There are some confusions about the wise-men. I wrote about the gifts they came bearing, but we are still confused about where they came from and what makes them wise. I hope that I can shed some light on these two points for the purpose of igniting within us a desire to make a serious effort of using the words of Christ to produce our escape, and freedom, from the slavery we are currently in.
The first confusion of where the Magi (Ma-jai) or wise-men came from comes from the book of Matthew.
“1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there cam wise men from the east to Jerusalem.
2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
If the Magi came from the east to the west to come into Jerusalem, and the star was also in the east, then the Magi would be traveling away from the star to find the King. That makes no sense to move away from the sign that sits above the object/destiniation.
To come from the east has multiple meanings. We tend to understand meanings from our point of view or our perspective (reader response). The definition that seems obvious is that the wise-men came from the direction of the east. The other possible definition means that they came from the traditions of the east, which are the older, more ancient traditions. Having recently blogged about the history of the children of Israel, remember that by the time Christ was born, the ancient temple rituals had been corrupted by the Deuteronomists, and had been reduced to outward practices of sacrifices. To come from the eastern traditions, refers to the garden of Eden, the teachings from God to the “Ancient of Days” (another name for Adam).
It was the Egyptians that preserved these ancient temple rituals. That is why we have the facsimiles in the book of Abraham, which are Egyptian. Abraham also completed his endowment in Egypt with his wife, as shown in the facsimiles. Egypt has another legend of Adam, before he died, seeking gold, frankincense, and myrrh so that he could continue living. But the angels responded to Adam that those sacred gifts were to be kept for a later time, for one who would provide eternal life for all mankind.
Your opinions are subject to your belief or unbelief. Only an understanding of the correct attributes of God can discern the truth. However, the truth holds the “mysteries” that have the power to connect anyone to heaven. How you choose may open your mind to greater truths, or shut off greater light and knowledge. Choose wisely pa-do-wan (from Star Wars mom).
Next I’ll address what makes a wise man. Now in the Christmas tradition, we think that there are three wise-men because there were three gifts given. However, the truth is that the scriptures aren’t clear how many wise-men there really were. A number is not given. Yet there are similar character traits that make a wise-man. I’ll first share some common misconceptions of wise-men and then address the makings of a wise-man.
Most people attribute wise-men in our vocabulary today, which connects men to worldly riches. The justification continues in the giving of such valuable gifts. That is why we foolishly think that when we have been given worldly riches that it is a symbol of God’s approval of our life. This is counterintuitive to a God who expects us to be able to let go of this world. The value of the gifts were instruments that had the power not only to give life, but to give exalted life to the receiver of the gift. The gifts of the wise-men were given from true value, that is confused, in our minds as “earthly riches.” That is because that is what our world holds as value. What they gave had enormous value, but we have to see the value from an eternal perspective.
The other misleader is the concept of being Kings. Of course the earthly value of the gifts also combines to make this concept of Kings to be even more of the earthly perspective of “rich, earthly kings.” This deepens the false traditions of earthly success, power and rule. Our minds have been so polluted with ideas of kings on earth that we have little understanding of what it means to be a true King, crowned in glory!
Such Kings, crowned in glory, are referred to being clothed in light, possibly even fiery ones, or burning ones. It is the return of such fiery Kings that Malachi prophesies of coming and burning the whole earth. Their presence is what burns the impure. These fiery ones have no need for the things of the world. They see no value in the riches of man. Perhaps that is why Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego weren’t able to be burned by the fire of this earth because they were clothed in fire. Perhaps the servant that came near the fire intended to burn Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego didn’t die from the heat of the man made fire, but instead was burned by the glory of these three wise-men.
The correct idea of a wise-man has three attributes that are associated, and titled, with three name types in Greek:
- Ashiphim- ability to be healed and to heal others
- Casdim- ability to create miracles (creation) and to read the stars (prophecy)
- Hartumin- to interpret tongues and to speak in tongues and to write such interpretations (scriptures)- not only earthly languages
Enoch had all three attributes within him. So did Christ, obviously. But so did Joseph Smith as well. What is interesting is that we have been invited to become such wise-men/women. These attributes are the same attributes that are given to us to obtain unto by Joseph Smith in D&C 46:13-25. They are called gifts of the spirit.
A little hint when you read tho scripture yourself, there are groupings, …and they come through knowledge and wisdom (revelation). Knowledge is not scholarly education where you accumulate “information.” Wisdom is not merely “experience.” Knowledge is the perspective of the heavens. Wisdom is the conduit of revelation. That is how all gifts of heaven are given.
Recognize that the gifts of the heaven aren’t numbered. However, the pattern shared in this scripture is a pattern of how one can obtain all the gifts from heaven. That is what makes a wise-one. That is why I will continue to address the traditional idea of a prophet as false. A prophet wants all men and women to connect to the heavens. He doesn’t stand in our way, but instead shows us the way. The reason why he is able to show us the way is because he has ascended. He has kept the first and great commandment, he has loved God with all his heart, mind and soul. He is keeping the second great commandment and loving us, his neighbors, as himself. Upon all these hang all the laws and the prophets.
An interesting side-note: Magi is the root of the word Magic, which has been traditionalized as deception. When Christ was being tried by the Sanhedrin, He was convicted for magic. By this time magic had lost its meaning as being connected to the heavens and being a King and a wise-one, and turned into a wicked idea of sorcery. Be careful how we judge, or discern, truth from error. We don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I hope that I have shed some light on where the Magi came from and what makes them wise-men. I hope that this has helped in igniting within you a desire to make a serious effort of searching and using the words of Christ to produce an escape, and freedom, from the slavery we are currently in. Money doesn’t solve money problems. The only way out of this mess is not found in this world, but out of this world.