The Gathering of Lights

This entry is part 24 of 34 in the series 2011C

TEACHER: Today we are going to discuss a principle that is talked about repeatedly in the scriptures, yet I doubt that you have ever heard a sermon preached upon it. The Bible calls it “The Gathering.” Can you remember who it was that the prophets said would be gathered?

STUDENT: I’m not sure.

 

TEACHER: Let us read a scripture to clarify this. Please read here in Matthew: (Open to Matthew 24:31): {Scripture #1} And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now according to this scripture who will be gathered?

STUDENT: The Elect.

 

TEACHER: Elect comes from the Greek EKLEKTOS which can be translated as either “elect, chosen or selected”. The elect are generally thought of as being the chosen of God, but does it not make sense that they are also people who have chosen God?

STUDENT: It seems to.

 

TEACHER: Therefore, does it sound right to say that the elect are those who have chosen God and in return are chosen back as a recognition that they are on the correct path?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: Who does it say here will gather the elect?

STUDENT: Angels

 

TEACHER: Most people think of angels as spiritual beings, but the word angel is a mistranslation. It comes from the Greek AGGELOS which literally means “messenger”. Did you know that regular mortal men were called angels (or AGGELOS) in the Bible?

STUDENT: No. (Note: If they want proof refer to Rev 2:1 and Matthew 11:10. The word “messenger” here comes from AGGELOS)

 

TEACHER: Therefore, it seems quite possible that regular mortal men and women will gather the “elect” doesn’t it?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: In the Old Testament this event is called “The Gathering of Israel.” Let us read a prophesy of this in Jeremiah 16:14-16: {Scripture #2} “Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” Here the Lord says that He will gather Israel from all the lands that they were driven to, and that it will be such an event that it will eclipse the deliverance of Israel through Moses. How does it say here that God will gather his people again?

STUDENT: It says that He will send fishers and hunters, who will find the scattered people of Israel.

 

TEACHER: Even though spiritual beings may assist us in the gathering, much of the responsibility lies with men and women here on the earth. Do you think that these fishers and hunters could be regular mortal people?

STUDENT: It seems possible.

 

TEACHER: Most of us have heard the name Israel, but few are aware of its origin and meaning. The Bible tells us about a man named Jacob who wrestled all night with a supernatural being in the form of a man. Jacob bested the being and told him he would not let him go unless he gave him a blessing. We can read this blessing in Gen 32:28. {Scripture #3} And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. What was Jacob’s new name?

STUDENT: Israel.

 

TEACHER: We are told here that Jacob prevailed and had power with who?

STUDENT: God and men.

 

TEACHER: Doesn’t it seem unusual that a mortal man would not only have power with God, but also prevail with or over God?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: Verse 30 tells us who the person was that Jacob prevailed against: (Read Gen 32:30) {Scripture #4} And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Who does Jacob tells us he prevailed over in the wrestling match from whom he received a blessing?

STUDENT: God

 

TEACHER: This background helps us to understand the name Israel for it comes from the Hebrew YISRAEL. The first part of the word is derived from the prime root SARAH which literally means “to prevail” or “have power.” The second half of the word is EL which is often translated as “God.” Therefore, the name literally means “to prevail or have power as God or a god.” From what we have read why was Jacob given the name Israel?

STUDENT: He prevailed over God so he was called a name that meant “to prevail as a god.”

 

TEACHER: Now the Bible tells us that Jacob had twelve sons who had a great posterity that were eventually scattered among all nations. Descendents of Jacob are called the children of Israel, or Israelites. The Jews, which are only one of the tribes, call themselves Israelis. Did you know that the Bible indicates that many descendents of Israel will be in the United States?

STUDENT: No.

 

TEACHER: Do you think that all the millions of people who are literally descended from Israel are good and spiritual people?

STUDENT: Probably not

 

TEACHER: This is correct. Even those who put Jesus to death were descended from Israel. Now, on the other hand, do you think that there are some righteous and good people on the earth who are not literally descended from Israel?

STUDENT: I would think so.

 

TEACHER: Therefore, does it sound logical to conclude that the gathering of Israel, or the elect, refers to a quality of people rather than a race?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: The Bible verifies this. (Read Romans 8:14-15) {Scripture #5} For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. How many here can be the sons of God?

STUDENT: As many as follow the Spirit.

 

TEACHER: If a person is not of the race of Israel, but follows the Spirit of God what happens to him?

STUDENT: He is adopted by God.

 

TEACHER: If you follow the spirit of God you are adopted into the house of Israel. Therefore, a true Israelite is not necessarily one belonging to a particular race, but one who has what inside of him?

STUDENT: The Spirit of God.

 

TEACHER: Therefore, if you have, or recognize, God in you, you will then prevail or have power as God. Does it sound right to say that an Israelite is one who realizes that God is in him?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: Do you think we could then say that the gathering of Israel is, in reality, the gathering of those who feel God in them, no matter what race they may be?

STUDENT: I think so.

 

TEACHER: The names Jacob and Israel are symbolic of the two types of people on the earth today. Jacob means “supplanter” and symbolizes the person who is ruled by the lower self. In other words, the lower or carnal self supplants or replaces the rule of the Spirit of God in man. On the other hand, when Jacob’s name was changed to Israel it symbolized that the Spirit was no longer overruled by the carnal. What would then be the true ruler within an Israelite today?

STUDENT: The Spirit.

 

TEACHER: We like to refer to the gathering of these Israelites as “The Gathering of Lights.” Such a gathering is described in Revelations 14:1: {Scripture #6} And I looked, and lo, a lamb stood on mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. Where did these Israelites have the name of God?

STUDENT: In their foreheads.

 

TEACHER: Is it not logical that if you have God within you, and prevail and have the power of God as an Israelite, that you would have the name of God within you?

STUDENT: I suppose so.

 

TEACHER: A son of God is named after his father and grows to be like his father doesn’t he?

STUDENT: Yes

 

TEACHER: This helps us to understand an unusual scripture where the Jews were upset because they thought Jesus was claiming to be God.. (Read John 10:33-36) {Scripture #7} The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the (Correct translation: “a”) Son of God? Who did Jesus say were gods here?

STUDENT: Those who received the word of God.

 

TEACHER: This gives us further evidence that the gathering of Lights will be the gathering of those who are manifesting the God within. How does this doctrine feel to you?

STUDENT: It feels good.

 

TEACHER: Now we will attempt to show you the value of the principle of the gathering by looking into the history of humanity. As you may guess the first gathering of humans in primitive times was the gathering together into families. Eventually a number of families gathered together for their mutual protection. What do we call these first human gatherings?

STUDENT: Tribes.

 

TEACHER: The first governments on the earth were tribal, but man eventually found even the tribe was limited in its protection and numerous tribes gathered together to form a greater unit that is still with us today. What is this?

STUDENT: A nation or kingdom.

 

TEACHER: We will call these early nations kingdoms because they were always presided over by a king or strong ruler with life-or-death power over his subjects. The kingdom was more advanced in civilization than the tribe and within the kingdom there was a much greater measure of safety and security. Even though strong authorities ruled the people and there were some disadvantages, which do you think most people would prefer: tribal or kingdom living?

STUDENT: Most would rather live in a kingdom.

 

TEACHER: The next gathering was rather unique. It began after America was discovered. The call then went forth among the kingdoms of the earth that there was an opportunity for greater freedom and abundance in this new land. Those who did not like the strong authority of the kingdom governments left in search of freedom. What was the basic difference between the people who came to America and those who stayed home?

STUDENT: Those who came to America were more independent and freedom-loving.

 

TEACHER: Yes. The gathering at that time drew many of the most enlightened people of that era: men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and many more. When these people were gathered together they were not satisfied with the old kingdom government. So they created one where the people participated in government. What effect did this third gathering have on the standard of living for its people?

STUDENT: It was greatly improved.

 

TEACHER: The symbolism of these three governments is interesting. The gathering into tribes represented the rule of the physical or instinct. The kingdoms represented emotional rule and the gathering in America produced rule of the mind or common sense. We can see that gatherings have taken us from the physical to the emotional to the mental. Where do you suppose the next gathering will take us?

STUDENT: To the spiritual.

 

TEACHER: This is why we call this next gathering The Gathering of Lights. It will center man’s group consciousness on the Spirit for the first time in history. Do you think that this will improve our quality of life?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: Jesus verified that his work was to bring abundance. Let us read here in John 10:10: {Scripture #8} I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Does it make sense then that a spiritual gathering would produce more abundance?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: Few Bible students realized that Jesus tried to gather the lights in his day. Let us read what he said in Luke 11:23: {Scripture #9} He that is not with me is against me: he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” If you had lived in the days of Jesus how could you tell if a person truly supported Jesus?

STUDENT: He gathered with him.

 

TEACHER: You will remember that Jesus always had his followers gathered around him. They were the twelve apostles and other unnamed men and women. Why do you suppose he wanted his followers close to him?

STUDENT: So he could teach them and they could grow together.

 

TEACHER: Unfortunately he was only able to gather a few. Near the end of his life he overlooked Jerusalem and said these sorrowful words: {Scripture #10} O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matt 23:37-38) Why was Jesus upset here?

STUDENT: Because the people would not gather with him.

 

TEACHER: The Bible tells us how many people were gathered after his resurrection. We can read this in Acts 1:15: {Scripture #11} And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty.) How many people did Jesus gather through his life’s work?

STUDENT: Only 120.

 

TEACHER: That was not very many, but we must remember that this was a spiritual gathering of some of the greatest lights on the planet. Would you agree that this little gathering had a powerful effect?

STUDENT: Yes.

 

TEACHER: People do not realize the powerful effect of even a few souls working together. For instance did you realize that only about 80 people were responsible for the entire Renaissance and only several dozen key people inspired the American Revolution?

STUDENT: Not really.

 

TEACHER: True spiritual gatherings in the past have concerned only a small handful of people. That was because the time was not yet ripe. Now let us reread the scripture in Matthew 24:31 where the gathering of the New Age takes place: {Scripture #12} And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. This time, instead of a few people gathered around Jerusalem where will the lights be drawn from?

STUDENT: All over the world.

 

TEACHER: Where there is a gathering of Israelites, or the people of light, that place has been called Zion in the scriptures. Let us read an interesting prophecy about Zion: (Turn to Psalms 102:16) {Scripture #13} When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. According to this scripture what must the Lord build before he comes again?

STUDENT: Zion.

 

TEACHER: The Lord gives a message to ministers of our time who claim to be shepherds of Israel: (Read Ezekiel 34:6) {Scripture #14} My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. What was God’s complaint here?

STUDENT: No one searched after scattered Israel.

 

TEACHER: Now let’s read on: {Scripture #15} Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock. What do you suppose it means when it says the flock became a prey to every beast of the field?

STUDENT: They were deceived by false teachers.

 

TEACHER: Who do you suppose the shepherds are here?

STUDENT: The ministers in the churches today.

 

TEACHER: We are told that the ministers are not searching for the true Israelites. Instead they became a prey, or hunted. This has certainly been true for the greatest lights in history have always been persecuted or ostracized. Now it says something else here that is really true – that the ministers feed themselves and not the flock. What do you suppose that means?

STUDENT: It means that they take care of their own needs, but not that of the flock.

 

TEACHER: Would you say that many ministers today set a bad example, taking riches for themselves while many of the donors were on social security.

STUDENT: That sounds fitting.

 

TEACHER: Now let’s read a little farther: (Read verses 9-10) {Scripture #16} Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; This saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. What is God going to take away from the greedy ministers?

STUDENT: His flock, or Israelites.

 

TEACHER: Now read verses 11-13: {Scripture #17} For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all inhabited places of the country. Here we are told that God will search out his people. Those who are supposed to gather will receive a witness through his Spirit. When God brings Israel out from the people what will He do?

STUDENT: Gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land.

 

TEACHER: Let us continue reading: (Read verse 14) {Scripture #18} I will feed them in good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. The pasture refers to spiritual food and it tells us this pasture will be good. Mountains in the the scriptures refers to higher consciousness and Israel stands for the power of God. Therefore, what does it mean when it says they will “feed upon the mountains of Israel?”

STUDENT: They will attain higher consciousness through the power of God.

 

TEACHER: What do you suppose it means when it says they shall lie in a “good fold?”

STUDENT: It would mean that they will enjoy the good company of other enlightened people.

 

TEACHER: Now read verse 15: {Scripture #19} I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord. The Lord will feed Israelites with his own Spirit, but what does it mean that they will lie down?

STUDENT: It means that the Israelites are content and able to rest because of the spiritual food. It also means that they have ended the long search for their true shepherd.

 

TEACHER: Finally read verse 16: {Scripture #20} I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and strong; I will feed them with judgement. In the past an enlightened person has felt lost like he is a stranger in a strange land. He was different so he was driven away. His enemies felt threatened so they tried to break him. He became weary in his search and mission so he became sick. What does the Lord say he will do about these problems?

STUDENT: He will heal them.

 

TEACHER: Yes, and he will feed those who oppressed them with a just judgement. The 18th chapter of the Book of Revelations also describes this event. We do not have time to go into the whole chapter, but it says this gathering of Lights will save them from great destructions which may come. Read verses 4-5: {Scripture #21} And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Here they are told to come out of Babylon (see verse 2). Babylon stands for illusion. Why are we told to come out of her?

STUDENT: So we do not partake of her sins and plagues.

 

TEACHER: Sin refers to error and the plagues refer to the destructions which may come. Would this mean that the gathered Israelites will be safe from the foretold destructions?

STUDENT: It seems so.

 

TEACHER: Now let us read another interesting scripture about the gathering: (Turn to Jeremiah 3:14-15) {Scripture #22} Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Here we are told that the Lord will bring Israel out of the cities and families to the gathered condition of Zion. What will the new pastors give them?

STUDENT: Knowledge and understanding.

 

TEACHER: Eventually the people of Light will build cities. We can read about this: (turn to Isaiah 60:14) {Scripture #23} The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the CITY OF THE LORD, THE ZION OF THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL. What does the scripture call Zion here?

STUDENT: The city of the Lord.

 

TEACHER: Isaiah gives us additional information about Zion. (Read Isa 4:2-3) {Scripture #24} In that day shall the branch of the Lord be glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem. Jerusalem and Zion are often used synonymously for Jerusalem means “to show the way to peace.” Who do you think the “escaped of Israel will be?

STUDENT: The gathered Israelites who escaped the error and the plagues of the world.

 

TEACHER: Now read verses 5-6: {Scripture #25} The Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense, and a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. It looks as if there may be a supernatural fire and protection for the gathered people. It says here that Zion will be a place of refuge from what?

STUDENT: Heat, the storm and rain.

 

TEACHER: We have a lesson that deals with these problems when we talk about the various plagues. Now perhaps we can understand this scripture: (Read Obediah Verse 21) {Scripture #26} And saviours shall come upon mount Zion to judge (correct) the mount of Esau (the world); and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. Why are people in Zion called saviours?

STUDENT: They shall deliver people physically and spiritually.

 

TEACHER: Isaiah gives another interesting prophecy about Zion. (Read Isa 60:22) {Scripture #27} A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in its time. Zion will start out just a little city, but will grow to be how many?

STUDENT: A thousand

 

TEACHER: Just as the gathering in America started small and produced a thousand cities because there was more opportunity so will Zion grow because of the freedom, peace and abundance that shall be there. Now we will read one final prophecy about Zion in Micah 4:1-3: {Scripture #28} But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach of of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into prunninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more. There may be literal mountains involved, but the most important meaning here is that Zion will put forth a standard of higher consciousness that will draw many people. In verse three we are told they will even have power to rebuke strong nations afar off. If a nation desires to start a war Zion will have power to rebuke them. Now read again the rest of the verse:

STUDENT: {Scripture #29} And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into prunninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more.

 

TEACHER: Wouldn’t it be great to have a part in fulfilling this prophecy?

STUDENT: Yes, it really would.

 

TEACHER: Then will the song of the angels after the birth of Christ be fulfilled: {Scripture #30} Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)

 

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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