and UNTO HIM SHALL THE GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE BE." Genesis 49:10
Most Bible scholars accept that "Shiloh" is a symbol of Christ. It is quite fitting that the gathering of the people, or the building of Zion will be unto Christ, for the ensign is to lift up Christ so all men will be drawn to him. That will lift their own Christ consciousness.
"Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, (Nations), and set up my standard (Ensign) to the people: and they shall bring their sons in their arms and their daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be their nursing fathers, and queens their nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet..." Isaiah 49:22-23
Even kings and queens shall be impressed with Zion and eventually honor her and help to build her cities.
"When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in His glory." Psalms 102:16 Just as Moses could not lift up the symbol of the Lord without an ensign, even so must we have the ensign of Zion established before he comes in glory.
"Thou hast given a banner (NEC, ensign) to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth, that thy beloved may be delivered." Psalms 60:4-5
Isaiah chapter eleven continues: "And it shall come to pass in that day (the day of the ensign and the Root & BRANCH), that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people (those lights with the Israelite or God consciousness), which shall be left from Assyria (In the Hebrew this means the successful and prosperous people), and from Pathos (The southern countries), and from Cush (The darker skinned peoples), and from Elam (Those who seek out the mysteries of God), and from Shinar (Those who are seeking to leave corruption and want to dwell with more enlightened people), and from Hamath (Those who are seeking protection from possible future calamities), and from the islands of the sea (Not only literal inhabitants of Islands, but also signifies those who think for themselves and raise above the sea of emotions). And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, (those who are seen as strange because of unorthodox beliefs) gather together the dispersed of Judah (those who have the true wisdom to rule) from the four corners of the earth."
Not only will the house of Judah be gathered but all of the "outcasts of Israel," all who listen to the God within. Isaiah here presents a beautiful correspondence with the prophecy of the Master: "And he shall send his angels with the sound of a trumpet, and they shall GATHER TOGETHER his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:31
The term "angels" is misleading here for it comes from the Greek AGGELOS and literally means "messenger, or one who carries a message". It may or may not be a superhuman being.
"Trumpet" is from the Greek SALPIGX whose root meaning imply "to shake or disturb".
"Gather together" as explained earlier means "To gather into one place".
"Elect" is from the Greek EKLEKTOS which is usually translated as "elect" or "chosen", but its root meaning is "to make a choice". The elect are those who have power to make their own choices without the consultation of an authoritative figure. They are independent of all but the God within and have "chosen" the path that leads to the Christ consciousness. They are as the wise virgins with the oil in their lamps and can stand alone against all odds and do not have to borrow light from others, but always recognize other lights presented.
The word "send" comes from APOSTELLO which is derived from the same root as "apostle" which means "one who is sent". APOSTELLO is usually associated with an enlightened message.
"Sound" comes from the Greek PHONE from which the modern word telePHONE is derived and means "to bring light or communicate".
Let us put all this together and create a more accurate translation: "And he shall send out his messengers with enlightenment that will shake to the core, and they shall gather together into one place those who have chosen him, from the four winds, from one extreme of heaven to the other." [compare to Matthew 24:31]
Many of the parables make reference to the gathering of Lights (Israel). For instance, the parable he cited after the above quotation is concerning the ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom (Christ) and the five who were wise went "out" to meet him at a specified location.
There is the parable of the wheat and the tares which tells us that the wicked and the righteous will be together until the end of the world (age) when there will come a separation. The wheat (Israel) will be gathered into barns (the cities of Light) and the wicked will be gathered to be burned.
Then there are others: "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels (the cities of Light), but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world" ("world comes from the Greek AEON which means "age"). Matthew 13:47-49
It is interesting that the scriptures tell us that the sea stands for "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17:15 and that the modern day "net" is the Internet, or the World Wide Web. With this in view it is quite possible that the one of the fulfillments of the gathering will be though the interNET , gathering Lights from all the peoples of the earth.
The parables of the marriage of the king's Son (previously cited) and the great supper are both representations of the building of Zion.
Just about all of the teachings of Jesus were directed toward the building of the kingdom of God by gathering the elect. Is it any wonder that he exclaimed: "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matthew 23:37
Isaiah continues after speaking of the gathering and the ensign: "The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim."
In scripture all the ten northern tribes were often referred to as Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom was called Judah. In more recent history Judah would refer to the Jews and is symbolic of other men who acquire great wealth or status, such as royalty. Ephraim in this context would refer to the rest of the populace. Ephraim has always been jealous of the Jews and has hated them and persecuted them; On the other hand Judah has always been a thorn in the side of Ephraim and has caused him much irritation and vexation. This prophesy tells us that this situation will end and the two will recognize they are brothers and cooperate.
The next verse is interesting: "But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines TOWARD THE WEST; and they shall spoil them of the east together..." Isaiah 11:14
"The Philistines" is a symbol of the non Israelites. This scripture already has had partial fulfillment. When the New world was discovered many who sought self improvement and greater freedom gathered out of the nations and came to America. Later many gathered here because of the draw of various spiritual teachings.
In the next gathering many seekers will literally "fly" in aircraft owned by the modern Philistines toward the west and they will spoil them of the east together. Those of the East are the modern Jews whose attempt at building Zion will be overshadowed in the glory of the ensign which will raise the Christ consciousness.
The verse continues: "...they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them." Isaiah 11:14
The word "lay" is a mistranslation of the Hebrew SHALACH which means to "Send out, stretch forth, or reach forth". "Shall obey them" is also misleading. "Obey" is from MISHMA'ATH which is better rendered "hearken" or "to hear intelligently". Several possible words are also left out. The ancient Greek Septuagint manuscript has the word "first" inserted twice in this verse.
Most important is understanding what is meant by Edom, Moab and Ammon. "Edom symbolizes those who are not thought to be enlightened by the authorities of the earth - the second class citizens. Moab is literally "her mother's father." Israel, or Jacob's, mother's father was Bethuel which means "destroyed of God" or "broken in pieces by God, or great power". "God" comes from EL from BethuEL and can also be translated as "strength" or "power" and could be a correspondence to the "One mighty and strong" spoken of in Isaiah 28. Those who are to receive the hand of fellowship will be those who have broken hearts and contrite spirits, those who have had their faith destroyed, or those who have suffered physical calamities.
Ammon means "an inbred tribe". This would refer to those who are the most literal descendents of Israel or one of the Adams that was sent to the earth.
Putting this all together and adding the two "firsts" from the ancient [Septuagint] manuscript we have the following meaning: "They shall first extend their hand to the rejected of the peoples of the earth, and those who have been broken by great power, but those who are the most literal descendants of IsraELites will be the first to hear intelligently." [see Isaiah 11:14]
It is a fact that a highly evolved entity will generally choose to come through the lineage of others like himself. Thus the descendants of Israelites will most readily hearken to the gathering of Israel.
Concerning the gathering Jesus gave another short parable. He talked about Noah and the days of Lot where the righteous were gathered out from the unjust and prophesied of the future: "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord?..."
They wanted to know where those who are the "elect" would be taken. Unfortunately, most born again Christians teach the unrealistic doctrine that they will be raptured into heaven, but Jesus said unto them: "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be GATHERED TOGETHER." Luke 17:34-37 (Compare to Matthew 24:28)
The word "body" here is a symbol of the body of Christ or a group of those with the Christ consciousness and the "eagles" are a symbol of the Israelites (enlightened ones).
In addition there is another correspondence here. "Body" comes from the Greek SOMA which is a derivative of SOZO. SOZO is the word that is translated as "save" throughout the New Testament,, but literally means deliverance.
"Eagle" comes from AETOS which is derived from AER which means flair" or "breath" and is the word from whence the modern word "air" is derived. Air is a symbol of the mind, of those who have risen above the emotional waters of life. The eagle is a symbol of freedom. The eagle flies through the air, or the world of the mind and wisdom, with great freedom. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." [John 8:32] The eagle is also a symbol of a free government. AETOS is a good word to correspond to Israelites, for they live in the plane of the mind and love freedom of thought.
The core meaning of the scripture could read: "Where ever deliverance or salvation is, there will the Israelites be gathered together."
Interestingly, the scriptures tell us that one of the main purposes of the gathering is deliverance, and possible physical as well as spiritual protection. How much protection we will need depends on the free will of man and the steps he takes towards peace in the near future. If he is wise then the deliverance talked of will be of a spiritual nature, but if he is not and there is a World War III or earth changes, then a physical deliverance will be necessary.
Let us all add our light and love to dispel the fear and darkness that envelops so many, that the day may come that light is so universal that a dark corner cannot be found and that love will create such a fire that none can resist being consumed.
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved