Ebionite Restoration - Christian Renewal
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of
(Prov 14:12 NKJ)
From The Hastings-Scribner Dictionary Of The Bible
(New York, 1903. Bk 4, p. 63)
"To affirm that Jews in Christ's time did not believe in pre-existence is simply incorrect"
Because Christians are not of the same mindset as the people and the authors of the New Testament
It is impossible for them to understand what is written with true depth of comprehension.
The Question then becomes: Why do they think and perceive the world differently today,
Than the people who Yeshua/Jesus and his disciples taught?
Until the thinking and mindset is the same,
The Bible will forever remain an Enigma!
At Genesis 2:7, the Wycliffe Commentary writes: “Man's body was fashioned from the dust of the ground, while his spirit came from the very ‘breath’ of God. He is literally a creature of two worlds; both earth and heaven can claim him”. More importantly, though, is for us to clarify our understanding of when the soul came into existence. Thus, the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary notes the belief of both the Jews and early Church: “The... views of Origen and other Fathers, and the... Talmudists, that all souls had been created ‘in the beginning,’ and were lodged by God in a certain place, whence each one was taken out to inhabit the respective bodies of individuals”. In this respect, it can easily be demonstrated the first followers of Yeshua firmly believed that the soul pre-existed the body, and that our present physical forms are mere vessels that we inhabit during our sojourn in this life.
What was the thinking and mindset of the Jews in the time of Yeshua/Jesus? In his Antiquity of the Jews, the Jewish historian Josephus, who had lived among the Essenes, was a contemporary of the man Jesus, and became an Ebionite, stated that the Essenes: “…resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again. For their doctrine is this, that bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue for ever; and that they came out of the most subtle air, and are united to their bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; but that when they are set free from the bonds of flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward...”.
Turning to the historian, this ultra important element to the equation of life that causes the modern Christian to perceive in reverse of both the scriptures and life itself, is made reference to by Edward Gibbon in the footnote regarding the question of the disciples at John 9:2: "The disciples of Jesus were persuaded that a man might have sinned before he was born, (John, ix. 2,) and the Pharisees held the transmigration [reincarnation] of virtuous souls, (Joseph. de Bell. Judaico, l. ii. c. 7;) and a modern Rabbi is modestly assured, that Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, etc., derived their metaphysics from his illustrious countrymen" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall) -- metaphysics that embraced the concept of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
In the words of St. Jerome (340-420): “The doctrine of transmigration (reincarnation) has been secretly taught from ancient times to small numbers of people, as a traditional truth which was not to be divulged” In the approximate year of 178 of our Common Era, Celsus, the Epicurean Philosopher and opponent of Christianity, published a rather embarrassing work in opposition to Christianity known as The True Word or Discourse, which portrayed the Church as a "secret system" which taught the elect the doctrine of the soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes, while teaching the unenlightened entry-level Christians the doctrine of Heaven and Hell. It is said that this work was widely published and used by the Pagan world as an attack on the Church. Seventy years after its publication The True Word was still so widely circulated, that the Church Father Origen was commissioned by St. Ambrosius to refute this attack by Celsus. Among the official reply to Celsus by the Church is this teaching: "Is it not rational that souls should be introduced into bodies, in accordance with their merits and previous deeds, and that those who have used their bodies in doing the utmost possible good should have the right to bodies endowed with qualities superior to the bodies of others?... The soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material place without having a body suited to the nature of that place; accordingly, it at one time puts off one body, which was necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed state, and it exchanges it for a second". And in his famed work De Principiis the Church Father Origen explains: "The soul has neither beginning nor end... Every soul... comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life. Its place in this world as a vessel appointed to honor or dishonor is determined by its previous merits or demerits. Its work in this world determines its place in the world which is to follow this..." This was the official position and doctrine of the Christianity prior to the take-over of the Church by the Emperor Constantine in the year 325AD. And the teachings of Origen and the Church Fathers on the pre-existent soul were embraced until being condemned by the Emperor Justinian in the year 553. Because the Church since the Roman take-over has embraced the manmade doctrines of the Emperors who ruled over the Church and its accepted doctrines of belief, the faithful flock has remained entry-level and spiritually disenfranchised throughout the intervening centuries.
Emperor Dictated Religious Beliefs
Imprisonment Of The Pope
In the year 553 the Emperor Justinian convened the
5th Ecumenical Council where, quoting the Catholic Encyclopedia,
opened on 5 May, 553, in spite of the protestations of Pope Vigilius, who though
at Constantinople, refused to attend it... before the opening of the council,
which had been delayed by the resistance of the pope, the bishops already
assembled at Constantinople had to consider, by order of the emperor, a form of
Origenism that had practically nothing in common with Origen..."
Quoting the Britannica:
"After the council,
Justinian banished the pope to
The Ten Reasons Why
Christians Don't Believe In Reincarnation
1. A Circus Prostitute and a Roman Emperor condemned the Christian doctrine of the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes.
2. Another Roman Emperor ordered that crucial teachings be removed from the Bible.
3. Christians lack an understanding of one of the main themes of the Bible which is preordination.
4. Without understanding the reason why all things are preordained, Christians lack an understanding of the scriptures, and understanding of the Alpha and Omega
5. Mithraism was the universal religion of the Roman Empire -- and Christianity had to compete with Mithraism as to which religion could offer the multitude the greater redemption without change from the believers sinful ways.
6. The Gentile Christians were too heathen, and demanded that they not be held accountable for their actions, and they required religious doctrines that provided them a free ticket to Heaven.
7. The natural mind of man cannot know God whose ways cannot be perceived and understood from man's carnal perspective.
8. Reincarnation, as understood by the New Age, is in error
9. It can be said that most people don't reincarnate -- because as Jesus said, the spiritually dead cannot be made alive by merely passing from this world when their cycle here is completed.
10. Christians totally lack an understanding of the soul-self -- the higher purpose of life -- and the process of second soul-birth which is necessary to enter into Life and the Kingdom
The Biblical Foundational Mindset
That is Lacking Among Christians Today
It is the gravest of misconceptions for the modern student of the Gospels to believe that the sacred writing that is set before them is an historical account -- when in fact, it is a spiritual account that is set in the form of what on the surface appears to be history, while its higher spiritual meaning is reserved for those who have themselves become spiritual. The Gospels had to be written in such a way, that they could be placed in the hands of the most heathen people, while still preserving and concealing the inner spiritual wisdom that is necessary for a spiritual people to restore the knowledge of TheWay, and find the Truth and the Kingdom of God. This factual reality of the scriptures is proven beyond any doubt, in the article An Inconvenient Truth. In the same way that the segment of the Church which called itself Orthodox -- and were so carnal and even heathen in their thinking, that they entered into a covenant with Pagan Rome -- corrupted the scriptures in order to make them support their very pagan doctrines of belief -- the crucial teachings on the evolution of the soul over the course of many lifetimes, was edited out of the written text of those copies of the scriptures which were approved by the Church.
At the time the New Testament was written, the doctrine of the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes was a core belief among the Jews in the time-fram that Jesus lived. One of the most crucial realities that modern Christians can't come to terms with because of their manmade foundational beliefs, is the reality that they are the lost prodigal sons and daughters -- and that because they have squandered away their inheritance by their attachments to the thinking, mindset and ways of this world, that they presently dwell in what Jesus portrayed as the "outer darkness" of mind and being (see Outer Darkness) -- and they can't at all understand why Jesus portrayed others as dwelling in a type of prison (see The Prison). And until they begin to come to terms with these realities that Jesus presented -- and why it is impossible for them to comprehend the higher reality of the soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God (see Mysteries) -- it will remain virtually impossible for them to become a true disciple of Jesus, and enter into Life in the Kingdom.
Historically, pagan doctrines of belief were imposed upon the Church by the Roman government which totally alienated the Christians who called themselves Orthodox from achieving the spiritual objectives of the teachings of Jesus which was often referred to as TheWay. The result is that because the core foundational mindset is totally opposite from that environment in which the scriptures were composed, modern Christians perceive an entirely different message when they open their Bibles today. Then, to further complicate the problem, the New Testament underwent numerous re-writes over the first three centuries in order to make it acceptable to the Gentile-heathen mindset -- and it further went through a major editing in the fourth century in order to make it support the doctrines of the Church of the Emperor Constantine and Pagan Rome (see Bible Corruption). Which means that the more important and profound teachings have been long removed over the course of the last two thousand years. And while Fundamentalist Christians will immediately oppose this statement -- claiming that if God permitted such a thing, that the people would not know what to believe -- when in fact, the opposite is true. If the scriptures had not been corrupted, they never would have been adopted by the heathen mindset and thinking of the Gentiles. And while if they are properly understood -- and are embraced in the proper spiritually fertile mindset and lifestyle -- the scriptures possess the integrity to fulfill and bring about their original spiritual objectives even today. But, admittedly, because many crucial spiritual concepts were removed by the heathen Church of Rome, an obstacle has been placed in the path of even sincere Christians who seek the Truth and the Kingdom.
No amount of facts will change the mind of the blind believers, or induce the adamant critic and hard-core unbelievers to re-examine the facts. Which means that: In the same way that those who opposed Jesus did so from a hardened mind and heart, the same is true today -- and there is absolutely nothing that I could possibly present that would in any way alter their thinking and mindset. No amount of facts -- no presentation of Truth -- can in any way penetrate their mindset -- because their doctrines of belief have become so ingrained and hardened in their thinking -- that only their own physical death and the Grimm Reaper can begin the healing process that can force them to re-evaluate their predisposed doctrines of belief. To their manner of dogmatic thinking, truth is whatever conforms that they already believe -- and heresy is whatever is in opposition to what they believe.
The purpose of this writing is not to make you believe in the doctrine of reincarnation -- because what is commonly believed by the Hindus and the New Age today has very little in common with the teachings of the pre-existent soul that was taught by Jesus and embraced by not only his Ebionite disciples, but the more spiritual of the Gentile Christian converts until the teaching was condemned in the fifth century by the Emperor Justinian. Since the teachings of Jesus and his Ebionite Disciples would in many respects reject what is embraced by the New Age today, it is of the utmost importance to open your mind to a higher reality that you have never before envisioned or contemplated -- of which the reality of our true self -- i.e., the soul-self that dwells in an inner dimension of consciousness that is both independent of the person we are in this world, as well as intimately connected. In the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas it is written: "But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty... Whoever finds himself is superior to the world" -- and it is in this self-knowledge and self-development which becomes the primary focus of our search to first Know Thyself -- where we are able to overcome our divided natures that span a multitude of realms and dimensions of mind and being -- and having overcome the division within our own House, only then are we able to come to Know God.
The Biblical Foundational Mindset: And this is seen in the question asked by the disciples: "Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'" (John 9:1-2 NKJ). What prompted the disciples of Yeshua/Jesus to ask this question? Turning to the historian, this ultra important element to this equation of life is made reference to by Edward Gibbon in the footnote regarding the question of the disciples at John 9:2: "The disciples of Jesus were persuaded that a man might have sinned before he was born, (John, ix. 2,) and the Pharisees held the transmigration [reincarnation] of virtuous souls, (Joseph. de Bell. Judaico, l. ii. c. 7;) and a modern Rabbi is modestly assured, that Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, etc., derived their metaphysics from his illustrious countrymen" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall) -- metaphysics that embraced the concept of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
Again let me pose the question as to what this statement means to us from a modern day perspective? The mindset and thinking with respect to the events of life from the perception of the disciples is explored in the Wycliffe Commentary where it is written: "The question of the disciples (v. 2) was grounded in the belief that bodily infirmity or suffering was due to sin, whether of parents (Exo 20:5) or of the man himself, presumably on the basis of the soul’s pre-existence, which some Jews held". Is this some Jewish fable that the disciples of Christ conjured up themselves? Or is this belief a foundational element of the Gospel that Jesus taught to them?
On the question itself -- Master, who did sin? -- the commentary Barnes’ Notes writes that: "It was a universal opinion among the Jews that calamities of all kinds were the effects of sin. The case, however, of this man was that of one that was blind from his birth, and it was a question which the disciples could not determine whether it was his fault or that of his parents. Many of the Jews, as it appears from their writings (see Lightfoot), believed in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; or that the soul of a man, in consequence of sin, might be compelled to pass into other bodies, and be punished there. They also believed that an infant might sin before it was born (see Lightfoot), and that consequently this blindness might have come upon the child as a consequence of that".
On the question of who did sin, this man, or his parents, and the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul, the Adam Clarke Commentary tells us: "The doctrine of the transmigration of souls appears to have been an article in the creed of the Pharisees, and it was pretty general both among the Greeks and the Asiatics. The Pythagoreans believed the souls of men were sent into other bodies for the punishment of some sin which they had committed in a pre-existent state. This seems to have been the foundation of the disciples’ question to our Lord. Did this man sin in a pre-existent state, that he is punished in this body with blindness? Or, did his parents commit some sin, for which they are thus plagued in their offspring!... The Jewish rabbis have had the same belief from the very remotest antiquity. Origen cites an apocryphal book of the Hebrews, in which the patriarch Jacob is made to speak thus: I am an angel of God; one of the first order of spirits. Men call me Jacob, but my true name, which God has given me, is Israel: Orat. Joseph. apud ORIG. Many of the Jewish doctors have believed that the souls of Adam, Abraham, and Phineas, have successively animated the great men of their nation. Philo says that the air is full of spirits, and that some, through their natural propensity, join themselves to bodies; and that others have an aversion from such a union. See several other things relative to this point in his treatises, De Plant. Noe-- De Gigantibus-- De Confus. Ling.-- De Somniis, etc.; and see Calmet, where he is pretty largely quoted".
It is important in our assessment of genuine biblical foundations of thought to recognize the fact that the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul was a universally accepted belief among the people who Jesus taught the Gospel and Mysteries of God. Once this fact is acknowledged, then we are forced to conclude that if this belief about the nature of life was in error, and the evolution of the soul over the course of many lifetimes is not a viable part of the teachings of Jesus, then Jesus would have had to condemn it -- or, we must recognize that it was removed by the later Gentile Church.
That the Pharisees understood that a man is born blind from the misdeeds of a previous life is seen in their words to the man: "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" (Jn 9:34 NAS). Moreover, it is well documented that the Essenes -- who with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now understood to be the foundation of New Covenant teachings -- also believed in the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul. In his Antiquity of the Jews, the Jewish historian Josephus, who had lived among the Essenes, and was a contemporary of the man Jesus, stated that the Essenes: “…resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again. For their doctrine is this, that bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue for ever; and that they came out of the most subtle air, and are united to their bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; but that when they are set free from the bonds of flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward...”.
Modern Christians fail to realize that their religion evolved out of Judaism, and Spiritual Jews have always founded their system of beliefs upon the concept of the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes. The following quotation is taken from The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, under the heading of Souls, Transmigration of: “The doctrine of transmigration of souls, which was especially accepted by the Karaites… is generally attacked by Jewish philosophers, but is defended by Isaac Abravanel and Manasseh ben Israel. It appears often in Cabala; it is found in organized form in the Zohar, it is further developed in the teachings of Isaac Luria (1534-1572), and in Hasidism it becomes a universal belief. According to these teachings, all human souls have a common origin in the spiritual unity of the primordial man, sparks of which form the individual souls... The sin of Adam brought higher and lower souls into confusion; as a result, every soul has to pass through a series of incarnations... The soul itself has no sex, which is determined by the body and may vary from incarnation to incarnation”.
In the Zohar, the foundational doctrine of Jewish Mysticism, it is written that: “All souls are subject to the trials of transmigration; and men do not know the designs of the Most High with regard to them… The souls must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God”. This reunion with God is the rebirth that was spoken of by Jesus to the Pharisee Nicodemus, “a ruler of the Jews”.
While Christians attempt to interpret the parable of the Prodigal Son in fragmented piecemeal, when taken as a whole, and understood as a universal reality common to all of mankind in the manner it was intended to be understood, it is recognized to be in total conflict with modern Christian doctrine. But then again, it is easily demonstrated that all of modern Church dogma is openly condemned and rejected in the New Testament (see The Lie). Once it is understood that each of us is the Prodigal Son/Daughter of our Heavenly Father, then it must also be recognized that each of us at one time dwelled in the Kingdom prior to journeying out into this, the "far country". Thus, we see this parallel concept in the above quotation from the Zohar where it states that each of us, like the Prodigal Son that we are, must return to our Source -- i.e., "The souls must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged...."In the parable of the Wedding Feast, those who come to TheCall, must have put on the required Wedding Garment -- and thus, we see the parallel concept in the Zohar in the words with respect to the required perfection of each soul: "But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them..." To the degree that Jesus stated in the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 5:48 that each soul must be as perfect as their Heavenly Father -- i.e., again parallel to the Zohar: "...and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God”. That the institutionalized Church has attempted to negate this requirement, is demonstrated conclusively in the Bible (see The Lie). To even begin to comprehend this higher reality of the perfection of the soul over the course of many lifetimes, the person must understand the cycle of the Prodigal Son/Daughter as presented in the words: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isa 55:8-11 NKJ). God cannot fail -- and nothing in Creation can be void -- and as the Prodigal Sons of the Most High, each of us emanated from the Edenic Kingdom of Origination -- and each us us must fulfill the requirement of perfection as presented at Matt 5:48 -- and if this required perfection is "...not fulfilled this condition during one life, [we] must commence another, a third, and so forth, until [our souls] have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God”
Those outside of the original Ebionite/Nazirene core of disciples and followers of Yeshua/Jesus, were quick to corrupt all the copies of the scriptures that were given to them. And this fact is confirmed to us by Dr. F. H. Scrivener where he writes that: "In the second century we have seen too many instances of attempts to tamper with the text of Scripture, some merely injudicious, others positively dishonest". Scrivener states that "it is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within 100 years after it was composed: and that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church" used inferior manuscripts (F.H.Scrivener, Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament). Dean Burgon quotes Gaius (AD175-200) who speaks of the source of corruptions that survive in the early papyri: "The Divine Scriptures these heretics have audaciously corrupted. Laying violent hands upon them, under pretense of correcting them." (Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 323). Eusebius (Eccleastical History), citing the second century Church Father Clement of Alexandria: "The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected originated within one hundred years after it was composed." In the words of Colwell (What is the Best New Testament Text?, p.119) "The first two centuries witnessed the creations of the large number of variations known to scholars today. In the manuscripts of the New Testament most variations, I believe, were made deliberately." G.D. Kilpatrick (Atticism and the Text of the Greek New Testament, pp 125-131): "Deliberate changes in all text types appear to antedate A.D. 200..as distinct from errors... all categories of deliberate alteration... are present in both groups. Tatian is the last author to make deliberate changes. The vast majority of deliberate changes were older then A.D. 200. They came into being in the period A.D. 50-200."
It can be easily understood why the Ebionite/Nazirene disciples of Yeshua not only did not give the Greek converts who edited and corrupted the text of their scriptures, but withheld the most spiritual and important to be preserved in their care. Thus, Peter writes to James: "Knowing, my brother, your eager desire after that which is for the advantage of us all, I beg and beseech you not to communicate to any one of the Gentiles the books of my preachings which I sent to you, nor to any one of our own tribe before trial; but if any one has been proved and found worthy, then to commit them to him, after the manner in which Moses delivered his books to the Seventy who succeeded to his chair. Wherefore also the fruit of that caution appears even till now. For his countrymen keep the same rule of monarchy and polity everywhere, being unable in any way to think otherwise, or to be led out of the way of the much-indicating Scriptures. For, according to the rule delivered to them, they endeavor to correct the discordances of the Scriptures, if any one, haply not knowing the traditions, is confounded at the various utterances of the prophets. Wherefore they charge no one to teach, unless he has first learned how the Scriptures must be used. And thus they have amongst them one God, one law, one hope."
The Gentiles not only severely corrupted the copies of the scriptures that they were given, but more importantly what Peter states is true with respect to their ignorance of the "traditions" within which the whole framework of the scriptures are composed, and like the Sadducees and Pharisees before them who Jesus condemned for throwing away the Key of Knowledge, they did not know the manner in which "...the Scriptures must be used" -- and this remains true even in our present day (see An Inconvenient Truth).In the case of the Gospel of the Nazirenes which was reportedly hidden away from the corrupters in a monastery (see Intro To The Gospel Of The Nazirenes), we can see an important concept that was removed from the text of John 9:1 when the disciples asked if the man's blindness was caused by the sins he committed in a previous life prior to being born: "And at another time as Yeshua passed by, he saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Yeshua answered, To what importance is it whether this man or his parents sinned? The rewards of our actions return again to us so that the works of the Lord are made manifest. I must work the works of the Lord while in this season. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world." And this is exactly the same as stating: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal 6:7 NKJ). Early Church on Predestination: In the second century the Church was portrayed as a secret system that taught the spiritually elite within the core of Christianity the doctrine of the soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes, while teaching the common people the doctrine of heaven and hell (see The Secret Doctrine). The Church Father Origen was commissioned by the Church to make an official reply in response to the allegations. In the words of the third century Church Father Origen -- the man St. Gregory of Nyssa called “the prince of Christian learning in the Third Century”: “We have frequently shown”, writes Origen, “by those declarations which we were able to produce from the holy Scriptures, that God, the Creator of all things, is good, and just, and all-powerful… But since those rational creatures themselves, as we have frequently shown, and will yet show in the proper place, were endowed with the power of free-will, this freedom of will incited each one either to progress by imitation of God, or reduced him to failure through negligence… Now God, who deemed it just to arrange His creatures according to their merit, brought down these different understandings into the harmony of one world, that He might adorn, as it were, one dwelling, in which there ought to be not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay (and some indeed to honor, and others to dishonor), with those different vessels, or souls, or understandings. And these are the causes… why that world presents the aspect of diversity, while Divine Providence continues to regulate each individual according to the variety of his movements, or of his feelings and purpose. On which account the Creator will neither appear to be unjust in distributing (for the causes already mentioned) to every one according to his merits; nor will the happiness or unhappiness of each one's birth, or whatever be the condition that falls to his lot, be deemed accidental; nor will different creators, or souls of different natures, be believed to exist” (De Principiis, Bk 2 Ch 9).
What Origen is stating is that, in the beginning, each soul was created equal and the same, and their place in life is not the result of an accident, or the indiscriminate manifestation of God's Will in the form of Divine Providence -- but rather, each soul's lot in life is the result of the exercise of their own freewill, and consequently is arranged “according to their merit”. This merit is not the result of some unknown condition -- but rather, is imposed upon each individual in accordance with what they have accomplished in their previous lives.
Origen then goes on to demonstrate this truth by using the very example which the Apostle Paul gave with regard to Esau and Jacob, and writes: “‘What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?' And that he might furnish us with an opportunity of inquiring into these matters, and of ascertaining how these things do not happen without a reason, he answers himself, and says, 'God forbid.' For the same question, as it seems to me, which is raised concerning Jacob and Esau, may be raised regarding all celestial and terrestrial creatures, and even those of the lower world as well. And in like manner it seems to me, that as he there says, 'The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil,' so it might also be said of all other things, 'When they were not yet' created, 'neither had yet done any good or evil, that the decree of God according to election may stand,' that (as certain think) some things on the one hand were created heavenly, some on the other earthly, and others, again, beneath the earth, 'not of works' (as they think), 'but of Him who calleth,' what shall we say then, if these things are so? 'Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.' As, therefore, when the Scriptures are carefully examined regarding Jacob and Esau, it is not found to be unrighteousness with God that it should be said, before they were born, or had done anything in this life, 'the elder shall serve the younger;' and as it is found not to be unrighteousness that even in the womb Jacob supplanted his brother, if we feel that he was worthily beloved by God, according to the deserts of his previous life, so as to deserve to be preferred before his brother”.
God did not hate Esau and love Jacob for no reason! To even believe such a preposterous concept of Divine Wisdom is to affirm Peter's assertion that the Gentiles believe these absurdities because “their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. Respecting the Divine Order of Creation, Origen then continues referring to the Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and goes on to explain: “For God must be believed to do and order all things and at all times according to His judgment. For the words which the apostle uses when he says, ‘In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honor and some to dishonor;' and those which he adds, saying, 'If a man purge himself, he will be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, unto every good work,' undoubtedly point out this, that he who shall purge himself when he is in this life, will be prepared for every good work in that which is to come; while he who does not purge himself will be, according to the amount of his impurity, a vessel unto dishonor, i.e., unworthy. It is therefore possible to understand that there have been also formerly rational vessels, whether purged or not, i.e., which either purged themselves or did not do so, and that consequently every vessel, according to the measure of its purity or impurity, received a place, or region, or condition by birth, or an office to discharge, in this world. All of which, down to the humblest, God providing for and distinguishing by the power of His wisdom, arranges all things by His controlling judgment, according to a most impartial retribution, so far as each one ought to be assisted or cared for in conformity with his deserts. In which certainly every principle of equity is shown, while the inequality of circumstances preserves the justice of a retribution according to merit. But the grounds of the merits in each individual case are only recognized truly and clearly by God Himself, along with His only-begotten Word, and His Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit”.
Origen again demonstrates that our lot in life is the result of our own deserts, and writes: “For God the Creator makes a certain vessel unto honor, and other vessels to dishonor; but that vessel which has cleansed itself from all impurity He makes a vessel unto honor, while that which has stained itself with the filth of vice He makes a vessel unto dishonor. The conclusion from which, accordingly, is this, that the cause of each one's actions is a pre-existing one; and then every one, according to his deserts, is made by God either a vessel unto honor or dishonor. Therefore every individual vessel has furnished to its Creator out of itself the causes and occasions of its being formed by Him to be either a vessel unto honor or one unto dishonor. And if the assertion appear correct, as it certainly is, and in harmony with all piety, that it is due to previous causes that every vessel be prepared by God either to honor or to dishonor, it does not appear absurd that, in discussing remoter causes in the same order, and in the same method, we should come to the same conclusion respecting the nature of souls, and (believe) that this was the reason why Jacob was beloved before he was born into this world, and Esau hated, while he still was contained in the womb of his mother”.The Walking Dead: In the Revelation we find the phrase "go out no more" -- as seen in the words: "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more" (Rev 3:12 NKJ). What does it mean that the person who overcomes -- i.e., overcomes what -- will go out no more? I have never seen a Christian Bible commentary even mention this important verse. Why? Because if what is being said is true, and we go in and out (of our inner spiritual soul-reality) until which time we overcome, then this reality does not support modern Christian doctrine. Yet, in other scriptures such as the Gospel of the Nazirenes that were not edited by the Church of Rome, this going in and out is made very clear: "As Yeshua sat by the west of the temple with his disciples, behold there passed some carrying one that was dead, to burial, and a certain one said to Him, Master, if a man die, shall he live again? He answered and said, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the good, the beautiful, the true; if a man believe in me he shall not die, but live eternally. As in Adam all are bound to cycles of rebirth, so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. Blessed are the dead who die in me, and are made perfect in my image and likeness, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them. They have overcome evil, and are made pillars in the temple of my God, and they go out no more, for they rest in the eternal. For them that persist in evil there is no rest, but they go out and in, and suffer correction for ages, till they are made perfect. But for them that have done good and attained to perfection, there is endless rest and they go into life everlasting. They rest in the eternal. Over them the repeated death and birth have no power, for them the wheel of the eternal revolves no more, for they have attained to the center, where is eternal rest, and the center of all things is God. And one of the disciples asked him, How shall a man enter into the Kingdom?" And he answered and said, If you don't make below as the above, and the left as the right, and the behind as the before, entering into the center and passing into the spirit, you will not enter into the kingdom of God." When we pose the question that is presented to us in the Revelation: If the man who does not “overcometh... shall [again] go out”, then it is reasonable for us to ask what kind of life does he go out into? It is in fact this very question that each of us should ask ourselves which the Church Father Origen, who was a renowned biblical scholar prior to the rewrite of the scriptures in the fourth century under the Roman Emperor Constantine, Origen explained about the process of going in and out when he wrote that “Every soul... comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis).
One of the paramount aspects of righteousness and good, is that one conducts themselves in a fair and evenhanded manner. If the scriptures are correct in the places where it states that “The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him” (Prov 20:23 NIV), wouldn't the Lord himself treat all men with the same fairness? Innately, Christians believe that God is fair and impartial -- but from a biblical perspective, doctrinally they cannot demonstrate the validity of their beliefs. One of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible is that the person you are today was predetermined by God -- not merely at a time before you came into this life -- but at a time prior to creation and the formation of the earth. If the person you are today was predetermined by God prior to even the first act of Creation, you must then ask how much of your own life is of your own choosing?
For those who believe that they have made wise choices in their lives, in the Calvinistic and Augustinian doctrine of preordination -- a doctrine which they are able to demonstrate conclusively by using the Epistles of Paul -- there is no fundamental difference between those who are doomed and those who will be saved, with the exception that God so wills their fate. “The supreme Disposer”, writes Calvin, “then makes way for his own predestination, when depriving those whom he has reprobated of the communication of his light, he leaves them in blindness. Every day furnishes instances of the latter case, and many of them are set before us in Scripture. Among a hundred to whom the same discourse is delivered, twenty, perhaps, receive it with the prompt obedience of faith; the others set no value upon it, or deride, or spurn, or abominate it. If it is said that this diversity is owing to the malice and perversity of the latter, the answer is not satisfactory: for the same wickedness would possess the minds of the former, did not God in his goodness correct it. And hence we will always be entangled until we call in the aid of Paul's question, ‘Who maketh thee to differ?' (1 Corinthians 4:7,) intimating that some excel others, not by their own virtue, but by the mere favor of God”.
From a biblical perspective of what Calvin wrote, the true statement that
totally escapes his reasoning would be: “…we will
always be entangled until” we come to understand the Will of God with
respect to “who maketh
thee to differ?”. What we see in Calvin's words is the
manifestation of a secular, carnal religion, that bears the name of Christ,
rather than a Spiritual Religion that if the very essence of Word of Christ.
Calvin, one of the foremost authorities in the founding of the Protestant
Church, did not possess the answers to the biblical paradoxes -- and accepts
these mysteries as unknowable, only because he has embraced a static faith that
is spiritually dead. Yet, not only do many Christians today continue to
embrace his doctrine, but those who reject what he writes, also reject a major
biblical doctrine. Why? Because even Yeshua confirmed
that all things are predetermined by the Father -- to the degree, that not even
a sparrow can fall to the ground apart from the Will of God -- i.e.,
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not
one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will" (Matt
With regard to the assertion of the Apostle that it is not of our own choosing that we believe in the Gospel, but God's, Barnes' Notes on this verse states: “Had not GOD interfered and made a difference, all would have remained alike under sin. The race would have together rejected his mercy; and it is only by his distinguishing love that ANY are brought to believe and be saved”. What they are saying is that ALL of mankind would drown in the sea of inequity, if God did not throw a life-preserver to a select few. In the case of the Apostle Paul -- a murderer and persecutor of the righteous -- it would appear that sometimes God throws the life preserver to some of the most sinful and despicable among us, and yet it would appear that he denies this same opportunity to others who are not near as sinful.
Christian doctrine states: “God is the foundation of all good; no man possesses any good but what he has derived from God. If any man possess that grace which saves him from scandalous enormities, let him consider that he has received it as a mere free gift from God's mercy” (Adam Clarke Commentary on 1 Cor 4:7). If you are a believer -- it is the position of the Apostle that your belief is the work of God manifest in your life. There is no works that you can do which will earn salvation -- you did not do anything deserving of God's blessings -- you merely inherited the promise because God indiscriminately decided that He would throw you a life preserver. The problem that arises is in the biblical fact that, if you are a non-believer, that too is the work of God -- who chooses not to throw you a life preserver.
The one who is saved is no different than the one who is not -- i.e., quoting Paul: “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10;23 NIV). Moreover, in view of the fact that God's criteria is not based upon either the works, or the moral attributes of the person -- Paul and many others being an example of this fact -- from a biblical perspective, the one who is not saved, and destined to the sufferings of hell, may even exhibit a higher manifestation of virtue and morality than did the one who is saved. In the words of Calvin, who uses the Apostle Paul as his source of doctrine: “God has chosen to deprive the unbeliever of the communication of his light”, and for no reason other than “He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires” (Rom 9:18 NAS), Calvin admits that “he leaves them in blindness”.
The Bible teaches that if you are a saint, a sinner, a mass murderer, or even the likes of Hitler, your station in life is not of your own doing -- but rather, the work of the Hand of God manifest in your life. If you have not accepted Christ as your savior, it is because God has withheld His Light from you that would enable you to believe and have faith. Therefore, regardless of how good you are, or the moral code you exhibit, or how great your humanity is towards others, from the perspective of the Bible, you are destined to Hell because God has predetermined and chosen this as your fate.
In view of the fact that it has been proposed by many Christians that Hitler was merely doing the will of God by exterminating the heretic Jews -- and there is speculation that Hitler believed that he had himself been anointed by God to complete the task that Jesus never did -- Christian doctrine suggests that Hitler could be enjoying eternal bliss in heaven, while the innocent Jewish children who he tortured and burnt in his ovens -- children who never did an evil act to anyone -- are now burning in the torments of hell because they never accepted Christ into their lives. In view of this biblical fact, ask yourself this question: If you are a Christian, will you then greet Hitler when you go to glory. Imagine for a moment you and Hitler -- together in the Kingdom -- talking about how you were saved -- gazing upon the Jewish children who never even had the opportunity to do any evil as they burn in the lake of fire? Imagine you and Hitler, together, praising the glory of God in the shadow of their innocence and agony. And while you are there you can greet Paul -- a man who killed and persecuted the earliest followers of Jesus. Many Christians today are against abortion -- calling it infanticide and murder. Yet, is this any more of an atrocity of justice than the preordination of children to live lives as “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (Rom 9:22)? Will these same anti-abortion people stand by and applaud the sufferings of these men, women and children who were predestined to dwell forever in the lake of fire?
If these things seem outrageous and far fetched, let us not forget the fact that when the Children of Israel were on their way to the land of Canaan, God showed his power by bringing about the unmerciful destruction of innocent people: “But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into your hand, as it is this day” (Deut 2:30 NKJ). Did King Sihon possess free will as many of us believe today? King Sihon did not choose to block the path of the Israelites -- God “hardened his spirit” (king Sihon's) and made him do it. Why? In what modern civilized man would consider a detestable act of cruel and senseless barbarism, the God of Israel rejoiced: “And the LORD our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining” (Deut 2:33-34 NKJ).
Are we supposed to applaud this atrocity -- this example of injustice and inhumanity? Are we to praise the Lord and acclaim His righteousness that He permitted the Jews to slaughter even the “little ones”? The Children of Israel were ordered to slay everything that moved and breathed: “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them -- the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites -- as the LORD your God has commanded you” (Deut 20:16-17 NIV).
The scriptures tell us that when the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan, the hearts of the inhabitants of the land were hardened by God: “For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses” (Josh 11:20 NIV). The Children of Israel were again ordered to slay every man, woman and child in the land. In view of the fact that the people of Heshbon were not believers in God -- only because God Himself withheld His Light from their understanding -- the implications are horrific. By human standards, the actions of God as reported in the Old Testament are even more diabolical than Hitler’s! The great question that must be posed: Is this a merciful God who celebrates the destruction of innocent children without any other reason than he enjoys watching the carnage?
When it is realized that at any time that God wanted, he could have unhardened their hearts, and permitted these people to believe, the moral and humanistic ramifications are truly astounding. Why didn't God want to convert these people? The biblical answer is because they were not of the seed of Abraham -- the person God chose -- not by works, according to the Apostle Paul, but for no reason other than “He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires” (Rom 9:18 NAS). Moreover, if God didn't want the people of the Nations in the land of Canaan, He could have willed it, and they would have simply migrated from the land without the loss of one single life. If God wanted them to worship Him, and only Him, He could have willed it, and it would have been so.
From our modern perspective, there is still another twist to this biblical episode: In view of the fact that God not only knew that these same Gentiles would become the chosen people of God when he caused the Jews to reject Jesus, why did he bring death and destruction to women and children whose ancestors would one day be called Christian? If the scriptures are correct, and God has the power to control every aspect of life, then a Supreme Being of Love and Mercy would have just willed them to leave, believe, or anything else He desired, and it would have been so.
If there is any doubt from the perspective of Christian doctrine that we are mere play toys in the hands of God, the proverbial question that mankind should ask his Creator is already contained in the scriptures: “You will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” (Rom 9:19). If evil men are evil, because God, in the words of Calvin, withholds “the communication of his light”, and good men are good ONLY because God bestows upon them the “communication of his light”, then are we not as play people -- mere playthings -- in the hands of God, in much the same fashion as a child playing with his toys?
The Apostle affirms this when he states in response to the question of “For who resists His will?” and writes: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, Why did you make me like this, will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Rom 9:19-22 NAS).
When the question is asked: “Who resists His will?” It is important for us to recognize the fact that the disciple does not reply in the manner that our present-day church authorities would, and respond that each of us has choices to make in our lives. From the mindset and perspective of the Apostle, it is easily observed that choices are not even part of the equation -- but rather: “O man, who answers back to God?” The Apostle then goes on to explain that, in the manner of a child playing with his toys, it is God's right to make some people “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”, while He makes other people a “vessel for honorable use”. In other words, there are some people who were created for the express purpose of destruction -- not because they chose such a fate -- not because they had done anything wrong -- but because in God's predestination, this fate was chosen for them prior to even the creation of the world. Therefore, what the Apostle very clearly conveys to us is that the role in life they lived, was not by their own choice, but was brought about solely by the Hand of God.
Regarding these very controversial verses and the teaching on predestination, the Apostle writes: “It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy” (Rom 9:16 NIV). If you desire Christ, it is because God has permitted you to be a believer, and has ignited within you the desire for Christ. The Bible affirms the position that the choice was not yours to make.
As an example of this Divine Providence in the life of the individual, the Apostle gives the example of Jacob and Esau, and writes: “For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, The older will serve the younger. Just as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Rom 9:11-13 NAS).
What the Apostle is stating here is that before either of the twins had been born, before either had “done anything good or bad”, God not only decided their fate in life, but for no apparent reason, He hated Esau and loved Jacob. Why? Paul offers no explanation other than God does what he wants to do -- and man does not have the right to question God's choices in these matters. This is especially seen in the words: “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Rom 9:21 NKJ).
In the Epistle to the Romans the Apostle confirms that we are mere toys in the hands of God -- and like a child playing with his toy people -- God will have “…mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires” (Rom 9:18 NAS). Mankind is subject to this reality without any reason other than the fact that God wants to create and sit back and observe the dramas of life that we experience -- and ultimately, have fun with His play toys in any manner that He chooses. Moreover, it would appear that those who are destined to what has been described as the eternal sufferings and tortures of Hell, have received such a fate only because God enjoys watching such carnage and suffering.
As toys, then, the Apostle tells us that we have no rights -- and this is confirmed in the words of the Paul when he wrote: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, Why did you make me like this, will it?” (Rom 9:20 NAS). Thus, the Apostle states to the believer that whether we are saved or judged to eternal damnation, it is not of our own doing -- our fate was decided prior to the creation of the world -- and we have no right to question the motives of God -- which motives include the total annihilation of innocent women and children for no other reason than God desires the carnage to come upon those who have done nothing to deserve such a fate.
From a modern Christian perspective, the doctrine of Divine Providence and predestination gets really scary when it is realized that God chose who would believe and who would disbelieve prior to the creation of the universe: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Eph 1:4-5 NIV). What is being stated is that when God was still in the stages of contemplating Creation -- prior to what we would relate to the events written in the very first verse of Genesis 1:1 -- God decided that He would make a certain group of people who would inherit all the good that He could imagine, and another group would be plunged into eternal suffering. Why? Because God wanted all people to know that He was superior to them -- that they were weak and inferior beings -- and He wanted them to know that there was absolutely nothing they could do in order to alter their destiny. Thus, God created Satan as an instrument to bring about the defilement of Creation. Why? In order that all mankind would equally be drowning in a sea of inequity. In this way God could choose from among the race of sinful man -- “in accordance with his pleasure and will” -- those who He would permit to inherit the good.
In order to demonstrate to mankind God's absolute power and authority, it is observed that God often chose the most morally degenerate men to inherit the good. King David, for example, was a murderer and an adulterer, as demonstrated by The New Unger's Bible Dictionary in their sighting under David for First Samuel 13:14: “How, ask some, could a man after God's own heart have murdered Uriah, seduced Bathsheba, and tortured the Ammonites? An extract from one who is not a too-indulgent critic of sacred characters expresses at once the common sense and the religious lesson of the whole matter. ‘David, the Hebrew king, had fallen into sins enough -- blackest crimes -- there was no want of sin. And, thereupon, the unbelievers sneer, and ask, ‘Is this your man according to God' s heart?’” (Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-worship, 1:277; from New Unger's Bible Dictionary, originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988).
It would appear that God chose David -- a true sinner -- over Saul, because Saul possessed a conscience, and did not unmercifully wipe out his enemies, as seen where it is written under the heading of Saul: “But he disobeyed the divine injunction by taking alive Agag, the king, and sparing all the best of the cattle and all that was valuable, destroying only that which was despised and worthless. Instead of pursuing the campaign and finishing the destruction of the fugitives…” (New Unger's Bible Dictionary). Thus, Saul failed in his mission -- which was to totally wipe out all the men, women, children, and everything that breathed among the enemies of Israel.
The Bible teaches that we do not choose God, but rather God chooses those among us who will be saved -- regardless of their moral standing. Thus, Jesus said to his disciples: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16 NAS). The Bible goes on to confirm that no one can come to Jesus unless God permits them: “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37 NAS). On this verse Barnes' Notes writes: “[The Father giveth me] We here learn that those who come to Christ, and who will be saved, are given to him by God… All men are sinners, and none have any claim to mercy, and he may therefore bestow salvation on whom he pleases. All people of themselves are disposed to reject the gospel, (John 5:40). God enables those who do believe to do it. He draws them to Him by His Word and Spirit; He opens their hearts to understand the Scriptures (Acts 16:14); and He grants to them repentance, (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25)”.
It is important to recognize the above biblical concept that “All people of themselves are disposed to reject the gospel”, and that only those who the Father has permitted to come to Jesus can be saved: “that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life” (John 17:2 NAS).
The Book of Acts goes on to confirm that the very mind of mankind is so controlled by the Hand of God, that only those who had been predestined and previously appointed to be saved are even permitted to believe: “and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48 NAS). Of this word “appointed” or in some translations “ordained”, Barnes' Notes writes: “The word is NEVER used to denote an internal disposition or inclination arising from one's own self. It does not mean that they disposed themselves to embrace eternal life… it has uniformly the notion of an ordering, disposing, or arranging from without; that is, from some other source than the individual himself; as of a soldier, who is arranged or classified according to the will of the proper officer. In relation to these persons it means, therefore, that they were disposed or inclined to this from some other source than themselves... They were then inclined by an influence from without themselves, or so disposed as to embrace eternal life. That this was done by the influence of the Holy Spirit is clear from all parts of the New Testament, (Tit. 3:5-6; John 1:13). It was not a disposition or arrangement originating with themselves, but with God. This implies the doctrine of election. It was, in fact, that doctrine expressed in an act. It was nothing but God's disposing them to embrace eternal life. And that he does this according to a plan in his own mind a plan which is unchangeable as he himself is unchangeable is clear from the Scriptures. Compare Acts 18:10; Rom. 8:28-30; 9:15-16,21,23; Eph. 1:4-5,11. The meaning may be expressed in few words -- who were THEN disposed, and in good earnest determined, to embrace eternal life, by the operation of the grace of God upon their hearts”.
Regardless of what we have been led to believe by those we look to as religious authorities who attempt to soften the message of the scriptures in the endeavor to make it acceptable to a people who appear to possess more mercy and kindness than does the scriptural portrayal of God, what the Bible very clearly teaches is that the decision as to who would believe and be saved was made by God prior to even the first act of creation. With respect to the beast, the Book of Revelation states that: “all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb” (Rev 13:8 RSV). Thus, all mankind has been predestined to worship the beast unless their name was written in the “book of life… before the foundation of the world”. This is again demonstrated in the words: “The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world” (Rev 17:8 NAS).
According to the scriptures, all people whose name was not written in the book of life prior to the foundation of the world have already been assigned to the fires of hell, as seen in the words: “If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15 NIV). With regard to the coming Kingdom it is written that “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Rev 21:27 NIV). What these things mean is that, prior to the creation of the world, the hand of God was upon all whose name is written in the book of life, and by virtue of God's Will -- and God's Will alone -- these chosen individuals will not be “impure”, and will not do anything that “is shameful or deceitful”. In accordance with the Will of God, those whose names are not written in the book of life will do evil, and this evil is often said to be also brought about by the Will of God. According to Jude, the brother of Jesus, even the unbelievers in the church were foreordained by God: “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4 NAS).
When the Apostle Paul addressed the men of Athens he said to them that God “made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26 NAS). He did not say that after giving people life He (God) permitted the people to live in accordance with their own desires. In fact, it was written in Daniel that: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’” (Dan 4:35 NAS). That all was predetermined before the Creation is confirmed by Isaiah in the words: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isa 46:10 NIV).
If we pose the question as to what degree life on earth is predestined? It is at this point where the biblical teaching of predestination gets really frightening -- as demonstrated in Jesus' own words when he said: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will” (Matt 10:29 RSV). If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without the Will of the Father, then we have no other option than to come to terms with the biblical fact that everything in this life is directly orchestrated by God? On this verse the Adam Clark Commentary states: “The providence of God extends to the minutest things; everything is continually under the government and care of God, and nothing occurs without his will or permission”.
In relation to this verse under the heading of Providence in the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary it is explained that: “Divine government is the continued activity of God by which He directs all things to the ends He has chosen in His eternal plan… He governs insignificant things (Matt. 10:29-31), apparent accidents (Prov. 16:33), as well as man's good (Phil. 2:13) and evil deeds (Acts 14:16). God acts in accordance with the laws and principles that He has established in the world. The laws of nature are nothing more than man's description of how we perceive God at work in the world. They neither have inherent power nor do they work by themselves. Man is not free to choose and act independently from God's will and plan; he chooses and acts in accordance with them. In His sovereignty, God controls man's choices and actions (Gen. 45:5; Deut. 8:18; Prov. 21:1). God's actions, however, do not violate the reality of human choice or negate man's responsibility as a moral being”.
This very clearly defined biblical doctrine possesses a great truth -- the ramifications of which no person who calls themselves a Christian can oppose: Ultimately, what these passages of scriptures convey to us is that at any time that man judges, imprisons or executes a fellow human being, man is in essence imposing his judgment upon an innocent person. All sinners -- all evil people since the dawn of time to the present, have all been preordained into the life that they lived by God's all pervasive power over the mind of man. What the Bible states is that the only difference between a good and moral God-fearing man, and one who is a degenerate, is that God chose that life for each individual person.
The question that every believer of the Gospel today should ask is this: How can the modern church lead the people, when they cannot tell you how, if “man is not free to choose and act independently from God's will and plan”, and can only choose and act in accordance with God's Will; and “in His sovereignty, God controls man's choices and actions”; how does this “not violate the reality of human choice or negate man's responsibility as a moral being”? It is because of the irreconcilable differences of these two biblical teachings -- teachings that are both fully represented throughout the scriptures -- that the Rev. Spurgeon admitted that: “…it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other” -- as seen in his acknowledgement of what the Bible actually states. Thus, in his autobiography he confesses: “The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is athirst, Come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely [Rev. 22:17]. Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that it is not of he who wills, nor of he who runs, but of God Who shows mercy [Rom 9:16]. I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Autobiography Vol. 1: The Early Years. pp. 173, 174).
Do we have free will? In many places of the scriptures it appears to suggest that we do. And yet, in many other places the Bible reveals that Divine Providence -- which is the Will of God -- totally rules over every aspect of our lives. What that means is that we have the illusion of freewill -- and we are permitted to think that we made a choice, when it was really God offering and making that choice for us. If, therefore, we profess to believe in the Bible, and we desire to embrace the Light, we must not accept one of these paradoxical realities, while rejecting the other. We must instead embrace the premises that while both are equally true -- that even the option to choose is by the predetermined Will of God.
Perhaps even more difficult to understand is the fact that the Bible clearly teaches that we are responsible for the Divine Will that God exerts in our life. In the words of Jesus: “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” (Matt 18:7 NIV). Why must they come? Because God has willed it. Again we must admit what the Apostle tells us at Romans 11:32, as seen in the commentary Barnes' Notes which writes of the word that we translate concluded, shut up, bound, committed and consigned: “It is properly used in reference to those who are shut up in prison”. Only when we begin to accept the fact that the life we are presently living has been individually designed to meet our personal needs, and it is as if we have been imprisoned by a Higher Spiritual Power to live out the circumstances and events in our life, are we able to get a sense of the purpose of life itself.
In the same way that “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him…”, we can progress no further in our own walk in The Way, until we first understand why these people did not believe in Jesus, as seen in the words: “For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: ‘He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts’” (John 12:37-40 NIV). Contrary to what we want to believe, it is important for us to realize that the people who did not accept Jesus, did not necessarily reject him of their own accord -- but as the Bible itself states, they rejected Jesus for no other reason than because God did not permit them to believe in Jesus. It is important that we begin to recognize the reasons why there was a pre-existent reason that God did not permit them to believe -- and that the people themselves were ultimately responsible for the conditions that God brought about. It is important, because these same conditions exist in our own lives as a paramount truth that we must come to terms with if we are to continue our walk in The Way. If, therefore, God forces each of us into a certain role that causes us to either sin or embrace the Light, we must ask the question as to what was the cause that is/was responsible for these events?
In answering these profound biblical questions, we must steer clear of the pitfall of traditional church thinking, and insure that we do not make the mistake of adopting one biblical truth over the other. In this respect, we must refrain from asking which is true -- and instead open our minds to the higher understanding that merges the two truths into harmony. The answer cannot be found until we realize that we must not choose one truth over the other -- and, in the words of Spurgeon: “it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other”.
We must begin the process of embracing the Higher Truth by taking the words of Spurgeon to heart, and recognize that the fault in our failure to understand is of our own doing, and we must refrain from questioning which passages of scripture is correct. Do we have free will? Or, is the Apostle Paul correct when he states: ”For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’” -- wherein the Apostle then explains that “It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy” (Rom 9:15-16 NIV)?
If we are to even begin to understand what other Christians do not, then we must embrace the honest appraisal of the scriptures by the Rev. Charles Spurgeon when he wrote: “The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once.... Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other... and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Autobiography Vol. 1: The Early Years. pp. 173, 174). Like modern Christians today, Rev. Spurgeon could not bring the two lines of Gospel Truth together -- speaking of them as his “folly” to even imagine that two of God's teachings could contradict each other. Yet, Rev. Spurgeon makes an astute and honest observation that, to their own demise, few Christians throughout history have been willing to admit. It is absolutely necessary for us to come to terms with the fact that truth is not only paradoxical, but that in our natural-carnal state, we are unable to bring these paradoxes together. In fact, this wide-eyed perception of reality is so important, that we can never progress beyond the very limited point we are presently at, until we realize this great truth. Why? Because it is in the realization of what Spurgeon calls his ”folly” that we begin to open our minds to the reality that exists beyond the physical barrier of this world.
Because the modern church cannot explain it, and admittedly confesses that they do not understand it, most Christians feel they have no other recourse but to ignore what the Bible teaches with regard to predestination. Even Augustine and Calvin -- the very champions of the Christian doctrine on predestination -- admit that they do not understand why God would seemingly act in such an irrational way -- as if the world was God's play-toys. Thus, Calvin writes: “Now, should some Manes or Coelestinus come forward to arraign Divine Providence, I say with Paul, that no account of it can be given, because by its magnitude it far surpasses our understanding. Is there any thing strange or absurd in this? Would we have the power of God so limited as to be unable to do more than our mind can comprehend? I say with Augustine, that the Lord has created those who, as he certainly foreknow, were to go to destruction, and he did so because he so willed. Why he willed it is not ours to ask, as we cannot comprehend, nor can it become us even to raise a controversy as to the justice of the divine will. Whenever we speak of it, we are speaking of the supreme standard of justice. (See August. Ep. 106.)”
As can be seen, two of the most revered Christian minds -- one Protestant, the other Roman Catholic -- not only confess they do not know the Will of God, and cannot even begin to explain why God moves in the manner that He does -- but that they do not have the capacity of mind to understand the many narratives of scripture that pertains to the subject. They therefore attempt to predict who will be saved and who will not, and have faith that their prediction will be correct.
From the perspective of the modern Christian, the key word here is predict. In view of the historical evidence contained in the Bible that God brings evil upon groups of people for no reason, and God admittedly moves in a manner that even the church cannot understand, what if men such as David and Paul -- sinful men who persecute and kill innocent people -- are truly the men who hold a special place in the heart of God? What if God caused the Gentile Church to violate his covenant so he could deal with them in the manner that He did the Jews before them, and now show his wrath in the condemnation of His new chosen people, the Christians?
That the doctrine of predestination is irrational, and defies all human logic, is affirmed in Calvin's only defense that the Apostle is correct, and man does not have the right to even question God, as seen when he wrote: “But when justice clearly appears, why should we raise any question of injustice? Let us not, therefore, be ashamed to stop their mouths after the example of Paul. Whenever they presume to carp, let us begin to repeat: Who are ye, miserable men, that bring an accusation against God, and bring it because he does not adapt the greatness of his works to your meager capacity? As if every thing must be perverse that is hidden from the flesh. The immensity of the divine judgments is known to you by clear experience. You know that they are called 'a great deep', (Psalm 36:6.) Now, look at the narrowness of your own minds and say whether it can comprehend the decrees of God. Why then should you, by infatuated inquisitiveness, plunge yourselves into an abyss which reason itself tells you will prove your destruction? Why are you not deterred, in some degree at least, by what the Book of Job, as well as the Prophetical books declare concerning the incomprehensible wisdom and dreadful power of God? If your mind is troubled, decline not to embrace the counsel of Augustine, 'You a man expect an answer from me: I also am a man. Wherefore, let us both listen to him who says, O man, who art thou?' Believing ignorance is better than presumptuous knowledge. Seek merits; you will find naught but punishment. O the height! Peter denies, a thief believes. O the height! Do you ask the reason? I will tremble at the sight. Reason you, I will wonder; dispute you, I will believe. I see the height; I cannot sound the depth. Paul found rest, because he found wonder. He calls the judgments of God 'unsearchable;' and have you come to search them? He says that his ways are 'past finding out,' and do you seek to find them out?' (August. de Verb. Apost. Serm. 20.) We shall gain nothing by proceeding farther. For neither will the Lord satisfy the petulance of these men, nor does he need any other defense than that which he used by his Spirit, who spoke by the mouth of Paul. We unlearn the art of speaking well when we cease to speak with God”.
Again, Calvin himself admits the irrationality of the doctrine that he champions when he writes: “The human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet”. The question must be asked as to why the “human mind… boil and rage”? The only answer is that our higher sense of reason cannot accept the doctrine that a child is born into a life where their fate is predestined to destruction. Moreover, the very foundation of the faith-based church that the Middle Age Reformers created is summed up in the words: “Believing ignorance is better than presumptuous knowledge. Seek merits; you will find nought but punishment.” Thus, their faith is based upon un-knowledge -- anti-knowledge or even anti-Gnostic -- in view of the fact that it is their position that they cannot know why the Hand of God moves in the manner that it does. In their own words they recognize that in all things that really matter, they are ignorant. Thus, the church which they created is in fact an anti-Gnostic organization (without knowledge), based upon blind faith.
Christians may not like it, but Calvin goes on to demonstrate that this doctrine of irrationality, which by his own assertion promotes ignorance, is exactly what is contained in the scriptures when he writes: “But were I to concede that by the different forms of expression Paul softens the harshness of the former clause, it by no means follows, that he transfers the preparation for destruction to any other cause than the secret counsel of God. This, indeed, is asserted in the preceding context, where God is said to have raised up Pharaoh, and to harden whom he will. Hence it follows, that the hidden counsel of God is the cause of hardening. I at least hold with Augustine that when God makes sheep out of wolves, he forms them again by the powerful influence of grace, that their hardness may thus be subdued, and that he does not convert the obstinate, because he does not exert that more powerful grace, a grace which he has at command, if he were disposed to use it, (August. de Praedest. Sanct., Lib. 1, c. 2.)”.
If you are good, then you are good because, prior to the founding of the world -- before there was even an earth, sun, moon and stars as foretold in the events of creation in Genesis -- God wrote your name in the book of life and decided that you would be good -- and it was so. If you are evil, mediocre, or even an average person who is just trying to live their life the best they can; then in like manner, you are the person you are because prior to the time of creation, God decided that you would be created as a “vessel of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Rom 9:19-22 NAS). This determination was made at a time when you “were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand” (Rom 9:11).
If you are wise, it is because God has made you wise: “and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom” (Exod 31:6 KJV). If the scriptures make no sense to you, or to whatever degree you are permitted to understand them, this also is of the Lord: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45 KJV).
Whatever leader you are following has been decided beforehand by the Lord: “And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched” (1 Sam 10:26 KJV). If you are following the wrong leader, and listening to the wrong teaching, this too is of the Lord: “And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom” (2 Sam 17:14 RSV). Thus, the Lord hardened the hearts of the men of Israel from following the good counsel, and moved them to follow the counsel of Hushai that eventually led to their destruction -- a destruction brought about by the Hand of God.
The scriptures state that God can even control whether a man's wife is unfaithful: “Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives…” (2 Sam 12:11 NAS). Moreover, if, as Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament suggests, that the fact it is the Hand of God which brought about these events, and this “fact did not absolve…” the people from their personal “responsibility and guilt”, that means the wives who God forced to be unfaithful are guilty of adultery -- even though it was the Hand of God that forced them to be unfaithful.
In our examination of the scriptures we must pose the question as to who is the author of evil? There are those who suggest the fallen Angel Satin is the author of evil. The doctrine of Original Sin states that all mankind are sinners because they share in the sin of Adam and Eve who fell from grace in the Garden of Eden. Yet the Bible also clearly teaches that all these events were predestined by God prior to even the first act of Creation. Further, the Bible not only teaches that God created what we call evil, but that all evil is under His direct control. Thus the question is posed in scripture: “Does evil befall a city, unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6 RSV). And what does the scriptures state is the source of darkness and evil? “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isa 45:7 KJV).
On the phrase, “I form the light, and create darkness”, Barnes' Notes writes: “Light, in the Bible, is the emblem of knowledge, innocence, pure religion, and of prosperity in general; and darkness is the emblem of the opposite. Light here seems to be the emblem of peace and prosperity, and darkness the emblem of adversity; and the sentiment of the verse is, that all things prosperous and adverse are under the providential control and direction of God. Of light, it is literally true that God made it; and emblematically true that he is the source of knowledge, prosperity, happiness, and pure religion. Of darkness, it is literally true also that the night is formed by him; that he withdraws the light of the sun, and leaves the earth enveloped in gloomy shades. It is emblematically true also that calamity, ignorance, disappointment, and want of success are ordered by him; and not less true that all the moral darkness, or evil, that prevails on earth, is under the direction and ordering of his Providence”.
Ultimately, it is clear that the Bible teaches that God is the All-Pervading Power that controls every aspect of Creation -- i.e., the author of all things -- light and dark, good and bad -- and most importantly, that there is a Divine Plan as expressed in the words: “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Isa 14:24 KJV). Based upon this very clear biblical fact, we must question when our church authorities ignore what the Bible itself proclaims, and state that a man has freewill -- that each man has the power to choose good or evil -- or even that he exerts control over his own life, when the scriptures themselves pose the question: “A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?” (Prov 20:24 NIV).
In our modern day the Evangelical Christians condemn the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses -- and each of these sects condemn the doctrines of the mainline liberal churches. What is the source of these many doctrines of belief? The Bible teaches that even the doctrines of error, and the very limited theories of science are the result of the Lord's doing -- as it is written: “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet” (Ezek 14:9 KJV). The Bible teaches that in many instances, spiritual powers beyond the perception of man are at work behind the scenes that are responsible for what we would call the error and misconceptions of the world -- as it is written: “And the LORD said, Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there? One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, I will entice him. By what means? the LORD asked. I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets, he said. You will succeed in enticing him, said the LORD. Go and do it. So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you” (1 King 22:20-23 NIV).
These evil spirits sent from God are well documented in the scriptures: “The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all her doings as a drunken man staggers in his vomit” (Isa 19:14 RSV); “Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem” (Judg 9:23 KJV); “And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house” (1 Sam 18:10 KJV); “And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with javelin in his hand” (1 Sam 19:9 KJV) -- a javelin that, under the influence of the evil spirit of the Lord, Saul threw at David in an attempt to kill him.
Christians are often seen finding fault with leaders and governments because they are under the control of Satanic forces. Yet, they condemn these often barbaric leaders of government even though the scriptures state that this too is the work of God: “For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled” (Rev 17:17 NIV). Regarding the Satanic control over the hearts of the leaders of world government which the Lord Himself has ordained and brought about, the Matthew Henry's Commentary writes: “By the powerful influence which God hereby showed he had over the minds of great men. Their hearts were in his hand, and he turned them as he pleased; for, (1.) It was of God, and to fulfill his will, that these kings agreed to give their kingdom unto the beast; they were judicially blinded and hardened to do so. And, (2.) It was of God that afterwards their hearts were turned against the whore, to hate her, and to make her desolate and naked, and to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire”. How, then, can fault be found with these leaders of government and their people, and be judged by the church when they were “judicially blinded and hardened” to do the Will of God by giving their kingdoms over to the control of the beast?
That man does not perceive and understand the forces that work upon him is clearly foretold in the scriptures: “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them” (Isa 66:4 KJV). That man cannot live in accordance with the higher spiritual precepts of God that have been put forth in the scriptures is also of the Lord's doing: “O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear?” (Isa 63:17 KJV). That man does not see and hear the true teachings of God is written in the words: “They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand” (Isa 44:18 KJV).
Christians claim that Jesus came to make all things plain and clear to the people that they might know the Divine Plan of God. Yet, they ignore the fact that even the New Testament warns them that what Jesus taught will not be clear to the multitudes, and they can never understand the true meaning of his words: “With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive” (Matt 13:14 RSV). Therefore, the doctrines published by the church -- that Jesus came to save all people -- is easily seen to be defective. What the Bible states is that Jesus came to save a chosen few at the expense of the larger body of Jewish believers -- a people that God promised never to abandon.
Both Calvin and Augustine recognized that Paul saw it as a grievous sin for man to even question God's determination towards mankind in the words: “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, Why have you made me like this? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Rom 9:20-21 NKJ).
Calvin went as far as to write that those people who even question the biblical teaching of Divine Providence and predestination are sinning: “Therefore as those are in error who make the power of election dependent on the faith by which we perceive that we are elected, so we shall follow the best order, if, in seeking the certainty of our election, we cleave to those posterior signs which are sure attestations to it”.
What this means is that, if you have a loved one who is destined to be thrown into the lake of fire, that you should simply accept their suffering and demise -- and even celebrate the manifestation of their destiny as an exercise of God “in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Eph 1:4-5 NIV). As a believer, you recognize the biblical assertion that your loved ones are not saved because God has chosen before the foundation of the world those who would be permitted to come to Jesus: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you” (John 15:16 KJV). As believers, you understand that those who come to Jesus have been directed into the church by the Father: “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45 KJV). And only those who have been predestined will be raised up: “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39 NIV).
As a believer you are aware that you do not have the right to question the suffering and demise of your loved ones who are not saved. Will you celebrate in heaven when you and the Apostle Paul -- a man who was a killer and persecutor of the followers of Christ -- look down into the lake of fire and gaze upon the suffering of your loved ones who were by human standards saints in comparison to Paul? Will you rejoice with St. Constantine the Great -- another despot and diabolical sinner -- that God chose to indiscriminately save some of the most evil men the world has ever known, while your loved one who tried to live a good life, but did not come to Christ, has been confined to the torments of hell f-o-r-e-v-e-r!
If Augustine and Calvin are correct in their interpretation of the scriptures, then your mere questioning as to why your loved ones were not saved, could in fact cause you to suffer their fate, even though you affirmed your belief in Christ. In analysis of the scriptures, Calvin states that those who question Divine Providence and the Will of God in relation to the predestination of God's chosen people, or even seek knowledge in order to understand why God chooses one and not another, are themselves doomed: “Among the temptations with which Satan assaults believers, none is greater or more perilous, than when disquieting them with doubts as to their election, he at the same time stimulates them with a depraved desire of inquiring after it out of the proper way. (See Luther in Genes. cap. 26.) By inquiring out of the proper way, I mean when puny man endeavors to penetrate to the hidden recesses of the divine wisdom, and goes back even to the remotest eternity, in order that he may understand what final determination God has made with regard to him. In this way he plunges headlong into an immense abyss, involves himself in numberless inextricable snares, and buries himself in the thickest darkness. For it is right that the stupidity of the human mind should be punished with fearful destruction, whenever it attempts to rise in its own strength to the height of divine wisdom. And this temptation is the more fatal, that it is the temptation to which of all others almost all of us are most prone. For there is scarcely a mind in which the thought does not sometimes rise, Whence your salvation but from the election of God? But what proof have you of your election? When once this thought has taken possession of any individual, it keeps him perpetually miserable, subjects him to dire torment, or throws him into a state of complete stupor. I cannot wish a stronger proof of the depraved ideas, which men of this description form of predestination, than experience itself furnishes, since the mind cannot be infected by a more pestilential error than that which disturbs the conscience, and deprives it of peace and tranquility in regard to God. Therefore, as we dread shipwreck, we must avoid this rock, which is fatal to every one who strikes upon it. And though the discussion of predestination is regarded as a perilous sea, yet in sailing over it the navigation is calm and safe, nay pleasant, provided we do not voluntarily court danger. For as a fatal abyss engulfs those who, to be assured of their election, pry into the eternal counsel of God without the word, yet those who investigate it rightly, and in the order in which it is exhibited in the word, reap from it rich fruits of consolation”.
What Calvin is stating is the doctrine of the anti-Gnostic UnSpiritual Church: That the ways of God are unknowable, and cannot be questioned. But is Calvin, Augustine, and even Luther correct? Thus the modern Christian dilemma: Regardless of the fact that many Christians do not like to admit it, the scriptures clearly state that everything in the life of man is predestined and controlled, and yet mankind -- not God -- is responsible for the choices that God has made for him. What we have here is in fact the thinking of many rapists who have been caught: i.e., she made me do it -- she asked for it -- she said no, but I knew she didn't mean it -- it's her fault that I rapped her.
Only when we begin to perceive the irrationality of these anti-Gnostic doctrines -- doctrines that remain to this day the foundation of Christian thought -- can we understand why Martin Luther distained the use of reason in analysis of what he believed, and wrote that the exercise of the mind and the use of reason is a hindrance to the believer. Thus, we must clearly understand the foundation of the Church of the Reformation in the words: “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”.
Why did Luther make such a statement? The answer is because he did not possess the keys of knowledge that the Church of Constantine threw away, and he was only able to make vague sense of the scriptures without understanding the spiritual language and traditions they are composed in. Because of this void that was created when the Roman Government killed the spiritual Messianic Jews and Christians, it has erroneously become accepted that “reason is the greatest enemy that faith has” -- that the ways of God are beyond the understanding of man -- and that the more intricate revelations of scripture and reality cannot be comprehended.
Again to put the problem in it’s proper perspective we can review the wisdom and observation of the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon when he wrote: “The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once… The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other”.
The foundation of anti-Gnostic, modern Christian doctrine, is that man cannot be certain of anything. He cannot use his mind in a rational manner. He does not even have control over the manner in which he thinks and perceives life. Therefore, from this rather depressed vision of reality, it is easy to understand the doctrine that man is saved by faith alone -- and only through faith in Jesus. Yet, ultimately, from a biblical perspective, there is good reason to assert that believers today cannot be sure of anything -- including whether God will turn upon them as He did the Jews when He hardened their hearts and caused them to ultimately reject Jesus.
From a modern Christian perspective which is drawn directly from the pages of the Bible: The destiny of every person is decided before they are even conceived. God alone -- in accordance with His good pleasure -- decides who will be saved, and who will suffer eternal damnation. The saved person, who is just as much a sinner as the unsaved person, will go to glory simply because God willed it. God, who is the potter, has total power over the destiny of the clay (mankind) -- and for His own glory creates some people as vessels of honor, and others as vessels of dishonor. In view of the fact that God controls their very thinking, as well as their every footstep, the people themselves have absolutely no power over their own lives to alter their destiny.
In the words of the 19th century theologian Robert Haldane: “For, by acting in this manner, God has clearly shown that He is the Sovereign Master in their calling and election, and of their rejection - that He chooses and rejects as seems good to Him any of the sinful race of Adam, all of whom are justly objects of His displeasure, without regarding natural qualities which distinguish them from one another”. Whether a man is to be saved, or condemned to eternal condemnation, or whatever other fate befalls him, is solely the will of God in accordance with His choosing.
In the Westminster Confession of Faith, which contains so scriptural a summary of Christian doctrine: “The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. The decrees of God are His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass. God executeth His decrees in the works of creation and providence. God's works of providence are, His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures and all their actions... God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy… By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death”.
In the words of Robert Haldane respecting the above Westminster Confession of Faith: “In these articles it is asserted that God fore-ordained, decreed, and willed the existence of all the evil which 'comes to pass.' It is also said that God brings His decrees or His will into effect by creation and His governing providence, by which, in the exercise of His wisdom and holiness, He powerfully governs His creatures, and superintends and directs, disposes and orders, all their actions. According to the above truths, so well expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, to which so many profess to adhere as containing their creed, everything without exception, great and small, that has ever taken place, or shall ever take place in heaven, or on earth, or in hell has from all eternity been ordained by God, and yet so that the accountableness of the creature is not in the smallest degree removed. This is declared in the clearest manner respecting the greatest sin that ever was committed, even the crucifying of the Lord of glory. It took place according to the express ordination of God, yet the wickedness of those by whom it was perpetrated is explicitly asserted”.
Based upon Luther's doctrine of Faith, and Calvin’s doctrine of Predestination, the new Christian Church that enlisted under the banner of Protestantism had become the most narrow of theologies ever known to man. Because man's works accounted for nothing, the mark of the true Christian was one who suspended their powers of mind and reason in the endeavor to believe whatever doctrines the religious authorities of the church created. They believed that to even question the will of God was a sin -- and mankind could do nothing on his own accord that could save him. Christians accepted that their lot in both life and the hereafter were totally out of their hands. Further, even the faith that was necessary for their salvation was said to be a gift from God. Therefore, even the question of their faith was a matter of Divine Providence.
From the perspective of the emerging Protestant theology: If everything that ever happened on earth, in heaven, and in hell, was foreordained by God, then man's existence was reduced to that of a mere puppet. Hell existed at the foreordination of God. Adam fell at the foreordination of God. By virtue of original sin -- which sin was foreordained by God -- mankind was doomed because of his inherent sinful nature. From the population of doomed men, God choose certain men to be saved -- men who were in many instances themselves the most immoral examples of creation -- and they were saved even though they did nothing to deserve His grace. The Jews, who sought to live in the Light of God, were rejected -- while the diabolical heathens who rejected the Light of God, were received as God’s chosen people. Mankind was reduced to nothing, and had no say whatsoever over his destiny. As stated in the Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia: Predestination was “…God's eternal decree, by which he determined within himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others” (Institutes 3. 21. 5).
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary quotes The Westminster Confession, which it states is “the standard of the Church of Scotland and of the various Presbyterian churches of Europe and America”, and writes the following: “God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own free will freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw its future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life and others foreordained to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions or causes moving Him thereto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Therefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice’”.
Unger's Bible Dictionary then goes on to conclude: “In support of this doctrine several arguments are made by Calvinistic theologians: (1) According to the Scriptures election is not of works but of grace; and that it is not of works means that it is not what man does that determines whether he is to be one of the elect or not. For the descendants of Adam this life is not a probation. They stood their probation in Adam and do not stand each one for himself. (2) The sovereignty of God in electing men to salvation is shown by the fact that repentance and faith are gifts from God. These fruits of His Spirit are the consequences and signs of election and not its conditions. (3) The salvation that is of grace must be of grace throughout. The element of works or human merit must not be introduced at any point in the plan. And that would be the case if repentance and faith were the conditions of election. (4) The system of doctrine called Calvinistic, Augustinian, Pauline, should not be thus designated. That though taught clearly by Paul, particularly in (Rom. 8:9), it was taught also by others of the writers of sacred Scripture, and by Christ Himself. Reference is made to (Matt. 11:25-26; Luke 4:25-27; 8:10; John 6:37,39); etc. (5) That the sovereignty of God is evidenced in dispensing saving grace is illustrated also in His establishing the temporal conditions of mankind. Some are born and reared in the surroundings of civilization, others of barbarism. And precisely so some are blessed with the light of the gospel, while others, dwelling in pagan lands, are deprived of that light and consequently are not saved”.
Because Christians possess absolutely no understanding of the Laws of God -- and why one person or group is predestined to embrace one doctrinal mindset, while another group is predestined to embrace another that is very often in total conflict with the first -- the Christian world remains lost and confused in the darkness of this world. In fact, the whole basis for their claim to be the people of the New Covenant was totally undermined in the past because of their own rejection of the wisdom of both Peter and Paul, and their violation of the Laws that they are virtually totally ignorant of today. And because they violated their covenant, the reality has come upon them which was foreseen in the Epistle of Peter to James where it is recorded as to way the most spiritual and important scriptures were never even given into the hands of the Gentiles: "Hear me, brethren and fellow-servants. If we should give the books to all indiscriminately, and they should be corrupted by any daring men, or be perverted by interpretations, as you have heard that some have already done, it will remain even for those who really seek the truth, always to wander in error.
In the same way that the fruit of their own actions has come upon them, the Gentiles not only ignored the warning of Peter and Paul and undermined their covenant, but they alienated themselves from the spiritual essence of these important teachings through their perverted interpretations which were founded upon a Pagan-heathen mindset -- estranged themselves from the true teachings of Yeshua when they corrupted the text of the entry-level scriptures they had been given by the Ebionite Disciples -- and spiritually disenfranchised themselves from the Kingdom when they entered into a covenant relationship with Pagan Rome (see The Death Of The Religion Of Jesus). Because modern Christianity is doctrinally illegitimate -- and they have surrendered any claim to being the people of the New Covenant -- there is a great void in their understanding of the Laws and comprehension of the Gospel Message. And, as it has been demonstrated in the above that many Protestant Reformers embraced the doctrine of predestination that is presented throughout the scriptures, modern Christians are for the most part in denial of what the scriptures actually states, and they attempt to soften and ignore what they lack the ability to comprehend and explain.
One of the core statements that they can't come to terms with is seen in the Epistle to the Romans where the issue is raised: "You will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" (Rom 9:19 NKJ). And this statement is made from the perspective that if God preordains all events in this world regardless of the works of the people, then how can the people be held accountable for their actions? And what totally undermines the modern Christian teaching that people have choices, is seen in Paul's reply to the above question where he admits that choice and a person's will is not even part of the equation: "For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will? But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, Why have you made me like this? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory" (Rom 9:15-23 NKJ).
There is absolutely no part of this equation for freewill and choices -- i.e., people's individual lives are pre-determined prior to their entrance into that life as a vessel of honor, or a vessel of wrath. And try as they may, modern Christians only further alienate themselves from the essence of the Gospel message when they attempt to soften or explain this biblical teaching away to their own spiritual demise. The problem is brought into a more clear focus in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia where it is written with respect to the preordained events of the crucifixion: “It is remarkable that Peter in one and the same sentence speaks of the death of Christ from two quite distinct points of view. (1) From the historical standpoint, it was a crime perpetrated by men who were morally responsible for their deed ('him… ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay'). (2) From the standpoint of Divine teleology, it was part of an eternal plan ('by the determinate,' etc.). No effort is made to demonstrate the logical consistency of the two ideas”. Quoting the Adam Clark Commentary: “…neither the Jews nor Romans had any power here, but what was given to them from above”. The inability of those we look to as religious authorities to comprehend these fundamental conditions of life, as well as an uncountable number of other biblical paradoxes, is further expounded upon in the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on Romans 9:22, where it is written with regard to the Apostle's words Fitted to destruction: “It is well remarked by Stuart, that the difficulties which such statements involve are not to be gotten rid of by softening the language of one text, while so many others meet us which are of the same tenor; and even if we give up the Bible itself, so long as we acknowledge an omnipotent and omniscient God, we cannot abate in the least degree from any of the difficulties which such texts make. Be it observed, however, that if God, as the apostle teaches, expressly designed to manifest His wrath, and to make His power (in the way of wrath) known, it could only be by punishing some, while He pardons others; and if the choice between the two classes was not to be founded, as our apostle also teaches, on their own doings, but on God's good pleasure, the decision behooved ultimately to rest with God”.
Who killed Christ? “God had willed the death of Jesus (John 3:16) and the death of Judas (Acts 1:16)”, writes Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament, and then adds: “but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt (Luke 22:22)”. And thus, if you are like the modern Christians who fail to understand why the scriptures states that the hearts of the Jews were hardened so they would reject Yeshua -- reject him regardless of the miracles performed and the revelation of his teachings -- i.e., in the same way that it was said of the Jews who rejected Jesus: “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him…”, you can progress no further in your own walk in TheWay until you first understand why these people did not believe in Yeshua, as seen in the words: “For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: ‘He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts’” (John 12:37-40 NIV). Who blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts? As Peter states in the Clementine Homilies pertaining to why the Jews rejected Yeshua: “Neither, therefore, are the Hebrews condemned on account of their ignorance of Jesus, by reason of Him who has concealed Him, if, doing the things commanded by Moses, they do not hate Him whom they do not know. Neither are those from among the Gentiles condemned, who know not Moses on account of Him who hath concealed him, provided that these also, doing the things spoken by Jesus, do not hate Him whom they do not know." Who concealed Yeshua from the Jews? Who concealed Moses from the Gentiles? Peter, as well as the New Testament itself, emphatically states that they rejected Yeshua because the Hand of God hardened their hearts and minds and preordained their rejection. Perhaps one of the important keys was expressed by Peter in the words: "Moreover, if any one has been thought worthy to recognize both as preaching one doctrine, that man has been counted rich in God, understanding both the old things as new in time, and the new things as old.” That the underlying messages of spiritual transformation were exactly the same prior to the New Testament being corrupted by the Gentiles -- and the fact the the Hand of God inhibited a large number of the Jews from embracing the teachings of Yeshua and TheWay -- the reasons why both the hearts of the Jews were hardened against Yeshua, and the hearts of the Gentiles were hardened against Moses, was understood only by the inner core of the Ebionites.
Result of their Disobedience:
Christians Have Rejected Their Covenant
And have thus aimlessly wandered the earth blinded by the god of this world
What the modern believer must come to understand is the fact that the foundation of Christian doctrine that emerged out of the darkness of the Middle Ages was one of desperation of a spiritually disenfranchised Church. They inherited the good -- Jesus -- from a corrupt church that was overrun by a legion of despots who used the political power of Christianity to live lavish lifestyles and maintain rule over the people. The Church had long ago thrown away the Key of Knowledge (see Key of Knowledge), and no longer possessed the necessary code and understanding to perceive the inner soul and spiritual meaning of the Bible. The scriptures had been written by Jewish Gnostics -- and was was portrayed in the New Testament was the struggle between Israel of the flesh in the form of the Pharisees, and Israel of the Spirit in the form of Yeshua and his disciples. For over a thousand years it had been unlawful for man to read the Bible. Why? Because the scriptures are the sacred writings of a mystical sect of Jewish Gnostics -- Gnostics in the sense that they lived a consecrated life, and received their Divine Knowledge directly from an Inner Source which connects directly to God -- and Divine Writings whose very nature are intended to undermine secular establishments of institutionalized religion, when used as the Key of Knowledge have the ability to open to the disciple the door to genuine spiritual reality and the Inner Kingdom. Jewish Gnostics have no problem with the paradoxes of life and creation. In fact, they understood that it is the contemplation of these paradoxes that develops the mind -- and by enlarging the mental facilities in conjunction with spiritual cleansing, begins to open man's innate spiritual centers which enables the disciple of the Light to draw closer to God. Because the reformers of the Middle Ages were anti-Gnostics -- and they deplored the tenets of Mysticism and Spirituality -- their only means of keeping Jesus, and appear genuine by still retaining the necessary connection to the Bible, was to outlaw the use of reason. The problem is that reason is the very soil within which Spirituality and Gnosticism flourish -- and Gnostic scriptures are totally incompatible with an anti-Gnostic mindset and structure of the institutionalized church.
In view of the fact that the masses of people they were dealing with were themselves of an irrational and superstitious mindset -- i.e., the worship of nature, religious relics and images, illogical methods of warding off evil and bad luck, burning witches, killing cats because they were devils, etc. -- the doctrine of unquestionable faith in an unknowable God was easy for the people to accept -- in fact, it was a natural outgrowth of their irrational and superstitious manner of thinking. Moreover, these mindless doctrines were very much the product of their time. The people neither thought in the manner of Hebrew mystics -- a people who rejected the rule of man in order to remain faithful to God -- a people whose writings the heathen Gentiles seized and reinterpreted in accordance with their own manner of thinking. Therefore, the people who emerged from the Dark Ages had been reared in a cultural environment where there was no such thing as freedom of thought. The people were not sovereign -- royal families and monarchies were the norm. Further, it was a very real fact of life that their leaders were often the most corrupt, degenerate and depraved examples of humanity that could be found.
In the same way that the people accepted religious leaders that, in Luther's words, “…Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness”, and the greater number of secular leaders who were themselves ordained and embraced by the church were for the most part tyrannical despots, it was normal for the people not only to accept irrationality and depravity in their leaders, but these same people easily extended this concept of irrationality to a supreme power who would affirm and approve these degenerate men who ruled over every aspect of their lives. Because the Church of the Roman Empire had plunged the western world into the Dark Ages, irrationality was the very core of their mindset and view of the world and its creator.
There were of course those who opposed the tenets of the doctrine of Predestination -- claiming that it made no sense that man was responsible for his actions unless he possessed freewill -- but that meant that they put forth their doctrine in direct contradiction to the scriptures. On what authority could they oppose the Divine Word when the Bible itself states that even in those instances where man is permitted the freedom to choose, that this freedom was bestowed upon this select group of people only because God ordained it -- and the supposed choice they arrived at was in fact predetermined by God for that individual. Thus, the very presence of what could be called free, from a biblical perspective was in fact preordained by God. How could they argue and oppose what the Bible clearly declares when it can be demonstrated that man's exercise and demonstration of freewill is nothing more than the illusion of freewill ordained by God for the express purpose of making men falsely imagine that they actually possessed the ability to make choices in their life apart from what the Hand of God has brought about?
Churches In Denial: Regardless of what we choose to believe today, or what your clergy states, Calvin and Luther were not wrong in what they saw in the scriptures. The Bible really does say that all things in this life are predestined -- and to ignore this fact -- as many modern churches have done -- is to close ones eyes to the written Word.
To this great insight I would only add that from a modern day doctrinal perspective, there can be no resolution to the problem. Regardless of the fact that any student of the bible can easily go through the scriptures and point out all the many places where it appears that man has freewill and choices, this fact does not negate the numerous citations of scripture where it states that everything is brought about by Divine Providence, and man only possesses the illusion of choice. In fact, since the time of Augustine in the fourth century, the Christian world has been at an impasse with regard to the doctrines of predestination and freewill. The greatest of Christian minds have struggled with the problem, and no amount of biblical research or theological perspective can resolve this great Christian dilemma -- until now.
The majority of readers will predictably say that they don’t believe in predestination. They believe that mankind has freewill, and that he is responsible for the choices he makes in life. And I will agree with this assertion -- but herein lies the problem: What the modern Christian has done is parse the scriptures in the endeavor to cling to little pieces they agree with, while ignoring the most important part of the written word they must understand in order to embrace the Spiritual Gospel of Christ.
With good reason a great many Christians today simply ignore the biblical doctrine of predestination, and believe more from an instinctual perspective than a scriptural one. They know that God is real because they can feel His presence and power in their lives. Innately they cling to the concept that “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16 KJV). They believe that, in the same way that “The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him” (Prov 20:23 NIV), somehow there is an answer to the paradox of predestination and freewill that is not only just and right, but is rational and worthy of God's Wisdom and Ordination.
The problem is that in the process of ignoring the paradoxes of the scriptures, and in not seeking to understand the spiritual meaning -- a meaning that reveals their inherent spiritual nature -- these well-meaning believers are negating the very purpose for which the Bible was created -- which is to provide man the knowledge that enables him to open the gate to the Kingdom and draw closer to God. More importantly, though, is the fatal mindset that Christians have permitted themselves to become imbued with. They preach to others -- they condemn others -- they judge others, and find fault with others -- they point to the scriptures to prove the validity of their doctrines -- and yet, they only use these scriptures in a superficial manner, resulting in the fact that they are incapable of knowing the Will of God with respect to any event that transpires. The result is that they make themselves New Covenant apostates when they ignore their own Bibles, which openly declares that the fault which they observe in their brothers and sisters, as well as all the other people they judge and condemn, has been brought about by the Hand of God.
In their Pharisaic literalist and un-Spiritual and anti-Gnostic perception of the Bible, they are therefore driven by fear -- a fear that does not permit them to question the irrationality of their beliefs or perception of God. They are unable to answer the simple question that, if man's life and destiny is preordained, how can he be blamed or faulted for what God has brought about? If there is fault, then, how can that fault be attributed solely to mankind -- the mere puppet of the Divine Will? Moreover, they fail to acknowledge that if God wanted life on earth to be different than it is -- or has been -- then He has the power to change it.
The only reasonable answer to the dilemma presented in the scriptures is that modern Christians do not know -- and they believe that it is beyond man's ability to know. In this respect, they condemn what they do not know! They endorse what they do not know! In not knowing the reasons why, they in essence know nothing! They proclaim that only faith in Jesus can save you -- and yet, they do not possess the wherewithal to explain why God gives some men faith, and others are not given this gift.
More importantly, from a scriptural perspective, they can never know anything, until they first come to the realization that they know absolutely nothing! And when they oppose and are offended by this statement, isn't this the same exact message that was stated by the Apostle when he warned believers: “If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know” (1 Cor 8:2 RSV)?
In the same way that they judge and condemn what they do not understand, the very answer to their dilemma is found in the people they condemned as heretics. In those writings known as the Clementine Homilies, which were written by Clement, the disciple of the Apostle Peter, speaking of the power of Simon Magus to manipulate and deceive the minds of the Gentile believers, Peter states to Clement: “And with us, indeed, who have had handed down from our forefathers the worship of the God who made all things, and also the mystery of the books which are able to deceive, he will not prevail; but with those from amongst the Gentiles who have the polytheistic fancy bred in them, and who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures, he will prevail much. And not only he; but if any other shall recount to those from among the Gentiles any vain, dreamlike, richly set out story against God, he will be believed, because from their childhood their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. And few there shall be of them, as a few out of a multitude, who through ingenuousness shall not be willing so much as to hear an evil word against the God who made all things. And to these alone from amongst the Gentiles it shall be vouchsafed to be saved. Let not any one of you, therefore, altogether complain of Simon, or of any one else; for nothing happens unjustly, since even the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test”.
What Peter is saying is that the Gentile mind is easily deceived and manipulated because they accept and believe evil things about God. They believe that God ordains the slaughter of innocent children. They believe that God holds all people accountable for the sin of Adam and Eve. They believe that God ordains the most degenerate examples of humanity, while condemning the innocent to the “lake of fire” (Rev 20: 14-15). Moreover, Peter states regarding the scriptures: “…but with those from amongst the Gentiles who have the polytheistic fancy bred in them, and who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures, he will prevail much”. What, then, are the falsehoods of the scriptures that Peter speaks of? What Peter is stating regarding the nature of scripture is the same as was echoed twelve hundred years later by Moses Maimonedes, one of the most respected Jewish theologians, historian, and Talmudist, where he writes about the nature of scripture: “Every time that you find in our books a tale the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit”.
When Peter says that the Gentile believers are easily deceived by Simon Magus because in their polytheistic mindset, they quite readily embrace the “falsehoods of the scriptures”, and believe “an evil word against the God who made all things”, perhaps the finest proof of the validity of these words is the Christian understanding of preordination and predestination -- i.e., that God for no reason ordains some men to glory, and for no reason ordains others to destruction. Why are there falsehoods in the scriptures? While Fundamentalist Christians are once again in denial, you can find the answer in the article on Why Doe's God Speak In Allegory And Enigma?
From the perspective of the Hebrew mystics who authored our Bible, the first and foremost principle of truth is: God, the Creator of the Universe and all things in it, is the most rational Being in existence. The very idea that Christians will even entertain the notion that God bestows blessings upon one man, and deprives another, or that He raises up some for glory, while He raises up others for destruction, is simply absurd. Moreover, the idea that God ordains the destruction of innocent men, women and children, as is believed by many Christians today, is simply not worthy of belief. Further, Peter is correct in his assertion that the Gentile mind is incapable of looking beyond the biblical stories that Moses Maimonedes states are “repugnant to both reason and common sense”.
What is being stated here by both Peter, the man who according to Christian tradition was appointed to be the rock of the church (Mt 16:18), and one of the foremost Jewish theologians, is that there are events in the scriptures that are not historically accurate, and there are evils attributed to God that are not true. Yet we, a people who do not know either what or why God predestines, or what choices man has in the Divine scope of reality, say that these men are in error -- and yet, in the folly of our judgment, we fail to recognize the fact that we are incapable of explaining the relationship of the most important aspects of our religious foundation.
The Absolute Rationality Of God: In the early Church there were men of great spiritual knowledge who understood the mysteries of God. These men grasped the reality that the wisdom of God is so far beyond the comprehension of carnal man, that the very idea that God moves in an irrational manner, and indiscriminately saves some, while condemning others to destruction, would be viewed as a doctrine of foolishness and ignorance. The problem is that the church which calls itself Christian, either condemned or killed these wise men who knew the secret to the dilemma that plagues the believer today.
Everything that God does, He does for a reason -- and this reason has only one purpose; i.e., the perfection and return of His Prodigal Sons. God is not unfair -- neither is He unjust -- He does not move indiscriminately -- there are no accidents -- neither are their victims who have not themselves invoked their own suffering. Further, if we fail to understand the reasons why everything in life is the way it is, the fault is not with God -- but rather, is the product of our own blindness and inability to understand the laws that control this realm of existence.
The answer to the all-confining spiritual box that the institutionalized church imprisoned themselves in is readily found in the writings of the first people of the New Covenant -- the Essenes -- as well as the original followers of Christ known as the Ebionites, and the writings of the early Gentile Christian Church who, unlike the church of the middle ages, were very Gnostic in their perception of Life and Creation. Thus, all we have to do is look to the very people who we have condemned as heretics, and seek the answer to the dilemma from the Lord, and we will find true freedom in the illumination of the Light and the opening of the gate to the promised Kingdom.
In the words of the third century Church Father Origen -- the man St. Gregory of Nyssa called “the prince of Christian learning in the Third Century”, the man condemned by the Emperor Justinian because, Justinian held similar views regarding the soul of man as did Darwin: “We have frequently shown”, writes Origen, “by those declarations which we were able to produce from the holy Scriptures, that God, the Creator of all things, is good, and just, and all-powerful… But since those rational creatures themselves, as we have frequently shown, and will yet show in the proper place, were endowed with the power of free-will, this freedom of will incited each one either to progress by imitation of God, or reduced him to failure through negligence… Now God, who deemed it just to arrange His creatures according to their merit, brought down these different understandings into the harmony of one world, that He might adorn, as it were, one dwelling, in which there ought to be not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay (and some indeed to honor, and others to dishonor), with those different vessels, or souls, or understandings. And these are the causes… why that world presents the aspect of diversity, while Divine Providence continues to regulate each individual according to the variety of his movements, or of his feelings and purpose. On which account the Creator will neither appear to be unjust in distributing (for the causes already mentioned) to every one according to his merits; nor will the happiness or unhappiness of each one's birth, or whatever be the condition that falls to his lot, be deemed accidental; nor will different creators, or souls of different natures, be believed to exist” (De Principiis, Bk 2 Ch 9).
What Origen is stating is that, in the beginning, each soul was created equal and the same, and their place in life is not the result of an accident, or the indiscriminate manifestation of God's Will in the form of Divine Providence -- but rather, each soul's lot in life is the result of the exercise of their own freewill, and consequently is arranged “according to their merit”. This merit is not the result of some unknown condition -- but rather, is imposed upon each individual in accordance with what they have accomplished in their previous lives.
Origen then goes on to demonstrate this truth by using the very example which the Apostle Paul gave with regard to Esau and Jacob, and writes: “‘What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?' And that he might furnish us with an opportunity of inquiring into these matters, and of ascertaining how these things do not happen without a reason, he answers himself, and says, 'God forbid.' For the same question, as it seems to me, which is raised concerning Jacob and Esau, may be raised regarding all celestial and terrestrial creatures, and even those of the lower world as well. And in like manner it seems to me, that as he there says, 'The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil,' so it might also be said of all other things, 'When they were not yet' created, 'neither had yet done any good or evil, that the decree of God according to election may stand,' that (as certain think) some things on the one hand were created heavenly, some on the other earthly, and others, again, beneath the earth, 'not of works' (as they think), 'but of Him who calleth,' what shall we say then, if these things are so? 'Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.' As, therefore, when the Scriptures are carefully examined regarding Jacob and Esau, it is not found to be unrighteousness with God that it should be said, before they were born, or had done anything in this life, 'the elder shall serve the younger;' and as it is found not to be unrighteousness that even in the womb Jacob supplanted his brother, if we feel that he was worthily beloved by God, according to the deserts of his previous life, so as to deserve to be preferred before his brother”.
God did not hate Esau and love Jacob for no reason! To even believe such a preposterous concept of Divine Wisdom is to affirm Peter's assertion that the Gentiles believe these absurdities because “their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God." Respecting the Divine Order of Creation, Origen then continues referring to the Epistle to the Romans, and goes on and explains: “For God must be believed to do and order all things and at all times according to His judgment. For the words which the apostle uses when he says, ‘In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honor and some to dishonor;' and those which he adds, saying, 'If a man purge himself, he will be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, unto every good work,' undoubtedly point out this, that he who shall purge himself when he is in this life, will be prepared for every good work in that which is to come; while he who does not purge himself will be, according to the amount of his impurity, a vessel unto dishonor, i.e., unworthy. It is therefore possible to understand that there have been also formerly rational vessels, whether purged or not, i.e., which either purged themselves or did not do so, and that consequently every vessel, according to the measure of its purity or impurity, received a place, or region, or condition by birth, or an office to discharge, in this world. All of which, down to the humblest, God providing for and distinguishing by the power of His wisdom, arranges all things by His controlling judgment, according to a most impartial retribution, so far as each one ought to be assisted or cared for in conformity with his deserts. In which certainly every principle of equity is shown, while the inequality of circumstances preserves the justice of a retribution according to merit. But the grounds of the merits in each individual case are only recognized truly and clearly by God Himself, along with His only-begotten Word, and His Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit”.
Origen again demonstrates that our lot in life is the result of our own deserts, and writes: “For God the Creator makes a certain vessel unto honor, and other vessels to dishonor; but that vessel which has cleansed itself from all impurity He makes a vessel unto honor, while that which has stained itself with the filth of vice He makes a vessel unto dishonor. The conclusion from which, accordingly, is this, that the cause of each one's actions is a pre-existing one; and then every one, according to his deserts, is made by God either a vessel unto honor or dishonor. Therefore every individual vessel has furnished to its Creator out of itself the causes and occasions of its being formed by Him to be either a vessel unto honor or one unto dishonor. And if the assertion appear correct, as it certainly is, and in harmony with all piety, that it is due to previous causes that every vessel be prepared by God either to honor or to dishonor, it does not appear absurd that, in discussing remoter causes in the same order, and in the same method, we should come to the same conclusion respecting the nature of souls, and (believe) that this was the reason why Jacob was beloved before he was born into this world, and Esau hated, while he still was contained in the womb of his mother”.
Everything that we know about Creation affirms that all things are controlled by natural laws. Whether it be the movement of the heavenly bodies, the atmospheric and elemental currents of the world in which we dwell, right down to the atomic and genetic fabric and structure of life itself. All of life is immersed in a sea of natural law that controls every aspect of creation. The very prediction of the atomic bomb as theorized by Einstein, is proof that once man is able to envision the laws that control every aspect of Creation, he is able to successfully foresee the eventual results.
The underlying principle of the scriptures that is confirmed by the people of the New Covenant -- whether Jewish or Gentile -- prior to the institutionalization of the church in the fourth century, is that our deeds and accomplishments in life remain with us -- and because of our interaction with the natural laws that control this world, it is our own deeds, caused by our own actions, that is returned to us in the future -- which future can be in our present life, or a future life when we again re-enter this world.
The person who is in touch with their spiritual essence knew instinctively that this carnal and barbaric perception of God is defective. Innately they knew that God is not irrational. Though they did not always comprehend the reason why, they knew that life as we know it is the result of a Supreme Intelligence at work, and every event in the life of all people are brought about for a purpose. As people who are in touch with their spiritual essence seek to know both the reason and the purpose, what they learn is that all events in life are caused by a pre-existent event -- and are in fact based upon our own deeds and actions.
Heed the words of the Apostle when he warned: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV). If a soul, then, enters this world as a “vessel of wrath prepared for destruction” (Rom 9:22), that soul is responsible for their lot in life that was brought about by virtue of his own pre-existent deeds and actions. If a soul enters this life as a “vessel for honor” (Rom 9:21 NKJ), this good that has been inherited is the result of that soul’s efforts to “cleanse himself” from the defilements of this world, in order that “he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim 2:21 NKJ).
That our deeds and the desires of our heart -- whether good, bad or indifferent -- remain with us as we interact with the Laws of Creation that God invoked when this realm came into existence, is the understanding that we must possess in order to even begin to comprehend the biblical doctrine of predestination -- and ultimately the Bible and Life itself. That the reformers of the Middle Ages did not possess this understanding, and they were unable to explain the great void that existed in their thinking and understanding, resulted in their reactionary position condemning the very use of the mind and the exercise of reason among Christians. Politically, they had no other choice. How were they to maintain their position of authority among the body of believers, when they were unable to explain the to the people the reason that God moves in the manner that He does. They could not!
Why were they forced by the void in their perception of the Word to take an anti-Gnostic view of the Gospel, and condemn the very use of reason among Christians? Their error was the result of their own carnal Darwinist mindset that was in direct opposition to the spiritual mindset that was the foundation of the teachings of the New Covenant. Our only fault today is that we have failed to re-evaluate the doctrines we have inherited from previous generations of Christians in light of the new-found knowledge that God has placed in our hands -- and the fact that we have not sufficiently cleansed ourselves in order to learn through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
There is no reason to believe the doctrines of men with regard to seeking the Truth and the Mysteries of God. The promise of the New Covenant is that when we begin to open our eyes and perception to these truths of a spiritual nature -- truths that were possessed by the early church, and thrown away when Christianity became institutionalized -- we will be able to begin to embrace the Mysteries of God that Jesus taught to his disciples. With regard to the events of this life: Only when we begin to realize that we are immersed in a sea of natural law -- that by virtue of this law we come into this life in accordance with our own past deeds -- can we even begin to bring together the two lines within the body of the scripture that the Rev. Charles Spurgeon wrote about: “The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once… That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Autobiography Vol. 1: The Early Years. pp. 173, 174).
What I have demonstrated beyond a doubt is the existence of numerous voids and black holes in our understanding about the most essential elements of our religion -- elements that each of us should desire to examine and learn more about what we believe. One of the great promises of the scriptures is: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 NKJ). The Bible does not say that you will believe the truth -- have faith in the truth -- and neither does it say you will be appraised of the truth. In fact, the promise of the scriptures is so profoundly personal, that the word “know” in this verse, has the same meaning as that where Adam “knew” Eve, and had sexual intercourse. The word “know”, as used in this promise, is not theoretical, philosophical or doctrinal -- but rather, experiential -- to the degree that the promise to the disciple is that they will become intimately conjoined with the truth and God's Divine Plan for mankind. The knowledge that Jesus spoke of then, was the result of the disciples intercourse with God. This is the essence of the Hebrew Gnosticism that we now know is the true foundation of the Christian faith.
The message that is conveyed in the scriptures is that the disciples of the Christ will not only hear the truth, but rather see the truth -- taste the truth -- and be totally immersed in the truth, as a fish is in the water. The disciples of Christ will understand the natural laws that control this realm, and they will understand that each person's lot in life is the result of their own deeds and desires of the heart materialized by virtue of the laws that manifest ones own past in their present life.
The pattern of religion that was preached by Paul is indicative of that condition when the disciples of Christ are released from their own past sins and inequity through the grace they inherit as children of The Way. They understand that man is not saved by dead works and rituals, but through the grace that has been given to them by virtue of their spiritual cleansing from the defilements of this world. It is from the perspective of this total immersion and cleansing that the Disciple John wrote: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 Jn 3:8-9).
Yes, it is true that all have sinned -- but the genuine Christian no longer sins -- as seen in the Apostle of faiths own words: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? …knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin… Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom 6:1-16 NKJ).
Because we no longer possess the same spiritual vision and mindset which was the foundation of what Paul wrote in his epistles, we cannot even conceive of man's true potential as the prodigal sons of our Eternal Father. It is therefore beyond our ability to even envision the concept expressed by Paul that the followers of Christ are expected to live a holy life that is free from the constraints of sin. It is true when the Apostle writes: “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10;23 NIV) -- but as the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father, we have been forced into lives of toiling and trials by God Himself -- i.e., “For God has consigned all men to disobedience…” (Rom 11:1-32 RSV) -- because “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son” (Rev 21:7 NIV). From a biblical perspective, once a disciple of the Lord has been cleansed and made whole, they are to “sin no more” (John 5:14; 8:11) -- and, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him” (1 Jn 3:6 NKJ).
What was removed from our copies of the scriptures prior to Yeshua's statement to Nicodemus about the need for re-birth? What modern Christians fail to realize is the fact that Yeshua's message of the need to bring about the next stage of soul-birth was so different in the original scriptures, that modern believers who call themselves Born Again, would not even recognize the concepts presented. Thus, in the Gospel of the Nazirenes it states: "Yeshua sat in the porch of the temple, and some came to learn His doctrine, and one said to Him, Master, what do you teach concerning life? And He said to them, Blessed are they who suffer many experiences, for they will be made perfect through suffering; they will be as the angels of God in heaven and will die no more. Neither will they be born any more, for death and birth have no more dominion over them. They who have suffered and have overcome will be made pillars of the temple of my God, and they will go out no more. I say to you, except you be born again of water and of fire, you cannot see the kingdom of God. And a certain Rabbi, Nicodemus, came to Him by night for fear of the Jews, and said to Him, How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again? Yeshua answered Except a man be born again of flesh and of spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God. The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound of it, but can not tell from where it comes or to where it goes. The light shines from the East even to the West; out of the darkness. The sun rises and sets into darkness again; so is it with man, from the ages to the ages. When it cometh from the darkness, it is that he has lived before, and when it goes down again into darkness, it is that he may rest for a little, and there after again exist. So through many changes must you be made perfect, as it is written in the book of Job, 'I am a wanderer, changing place after place and house after house, until I come into the city and mansion which is eternal. And Nicodemus said to him, How can these things be? And Yeshua answered , You are a teacher in Israel, and do not understand these things? Truly, we speak that which we know, and bear witness to that which we have seen, and you do not receive our witness. If I tell you of earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you of heavenly things? No one ascends into heaven, unless they descended out of heaven, even the son or daughter of man which is in Heaven."
Once again we see the important concept that parallels the statement of the Book of the Revelation which reads:"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more" (Rev 3:12 NKJ). Thus, the words of the Church Father Origen where he stated that “The soul has neither beginning nor end… Every soul… comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis). In the many End Times narratives we are presented with the statement that those on the left hand are not worthy of entrance into the Kingdom, and they are bound to the fires of Hell. But these are the fires of purification, and the Gospel of the Nazirenes sheds great insight into this process of purification when it is said to those on the left hand: "Then shall he say also to them on his left hand, 'Depart from me you evil souls into the eternal fires which you have prepared for yourselves, till you are purified seven times and cleansed from your sins." Thus, the word translated “destruction”, as in Matthew 7:14 where it is written that those who walk the broad-way that leads to destruction, the footnote on this word in the Schofield Reference Bible reads: “There is no thought in these various words of annihilation but of something that is ruined and thus unsuitable or unable to fulfill its original purpose”. And what is being stated is that the life that the soul lived, had become lost in the thinking and ways of this world, and could not longer fulfill the purpose of bringing about soul-birth and entering the Inner Kingdom.
Christian Blindness To The Scriptures
The Parable Of The Talents And The Three Servants
What causes us to be different? Because Christians fail to understand the biblical doctrines of preordination and predestination, they totally lack an answer to this question. Because they lack an answer to this crucial question, they are unable to evolve their understanding beyond a very superficial and elementary perception of both the scriptures, and life itself. We are different, because in the words of the Church Father Origen: “Every soul... comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis). We are each different because: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal 6:7 NKJ). We are different because of the past life achievements of our soul -- as it states in the Gospel of the Nazirenes: ."As Yeshua sat by the west of the temple with his disciples, behold there passed some carrying one that was dead, to burial, and a certain one said to Him, "Master, if a man die, shall he live again? He answered and said, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the good, the beautiful, the true; if a man believe in me he shall not die, but live eternally. As in Adam all are bound to cycles of rebirth, so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. Blessed are the dead who die in me, and are made perfect in my image and likeness, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them. They have overcome evil, and are made pillars in the temple of my God, and they go out no more, for they rest in the eternal. For them that persist in evil there is no rest, but they go out and in, and suffer correction for ages, till they are made perfect. But for them that have done good and attained to perfection, there is endless rest and they go into life everlasting. They rest in the eternal. Over them the repeated death and birth have no power, for them the wheel of the eternal revolves no more, for they have attained to the center, where is eternal rest, and the center of all things is God." But with the removal of these important teachings from the Gospels, Christians can no longer discern why not only each of us is different, but why more is expected of some.
In the parable of the master who entrusted his servants with his money (talents) before going away, you have one of the most profound statements of reincarnation that few people recognize in the words: "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey" (Matt 25:15 NKJ). The key concept here is that each person was not only entrusted with a different amount, but that each person was entrusted with an amount "...each according to his own ability." So a Christian, who is capable of thinking out of the doctrinal box, should ask: How is each persons ability determined? This is as hard a concept for a Christian to embrace, as it is for the semi-enlightened people of the New Age to understand why, while differing results were acceptable, the servant who was the richest received even greater reward than the one who was successful, but had not initially received as much because "..to each according to his own ability." From their politically correct mindset, the servant who had received two should have received the same reward as the one who had received five -- especially since the one who had received one talent and made no gains because he buried it in the earth, had his talent taken from him and that talent was given to the one who had initially received the most. In this parable it would appear that Yeshua favors the rich.
Not only is each one of us given our lot in life in accordance with this predetermined criteria of what we accomplished in the past, but what Jesus taught was that what the spiritually poor people possessed, would even be taken away and be given to those who had an abundance: “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matt 25:28-29 NKJ). Thus, on the surface, Jesus appears to be a Robin Hood in reverse -- take from the poor, and give to the rich.
One of the many paradoxes that confront the believer is explored in these biblical verses by the Wycliffe Commentary which writes: “Herein is the crux of the interpretation. If this reckoning is the judgment of the believer's works, then we apparently have a true believer suffering the loss of his soul because of the barrenness of his works. But that interpretation would contradict John 5:24. Or, if the unprofitable servant represents a mere professing Christian, whose real nature is thus unmasked, then it appears that the judgment of believers' works and the damnation of sinners occur together, although Revelation 20 separates these judgments by 1,000 years”.
What does John 5:24 say? “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV). What we must recognize is the fact that there is only a contradiction with respect to our interpretation of the word belief. The Bible is very clear that those people who claim an allegiance to the Lord, and yet continue to live in the manner of unbelievers, are themselves self-condemned; as seen in the words: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21 NIV). Thus, only those who actually live in accordance with the Royal Law of God, and do the Will of the Father, are those of whom John 5:24 states will be saved.
The problem is that these verses, as in the twentieth chapter of the Revelation and many other places in the Bible, appear to declare two conflicting doctrines -- i.e., some state that believers get into heaven on the basis of their profession of faith, while other biblical passages clearly state that the believer will be held accountable for their deeds. With regard to the requirement of works, in the parable of the sower and the seed Jesus clearly warned believers that they are required to increase what has been given to them: “…multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times” what was initially received (Mark 4:8 NIV). Yet, as the Wycliffe Commentary points out, John 5:24 is one of those seemingly all-inclusive verses which appear to generally state that all believers will be saved -- but who is a believer? And from a spiritual perspective, who is able to hear the word -- i.e., "...whoever hears my word"-- and do we understand the words from a spiritual perspective: "...he has crossed over from death to life”???
What Christians fail to realize is that the Gospel of John is imbued with a Gnosticism that is far beyond their carnal comprehension -- and seemingly common terms that Christians interpret in the physical, does not mean what they suppose it does. In the words of A. Powell Davies: “Biblical scholars”, he writes, ”were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been” (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). And in the words of Prof. John Allegro in is book, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of Christianity, he writes: “It is a fact that the Qumran Library has profoundly affected the study of the Johannine writings and many longheld conceptions have had to be radically revised. No longer can John be regarded as the most Hellenistic of the Evangelists; his gnosticism, and the whole framework of his thought is seen now to spring directly from a Jewish sectarianism rooted in palestinian soil, and his material recognized as founded in the earliest layers of Gospel traditions.”
What is the meaning of the word mysticism? Briefly, mysticism is descriptive of the ability of man to look beyond the limitations of the five senses in order to gain a better understanding of life, God and Creation. The word Gnostic, as used by Prof. Allegro, is the Greek word used to describe the acquisition of knowledge gained through the mystical process of man's inner and direct connection with God. While Christians today embrace the doctrine of faith that was defined by the Apostle Paul, the flaw in their many perceptions is seen in their inability to understand that Paul’s doctrine of faith was based upon the foundation of mysticism that was laid by the Apostle when he wrote: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 NKJ). And thus, that the natural mind of man is incapable of perceiving beyond the limitations of the carnal, is the reason why the Word of God can only be presented to him in enigma and allegory (see Why Does God Speak In Allegory And Enigma?).
What is the meaning of the above phrase “…spiritually discerned”? There are different types of knowledge -- i.e., knowledge gained through formal instruction, and knowledge gained through personal experience. The Greek word for knowledge which is gained through the receiving of direct impressions from the “Spirit of God”, is called Gnosis -- which is the meaning of Gnosticism -- meaning a knowledge received through man’s spiritual nature. It is this type of knowledge that the Apostle Paul is making reference to in the above quotation. When the Quaker speaks of being taught by the inner Light, he is speaking of a Gnostic type of Knowledge. When the Pentecostal speaks of opening their minds to the indwelling Holy Spirit, he is making reference to a Gnostic type of Knowledge. The problem is that the degree of Knowledge that can be imparted is directly related to one’s willingness to open the mind to the revelation of the Spirit.
In understanding our plight today, we must recognize that men such as Martin Luther and the reformers of the Middle-ages were priests of the Roman Church, and they had no idea how the Disciples of Christ thought and looked at life. The reformers of the Middle-ages who laid the foundations of modern Christian doctrine -- though well meaning -- had no way of knowing that they had been imbued with a mindset that was totally opposite to the thinking of the men and women who Jesus taught directly. When they opened the pages of the New Testament, the letters of Paul made perfect sense to their manner of thinking. Yet, the great factor they totally failed to realize was that Paul wrote to entry level Gentile converts -- elementary level instruction that was made presentable for the instruction of a spiritually sick people who were of a heathen mindset -- and because of this severe limitation, Paul was only able to hint at the Spiritual Gospel of Christ that the Apostle himself warned could not even be envisioned by the mind of carnal man -- a Spiritual Gospel that Paul often made reference to as the Mysteries of God.
Paul wrote to the entry-level Gentiles who were the people of the simple faith. They were being converted from a heathen mindset, and presented with elementary concepts that would begin the process of spiritual transformation -- a process that can not be achieved in one lifetime. The Ebionite/Nazirene Disciples of Yeshua had over the course of many lives lived Godly lives in search of the Inner Kingdom -- and they possess a depth of understanding that could never be embraced by the Gentiles. So we can say that these Ebionite/Nazirene Disciples were those who had received five (5) talents upon entering into life, because of their own past spiritual achievements. And we can say that many of the Gentiles who heard the Word, and began to leave their heathen ways behind them through the preaching of Paul, were those who had received two (2) talents. Not as much could be given to the Gentiles, because they had not accomplished as much in their past lives -- i.e., "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey" (Matt 25:15 NKJ). And Martin Luther, the framers of the Reformation, as well as modern Christians, all see the greater wisdom in the Epistles of Paul, because they have yet to undergo the process of spiritual transformation necessary to perceive the inner meaning of the Gospels that the believers of a natural mindset are blind to.
John 5:24: In returning to the questions raised by the Wycliffe Commentary which states of the parable of the servants and the distribution of the talents: “Herein is the crux of the interpretation. If this reckoning is the judgment of the believer's works, then we apparently have a true believer suffering the loss of his soul because of the barrenness of his works. But that interpretation would contradict John 5:24...”. But because Christians attempt to see John 5:24 through a carnal mindset, they never perceive the true meaning of what is being conveyed. John 5:24 states "...whoever hears my word" -- but each person hears in accord with the talents that they have received -- talents that are dependent upon their own past life achievements. And John 5:24 states with respect to those who hear the Word that "...he has crossed over from death to life” -- but these words must be understood from the Gnostic/Spiritual perspective from which they were written. The prodigal son was portrayed as being dead, and in returning to the Kingdom, and once again become alive. Those who failed to put on the required wedding garment in the parable of The Call to the Wedding, were portrayed as having been cast out into the "outer darkness". And when the disciple asked about burying his father, Yeshua stated: “Another disciple said to him, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. But Jesus told him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matt 8:21-22 NIV). From a spiritual perspective, only those few who could hear the fullness of the Word -- i.e., those who because of their past life achievements had received the five talents -- could receive the Living Word and cross over from the death of this outer darkness into the Life in harmony with the Kingdom within. From a spiritual perspective, it does not say that when you physically die you will cross over -- i.e., the people of this world are already dead as defined from a spiritual reality in the words: "...let the dead bury their own dead”. Such sects as the Jehovah's Witnesses have created an abundance of doctrines attempting to explain the Mysteries of God away, out of the statement: "...but the dead know nothing" (Eccl 9:5 NIV) -- and yet, in failing to apply the formula that is presented in the worlds of Jesus above, they fail to comprehend that the scriptures speak of the dead of this world who are the multitude of people who populate the earth. And it is of the multitude who Jesus could only speak in parables -- the people of the flesh and natural organic mindset who, because they have achieved very little in their past, could only receive what is portrayed as one talent, were unable to hear the Living Word, and what they received they continued to bury in the earth. The Gentiles who heard what Paul called the Testimony of Christ, were those who in their past lives had begun to leave the ways of this world behind them and seek the inner Kingdom, and they were able to receive the two talents. But it was the Ebionite/Nazirene disciples of TheWay who had over the course of many lifetimes ardently sought the inner Kingdom, and having accomplished much in their past, they were the ones who were able to hear the Living Word, and because they were faithful disciples of TheWay, they were able to "...cross over from death to life”
The servant who had received one talent could be compared to those who could not hear the words of Jesus then, and continue not to be able to hear his words now -- even though they call upon his name as their savior -- because from life to life they place their talents in the earth, instead of expanding and evolving what has been bestowed upon them. They proclaim that they are saved regardless of how they live -- the mindset they embrace -- what they accomplish in life. And as noted in the Wycliffe Commentary: “Herein is the crux of the interpretation. If this reckoning is the judgment of the believer's works, then we apparently have a true believer suffering the loss of his soul because of the barrenness of his works." And once again Christians are in denial, because this fact is confirmed in the warning: “Herein is the crux of the interpretation. If this reckoning is the judgment of the believer's works, then we apparently have a true believer suffering the loss of his soul because of the barrenness of his works." And even more revealing is the warning: “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries” (Heb 10:26-27 NAS). Contrary to the beliefs of many Christians today, Jesus did not ordain a religion of perpetual redemption -- he did not say that it is acceptable for his followers to continue to embrace a life of sin and cultural excess -- his message to his followers was to sin no more! Because all the infirmities of life -- as well as man's blindness to the Inner Kingdom and the inability to hear the Living Word -- is all brought about by our own past actions -- i.e., "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14 KJV). Quite contrary to modern Christian doctrine where all believers are saved, it is very clearly demonstrated in the scriptures that believers who do not live in accordance with the Commandments of the Lord will be punished more severely than the non-believer. This truth is demonstrated in the words: “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:47-48 NIV). What Jesus is stating to us is that believer’s who do not fulfill the Commandments, will be punished more than those who do not know the will of God.
John 5:24 has no reference to a condition after the physical death of the body-vessel -- but very much in the present as the disciple of TheWay follows in the footsteps of Yeshua and enters into Life and gains access through the inner "narrow gate" and into the Inner Kingdom (see Gate of Eden). But because modern Christians have embraced the doctrines of a circus prostitute who married a Roman Emperor, they totally lack the ability to understand the paradoxical or the spiritual meaning of the scriptures. Thus, when the question is asked: Which of these very conflicting requirements that Jesus set forth are necessary for believers? We are presented with one of an uncountable number of scriptural paradoxes -- i.e., both opposing positions are each true -- and the answer lies in a higher third reality that merges the two into one. But Christians can't deal with paradoxes. The problem is that because the modern Church has embraced an opposite mindset from the original followers of Christ, we are unable to understand how both these teachings can be true. In our inability to comprehend the means by which both can be simultaneously correct -- even though each on the surface appears to oppose each other -- to our own spiritual demise we choose the one teaching over the other -- thereby negating a great number of biblical warnings that our perception of the Word is defective.
The result is that we fail to perceive the impact of the pre-existent criteria that is essential to a proper understanding of both the scriptures, as well as what is expected of each individual. We therefore do not comprehend why very little is required of some people who, in their past, have never been given the opportunity to spiritually develop, while much is required of others -- as seen in the words: “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:47-48 NIV).
Christians fail to understand the reason why some people are given much, while others are given very little. The problem is that without this essential understanding, we have anchored ourselves to a great obstacle that inhibits our perception of the full revelation of the Word of God. Until we are able to comprehend the reason why everything in life proclaims to us that we are not playing on a level field, we can never begin to use the opportunity of life to assist us in our walk in TheWay. One only has to open their eyes to see that some people are born geniuses, great musicians, superior physical attributes, beauty or skills. Some are born with good health, others with insurmountable medical problems. Some are born handicapped, retarded, or even born to die. Some are born in the ghetto, while others live a lavish life in a mansion. Contrary to our limited understanding today, these infinite and innumerable conditions of life are not an accident of birth -- but rather, are the result of predetermined conditions.
From a spiritual perspective: Many souls enter into life entrusted with a greater understanding of the Secrets of the Kingdom -- and much will be expected of these souls. Other souls are not as spiritually developed -- they therefore do not respond to the Gospel message with the same depth and hunger -- and they do not innately possess the knowledge of the Kingdom. In this regard, what Jesus taught is that even though these less developed souls often do greater evil, they will not be held to the same standards of accountability as those souls who more was expected of. And why was more given? Because these souls had achieved more in their previous lives. Thus, only when we begin to comprehend the differences in the spiritual maturity of people, as well as the reasons why certain people are born with the potential for a greater understanding of the Word, while others can make little sense of either the scriptures or the spiritual side of life, can we begin to embrace a higher understanding of life and what is called the Mysteries of God.
There are verses pertaining to the servants that still exist in the Gospel of the Nazirenes, which explain the inconsistencies that abound in Christian doctrine and understanding of why each of us enters this life at greatly differing levels of spiritual awareness. Thus, we again see the words: "And that servant which knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself, nor followed his will, will be beaten with many stripes. But he that did not know, and did commit things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. For to whomsoever much is given, of him will they much require, and to whom they commit little, of him they will require the less. For they who know the Godhead, and have found the way of life, the mysteries of light, and then have fallen into sin, shall be punished with greater chastisement than they who have not known the way of life. Such shall return when their cycle is completed, and to them will be given space to consider, and amend their lives, and learning the mysteries , enter into the kingdom of light."
The Prison: The references to chastisement, the far country of the parable of the prodigal son, and the outer darkness of the call to the Wedding Feast, all portray a condition of being cast back into the world in accord with our lack of accomplishments in our previous lives. And contrary to modern Christian doctrine, this condition of only being able to receive one talent can be portrayed as being imprisoned -- i.e., “Thou shalt by no means come out from there, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing” (Mat 5:26). This of course is contrary to what most modern Christians believe, in that it not only speaks of a type of imprisonment in this world -- but it also speaks of a time when those condemned to prison will come out. How different modern Christians perceive what the scriptures convey to us today is easily demonstrated by using our very own Bibles. When Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders that the “…tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matt 21:31 RSV), such a statement simply has no place within the present day understanding of Christian doctrine. Because we are without a means to explain Jesus' words, most Bible commentaries simply ignore the implications of this passage of scripture. One widely used commentary attempts to correct the text by changing the words to “instead of” -- which would then make the meaning doctrinally correct and read: “The tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God instead of you”. In this verse of scripture we are presented with one of the core reasons why the original followers of Jesus believed differently than most Christians today. The question that must be posed is: When will the chief priests and elders enter into the kingdom? Modern Christian doctrine states that because of their disbelief and rejection of Christ, they will be cut off from the face of God, and condemned to eternal judgment. And yet we cannot deny the fact that Jesus' own words convey the message that there will come a time when the chief priests and elders will also enter the Kingdom of God -- and it will be at a time after the tax collectors and harlots who believed, repented, and followed the Christ. As students of the scriptures, we should ask ourselves why modern Bible commentaries are silent about the implications of these words that Jesus spoke? If it is our desire to know and embrace the truth that Jesus taught, then we would want to expand our knowledge and understanding in order to better comprehend the Word. Why, then, do our commentaries generally ignore the implications of these words that Jesus taught? The answer is simple: There are three possible resolutions to the problem, and each of the resolutions is not in harmony with modern Christian doctrine: (1) The chief priests and elders will be permitted into the Kingdom even though they did not believe, and did not accept Christ in their lifetime; (2) They will be given the opportunity to work off their sins in some after-life state of existence; (3) Or, the unthinkable is true, and the beliefs of the direct followers of Jesus and the earliest of Christians are correct, and those souls who were the chief priests and elders will be reincarnated, and continue to live lives in this realm, until which time they have paid back the last debt, accept Christ, and mature to the level of spiritual perfection that is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. Our commentaries fail to explore the possibilities, because to go beyond our limitations of thinking, we begin to navigate unchartered territory -- and this creates turmoil in our religious life. Moreover, any commentary that strays too far from accepted religious opinion would be immediately condemned as heresy. Because we cling to the milk, and are afraid to eat the more solid food of the Spiritual Gospel, we simply fail to contemplate and investigate along unfamiliar lines of thinking. The result is that we do violence to ourselves by extending our servitude to the prison of this world by obstructing the very path that leads us to the threshold of The Way. With respect to the above statement of Jesus: Such a concept of religion is so adverse and antagonistic to modern doctrine, and the ramifications so frightening to the flock of faith-based believers, that this -- and many other such passages of scripture -- are simply ignored by Christians today. Yet, the direct followers of Jesus, as well as the first Gentile (Gnostic) Christians, understood such statements in the Bible as being part of the process that brings about the requirement that Jesus set forth for those who would be truly saved: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48 RSV). Where we lack a means to understand these biblical concepts, the early Christians recognized these teachings to be part of the process whereby each of us will continue to live out lives in this realm until we become very serious in our walk with Christ, and put on the necessary cloak of perfection as required in order to enter the Kingdom of God. If what Jesus said is true, and the chief priests and elders will eventually be given the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God -- and if Jesus truly meant what he said when he stated that mankind must indeed become perfect, as our heavenly Father, then where does that leave the modern believer today? Thus, we see in this single concept an example of one of the many points where the modern Christian's approach to the Bible is founded upon a different premise -- a totally opposite mindset and understanding, and from a totally different perspective than those who sat at the Masters feet and learned directly from him. The Apostle Paul writes much the same thing to the believers at Corinth: “his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor 3:13-15 NIV). In evaluating this, let us be ever mindful of the fact that Paul was writing to believers who were yet too carnal to receive and comprehend the Mysteries of God. This same concept where every debt must be repaid is reinforced throughout many other teachings of the scriptures: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same” (Job 4:8 KJV) -- “For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way” (Job 34:11 NAS) -- “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (Prov 1:31 KJV) -- “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isa 3:10-11 KJV) -- “But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it” (Jer 21:14 KJV) -- “And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth” (Ezek 7:9 KJV) -- “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:10 KJV). What is truly important is for us to understand that the above verses are one side of the coin -- all those many biblical verses that speak about predestination are merely revealing to us that whatever shape our life takes from birth to death, is the direct result of our own past actions; i.e., “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom 2:6 KJV) -- “You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men” (Hosea 10:13 NKJ) -- “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray” (Prov 5:22-23 NAS).
The recently discovered Gospel of Thomas opens with these important words: "These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. And he said, Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death." With regard to this declaration in The Gospel of Thomas, at first glance it would seem to be anti-Christian for someone to be saved merely because they find the explanation of certain words. By their way of thinking, it would be correct for the modern Christian to ask where faith and belief in Christ enters into such a pattern of religious thought? Yet, the modern believer comes to this false assumption, because they fail to recognize the true foundation of the Spiritual Living Gospel that Jesus taught. In a Living Gospel, there is only one way to find the explanation of the words in Thomas's Gospel, and that is to hear them at the feet of the Master. And since the Kingdom is within us (Luke 17:20-21), then it is within our ability to walk in TheWay, and learn from the One Teacher. Yet, to those people who have only received one talent and are burying it in the earth, and are thus, sense bound, they have no perception of the Spiritual Kingdom, and such a concept of religious thought appears to them as impossible. And thus, it is these people who Paul portrays as being of a Natural mind, that Jesus said was the dead who know nothing.What is written in the opening of the Gospel of Thomas is no different than the words of the early Church Father Clement of Alexandria when he warns the believer that “Secret things are entrusted to speech, not to writing… and if one says that it is written”, then the true spiritual message is concealed from the eyes of the reader. Why? Because, as Paul warns, “they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 NIV). When we begin to understand that it is the multitudes who are dead, and only those who bring about the next stage of second soul-birth are alive, then we can begin to understand how the above words parallel the equally perplexing statement: "But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:27 NKJ). Why? Because the Kingdom of God is within us (see Gate Of Eden).
believe today is the entry-level teachings designed for those who Paul portrays
as "babes in Christ". What is
written literally in the scriptures is elementary -- i.e., the entry-level
instruction designed for those who have received only one talent because they
have never evolved beyond the exoteric doctrines for people who Paul describes
as being of a Natural Mind (see Why
God Speaks To Man In Allegory And Enigma). And when Jesus spoke
to the multitude in parables, they asked of him why he taught in this manner:
"The disciples came to him and asked, Why do you speak
to the people in parables? He replied, The knowledge of the secrets of the
kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will
be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what
he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never
understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's
heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have
closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their
ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' But blessed
are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I
tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see
but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it"
(Matt 13:10-17 NIV).
The essence of why the multitudes were too carnal to comprehend the Mysteries of the Kingdom, is seen in the fact that they are building upon a counterfeit doctrinal foundation -- and lack a knowledge of self and their relationship to God. A most important reality that is portrayed in the Gospel of Thomas is in the words that "Whoever finds himself is superior to the world" -- and perhaps even more profound is the reality portrayed in the third saying of the Gospel of Thomas in the words: "When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty." What is the meaning of the words: "...then you will become known"??? And it is this shocker that all the religions of the world are simply not prepared to understand. And you will find this phrase in many other scriptures and writings -- i.e., it is beyond the understanding of the religions of man to comprehend what is being stated in the words: "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?" (Gal 4:9 NKJ). HOW CAN WE NOT BE KNOWN BY GOD??? The answer is because we exist within the mind of our soul/higher self -- and it is our soul/higher self that exists within the Mind of God and is the creation of God. In the beginning God Created all the souls which are His Offspring -- and the process of soul-evolution and growing to maturity, is brought about by the experiences of learning that are necessary to move from the Alpha of UnKnowing, to the Omega of Knowing.
This higher soul-reality is among the many things that Jesus could not speak of to the multitudes who he portrayed as having received one talent which they failed to grow because they placed what was received in the earth. These people of a natural mind who Paul stated would look upon the Mysteries of God as foolishness -- i.e., “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 NKJ) (see Why God Speaks To Man In Allegory And Enigma). Paul then goes on and warns these believers of a natural mind who were baptized and dedicated to Christ: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ” (1 Cor 3:1 NAS). Thus, these believers could only be taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2), because they were not yet spiritual men -- but rather, they were men of flesh and still very much “babes in Christ”. Paul then explains that: “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able” (1 Cor 3:2 NAS). To the degree that Paul warned that it was unlawful to reveal the Mysteries of the Kingdom to those who were yet carnal, and of a natural organic mind -- i.e., and revealed the the Mysteries that could only be taught to the disciples who had undergone the process of alchemical spiritual transformation, would witness “…things so astounding that they are beyond a man's power to describe or put in words…” -- and after they gaze upon these mysteries, what they have witnessed will be of such a profound nature that they will “…not [be] allowed to tell them to others” (2 Cor 12:4 TLB). Why? Why will the mature disciples of Messiah/Christ not be able to convey to the believers of the simple faith in the Church what they have seen? Because in not having evolved through the process of spiritual transformation, they are still of a carnal mind -- a mindset that Paul warns: The... “carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God... For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:7-8;13 NKJ).
When Paul warned that he could only speak to the believers at Corinth as "...men of flesh, as to babes in Christ” (1 Cor 3:1 NAS), what he was warning was that “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb 5:13-14 NIV). And because they are yet carnal -- not having undergone the alchemical process of spiritual transformation -- Paul warned that “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Cor 8:2 NKJ). For if man could simply open the scriptures and be able to discern the Truth, Jesus would not have said of his disciples: “For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Matt 13:17 NIV). But because the vast majority of people who enter this world can only receive one talent, which they perpetually hide in the earth and things of this world, they simply are incapable of comprehending the Mysteries that could only be revealed to the mature mind of the disciple who has himself picked up his own cross and walked in TheWay. And thus, the first century elder Ignatius warns the believers of the simple faith who could only comprehend the entry-level doctrines of the Gospel: “Might I not write to you things more full of mystery? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are babes. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled by them”
The Reality Of The Soul: Modern Christians are unable to fulfill the words of John 5:24, and receive the Living Words that permit the disciple to"...cross over from death to life”, because they remain totally ignorant with respect to the cosmology of their own mind and being -- and therefore, they dwell in the poverty of their carnal mindset and manmade doctrines which inhibit their ability to Know Thyself. In not understanding that the teachings of TheWay is a path that leads to Ultimate Enlightenment and Oneness with God -- a path that enables the fulfillment of the words: "It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me" (John 6:45 NIV) -- where all things are known and seen for what they truly are. Thus, the Gospel of Thomas warns that "Jesus said... But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty... Whoever finds himself is superior to the world". Why? As it states in the Zohar, which is the basis of Jewish Mysticism that has always been the foundation of the Old Testament: "...According to these teachings, all human souls have a common origin in the spiritual unity of the primordial man, sparks of which form the individual souls... The sin of Adam brought higher and lower souls into confusion; as a result, every soul has to pass through a series of incarnations... The soul itself has no sex, which is determined by the body and may vary from incarnation to incarnation”. If it is true, that our soul has no sex -- and our gender varies from life to life in accord with the body-vessel we are inhabiting in any given life -- then the question must be posed: What are we? Certainly not the physical reflection that we see in the mirror. And when Paul warned the Christians that he had himself taught, that in their spiritually untransformed organic condition that they were too carnal to even begin to comprehend the higher reality of the soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom (see Mystery Of The Gospel) -- one of the primary realities that could not be revealed to the people of a natural organic mindset, was the reality that their true self is a Being of Light that is pure energy and intellect -- and this Being of Light is our soul-self that was created in the beginning -- our soul-self is the Offspring of God -- and is that part of ourselves that is eternal.
Our soul/higher self is the Being of Light that many people encounter in the published accounts of what is known as the Near Death Experience (NDE) -- see Being Of Light). Our true self which is a Being of Light, does not incarnate into this world -- it is not confined within the body-vessel in which we dwell -- it is eternal, and has existed from the beginning of Creation. While people have encountered the Being of Light in an NDE, you need not physically die, in order to come into the presence of the Being of Light within you -- i.e., your true soul-self. But herein lies the problem: Men and Women look at their reflected image in a mirror, and they think they are seeing the true being that they are. And thus, because of man's own ignorance of his true self and form, this higher reality could not be revealed to men of a carnal mindset. Yet, if each person is to overcome the ignorance of this world, then it is important to begin to recognize the reality of self that is being portrayed in the Gospel of Thomas saying 84, and is conveyed in the words: (84) Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die nor become manifest, how much you will have to bear!" In examination of these words, it is important to note that it states YOUR LIKENESS, and YOUR IMAGES. It does not say: When you see God -- and this is because you dwell within the reality of your own higher soul-self -- and it is your soul-self that is in the above portrayed as "your likeness" that dwells within God. In truth, we only dwell within God by proxy. And this is why Paul states to the Corinthians: "But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him" (NKJ). The wise person would ask: Why does Paul use the term indicating that some people are "known by God" -- which would indicate that others have not achieved this status? And in like manner, to the Galatians Paul writes: "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?" (Gal 4:9 NKJ) -- few comprehend the reality of the words "...or rather are known by God".
Again, in the Gospel of Thomas, the reality of these verses that are not understood today is confirmed in the words: "When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty." What is the meaning of the words: "...then you will become known"??? In further confirmation of this higher reality that is not at all understood today, those who have not themselves yet uncovered their true spiritual nature as the Sons and Daughters of God, perceive sacred truths in forms, types, and allegories -- because they, being carnal, “cannot comprehend” the mysteries of God that awaits them. When God, in the words of St. Nazianzen, no longer is an “object of wonder”, but rather an “object of desire” -- and we, desiring to be purified from the defilements of this world, make ourselves fit vessels for the Lord to indwell, the Spirit, according to St. Nazianzen, reveals to us our true nature, and the revelation of this manifest Sacred Knowledge makes “us like God; so that when we have thus become like Himself, God may, to use a bold expression, hold converse with us as Gods, being united to us, and that perhaps to the same extent as He already knows those who are known to Him”. And in confirmation of what Paul warns with respect to the inability of man in his organic condition to understand the higher reality of the soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom, St. Nazianzen then writes that “the Divine Nature then is boundless and hard to understand” by those who are yet carnal and think as natural beings of this world.
In the parable of the talents (see Above), the number of talents that each was given was in accord with their own ability -- i.e., "...each according to his own ability." And while this reality that each of us reap what we have previously sown, the Church Father Origen portrayed this reality in the words that “Every soul... comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis). What does Paul warn? “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV). That one servant had received five talents, another two talents, and still another only one talent, was because "...each [receives] according to his own ability." those who can only receive the one talent, cannot hear the Living Words spoken of at John 5:24 that permits them to "...cross over from death to life” -- because they are the walking dead that Jesus spoke of who cannot hear or see beyond the physical -- because they don't Know Themselves, and they dwell in the poverty of darkness, is expressed by the early Church writer Ephraim, who is called the "great light of the Syrian Church of the fourth century", when he warned believers: "Thou canst not hear His words, while thou dost not know thyself". And with respect to our inner soul-self, this great truth is again sounded by Melito who explained: "Wherefore I counsel thee to know thyself, and to know God. For understand how that there is within thee that which is called the soul — by it the eye seeth, by it the ear heareth... But why this world was made, and why it passes away, and why the body exists, and why it falls to decay, and why it continues, thou canst not know until thou hast raised thy head from this sleep in which thou art sunk..." (Melito, Bishop of Sardis, and Bishop of Ittica [AD 160-177]).
Who are we? What are we? Until you can first answer these questions, you will remain totally ignorant of both God and your own higher reality. We cannot even be known by God, so long as we remain a divided expression of our higher soul-self. Only, when we overcome our divided natures, and bring about the next stage of birth where we manifest our soul-self in the body, can we even begin to Know God, and be Known by God. The Gospel of Thomas states: "Jesus said, When you see your likeness, you rejoice" -- and it is this likeness that is our own source of Being -- our soul-self, who is the Being of Light in the Near Death Experience. And the Gospel of Thomas asks the question: . "But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die nor become manifest, how much you will have to bear!" These images which came into being before you, are the past lives that your soul-self has previously lived, that have all failed to bring about the next stage of soul-birth that Yeshua taught was necessary to enter the Kingdom -- and thus, these past life images remain only as the experiences of failed lives that never became manifest. The reality of man’s plight in this world is that he is an embryonic image of his pre-existent soul that has entered into this realm in order to perfect those laws and elements that he must overcome. In the same way that a fetus is an embryonic copy of its parents, our mind is an embryonic image of our soul. In the same way a fetus must grow and mature in accordance with the pattern of its parents, our mind must grow and mature in the pattern of our soul. When our mind grows in the culture of this world, and becomes alienated from our soul, then our life becomes synonymous with the miscarriage of a fetus whose defect fails to develop it in accordance with its physical genetic pattern.
That different men and women each possess a vast amount of greatly differing and sometimes unique abilities, is due to the past accomplishments of their pre-extent soul. Because each man/woman is an embryonic image, a number of really important paradoxes are invoked in their life -- i.e., in one sense, that unique man/woman has never lived prior to that life, and because he-she is an image of his-her soul-spiritual natures, he-she can only become real if he/she is able to develop through the next stage of soul-birth. In this respect, because we cling to an anti-biblical quasi-Darwinist philosophy, there are whole dimensions of New Covenant theology that are no longer understood in our modern day with respect to the absolute need for each of us to be born again.
Symbol And Form: Everything in this world is a symbol and form of higher reality. An important reality is portrayed by the early Church Father Origen writes: “It is sufficient however, to represent in the style of a historic narrative what is intended to convey a secret meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject.” Why are the scriptures composed in the allegory and form that convey to those with eyes to see a concealed meaning? Because all of life is a symbol and form of higher reality that carnal men are blind to. And with regard to what would otherwise be historical symbols and events that would appear to us as the knowledge of superficial episodes of the past, Origen writes: “I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen - Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142).
What that means is that if we study and investigate the organic patterns that are present in our lives, we can begin to discern higher truth because we are literally immersed in the Divine Pattern of Creation. In the same way that a woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have -- and only those eggs which become fertilized and are born into this life will ever become an actual person, we exist in a similar fashion on the Divine scheme of reality. We have the potential to become spiritually fertilized and be born into the Life that Jesus declared was the promise of the New Covenant -- but unless we are ready to mature and leave the womb of the mindset of Mother Earth, and be born again in the reality of our soul and spiritual natures, we cannot then emerge into the True Life in the Kingdom after our time in this realm has expired. So what is our fate? We become an image of our soul-self that has failed to become manifest. And contrary to modern Christian doctrine, will not go to Glory -- neither will we be with the Lord -- and this miscarriage of life from a soul and spiritual perspective has the capacity to embrace all of the after death realities that man has envisioned -- i.e., some have called the absence of reality, hell.
As spiritual beings, we dwell in these bodily vessels of flesh for a reason and purpose -- and if we fail to take advantage of the opportunity of the life we are presently living -- and bury the talent we received in the earth -- from the perspective of our soul-self who is the Being of Light, it will be an opportunity that has been squandered and lost. Not to recognize this great truth is to diminish the very purpose and design of life itself.
In this respect the Rev. Spurgeon is again correct when he states that there are two lines of truth, and because the majority of mankind -- the people the Apostle Paul refers to as “natural” (1 Cor 1,2,3) -- do not possess a genuine spiritual essence that is manifest in their life, it is the application of the one line of truth contained in the scriptures where the Lord taught that they will be forever cut off (Matt 25:46) which will come to pass, and it is this line that becomes the only reality that can be applied to them. When Jesus said of the masses of people: “let the dead bury their dead” (Matt 8:22 KJV) -- those who he spoke of as dead, inherit the fate of this one line of truth, and not the other.
The problem is that carnal man has altered the gospel message in order to make it acceptable to his manner of thinking (see Bible Corruption). Those who Jesus called dead, have found fault with the words of Jesus, and demanded that he change the rules in accordance with their very carnal perception of life and Creation. The dead (Christians) have replied to Jesus: We demand that God repent, and embrace an all-inclusive perception of the Word. We want to live and enjoy the things of this world, and still be saved and go to heaven when we die! Yet, what they fail to realize is that in the manner of an egg that has never been fertilized, from the perspective of the soul’s reality these images are very much already dead. Why? In their manner of thinking and lifestyle, they have already locked themselves out of the Kingdom. The result is that their physical death is just the final step which has been brought about when they failed to embrace the opportunity of Life that God has bestowed upon all men.
The Plight Of The UnFertilized Egg: From the modern Christian perspective we can reason that it would be cruel if all those possibilities of life that exist in the form of an egg in the ovaries of a woman are never given the opportunity of life? Isn’t this the exact teaching of the modern Roman Catholic Church that bans birth control, and even male masturbation, because these acts constitute the denial of life? Wouldn’t a truly compassionate God desire every potential person to be born, live their lives, and eventually take their place in the Kingdom? In the same way that a woman has tens of thousands of eggs that possess the potential to be born as a person, and yet the opportunity of physical life is only given to the very few, the same is true with respect to man’s birth into the Kingdom. If anyone is cruel, it is the pseudo-priests and the philosophers of this world whose false doctrines and teachings rob the person of the life of its soul. Thus the words of Jesus: “Yes, woe upon you hypocrites. For you go to all lengths to make one convert, and then turn him into twice the son of hell you are yourselves” (Matt 23:15 TLB).
Contrary to modern liberal all-inclusive Christian doctrine, those who Jesus said are dead cannot be brought to life merely because the inevitable happens and they physically die. And while many New Age psychics and mediums can track the plight of those who die and pass over, they are just as delusional to think that the biblical warnings are in error. But what is the fate of those who fail to bring about the next stage of soul-birth that Yeshua said was absolutely necessary to enter into Life? Again, it is impossible for us to comprehend this greater reality until we begin to understand ourselves as an embryonic image of our pre-existent soul. In the same way that each egg that is released into a woman’s womb is equally living -- equally possess the potential for life -- it is only those eggs that are fertilized, and grow to maturity, that enter into this life as we know it. In the manner of an egg with respect to the next stage of birth, even though these people walk among us, the Bible, which is written from a soul-spiritual perspective, correctly views these people as being dead -- and in the manner of the unfertilized egg that is eventually expelled from the woman’s womb, those who are dead because they were never fertilized, and never evolved through the process of soul and spiritual development, cannot be born outside of the womb of this world, and neither can they be given the opportunity to again enter into this life (reincarnate) in the manner envisioned by those who believe in the doctrine of reincarnation.
What this means is that both the traditional Christian belief that they will go to Glory without having fulfilled the spiritual requirements as set forth in the Bible, as well as those who believe in the doctrine of reincarnation, are equally wrong -- though there are varying degrees of truth to each of their beliefs when properly understood from a higher perspective.
If natural man could envision the Mysteries of God which the Apostle states is beyond carnal man's comprehension and ability to perceive in his natural state of being -- i.e., the revelation of the mysteries that are veiled by the seals which the Prophet Isaiah declared was beyond the vision of the people -- what natural man would learn is this great profound truth that is totally in conflict with our modern-day quasi-Darwinist mindset: Only those people who are themselves in harmony with their pre-existent soul -- Disciples of the Light that are of a true spiritual essence -- inherit the other line of truth, and are given the opportunity to reincarnate in the endeavor to serve and grow in the Grace of the Gospel. The majority of people do not go to Glory in the Kingdom, and neither do they reincarnate in accordance with the common understanding of the term, because in the manner of an unfertilized egg, they being incomplete, there is no life in them that is of a genuine essence, and they are therefore said to be dead from a scriptural and spiritual perspective. With respect to this next stage of birth Jesus said: “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt 19:17 NKJ). It is not that God judges man with respect to his ability to live in accordance with a set of laws and rules -- but rather, it is in the living and keeping of the commandments that brings about the necessary growth with respect to the next stage of birth. The problem is very simple: Those who keep the commandments become fertilized with the essence of their spiritual nature -- those who live in accordance with this world make themselves temporal, and deprive themselves of Life.
We can perhaps only begin to envision the reality of our plight in this world if we take a moment to shift our perception of what we see. If our soul existed prior to our birth in this present life, then the being we truly are can only be found in the essence of our inner-self, and not what our culture has molded us into. The more we embrace the culture and mindset of this world, and permit ourselves to become alienated from our indwelling pre-extent soul and spirit, the more counterfeit we become. To what degree, then, we are alive from a spiritual perspective, is directly related to what degree we reflect our soul -- i.e., the being that we truly are before entering into this present life.
What the modern Christian must begin to understand is that it is not that their doctrines of faith is necessarily wrong -- but rather, incomplete -- and it is for this reason why Paul calls the testimony of Christ the “milk”. In order to develop into a state of spiritual maturity we must recognize that great wisdom of the Apostle Paul when he wrote throughout his Epistles that it is impossible for the carnal mind of man to comprehend the Mysteries of God -- and that man must himself become spiritual, in order to receive the Spiritual Gospel of Christ. What he is proclaiming to us is the absolute need for us to be born into the next stage of (soul/spirit) development. Thus, we must become nourished by the milk of the simple faith as we mature enough to receive the solid meat of the Mysteries of God that can only be received via man’s spiritual nature.
In the same way that a fully developed man or woman is not born after the egg is fertilized in their mother’s womb, neither is a person born spiritually by virtue of their philosophical association with a very carnal perception of the Gospel message. In the same way that a physical man or woman had to evolve through every stage of development from a fertilized embryo -- fetus -- newborn -- infant -- toddler -- child -- adolescent -- young adult -- in order to take their place as a mature man or woman, the soul who is able to stand in the presence of God as a mature and fully formed spiritual being has evolved through every level of spiritual development. That we today#xfilesdo not understand the process with regard to what is required to bring this condition of maturity and perfection about in our lives at present, is not the fault of God. It is well defined in the Bible, we just chose to ignore what is written -- which in part was brought about when the Roman Church threw away the Key of Knowledge, and killed the genuine congregation of the New Covenant (see The Death Of The Religion Of Jesus). Thus, mankind has brought this state of unknowing upon himself!
When our true soul-reality is understood, it can be stated that the person living in the body-vessel will not in any manner reincarnate. Yet, because we embrace the doctrines of Pagan Rome which is found upon a quasi-Darwinist vision of nature, we are unable to grasp the true New Covenant process of spiritual development because we fail to comprehend that our soul has existed since the very beginning of time. In not understanding our true spiritual nature, we fail to perceive that the measure of how real and genuine a person is, can only be envisioned in our relationship to our pre-existent soul -- i.e., whether it can be said of us that we are alive from a biblical/spiritual perspective.
In the case of the majority of the people who are driven by their carnal nature, the idea that is championed by modern New Age believers who falsely assert that they have reincarnated merely because they possess the spiritual genetics of their soul -- and have only the appearance of having lived before -- the popular teaching of reincarnation is a fundamentally flawed doctrine of belief. While it is true that many people have developed the ability through a number of different means to detect the lifetimes that their soul has previously lived, the primary reality is that they/you are not your soul. Each person begins their existence as an embryonic image of their higher soul-self that does not incarnate into the body-vessel (see Embryonic Soul-Image) -- and the manner in which we develop and mature, depends upon whether we are temporal in relation to our true self. If the person we have become at present is bound by the culture and thinking of this world, rather than a reflection of our soul that has existed since the very dawn of time itself, then there is nothing of any real substance that will survive death. In like manner, even though it appears that we survive death from the perspective of those who are revived after a Near Death Experience (NDE), this in like manner is only a partial truth (see The Spiritual Life). What should be truly troubling to the person of faith is the fact that from a soul perspective, neither is the Atheist totally wrong in his assertion that the people of this world do not survive death -- and this factual belief can also be found in the Bible.
With respect to the New Age believer who learns to use age-regression techniques to view what they call their past lives, this would be synonymous with our saying that we see our own selves in the lives of our physical brothers and sisters. While the offspring of the same parents share the same genetics as their siblings, it is true that each child is unique to it’s own self. Therefore, what the New Age adherent sees when he learns to view what he believes to be his past lives, is in fact other images of his pre-existent soul that came into being in the manner of his physical brothers and sisters. Again in order to even begin to understand the essence of life, we must learn to embrace the paradoxical nature of Creation. While it is true that we came into being at conception, it is also true that the very essence of our being -- i.e., our soul -- has lived before in what appear to us as other lifetimes. The question with respect to have we lived before, or will we survive death, can only be understood from the perspective of to what degree we can manifest our soul, which is our true self.
Reality can perhaps best be envisioned by injecting a little science fiction into the equation. From an X-Files perspective, if we were born into this world as a reflection and image of our pre-existent soul, and an alien being in the manner of a body-snatcher took over our life -- displacing and suppressing the person we truly are with a foreign personality -- when the body dies, and the alien is released, how much of our life did we actually live during the time when our true nature was suppressed -- when we existed in a sort of coma -- and some other being used our body in our absence? The truth of the matter would be that we were robbed of our life because the genuine person we were was suppressed -- existing only in a state of suspended animation -- while an alien being walked in us -- talked in us -- and used our opportunity of life for their own purposes.
I understand that what is being portrayed in this analogy is not a pretty picture. The predicament is that our whole perception of life is flawed because it is based upon a quasi-Darwinist vision of creation. The problem that confronts each of us is seen in the fact that, because we have begun our understanding of life on the wrong philosophical foundation, everything we build upon our philosophy is equally defective and flawed. We therefore reject the words of Jesus, and think of ourselves as being alive, rather than dead. It is difficult for us to embrace the reality that the person we have come to be is not genuine -- that in becoming part of our culture, we have in fact made ourselves an alien to our very own souls -- and since we exist as little more than a shadow of our real selves -- a phantom-being who exists as part of the present cultural landscape with only a hint of the being we truly are by virtue of the tinting of the personality that we have come to be -- the emerging self-portrait is not the image of ourselves that we wish to view.
We say that God loves us, so we will be saved. Yet, many mothers rejoice when they conceive -- they love the child that they feel growing in their womb -- and yet are unable to change the course of events when their fetus fails to properly develop and is spontaneously aborted. In the same way, if you say you love the Lord and you desire to enter into Life, then the evidence of your love is not in accordance with what you say -- but rather, your willingness to live and develop your life in accordance with the Word in order that you might be born into the next world.
Only when we begin to envision the existence of our pre-existent soul and spiritual nature, are we able to embrace the words of Jesus when he commanded that we must be in the world and not of it. Only when we comprehend that our physical body is a vessel that manifests the presence of our soul and spirit in this world, can we even begin to fulfill the Gospel message in our lives. Only when we begin to grasp the fact that when we permit ourselves to become a part of the temporal culture of this world -- a person born in the very limited consciousness of the timeframe in which we are presently living -- a being who has been led into the very pit of what is spurious through our adoption and adherence to a political philosophy that has no place in the true reality of Creation -- are we able to embrace what is genuine and real. From a biblical perspective, the result of embracing the philosophy of this world is an acknowledgment of the fact that we have permitted ourselves to become a mortal creature who has been so immersed in the mindset and false thinking of the timeframe in which we presently live, that we have been molded and reformed into an alien in relation to who we truly are at the essence of our being. Listen to the true prophets of this world -- i.e., the Atheists -- and know that if you have any part of their philosophy or lifestyle, then you will cease to exist when your opportunity in this life has come to an end.
We can see the great flaw of the doctrines of the Atheist-prophets imbued in our present-day cultural thinking -- i.e., their philosophy is founded upon the premise that we came into existence at birth, that we are nothing more than what we perceive with our physical eyes and senses, and we are a physical being who originated in this world. The Apostle warns us that they are blind to man’s higher reality, and their wisdom is foolishness! Moreover, their very limited wisdom was foolishness in the day of the Apostle, and remains foolishness to this very day. It is not that the philosopher’s of this world became more wise -- but rather, that Christians have permitted themselves to become totally alienated from the spiritual wisdom of the scriptures.
It is not until we begin to perceive ourselves as spiritual beings who are projected into this realm as an image of our pre-existent soul, that we can begin to understand both the core teachings of The Way that Jesus taught, and the obstacles in life that we must overcome. What we must come to realize is the fact that we cannot alter the original foundational concepts of the New Covenant in order to make these spiritual truths conform to a quasi-Darwinist mindset, and still be called the people of The Way. It does not work! There is only One Way -- and that is The Way which was Ordained by the Lord!
Christians Follow The Dictates
Of A Circus Prostitute And Roman Emperor
The fact that there exists a great void in the our perception and understand among Christians today with respect to of the spiritual essence of the Gospel message, can be attributed to another very important historical element that is missing from the understanding of the modern believer -- which element is the knowledge of the events that transpired in the year 553 A.D. when the Emperor Justinian condemned the Church Father Origen -- a man who lived in the second to third century, and was truly a saint and enlightened soul.
Justinian’s wife, Theodora, who was a Monophysite -- or one who does not believe that Jesus possessed a human nature -- viewed the teaching of the church that man has a pre-existent soul as heresy. Fundamentally she opposed the doctrines of the original Messianic followers of Jesus who claimed that he was a man who had evolved to a state of perfection, and thus became the Son of God by virtue of his Holiness. Theodora rejected the Gentile Christians belief that Jesus was the pre-existent Son of God who was born into a human body to redeem the sins of mankind. As a Monophysite, Theodora believed that Jesus was God, and he never possessed a human form or nature whatsoever.
Justinian and Theodora were said to be the first co-rulers of the empire. Some were of the opinion that Theodora, the ex-circus performer and prostitute, possessed even greater political power than her husband Justinian. To theologically oppose her, meant death! The result was that Origen, as well as all those in the church who supported the belief in the pre-existence of the soul, were officially anathematized by the emperor. Because the far-reaching impact of this (secular/political) condemnation of the man who has been called the greatest of all the Christian theologians in the history of the church is basically unknown to the believer today -- and few church authorities even want to discuss it’s implications on modern-day Christian dogma and doctrine -- a great obstacle has been placed in the path of the believer that severely inhibits their ability to comprehend the full essence of the Gospel teachings in their present-day lives. In fact, until this obstacle is removed, the believers of the common faith will never be able to perceive the Mysteries of God that they earnestly pray to be revealed to them.
The question is profound: Is man a new creation at conception? Or is he an image of his pre-existent soul that is projected into this realm in order to continue his journey on the road to spiritual perfection? What we fail to recognize today is the fact that these two fundamental beliefs about the nature of the soul act as the very source that require us to embrace a whole host of other downstream beliefs pertaining to every faucet of life. The differences are so profound, that if we cling to the wrong core belief, every other belief that we hold will remain incomplete!
In our analysis as disciples in search of the truth, we must pose the question: Who understood the essence of the Gospel message -- i.e., Justinian and Theodora; or Origen and the Ebionite/Nazirene disciples of Yeshua? What the modern Christian fails to comprehend is that this foundational perception of the true nature of man is so crucial to a proper understanding of the Bible, that it can be said today that it is impossible to get a proper sense of the Gospel message, until the error of Justinian is reversed. Further, all the doctrinal conflicts that divide the Christian Church today into an uncountable number of sects and opposing opinions, is the direct result of the believers acceptance of the Justinian/Theodora vision of man, Yeshua, and Creation. The problem is that we can never truly come to Messiah/Christ, and we can never perceive the Mysteries of God, so long as we anchor ourselves to this world by our allegiance to the political decrees of Justinian and the doctrines of men.
The most sure profession of what we actually believe is not seen in what we say, but more appropriately the manner in which we live our daily lives. From a biblical perspective, the majority of people believe and live in the manner that they presently do, because they lack spiritual guidance, and are ill informed as to the genuine facts. They trust their clergy, their religious authorities, their teachers, and their leaders to convey to them what is important. The majority of people have never taken the time to actually investigate what they believe -- few people understand the true source of their beliefs -- and even fewer are able to perceive their beliefs apart from the parochial viewpoint with which these beliefs were taught to them.
In the case of Christians, they have faith in what they have been taught. If they are practicing Christians, they believe in the doctrines of their church. But what they fail to realize is the existence of an all-pervading important spiritual element to their beliefs which the great majority of modern Christians are totally unaware of. The problem is that this very important void in their understanding can only be revealed to them by someone who actually lived at the time of Yeshua -- not because Yeshua intended it to be this way -- but because the fourth-century Church which the Roman Emperor Constantine created used every means at its control to silence all opposition to the religion of the Emperor.
It is not that a great many of the modern believers aren’t a truly faithful people -- quite the opposite is true, and a great number of the flock desire to embrace the Word of God. Yet, the ever-looming reality they fail to realize is that in not being truly informed with respect to the actual source of what they believe, the result is that the modern believer actually clings to the religious doctrines of Constantine, Justinian, and the Church of the Roman Empire. Regardless of the fact that they falsely believe they have rid their religious beliefs of fourth-century Paganism at the time of the Reformation -- in this they are wrong, because in possessing only a very partial understanding of the full spectrum of the Original Teachings of The Way, they were only able to re-establish what the Apostle Paul called the “milk” of the Gospel (1 Cor 5:2), with the “solid meat” of the Spiritual Gospel of Christ remaining beyond their reach and perception (see Why God Speaks To Man In Allegory And Enigma).
Even when we acknowledge that what modern Christian’s believe today is very different than what those who Yeshua personally taught, herein lies the problem: Because both our culture and modern church doctrine is founded upon not only the wrong premises of when life begins, but also our true nature and form, it is impossible for us to even begin to embrace the very essence of New Covenant thought that has the Spiritual Power to bring about true transformation. We therefore do not understand why the original followers of Yeshua believed very differently than we do today. We do not understand why the Christian world is divided into an uncountable number of opposing sects and opinions. We do not understand why our schools are failing -- why our children do not learn -- why the moral core of our society has degenerated. We fail to perceive that because we look at life through the vision of Constantine, Justinian, Theodora, Darwin, Marx, and a whole host of other cultural and worldly philosophers, that our walk with the Lord remains incomplete.
How do we see ourselves? Because we perceive ourselves in a quasi-Darwinist vision, we fail to recognize that the teachings of TheWay are not a philosophical system of belief -- but rather, a means to transform our physical, carnal, very natural and limited self, into a spiritual being that is able to transcend all realms of Creation -- and stand before our Creator God in the fullness of His Offspring. Just as important is the fact that the modern concept of religion where it is preached that when you die you will know the truth, or go to Glory, is in like-manner, founded on the error of the Pagan doctrinal thinking that was adopted by the Church of the Roman Empire -- i.e., we fail to see that this world is the realm of changes -- the world where all things must be brought together and manifest -- and if you are going to go to Glory, and find the Truth of Life, then you must accomplish this while you are physically alive in this life. The reality of the plight of the modern Christian is perhaps best summed up in the warning in the recently discovered Gospel of Philip where it states: "Those who say that first they shall die and then they shall arise are confused. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, they will not receive anything when they die" (see The Gospel Of Philip).
One of the obstacles that inhibited the believers both at the time of the Reformation, as well as presently from embracing the fullness of the Word in the totality of it’s all-encompassing Spiritual Revelation, is found in the fact that in the void of their manmade doctrines of belief, Christian’s naturally embrace a Darwinist vision of man, rather than a biblical perception. In this respect, Darwin did not proclaim any new doctrine that was previously absent from the ideas of man -- what he did was formalize a mindset that had always been in existence and widely accepted among a large number of philosophers throughout all time. Regardless of the fact that a great number of Christians oppose Darwinism and the theory of evolution that has developed as a foundation to our thinking today, the flaw in modern-day Church doctrine is seen in the fact that Christians unknowingly share a number of important core beliefs in common with Darwin -- and it is these foundational beliefs that not only inhibit their ability to know all Truths and Mysteries of both the Gospel and Creation, but continues to rob them of their destiny and birthright.
Because the very foundation of the modern Christian’s system of beliefs very much embrace a quasi-Darwinist model of life, all of our seemingly common-sense explanations of the Mysteries of the Gospel are in error, and continually lead us in the wrong direction. The great flaw that we fail to recognize is that the very factor that alienates us from the “solid meat” of the Gospel, and ultimately separates us from the Eternal God, is that we continually limit ourselves in our spiritual quest because we cling to the doctrines of men. While we claim to believe in the Bible, because our perception of life is begun on the wrong philosophical premises, we place an obstacle between ourselves and the true depth of the New Covenant religious experience. The result is that this great void in our thinking creates a great ocean of darkness between us and the Kingdom that Jesus declared we must re-enter.
If we claim to believe in the revelation of the Bible, then we must come to terms with the biblical statement which proclaims that we are in fact the very “offspring of God” (Acts 17:28-29). Where we attempt to dogmatize these many biblical statements by saying that our connection and linage is through Adam and Eve who were the direct creations of God, this erroneous vision of life is the result of the fact that we have adopted a quasi-Darwinist perception of life itself. The great truth that we fail to perceive is that our indwelling spiritual nature is of the absolute genetic substance and DNA of our Heavenly Father, and our soul is the essence of mind that has emerged from that spiritual nature, and has existed since the very dawn of time as we understand it. While it is true that our bodily form is drawn from the elements of the earth, we are the spiritual being who uses this body as a vessel in order to manifest ourselves physically in this world, and thereby merge together the powers of heaven and earth in our endeavor to grow to perfection, and become full-grown with respect to our Divine Potential which was demonstrated in the life of Jesus, our elder brother.
In the same way that in the development of a child there will come a time when he looks out at the world with the same maturity as his parent, and see the world with a similar wisdom and perception, there will come a time when we look out at Creation, and see and understand life with the same vision as our Heavenly Father. All of life tells us that the offspring of any species will one day become as their parents. The fact that we fail to understand this great truth with respect to ourselves and our relationship to our Heavenly Father, is because we embrace a quasi-Darwinist perception of life, and we erroneously believe we are of this world. Do we truly believe the Bible? Because we adopt and rely upon the very limited doctrines of men in an attempt to understand the meaning of the scriptures, we fail to see that we are the prodigal sons who at one time lived with our Father in the Kingdom before entering into this world -- i.e., the far country (Luke 15:13). Does these doctrinal differences matter? The problem is that until we resolve this fatal flaw in our thinking, we cannot become the “good ground” (Mark 4:20) within which the Word must be planted in order to bear the twelve fruits of the Tree of Life (Rev 22:2) -- which fruits is the Spiritual Knowledge that enables us to re-enter the Paradise of God (Gen 3:22).
Because we unknowingly cling to the doctrines of men, the believer has created a great ocean of darkness that exists between them and the Inner Kingdom that we must access through what Yeshua portrayed as the "narrow gate" (see http://GateOfEden.com). Where we see and understand very little, God sees and understands every aspect of every event that transpires in this and all other worlds. Where we perceive the world through the filter of our own unconfirmed beliefs, doctrines and traditions -- the Eternal God sees things without the color of opinion, and as it truly is. Unlike the quasi-religious, secular, and cultural leaders we look to for guidance, the Eternal God is not politically correct. He dwells in a realm of Ultimate Truth -- and it is for this reason that we find the journey difficult when we attempt to enter within the inner holy of holies and stand before His Presence.
Without reservation the Bible makes this profound promise to the genuine believer: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt 5:8 NIV). This promise is not made lightly -- i.e., when the prodigal son is still on the road in his return to the Kingdom, the Father comes to him (Luke 15:20). What is important is for the believer to recognize that so long as the prodigal son engaged in dialogue with those of the far-country, and remained under the control of the citizen of that realm, he existed in a state of need and famine. In this respect, the only genuine knowledge that can be conveyed to you from a genuine minister of the Lord, is what you must do in your life in order to walk in The Way, and thereby come into the direct presence of our Eternal Father. If the Bible is correct in its teaching that we are the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father, then we need not be taught about God -- but rather, how to return to the Heavenly Father that we dwelled with prior to entering into this, the far-country. From a religious/doctrinal perspective, the differences are profound -- and are in fact the major factor in why we believe differently that the original first-century followers of Jesus.
Once this essential teaching of the Gospel is realized, then we must recognize that the only reason we cannot see God, is because we are not prepared to see God. Why? Because we have been diverted off TheWay that leads us along the inner “narrow path” (Matt 7:14) to the Kingdom within that Yeshua said would never come upon the earth in the manner that carnal Jews and Christians predict (Luke 17:20-21), by the doctrines of men -- and it is these manmade doctrines that we erroneously believe to be the original gospel message.
In order to find and behold the Truth, we must seek and become the very essence of Truth itself. When God looks out into Creation, He sees things as they truly are. He knows the purpose of Creation from beginning to end -- and everything He sees is in accordance with this Knowledge. From a doctrinal perspective, we claim that man is separate from God, and is incapable of looking out at life through the same vision as does God. We therefore conclude that man is not capable of possessing an ultimate perception of reality. We reason that man is finite, and limited in his understanding. But what if this claim is untrue? What if the Bible is correct in its assertion that because we were created in the image of God, that we are ultimately capable of looking out at the world and seeing the same vision that God sees? Further, what if in the manner of a child, every man possesses the potential to learn directly from their Heavenly Father, and know all things -- but we continually limit ourselves when we cling to the doctrines of other men? What if it is not only within our ability to know the Truth, but the acquisition of Truth is the very purpose of life itself?
With respect to these many questions, let us pose one more: What if there truly is a higher reason for life than what our secular based society envisions, and the majority of people who do not posses a genuine perception of Creation, ultimately die without ever having begun to fulfill the purpose of life with respect to the acquisition of Truth? To rephrase this question: If the purpose of life is the acquisition of Truth, then it can also be said that if we fail to acquire this Truth, and squander our opportunity of life, then we would be forced to conclude that we will have failed in the very objective of life itself. What this would mean is that both our quasi-religious doctrines and secular based philosophies must be viewed as a detriment to every person living today!
This article is written from the perspective that the creation doctrine published by Constantine, Justinian, Darwin, and the people who teach our children the philosophy of life today, are in grave error because of their very limited vision of reality -- and the vision of the Bible is correct in its assertion that we were not only created in the image of God, but that we are in fact the offspring of our Heavenly Father. That we fail to perceive this great Truth, and continue to dwell in the darkness of this world, is because there is a great flaw in our thinking that is the result of our allegiance to the doctrines of men -- i.e., doctrines that we erroneously believe are part of the original gospel message. In view of this fact, it will then be the main focus of this book to enable you, the reader, to redirect your thoughts along the original pattern of New Covenant teachings, and once again possess the same Divine Vision of Creation as does the Eternal God, our Heavenly Father and Source of Being.
As we enter the third millennium, all but a very few men and women who call themselves Christian have dwelt in the darkness of speculation and belief for almost two thousand years. They abide in darkness because they are led by men who possess no first-hand knowledge of the symbols and events they believe and put their faith in. What we often fail to realize is the faith we profess in God, is more appropriately a faith that the doctrines of our church are the truth. Are they? Our clergy puts faith in the belief that if we were wrong, then God would tell us. Yet, we ignore the fact that sincere Bible-reading Christians put their faith in an uncountable number of conflicting doctrines, and each believes they know the truth. In recognition of this fact, we fail to acknowledge that either God is not communicating with His flock of believers, or the biblical warning is correct in its assertion that we have closed our ears to His voice, and we are not listening to what He is saying to us!
Because the modern Christian is unable to make rational sense of why God would even permit these many conflicting doctrines and state of confusion to exist, he has no other choice than to become very liberal in his beliefs. He has no other recourse than to accept the idea that it doesn’t really matter what one believes, so long as they profess faith in Jesus. The result is that people proclaim with their lips their allegiance to Jesus, and actually believe whatever is culturally and politically correct. Thus, their thinking has been molded by Marx and the socialist agenda of our system of public education, the media, the television, rock and movie stars, Hollywood and Madison Avenue. In recognition of this fact, the first step in possessing a pure heart, and being able to truly begin to see God, is to question the validity of all manmade opinions and traditionally accepted doctrines of belief. To even begin to claim that we believe the Bible, means that we must recognize the Biblical teaching that we cannot serve two masters, and we must be in the world and not of it. The Disciple of the Light is not the one who believes -- but rather, the one who surrenders the totality of his being to the Light, and permits his mind to be both cleansed of all worldly defilements, and enlightened into the Ultimate Truths of Creation.
It has long been observed by astute historians that whatever a society or culture cannot assimilate, it destroys. When the Lord and Master walked the earth, he conveyed a spiritual essence to his disciples that dispelled the darkness of this world, and enlightened their minds to the Ultimate Truths of Creation. Because the Gentile converts were only able to receive this spiritual essence in part, and it could not be assimilated at all by the later Church of the Roman Empire, the very spiritual essence of what Jesus conveyed was rejected and destroyed. Our failure to perceive reality from the vision of God is seen when we attempt to view this historical fact from the perception of right and wrong. In order to comprehend why God would permit the church to become defiled by heathen and Pagan religious doctrines, we must perceive the historical events over the course of time -- i.e., we must understand the agenda of God in a hundred, a thousand, or even thousands of years. The great truth that we must understand with respect to the corruption of the church, is that if the spiritual essence was not rejected and destroyed, it never would have been adopted even in part by Pagan Rome, and the great influence the Bible has had on the minds of men could never have been brought about. Ultimately, without the initial corruption of both the essence of New Covenant thought, and the written word of the scriptures, the United States would not exist today, and neither would the environment of freedom that is absolutely necessary for the Word to grow and become a paramount force in the life of mankind. Thus, for man’s own good, the survival and inspiration of the Word of God among carnal man was much more important than it’s transmission in a pure state.
This tradeoff has created a problem: What was acceptable in the development of man in the past, is no longer acceptable in our present day. Thus, the time has come for the fullness of the Word to be reborn in the hearts of mankind, but this reality is hindered because our religious legacy of the past continues to haunt us at present. Because the modern believer has received both the scriptures, as well as many of their doctrines of belief from the Church of the Roman Empire, our present-day religious leaders have been severely misled on many important points that are crucial to a more complete perception of the original Gospel message. It is not that our present-day clergy is intentionally trying to deceive or mislead their followers -- but rather, there are a number of really important elements to the original teachings of the Gospel of Christ that are no longer comprehended today. Why? Because these important elements had to be sacrificed in order to begin the process of converting the heathens of the past into a faithful body of spiritual believers.
Men such as Constantine and his Pagan body of priests could never have embraced the original New Covenant teachings because they were of a carnal mind -- and in the very words of the Apostle: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 NKJ). Why do we continue to reject the wisdom of the Apostle today? One of the primary elements is seen in the fact that, in not understanding the True Spiritual depth of the Word, they are unaware that each and every individual person possesses a direct line of communication to the Lord Himself -- and the faithful disciple need not be taught by other men.
In the approximate year of 178 of our Common Era, Celsus, the Epicurean Philosopher and opponent of Christianity, published a rather embarrassing work in opposition to Christianity known as The True Word or Discourse. It is said that this work was widely published and used by the Pagan world as an attack on the Church. Seventy years after its publication The True Word was still so widely circulated, that the Church Father Origen was commissioned by St. Ambrosius to refute this attack by Celsus.
In our modern day it can be said that this reply by the Church Father Origen is even more important than when it was written. Why? Because the majority of Christians today have been so disenfranchised from the essence of the teachings of The Way that Jesus taught, that it is as if they are practicing a different religion. Because they view life from a quasi-Darwinist perception -- and their minds have been trained by the secular philosophers of our day to limit their thinking to a counterfeit three-dimensional perception of Creation -- they remain helplessly lost, repeating scriptural verses that has little meaning to their present secularized state of mind.
In our endeavor to enlighten ourselves with regard to a much clearer picture of the original Gospel message as it was envisioned by the early Gentile church at that time prior to its Paganization under the government of Rome -- and in our effort to begin the process of comprehending our present day theological limitations which was a result of the Reformation -- it would be very helpful for us to begin by examining the church prior to the time when its doctrine came under the direct control of a series of Roman Emperors in the fourth century. From this perspective, what we have in both The True Word, and the official reply of the church in the form of Origen's work known as Origen Contra Celsum, or, Origen Against Celsus, is a rather unique glimpse into the beliefs and doctrines of the first and second century Gentile Christian Church. Unique, in that the text not only contains the allegations of the second century Pagan world against the Church, but also the official reply of the Church to these allegations. The document known as The True Word no longer exists, but its text is largely preserved in the eight (8) books that Origen wrote in the endeavor to refute the charges against the Church by the Pagan Philosopher Celsus.
In examination of this document, the modern Christian must initially ask: Who today would accuse the Christian Church of being a “secret system”? No one -- because the Church today has lost its spiritual essence -- and is a mere shadow of its former self over the first three centuries of its existence. Therefore, it is important for us to recognize that such an allegation would be unheard of in our present time.
The modern Church views its mission as a sort of religious outreach to save sinners -- and yet, quite contrary to the modern agenda, Celsus viewed sinners as being detrimental to a religion such as Christianity. In fact, he questioned why they were even tolerated. Before we inquire how such a statement could even be made, let us remember that the Apostle Paul said the exact same thing when he wrote: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14 NIV).
This view -- in and of itself -- is crucial to both demonstrate and understand the major fundamental differences between a secular institutionalized church -- which was born during the Nicene (Nicene Council in the year 325) and post Nicene period (after the year 325) -- and the anti or pre-Nicene Church (prior to the year 325 AD), during the first three centuries of our Common Era.
If we are to begin the process of the spiritual restoration of the essence of the teachings of The Way, it is important for us to understand that the doctrine of the Nicene and post-Nicene Church was largely under the control of the Emperors and the Roman Government. This meant that Christianity had become the religion of the masses -- masses of what -- masses of Pagan and heathen converts from every quarter of the Roman Empire. This also meant that freedom to believe in accordance with either ones conscience, or even ones spiritual knowledge, was terminated once the church was brought under government control. In fact, it could be stated that freedom of belief no longer existed once the church became institutionalized. The church -- which had become secular in nature -- formulated official dogma, and like any other government edict or law, everyone was required to adhere to this doctrine. Anyone who disagreed with the official position of the Church was either banished from the empire, or put to death. At the direction of the Emperor Constantine, the Council of Nice declared Jesus to be God, and affirmed what is today known as the doctrine of the Trinity -- which basically states that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, are all one and the same being. And what should disturb Christians greatly, is the fact that it is easily proven that the Bible was corrupted in order to support the doctrine of the Trinity (see The Ten Words).
What is important to understand is that prior to the Council of Nice there existed a whole host of differing and often conflicting opinions with regard to the nature of Jesus. Was Jesus God? Was Jesus a man who matured to his true potential as the Offspring of God, and in essence took his place next to God his Father? What we fail to realize today is the fact that, in a religion with a true spiritual foundation, these differences of opinion -- opinions that are not permitted under government rule -- are an absolutely necessary condition for the establishment of a healthy Church, and the flexibility in doctrine are the very structural fabric that is vital to support the proper functioning and framework of an enlightened Church. In contradistinction, such flexibility in doctrine is absolutely detrimental to a secular institutionalized church -- where the hierarchy of priests must be maintained as the source and authority of church teachings and doctrine.
We can observe this same problem at work today in Communist China. There is only one church -- which is the government ordained church. Doctrine is controlled -- religious thought and expression is controlled -- the clergy being ordained to their position by the state, is tightly controlled -- by virtue of these controls, the church is never at odds with the government -- and the very manner in which the people worship is also controlled. Genuine, spiritual religion, is suppressed, and anyone who deviates from the prescribed doctrine of the government-church is immediately dealt with -- severely.
In a Spiritual Church such as that which Jesus ordained, the focus is not on the believer holding the proper set of beliefs, or a hierarchy of priests -- because the source and authority is spiritual, and remains above and beyond the physical world. The beliefs of each person are therefore seen as a product of the people's stage of spiritual development, and are in accordance with the individual person's condition in relation to man's spiritual reality. Because each person is at a different level of spiritual awareness, fixed creeds and dogma are a detriment to a truly spiritual religion.
When Celsus questioned why sinners were tolerated in the Anti-Nicene Church, he was merely affirming the Apostle Paul's warning when he commanded: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers?” (2 Cor 6:14 NKJ). Unbelievers are those who could only receive one talent which they express in the physical -- and because of their carnal thinking and lifestyle, are spiritually undeveloped, and do not have a solid spiritual connection with their inner soul-self and God. They may profess a belief in the Lord -- they may demonstrate the outward appearance of a religious person -- they may even be a priest or member of the clergy -- but because their heart and mind is focused on the things of this world, their condition is carnal, and they are said to be of the flesh rather than the spirit.
To a Spiritual Church, these unbelievers who put on the outward appearance of being a Christian, are in fact an anchor to the soul of the Church, and cause it to be grounded in the error and darkness of this world. Their condition is one of spiritual sickness -- they are incomplete and not whole, and unable to connect with God in the true spiritual sense. As both Celsus and the Apostle Paul warns, if they are in too great a number, they will bring about the death and demise of the church itself. In the end the warning of Celsus, which merely reflected that same warning in the Epistles of Paul, proved correct.
On the other hand, a secular institutionalized church not only welcomes sinners, but its strength and continued existence depends upon a large body of adherents that Celsus calls sinners, and what Paul refers to as unbelievers. Where a Spiritual, or Living Church must be accessed through man's inner soul and spiritual natures, the authority of an institutionalized church is very much of this world -- and it is necessary that its members remain at a level below, and in subjection to its body of priests. Genuine followers of the Christ would have nothing to do with the likes of Constantine, and neither would they enter into a covenant with the secular powers of this world.
It is important for us to recognize the fact that neither Celsus, Origen, the Apostle Paul, or the anti-Nicene Church could have been imbued with the thinking that too many sinners or unbelievers were detrimental to the religion, unless they possessed what we call a Gnostic mindset, and their church was built upon a spiritual framework. This fact is further explored in Origen's reply to the allegations of Celsus, and in his answer we can see revealed the true mission of the genuine Christian Church that was ordained by Jesus and his Apostles. Origen responded to the allegation of Celsus by explaining that: “For there are in the divinity of the Word some helps towards the cure of those who are sick”, meaning the sinners. Origen then clarifies his statement and writes that these sinners are by no means invited to “…participation in mysteries, then, and to fellowship in the wisdom hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world to the glory of His saints”.
To demonstrate the biblical foundation of this great truth in Origen's reply to Celsus, we can see the same exact message in the assertion of Paul that there were different doctrines -- i.e., the “milk” for the carnal believer -- the lesser mysteries for the seeker -- and the deeper things of the spirit for the genuine Christian -- of which Origen wrote: “Now, in answer to such statements, we say that it is not the same thing to invite those who are sick in soul to be cured, and those who are in health to the knowledge and study of divine things. We, however, keeping both these things in view, at first invite all men to be healed, and exhort those who are sinners to come to the consideration of the doctrines which teach men not to sin, and those who are devoid of understanding to those which beget wisdom, and those who are children to rise in their thoughts to manhood, and those who are simply unfortunate to good fortune, or -- which is the more appropriate term to use -- to blessedness. And when those who have been turned towards virtue have made progress, and have shown that they have been purified by the word, and have led as far as they can a better life, then and not before do we invite them to participation in our mysteries. ‘For we speak wisdom among them that are perfect’”.
What we have demonstrated in this reply to Celsus by Origen is the framework of a True Spiritual Church. Contrary to the structure of the modern church, the Word is presented at varying levels in accordance with the needs of the individual. The sinner is invited to partake of the healing of the Word -- and if they repent, and have a change in heart and mind, they will have prepared themselves to move onward. After purification from the transgressions and mindset of this world and servitude to man's carnal nature, the minor mysteries can be revealed to the disciple -- which minor mysteries will then enable the disciple to begin the process of gaining entrance to the spiritual kingdom within them. As the disciple gains spiritual strength and vitality, and develops his innate spiritual attributes -- attributes which lie dormant in the carnal believer -- the disciple is then able to take the hand of the Lord and walk in the footsteps of the Master.
This great spiritual truth is seen in the words of Origen when he writes regarding the mysteries of God: “…others again, which to the pure in soul and body exhibit the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept in secret since the world began, but now is made manifest by the scriptures of the prophets, and by the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Origen then goes on to explain that the Christ will appear to, and teach, everyone who will be His disciple and follow in His footsteps: “…which appearing is manifested to each one of those who are perfect, and which enlightens the reason in the true knowledge of things”. In these words Origen confirms the essence of Christian doctrine -- a spiritual doctrine -- that even today, the Christ is the One and Only Teacher for the genuine disciple of the Light.
These words of Origen are of the utmost importance to the modern Christian in search of the higher mysteries of the Gospel. What he is saying confirms the essence of New Covenant thought with respect to the existence of the One Teacher -- an Inner Teacher -- who will instruct the faithful flock when they have sufficiently purified themselves from the defilements of this world.
The modern Christian is greatly inhibited by the fact that the Roman Church of the fourth century threw away the keys to understanding the manner in which man grows and evolves to perfection. Instead, we cling to the words of the Apostle when he proclaimed: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 KJV). In perceiving only a very limited vision of man's reality, we erroneously conclude that man's natural state is sin, and he must be redeemed. Because the sixth century Emperor Justinian forced a quasi-Darwinist mindset upon the thinking of the church, we no longer understand that man's soul is ever residing with God -- and our spiritual nature is in fact depicted as the older son in the parable of the prodigal son. In the parable, the elder son who remains with the father is older, because he represents the spiritual essence or our pre-existent soul that has transcended all time as we understand it today.
What Origen and the first Christians were working to build was in fact the very essence and foundation of a Spiritual, or Mystical Church. Those believers who purify the body in which they dwell, and seek the teachings of the Spiritual Christ, rather than clinging to the “Milk” of the Gospel, are those who mature enough to receive the knowledge of the Kingdom. In understanding the differences between this pre-Nicean church, and what remains today, it is important to understand that the very word knowledge was of a multidimensional nature -- i.e., the word used to describe the knowledge gained as the vision of the disciple pierces beyond the great divide between this world and the Kingdom, in the Greek is called “gnosis” -- or Gnosticism. When the more spiritual disciples of the Apostle Paul said to the carnal Gentile converts, that man is saved through knowledge, they were speaking of the knowledge -- or gnosis -- that was given to them by the Anointing of the Spirit -- a knowledge that the carnal mind cannot receive, because spiritual truths and reality appear as “foolishness” to them. What they said was true because one cannot be Anointed without Knowing, and one cannot know without being Anointed. Thus, spiritual knowledge and the Anointing of the Light are synonymous!
Now the carnal believers who are unable to perceive the true vision of man's spiritual reality focused on Paul's doctrine of faith, without comprehending that the faith which Paul preached was not an end to itself -- but rather, a beginning of The Way. Because many carnal believers were being misled by the manner in which they understood what Paul wrote, James and other Hebrew Christians intervened, as seen in the words: “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? …Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, 'You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works’” (James 2:14-18 NAS).
The problem is explored in the words of the Barnes' Notes Commentary for James 2:26: "...all history has shown, the statements of Paul on the subject of justification are liable to great abuse. All the forms of Antinomianism have grown out of such abuse, and are only perverted statements of his doctrine. It has been said, that if Christ has freed us from the necessity of obeying the law in order to justification; if he has fulfilled it in our stead, and borne its penalty, then the law is no longer binding on those who are justified, and they are at liberty to live as they please. It has been further said, that if we are saved by faith alone, a man is safe the moment he believes, and good works are therefore not necessary. It is possible that such views as these began to prevail as early as the time of James, and, if so, it was proper that there should be an authoritative apostolic statement to correct them, and to check these growing abuses. If, therefore, James had, as it has been supposed he had, any reference to the sentiments of Paul, it was not to correct his sentiments, or to controvert them but it was to correct the abuses which began already to flow from his doctrines, and to show that the alleged inferences did not properly follow from the opinions which he held; or, in other words, to show that the Christian religion required men to lead holy lives, and that the faith by which it was acknowledged that the sinner must be justified, was a faith which was productive of good works."
In the teachings of the New Covenant, faith is the foundation -- and it is the works of the spirit that opens the (mystical) gate between this realm and the Kingdom that enlightens the mind of the disciple with the (gnosis) knowledge of the Light (see Gate Of Eden). In order to begin to get a right sense of the reality that is being conveyed in these terms, we must understand that in the same way that gnosis has nothing to do with doctrine and the concepts of carnal men, neither does the term works have anything to do with the rituals or religious observances which was practiced by the secular Jews and the later Roman Church.
The problem in the early church began to manifest when many of the Gentile converts attempted to reinterpret the teachings of TheWay as a means of justification and redemption from sin, whereby they could believe in Jesus and continue to live a carnal lifestyle. From a gospel perspective, what these carnal believers were doing was embracing one part of what Paul wrote, and ignoring the other parts. This is acknowledged by Barnes' Notes in the words: “All the forms of Antinomianism have grown out of such abuse, and are only perverted statements of his doctrine. It has been said, that if Christ has freed us from the necessity of obeying the law in order to justification; if he has fulfilled it in our stead, and borne its penalty, then the law is no longer binding on those who are justified, and they are at liberty to live as they please. It has been further said, that if we are saved by faith alone, a man is safe the moment he believes, and good works are therefore not necessary”.
Because their perception of the gospel was fragmentary and incomplete, they naturally ignored what they were unable to comprehend, and they were unable to perceive the reality of what Paul was attempting to covey where he wrote: “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:13-14 NAS). In the end perhaps the ultimate example of a spiritually illegitimate doctrine is seen to have emerged out of this carnal reinterpretation of the gospel message as it became embodied in the doctrine of Original Sin -- which doctrine was conceived by the Latin Church Father St. Augustine -- whereby all men were born in sin, and incapable of doing anything good.
Those believers -- both Jewish and Christian -- who understood the essence of what Jesus conveyed in the parable of the prodigal son -- that the soul pre-existed the body, and our indwelling spiritual nature which is the very source of our being, remains with the Father in the Kingdom -- were able to move their thinking beyond the carnal perception of the Word, pierce the great divide between this realm and the Kingdom, become enlightened by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and embrace the Truth and the Light. Those believers who clung to manmade carnal doctrines -- doctrines that envisioned man's reality from the perception of the body, and not the spirit -- caused the believers to fall into error.
Over the course of the first four centuries the conflict raged between the carnal Christians who called themselves Orthodox, and the spiritual Christians who were called Gnostic because they sought the knowledge of the Inner Kingdom, and at times the original Ebionite Nazirene Disciples who were often viewed as heretics by the majority of Gentile converts. The end of the conflict came when the carnal Christians entered into a covenant and alliance with the Roman Emperor Constantine, who then annihilated both the spiritual Christians and the Ebionites -- thereby making the very carnal reinterpretation of the gospel message the winner of the controversy.
The problem was that the carnal Christians were incapable of understanding the Apostles words when he wrote: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom 6:1-2 KJV). The ideas they developed that man was genetically incapable of not being a sinner, and that even after becoming a Christian continued to sin, negated the words of Paul when he wrote: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom 6:16 KJV). One of their paramount errors was their failure to perceive the words of Paul in their true spiritual sense -- i.e., when Paul spoke of death he was not indicating the death of the body, but more appropriately, the severing of the natural man from his spiritual nature. Thus, as sinners, and men of the flesh, the essence of New Covenant theology -- which was the spiritual perfection of the believer -- was simply beyond their comprehension.
The political leaders of the church -- men such as Augustine -- waged great battles with those of an opposing viewpoint such as Pelagius, who championed the cause that “Man is able, if he likes, to live without sin and keep the commandments of God, in as much as God gives him this ability”. Before we become offended by the early Christian idea that man can live a life free of sin, it is important for us to recognize in the words of Pelagius that he did not say that man has the power to live without sin -- but rather, “God gives him [man] this ability”. What believer today would disagree with this statement?
The political leaders of the church could not even begin to envision the secret to the controversy when Jesus said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls” (Luke 11:17 NKJ). It is not that physical, or natural man had to become perfect -- but rather, that man only had to break down the great wall of divide that separates his carnal self, from his inner soul-self and spiritual nature.
From the perspective of the Old Testament symbolism, the plight of carnal man is embodied in the reality of the unmarried and unfaithful woman. It is for this reason that James used the feminine gender when he wrote: “Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God. Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain? Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?” (James 4:4-5 ASV). It is for this same reason that the author of the Imitation of Christ used the feminine gender when he wrote: “I WILL hear what the Lord God will speak in me. Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her”. Throughout the New Testament the Lord is often called the Bridegroom. Why? In the symbolism of the scriptures male and female are viewed as opposite polarities -- sometimes within the same realm, other times the disciple is portrayed as female, while his soul or spiritual nature which resides in another realm is portrayed as male. Thus, it is for this reason that both the Old and New Covenant theology is often viewed as being obsessed with the absolute purity of the wife. Why? So she will be a fit vessel for the husband -- i.e., which husband could be either the soul or spiritual nature of the disciple -- and is even used to portray the relationship between the Son of God and the disciple.
It is impossible to understand either the inner meaning of the scriptures, the relationship between this physical world and the parallel spiritual realms, or any other aspect of life and Creation without comprehending the all pervading force of male and female energies that interact and bring all things into existence throughout all worlds and dimensions of Being. What few people are cognizant of is the fact that all the secrets of Creation can be understood as men and women seek out and explore the true depth of their own relationship one with another. In the same way that an unfaithful wife squanders away the vital Creative Force that is indigenous to the male or positive power of Creation, so too do we squander away the vital life-force that flows into us from our indwelling soul and spiritual natures when we permit ourselves to become entangled in the elemental things of this world. Because all that is manifest exists and has it’s being within the Two Great Powers of Creation -- and these Two Great Powers move out into Creation and remain present in every life-form that exists throughout every realm and dimension of Being, once the Divine Pattern is fully understood, this knowledge can then be used to unlock the Mysteries and Sacred Secrets of the Eternal-God.
What this ultimately means is that when our consciousness -- our vital energies -- and our focus in life is projected into this world, we are the adulteress and unfaithful wife who is the sinner and evil doer that must be redeemed. Our sin -- and for that matter, the very nature of sin from a biblical and spiritual perspective -- can only be truly understood when be begin to perceive the very incomplete nature of our physical being. When we are no longer the “house divided” that Jesus condemned as a fatal flaw, and we become married to our inner spiritual nature by the mystical refocusing of our consciousness and vital energies with the spouse of our soul, we take on the attributes which are portrayed in scripture as the virgin -- undefiled from the world -- who gives birth to the Child of the Light -- or the Son of God within us.
Because the political leaders of the church embraced the carnal reinterpretation and perception of the Word, the believers who adhered to the doctrines of the Church of the Roman Empire became helplessly lost in their quest to walk in The Way. The problem is that the Christian world continues to remain helplessly lost because they no longer possess the knowledge of the Divine Patters of Creation -- and neither do they understand the workings of the laws that control this realm -- the laws that control the interaction between man’s physical, soul and spiritual natures -- and especially the Royal Law that is spoken about in the Epistle of James.
The biblical concept that the flesh can do nothing good on its own, and is in need of redemption, is the scriptural manifestation of the “house divided”. What we must begin to realize is that from a biblical perception, spiritual sterility is a sin. In view of the fact that natural man is feminine in relation to his soul and spirit, the barren woman or the whore of this world is viewed as a sinful creature. In the same way that a woman cannot conceive and give birth to a child without her male counterpart, the idea of man's inherent sinful nature can only be comprehended when one perceives man as being in a state of incompletion.
When the disciple walks in The Way, this division is overcome -- and the feminine, carnal nature, becomes merged and married to its inner spiritual nature. It is for this reason the Bible teaches that the wife must be in total subjection to the husband -- or, in the mystical sense of the marriage, the flesh to the spirit.
The true dilemma of man's existence in this world was easier to comprehend when our culture was based upon these biblical and spiritual realities. Thus, the concept that woman was an integral part of the man is seen demonstrated in our laws that predated our so-called modern times. In Blackstone's Law Commentary, under the common law, Book II, Chapter XXIX, VI, marriage is described as the absolute merger of husband and wife into a single legal identity: “…By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law... The very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband, under whose wing, protection, and cover she performs everything; and is therefore called… a femme-covert; and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture”.
In Law, the concept of the unity of husband and wife as a single person was so complete, that a married woman was even absolved of full criminal responsibility for her own conduct: “…criminal acts committed by a woman in her husband's presence were assumed to be done under the husband's command, and he was therefore held responsible” (The Law of Domestic Relations by Homer Clark, St. Paul, Minn, West Publishing Co., 1968, p. 229). As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Black observed: “…this rule has worked out in reality to mean that though the husband and wife are one, the one is the husband” (Law, Society, and Industrial Justice by Philip Selznick, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969, p. 53).
Once properly understood, the Bible is neither sexist, nor is it anti-woman, as falsely envisioned by many people today. These polarities -- male and female -- are used in the manner as depicted in the scriptures, because we are actually living the polarities of Creation throughout every aspect of our daily lives. Moreover, this is not only the case in relation to men and women, but also our multi-dimensional nature -- which ultimately means that we are living out the very blue-print and Design of all of Creation. That we are a reflection of our pre-existent soul -- and that if we are to overcome this world we must be in total subjection to our soul -- is something that cannot be negated through all the political correctness that we can imagine and create. Why? Because the being we truly are can only be perceived and realized from the reality of our soul which not only has projected us into this world, but is the very immediate source of our being. That each level of being within us is a projected image of the level which precedes it -- i.e., God into our individual spiritual nature, spirit into soul, soul into physical -- means that our immediate obstacle is to overcome the wall of division that separates us from our pre-existent soul. Moreover, because the vital life-force upon which our personality and consciousness springs forth in its own unique individuality, originates with God and flows through our spiritual and soul natures prior to entering into us, our soul is male (positive polarity) in relation to us (reflected polarity). What this means is that when we attempt to ignore reality and cling to cultural philosophy and political correctness, we end up being unfaithful to our true self -- and ultimately, we make ourselves less by attempting to live in accordance with traditions, falsehoods, and counterfeit doctrines that we have ourselves manufactured.
People in search of Spiritual Truth endeavor to mold their lives in accordance with the Divine Pattern of Creation. Philosophy -- opinion -- manmade religious dogma -- political correctness -- gender re-engineering -- is all meaningless from the perspective of man’s higher reality. It is for this reason that in a genuine Jewish and Christian spiritual community which attempts to manifest the higher reality of God and Man, the people recognize that the most gain is always accomplished when each individual explores and perfects the role in life they were born into. Are you a woman? A man? Then learn what it is to be a woman or a man -- and especially in relation to the opposite sex. Overcoming the natural barriers of the physical world in which we dwell is not easy. When we can use the indigenous powers and energies of the body, and channel them in the direction we wish to move, the task is made much more simple, because it is natural to one's present state of being.
What we are making reference to is the relationship between the soul -- or active principle -- and the natural person of this world which is embryonic and reflective of the soul. In the designs of our Creator, people prepare themselves to embrace the unity of the soul by first learning to move into an abiding Oneness with their physical spouse. In a spiritual community, men and women live out this all-encompassing mystical concept, which is a foundational principle of the teachings that Jesus taught as The Way. It is an abiding truth that the flesh, without the union of spirit, could do nothing good on its own, and was in need of redemption -- or marriage with man's spiritual nature. Thus, it is not that the carnal nature of man is evil -- but rather, carnal man exists in a state of incompletion. It is not until we begin to understand that from a spiritual perspective, all evil is the result of this incompletion, that we are able to get a more perceptive vision of man’s higher reality. Historically, the problem is that when carnal men who did not comprehend the unity of the flesh with the pre-existent soul and spirit, attempted to reinterpreted the Word and embody their very limited perception of reality into a secular institution founded upon manmade doctrines and creeds, the whole spiritual focus and direction of the teachings of Jesus became altered and misdirected from its original course.
As the Apostle states, spiritual reality is foolishness to the carnal mind that envisions itself as originating with the body. It is foolishness, because carnal man cannot perceive anything beyond the three-dimensional barrier of this realm, and is incapable of comprehending his origination as an embryonic projected image of man’s indwelling pre-existent soul. When we therefore erroneously view ourselves as being the offspring of men and women, instead of the image of our soul projected into this world -- which soul and spiritual natures are the offspring of the One God -- we simply cannot perceive of the very essence and meaning of both life and the scriptures. The result is that we fail to see Jesus in accordance with his own words spoken to us: “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17 NIV). Thus, we fail to see the relationship between our pre-existent soul to that of Jesus, and do not comprehend the meaning of Jesus' teachings that we are all the prodigal sons of our Father. The result is that we are forced to create doctrine upon doctrine in our attempt to explain spiritual mysteries that are beyond our ability to comprehend.
It is because we open the Bible with preconceived notions that were infused upon our modern ideas of religion by the Church of the Roman Empire, and we cling to the doctrines of men in our search for truth, that we fail to perceive that the teachings of The Way is the return of the prodigal son through the marriage and merger of our inner, pre-existing spiritual nature. We fail to grasp the very essence of what Jesus taught when he told us: Turn about, and change the mind as seen in the English translation of the scriptures where it states: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2 NAS) -- instead of the original meaning of the Greek which literally means to “change the mind” -- conveying the true spiritual meaning to “Open and unloose the mind, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Under the dominion of the Pagan Roman doctrines that we cling to today, we cannot even conceive of how the Kingdom can be found when we “Open and unloose the mind” -- which is a core teaching of the New Covenant.
It is because the Church of Rome threw away the keys of knowledge, that we lack an understanding of these fundamental spiritual precepts today -- precepts which represent the very elementary concepts of the Mysteries of God. The result of our no longer possessing the key of knowledge is seen in our failure to comprehend the manner in which our own eventual perfection is achieved. Moreover, what truly confuses the whole state of affairs is the fact that the concept that carnal man is incapable of perfection is not wrong -- but can only be understood by perhaps using an analogy: If a mutant disease suddenly killed all the males in the world today, from the perspective of bearing children, all the remaining women would be unable to procreate. In the same way that a woman without a man would be unable to bring forth a child, so too is the natural mind of man incapable of bringing forth spiritual Life without the union of his pre-existent soul and indwelling spirit.
The result of our very limited perception of the Word is seen in the fact that perfection is beyond our scope of vision because we neither understand it, nor do we comprehend the process. In clinging to the doctrines of men, we possess a very limited vision of Creation -- i.e., we see only this three-dimensional world, and we fail to realize that the biblical goal of perfection which is written about throughout every book of the Bible is merely the overcoming of our own inner division of carnal-body mind, soul-mind, and spiritual-mind. Moreover, in failing to understanding that our soul and spirit not only at present consciously exists in parallel realms, and in fact pre-existed the physical body and carnal mind that we are using in this life, the whole process and requirement of perfection as outlined in the scriptures makes absolutely no sense to us.
The result is that we have been alienated from Christianity in its original form, because we no longer possess a very clear perception of the very threefold nature of the pre-Constantine Gentile Church. What this means is that in the same way that man is comprise of a threefold nature -- i.e., physical, soul and spirit, so too is the scriptures, as well as the original Gentile Church prior to the hostile takeover by Constantine and Pagan Rome. It it’s original form, there was one segment of the body of believers who were very carnal in their perception of the Word -- and these were they who both the Apostle and the Church Father Origen spoke of as needing the “milk” of the Gospel. Then there were those who progressed beyond the limitations of this realm, and were souls in search of truth -- and these were the disciples who had dedicated their lives to a more perfect and spiritual understanding of the Word. And lastly, there was the mature Israelite or Christian who had themselves become spiritual -- and in overcoming their inner division and unity with the Divine Essence within them, these were spiritual men and women who perceived and became a part of the very destiny of mankind itself.
It is important for us to recognize that in the words of Origen we find it demonstrated the difference between a carnal church of the flesh, and one of the spirit. Because Constantine was not only carnal, but in every way a ruthless conscienceless despot who embraced evil in everything he did, the church that he formed was born in the image of its creator. If modern Christians find these words offensive, again let me set the words of your own witness before you when Luther said of the Christian Church: “…once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness” (Quoted in: The Great Thoughts; compiled by George Seldes).
In a Living Church, there is no reason for beliefs, opinions, dogma or doctrine, because the Living Christ will come to each disciple -- and, in the words of Origen, “enlighten the reason in the true knowledge of things”. Beliefs, opinions, dogma and doctrine, must therefore be seen as an obstacle in the path of the disciple in a Living Church.
Many sincere Christians today have attempted to embrace the higher aspects of the Gospel -- but it is near impossible for them to follow in a more spiritual path so long as many of their foundational doctrines are drawn from the genetic well of Constantine's Church. When we begin to recognize this, we will become aware of the fact that to truly restore the Gospel to its original form, we must become very cognizant of our religious genetic flaws.
How can we continue to open our Bibles to the many warnings of the Apostle when he writes that the carnal mind is incapable of comprehending the Spiritual Gospel of Christ -- and observe where he plainly tells us that the Mysteries of God are beyond even our ability to envision -- and yet, we condemn both the Hebrew Messianic believers who Jesus himself personally revealed the higher truths of the Gospel, as well as the original Gentile Church who claimed to have received these incomprehensible mysteries directly from the Apostle Paul, as heretics? Are these first and earliest of Christians truly heretics, or are we just perceiving them through our own religious genetic flaw that we inherited when the church that immerged from the Reformation retained many of the foundational doctrines of the Church of Constantine? Regardless of how much we pray and call upon the name of the Lord, we can draw no nearer to Christ until we have truthfully and accurately answered this question.
One of the things that the modern reader must keep in mind is the fact that Origen had not yet been born when The True Word was first published. In view of the fact that Origen was officially atheamatized by the Emperor Justinian in the year 553 because of his teaching on the pre-existence of the soul (reincarnation), it must be remembered that when Origen defends the Church's doctrines of belief in this matter, he is not defending any beliefs that he was responsible for bringing into the church. In refuting the attack of Celsus on the church, Origen is in fact defending beliefs and doctrines that were very much a part of the Christian Church prior to Origen even being born -- i.e., beliefs that originated in the first and second centuries of our Common Era. Origen was a biblical scholar -- and the fact that our present-day Bibles no longer support the doctrine of the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection today, is because this teaching was among many of those that were removed from our scriptures (see Bible Corruption).
Though Origen was eventually condemned by the later Church of the Roman Empire for holding fast to these earliest of Christian beliefs, and Clement of Alexandria was stripped of his sainthood, the entire church was basically condemned by the later Roman Church for being too Hellenistic. Were they? It must be realized that neither Origen, nor Clement were the authors of these doctrines. Therefore, what the writings of these earliest of Church Fathers provide us is a picture of the Church when it was truly a spiritual entity -- i.e., prior to the time when the infusion of government authority undermined and destroyed the great spiritual foundation which was ordained by the Living Word. It was at this period that the church was in its finest day -- when it healed the sick, and opened the doors of the Kingdom to the disciple in search of Truth.
When Celsus attacked the Church for being a “secret system”, teaching some a different doctrine than others, Origen replied: “Moreover, since he frequently calls the Christian doctrine a secret system, we must confute him on this point also, since almost the entire world is better acquainted with what Christians preach than with the favorite opinions of philosophers. For who is ignorant of the statement that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that He was crucified, and that His Resurrection is an article of faith among many, and that a general judgment is announced to come, in which the wicked are to be punished according to their desserts, and the righteous to be duly rewarded?”
Fundamentally, what Origen enumerated was elementary Christian doctrine 101 -- i.e., what the Apostle Paul refers to as the “milk” -- or that basic doctrine which still exists to this very day. Origen acknowledged these doctrines -- refuted Celsus by stating that these beliefs are openly expounded as articles of Christian faith, and then Origen explained: “And yet the mystery of the Resurrection, not being understood, is made a subject of ridicule among the unbelievers. In these circumstances, to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are after the exoteric ones having been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone, but also of philosophic systems, in which certain truths are exoteric and others are esoteric. Some of the heroes of Pythagoras were content with his ipse dixit; while others were taught in secret those doctrines which were not deemed fit to be communicated to the profane and insufficiently prepared ears. Moreover, all the mysteries that are celebrated everywhere throughout Greece and the barbarous countries, although held in secret, have no discredit thrown upon them, so that it is in vain he endeavors to calumniate the secret doctrines of Christianity, seeing that he does not correctly understand its nature”.
It is important that the reader not skim over this rather profound statement that was composed by Origen in reply to the allegations of Celsus with respect to the acknowledgement that Christianity was is a secret system where some were taught differently than those who were more spiritually mature. Moreover, what is imperative for the modern Christian to realize is that Origen -- whose reply to Celsus represented the position of the whole Church on these matters -- states that there is another meaning in the doctrine of the resurrection that is not understood by the multitude of believers who were of the simple faith. In view of the fact that this allegation by Celsus was made against the church before Origen was even born, we cannot take the position that the ideas expressed in this document represent the personal beliefs of Origen.
In explanation, the doctrine of the physical resurrection of the body, says Origen, is misunderstood by the spiritually unaware, and writes that it was “preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”. Why? Because the resurrection is a spiritual event that has to do with the perfection of the soul, and is experienced in the rebirth of the disciple. This was not a matter of belief or doctrine -- but rather, this understanding was based upon the very experiences of the Spiritual Christians who had themselves inherited the promise of the Christ!
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In the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas it is written: (12) The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being." So to once again restore the teachings of TheWay which is today known as Christianity, the Lord has sent Jacob/James, the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus, back into the world in order to guide the faithful flock into the Truth, the Light, and the Kingdom within (Luke 17:20-21). It is there that my brother Yeshua/Jesus awaits you.
The above warning with respect to the predicted corruption of Yeshua's teachings is further stated in the first century writings known today as the Clementine Recognitions where it is written: "Our Lord and Prophet, who hath sent us, declared to us that the wicked one, having disputed with Him forty days, and having prevailed nothing against Him, promised that he would send apostles from amongst his subjects, to deceive. Wherefore, above all, remember to shun apostle or teacher or prophet who does not first accurately compare his preaching with that of James, who was called the brother of my Lord, and to whom was entrusted to administer the church of the Hebrews in Jerusalem, — and that even though he come to you with witnesses: lest the wickedness which disputed forty days with the Lord, and prevailed nothing, should afterwards, like lightning falling from heaven upon the earth, send a preacher to your injury, as now he has sent Simon upon us, preaching, under pretense of the truth, in the name of the Lord, and sowing error. Wherefore He who hath sent us, said, ‘Many shall come to me in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them.’"
Again it is warned by Clement: "Wherefore observe the greatest caution, that you believe no teacher, unless he bring from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord’s brother, or of whosoever may come after him. For no one, unless he has gone up thither, and there has been approved as a fit and faithful teacher for preaching the word of Christ, — unless, I say, he brings a testimonial thence, is by any means to be received. But let neither prophet nor apostle be looked for by you at this time, besides us. For there is one true Prophet, whose words we twelve apostles preach"
As predicted, the ministers of Satan have succeeded in altering the teachings of my brother Yeshua, and continue to lead many into the abyss of darkness. But have no fear my brothers and sisters, for the teachings of TheWay has been restored so that you might be able to overcome the darkness, and enter the Kingdom of Light within you (Luke 17:20-21).