Each of these banners was created out of the patriarchal blessings given the sons and grandsons of Jacob.
From the time of the Exodus, banners were a permanent fixture in Israel.
So we have seen that banners were used in ancient Israel to
But banners were not limited to just these as we shall see. They are often associated with the military and we find that this was the case for the nation of Israel. But banners were also used prophetically to announce oracles on nations and peoples. In a prophecy to Babylon, Isaiah declared:
But pethaps of greatest interest to us is their prophetic use in reference to the establishment of Kingdom of Elohim (God). Speaking of the last days before the establishment of the millennial Zion, the Lord says:
- (a) represent the 12 tribes, and
- (b) represent families.
What is this standard that we are to lift up in the latter days?
"Thus says Yahweh-Elohim: Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring their sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. And kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust off your feet; And you will know that I am Yahweh; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame" .
"Go through, go through the gates ; clear the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Behold, Yahweh has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, Lo, your salvation comes; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. And they will call them, The Holy People, the Redeemed of Yahweh" .
All of these we represent in a physical banner or flag which as a messianic community we carry around with us wherever we meet or witness.
- 1. First and foremost, it is King Yah'shua the messiah (Jesus Christ) as Master (Lord), the Saviour of the world. He is our living standard; and
- 2. Secondly, the Besorah (Gospel), or our testimony and witness of the Good News of the Kingdom proclaimed through our mouths.
The physical Kingdom of God is not upon the earth yet. There is no qadosh (holy, set-apart) city, no qadosh (holy, set-apart) land. But there will be. The Kingdom is present upon the earth as an invisible, spiritual force or power, the redeeming power of the blood of Messiah. It is made visible through the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) who become living banners. But this is not the end of the Kingdom of Messianic Israel for what is spiritual must have a physical manifestation both before the Millennium and during it.
In seven years the first physical construction of Zion built upon true principles will begin. The city which we shall build, by the grace of God, will be known as Kadesh-Ephraim, which literally translated means, the Holy City of the people of Ephraim. The banner of this city will be a simple tricolour of Black, White and Blue, the meaning of which I will explain in a moment. This will be a theocratic, political flag representing the civil administration and government of the City.
Spiritually, The Kingdom or 'Zion' (not to be confused with modern 'Zionism') is represented by two other banners. The first, is the Banner of the Firstborn, or the Holy Order, the Chavurat Bekorot, the Church of the Firstborn. It is the emblem of the Patriarchal Priesthood. The one which stands behind me is the banner of the Chavurat Bekorot and has been consecrated and dedicated in the Temple of Yahweh. Like the political banner of Zion, it is a black, white, and blue horizontal tricolour but in addition has a golden logo in the centre of the white stripe which is called the Firstborn Cross, or Logo of the Firstborn. It represents the Firstborn, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who is perfect unity and harmony.
The second of these two banners is that of the Royal Melchizedek Priesthood, and as you can see it differs somewhat from the firstborn flag in its composition. It consists of five horizontal stripes, a thick blue stripe in the centre with a thin white stripe either side, and a medium-sized black stripe on either side of the white ones. In the centre are two interlacing golden triangles triangles, and in the centre of the star is a Lamb with a cruciform halo sitting on the Book of Life with its seven dispensational seals. The last seal is coloured red, unlike the others which are all white.
Unfortunately, the 'Star of David' or Hexagram Symbol has also been used by the evil forces both with a different symbolic meaning (in Judaism, Kabbalism and Zionism) as well for mediumship purposes (in Satanism, Free Masonry and Devil Worship) in channelling demons. It is also the end-time Sign of the Beast, and as such is connected with pagan Molech and Remphan worship, expressly forbidden in the Bible (Amos 5:26-27). For these reasons the leadership took the very painful - but we feel necessary - decision on 20 June 2009, under the prompting of the Ruach (Spirit), to destroy all Melchizedek Priesthood Logos and Banners, including other logos and banners incorporating the Star, so as not to be identified with the end-time Anti-Messiah and the World Beast System. This banner is not therefore currently (2017) in use and has been replaced by one containing the Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) logo of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah as shown in the image below:
These are the three main banners of Zion though the last one is likely the only one you will see displayed in the world. The banner of the Melchizedek Priesthood is an ensign to all the world to come to Messiah and to His Kingdom; the others are a call to the Remnant qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) to come up to the Holy City and there be saved in the great and dreadful Day of Yahweh.
In November 1988, shortly after the this work had relocated to Norway from England, a revelation was received directing the construction of banners for each Branch and Mission of the Messianic Evangelical Community :
The revelation then goes on to explain the meaning of the symbolism of the flag. Black represents the persecution that will come in the last days but which shall be no more in the Millennium. The black stripes will therefore be removed when Yah'suha (Jesus) returns. The white represents the Hope of Zion, which is purity of heart. And finally, the blue represents the Wisdom of Zion which she has, and will, received in abundance. Our numerous revelations, which show no sign of ending, are ample testimony of that.
"Let each congregation have its own banner, that an ensign may be lifted up both inwardly and outwardly as a testimony that Zion cometh. For ye also, as living vessels, are ensigns of El Elyon (the Most High). And let this banner be present at your meetings as a reminder that the qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) One of Israel desireth to be in your midst, for He is watching over you and is opening the last seal" .
The logo is self explanatory. The golden 'Star of David' is an emblem of the Messiah and consists of two interlacing triangles. The triangle pointing upwards represents the spirit of Messiah, and the triangle pointing downwards represents the flesh of Messiah, or Elohim (God) incarnate. Together, inseperably intertwined, they represent the resurrection.
The Lamb of Elohim (God) is a well known symbol of Messiah, the innocent Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Above the lamb's head is a cruciform halo, representing the holiness and perfection of Messiah. It lies at the centre of the six-pointed star, representing the seventh point, the number of completion, and thus the Name of Elohim (God), which is Yahweh, meaning I AM WHAT I AM, or I AM SELF-EXISTING, or I AM ETERNALLY PRESENT. There is much in this symbolism, more of which is revealed elsewhere. The Lamb is lying upon a Book, which is the Book of Life, or the Davar Elohim (Word of God). The seven seals represent the seven dispensations of history as recalled in the Book of Revelation. The last seal is red, because the last dispensation is one of much war and bloodshed. Finally, the whole logo is placed on a red background, which is the atoning blood of Messiah without which no salvation is possible. This, then, is the meaning of the Melchizedek Banner. (Note: the Melchizedek Banner had originally been the banner of the whole Messianic Evangelical work).
And it is not man-made. Those of us who have used it on missionary work have been astonished just how it seems to mesmerise people. Apart from one crazy nazi in Newcastle, everyone who commented on it remarked how beautiful it was. But even the nazi couldn't say anything evil about the flag per se but confined himself to slandering Jews. Yes, the symbolism of this flag is powerful -- it is an ordinance in itself, and is therefore qadosh (holy, set-apart). Not the material -- we do not venerate objects in this fellowship -- but the symbolism, the meaning lying behind the symbols. For the banner summarises in one visual image the whole Besorah (Gospel) Plan of Salvation -- that is why it is so captivating. As one writer said, a picture is better than a thousand words. This banner, then, is a symbol of the Messiah we worship and serve, and we His qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones). It represents the Master's Family. Therefore I hope you will respect and honour this banner.
And because this banner represents the whole Besorah (Gospel) I could speak about it for many hours, but I will spare you that fate today! What I do want to mention is that this Community has other banners too. Each Priesthood Council and each organisation of the Community has its own banners, many of which I greatly desire to see come into existence one day. Therefore I want to make this call for volunteers to make Zion's banners.
I know there are some people who find the existence of banners in a messianic community hard to understand. Some people can be quite provoked by them as we have discovered when witnessing to other groups for mostly people associate banners with militant demonstrations or standards of war. But whilst it is true our banner is used in spiritual warfare, it is primarily an emblem of shalom (peace). For Yahweh has said:
I know of some members of this fellowship who meditate on the Melchizedek logo and they have often testified of the spiritual shalom (peace) and quiet it brings them. I understand what they mean. It is important that we explain to people that this is its primary purpose. But more than that, it should be used as a stepping board to witnessing, as we used ours in England for.
"...your ensigns shall be ensigns of shalom (peace), and not for war, for the glory of Zion is her shalom (peace), and for the healing of the nations. Amen" .
Last year many of you saw the Holy Week banner, or rather, an incomplete version of it, for in truth making these banners requires many hours of patient toil. I hope it will be ready by next General Conference for it too is a powerful composite symbol.
The prophet Jeremiah warned many centuries ago of the troubles of our day. In the light of recent events I would like you to consider the following prophecy:
And then, as if to warn us not to take the standard lightly and to do something about our salvation before it is too late, Yahweh says:
"Lift up a standard toward Zion! Seek refuge, do not stand still, for I am bringing evil from the north, and great destruction" .
Yahweh has raised the ensign yet the people are too stupid to realise what it represents! Oh, if only their eyes could be opened! But for those whose eyes have seen, and ears have heard, what a different image the banner of Zion gives. For it is written of those who know Yahweh:
"How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? For My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children, and they have no understanding" .
This is our standard of ahavah (love), and O, what priceless ahavah (love) this is!
"He has brought me to His banquet hall, and his banner over me is ahavah (love)" .
1. Numbers 1:52; 2:2-3,10,12,25,31,34; 10:14-15,22,25. From the Hebrew degel.
2. Numbers 2:1-2, NASB
3. Isaiah 13:2, NASB
4. Isaiah 49:22-23, NASB
5. Isaiah 62:10-12, NASB
6. The Olive Branch/New Covenants & Commandments (NC&C) 62
7. NC&C 62:2-4
8. NC&C 62:16
9. Jeremiah 4:6, NASB
10. Jeremiah 4:21, NASB
11. Song of Solomon 2:4, NASB
Slightly modified from the orginal talk.