|A PROSTITUTE||A SAVIOUR|
The above title and sub-title, are indicative of what the Heroines of Jerich Degree is all about, and as we study the four (4) components listed, hopefully, we will be able to connect them in an orderly manner.
We ask that you open your ears and hear; open your mouths and ask questions; open your hearts to receive the answers; implore your hands and feet to do the will of He that caused us to be here.
Genesis 1:1,2,3 - In the beginning, God...: There is only one way to describe the Grand Master of the Universe, and that is, GOD IS! We have no record of how, when or where He was created so He is not a Past Tense God; He Is! He was not created; He Is! He does not deal in TIME, He deals in Eternities, and where He came from we do not know; where He is, we do not know; where He will be, we do not know. Yet, in His infinite wisdom, He is established in our lives, and we should seek to learn of Him, for in Him, we move and have our being.
In the second verse, the second part of the Holy Trinity takes center stage: And the Spirit of God moved...! Each one of us must have spirit, for if it was absent in our lives, there would be no purpose, no direction, no need to live, really. In order to move in God, and be in God, we must have a relationship with Him. Not as a relationship with spouse or even a friend, but one in which we can move with the correctness of good deportment and personal pride. The manner of our being is not judged by how we think of ourselves, but by the dictates and images that society sees, and consequently, if we do not move in God, and have our being in God, society sees a negative picture.
The third verse, concluding the Holy Trinity, tells us of the Word, a Word that God spoke, and if not taken any further, would leave us in a quandry as to how each one makes a part of the Whole. Therefore, we must look to the book of John, 1st Chapter, first verse, to see what the 'Word' is. "In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The second verse tells how lontg the Word has been around: "The same was in the beginning with God." Further, the third verse tells us the function of the Word: All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
The Word still has not been identified, but will be. But, we will leave that for now and continue on to fill in the gaps to fulfill our mission of linking the four components together.
In Genesis 1:26, we see God making man and woman, in His own image and in His own likeness. There is no description of God that could satisfy our curiosity as to how He looked. Moses saw his backside (whatever that means), and his face shone so bright, a veil had to cover his face (Exodus 34: 29-35). It is not so important that we see God in our finite condition, as it is to feel His presence in our lives, enough to learn to treat our neighbors right, whom we see everyday.
Therefore, in describing God, each one of us would have a different version, for we canot see what we feel within; we cannot describe what we cannot see, only what we feel, but all the while we wonder, yet, GOD IS!
And He made us in His own image and in His own likeness, so WE ARE what WE ARE!
Moses was a deliverer, for he delivered the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. However, because of his disobedience and failure to give God the glory, Moses saw the Promised Land, but did not go to it. Instead, God commanded Moses to "take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him (Exodus 27:18)." Therefore, Joshua became a general over the Children of Israel to continue to lead them to the Promised Land. It is fitting for him to be the male figure in the Court of Heroines of Jericho. His was a generalship, for he was chosen by God, with a charge by Moses and confirmed later by God Himself. "Only be thou strong and very courageous...(Joshua 1:7)"
A good general must be able to follow as well as give orders. Therefore, Joshua was a minister as well as a general. In being such, it was necessary that he should deal with his enemies physically, but also deal with his own people spiritually. Consequently, when he found himself on the eve of his demise, he made a very profound statement, which is still prevelant with us today, as are all adherents of the teachings of the Bible. Joshua 24:15 tells us these words: "And if it seems evil for you to serve the Lord, choose ye this day, whom ye shall serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose lands ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
If a Joshua of a Court or a Grand Joshua of a Grand Court, is not willing to serve the Grand Joshua of the Universe, then the Joshua is not worthy of his office. The name alone, should inspire the court Joshua to excell in his position, to be able to preside with the knowledge that peace and harmony are the bywords of his authority. Joshua means "Jehovah is salvation." There will be more on this as it is a vital link in putting the spiritual chain together.
Joshua was close to God. Joshua's moves were with God and met God's approval. This general, chosen of God, was successful in all his endeavors and defeated all his enemies with the help of God. Consider if you will:
1. He sent spies to Jericho and they were assisted by a harlot. God's devine will. (Joshua 2:1)
2. He crossed the Jordan in miraculous fashion, with the waters dividing. God's divine will. (Joshua 3:14-17)
3. He caused twelve stones to be set up as a memorial. God's divine will. (Joshua 4:1-7)
4. Marched his people around Jericho 13 times, causing it to fall. God's divine will. (Joshua 6:1-5)
5. Interceded for Israel when Achan sinned. God's divine will. (Joshua 7:1-13)
6. Read the law at Mt. Ebal. God's divine will. (Joshua 8:35)
7. Caused the sun to stand still. God's divine will. (Joshua 10:12-14)
8. Divided Caanan by lots. God's divine will. (Joshua 15)
9. Set the tabernacle up at Shiloh. God's divine will. (Joshua 18:1)
10. Established six cities for refuge. God's divine will. (Joshua 20:1-6)
11. Raises a 'stone of witness'. God's divine will. (Joshua 24:26-28)
12. Lived to be 110 years old. Buried in Timnathserah on Mount Ephraim. God's divine will. (Joshua 29:1-30)
While these are not all of the events that happened under Joshua's leadership, these stand out. The whole book of Joshua will give you meaning as to why the male figure in a Court of Heroines of Jericho is called a Worthy Joshua.
In the cyclopedia of the King James version, two descriptions of Rahab are given, one meaning "broad" and the other meaning "pride or arrogance." It may be said that at one time or another, both descriptions fit this heroine. Rahab's life offers to us a two-part woman, with the last description being the first and the first description being the last and the best. Rahab is listed as "an harlot" in Joshua 2:1, and the complete story is shown in the following 23 verses that tell of the various events that caused this Heroine to be listed among the names of the faithful (Hebrew 11:31), a woman of faith with works (James 2:25). All of this because of God's divine will.
A "harlot" in modern language, is a prostitute, one that sells her body for money or favors, and is considered the 'oldest profession' in the world, citing Eve as the first, because she sold her eternal life seeking knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-5). It is encumbent upon all of us to consider our own prices for the things we want in life, rather than what we need. Whatever, it is also said that everyone has a price where they lose their dignity and succumb to the evils of the world. Once again, it is encumbent upon all of us to consider or perhaps, reconsider, our prices. Prostitution is found in many places, by males and females; in various ways: by secular leaders as well as ministers; by children as well as adults. Like Santa Claus, "He's everywhere!"
The word "Rahab", (sometimes rendered Rachab) on the other hand, means pride or arrogance, and pride goeth before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). By being a prostitute, Rahab's pride was false pride. Her life had no meaning except to make money and take care of her family. Probably, by having more money than honest people, it made her arrogant and prideful in her demeanor, causing her to disrespect others. She was a prostitute, and therefore, she probably had to wear red clothes, to be identified with the outcast of the city, also caused to live on the wall of Jericho with others of not-so-good-standings. Even today, the outcasts ring our cities in some areas, and before the advent of freeways and bypasses, in travelling, you had to pass through the "low life" areas of cities and towns, before coming to the heart of the city where the "upstanding" folks lived. Approaching armies would be hard-pressed, because of having to fight or kill the "outcasts" to reach the heart of the city, before the good folks could raise an alarm and counter-attack.
Such people make up the list of heroes and heroines in the Bible, when it is time for a leader to 'step up' and face the calamities before them. Such was Moses, in a pitiful state in the desert; such was Joshua, when Moses dies; such was Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah, such was Rahab! Not only was Rahab a prostitute, she, like others in Caanan, was a woman of color, a descendant of Caanan, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:1-6). Historians, theologians and other writers have used the curse of Ham (Genesis 9:27) as the basis for keeping people of color in servitude. Personally, I believe that whoever curses a people in one sense, God will bless them in another. Whatever color the people of Caanan were, the Children of Israel loved them and married them.
When Joshua sent the two spies over to spy out Caanan, they were directed to Rahab's house (Joshua 2:1) by the divine will of God, who already had touched the heart of Rahab and showed her the victory of the Israelites (Joshua 2:9-13) over the people of Jericho. Rahab asked nothing for herself except, her father's house and all that dwelled therein (Joshua 2:12-13), with herself last in verse 13, inclusive in the "our."
As the spies were taking their leave from Rahab's house, she exacted a promise from them (Joshua 2:13) and received an answer that stands out in the Court of Heroines of Jericho, even today (Joshua 2:14). She was saved, along with her family, and all other inhabitants were destroyed (Joshua 6:17). After the fall of Jericho, the Bible tells us in Matthew 1:5 that Rahab married Salmon and had a son by name of Boaz, who begat Obed of Ruth, a True Kinsman.
Ruth was a decendant of Lot, who had a son by an incestous relationship with his oldest daughter, and called his name Moab, thereby making Ruth a Moabitess (Genesis 19:30-37). Because of their idolarty, the Moabites became an abomination unto God, and stayed that way until Ruth met Boaz on the threshing floor in Behlehem. The story of Ruth is found in the Book of Ruth, and is one of the greatest stories that depict love for her mother-in-law, Naomi. Therefore, Bethlehem, capital of Judea, called the "City of David." It was here that Boaz begat Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, Jesse begat David, who begat Solomon of Bathsheba (Matthew 1:5-6). Bathsheba was a Hittite and they were children of Heth (Genesis 10:15), who was a son of Caanan, a son of Ham, a son of Noah. Even though TV and the movies show Bathsheba and even the Queen of Sheba with milky white skin, these were people of color, being the children of Ham, who historians say was the father of dark skinned people. I'll buy it! Throughout the Bible, there are many people of color if you for them.
Ruth, a descendant of incest, married Boaz, a son of a prostitute. This a strange combination but, God's way is not our way, especially since we look on the outside rather than the inside like He does. Therefore, when we see Ham, we think of slavery and servitude; when we see Caanan, we think of a curse; when we see Boaz, we think of a son of a prostitute; when we see Ruth, we think of incest; when we see Bathsheba, we think of adultery; when we see David, we think of "born in sin, raised in iniquity." But beneath it all: there is a plan, a divine plan, reflecting a divine will, and it has traversed a rout of dubious reputations to arrive BACK at a little town called Bethlehem, "a place of bread." It was here that Ruth, under orders from her mother-in-law, Naomi, played the part of a prostitute by going to the threshing floor to sleep at Boaz's feet. By seeing her there, Boaz's closest kinsman refused to redeem the land.
Throughout the old testament, there are references of a Saviour. In Genesis 3, the Word is called "an enmity." In Psalms 2, He is affirmed as the "Annointed One (Christ). His birth was predicted in Isaiah 7:14; Fulfilled in Matthew 1:1-18; is in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4); prophecised about in Isaiah 9:6, and in so many other scriptures, but the one I like is Genesis 49:10, where it is said that "the scepter (King's rod) shall not leave thy loins Judah, nor a lawgiver from between thy feet, until Shiloh comes."
Shiloh (Jesus) has come, and is coming back again! But where did he come from? How did He arrive? Let us search the scriptures.
He was the Word come to life, manifested in human form, appearing as any other Israelite, except, his history was a little disturbing. Let us start at Judah, from whose earthly loins he sprang, as in Genesis 49:10. Judah begat Pharez of Tamar (Incest); Pharez begat Hezron; Hezron begat Ram (Ram in the bush); Ram begat Amminadab, who begat Nashon; Nashon begat Salmon (Fish); Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab (Heroine of Jericho); Boaz begat Obed of Ruth (of incest); Obed begat Jesse; Jesse begat David; David begat Solomon of Bathsheba (adultery); Mary begat Jesus of the Holy Ghost (accused of adultery). With a genealogy like that, it's no wonder that Jesus had such an affinity with "outcasts."
John 1:4-5 tells us that "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Verse 10 says that "He was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." Verse 11: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Such was the history and the acceptance of the Saviour of men.
In the Court, men and women, companions (Knights) and Heroines meet, supposedly to learn about this man called the Christ, this man called Jesus (God is salvation), whose name is the same as Jesse, as Joshua, as Jeshua, as the Annointed one, as the Everlasting Father, and Almighty God, a Prince of Peace. He has been called a Comforter; a Lily of the Valley; a Bright and Morning Star; many names have been attributed to him, many titles, but they all add up to one: The Son Of God!
In the three degrees of the Heroines: The Heroine of Jericho the True Kinsman's Degree; the Master Mason's Daughter, we trace what is called The Scarlet Line, a color of prostitution and degradation. We follow it from the twins of Judah, down to Jericho, meeting Rahab; we see it in Bethlehem with Ruth and Boaz; we see it in David and Bathsheba and we see it in Joseph and Mary. It is given to Jesus in the form of a robe, which soldiers later cast lots for, but we see it all come together as an emblem of salvation. It is a color of rejuvenation for the new Christian; a color of zeal for the Royal Arch Mason; a color of salvation for all. It is a color of God, a general, a prostitute and a Saviour.
THE EMBLEMS OF THE ORDER
The Scarlet Chord: An emblem of safety, of recognition. (Joshua 2:18)
The Sheaf of Wheat (Barley): Represents bread, or life-giving food. Bethlehem was called the "Place (or House) of Bread."
The three-tiered Ark: Symbol of safety as found in Noah's Ark. It saved Noah and his family.
Red: Represents the color of prostitution, now Salvation. Also represents Zeal.
White: Represents Innocence and Purity.
Blue: The truest color, representing Friendship, the highest form of love on earth among human beings.
Fear Not, Daughters of Zion...Isaiah 62:11, Matthew 21:5
Blessed be he that cometh...Psalms 118:26, Matthew 21:9
Ark Bearers: Four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire and Water). Also the four squares of the cross. See swastika.
Rainbow: Sign of Covenant between God and the Earth (Genesis 9:13). Red, yellow and green.