Thursday, July 3, 2008

Abraham’s Knot of Faith

A while back a wrote a post titled “Tying The Knot.” In that post I wrote:

“Some ancients thought of the plan of salvation as three worlds or kingdoms stacked one above the other. Spanning these three worlds was a rope descending from the highest kingdom bringing connection to the lower worlds. Each of the three worlds is tied to the rope by a knot, and the knot is fastened with a nail (Vav). The temple is a knot symbolizing the connecting place between the worlds. Each level of temple worship has an altar which represents the Vav or nail in that world”

The Zohar is a medieval attempt to pass on the oral teachings of the Jews in story form. It teaches about Abraham preparing to go down into Egypt, a sinful place. Abraham was fearful that it was like a spiritual pit from which he would not be able to escape. We read:

“So Abraham cleaved to faith when he went down to Egypt and when he went to the land of the Philistines. This can be compared to a person who was about to descend into a deep pit. He was afraid he would not be able to come back up. What did he do? He tied a length of rope above the pit, saying ‘since I have tied this knot, now I can enter.’ Similarly, when Abraham was about to go down to Egypt, he first tied a knot of faith, so he would have something to grasp; then he descended. Likewise when he entered the land of the Philistines.” (The Zohar, Matt vol. 2, pg 165, Va-Yera)

Abraham feared for his spiritual welfare. As a lifeline, he clung to the “knot of faith” that he created. What was that knot? It was his covenant, his endowment, inheritance, or the promise of deification.

We see in the Book of Abraham that that is exactly what happened. When Abraham left Ur, God appeared to him and:

- Gave Abraham the priesthood.
- Blessed him with eternal seed.
- Gave him land.

These blessings are described in Abraham chapter 2. Chapters 3 through 5 are excerpts of Abraham's teaching of creation that correspond to their temple covenants. These covenants and blessings are the “knot” that Abraham held to in a troubled time.

When we feel ourselves descending into a spiritual pit, do we hold to our knot, our covenants, our temple inherence? We need to reach up, take ahold of our knot, and pull ourselves up, from time to time.


David Littlefield said...

Jacob climbed a ladder, Abraham climbed a rope.


JayFlow22 said...

So are the 3 knots
The Spirit World, Mortal Earth, and Heaven
Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial
or both?
The alter in our knot is obviously in the Temples.
Where are the "vav"s in the other worlds/knots?

David Littlefield said...

Hey Jay!

The nail connects the three kindoms of glory, Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial.

The three divisions of the temple represent to us the three kingdoms of glory. When in the Telestial room, we make the covenants required to receive a telestial (initial initiation) glory. These are symbolically done as though you are at the altar. The altar represents the place of atonement in that kingdom of glory, that’s why the covenants are made at the altar. The altar in Solomon’s temple was used for burning animal as a sacrifice.

In our temples, there is an altar that is made to represent the place of atonement in the Terrestrial kingdom, as it is in the Ter. room.

The same is true for the Celestial room and kingdom. The Mercy seat (altar) is the symbolic reconciling of mercy and justice in the atonement. It is where we make our covenants, as we do in each room or kingdom.

The Hebrew “vav” is the nail. It represents power to combine, or seal together. It is a symbol of the atonement. In the minds of some ancient Hebrews a vav was nailed to each altar, in each kingdom (or temple room), that connected all lower kingdoms to God, like a rope descending down thru the kingdoms.

Each kingdom exists by the power of the atonement manifest there, nailed to the altar of each kingdom. IMHO.


David Littlefield said...

In Zohar fashion:

What is up? The laws of the celestial kingdom.


JayFlow22 said...

Is the portion of glory given to each Kingdom analogous to the portion of "the power of the Atonement manifest there"?
Does the fact that there are three "vav"s have any reference to the three locations of wounds in Christ's body [hands, wrists, and feet]?
Also, now that we know all this stuff...what do we do now? Where can we practically apply all these ropes, ladders, rounds, wheels, seraphs, knots, etc.?

David Littlefield said...


While many disagree on my position here, the way I see it is that it is not a matter that “the power of the atonement are manifest there” in different degrees. Or in other words, the people of the different degrees of glory are not cleansed thru the atonement to different levels, hence remaining levels of un-resolvable sin. I believe that except for the son’s of perdition, we are all cleansed from all our sins when we accept Christ, which we must do to receive a degree of glory.

What determines what glory we go to is the law we cling to.

So the atonement is complete, and full in each kingdom, all the wounds of mortality will be healed. But it is us who will decide what level of law we will live.


David Littlefield said...

Over at Temple Study, Bryce just posted on related topic; "Hand Fasting." He describes a practice of "handfasting" where a couple would have their hands tied together as a sign of their covenant.