Follow The Drinking Gourd

“Follow the drinking gourd” is an old Negro spiritual, sung by slaves following the big dipper North to freedom. The bidding of a disciple of Christ to follow Him, does not end at the foot of the cross. We read in the book of Revelation that there appeared in Heaven, a Lamb. We further read of a people with Him who are called, chosen and faithful. Jesus said many are called, few are chosen. The Lord is not arbitrary, nor showing favoritism. The apostle Peter wrote of the transition from calling to election, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.

The election, the chosen from among the called , are not arbitrarily chosen, but rather, are the numbers of them who have answered the call. The place prepared for you, of which Jesus spoke before going to prepare it, is open to you now.

Follow the drinking gourd
Follow the drinking gourd
For the old man is a waitin’
For to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinking gourd

When the sun comes up
And the first Quail calls
Follow the drinking gourd
For the old man is a waitin’
For to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinking gourd


The riverbank will make a mighty good road
The dead trees show you the way
Left foot, peg foot travelin’ on
Following the drinking gourd


The river ends between two hills
Follow the drinking gourd
There’s another river on the other side
Follow the drinking gourd


From Luke 22:

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.


“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if not, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you. But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.”

On the night Jesus kept the ritual of unleavened bread with the disciples, the night on which he suffered, it was the last legitimate ritualistic observance of what is now fulfilled. Not passed and over with…but fulfilled eternally. Then, they observed a forward looking ritual. Now we sup with the Father and the Son eternally, new in the kingdom of God, in the place prepared, in the world but not of it, as the Destroyer passes over. The song quoted above is an old Negro spiritual, sung by slaves fleeing the old South for freedom, during the time of the American Civil War.

The “drinking gourd” in the song was the constellation of the Big Dipper. Following the constellation North, lead to freedom. The ritual of the Passover was established as a memorial to the children of Israel, when the Lord “passed over” ( literally “skipped over”) their houses, and did not suffer the messenger of death to enter their houses. The lamb’s blood on the lintel and posts of the door, bespoke what was taking place in the chamber. The family would eat the passover, from evening until morning, leaving nothing of it unconsumed. Not a bone of it was to be broken. The non consumables were to be burned with fire.

The Lord, OUR PASSOVER, is not a ritual. We sup with Father and Son, in the communion of the Spirit, new in the kingdom, not in a ritualistic reenactment, but in the Secret Place of the Most High, where the Spirit takes the things of the body of this resurrection, and makes them known unto us:

                                        (from Luke 24)
“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.  And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.”

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Our upper room, the “place prepared” is not far off removed in time and space. The kingdom of God is within. FOLLOW THE MAN WITH THE PITCHER OF WATER. He is the one to whom the Father gave the Spirit, not in any measure, but FULLY. In the very first chapter of Genesis, the Lord establishes a day ( a “YOM” ) as an evening and a morning, in that order. And a “yom” ( day) can not be definitively defined as a twenty four hour period. It is a space in which something is accomplished. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians, that the day of Christ is at hand. First the evening, then the morning. Jesus said He will come as a thief in the night.

In the book of Job, Job refers to the Lord as he “Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south”.  Later the Lord answers Job out of the whirlwind, admonishing Job as having darkened council by words without wisdom. The Lord adds wisdom:

“The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”

Arcturus is the constellation, Ursa major, the “Great Bear” , the drinking gourd. The Pleiades is the “Seven Sisters” in the constellation of orion, the assemblies in the right hand in Revelation 2 and 3, where the Lord speaks by the Spirit to loose the bands of Orion, with his seat in their midst, and break the sweet influences at work in the midst, the influences of the many voices that no not belong with the message of Christ in you, for the candlesticks (lamp stands) are depicted as the South camp of the tabernacle, the camp of Gad, which name means “assembly”.  Orion means “fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one”. The upper room is the place John is bidden to in Revelation 4, with the words “COME UP HERE”. John is brought to the place, the upper room, where there is no contrary voice, and the Lord is all, through all and in all, where no contrary voice is countenanced. Where crowns of the twelve patriarchs and the twelve Dukes of Edom, bow the knee and their lips voice, the place where Joseph’s dreams are fulfilled, to the glory of God and the Father, that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. Either follow the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead, and be seated with Him on the throne, or forever pay lip service. The Exodus of faith,  is one from symbol to substance.

1Cr 5:7   
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Sincerity and Truth can not be had in a ritual. Following the man with the drinking gourd , to the prepared place, has nothing to do with “dying and going to heaven”. There will be nothing by way of treasure waiting for me, that I do not lay up now.

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