Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Tabernacle of the Godhead

O worship Yahweh in the beauty of holiness: tremble before him, all the earth.

- Psalms 96:9

Incense lies heavy in the atmosphere. It swirls through your senses, tickling the nose, tasting the mouth, touching the eyes. It smells sweet, dark, rich.

You open your eyes. The gold glints in the shadows, making your irises sparkle with the glory of its wealth. The mercy seat stands in the womb of the temple, before your eyes, borne by majestic creatures whose colossal wings span out and above in dazzling grandeur, arching over the throne of God. The faces of the creatures are turned to one another. Fire burns in their eyes. They perch upon the Ark. Majesty reigns. Intense spiritual presence wrestles around the gleaming gold overlay. The sweet smell of acacia wood hangs faintly in the atmosphere. To touch is death, for the Cloud Fire prevails sovereign on the throne, above the stone tablets of His Law, the Law that brings life and light. The Law that frees.

You tear yourself away from the throne where visits the God who is Love. You fold back the thick curtain of finely woven linen, richly colored violet-purple, red-purple, embroidered with the great winged creatures who guard the Ark of the Testimony. You leave the Holy of Holies, the Qodesh-Qodesh, and enter the Holy Place.

A gleam in the dusk catches your eye. The glimmer of gold, the scent of acacia wood. You come round the curtain and see, sparkling against the rich tone of the maroon drapery, the table of offering. Beautifully moulded, crowned with bowls and goblets and jars and platters of pure, fair ore. The loaves, baked of fine wheaten flour, crushed-olive oil, and ground incense grace the gold plate.

Opposite the table a shimmering lamp-stand sheds forth light upon the magical surroundings. You marvel in the beauty of the golden form, beaten forth in the loveliness of calyxes and petals, branches crowned in almond blossoms, red-flamed lamps standing in the cups. Light shining in the Temple of the Light of the world.

You become aware of the sun filtering through the opening of the Holy Place, filtering through the screen of fine, twisted linen, tinted blue and purple and scarlet, wrought with skilled needlework. The heavy, soft cloth hangs upon five strong pillars of acacia wood, overlain with gold, socketed with brass. You walk through the doorway, and out into the court.

Splendid color surrounds you. Violet, crimson, and azure draping create the boundaries of the court. The finely twined linen garlands columns of gold, poles of silver, hooks of bronze. A golden lamp, burning continually with pure pounded olive oil, flickers purple shadows on the richly stained curtains. The red light is attended from dusk to dawn by the sons of Abarone, before Yahweh, as an endless edict for all ages of Israel.

Your attention is brought to the middle of the court where stands the altar, by the bleat of animals being lead toward the mizbeach. Built of hollow acacia wood, crowned with four bronze horns at each corner, complemented by bronze pans for carrying away the fatty ashes, bronze shovels, bronze sprinkling basins, bronze hooks, bronze fire pans. The flame from the lamp mirrors in the metal.

You see Abarone and his four sons surrounding the altar. Awe strikes you at the splendor of their raiment in the light of the sun, the fire of the lamp. Robes and embroidered tunics adorn them, giving dignity and magnificence to their strong, tall frames, the color glistening in their brown eyes. A turban crowns each regal head, covering their brown locks. A flower of pure gold, engraved with the words Qodesh Yahweh is attached to a violet-purple cord, which hangs from the winding cloths of the turban. The clothes are made of dyed linen to match the curtains surrounding them, hemmed with pomegranates and golden bells which tinkle at all times, so the sweet sound foreruns their entrance into the Holy of Holies. Below their thick, long beards rest the ephod and the breastplate, spun of violet linen, swung with gold chains of rosettes and purple cords. Two cornelians, engraved with the twelve names of the Princes of Israel, hang in gold settings upon the straps of the ephod. The crimson-violet linen is set with twelve rare stones to represent the names of the Tribes, glinting with all the colors of the rainbow that surrounds the heavenly throne of God.

The Urim and the Thummim adorn the breastplate over his heart, thus giving Abarone the judgment of Israel to bear, in the presence of Yahweh, forever. In the holy flower upon his brow he carries the shortcomings of the things consecrated by the people of Israel, to make them satisfactory to Elohim. Avarone bears the remembrance of the names of Israel's sons upon his shoulders before Adonai. Avarone supports the chosen people of El Shaddai upon his heart, always. Avarone is the Priest of Jehovah.

You hear the bleats of lambs and goats, the coo of doves and pigeons, echo through the court. You see the white wool and grey skin, the white feathers and the grey, burn upon the altar, sending up a pleasing aroma to the Godhead. Their blood is poured around the altar, their life spilled out for the souls of humanity, so that they might possess Life Eternal. The garments of Abarone and his sons are sprinkled with the blood, anointing oil, incense. They are purified. Israel is purified.

You step outside the court, through the lovely linen drapery, and see God's creation all around you. Green grass. Blue sky. Golden sun. A sweet wind blowing through the trees. You worship Elohim, the God Who Is.

Thine, O Adonai, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine, thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as King above all.

- 1 Chronicles 29:11

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Medieval and The Post-Modern

'Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.'

~C.S. Lewis

'Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.'

~C.S. Lewis

Medieval World-View

The medieval man believed that the world was set up in a way that inverted our natural experience. He believed that the universe was a chain or set of graded planes, the top of which was the highest Heaven, in which God dwelt in timeless, undeviating unity.

The second link of the chain was the high angels, gradually grading down in an intricate theology of numbers to the lower angels, who dwelt in the realm of Aether. The Aether was described as the means through which God communicated with the Earth. It consisted of all living intelligence beyond the moon. Rather than being Space, as we term it today, the Aether was a dazzling world of light, filled to overflowing with miraculous planets, stars, and spiritual beings. The medieval man believed the darkness with which we see it was only a shadow cast by the earth in the light of the moon, and that, in reality, outside the shadow, it was a sphere of glorious light. Aether and the high Heaven were at the top of the chain, and the medieval man praised them for their very unchangeable quality, their fixedness.

Below the moon there came Air, through which the Aether communicated with the Earth. The Air, in the medieval mind, was directly influenced by the warfare that went on in the Aether and the highest Heaven. Thus, birth, death, sickness, health, were all contributed to events taking place in the spiritual realm. Therefore doctors would blame sicknesses on what they named 'Influence', which, in the Italian, is 'Influenza.' Thus the beginning of the term.

Below the Air there came the Earth, on which Man, with his supposedly disgusting inconstancy and fickle purpose, dwelt. Man and Earth were distorted mirrors of the Heavenly realm. Thus the medieval man's fetish with creating as much beauty on Earth as possible, in order that he might come closest to the vast glory above the moon; thus the medieval man's staunch belief in the spiritual properties of the stuff of Earth, and his loyalty to magic-lore. For where the Astrology of the planets and the Aether forced upon man a changeless Fate, Magic was developed as a means to cast off the icy clutches of serendipity.

Beneath Man came the Animal world, which the medieval man viewed as a grotesque shadow of himself, through which he could learn spiritual lessons. For example, the ant was a lesson for the sluggard, the rule of the queen bee a lesson for the monarch.

Lower than the Animal was the Plant, filled with life and yet inanimate.

And below the Plant, at the very outskirts of the medieval world-view, lay Hell and the daemonic world, as far away from God as was possible in the intricate planing of the spheres.

Post-Modern Worldview

Interestingly, the post-modern man has a fully different view of the world. In fact, it is inverted. Where the medieval man believed in a world of utter order, absolute truth, the post-modern man believes there is no truth, and that each person's absolute is made up only of his mysterious experiences. Rather than God being at the center of the universe, with the sinful Earth being at the very outskirts of the Heavenly Realm, the post-modern man believes that the sinful world is the center of the universe.

As time goes by, the post-modern worldview becomes more and more obsessed with what to the medieval man was the low rung on the ladder: the Plant. Thus, the Green movement. The post-modern man has intellectually negated the possibility of either a Hell or a Heaven, and, instead, has endowed the realms of Plant, Animal, and Air with a strange, god-like authority which must control the actions of Man.

On the next link of the post-modern chain is Man, which, with the Animal as his god, is seeking to become more and more like an Animal himself. Just as the medieval man sought to become like his Creator, so the post-modern man seeks to become like his supposed predecessor, the Animal. Thus, the post-modern man has negated meaning in the universe. There is no spiritual realm, there is no truth, there is no creativity, there is no intelligence except to prove intelligence non-existent, for the Animal is not in the image of the Divine, the Animal has no reason or emotion, the Animal has no creativity, the Animal has no intelligence. With all divine impartation, with all sub-creational responsibility, with all wisdom gutted, the only thing left for the post-modern man is his gut appetite. His chosen life is one of wandering purposefulness, constant changeableness, the very thing the medieval man detested as a part of the Fallen realm.

Below Man is what the post-modern man terms Space. It is a domain of nothingness. Even the stars, the planets, and the miraculous lights that inhabit the world take a background view to the blackness that was only a shadow hiding glory in the medieval man's mind. The post-modern man believes in no beauty, no glory, no virtue. He believes only in a sadist mentality… the savage instinct for survival.


So, we see that the medieval man, embracing his God-given desire for the Kingdom of the Spirit, did everything he could to minimize his Fallenness by enveloping himself in the realm of Glory. The post-modern man of today, by completing the negation of the Dark Ages begun in the Renaissance, has minimized the spiritual to the utmost degree, in order to more wholly embrace the Animal in the Flesh.