THE FOUNDATION OF ERROR
Part IV: Do You Have Freewill?
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.
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.
For over a thousand years it had been unlawful for man to even read the
Because the scriptures are the sacred writings of a mystical sect of
Jewish Gnostics -- writings whose very nature are intended to undermine secular
establishments of institutionalized religion, and open the door to genuine
spiritual religion. 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
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 they 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 or the exercise
of the intellect. 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
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 freewill, 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?
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
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 --
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 fundamentally believe that, in the same way that
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.
Can we simply ignore or embrace the paradoxes of the
Bible? This mindset of the
modern believers presents a problem that in effect brings about their own
spiritual demise. 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 -- Bibles which openly declare 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.
While in the time of Luther and the Middle-age Reformers
it was easy to close ones eyes to many of the seemingly unfair realities of
life, this becomes ever more difficult in modern times.
Medical science has now begun to entertain the reality that every sort of
human depravity and what would be considered sinfulness has actually been
brought about by genetic patterns in the life of the individual.
What many experts now conclude is that freewill to choose one’s path in
life is largely an illusion. Thus,
modern science has once more confirmed the tenets of the Bible with respect to
the predestination of the individual by a power that is beyond their conscious
Perhaps no finer example of this emerging scientific viewpoint can eclipse the present-day struggle in the church than that of the plight of the homosexual as they endeavor to find acceptance among Christians. The homosexual contends that because they were born homosexual, and God in fact created them to be predisposed to a same sex relationship, they should therefore be accepted as normal in the church. Regardless of what the scriptures say, Fundamentalist Christians refuse to accept the homosexual believer.
of the fact that the Bible itself confirms that God preordains everything in
life, the questions presented by the homosexual poses a very serious problem to
the church. If all men are
sinners who are equally forgiven by the blood of Jesus -- and the homosexual has
been predisposed by God into a life of same sex relationships -- and man is
saved by faith over works -- then the position of the homosexual would appear to
be reasonable when they claim that the promise of the New Covenant applies to
them as much as to the heterosexual. Moreover,
if it is true that the homosexual has been predisposed to the lifestyle he is
living by the preordination of God, isn’t it a greater sin when the
heterosexual Christian judges and attempts to exclude the homosexual from full
membership in the church?
The problem is seen in the fact that the modern church
does not have an answer to the scriptural dilemma that the question of freewill
versus preordination presents to them.
In their 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 -- they know and
acknowledge that they do not know -- and as a consequence, 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 denied 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:
one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to
know” (1 Cor 8:2 RSV)?
The Spiritual Limitations Of Holding Evil Beliefs
About God: 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:
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, we
should ask, 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 -- i.e., that 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. What
other excuse can be given when a people blindly believe that God for no reason
ordains some men to glory, and for no reason ordains others to destruction.
Moreover, what can be said with respect to those who claim to believe in
the revelation of the Bible, and yet choose to ignore this prevalent teaching of
the scriptures -- in effect saying that they know more than the authors of the
Bible -- when they promote the idea in opposition to the written word that man
From the perspective of the Hebrew mystics who authored
our Bible, the first and foremost principle of truth is this: 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
indiscriminately 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. Foolishly, in the
folly of our judgment, we fail to recognize the fact that in our inability to
understand the nature and conditions of life with respect to freewill and
predestination, we are incapable of explaining the relationship of the most
important aspects of our religious foundation.
In the early Church there were men of great spiritual
knowledge who understood the mysteries of God.
These men correctly grasped the reality that the wisdom of God is so far
beyond the comprehension of carnal man.
These men and women of an elevated vision knew 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.
Thus, because of our inability to merge the two lines into One, we have
in fact alienated ourselves from the very gospel message we claim to champion.
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 God 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 dogmatic box that the
institutionalized church has imprisoned themselves within, 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 Nazirene/Ebionites -- as well
as 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 whom the Church of
Rome 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.
Origen - A Window
Into The Pre-Nicene Church: 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 who 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
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
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
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
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”.
Everything that we know about Creation affirms to us the
great reality 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 soul and spiritual
natures knew instinctively that this carnal and barbaric perception of God,
which has been portrayed by the church, is defective.
In fact, many Atheists and non-believes reject God because of the
outlandish image which the church promotes.
Innately, they knew that the Supreme Creator of the Universe could not be
the irrational God portrayed by the Christian Church.
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.
Those who possessed the desire to search for the Truth, were always
rewarded -- and what they learned was that every event in life is caused by a
pre-existent reason -- and these events which are brought about by the Laws
which control all of Creation, 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 for us 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!
If we ask the question as to why the Middle-age Reformers
were 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 Darwinist mindset that was in
direct opposition to the spiritual mindset that was the foundation of the
teachings of the New Covenant. Moreover,
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 the Mysteries of God. In
like manner, there is no reason to believe a word that I write. 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 in the fourth century -- 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 which 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 with respect to what we believe. One of the great promises of the scriptures is this:
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 -- belong to a church that professes to know 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.
Moreover, in the same way that when Adam knew Eve a child was conceived
-- when the genuine Christian opens his heart and mind to the Lord to the degree
that he/she becomes a holy and consecrated abode for the Light, then it is the
Child of Truth that is conceived within the disciple.
The knowledge that Jesus spoke of then, was the result of the
disciple’s intercourse with God. This
is the essence of the Hebrew Gnosticism that we now know is the true foundation
of the genuine 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:
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:
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
Because we no longer possess the same spiritual vision
and mindset which was the foundation upon which the Apostle Paul wrote 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.,
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).
The believers at Corinth of whom Paul said they had been
taught “all utterance and all
knowledge” concerning the “testimony of Christ”, had not yet
received the great profound truths of the Spirit (1 Cor 1:5-6 NKJ), as seen in
the words of the Apostle: “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for
until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
for you are still carnal” (1 Cor 3:2-3 NKJ). Paul even went as far as explaining to the believers at
Corinth that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 KJV), and informs them that they
are too “carnal, and walk as men” (1 Cor 3:3 KJV) -- and though they
have been baptized, and had received the Good News of the Gospel of Christ, and
possessed all the knowledge of the testimony of Christ, because they were yet
carnal, they could not comprehend the true Mysteries and Revelations of God.
Again to frame the problem in the exact message which the
scriptures reveal to the people of the simple faith -- i.e., those who have
received “all utterance and all knowledge” concerning the
(historical) “testimony of Christ” -- are not yet able to understand
the paradoxes of the Bible, because not being spiritual, they are not yet
intimate with God's Enlightening Spirit.
It is of paramount importance for us to recognize the exact message that
Paul very clearly stated with respect to the fact that what he wrote in his
epistles was not the higher knowledge that could only be imparted to the
spiritually mature -- but rather, the milk of the gospel that was intended for
the edification of the Gentile converts who were too carnal to perceive the
Mysteries of God through their own indwelling spiritual nature.
What Paul very plainly writes is that it is only the disciple -- he who
is intimate and totally immersed in the life of the Lord -- who can understand
the Divine Plan for mankind. It
was for this reason that the Gentile followers of Paul were historically known
as Gnostic Christians -- i.e., those who possessed the Knowledge derived
directly from Spiritual Sources.
One of the paramount warnings of Jesus was that a genuine
follower cannot be divided between an allegiance to this world, and attempt to
become a disciple of the Light. Why
would he say this? Why
can’t we just believe -- live a good life -- and inherit the promise of the
It is not a matter of being taught.
In order to comprehend spiritual truths and man’s spiritual reality, it
is absolutely necessary to develop those parts of our mind that relate to our
soul and spiritual natures. The
mysteries, then, belong only to those who are themselves spiritual.
This great truth is confirmed in the words of Jesus to his disciples:
secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside
everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never
perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding” (Mark 4:11-12 NIV).
Jesus spoke in parables because the mysteries and secrets
of God cannot be preached and taught in the manner that we do today -- but
rather, must be revealed “precept upon precept; line upon line; here a
little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10 KJV) -- as the disciple is
transformed from a carnal believer, into a disciple in search of the Kingdom,
and eventually into a true Child of God.
The prodigal son cannot return to his father philosophically!
He must raise himself us, leave the far country behind him, and commence
to walk in The Way which leads him on his journey home to the Kingdom from which
he originally emerged. Yet,
we must never forget that it is necessary to return in steps.
In the same way that we cannot take a child of tender years and enroll
him in graduate studies, it is impossible to convey to the natural mind of
carnal man the Mysteries of God that can only be perceived by the mature
spiritual mind of the prodigal son who has returned home to the Kingdom from
which he originated.
Having become manifest in this life through the process
of physical birth, in order to inherit the promise of the scriptures whereby we
enter into Life, we must complete the process by embracing and bringing about
the next stages of soul and spiritual birth.
Our soul which is that part of us which has developed as the result of
all of our experiences since the dawn of time as we understand it, is the
essence of our mental self. Understanding
this, the Hebrew and Gentile Gnostics placed great importance on the acquisition
of knowledge -- experiential knowledge gained through direct contact with our
indwelling soul and spiritual natures -- because the next stage of (soul) birth
is that of Mind. Thus, where
the original teachings of The Way provided a means for physical man to transcend
the three-dimensional limitations of this world in the endeavor to embrace the
Anointing (Christ/Messiah) of the Light -- which Light reveals the Knowledge of
all aspects of Creation to the mind of the disciple -- but the essence and
purpose of New Covenant teachings became lost when Christianity was converted to
the religion of Pagan Rome.
The very word Christ or Messiah indicates one whose mind
has been Anointed by the Light. When
Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “But recall the former days in which, after you
were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings…” (Heb
10:32 NKJ), the word illumination is totally inconsistent with terms such as
faith and belief which is the focal point of Christianity today, and indicates
the enlightenment and anointing/illumination of the mind. This process of illumination of mind through the
Anointing of the Light, is perhaps best portrayed by the Apostle Paul when he
speaks of the mission which he was ordained to perform, as seen in the words:
open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the
power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an
inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18 NKJ).
The first element of the equation is for the believer to
their eyes”. The second
is for the believer to “…turn from darkness to light”. This is accomplished through the act of genuine
worship, which is the Imitation of Christ in every aspect of the disciple’s
life. This total consecration
and embracing of the Light, brings about a release “…from the power of
Satan to God”. And as
the disciple begins to live their life as a citizen of the Heavenly Kingdom,
only then are they able to “…receive forgiveness of sins and an
inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith…” in the Lord.
Thus, the religion of Martin Luther and the Protestant Middle-age
Reformers was an anti-Gnostic church which being fundamentally quasi-Darwinist
in its self-imposed three-dimensional limitations of expression, attempted to
make the literal and historical interpretation of the scriptures as the focal
point of the new religion, and thereby severed itself from the spiritual realm
which Jesus called the Kingdom that each of us must return to in order to enter
into Life. Where Martin
Luther condemned the use of the mind, the essence of New Covenant thought
embraced the development of mind through the illumination of the Anointed Mind
of the disciple.
The whole of the New Testament is a continual theme where
the disciple is taught the Sacred Secrets and Mysteries of God from the One True
Source of all Knowledge -- the indwelling Light which is called the Son of God.
As the disciple moves closer to the Light, they begin to see and
comprehend all things with respect to the workings, pattern and purpose of
Creation. Through the
illumination of the mind, the disciple learns how all things came into existence
-- why the events that are presently taking place are manifest -- and how the
past and present will bring about the future in accordance with God’s Divine
Plan that envelopes every aspect of Creation.
Thus, the very term Christian, which denotes one who has received the
Anointing of the Light, has nothing to do with a people who call themselves by
that name and continue to dwell in darkness under the power of the god of this
world. Because the religion
of Martin Luther in effect severed the congregation from the illumination of the
indwelling Light, and instead focused the mind of the believer on the historical
personage of Jesus, the new church became a body of wannabe Christians -- rather
than Genuine Spiritual Christians.
Being severed from the spiritual essence of New Covenant thought, they
therefore worshiped in temples made with hands, rather than the One True
Spiritual Temple that must be accessed as the disciple enters through the “strait
gate” along the narrow path that leads to Life.
Martin Luther, who championed the gospel of Paul by
rejecting the testimony of the disciples of Jesus, undermined the whole essence
of what Paul taught when he ignored the words of the Apostle when he wrote:
from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known
Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer” (2 Cor
5:16 NKJ). That the true
Christian must transcend the flesh, and become a spiritual being, is further
seen in the words of Paul when he wrote: “There is therefore now no
condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the
flesh, but according to the Spirit… He condemned sin in the flesh, that the
righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according
to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live
according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is
death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because 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” (Rom 8:1-8 NKJ).
From a modern perspective, Christians today cannot even
begin the process of the next stage of birth and spiritual transformation,
because they do not possess the knowledge necessary to comprehend the Divine
Plan of Creation. In clinging
to faith in the historical personage of Jesus, and in failing to prepare
themselves physically and mentally to permit the entrance of the Light into
their life, they alienate themselves from the Living Word that is attempting to
enlighten and illumine their understanding.
In their failure to look beyond the flesh, they neither perceive the
pre-existent conditions that have brought about the events of life, or the
results that these events are intended to manifest -- and not knowing or
understanding the basic premises of life itself, they become entangled in their
own judgment of events which they very clearly do not possess the ability to
comprehend. The result is
that they violate the Royal Law of God -- a Law that the Bible continually warns
the believer not to ignore -- and they make themselves apostates to the New
Covenant when they judge what they do not understand.
Ultimately, in their parochial viewpoints, judgments and condemnations of
things they do not possess the wherewithal to comprehend, in their blindness
they in fact judge God. Thus,
it is impossible for Christians today to move beyond the
teachings about Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb 6:1 NIV), because in
their judgment of God and the events of life that they do not understand, they
become entangled in the very Laws that keep mankind from comprehending the
Divine Will. Moreover, it is
impossible for them to know the truth, until they are first able to understand
God's plan for mankind.
In order for you to mature and perfect your walk with the
Lord, it is absolutely imperative that you possess the knowledge of the sacred
truths that Jesus taught his faithful disciples -- truths that are referred to
as being revealed only to those who were with Jesus “in the house”.
In view of the fact that it has already been demonstrated that your own
physical body is the house which the scriptures speak of, then you must first
embrace the milk, and then the meat of the Gospel in order to learn directly
from the Lord.
The Bible is neither a chronicle of history, or a
declaration of what to believe -- but rather, it is a handbook that directs the
prodigal sons on their return trip home.
In order to begin the journey, you must recognize that neither the church
of this world, science, nor the philosophy of men, can provide you with the
answers to the many paradoxes of life that can only be overcome by expanding
one's vision and understanding of life and ones own self.
If the church, science, or philosophy assists you in opening the door to
the Kingdom within you -- then it is beneficial. If the church, science, or philosophy focuses your
attention of the things created, instead of the Source of Creation, then it is
not good -- and this is the message of Paul in the first chapter to the Epistle
to the Romans.
The philosophy of Darwin conveys to us that man had his
genesis in the slime of the earth. While
it is true that man’s physical body is comprised of the elements of the earth,
his soul and spirit is not of this world.
In view of this fact the Essenes and earliest of Christians viewed the
physical body as a prison from which the soul and spirit of man must overcome
the limitations of. This
perception of the physical body is especially taken note of by the first century
Jewish historian Josephus who writes of the doctrines of the Essenes:
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 come out of the most subtile air, and are united to their
bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement;
but when they are set free from the bonds of flesh, they then, as released from
a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward…”.
Embryonic Triangulation: In order to comprehend the higher reality which is
revealed in the scriptures, we must begin to understand that man is born from
the essence of two worlds -- i.e., the body that is his vessel in this realm is
very much of the earth; but his mind which is an embryonic image of his
pre-existent soul, is a reflective expression of its source that originates in
spiritual realms. If, then,
you desire to increase your conscious awareness of your true self, you must
begin to open your mind to the reality that, like the prodigal son, you
originated from another world -- that you are positioned in your present station
of life in accordance with your own past accomplishments -- which past has
triangulated in the present with your future -- whereby your past is presently
working in conjunction with the direction you are moving to bring about the
process of your arrival at your eventual destiny -- which destiny is the return
of the prodigal son to the Kingdom of his Father.
In bringing your past and future together into the moment
of the present time, you must become consciously aware that you are the person
you are today, because of the Hand of God acting upon your mind and being to
bring about your maturity and destiny in accordance with your soul’s own past
actions and accomplishments? While
the Apostle’s words are true when he wrote:
“For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God…” (Rom 3:23 KJV), it is also true that
the old world of sin passes away for those who have been born in Christ:
this, that our old self was crucified… that our body of sin might be done away
with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed
from sin” (Rom 6:6-7 NAS).
This total transformation of the carnal self is perhaps
best captured in the words of Paul where he wrote: “Put to death,
therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity,
lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of
God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But
now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice,
slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you
have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col
3:5-10 NIV). The key, then,
to putting away the old self who was of the flesh, is seen in the words of Paul
when he states that we must be “…renewed in knowledge in the image of its
Creator” -- which is our
indwelling spiritual nature that is not of this world.
We make progress when we take what God gives us, and make
the most of the opportunity. What
this means is that you are predestined to your present station in life because
of your own past -- and the exercise of your freewill is the determining factor
with regard to your future. Simply
put, if you have used your freewill in the past to bring you into the jungles
and ghettos of life, why do you attempt to place the blame on anyone other than
What the Bible states with regard to predestination is
that as you progress from life to life in the journey of the soul, you will reap
exactly what you have sown in your own past.
That the church while under the control of Pagan Rome had thrown
away the keys of knowledge, and no longer understood the process by which the
soul of man is perfected, is not a fault which can be attributed to God.
That the Lord's Anointed -- His Christ/Messiah -- has come and
demonstrated with his own life the manner in which we must live in order to
change our direction in our quest to return to the Kingdom -- and that we
instead remain attached to this realm and refuse to follow in his footsteps --
is not the fault of our Heavenly Father.
That this process of perfection will continue -- indefinitely -- until we
do follow the pattern of return, is a reality that we must come to terms with.
There are no accidents -- and you have been predestined
into the life you are living based upon your past in conjunction with the
requirements that must be met in order to embrace your future destiny.
It is therefore paramount to ask the question: What are you presently
accomplishing with your gift of life?
If you are a religious person and go to church, then you must ask
yourself the question: If it is the Hand of God that has brought you into the
church, does it mean anything that you are not there on your own accord, but of
God's direct influence? If you are a non-believer, and like many modern
non-believers today, you see yourself as being enlightened, and you feel that
you are intellectually superior to the believer because you are able to
recognize the many flaws in church doctrine -- unless you recognize that it is
the Hand of God that has enabled you to see these flaws, your limited knowledge
is meaningless. The question
that you must ask yourself is this: Does it mean anything that you possess this
insight to see either the merits or the fallacies of modern religious doctrine,
only because God wanted you to see certain facts more clearly than the other
person? Moreover, in our very
limited understanding of Creation, doesn’t each person’s individual
perception also contain a germ of truth?
In the parable in the twenty second chapter of Matthew
where the king invites those called to the wedding feast of his son, and those
invited do not come because of the cares of this world, and others are instead
invited, what we must understand is that all roads in life lead to the Kingdom
-- whether in the church or out -- but the Hand of God can only bring us so far
before the journey becomes a mutual endeavor where the Lord directs and we must
If you will accept that the scriptures are correct, and
the Hand and Will of God impacts every aspect of your life -- regardless of the
fact of whether you are a believer, a non-believer, or even a confirmed Atheist
-- what is important to each of us is to begin to understand to what degree you
are responsible for the result of your choices?
That God desires you to see and experience life from a certain
perspective -- as the scriptures affirm -- is responsible for your present
station in life. Now that you
have arrived at the starting point of your journey, we must then pose the next
question: Do you know what is expected of you?
GoTo Part Five
To contact the author: Allan_Cronshaw@nazirene.org