Thursday, November 1, 2007

The 4 Kingdoms of Ezekiel

In Ezekiel chapter forty-seven, the prophet is shown what is believed to be the millennial temple in Jerusalem.

The imagery is of water proceeding from under the temple, and flowing to the Dead Sea, and healing the sea. This is often thought to be a literal event to happen. I submit that focusing on a literal event, correct or not, can cause us to miss the more important imagery.

The Temple is like the Tree of Life, it is the love of God. It is the symbolism of thePlan of Happiness.

The water is measured at one thousand cubits from the temple and the depth went to “…the ankles.” Then at another thousand cubits the water came to his “loins.” At the next thousand cubits the waters were so deep they “…could not be passed over.”

Finally the river flowed into the sea. And eventually even the sea was healed.

I suggest the following:

Each of the three levels correspond to the three degrees of glory which exists in all true temple imagery. These are levels of salvation.

That the sea represents the non-redeemed (the world), those who are dead, not alive in Christ. When my Hebrew becomes a little more proficient I will discuss this more with the Hebrew "MM" (or mem), including John’s use of the sea imagery in Revelation 13:1.

This is the same imagery Lehi and Nephi saw of the river. Ezekiel saw the temple, Lehi and Nephi saw the Tree of Life, which in ancient Hebrew imagery are the same exact thing. And, that Nephi said the waters and the Tree of Life both represented the same thing. Or, you might say the waters are how salvation is extended to man, or flow to him.

These ideas all depict the ascent of man. They correspond to Jacob’s Ladder, and Paul’s Sun, Moon, and Stars.

That a study of the thousand cubits in Hebrew imagery could be an interesting study itself (how 1,000 cubits separate each glory – Abraham’s 1000 yr solar boat).

More on this to come!


Anonymous said...

Here was an interesting quote
the Qubalah and the 3 Heavens
Mormonism's relationship to Hermeticism: John L. Brooke, The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Prof. Brooke reviews much of the material I have presented above, and draws very similar conclusions: "The Mormon cosmology constructed by Joseph Smith was as optimistic as Renaissance hermeticism and shared with it a startling number of common themes. . . . [Smith] reproduced the three heavens of the Cabala and hermeticism in the three Mormon heavens, the telestial, terrestial, and celestial kingdoms. Both hermeticism and Mormonism celebrate the mutuality of spiritual and material worlds, precreated intelligences, free will, a divine Adam, a fortunate, sinless Fall, and the symbolism and religious efficacy of marriage and sexuality. And, as in hermeticism, Adam, 'the father of all, prince of all, that ancient of days,' would occupy a central position in Mormon cosmology. . . .Three centuries after the height of the Renaissance, Mormonism echoed the hermetics--and explicitly rejected Calvinism. . . . Joseph Smith gave Mormon hierarchy the same authority that the hermetic alchemist assumed: human means to immortality, indeed divinity."

Anonymous said...

Just to balance the scales of contriversy

David Littlefield said...

The very point of the post was pointing out that the idea of three kingdoms of glory (and one not of glory) is central to the gospel, taught in scripture, and enshrined in temples of stone (and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness).

I think in this post I demonstrated that the imagery of three kingdoms was taught by Ezekiel. Previously I showed that the same imagery was central to the Eden story. Paul taught it in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 12:2, and the ancient Jews taught it [4 Worlds. All true temples have three levels, divisions, or degrees.

The gospel heritage Joseph Smith inherited drips with this imagery, and you imply Joseph lifted it from Hermeticism? Now that’s a leap of faith (or something, perhaps negative faith).

I would say If Joseph Smith restored the church and left out this imagery, critics would have room to accuse.


Anonymous said...

Lets leave the Lower heavens alone and See Mormon High Heaven( 21 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory..")
The following is written with reverence towards God. all Quotes are from D&C 132:
The challenge is as To the "New" vision of Heaven from the Mormon View
The Requirements to Live or Enter into the Highest Heaven in the Celestrial Kingdom are
Baptism,Holy Ghost,Temple Endowment,Being Sealed Up with the Holy Spirit of Promise.Calling and Election Made Sure.The More sure Word of Prophecy and Polygamy "for the fulness of my glory""and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things""Then shall they be gods because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.".
What of Plural Marriage
Thus, polygamy—called “celestial” (meaning heavenly) or “patriarchal” marriage after the polygamous patriarchs of the Old Testament such as Abraham and Jacob—was accepted as necessary for “exaltation,” the highest salvation in the Mormon heaven.
Question is heaven in the Future or Past? Is Polygamy/Celestrial marriage in the future or Past?
3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.
4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—
8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.
Gordon B. Hinckley: The figures I have are from -- between two percent and five percent of our people were involved in it. It was a very limited practice; carefully safeguarded. In 1890, that practice was discontinued. The president of the church, the man who occupied the position which I occupy today, went before the people, said he had, oh, prayed about it, worked on it, and had received from the Lord a revelation that it was time to stop, to discontinue it then. That's 118 years ago. It's behind us.
Will we go to Real Heaven With- Out Plural Marriage and did the Church lean Politicly Correct
If you dont get Married you are appointed to eunich/angel status?
"but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory".
"they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God"22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation" .
And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
For women who would not go along with the Program(polygamy) it ment certian destruction
64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor
James 1: 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
That is a Little different

tmg_founder said...

Dear Anon.,
Not that you deserve acknowledgement, but it must be said. Joseph Smith did not create "Mormon Cosmology." I witness this to you. Your inferences are insulting and your keeping your name secret is telling of your origin. I beg you to return to where you came from and no longer bother this good brother or vex his readers with your rambling.
gary d. goodwin

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info David. Great help to me. Dee