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Month 8:015, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5937:222 AM
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 17 November 2013
Vision of the Blue Altar
The Three Tasks of Messianic Israel

    Introduction

    Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be upon you all. We are assembling today so that I can give you the full interpretation of the vision that I shared with you last week because it is of immense importance to our work as the central assembly of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh, concerning as it does what Yahweh is doing, and going to continue to do, through us if we remain true and faithful. This, of course, also affects all the other assemblies, members and those who have been called into this end-time work of the Remnant. Let's begin by my sharing it with you again as it has now been officially published in the Olive Branch:

    PART A. THE VISION

      "At around 8.45 am on Sunday 10 November 2013 I was shown a vision of the altar table in the main meeting room of Mishpachah Lev-Tsion. It was not in its present position between two windows but against an inner wall and did not have the three decorative plants which today are displayed on it. The only similarity between the altar table in the vision and the current one was the silken blue table cloth which is still in use since the meeting room was first dedicated.

      "At either end of the table in the vision there was a seven-armed candlestick or Menorah which simultanelously appeared also to be a miniature olive tree. At first I saw the two olive trees but these rapidly faded out and the two menorah's emerged in their place. The very clear sense was that each olive tree and menorah were echad or one.

      "Between the pair of olive trees or menorahs was what appeared to be simultaneously a Branch and a tree in much the same way as the olive trees were simultaneously menorah's and trees.

      "Finally, behind the olive trees, menorah's and the Branch, and above them, was a bow (as in a bow-and-arrow) that lay suspended in the air above all the other table items yet apparently against the white wall but with no obvious signs of any attachment. The bow lay horizontally with the bow-string at the bottom and the bow-shaft above it" (OB PWNC 131110).

    Background

    I have tried to represent, as closely as I can, what I saw in the image above, the only difference being that everything around the altar was white. This vision was not given in response to a prayer, meditation or earlier petition but manifested as I was waking up after a long night wrestling with pain. On the evening before I retired, I was working on our new 2013 edition of the Constitution at the request of the brethren in East Africa and had been writing about the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Order that administers and regulates its affairs, Chavurot haBekorot or Assembly of the Firstborn. It's been pretty much dormant for the last decade as we have mostly been teaching - we have only had one ordination during that period. But as the work grows, and the necessity of proper priesthood training assumes greater dimensions, so the re-emergence of the Order must naturally follow, and that is one of the sacred stewardships of the Patriarchate.

    Seeking Multiple Witnesses

    What follows is what Yahweh has shown me over the past few days together with some valuable insights from others. On occasion I post visions without any sort of interpretation so that the whole Body can have the opportunity to seek revelation. Since independent witness is always the best way to test or validate a revelation or vision, there is obviously considerable advantage in doing so. At the same time there are risks when those who are not anointed by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) try to interpret from the flesh or through false spirits. And when the latter are involved, they will always attempt to force their interpretation so as to deceive and mislead the Body. Sometimes I am given the interpretation in advance but don't tell anybody at first and sometimes I only get a partial explanation or none at all, in which case I must let it rest until Yahweh opens it up. Sometimes it requires effort in digging through the Davar (Word) but at other times the interpretation may be given as an instant supernatural revelation all its own. In this case, I was given the meaning of the bow (after one false start) and the altar cloth and had some vague ideas about the other symbols. A week has past and I can offer an interpretion with the understanding that I believe that the meaning is of such depth that there is more yet to be revealed.

    PART B. THE BLUE ALTAR CLOTH
    The Actual and Symbolic Altar

    To begin with, the altar itself, which was made in Singapore and its cloth in Denmark, is a specific one - the one belonging to this central firstborn assembly here in Sweden (see picture below). And whilst the interpretation may quite likely have a wider meaning beyond the specific and in the general, it is primarily about the heart of this particular assembly and by connection or association all those assemblies abroad who are joined to us. This is not, of course, an Old Covenant Altar - literal sacrifices are not made on it. It is a B'rit Chadashah or New Covenant Altar. On a personal level, the New Covenant Altar is the altar of each talmid's (disciple's) heart and is the place where we meet Yah'shua (Jesus) and make covenants with Him. Though the covenants of this Work were made on the altars of our hearts and not around a specific table, the table with the blue cloth sits in our meeting hall as a visible reminder of those covenants first entered into in 1986/7 and thereafter renewed each year at Conference. Specifically, and in the context of the festivals, these are the individual baptismal covenants we made at Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) and communally as the nation of Messianic Israel at Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost').

    The actual altar in the MLT meeting room

    The Colour Blue Interpreted

    Knowing what the altar represents helps us interpret both the items on it and the colour of the tablecloth within its proper context because blue can represent many different things in Scripture. We'll start with the general and then get down to the specific details.

    A Picture of the Heavenly

    The colour blue, which translates the Hebrew tekeleh, typically represents the heavenly realm because the sky is blue and is therefore related to prayer, priesthood and toqef (authority). It represents the eternal presence of Yahweh-Elohim and His Throne:

      "Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire" (Ezek.1:26, NIV).

    The Throne of David and Tzitzit

    What colour is the sapphire stone? Blue. It is the restored Throne of David which will stand above all other thrones when Messiah returns to occupy it. So blue is all that is heavenly which, along with prayer, priesthood and toqef (authority) includes grace, knowledge, emet (truth), the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and the Messiah Himself. When the woman with an issue of blood touched Yah'shua's (Jesus') tzitzit or tassels on the hem of His garment, she was healed.

      "Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tzitzit (tassels) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tzitziot (tassel), that you may look upon it and remember Alef-Taw all the mitzvot (commandments) of Yahweh and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do Alef-Taw all My mitzvot (commandments), and be qodesh (holy, set-apart) for your Elohim (God)" (Num.15:38-40, NKJV).

    Blue in Tzitzit

    What colour are tzitzit? White and blue. For what purpose were tzitzit given to men? To remind them of their Bar Mitzvah covenants to be obedient to Torah and to lead as righteous patriarchs circumscribed by Yahweh's Law and Teachings - their wives, in their turn, are to submit to their husbands. Therefore blue here represents faithfulness to the mitzvot (commandments) and healing. It also represents Messianic Israel and the people of Messianic Israel. And what is the definition of a man or woman bearing citizenship in Israel? What does 'Israel' symbolise? It represents overcoming - therefore blue is the colour of the overcomers...those who wrestle like Jacob to overcome their fleshy natures and become spiritual.

    The Blue Cloth as the Foundation

    Now you may be wondering why I am spending so much time on the colour blue and the reason is that all the other emblems in the vision rest on its foundation. Understand the foundation and you will better understand what lies on top of it. Similarly, a true Christian/Messianic has as his foundation Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and his behaviour can only be properly understood by understanding Yah'shua (Jesus). Whatever the trees, menorah's and other items represent, then, they are to be interpreted by what they rest and have their grounding on. Clearly holiness means a great deal here. Without looking at the meaning of the individual items themselves, can you think of anywhere where they might be found? We'll ask two questions: first, where is the Menorah to be found? And second, where are olive trees found? If we can understand what contains them, we'll understand better what they're for.

    Location of the Menorah

    Let's start with the menorah's. Who can tell me where Yahweh ordered menorah's to seven-armed candlearbres to be put? In the widlerness Tabernacle and later in the first Temple of Solomon and the two that followed it (Ex.26:1; 27;16; 28:6).

    The Three Predominant Colours of the Tabernacle

    As you know, colour playes a significant rôle in the prophetic and apocalyptic and conveys special meanings. Three colours particularly dominate in the Wilderness Tabernacle and they are blue, purple and scarlet. Without going into the specific meanings of purple and scarlet, I want you to notice what is absent of these three sacred colours in the following passage from Revelation:

      "So he carried me away in the Ruach (Spirit) into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) and with the blood of the martyrs of Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Rev.17:2-6, NKJV).

    The Absence of Blue Spells Abomination

    Which of three three colours is absent? Blue - the colour of holiness. The woman here has become rich through fornication and evil means - she has not pursued Yahweh or His holiness. Take away blue from the scarlet and purple and you have an abomination.

    Colours of the Tabernacle Furnishings

    The colour blue figures strongly in the Tabernacle itself and its furnishing all of which, as you know, have a symbolic meaning. They all represent elements of what a life in Messiah consists of. For example:

      "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them" (Ex.26:1, NKJV).

    Covering of the Ark of the Covenant

    Holiness, represented by the colour blue, is one of the three elements or threads 'woven' into the soul of a true believer. But closer to the symbolic meaning of the vision, which was of a blue cloth, is another element of the Tabernacle's construction. Here's the first one:

      "When the camp prepares to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the Alef-Taw covering veil and cover the Alef-Taw Ark of the Testimony (Covenant) with it. Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins, and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue; and they shall insert its poles" (Num.4:5-6, NKJV).

    Covering of the Dismantled Tabernacle and Other Items

    The tabernacle, when dismantled, is covered in blue cloth! In other words, blue is the covering Yahweh's qodeshim (holy, set-apart ones, saints) when they are in the wilderness. We are covered or protected when we are journeying by the colour of holiness. It is our sukkah (tabernacle). However, the Tabernacle in transit was not the only item covered in blue cloth and this gets even closer to home when it comes to the vision under discussion. There are quite a number of different items in the passage that follows as well as different coloured cloths so pay close attention:

      "On the table of showbread they shall spread a blue cloth, and put on it the Alef-Taw dishes, the pans, the bowls, and the pitchers for pouring; and the showbread shall be on it. They shall spread over them a scarlet cloth, and cover the same with a covering of badger skins; and they shall insert its poles. And they shall take a blue cloth and cover the Alef-Taw menorah (lampstand) of the light, with its lamps, its wick-trimmers, its trays, and all its oil vessels, with which they service it. Then they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of badger skins, and put it on a carrying beam. Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of badger skins; and they shall insert its Alef-Taw poles. Then they shall take all the Alef-Taw utensils of service with which they minister in the sanctuary, put them in a blue cloth, cover them with a covering of badger skins, and put them on a carrying beam. Also they shall take away the ashes from the Alef-Taw altar, and spread a purple cloth over it" (Num.4:7-13, NKJV).

    Varied Coverings for the Set-Apart

    We could spend an entire morning examining that passage alone! So sacred were these set-apart objects that anyone touching them who was not authorised to do so will die. Various items were given coverings that included blue cloths, scarlet cloths, purple cloths and badger skins.

    Tekeleth

    As I mentioned, the Hebrew word for 'blue' is tekeleth because it was obtained from the cerulean mussel, also known as the 'sky blue mussel'.

    The Curtain, the Gate and the Way

    The curtain of the gate leading to the Tabernacle was woven with the three colours mentioned plus white. Both the Derech (Way) (Jn.14:6) and the Gate are, of course, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ):

      "Then Yah'shua (Jesus) said to them again, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:7-9, NKJV).

    Heavenly Blue Character

    Likewise Yah'shua (Jesus) alone is the Way and the Gate or Door to the Heavenly Tabernacle of His Father, Yahweh. Now this gate included blue of a very special kind, the heavenly kind, or 'sky blue'. Yahweh wanted this heavenly blue "to sing forth the song of the heavenly nature of [Yahweh]" [1]. Holiness is the heavenly nature or character stamp that we must possess to enter the Heavenly Realm and the only way we can acquire it is through emunah (faith) in Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son. The Heavenly Tabernacle is, metaphorically speaking, a great distance from us, a distance we could never traverse to get to it. Only Yah'shua (Jesus) can be that bridge for us. This was the ladder that Jacob saw while asleep at Bethel. His head lay on a stone pillow representing the rock that is Messiah (1 Cor.10:4) through whom we must first see the Kingdom of Heaven (Jn.3:3) and by whom we must then enter it (Mt.7:13; Lk.13:24). By having the colour of heavenly blue woven into the fabric of our soul are we supernaturally equipped to speak heavenly words, feel heavenly emotions and do heavenly deeds.

    The Four Gospel Writers and their Symbolic Colours

    As a matter of interest (because all these strands of emet (truth) connect) each of the four Besorah (Gospel) evangelists is associated with one of these four colours. Matthew, who proclaims Yah'shua (Jesus) as King is therefore associated with purple; Mark, who presents Yah'shua (Jesus) as the Suffering Servant, is associated with scarlet; Luke, who protrays Yah'shua (Jesus) as the Son of Man in purity coming to save those who are lost, is therefore associated with white; and John, who presents Yah'shua (Jesus) as the splotless Lamb of Elohim (God) who takes away the sins of the world is associated with blue.

    Our Blue Johannine Base

    From our very beginning we have very much had a Johannine tinge. When I taught theology at a private Oxford college my speciality was John's writings. It was always his writings that I felt the closest too by nature as well as by calling. And (no great surprise) blue has always been my favourite colour - initially the pale pastel variety but later sky-blue. Gold and sky-blue are my colours of choice which also happen to be the colours of Sweden (see below) where we are based. And as I was to learn later when I did some family research, the colours of the Warren family crest are blue-and-gold chequer with a white lion on a scarlet field, the family motto being (in Latin), 'The Lion of Judah is Our Strength' (see right). A coincidence?

    Blue and gold of the Swedish Flag

    The Word of Elohim, Tabernacle Service and High Priestly Vestments

    The Ark of the Govenant was, as you recall, covered with a blue cloth because of its close association with the Davar Elohim (Word of God). Blue, as we have also seen, is closely associated with service in the Tabernacle. The robe of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was also blue because of his close association with Yahweh and His Davar (Word):

      "You shall make the Alef-Taw robe of the ephod all of blue. There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear. And upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around" (Ex.28:31-33, NKJV).

    Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is our Eternal Cohen Gadol (High Priest) clothed in blue and white, the colours of the tzitzit (tassels).

    The Set-Apart Community of Messuah

    Are we in any doubt now as to what the colour blue represents in the vision? All of what I have said is contained within this colour which covers the wooden altar of this set-apart community. And wood, you will remember, represents the frailty of our humanity.

    PART C. THE BOW

    The Alef and Taw

    I am going to jump from the blue altar cloth now to the item at the top of the vision so that we can get an overview of the alef-and-taw or alpha-and-omega of this vision.

      "'I am the 'Aleph' (Alpha) and the 'Taw' (Omega), Beginning and End,' says Yahweh, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Rev.1:8, ISRV).

    The Bow of Judah?

    What, then, is the bow that lay suspended above the altar? My first thought was that this had something to do with the 'Bow of Judah' and the 'Arrow of Ephraim':

      "For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion" (Zech.9:13, NKJV; see 2 Sam.1:18).

    The White Horse Rider and Bow

    But there was no arrow in this vision, we are a Joseph/Ephraim ministry and it seemed somehow inappropriate that the symbol of a man should occupy the station reserved for Messiah as the 'highest'. The apocalyptic image of Messiah soon came to my mind as we read:

      "And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer" (Rev.6:2, NKJV).

    Yah'shua is the Rider

    The identity of the Rider on the white horse, if we have not already guessed, is given later:

      "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Davar Elohim (Word of God). And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Elohim (God). And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND MASTER OF MASTERS" (Rev.19:11-16, NKJV).

    No Arrows

    There are no arrows in this imagery because:

      "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of Elohim (God), and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Messiah" (2 Cor.10:4-5, NIV).

    Invisible Weapons

    We fight with devarim (words), with ideas, with emet (truth). Here's the proof in allegory:

      "For look! The wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart" (Ps.11:2, NKJV).

      "Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows -- bitter devarim (words), that they may shoot in secret at the blameless; suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear" (Ps.64:2-4, NKJV).

      "Their tongue is an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit; one speaks peaceably to his Alef-Taw neighbour with his mouth, but in his heart he lies in wait" (Jer.9:8, NKJV).

      "Taking the shield of emunah (faith) with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" (Eph.6:16, NKJV).

    What Was Being Shot From the Bow?

    There were no arrows in the vision but the bow was pointing upwards and not down. What does that represent? It means that what the bow was metaphorically 'shooting' was everything below it - everything that lay on that altar, from the blue cloth to the olive trees to the menorah's and the branch. There was no sword in the vision, only a bow, which is a highly effective weapon at long range - relative to the weaponry that existed in Biblical days. You might say that the bow of yesterday is the ICBM or Intercontinental Ballistic Missile of today. You will recall historically that archers killed Uriah the Hittite, King Ahab of Israel and King Josiah of Judah at long range. The principle idea behind the symbol of the bow is that it is powerful, penetrating and deadly accurate over great distance.

    How This Ministry Uses the Bow

    Consider what we do here at Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT). We seek, distill and concentrate emet (truth). We speak of the divine tavnith (pattern) which is the organisational structure on which emet (truth) principles are arranged. We obtain all of this from the items on the altar cloth, we attempt to incarnate it by being an example, and we send it forth over great distances as electronic and written devarim (words) by means of the Internet, printed literature and by word of mouth. They are the arrows which we send to our frontline soldiers in their battle against the evil one in their personal lives and in the battle for souls. And we send these invisible arrows right into the camp of the enemy in the bow's last function as an instrument of Yahweh's judgment against all lies and deceptions.

    The Witness of Job

    Do you want to know how the Davar Elohim (Word of God) appears to the enemy? Well, one of our greatest heroes whom Yahweh permitted to be afflicted by the Adversary to demonstrate his faithfulness and righteousness to the heavenly hosts, tells us the deadly effect of this barrage of emet (truth) in the Enemy Camp:

      "His archers surround me. He pierces my heart and does not pity; he pours out my gall on the ground. He breaks me with wound upon wound; He runs at me like a warrior" (Job 16:13-14, NKJV).

    Job as a Type of Messiah

    This is Yahweh judgment raining down on righteous Job as a prefigurement of His judgment on His righteous and sin-free Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who bore our punishment for sins we should have paid for:

      "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our shalom (peace) was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on Him the {Alef-Taw} iniquity of us all" (Isa.53:5-6, NKJV).

    Suffering to Witness the Love of Elohim

    Sometimes we must bear such an onslaught in order to bring rebellious souls to repentance who would not otherwise repent but curse Elohim (God) as Yahweh rains down His judgment for their misdeeds on us in order to change their hearts! That is a part of the ministry of suffering too - not, of course, as an atonement for others' sins (which is impossible) but to be a shocking exposé of what should be their chastisement - to show them that Yah'shua (Jesus) was willing to take our punishment all in the same way that His talmidim (disciples) are willing to endure the wickedness of those whom Yahweh would save for the sake of ahavah (love). This area is for sure a great mystery, as anyone who has had to endure persecution will attest, yet if carried in the Ruach haMashiach (Spirit of Messiah) brings about great change and sometimes revival!

    The Punishment of Rebellion

    And, yes, Yahweh punishes His own beloved Zion when she refuses to repent to demonstrate that He is just and impartial, having no respect of persons:

      "Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow; with His right hand, like an adversary, He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye; on the sukkah (tent) of the daughter of Zion, He has poured out His fury like fire" (Lam.2:4, NKJV).

      "He has bent His bow and set me up as a target for the arrow. He has caused the arrows of His quiver to pierce my loins. I have become the ridicule of all my people -- their taunting song all the day. He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood" (Lam.3:12-15, NKJV).

    Punishment Designed to Bring About Repentance and Restoration

    And the purpose of the punishment is to bring about repentance so that His fondest desire might be realised - the restoration into fellowship of the apple of His eye.

    Judgment of the Nations

    Lest we not miss the global picture too, the judgment of the nations is also underway:

      "For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; none shall return in vain" (Jer.50:9, NKJV).

    Yahweh's Arrows Always Hit the Target

    No arrow of Yahweh, strung and fired by His agents, ever returns "in vain". It always reaches its target. For:

      "There is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light" (Mark 4:22, NKJV).

    The Commission to Plant Truth

    Those accustomed and conditioned by deceit will be exposed at last - individuals and nations together. Is this not what happens when we cover the enemy camp with emet (truth)? Is this indeed not one of our Five Commissions, given to us by Yahweh in our early days?

    The Bow Bespeaks Long-Range Judgment of the Father

    The white horseman is Yah'shua (Jesus) and His bow is an effective instrument of Yah's long-range judgment for its rebellion against Him. But Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself wields a sword:

      "Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations" (Rev.19:15, NKJV).

    Judgment of the Bow Harder to Understand: Delusion

    By His Davar (Word) disaster strikes here and there but the judgment of the bow hints at a judgment farther removed and less comprehensible than that of the sword, yet it is no less devastating. For those who reject the emet (truth) and choose to cling to lies, and to sin in consequences of adhering to those lies, Yahweh sends out something which at first sight might seem a little bizzare. Indeed, this revelation is primarily directed at all those who love Torahlessess, be it religious lawlessness or anarchy in general:

      "The coming of the Torahless (lawless) one (Antimessiah/Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the emet (truth), that they might be saved. And for this reason Elohim (God) will send them strong delusion (fantasy), that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the emet (truth) but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess.2:9-12, NKJV).

    The Delusion and Why We are Falsely Judged

    One reason Yah's children are falsely judged is because of this delusion. These people live in their own imagination and fantasy. They are no longer capable of seeing the simple emet (truth) because their disposition is to construct complicated, yet meaningless, tales to 'explain' their false judgment. The emet (truth) is invisible to them even when staring them in the face. Such often need supernatural deliverance upon repentance that they are wrong and lost.

    An Astronomical Illustration

    By way of an illustration, and how an error can lead to fantastically complicated substitutes for the simplicity of reality, you only have to consider the 'explanations' invented by ancient and mediaeval astronomers to (in more recent centuries) appease the Catholic dogma that the earth was at the centre of the solar system and universe. Galileo, as you know, came up against this problem. You and I know that the planets revolve around the sun and the moon around the earth, and we know that most planets do so on a simple plane, Pluto and comets being the exceptions. We also know that the sun is moving around the galactic centre of our Milky Way and we must suppose that the Milky Way - our galaxy - revolves around something else, some centre of the universe - or is otherwise moving away from a common point of origin (depending what you believe about beginnings). In order to explain the strange movements of the planets across the night sky, which loop back upon themselves, and in order to retain the lie that the earth was the centre of the solar system, astronomers had to come up with all sorts of ingenious, yet totally fantastic, explanations, that included the existence of epicycles, to explain the movements of the stars and planets on the celestial sphere. The diagram (below) shows one such model:

    Inventing Others' Characters

    We do exactly the same thing when we misjudge people, basing our conclusions about them on one or more lies. Then we have to explain apparently inconsistent (from the point-of-view of the one under a delusion) altruistic behaviour on the part of the one we believe to be 'evil'. Then the false conclusion is drawn that such benevolent behaviour must have a sinister and devilish driving force or motive. To believe that a good man is a bad man is enough to invent such a false character map of him.

    Care in Judging Others

    There are serious consequences for believing in lies about other people which can be very destructive for those people being judged which is why the Master commands us not to judge in this way but solely on the basis of righteousness, i.e. emet (truth) (Jn.7:24), if at all (Mt.7:1). It is destructive for the one being misjudged and it is destructive for the one misjudging because, on the one hand, the one who judges falsely is judged by Heaven as if he had been guilty of the crime he accused the other falsely of committing; and on the other hand, it perpetuates and widens the demonic delusion which Yahweh promotes if he makes a conscious choice to reject emet (truth) when he knows it. If we are ignorant of emet (truth) then obviously Yahweh does not send the delusion Himself - rather, the enemy is given de jure (legal) rights to cause problems. Though it is never a good thing to be ignorant it is far better than to deliberately deny what you know to be the emet (truth).

    Judging Those in Willful Delusion

    The bottom line, then, which determines what sort of a person you really are, is whether you love emet (truth) or you hate it. For if you love it, you will pursue it no matter what. Yahweh does not judge those who love emet (truth) but who are deceived by lies for a while for every one of us comes under that category at one time or another. No, His judgment is against those who love lies (and by extension, self-delusion with the demonic kick that gives) - who willingly and deliberately make a choice for it, seeking both options clearely. To these Yahweh does what at first glance might seem to be the 'unthinkable' - He sends them the vey delusion that want so that they should not be saved! We can not minister to such and if the Ruach (Spirit) identifies such a one we must not witness to them because it is Yahweh who is sending them their delusion! Shall we oppose Elohim (God)? Therefore the bow in our own hand does not send the emet (truth) so such as these for Yahweh has already judged them unworthy of emet (truth). Only if they choose to repent of their love of untruth will the delusion be removed and the door be opened for us to witness again.

    Learning to Handle the Bow

    We have to handle the bow correctly. If Yahweh sends these wicked souls a counterfeit emet (truth) it is for a reason...it is because they asked for it and Yahweh hears the sincere prayers of the wicked as well as the righteous. And if they sincerely want a lie, then they will receive it and abundantly from the Creator Himself. Something to soberly think about!

    PART D. THE ITEMS ON THE ALTAR
    Part 1. The BRANCH and the Branch

    The Heart of the Message

    I think we clearly understand both the symbolism of the bow and the direction in which it was pointing. Now we come to the contents of the table which I have left for last because they are the filling in the sandwich of the Alef-Taw. They are the heart of the message, its substance, that we are to deliver by the bow whilst walking in the blueness of holiness.

    Interpretations of the Branch

    Let's begin in the centre with perhaps the most straightforward of the images - the BRANCH. The problem here is that when it comes to the 'branch' that it can be understood this on many possible levels:

    • 1. Every Messianic Israelite individual;
    • 2. Every Messianic Israelite marriage;
    • 3. Every Messianic Israelite family;
    • 4. Every Messianic Israelite clan;
    • 5. Every Messianic Israelite tribe;
    • 6. Messianic Israel as a whole; and
    • 7. THE Branch, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) Himself.

    To which we may add, prior to the gathering into the Twelve End-Time Cities of Refuge and their relocation to their tribal territories in the Holy Land immediately before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns:

    • 8. Every Messianic Israelite assembly;
    • 9. Every Messianic Israelite grouping of assemblies (with the central assemblies) and Conferences; and
    • 10. Various other gatherings around the world similar to our own at NCAY.

    A Bewildering Choice

    That leaves a bewildering choice. Indeed, you may be able to think of more examples of groupings where on one level a tree is a branch, and so on. But let's not make it too involved today. We went to get the general gist of this prophetic message given to us in the vision.

    The Vine Tree

    You will recall that Yah'shua (Jesus) is also the Vine Tree and we are the Branches:

      "I (Yah'shua/Jesus) am the true vine [tree], and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the davar (word) which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine [tree], you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My talmidim (disciples)" (John 15:1-8, NKJV).

    The BRANCH as Yah'shua

    Let us first look at the branch. In this vision is clearly refers on one level to the BRANCH, Yah'shua (Jesus):

      "Hear, O Joshua, the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Alef-Taw Servant the BRANCH (Yah'shua/Jesus)" (Zech.3:8, NKJV).

      "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH (Yah'shua/Jesus)! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the Alef-Taw temple of Yahweh (the Body of believers); Yes, He shall build the Alef-Taw temple of Yahweh. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a Cohen (Priest) on His throne, and the counsel of shalom (peace) shall be between them both" (Zech.6:12-13, NKJV).

    The Branch as Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and Other Believers

    The Primary sense of the 'Branch' in this vision is obviously Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). But it also refers to the Body of Believers in Yah'shua (Jesus) as witnessed by the fact that the letters Alef-Taw appear twice linked the the "temple of Yahweh" as "the Alef-Taw-temple of Yahweh". Whenever the letters 'alef' and 'taw' appear together spelling the meaningless word 'et' (which is never translated) it always points to Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). I have taken the trouble today to record all instances of 'Alef-Taw' in Tanakh (Old Testament) passages that contain them so you might want to look over the printed version of this sermon afterwards. This demonstrates that in the vision there is one other sense which, as we will see, the 'Branch' points to both this Central (Mother) Assembly of Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) and its daughter congregations (New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh) which are branches on this branch. However, the main symbolism is the Mother Assembly which is MLT (and other Branches in the world like us operating, for now, independently of one another prior to the Final Gathering) as we see in this familiar passage which we have quoted frequently:

      "In that day the Branch of Yahweh shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped" (Isa.4:2, NKJV).

    A Beautiful, Glorious, Excellent and Appealing Branch

    This "Branch" is a fruit "of Israel", in other words, it has to be Torah-obedient or Messianic in addition to being evangelical. It must be "beautiful and glorious" and it must bear fruit which is "excellent and appealing" to other emet (truth)-loving Torah-obedient Messianics. (For more in-depth teaching about this Branch, see Temple for His Name: The Seven Women of Isaiah 4 and What is Your Life and Name?.) The glory of this Branch must be given to the BRANCH of Zechariah 6 because He shall "bear the glory". Also, as it is written:

    All Glory to Yah'shua

      "Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I (Yah'shua/Jesus) may be glorified" (Isa.60:21, NKJV).

    The Branch Abides in the BRANCH

    The relationship of the Branch to the BRANCH must not be in dispute for as the BRANCH Himself testifies:

      "As the Branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4, NKJV).

    The Branch's Fruits

    The Branch is defined by its complete abiding in Yah'shua (Jesus). Its foundation must be the blue altar cloth on which it stands and everything it represents, which is holiness and overcoming. There is no abiding in Messiah without progressive overcoming and parallel fruitfulness until it is complete. If you are in any doubt what kind of fruitfulness I am speaking of, see my seven-part sermon series, FRUITS. Why is this important?

      "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matt.7:15-20, NKJV).

    The Vine Tree Behind the Branch

    Finally, in this section, we come to the Vine Tree/VINE TREE that lay behind the Branch/BRANCH as it too has two basic levels of meaning. As I point out in my sermon, A Garden in the Mind: Part 4 - The Vine Tree:

      "The vineyard is clearly the nation of Israel, the assembly of Yahweh's people, and the choice vine planted in it is the principle of truth which was given to them through the Torah or Law...The vine is the emblem of Yah'shua (Jesus), or the truth planted within our souls. And clusters of grapes are emblems of those charitable deeds which cheer and delight the human race...As all things connected to the olive-tree have relation to ahavah (love) or goodness, so all the things connected to the vine have relation to emet (truth) or emunah (faith). Are these not the two grand principles of the...Messianic Community? Just as oil is the emblem of the delight and blessedness of ahavah (love), so wine is the emblem of the delight and blessedness of emet (truth)." [2]

    The Vine Tree is Truth and Faith

    The Vine Tree is about Emet (Truth) and Emunah (Faith, Trusting) as pertaining to Yah'shua (Jesus) who is the VINE TREE to whom we are connected as separate Branches (the man with a good shem/name to whose Branch are attached the seven women) as well as collectively representing on another level the whole Body of Messiah, and so on. As the central Tree defines Emet (Truth), and since it is by Emunah (Faith) we are saved, then it is right that it stands centrally between the two Olive Trees, since true ahavah (love) can only be defined by emet (truth) - there obviously being many false, counterfeit forms of 'love'. Goodness and Emet (Truth) are echad (one), as "Yahweh, Yahweh-Elohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, [is] abounding in goodness and emet (truth)" (Ex.34:6, NKJV). We will see how the juxtapositioning of the trees makes sense in the light of the meaning of these symbols.

    Part 2. The Two Olive Trees and Menorah's

    Olive, Vine and Fig Trees Compared

    Whereas the central tree was a vine, the two trees flanking it were olive trees. It's important we don't confuse symbolisms for every tree species symbolises something differently. To learn more about this, see my 7-part sermon series, A Garden in the Mind. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the symbolic meaning of the olive, vine and fig trees which represent, respectively, ahavah (love), hochmah (wisdom) and shama (obedience, or literally, 'hearing').

    Love and Crushing

    The olive tree identifies the two trees on either side of the central Branch and its Vine tree. To give you an idea of the direction Yahweh wants us to go in our understanding, let me quote something I wrote in the sermon series:

      "The olive-tree is the emblem of the man or woman who excels in Christian ahavah (love), and of the heavenly principle of ahavah (love) planted in the believer's mind. And from this one very important symbol, many other equally important symbols are derived. For instance, what is the olive tree used for? From the fruits of the olive-tree, olive oil is pressed. Please note that it is pressed. You can't tickle an olive fruit and expect oil to flow out of it. The vessel containing the oil - the fruit - has to be crushed. I want you to remember that when you consider that it is man who is called to be the olive-tree, and how Messiah, who was crushed for our transgressions, was, and is, the Olive Tree."

    Which basically reiterates what I said earlier about suffering for Messiah to be an instrument of redemption by being a demonstration of His ahavah (love). The remnant must be pressed or crushed to have its 'oil' released.

    The Olive Trees and the Two Witnesses

    There is a direct connection between the olive trees and the menoarh's because in the Tabernacle it was the pure oil of olives trees that kept the menorah lamps burning continually. But first let's see what Scripture has to say about the symbolism of two olive trees and two menorah's:

      "Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the malak (messenger, angel) stood, saying, 'Rise and measure the temple of Elohim (God), the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months (3½ years). And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days (3½ years), clothed in sackcloth.' These are the two olive trees and the two menorah's (lampstands) standing before the Elohim (God) of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.

      "Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Master was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days (3½ days), and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

      "Now after the three-and-a-half days the Ruach Chayim (Breath of Life) from Elohim (God) entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up here.' And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand men were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the Elohim (God) of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly" (Rev.11:1-14, NKJV).

    Two Witness Claimants: Ronald Weinland and WCG

    We now enter a subject area that potentially we could spend days discussing and certainly this is a topic of great controversy in the Body of Messiah with numerous interpretations and not a few claiming to be the 'two witnesses'. The latest includes someone called Ronald Weinland who has written two books entitled, The Prophesied End-Time (2004) and 2008: God's Final Witness, which have been ciculating a few years. Mr.Weinland, who is a great admirer of the late Herbert W. Armstrong who founded the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) which fragmented after his death, claims to be one of the two end-time witnesses. If you look at the way he poses for his official picture, it is identical to that of Armstrong (see picture below) - same props of leather sofa and globe, so he wishes to be seen as an Armstrong Mark 2. He has certainly been advertising himself and his books on line and in TV interviews.

    Herbert W. Armstrong, late WCG 'Apostle'

    Armstrongite Errors

    I chanced upon a copy of his second book in a fleamarket a couple of weeks ago and read about 37 pages before giving up. I can only take so much woffle. Though the Armstrongite Churches do observe some of the Torah they ignore the bulk of it and observe their sabbaths and festivals at all the wrong times. It doesn't take a prophet to discern we are in the last days so it is hardly surprising that there is a lot of this pop prophecy circulating, most of it wrong. There are so many doctrinal errors and false prophecies in Armstrongism that anyone adhering to its tenets does not merit serious consideration, even if the WCG did some good in publishing the veracity of the sabbaths and festivals and promoted Christian morality (never mind that Armstrong ditched his wife and got another). I think it's significant that WCG denied that Yom Teruah or the Day of Trumpets was not an annual moed (appointment), which Weinland seems to believe too, as this is the day announcing the return of Messiah! You would have thought that a prophet anouncing the Second Coming would at least recognise the festival that proclaims it!

    The Hawkins Brothers

    Two others who claim(ed) to be the Two Witnesses are the Hawkins Brothers who established a 'one-and-only' cult known as The House of Yahweh based in Abilene, Texas. Salvation is not available outside it. Unfortunately (for them) one of the two 'witnesses' has since died but that has not stopped the surviving brother, Israyl Hawkins (aka Buffalo Bill Hawkins), insisting that they are still the two 'witnesses' and with authority equal to that of Christ - indeed, their whole group would collapse were he to admit that they could not possible be these two prophets (as indeed that cannot now possibly be). Instead, like all cults, they have adjusted Biblical doctrine, and claim that the first witness, Yaaqob, was 'killed by the beast system'. It is amazing what people will remain loyal to even after it is obvious the organisation and leader(s) they idolatise are so obviously false. Part of it is pride in admitting they were wrong particularly if they have invested years of their money and time. Like Weinland, Hawkins is a former member of Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, though outwardly appear more 'messianic' than Weinland.

    Getting the Basis of Yahweh's Time-Keeping Correct

    There can be no room for error in a prophetic end-time ministry even if errors be made in the journey before arriving at the point where souls are ready to be end-time prophets. For there will surely be many whom Yahweh will raise as and when He pleases and from whatever background He pleases. It is no use, therefore, proclaiming a prophetic witness if you can't get basic things right like the Creation Calendar by which a man may assemble at the appointed times and be able to know of important prophetic events in advance by which he may be prepared and, if he is a prophetic witness, be enabled to prepare others too.

    The Prophecies of Abraham and the Jubilee

    A few months ago one of the brethren placed a book in my hands to read entitled The Prophecies of Abraham consisting of detailed calculations by which we may come to know of prophesied events in advance through a knowledge of the important Jubilee Cycle. Though we cannot automatically fault a man based on his religious background we do have to make sure that the errors of that background are fully extirpated from his current teaching, and given his background in the Herbert W. Amstrong movement, we should tread carefully when we find the same Sabbath and Festivals errors based on the Jewish Calendar along with the old Babylonian Crescent Moon error for calculating the New Moon, and the wrong Omer Count leading to the wrong 'Pentecost' each year, being perpetrated. Nevertheless I don't believe this brother's labours are in vain for he may well know when the Jubilee years start - that's one thing we ourselves are not 100% sure about yet. If he's right then 2016, 2023, 2030 and 2037 are the next Sabbatical Years with 2044 being the next Jubilee Year which some following him believe marks the Second Coming. Who knows...yet.

    Elijah and the Transfiguration

    More could be said about end-time prophecy but we must stay on subject. Why were there two olive trees and two menorah's? Aside from the two end-time witnesses who may, or may not, come out of this work, the emet (truth) remains that for any work to be complete the work of Messiah (in the centre) must be flanked and linked to two essential ministries that were represented for us on the Mount of Transfiguration at Shavu'ot (Taberbacles) when the transfigured Messiah, apearing in all his glory, was flanked by Moses and Elijah representing, respectively, the Torah and the nevi'im (prophets):

      "Now after six days Yah'shua (Jesus) took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Yah'shua (Jesus), 'Master, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three sukkot (tabernacles): one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!' And when the talmidim (disciples) heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Yah'shua (Jesus) came and touched them and said, 'Arise, and do not be afraid.' When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Yah'shua (Jesus) only. Now as they came down from the mountain, Yah'shua (Jesus) commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.' And His talmidim (disciples) asked Him, saying, 'Why then do the Torah-teachers (scribes) say that Elijah must come first?' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered and said to them, 'Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.' Then the talmidim (disciples) understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist" (Matt.17:1-13, NKJV).

    The Shavu'ot Anointing

    No work of Yahweh is complete - no work of Yahweh can enter the Sukkot (Tabernacles) endowment which is the work of the spiritual Temple (remember everything outside it, including the courtyard, i.e. lawless Christianity, is trampled by the Gentiles during the latter 3½-year part of the Tribulation) while the two witnesses are prophesying - none of what we are called to do is possible if we fail to operate in the spirit of the Torah (Moses) and in the spirit of Prophecy (Elijah). And this only comes about by crushing so that oil of ahavah (love) may be squeezed from us. That is why we are permitted to experience tribulation but not to be overwhelmed by it.

    Zechariah's Vision of the Two Olive Trees and Menorah

    We must, of necessity, take a look at that revelation which speaks of these things which I have already briefly quoted in connection with the BRANCH. Indeed, you will see by examining it how the BRANCH and the olive trees are linked. I speak of Zechariah 4.

      "Now the malak (messenger, angel) who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, 'What do you see?' So I said, 'I am looking, and there is a menorah (lampstand) of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the menorah (stand) seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.' So I answered and spoke to the malak (messenger, angel) who talked with me, saying, 'What are these, sir?' Then the malak (messenger, angel) who talked with me answered and said to me, 'Do you not know what these are?' And I said, 'No, sir'" (Zech.4:1-5, NKJV).

    The Two Trees are the Two Witnesses

    Clearly the answer to these questions is important. What are the two olive trees? We have seen the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) answer but what does the Tanakh (Old Testament) say? Exactly the same:

      "Then I answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive trees -- at the right of the menorah (lampstand) and at its left?' And I further answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?' Then he answered me and said, 'Do you not know what these are?' And I said, 'No, sir.' So he said, 'These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Master of the whole earth'" (Zech.4:11-14, NKJV).

    The Two Witnesses are Two Branches of the Two Trees

    Notice that the two witnesses are two branches of the two trees, namely, two people coming out of that body of Torah- and Navi-men like Moses and Elijah themselves. All four men are a part of a Torah-teaching/expounding anointing and a prophetic anointing. But specifically, and in reference to the testimony of the Mount of Transfiguration experience, the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah who stand beside the "Master of the whole earth", Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), represented by the Vine and the BRANCH.

    Every True Assembly Has the Dual Witness

    The witnesses are beside Yah'shua (Jesus) now, they will be there tomorrow, and they have always been there precisely because no work of Elohim (God) is complete or can function without either Torah or Prophecy. Therefore every fully restored and anointed Assembly of Yahweh - every true congregation - will have them.

    No Pure Ministry Without the Two Witnesses

    Those who try to prophesy without Torah, as do the Pentecostals and Charismatics, are out of tune with the "Master of the whole earth" and must of necessity have mixed fruits in their prophesying. We know of much false prophecy from these bodies. Likewise, those who try to live Torah without the Spirit of Prophecy are doomed to live Torah falsely too, being unable to properly interpret it and must invariably therefore invent their own doctrines and traditions.

    The Master of the Whole Earth

    And those who attempt either without the "Master of the whole earth", Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), as do the Jews, and the New Agers and psychics, respectively, and those who deny His Deity, are likewise doomed to be misled and to mislead others by false spirits. The three must be together.

    The Dual Nature of Shavu'ot: Torah and Ruach-Baptism

    Indeed, the Festival of Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') is, as it were, a two-sided festival that points to both Torah and Prophecy, for you will remember that the first Shavu'ot in the Wilderness was the Betrothal Covenant of Israel to abide Torah (and why we perform Bar Mitzvah), and that the second Shavu'ot in Jerusalem was the second dimension of the Bethrothal Covenant of Messianic Israel which was the Baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which resulted in numerous gifts, including the fulfilment of Moses' great desire that all Israel should be prophets who walk after the strictness of the Derech (Way):

      "Oh, that all Yahweh's people were prophets and that Yahweh would put His Alef-Taw Ruach (Spirit) upon them!" (Num.11:29b, NKJV).

    The Two Streams of Oil

    There must be two streams of oil in every authentic ministry, one from each of the olive trees, pouring into the bowl above the Menorah feeding the seven lamps that represent the Seven Ruachs (Spirits) of Elohim that are linked to each of the Seven Annual Festivals and what they represent in our spiritual journey to completion. It is a mixture of Torah and Prophecy combined - the ministry of Moses and Elijah as echad (one) - lighting the lamps of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones).

    Elijah, Fathers and Sons

    So important are these that the very last two verses of the Tanakh (Old Testament) remind us in no uncertain terms:

      "Hinei (behold), I will send you Alef-Taw Eliyahu haNavi (Elijah the Prophet) before the coming of the great and dreadful Yom Yahweh (Day of Yahweh); and He shall turn the lev-avot (hearts of the fathers) to the banim (sons), and the lev-banim (hearts of the sons) to their avot (fathers), else I come and strike the Alef-Taw earth with cherem (a curse)" (Mal.4:5-6, OJB).

    Alef-Taw, Elijah and John the Baptist

    Notice that this specifically is pointing to the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) dispensation of the Messiah because of the way the Hebrew letters Alef and Taw are attached to 'Elijah' and to the 'earth', beginning with John the Baptist who was the bridge between the Old and New Covenansts:

      "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the nevi'im (prophets) and the Torah (Law) prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come" (Matt.11:11-14, NKJV).

    All the Regenerated and Covenanted are of Alef-Taw-Elijah

    And not just the Baptist but all who belong to this B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) Kingdom! All who are regenerated are linked to this Alef-Taw-Elijah Kingdom. Thus the last two verses in Malachi, along with those of Matthew 11:11-14 are of the utmost importance for us to understand, because they are linked. Indeed, the mouths of the nevi'im (prophets) fell silent after Malachi uttered his for no more were given until John the Baptist.

    Two Elijah Principles in the Revelation of Malachi

    So what actually is the 'Spirit of Elijah'? What exactly is it supposed to accomplish? As we again look at these last devarim (words) uttered in the Tanakh (Old Testament) we notice two important things:

      The Evil of Matriarchy

    • 1. Unless patriarchy or father-headship is properly restored (and not just in name or token, but for real), by which fathers and sons may become echad as the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Son are echad (one), the earth will be smitten with cherem - a curse! It took Yahweh 40 years to crush the spirit of matriarchy (feminism) out of the Egyptian hearts of the children of Israel wandering through the Sinai Desert, leaving only a remnant of three souls - Moses, Joshua and Caleb of the original troop - to train up the new generation in emet (truth) and righteousness. It was lost again in Israel when Queen Jezebel exerted her evil influence on the Northern Kingdom when Ahab was king. In the same way that three souls of the original multitude of Israelites leaving Egypt alone were immersed in this spirit of Elijah, we learn from the vision that the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel in the latter days will be accomplished by three 'trees' or souls in the penultimate generation, one of which represents the Spirit of Elijah and the prophets, who must train up the last generation of the Final Gathering into the 12 end-time Israelite cities of refuge in all the ways of Yahweh of whom two are the Two Witnesses mentioned in Zecharaiah and in Revelation. Who these are no one yet knows despite the claims of the Weinlands, Hawkins' and others of the corrupt Church system who are promoting themselves. And we do not need to know until their time comes, when their anointing will be apparent to everyone because of the power they wield, so we should not speculate nor listen to those claiming to be them and yet whose only 'evidence' is all their spiritless, woffly and doctrinally incorrect words. But come they will; and woe unto those who do not receive them! And blessed will those be who do receive them, for as Yah'shua (Jesus) said:

        "He who receives a navi (prophet) in the name of a navi (prophet) shall receive a prophet's reward" (Matt.10:41, NKJV).

      And don't suppose that the false 'witnesses' are just Westerners or Americans. Even as I speak they are appearing in Africa too - there is one in Kenya who calls himself a 'prophet' but he is completely Torahless (lawless), and another in Nigeria who is a fraud. Watch out for them and their boastful words and do not be deceived by the 'miracles' they perform, many of which are staged and the others which are supernatural are not of the Ruach (Spirit) but of "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Eph.2:2, NKJV). They hold foolish and deceived souls captive; like Simon "they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time" (Acts 8:11, NKJV) because carnal people lust after miracles merely to titillate their flesh and do not care where the power comes from; and

      Father-Son Priesthood Ministry and Servanthood

    • 2. The fruit of the Spirit of Elijah in our times is the unity of fathers and sons who are echad so you will see the devil doing all he can to divide fathers from their sons, i.e. breaking up families and emasculating men. The 'fathers' and 'sons' also bespeak the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) Priesthood Orders - the Shammashim or Deacons and the Zaqenim or Elders, which are the Orders of Zadok and Enoch, respectively. The foundation of the Melchizedek Priesthood is the shammashim or deacons - the servants - for those who have no servant-heart lack the humility to serve as Yahweh's cohenim (priests). As I humorously quip every now and then, 'once a Deacon, always a Deacon'! Every Elder remains a perpetual Deacon, even as Yah'shua (Jesus) is our Arch-Deacon or Head Deacon, demonstrating servanthood in all His Works even though He was also Elohim (God). The Zaqenim (Elders) of Messianic Israel do not wear fancy, expensive Armani suits, they do not drive expensive, fancy, flashy cars, or live in luxurious mansions, or own their own private jets as the corrupt and lawless tele-evangelists and the decadent, carnal, unspiritual and lawless ministers of the 'Health and Wealth' movement do. They are humble men of service, as King David was, and to not succumb to the temptations of gross wealth as Solomon did. They are humble shepherds, not millionnaires lording it over their flocks behaving like spoiled brats. That is what it means on one level of Malachi's prophecy when it says there must be a reconcilliation between the privileges of toqef (authority), which comes with the Eldership, and the default servant-heart of the Deaconate. The heart of the Zaqenim (Elders) is the Shammashim (Deacons) because in Messiah they are inseparable. Once an Elder, however busy he may be, ceases to have a Deacon's heart, he is on the way to a fall.

    A Humble Ministry

    Now much more could be said about the servant ministry within the context of the nevi'im (prophets) so I will only say beware of ministers who live exorbitant lifestyles, who fleece their flocks and who will not serve alongside their flocks or refuse to work for their daily bread. I know I remind you of this story again and again but I do so with urgency and deliberation, and it concerns the two Americans searching out a particular pastor in China some years ago whom they could not locate. In the end they found him wearing a string vest, covered in filth, alongside other believers in the field carrying wheelbarrows full of human excrement with which to fertilise the soil. No, and I will emphasise this again and again, the true Pastor - the true Elder - of the Order of Melchizedek is not some wealthy lord on a high throne but a man of the people working alongside the people, more communist than the communists themselves but not by compulsion or by emotional manipulation but by complete free choice. And always by choice. You will know them by their works and whether they are called or not.

    Beware of False Ministers!

    We have no time in this ministry for anyone who does not come with this humble heart of service. Indeed, prideful ministers can never come up to the Sukkot (Tabernacles) Anointing, let alone the Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') Anointing! So if you have any ambition for making money, becoming wealthy or famous because of the Besorah (Gospel), then flee from us! We don't want you! Go to the churches and synagogues of Babylon instead. Turn around and run away from us, because you will be spat out as one bringing a poison or a spiritual contagion! For the King of kings, who left His lofty Throne to become a man of like infirmity to us, did not consider it demeaning to lower himself and become mortal flesh-and-blood. I tell you, socialism and communism, which are government-sanctioned robbery and dictatorship, are nothing compared to this kind of voluntary égalitarianism that we preach. We have no time for 'wannabe' ministers who want to 'make it bigtime' or turn the ministry into a profession. We measure all by the central Vine which is a passion for Living Emet (Truth), Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the plain wooden altar of sacrifice, and the undergirding blue altar cloth of holiness, ahavah (love) and purity all of which are, and are in, and are of, Messiah. If this is your passion, then this is your home - unquestionably!

    John & Paula Sandford and The Elijah Task

    Some of you may be familiar with John and Paula Sandford who were pioneers in their day in restoring the work of the Spirit of Elijah. Sadly, they were Torah-disobedient and got swallowed up into the charismatic movement, being deceived by the Toronto Airport counterfeit revival, but they were instrumental in catalysing the restoration of this vital end-time ministry. Their books, The Elijah Task (1977), The Transformation of the Inner Man (1982), and Healing the Wounded Spirit (1985) are worth owning and studying if you can find copies of them. The Elijah Task: A Call to Today's Prophets is probably the most important of the three. This kind of material is still woefully lacking in most messianic circles. Prophecy and the Spirit of Elijah in the B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) are more than the foretelling we are familiar with in the Tanakh (Old Testament) but include forthtelling or preaching but also inner healing and deliverance. The 'Elijah Task' is enormous and requires not only an understanding of events and foretelling in the concentional sense of 'prophecy' but involves understanding and loving people in all their troubles and oppressions.

    The Moses & Yah'shua Tasks

    The 'Moses Task', if I can adapt the Sandfords' label, is today being a New Covenant 'Scribe' or Torah-Teacher, not just of the written Torah but of the living Torah so there is a certain overlap with the 'Elijah Task', as one might expect. The two interface and overlap in the 'Yah'shua (Jesus) Task' that so well understood by most regenerated evangelicals:

    The Three Witnesses

    The Torah teaches the importance of multiple witnesses as is reaffirmed in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament):

      "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every davar (word) shall be established" (2 Cor.13:1, NKJV).

    Moses and Elijah appeared with the transfigured Yah'shua (Jesus) before Peter, James and John as two witnesses representing the Torah and the Nevi'im. We, the regenerated believers, are to be the third witness, that is, our transformed lives on account of the other two. Incarnate Torah and Spirit-of-Elijah prophecy is the third witness, both human and divine.

    A World Under Judgment

    The world, as I speak, is under judgment. The nations are being shaken and some nations are about to fall and sink into the abyss of obscurity. They are judged by the spirits of the Two Witnesses - out of the Torah or Law of Elohim (God) and according to the Ruach Nevi'im or the Spirit of the Prophets. Those who reject Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), the central Vine Tree, especially those nations who once knew Him, are in serious trouble and are about to be severely punished as the backbone of their power is crushed.

    The Threefold Witness of the Last Generation

    We who have been called by Yahweh-Elohim are to operate out of this threefold ministry. Three men will eventually arise to lead this work and bring it to its completion, one who has the heart of Joseph, the Prince of Messianic Israel and type of the Messiah) and his two counsellors will be of Moses (the Torah/Law, Teaching) and Elijah (the Nevi'im/Prophets), and these last two will be Yahweh's witnesses in the earthly Jerusalem, which is Sodom and Gemorah - both the corrupt city as well as the world as a whole. This will be the final Presiding Patriarchate before Messiah returns, gathering the tribes, witnessing of the incomparible salvation of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus), the emet (truth) of His Torah and the healing or destruction of the Nevi'im (Prophets)

    Readers' Commentaries

    As I think I mentioned at the beginning, I initially posted this vision in our online discussion group and invited comments. One connected evangelical discerned that the vision signified a "new coming together" with an "understand[ing] and acceptance of the Old Testament and New Testament and/or Jew and Gentile worshipping together, followed by "new growth and a change to the church of Acts - the coming together and realisation of the true Royal Priesthood of the Order of Melchizedek as in the Psalms and Acts - the Antioch Church like we have never seen". In other words, a coming together of 'evangelical' and 'messianic' as echad (one) as we have been teaching all these years. I responded to him by writing:

      "I have been looking also at your thoughts about Antioch - what caught my eye was the fact that you mentioned 'Royal priesthood of the order of Melchizedek' because that is what I had been writing about the evening before I received the vision. We have been taught much about this Order over the years. Indeed, the subject material of Hebrews is that the Melchizedek Order replaces the Aaronic/Levitical, which again negates the idea that the Israeli state is in some way the flip side of co-existing priesthoods. I know a lot of Messianics (the majority) and evangelicals are taken with this co-existing twin covenant idea which to my mind is contradicted by Paul...which is perhaps why increasing numbers of messianics are, sadly, rejecting Paul.

      Peter and Paul, founders of the
      Antioch Messianic Assembly
      who symbolise the union of
      Torah and Grace

      "This ties in very much with what Yahweh has been telling us about the 'Messianic-Evangelical' approach which may also represent the Menorah and Tree images, respectively, because both Torah and Nevi'im can be approached in both ways as have indeed Messianics and evangelical Christians. The apparent 'contradiction' (and strife) between the two is immediately ironed out when you understand that both are correct and are two aspects of a common unified purpose. I can see that in a way Antioch could symbolise that" (Facebook Messianic Evangelicals, 11 November 2013).

    Another reader suggested that the vision indicated a change in anointing coming, something that we have indeed been ainticipating and looking forward to.

    Other Interpretations

    Gavin Finley [3], a Messianic Jew, who believes in the two covenants teaching of 'Israel' and 'the Church' ('Judah' and 'Ephraim') being separate entities (which we do not), suggests that the two olive trees may also represent, on the one hand, the Two Sticks of Ezekiel (Joseph-Ephraim and Judah), and on the other, 'Law and Grace'. Certainly there is an element of emet (truth) in this which we have not had time to address in what has already become a very long teaching, so hopefully we can do that another time. Since this was primarily a vision to this community I have focussed on that to some extent and then widened that globally.

    Who is Lev-Tsiyon?

    Every now and then someone asks me if I am one of the 'two witnesses'. Though most of us in leadership positions in the Body have speculated about this at some time or another, myself included, I have to say that I am not. I am not even a part of the final generation when all of the things we have been talking about will come to pass, including the Second Coming. My calling is perhaps best summarised in my name, Lev-Tsiyon, which was given to me prophetically several decades ago and means 'Heart of Zion'. I am in love with the King and the Kingdom. Like David who prepared the money and building blocks of the Temple for his son Solomon, my calling is one of preparing the Last Generation by bringing together the building blocks of emet (truth) that are essential to the construction of the end-time spiritual Tabernacle under the Sukkot Anointing.

    My Calling as a Teacher

    In that respect, I have been somewhat of an eclectic, searching from a wide variety of sources, sifting and re-sifting to get the dross of man-made teachings - Christian and Jewish - out of the Besorah (Gospel). That accounts for my voluminous writings as I document my findings. So I guess that makes me a bit of a Torah-teacher, and indeed the office of a Teacher definitely predominates in my calling and gifting.

    A Jack of All Trades

    I have also been asked if I am a navi or prophet because some have claimed that I am. In the traditional sense of the word, no, I am not, and have never claimed to be, but I do frequently get prophetic anointings for particular tasks. I have the gift of seership and through it much has come over the years, including the vision we are examining today. I have also, from time to time, been given the gift of revelation in the form of prophetic devarim (words), both formal (as in written revelation - see the Olive Branch, though this is very rare now) and informal (as when preaching, evangelising or teaching, which I do a great deal of). I am also a deliverance minister on and off when it is required and do general pastoral counselling, having held the office of Pastor now for about 25 years. So you might say that I am the spiritual equivalent of 'a jack of all trades' with the emphasis on teaching and preaching, thus basically I have been supplied with the tools needed to minister as a husband, father, pastor, seer and teacher.

    Kingdom Restoration

    I can also say that I have been involved in some Kingdom restoration work, particularly of truths and principles that have been hidden since early patriarchal times, and especially the centrality of Holy Echad Marriage, the female nature of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) revealed to me in the 1980's by a personal visitation, and the divine tavnith (pattern) of the Festivals and what they mean to us as believers today. It has been a long and difficult journey, with much personal pain and loss, but definitely worth it. It remains a privilege serving the Master.

    A Serbian Prophecy?

    I certainly don't believe I am mentioned as an individual in the Bible as many modern leaders do of themselves, and never have done. It's impossible for me to say how this work will develop after I have gone because I have not been told, even if I have been shown a few things about the 12 cities of refuge and have seen where I shall live and a bit of what I will be doing in the Millennium. Some have suggested that I am mentioned in a prophecy made by the Serbian 19th century prophet Mitar Tarabič (Митар Тарабић - 1829–1899) from the border village of Kremna near Bosnia, whose prophecies of world events in the 20th century were stunningly accurate, but I can't for sure vouch that he is speaking about me in the following extract:

      "Among people of a nation far in the north [4] a little man [5] will appear who will teach men about love and compassion, but there will be many Judas's and hypocrites around him so that he will have many ups and downs. Not one of these hypocrites will want to know what is real human grace, but his wise books will remain, and all the words he will say, and then then people will see how self-deceived they were" [6]

    Principles Not Personalities

    In the end it doesn't really matter - emet (truth) is emet (truth) no matter who brings it forth and it must be tested against the Bible and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). This work is not about me, never has been, and must never ever be, because either a work is a work of Elohim (God) or of man, and it must not be of man if it is to have any value in the eternal scheme of things. In the end, we are but servants and any giftings we have are not the result of some labour but are apportioned by grace. There is never anything that man can boast of. We are interested in principles not personalities, save for the Person of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

    Summing Up

    Today's vision clearly covers a wide spiritual spectrum that is speaking not only about the work that we are ouselves doing in the Body but of the wider work of those called to be witnesses of the Person of Messiah, prophets operating in the spirit of Elijah, and New Covenant Torah-Teachers. We are getting ready for something big on the prophetic timeline as the world hurtles ever faster into the abyss and as the remnant gears itself for a new anointing for its final witness and gathering before Messiah returns.

    The Messianic Community at Antioch

    As the first believers fled the Jerusalem of its time for the safe haven and new missions springboard of the Antioch Assembly, and where they were first mockingly referred to as "Christians" (Ac.11:26), so we, down the centuries two millennia later, gear ourselves to receive the flight of the elect from the compromised and defeated Christian churches and messianic assemblies who refused to embrace the blue altar cloth of purity and holiness and would not walk in Torah-obedience or the healing and reconciling ministry of the Spirit of Elijah. A separation or division is taking place between the Body and the Bride and the place where you stand will determine your destiny both on earth in the years to come and in the eternities. Whether you are an unbeliever, a lapsed believer, an apostate believer or a rebellious believer, the opportunity to repent and become submissive is offered to you before events overtake you and the opportunity is not offered again.

      "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matt.3:2-3, NKJV).

    Vision of the Golden Chariot

    Before concluding I have one last vision to share with you that actually sets the main vision into real space and time by contextualising it. What happened was that I had arisen at about 4.30 am two nights ago because I was in pain and went to write a bit more of this sermon. After nearly two hours I went back to bed, my mind full of what I had been writing and thinking about. As these thoughts flashed back and forth as I tried to sleep, a vision opened up to me, and I found myself looking down at an unoccupied golden chariot from above that was racing along the ground. Though I couldn't see the horses drawing it, because they were behind and below me, I knew horses were pulling it. I am reminded of the young man, the servant of Elisha the prophet, who was shown a vision of chariots belonging to the Heavenly Hosts:

      "So he said, 'Go and see where [Elisha] is, that I may send and get him.' And it was told him, saying, 'Surely he is in Dothan.' Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of Elohim (God) arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, 'Alas, my master! What shall we do?' So he answered, 'Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, and said, 'Yahweh, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, and said, 'Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.' And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha" (2 Kings 6:13-18, NKJV).

    There is, of course, a connection between chariots and Elijah as well. Indeed the 'Son' in the 'Father-Son' picture at the end of Malachi is also Elijah and Elisha, being a spiritual relationship:

      "Then it happened, as [Elijah and Elisha] continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, 'My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!' So he saw him no more" (2 Kings 2:11-12, NKJV).

    The chariot in the vision, as also the chariot in the two biblical incidences I have just cited, is "the chariot of Israel". At this very moment it is charging into battle BUT WHERE IS ITS OCCUPANT? Indeed, who is the occupant and where is he?

    Brethren and sisters, we have been in 'Torah Mode' now for the last 15 years and we have worked hard to separate the Torah of the Tanakh (Old Testament) from the traditions of Judaism and, I believe, done a good job. We have walked between the Evangelical and Messianic houses as directed in 2007 and have largely completed that walk - in other words, the olive tree and Menorah of Moses is correctly juxtaposed next to the Vine Tree and the BRANCH. Now we must jump into the Chariot of Elijah and in emunah (faith) complete the work of the right-hand side of the altar for we are summonsed to battle, just as we were warned in 2011 to prepare for. We have been mobilising these 2½ years, as instructed in another vision and now the battle is enjoined!

    Conclusion

    We have clearly been given our marching orders to now walk in the Spirit of Elijah. The Halcyon days [7] may end any time now so let us switch modes and ask Yahweh to show us what we need to be doing to prepare. We'll talk more about this in the days ahead. May Yahweh bless you and keep you safe and alert as you prepare for the chariot ride of your life! Amen.

    Endnotes

    [1] B.R.Hicks, Precious Gem in the Tabernacle (Mexican Inland Missionary Society: 1961), p.30
    [2] Also see Olive Branch Section 207, and especially vv.60-69 on the first wise virgin, Tóbah (Goodness), vv. 85-97 on the third wise virgin, Ahavah (Love), vv.98-118 on the fourth wise virgin, Hokmah (Wisdom), and vv.119-135 on the fifth wise virgin, Amenah (Emet, Truth)
    [3] Gavin Finley, MD, The Two Witnesses: Who are They?
    [4] Scandinavia - Norway and Sweden
    [5] Meaning, of no importance from the point-of-view of the world and of institutionalised religion
    [6] A Serbian Prophet Foretells the Future
    [7] According to Greek myth, Alcyon was the daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and made the waves be calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days", that is, when storms never occur (Wiktionary, Halcyon Days)

    Comments from Readers

    [1] "Thank you for your sermon yesterday, I had a dream two years ago and there was a part of it that involved the colour blue and I never understood the significance of until today! Thanks" (T&SP, Ireland, 18 November 2013)

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