Contemplation of the Holy Scriptures: Receiving Illuminations
“So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
We have given the first practice taught to aspirants to the Way of the Navi in the tradition – “perfect communion,” and we have spoken of the study and contemplation of the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of St. Matthew for instruction on the spiritual life in the Way of the Navi. When this study and contemplation of the Holy Sermon is complete, and the novice is well versed in the Sermon, this contemplation naturally extends to the entire Holy Bible, including Holy Scriptures that were not included in the Bible by the outer and unspiritual church.
The Holy Scriptures come through men and women moved by the Holy Spirit, just as prophecy – they are illuminations of the minds and hearts of holy men and women, and in this sense they are the word of God revealed to us; they provide teachings and instruction in the spiritual life and practice that leads to God or Enlightenment, and if we are called as a navi in the assembly, they give us the proper context into which to place the word, dreams and visions we are given, and the means to put all spirits to the test to ensure that they are from God, the True Light – for true prophecy does not contradict what has already been revealed to us, and so spirits and angels that are from God will not teach us another gospel that what has been revealed to us.
And so Adonai Messiah teaches us, saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).
Even more so, if you wish to receive Ruach Ha-Kodesh and enter into prophetic states of consciousness, then you would do well to know and understand the scriptures and prophecies that have already been revealed by the Holy Spirit, and seek illumination of the Holy Scriptures through the Holy Spirit – for if we cannot gain an illumination of the Holy Scriptures by the Holy Spirit who inspired and revealed them, and acquire insight into the esoteric mysteries in them, how could we expect to receive such inspirations and revelations ourselves? Indeed! Knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures, and the acquisition of their esoteric wisdom, comes by way of the illuminations of the same Spirit that spoke them; thus, true knowledge and understanding of the scriptures and prophecies is, itself, a gradation of prophecy – something of the prophetic consciousness.
According to the Mekubalim and the Zohar, if a pious or righteous person were to study and contemplate the Holy Scriptures with full kavvanah, and the time of their death were to come while in study and contemplation, the angel of death (Azrael) would not be able to draw their soul out of their body so long as complete kavvanah remained – such kavvanah is the same as that which elevates the soul into lofty grades of prophecy, and it is said that the study and contemplation of the Holy Scriptures with full kavvanah itself may launch the soul into the experience of Ruach Ha-Kodesh; one must merely know how to study and contemplate with full kavvanah probing the deep mysteries of God’s word. Thus, through the practice of the study and contemplation of the Holy Scriptures, praying over them and meditating upon them, many have experienced Ruach Ha-Kodesh, prophetic states of consciousness.
Quite naturally, study and contemplation of the Holy Scriptures is a daily activity of those who sojourn the path in the Way of the Navi – for they are not given to vain and worldly entertainments, but their delight is in perpetual prayer and meditation upon the word of God, and the reception of the word of God for the people and in service to God; the word of God fills their minds, illuminates their hearts and guides their lives, and their faculty of speech is completely offered up to God for the speaking of God’s word, and no other word but that of God – as is often said, the navim are the passionate and zealous ones among us, and they are prone to live as the angels of God, continually in service to God and worship of God in all things.
The Baal Shem, the Master of the Name, is the Master of the Holy Scriptures, for as is well known – the Holy Scriptures are the Name of God; here we may speak an open secret: “God and God’s Holy Name are One (Achad).”
If you cleave to the Holy Scriptures with your mind, heart and life – enacting them in word and deed, you will know the Holy One of Being in your very experience of life and commune continually in the presence of the Holy One; and yet more, you will experience conscious union with the Holy One, God the True Light – as Adonai Yeshua Messiah teaches us: He does what he sees Abba doing, and he who has seen him has seen Abba, for cleaving to Abba, the Supernal Father, with his heart and soul, mind and life, Yeshua Messiah is inseparable from Abba – the Supernal Sefirot; and so it is with us in the perfection of devekut, the fullness of kavvanah.
Let the Holy Scriptures instruct you, and let the prophets and apostles of God instruct you – and receiving their instruction, pray and meditate, and let the Holy Spirit instruct and illuminate you; in this way you will receive your true spiritual education, and your faith will be fully confirmed in Divine Gnosis – the Divine Illumination of the Risen Messiah.
When you go to study the Holy Scriptures, at the very outset pray that the Holy Spirit illuminates their meaning and reveals their secrets to you, and as you study and contemplate, when inspired, give praise and thanks to God, and pray for greater illumination, and when your study is complete, again pray for illumination, reflecting upon, contemplating and meditating on the scriptures you have read and the illuminations you have received – commune in the company of the Holy Shekinah as you study and contemplate, and entertain an interior dialogue with the Spirit of God.
If you have questions on the Holy Scriptures, you can take them to God in prayer or take them to God in perfect communion; or likewise, you can use the practice of contemplative meditation taught in the tradition – if you ask in faith, waiting upon the Spirit of Yahweh, Elohim will answer you, and the Holy Spirit will illuminate you.
Now here we must give a warning to the novice aspirant in the Way of the Navi – do not be as the false prophets and teachers that are so prevalent in these dark and perverse times; do not pursue the Way of the Navi in haughtiness or selfish ambition, seeking to exploit peoples for profit, or seeking to bolster yourself or make great claims of yourself, and be careful of strange visions and strange teachings that may come – visions and teachings that contradict the Holy Gospel and sound doctrine (the Path to Enlightenment). Rather, be a servant to all, as Adonai Yeshua taught us to do, serving the people and God, and giving praise and glory to God – restoring the faith and hope of the people as God has called you to do.
As has been the way of the navim from ancient times until now – be as nothing before God, for that is what you are before the presence of El Shaddai. (In this is a profound secret mystery, for when you are nothing before God, then there is nothing but God, the Beloved, as we behold in the Perfect Master, Adonai Yeshua Messiah – the one who is called Emmanuel, “God is with us.”)
In closing we may recall a prophecy of the times in which we are living that is well known to initiates, along with an admonition to our spiritual labor in the Light of the Messiah in these times:
“For the time is coming [and is now here] when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, and do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully” (2 Timothy 4:3-5).
In the midst of your study and contemplation of scriptures and prophecies, if you believe have been called by the Holy Spirit to serve among the navim in the assembly there is one further basic thing we would encourage you to do – if it has not already transpired in your experience, seek the direct revelation of the Risen Messiah through which your faith will be confirmed and you will receive your gospel; for apart from this no one can be called to serve as a holy apostle, teacher or prophet in Gnostic succession – it is the foundation of all spiritual works and ministries that we are called to do in the Continuum of the Gnostic and Light Transmission.
May all be confirmed in their faith through the grace of Adonai Yeshua Messiah – confirmed in the Gnosis of the Risen Messiah; amen.
Blessings & shalom!
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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia
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