The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals
UNDERSTANDING EZEKIEL'S FOUR LEVELS
"After this, he brought me again unto the door of the house and behold, waters issued forth from under the threshold of the house toward the east. . . . And when the man with the line in his hand, went to the east and measured a thousand cubits. Then he brought me through the waters and they were ankle deep. Again, he measured a thousand and brought
me through the waters and they were knee deep. Again, he measured a thousand and brought me through the waters and they were up to the loins. Afterwards, he measured a thousand and it had become a river that I could not pass over. They had risen deep enough to swim in . . . and along the banks on both sides were many trees. . . . The fruit of the trees
shall be for food and the leaves shall be for medicine. Then he said to me, These waters issue towards the east country and go down to the (Salt) Sea and pass through, so that the waters of the sea shall be healed . . . and everywhere the River flows, it shall bring Life and there shall be a great multitude of fish, because these water shall flow there and they
shall be healed . . . And the Fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi up to Englaim, . . . their fish shall be after their kind, like the fish of the Great Sea - exceedingly many. But the miry places and the marshes shall not be healed but will be given to salt. - Ezekiel 47: 1-12
THE RIVER OF GOD & THE ZODIAC
As you may know, I live along the mighty Colorado River. When I read Ezekiel’s vision of God’s river, I can well understand what he means when he says that it ‘brings life" where ever it flows. The Colorado starts out about the size of a small spring and becomes a raging torrent as it leaves the mountains of Colorado and enters the
Grand Canyon. Backed up by a dam, it forms a very deep lake known as Lake Powell. The dams along the Colorado River provide drinking water to cities like Phoenix, Tucson, Los Vegas, Bullhead, Havasu City, Los Angeles and San Diego. They also provide electric power to the same areas and its water turns the deserts of southern California and
Arizona into verdant farm land. The lakes created along the river provide great fishing and boating for recreation to thousands of people. So, I can understand the picture Ezekiel is trying to paint.
Now, there are people who tell us that we should interpret this passage literally and they believe it refers to a literal Israel which has returned to its land from Babylon. They overlook something which Ezekiel put in the text to tell us that this is supposed to be interpreted in a Spiritual sense. He says that after this trickle became a mighty river, it
empties into the Dead (or Salt) Sea and brings it to life. Then it flows up hill from Engedi (on the banks of the Dead Sea) to Engalim by the Great Sea (the Mediterranean Ocean). This is a rise in elevation of some 1250 feet. If we interpret this literally, it would defy the laws of physics, but if we interpret it in a spiritual sense, we will be on the track of something wonderful.
UNDERSTANDING EZEKIEL’S FOUR LEVELS
Ezekiel goes out of his way to show the four levels of the water. At his first ‘crossing’ it is ankle deep; while at his second ‘crossing’ it is knee deep. At his third ‘crossing’, it is to the loins and when he visits it the fourth time, he can swim in it but he cannot cross it. Mark Stibbe has an interesting interpretation of this passage. He sees it as the four
stages of the Pentecostal Movement. First, were the Azuza Street Revival, then the Charismatic Movement with its doctrine of the "Later Rain". Next, came the invasion of the Protestant and Catholic churches with the "Signs and Wonders" movements of John Wimber and Peter Wagner. And finally, a global revival beginning in Toronto and
Pensacola with Rodney Howard Brown and Randy Clark. This interpretation makes sense and I am sure that our Pentecostal Brethren love it. But I believe that there is another way of looking at this passage, which is closer to the meaning of the revelation given to Ezekiel and that has to do with the Signs of the Zodiac. Sometime back, in an article
entitled, ‘On the Sacred Mysteries and the Science of Initiation’, I spoke of the four divisions of the Zodiac and pointed out that each division has three Signs apiece. The first division corresponds to the physical development of an individual. The next three signs correspond
to the emotional development and the third set deals with the mental development, while the forth set of three signs (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) deals with the hoped-for spiritual development of a person.
We notice in Ezekiel’s vision that there are no fish in the waters until he comes to the fourth level, where it has become a river. This is also true of the Signs of the Zodiac. All three of the last Signs have fish in them.
THE MYSTICAL MEANING OF CAPRICORN, AQUARIUS AND PISCES
The Sign of Capricorn shows a goat’s body developing from a fish. It is half fish and half goat. The goat’s two legs stand atop a high mountain, with his head above the clouds, while his fish tail is seen flipping the depths of the ocean. He has known the sorrows and agonies of the valleys and the exaltation of the mountain peak.
This Sign reminds us of Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration, where he takes to himself, his former glory, which he knew before descending into mortal flesh to save mankind.
"After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and led them up into a holy mountain so that they could be by themselves and there, he was transfigured before them. His garment began shining and became exceeding white, like the snow, as no fuller on earth can whiten. And Elijah and Moses appeared to them and spoke to Jesus. . . And as
they came down from the mountain, . . . [they] came to the other disciples, where he saw a great multitude . . . and he asked the scribes Why are you questioning them? One of those in the multitude answered, saying, Master, I brought to you my son, who has a spirit of dumbness, . . . and I spoke to your disciples, asking them to cast him out, but they
could not." - Luc. 9:1-18 Here is a classic example of Capricorn. One minute, Jesus is is clothed with great glory and his face and clothing shines exceedingly. The next moment, he is down in the valley dealing with a demon possessed man and disciples who cannot deliver him from oppression.
Peter was to write later, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables . . . but were eyewitnesses of his majesty, for he received from the Father, honor and glory, . . . when we were with him in the holy mountain." - 2 Pet. 1:16, 17, 18
The next of the three Signs is Aquarius, who is seen carrying two pitchers of water. From the pitcher in his right hand, he pours water into the mouth of a large fish just below his feet. From the pitcher resting on his left shoulder, water flows upward and we see a dolphin jumping from the water. From one pitcher, water flows down, while
from the other, water flows upward. We are reminded of Jesus’ great cry at the Feast of Tabernacles. "In the last day - the great day of the Feast - Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He that believes in me, as the scripture says (in Ezekiel), Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." - John 7:37, 38
The Sign of Pisces is seen in the stars as two fishes bound by cords to the great sea creature Cetus. One fish aspires heavenward, while the other bends earthward. This represents the tendencies in all of us. With one hand we reach heavenward and with the other, we reach for the
things of earth. Neptune is the planet of Pisces. It represents illusion. In other places, I have spoken of Initiation as a way to strengthen the body, soul and spirit of man and hinted that the shining Constellations of heaven, long ago laid out the guideposts along the Way.
Some may wonder why we are leaving the Age of Pisces and entering the Age of Aquarius, when the Signs seem to go in the opposite direction. I know that some wonder how the Ram can be the first sign. This is just the way the Greeks and Romans looked at things. Actually, the Egyptians saw things completely different. In the first place, they
built the Sphinx to show us the beginning and the end. Its head was the face of a woman and its body was that of lion. This shows us that the Virgin is actually the first sign, according to the way they saw the Mysteries of Heaven, while the Lion is the last Sign.
It all depends on whether one lives in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere. To the person in the north looking down at the circle of the Zodiac, it appears to be moving in one direction. But to the person living in the southern hemisphere, it appears to move in the opposite direction.
EXPERIENCES VERSUS THE SCRIPTURES
Recently, I read an article which likened the Pentecostals to the ancient Gnostics. The writer imagined that the Gnostics sought after mystical experiences and personal revelations and he went on to lament that the Pentecostals are doing the same thing. He seemed to think that all one needs to do is read the Scriptures and there will be no need for
personal experiences, since Jesus has done it all for us! Well, I hate to disillusion him but the Bible speaks of a variety of "experiences". If we can come back to the four levels of water in Ezekiel’s prophecy and liken them to the four divisions of the Zodiac, we will see that God has something for every level of a man’s being. For instance, for those who
identify with their body, we have the dance. The Sufis have an order known as the whirling dervishes, who attain ecstasy through their whirling dances.
For those who identify strongly with their emotions, there is music. When David was young, he played his harp to relieve King Saul of his melancholy. And there were prophets in the Old Testament, who could not prophecy until they had listened to music. Others will experience ‘glossalia’.
For those who have strengthened their mental capacities, there are dreams and visions. Both Joseph and Daniel were interpreter of dreams. "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams." - Acts 2:16, 17
Remember, there are four levels of Initiation: First comes the beginner or seeker sometimes called, the Aspirant. Then he becomes a Probationer when he is baptized. Next, he becomes a Disciple, after enduring certain experiences and learning many lessons. And if he really
advances, he becomes a Master or gifted teacher. His joy is to listen to the Voice or the ten sounds as I have outlined them in my book, ‘Forbidden Truths Revealed’. As he progresses, this Sound which comes from the Throne of God and sustains the entire Universe,
advances with time from one sound to another, filling him with joy. He is now a Tree planted by the Waters of the River of God. He may have started out using sacred chants and forms of meditation until he puts away "childish things" because when he attains Union with the Supreme, he no longer needs them.
Those who insist that we should rely on the Scriptures alone and think to repudiate ‘mystical experiences’, would also reject new revelations. I ask them, did the Scriptures tell us to have a Civil War in order to do away with the institution of slavery. The answer is obviously no but I am glad that many had a vision in which all men were seen as free.
There are traditions which we have received from our fathers that are not mentioned in Scriptures, such as making the sign of the Cross. Christians in the 1st Century made the sign of the Cross, as is well attested.
Paul placed certain traditions on a par with written Scriptures; "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the Traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or our epistle." - 2 Thess. 2:15
Those who would have us literalize certain Scriptures want us to spiritualize passages that are meant literally. For instance, when the other Judas asked Jesus, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us and not to the World?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If a man loves me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him and We will come unto him and make our abode with him. - John 14:22, 23
"Looking forward to the fufillment of that blessed hope, even the Glorious Appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." - Tit. 2:13
I remain, your friend, Jeffrey Brackeen