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Hosea
The Prophet of Love and Mercy

   Hosea has been called the prophet of redemption and the St. John of the Old Testament. He is also referred to as the "obscure" prophet, the voice of humility. Out of his own personal tragedy he drew the secret of God's mercy for Israel and for all mankind. Even as he loved an unfaithful wife with an abiding love, so he conceived that God, in His infinitely greater understanding, loved faithless mankind.

   Hosea, Isaiah and Mica appeared a generation later than Amos. They, like the other prophets, were sent as a light in dark and troublous times. Hosea lived during the reign of Jeroboam II — at which time Amaziah, Uzziah and Jotham ruled in Judah — and his career continued into the chaotic years which followed that monarch's death. He belonged to the house of Israel (the mental or occult path) in which idolatry was always strongly evidenced. The evils he attacked were those of the intellectualist, who is ofttimes led astray by his curiosity about forbidden things and by his great thirst for knowledge and power. The prophet does not imply, however, that there is sin in seeking knowledge; the sin lies in seeking knowledge that is exclusively material: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . . seeing thou has forgotten the Law of thy God." (Hosea 4:6)

   Hence, the keyword of Hosea is found in the word Ephraim. Ephraim was the son of Joseph. Samaria, the capital city of the Northern Kingdom, lay in the tribal district of Ephraim. Astrologically, Ephraim is represented by the sign Sagittarius; the theme of the Book of Hosea is, accordingly, the mind's power to renew all things, both within and without, as the only remedy for a material age.

   The spirituality of the mind determines the life of the man. As the mind is, so is the man. When man's mind is completely transformed he shall know the new heaven and the new earth because he has found the kingdom of heaven within.

   Ephraim means doubly fruitful. The mind has been symbolized in all religions as the two paths of magic, white and black. The cultivation of mind power without the softening, illuminating influence of the heart is a most dangerous thing.

   The horse (as the centaur it is the symbol of Sagittarius) represents the lower nature and also a new cycle — hence, the winged horse Pegasus of Grecian mythology. Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob, who was lost in bondage for so long, was at length found in a position of glory and high honor as the Pharaoh-appointed ruler of Egypt, land of darkness (materiality). This aptly exemplifies the different steps in the redemptive processes of the mind. It is therefore most fitting that astrologers have assigned Sagittarius to Joseph. Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, portray perfectly the two aspects of mind, the masculine and feminine, the higher and lower, the abstract and concrete, the spiritual and material. It is the lifting or spiritualizing of the lower or feminine aspect of mind—referred to so often in the song of Hosea as Ephraim — that constitutes the great work before the Aryan or Fifth Root Race people in the world today.

   Jacob signifies mankind, for all mankind must pass through the evolutionary journey "from clod to God." The mind is man's latest acquisition; it is as yet in its first or mineral stage, so to speak; hence, it is not plastic or easily adaptable. Love is the great transformer. Love is the fulfilling of the law.

   The Gate of Illumination opens widest through pain. It was because of his own personal sorrow that the heart of Hosea learned to beat as one with the heartbeat of the world. His love encompassed and adorned with divinest beauty every form of life manifest throughout nature.

   In George Adam Smith's work on the prophets he refers to this all-embracing power of love, the light of which becomes a soul signature such as sets its impress upon Hosea's Book:

   Gomer "conceived, and bare him a son" whom Hosea named Jezreel, as a sign that the Lord should soon "avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel" — for Jehu, the erstwhile deliverer of his people, had also fallen from the Truth into error. Gomer next bore Hosea a daughter, whom he called Lo-ruhamah: "for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away." Next was born a son, Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God."

   Literally translated, Gomer means the daughter of two fig cakes. Whenever it is mentioned in the Bible, the fig is the symbol of generation. Jezreel (God's song) represents the just and perfect Law of Causation. Hosea refers to the action of Law in the universe when he sings: "Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned" (Hosea 7:8), suggesting that the later dispersion of the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom was already foreshown in their love for foreign ways Even on their home soil. Spiritually, the Israelites were. already scattered abroad; their dispersion by the Assyrians was merely the physical out-picturing of their state of mind since the time of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, "who caused Israel to sin." Lo-ruhamah means not pitied; Lo-ammi, not my people. These verses refer to man's loss of spiritual vision, the result of which is a long chain of earth lives wherein he reaps in sorrow, pain and tears the bitter harvest of seeds sown in earlier days of life's planting.

   During the spirit's evolutionary pilgrimage, which takes it far from the Father's house, for a time it loses knowledge of its divinity. When in this state of ignorance a son is born whose name means not my people. The realization of unity, fellowship and brotherhood is lost to consciousness. This phase of evolution is only temporary, so Hosea triumphantly sings of the day when men shall come to recognize their own inherent divinity, and when it shall be said unto them, "Ye are the sons of the living God."

   It is the unawakened spirit held in thralldom to sensual pleasures and vices (the lower phase of Sagittarian life) that Hosea describes in the second chapter.

   There has never been an age of materialism so dark that mankind was left altogether without spiritual guidance. Even if public teachings are withdrawn, so long as a candidate desires earnestly to seek the Light he will be able to find it. Hosea came to the people of the House of Israel to teach them the necessity for spiritualizing the mind while Amos, the shepherd poet, sang of the eventual emancipation of Israel, the chosen race.

   Meanwhile, as the Northern Kingdom rushed to its destruction, Azariah (Uzziah) was succeeded by his son Jotham in Judah, who reigned in Jerusalem for sixteen years: "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the Lord. And the people did yet corruptly. He built the high gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much." (II Chronicles 27:2-3)

   Judah is governed by the sign Leo, ruling the heart and symbolized by the lion. Hence, the Messiah was to be known as "the Lion of Judah." In that kingdom (state of consciousness) is Jerusalem, the City of Peace. The heart is the great storehouse of conserved life-force in the body. The conservation of the life essence and its elevation to the heart causes the cardiac plexus to become, as it were, a radiant Sun city, a high gate of the house of the Lord (Law). Ophel means a hill. The illumined heart becomes the light that is set upon a bill.

   During this time of awakening the House of Judah the times were evil, and so, too, were the kings of the House of Israel. Their names were: Zacharia, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah and Pekah, and to each the words apply: "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: He departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin." (II Kings 15:24)

   The Israelites had taken upon themselves the corrupt, mercenary, materialistic ways of the Canaanites among whom they dwelt and with whom they intermarried continuously until the two peoples were wholly one — and, it may be added, their sins, the sins of a commercial civilization so contrary in spirit to the austere simplicity of desert tribes, are equally our own today. When the domination of the materialistic mind is unillumined by the power of Spirit (the Knowledge of God and His Law), races, countries and individuals can know only confusion, chaos, gradual disintegration and decay. Such was the tenor of the message brought by Initiate Teachers of the Shepherd line.

   Consequent upon the already-existing separativeness of mind among the Israelites came the Assyrian Captivity, as a shadow cast by the mental pattern, or archetype, which the people themselves had created in spiritual worlds: "In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maschah, and Jornoah, and Kedesh, and Hazer, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria." (II Kings 15:29)

   This is the beginning of the dissolution of the House of Israel, even as the prophets had foretold it. All the land of Naphtali was carried captive into Assyria. Naphtali is Capricorn, sign of slaves or slave drivers on the lower level; sign of mastership, the Christed consciousness, on the higher.

   In the seventeenth year of Pekah's reign, Ahaz began his reign in Judah. The young king — he was twenty years old when he ascended the throne — "did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord his God ... But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel." In other words, Judah also became more and more contaminated with the sin of Jeroboam. This was even mere important because Jerusalem was the great spiritual shrine for the entire nation, the center and mainspring of its essentially Hebrew culture since the time of King David.

   The Temple was the great symbol of spiritual attainment. Knowledge of God was made available to the masses in the outer courts while the more advanced esoteric Teaching, was made known to those who served in the inner chambers. The use and treatment of the Temple represents the spiritual state of the masses and of the individual; until all men have that knowledge of God which is stored within the heart, external houses of worship will be necessary to their spiritual evolution.

   Ahaz, it is said, despoiled the Temple (II Kings 17; II Chronicles 28), The brazen altar, symbol of purification, was placed on the north, which signified darkness, unrepentance. The Molten Sea was removed from the brazen oxen and placed upon a pavement of stones, indicating loss of spiritual power. Inner Schools were no longer permitted to teach the secret formula for making the Molten Sea. The vitriolic speech of the prophets of this era was hurled against such depravity.

   In the reign of Hoshea, the last of Israel's kings, came the complete dissolution of the House of Israel, justifying the words of the prophets. After the Assyrian Captivity Israel disappears from the pages of history for approximately three hundred years.

   The apocryphal Book of Esdras states that "when led away captive into Assyria, the Ten Tribes were carried over waters until they came to another land," and that when the Messiah comes these Lost Tribes are to be among His followers, for they have been preserved through the centuries in a secret mountain valley whence they shall come forth to greet the Messiah.

   One of the most fascinating puzzles of history is the fate of the Lost Tribes. A notable school has developed which traces their wanderings from Assyria through the mountain valleys of the Caucasus (where still live Jews claiming descent from the royal House of David), to their settlement and colonization in the Western World. The Gothic History of Cassiodorus states, for example, that the Goths, Scythians and Thracians were descendants of the Ten Tribes who escaped from the Assvrian Captivity and migrated to Asia Minor, Therefore Hosea prophesies: "Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people. . . . They shall be wanderers among the nations."

   The wanderings of the Ten Tribes will be discussed further in connection with the Book of Jeremiah. Suffice it to say that many of the geographical names in Europe may be correlated with names of some of the Ten Tribes, thus: Denmark and Danube with Dan; Simon, an early Welsh name, with Simeon; Saxon, sons of Isaac.

   Such are the Israelites of whom Hosea said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6) and to whom he cried continually,
"Come, let us return to the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us . . . after two days He will revive us: in the third day He will raise us up" (Hosea 6:1-2). That is, God can save His own even from the tomb itself, as Christ raised Lazarus and was Himself raised up.

   The promise that the Lost Tribes should one day be restored was never forgotten:

 — Corinne Heline


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