PIERCING THE VEIL
Throughout the ages there have been souls who have crossed the Veil of the Firstborn and have gazed into heaven. These are they who belong to the mystical, invisible, heavenly Community of the Firstborn, the 144,000 redeemed souls of Yahweh who have sacrificed everything for Messiah and have communed with Him face-to-face in His Light. They have come from many church organisations which we may say they have transcended. May these testimonies be an inspiration to the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) who are likewise seeking the firstborn light.
Jakob Böhme (Jacob Behmen in English) was born in Alt Seidenberg about two miles distant from Görlitz in Saxony (later, Lower Silesia - Niederschlesien), Germany. He came from a well-to-do family but his first employment was that of a herd-boy on the Landeskrone, a hill in the neighbourhood of Görlitz. The only education he received was at the town of Seidenberg, a mile from his home. Later he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Seidenberg. By the year 1599 he was settled at Görlitz as a master shoemaker and married Katharina, a daughter of Hans Kuntzschmann, a thriving butcher in that town.
Böhme crossed the veil on two distinct occasions that are known. The first, in 1600 (when he was 25 years old), is described by Martensen in the following way:
This first revelation was not, however, complete. It was not until ten years later, in 1610, that he fully crossed the veil. Böhme himself writes:
"Sitting one day in his room his eyes fell upon a burnished pewter dish, which reflected the sunshine with such marvelous splendour that he fell into an inward ecstacy, and it seemed to him as if he could now look into the principles and deepest foundation of things. He believed that it was only a fancy, and in order to banish it from his mind he went out upon the green. But here he remarked that he gazed into the very heart of things, the very herbs and grass, and that actual nature harmonized with what he had inwardly seen. He said nothing of this to any one, but praised and thanked God in silence. He continued in the honest practice of his craft, was attentive to his domestic affairs, and was on terms of good-will with all men" (Hans Lassen Martensen: Jakob Böhme: His Life and Teaching, translated from the Danish by T. Rhys Evans. Hodder & Stoughton, London: 1885).
Böhme was known to have spoken many languages though no-one ever knew where he had learned them, an interesting example of genuine biblical tongues. He also knew the language of nature and could call plants and animals by their original Adamic names. He says, himself, on this point:
"The gate was opened to me that in one quarter of an hour I saw and knew more than if I had been many years together at a university, at which I exceedingly admired and thereupon turned my praise to God for it. For I saw and knew the being of all beings, the byss and abyss and the eternal generation of the Holy Trinity, the descent and original of the world and of all creatures through the divine wisdom: I knew and saw in myself all three worlds, namely, (1) the divine (angelical and paradisiacal), (2) and the dark (the original of the nature to the fire), and (3) then the external and visible world (being a procreation or external birth from both the internal and spiritual worlds). And I saw and knew the whole working essence, in the evil and the good and the original and the existence of each of them; and likewise how the fruitful-bearing-womb of eternity brought forth. So that I did not only greatly wonder at it but did also exceedingly rejoice" (Ibid, I.39).
"I am not a master of literature nor of arts, such as belong to this world, but a foolish and simple-minded man. I have never desired to learn any sciences, but from early youth strove after the salvation of my soul, and thought how I might inherit or possess the Kingdom of Heaven. Finding within myself a powerful contrarium [contradiction], namely, that desires belong to the flesh and blood, I began to fight a hard battle against my corrupted nature, and with the aid of God I made up my mind to overcome the inherited evil will, to break it, and to enter wholly into the love of God in Christ. I therefore then and there resolved to regard myself as one dead in my inherited form, until the Spirit of God would take form in me, so that in and through Him I might conduct my life. This, however, was not possible for me to accomplish, but I stood firmly by my earnest resolution and fought a hard battle with myself. Now while I was wrestling and battling, being aided by God, a wonderful light arose within my soul. It was a light entirely foreign to my unruly nature, but in it I recognised the true nature of God and man, and the relation existing between them, a thing which hereto I had never understood, and for which I would never have sought."
Jakob Böhme was without doubt a son of the Firstborn. Contemporaries describe him as being tall, with a low forehead, prominent temples, a rather aquiline nose, scanty beard, with gray eyes that sparkled into a heavenly blue, a feeble but genial voice. He was modest in his bearing, unassuming in conversation, patient in suffering, and gentle-hearted. He was not particularly strong physically but is not known to have suffered from any disease save that which caused his death, which occurred on Sunday, 20 November 1624.
At about 1 a.m. Böhme called his son Tobias to his bedside and asked him if he could hear beautiful music, and then asked him to open the door of the room so that the celestial song could be heard better. Later on he asked what the time was and when and when he was told that the clock struck two he said:
After a pause he again spoke and said:
"This is not yet time for me, in three hours will be my time."
Again he said:
"Thou powerful God, Sabaoth [Lord of Hosts], save me according to Thy will."
He then gave to his wife certain directions concerning his books and other temporal matters, telling her also that she would not survive him very long (as indeed she did not), and, taking leave from his sons, he said:
He then asked his eldest son, whose loving looks seemed to keep Böhme's soul from severing the bonds of the body, to turn him round, and, giving one deep sigh, his spirit gave up his physical body and entered that higher state which is known to none except those who have experienced it themselves.
"Thou crucified Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me and take me into Thy Kingdom."
First created on 15 April 1998
Last updated on 24 February 2017
Copyright © 1998-2017 NCAY - All Rights Reserved