A LAND THAT FLOWS WITH MILK AND HONEY
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
A recent interest in honey bees and beekeeping has become a source of learning, not merely about bees, and what they do, but it has helped open a volume of understanding contained in the scriptures, wherein bees, honey, & etc., actually depict the mind stayed upon the Lord. This may seem strange, or far fetched, but the scriptures, after all, are “they which testify of Me”, (said Jesus).
Many a believer may well go through life, never “seeing”, never knowing, the “land flowing with milk and honey” , accessible, and available to us here and now, because the Helper, the Spirit of Truth is come to lead us unto ALL truth (as said Jesus), “Taking the things which are mine, and showing them unto you”. Every word of that which is called the Lord’s prayer, point for point, is answered in Colossians 1. That being the case, things which have been hid from the foundation of the world, things angels have desired to look into, are now revealed by the Spirit. But such “things” do not lay about openly. Rather, they are sought out in a relationship with Christ. The “common salvation” of the book of Jude, which is in the unmeasured outer courts, as described to John in the Revelation, does not approach unto the right to eat of the hidden manna, which Jesus awards the one who over comes. Pearls are not found on a walk on the beach. Gold, silver and precious gems are not found laying about the ground. Dust has been made the serpent’s meat. It is not the destiny of them called in Christ, to eat dust, the stuff of which Adam was elevated from, and fell back to. Jesus rebuked the Enemy, (Mat 16:23 ) “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”.
(from Colossians 1)
“…For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hathdelivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist…”
Jesus, in the time leading up to His crucifixion, expounded that He was “going away”. That He had proceeded and come from the Father, and that He returned to the Father. And further, he expounded to His disciples that where He goes, and the way He goes there, they know. To this, one disciple, Thomas, replied, “we do not know where you go, and how can we know the way?”. Jesus also expounded that He would come again, not leaving His own, nor forsaking them. In saying “I will never leave you or forsake you, I will come unto you”. On the full day of Pentecost, the Lord came, as He promised. The prophet Joel cried: “ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts”. Remember the admonition of Paul, to a people preoccupied with buildings, rituals and clergy craft, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”. This Teacher, this Messenger of the covenant, defines the temple of the living God, by dwelling in it. It remains a mystery to me, how many can have and be something, not know it, and so, look for it to be built on a piece of dirt in the former land of Canaan. Indeed, the poison of religion, to me, is found in that it presents itself , side by side, with the true, showing itself as something it is not, and locking the undecided, in a mental valley of decision. Paul called this, “Another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel, which are not another”. The Armageddon of the book of Revelation, is not going to happen “some day”, it has been waging for quite some time. And it is waging entirely in the roughly three pounds of gray matter between the ears.
There are different forms of knowledge…different ways of writing instructions. Many a bird, many a fish, etc., “know”, without every being told, where their place of origin is. Many a bird will hatch out, fly to distant lands, and return to the very spot of their conception. Some Salmon, spawned in one of innumerable branches of a head waters, will spend it’s life in the sea, and return eventually, to the exact spot of it conception, where it mates. In the book of the seed bed, the book of Genesis, the principle is set forth, that everything brings forth after it’s kind. The Lord’s people are not a special or set apart segment of humanity…a particular genetic line of Adam. The Lord’s people are indeed gathered out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. They are as many as are begotten to God, IN CHRIST JESUS. I can tell you, that he that is so begotten, has certain knowledge written into him/her at conception, much as the map and blueprint of your natural mother and father, are written into every single cell in your body, beginning at conception, beginning in the zygote. This new and living way, can be spoken about and taught from without, but it must be experienced from within. It is shown us in Isaiah 64, and later quoted by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians, For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Paul adds to this, “...But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God….”. To many who site the “Lord’s prayer” as an as yet unfulfilled plea, the Lord is afar off, seemingly removed in time and space, relegated always in the carnal mind to someone and something always over the horizon, always the proverbial carrot on a stick. But them in whom the Father and the Son have come, and have made their abode, making such an individual of faith, a partaker at the heavenly table, such “…the Father, hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath (present tense) delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…”
One of the reasons, one of the complaints of the Lord, regarding man, and leading to the scouring destruction of the flood, is that the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually before Him, and they have forsaken His way in the earth. The Lord, recognizing that man’s thoughts are vain from his youth, pledged not to overthrow the earth with a flood again, having pledged that He would no longer strive with the souls of men. But in the Son of God, was found the mind stayed upon the Lord, never a vain, purposeless of repulsive thought crossed or entered it. And into this “mind” are we offered translation and abiding. The mind stayed upon the Lord, is beautifully depicted in nature, as a hive translated out of a land of darkness, into one flowing with milk and honey. The things once hidden from heart and mind, now revealed by the Spirit within. The Messenger now taking the things which are the Father’s and Christ’s, and revealing them to you, all unseen by the world.
In beekeeping, many of the first things learned, things as simple as the vernacular used, is eye opening. For example, the term “honey flow” correctly identifies the fact that honey flows, not from bees, but from the land, as indeed the Lord’s words reflect..promising a land flowing with milk and honey. The “flow” is the production of nectar and pollen, from various trees, flowers, etc., at various times through the growing season. Bees collect, process and store the nectar, and it becomes honey…a wonderful food that has many beneficial qualities, and is the only food in nature that does not spoil if stored properly. It keeps indefinitely. It is not unlike the manna in the golden pot, placed in the ark of testimonies, manna which does not stink or breed worms, as might the manna collected out of order, when collected under “law”.
Pollen is collected, each bee adds a secretion, like saliva to it, and it is packed into cells. It undergoes a complicated process that includes many of the things that happen when yeast is added to a flour mixture to make bread. In fact, the final product is called “bee bread”. It is finally composed, roughly, of 55% carbohydrates, 35% proteins, 3% minerals and vitamins, 2% fatty acids, and 5% of various other ingredients. Interestingly again, the wording of scripture is telling. For the “milk” in a “land flowing with milk and honey, is actually the word for “fat”, derived from a word that means “the abundance and choicest part of the land”.
A land of darkness provides flora no source to produce any flow from it. A hive (mind) abiding in a land of darkness, has nothing to gather from the land, for nothing is produced by the land, and the mind abiding in the “darkness that covers the earth, and gross darkness the people” similarly sees and hears nothing from the land. But read Colossians 1 again. Read of being made a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, having been translated out of darkness, into the kingdom of His dear Son. The resurrected, glorified son of man, the Day Star risen in your heart, is the very land of promise, and not any piece of dirt or real estate, no matter it’s location. Jesus is substance of the allegorical the land of promise. A photograph of a life preserver, and books and teachings based on various opinions about it, will do nothing for a drowning soul. Clinging to the Jerusalem beneath, and to the experiences of them who interacted in the allegory and shadow of things that it was and is, have the same hope of salvation. One needs to come into the substance of things. Not the symbols. Jesus is the Substance. I was recently asked a question by a rather religious brother. Being asked, I answered at length. The man was very troubled, and said he has problems with my theology. I told him I do not have a theology. I am a disciple, and have a Teacher, who I believe. Men’s opinions don’t interest me.
The book of Deuteronomy, ch.32, contains a prayer and admonition of Moses, to the people, about to be given admission into a “promised land”…a land “flowing with milk and honey”. During the journey of the exodus, we have read of the manna that was provided…manna that “was like coriander seed, white, and the taste thereof was like like wafers made with honey”. Upon setting foot into this allegorical land of promise, a measure of manna was placed in a golden pot, covered with a lid, and hid within the ark of the covenant. All of this was symbolic of the bread of heaven, Christ in you. And to this very allegory does Jesus refer in the book of Revelation, promising the over comer, the right to eat of the hidden manna. His word abiding in you, and opened to you, is no allegory. It is the very substance of what everything about bread was pointing to. Jesus said that what was provided in the wilderness was not the real bread of heaven, but that “I am the true bread of heaven”. Spiritual bread, the true bread, is imperishable and not even remotely related to anything that can be placed in your physical mouth. The effigy enters the mouth and passes out the other end. The true bread of heaven enters in at the ear, the inner ear, and eventually makes it’s way out of the mouth, without degradation. In this, is the miracle of the loaves and fishes comprehended. Within the bee hive, a marvelous substance is found. It parallels, and bespeaks the bread of heaven. It can be compared to the hidden manna in the holiest place, and is superior to the man made bread of the holy place, bread gather under the category and heading of work and labor. Bread if mishandled or handled out of order, stinks and breads worms. The words which Christ Himself speaks, and all He reveals within you, are incorruptible. Though heaven and earth will pass, not one word revealed to you, at the Father’s table, will ever pass or perish. It abides eternal. You are what you eat, as they say. Bee bread, real bee bread, is a picture of this. It is not to be confused with pollen, taken by comb extractors from foraging bees as they return to the hive, and marketed as “bee bread”. It is nothing more than pollen, and has few, if any, of the touted benefits of bee bread. If it was never brought into the hive, chewed and processed with a little spittle and honey, never went through fermentation, never stored and capped in a cell, hidden and lidded in a little golden pot…it isn’t bee bread.
So what is the land of promise? Where is this land that flows with milk and honey? Was it a geographic destination? Moses admonished the people not to forget the Rock from which they sucked honey and oil. He said this BEFORE they set foot in Canaan. Years before, Jacob had poured oil on a rock and called it the house of God. Paul the apostle writes: “ Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”. The “land” that provided then, as now, was Christ.
Moses, in Deuteronomy 32, plainly tells the people that the Spiritual Rock that exited Egypt with them, went before them, and provided honey and oil for them, is their promised land. He warns them not to forget and lose their true promise, when they become situated in a piece of real estate.
A honey bee hive is a unique system. Once functioning properly, the bees have built a large amount of storage cells called comb. Pollen and honey, the flow of the land, are processed and stored in it. There is generally one entrance, a narrow way, in and out of the hive. This makes the hive more easily defended against a host of things which would like to rob the bees of their wax, their honey, or their very life’s blood. Ants, mice, other bees, to name a few, come to rob. Skunks will scratch the outside of the hive to entice bees out, and will eat them. Moths will lay their eggs on the outside of the hive, which when hatched into worms, they will seek any crack or crevice to gain entrance and tunnel through honey and comb, ruining them. Religious dogma, collected and packed into my hive, will surely stink and breed worms. As Jesus said, “Labor not for the meat that perishes”. A strong colony with a well defended entrance, will do a very good job keeping invaders out, and honey in. I chose a strain called “Minnesota Hygienic” because they are very fastidious. They clean the cells relentlessly. Any marauder, they chase out. Anything they kill, does not rot in the hive. They drag it out. Even a dead bee, they remove from the living, casting it from the hive. A hive, as with a mind, functions optimally, when kept clean. Any number of things, left unattended, left not addressed, can fester overcome and destroy a hive. The knowledge and understanding we have of the Lord are priceless. Above silver, gold, or the price of rubies, as say the scriptures. And where our minds, each of us individually are concerned, we are not a commune. To have the mind of Christ is to have a mind framed after His, functioning like His, and privy to His. It in no way means He thinks for, or through us. Two can not walk together, except they be agreed, and, except there be two. “Come let us reason together”, requires two minds. And in the Lord, unlike in religion, the end result is two strong minds, not one overcome, subjugated and displaced by the other. In fact, where it says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee”, the word “mind”, is יֵצֶר(yetser), and means “form, framing, purpose, intellectual framework”. It denotes more than whimsical thinking. It speaks of the very thing your constitution is being patterned after.
There is a saying used repeatedly in the scriptures, which describes the mind, translated out of darkness, into the realm and place of the resurrected, glorified Son of man. That saying is “Everyone under his own vine and his own fig tree”. In Numbers 9, the Olive tree, the Fig tree and the grape vine, are made allegories of the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son. Jacob, in a place called Luz, meaning “Almond”, with his head on a stone, saw a ladder reaching to heaven. Above all was the Lord. The messengers of Heaven ascended and descended upon the stone and stones. Jacob arose, anointed the stones, calling the place, “The house of God, the gate of heaven”. He thereafter called the place “Luz-which-is-Bethel”…Almond (resurrection) which is the house of God. Under the fig tree, the revelation of Christ, which comes only from the Father, was given to Nathanael. Jesus told him he too, would see the messengers ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Judas, (not Escariot the betrayer), asked Jesus how He, Jesus, would reveal Himself to His own, and not to the world. Jesus said “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”. As the Holy Spirit, The Teacher, takes the things of Christ, and of the Father (which things are one), and shews them to us, so bees “ascend and descend” from the hive, collecting and bringing in, the flow and abundance of the land. This He does not do in a mind not translated into the kingdom of the dear Son. And the mind of Christ is not a commune. The thing which every believer has in common, is the same Father, Teacher and Lord, while each retains his/ her own mind and identity. “Come let US reason together”, “come and place your hive in Mine”.
So, there are numerous analogies and comparisons to be gathered in studying honey, the hive, and reading all one can find to read of them in scripture. Have you ever read some report of someone attacked by a swarm of bees? This is a misuse of wording. A swarm of honey bees is a very specific thing. They are most docile and harmless when swarming. They swarm when leaving their former hive, to seek out another location. They do this to relieve overcrowding, escape a failing hive, escape predation, or for other reasons. Samson once killed a lion and later ate honey and comb from a swarm of bees that took up residence in the carcass. These bees had left their former location, for some reason (likely over crowding) , and found the slain lion’s body a suitable abode, in similar fashion, Abraham and Lot separated because the land could not sustain them when together. Jacob and eleven sons “swarmed” to Joseph (not knowing it was Joseph at first), when the figurative land of promise could not sustain them , by reason of famine. Joseph controlled all food…much to learn in that study. David, fled Saul, and came to the “cave Adullam”. All David’s household, and all who were debtors, misfits, outcasts, etc., somehow found, and came to David in this hideaway. All who “threw in” with David knew what would happen if Saul discovered them. The cave, a figure of death. Resorting, “swarming” to David there, was done in faith. David eventually enthroned, brought all who believed in him with him, is resurrection. “Adullam” means “justice (or justification) of the people”. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have rejected the world, it’s religions, social orders and politics, and have “swarmed” to a place where I find peace. The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God. His Adullam is my Adullam. If He lives, and because He lives, I live also. That is His word, and I believe Him. And curiously, the word “swarm” appears twice in scriptures. There is always an imitation. The swarm of bees in the carcass of Samson’s slain lion, and the swarm of flies that plagued Egypt, the analogy of forced religious bondage. The word “swarm” in the former case, means “gathering, congregation”. The word “swarm” in the latter case means “mixture and incessant or involved motion”. It is applied to blood sucking gad flies. The Lord’s gatherings are quite different in nature from Egypt’s (if you take my meaning).
So then, a prosperous hive keeps the inside clean, the outside on the outside, gathers only what it should. Dispels what should be dispelled, and is not otherwise meddlesome. It’s very presence means life to a land, because of it’s pollinating activities. The very image of a good, clean, strong mind, is described in Revelation 22.
A mind overcome, is like a hive overcome. Domestic hives are worked by a beekeeper. He manipulates them using a knowledge of what makes them tick. A domestic bee keeper has one modus operandi…to rob the bees of honey, to subjugate them to his purposes via the one thing that regulates them all. The queen. Control her, and you control the hive. Italian bees are the most docile, least defensive of all. If you want to breed “meanness” out of a hive; destroy the existing queen, and replace her with an Italian queen. The offspring will become subdued and easily controlled. When going into the hive, a skilled beekeeper often uses no protective clothing at all. He or she uses smoke. Smoke masks smells, and bees are completely smell oriented. Smoke will hide any alarm pheromone. A bee keeper, operating in a cloud and fog of smoke, goes all but unnoticed by the bees. They know something is “not right”, not “normal”, but they can’t quite put their antennae on it. Revelation 9 is the same teaching about religion, priest and clergy craft, that beekeeping and the use of the smoker are. If that offends, I do not intend to offend, but I do not apologize. I know to hate the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans, without hating them. John 3, and Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus, which name is essentially identical to the word “Nicolaitan”, is a perfect case study of separating the man from his deeds and doctrine, loving the man, but hating the deeds and doctrine. The world at present is being worked in a cloud and smoke described in Rev. 9. A certain edifice, located in Rome, when viewed from on high, bears a striking resemblance to a key hole. The bottomless pit has a key hole. The character traits of the ministers of the bottomless pit are not seen with the natural eye. The descriptives are spiritual. The presentation, the frontal view, is false. A crown “like” a crown of gold. Hair like a woman’s is a guise of humility and servitude. A breastplate as of iron, is not a breastplate of righteousness, faith and love. All this frontal deception is to hide the “business” end…the scorpion tail and sting, hovering behind and above. This sting has power to torment “five months”. The administration of the law, is the frustration of grace. The apostle Paul, faced with the mixture of Moses and faith, stopped it dead in it’s tracks. Sadly, today, the thing Paul warned of, calling it “Another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel”, is now vast and overspreads the earth, and the earthy. And it warns against them who are free and walking in faith and truth.
As a final thought and comparison, bees use plants, particularly trees, in another way. They gather the sap, but do not alter it in any way. Instead, they use it to daub and plaster the inside of the hive. It seals the hive, helps hold things in place, and also, different forms of sap, have different antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, as well as water repelling. It is called “propolis”, but is essentially unaltered sap. The trees of the garden of Eden, the sap of the trees used to build and pitch Noah’s ark, the saying, “we are trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified”, the man whose eye’s Jesus opened, first letting him see men as trees, the great tree of life of the garden, and in the conclusion of the scriptures, and many other things come to mind.
The use of honey, bees, and their characteristics, are a rich teaching in the scripture. And when bees forage and find something, they return and do not lead others to it. But rather, with a mysterious dance, they reveal that they have found something, and they point the others to it. It is then up to each bee to look, or not to look.