Christians who are in search of the correct doctrine to believe in, are aghast
and horrified at the thought that the Bible was purposely designed so that
anyone could prove almost any doctrine by using the scriptures -- or that the
scriptures contain narratives that are not historically accurate.
Modern believers will rightly ask: If what is written in the scriptures
is not a faithful portrayal of the historical events that transpired, then of
what value are they? This type of thinking is carnal, and is the result of
anti-Gnostic thinking -- i.e., tell me what to believe, so I can be on the right
side of God. The problem is
that man can never be on the right side of God until he returns home to the
Kingdom. Belief, or faith,
then, is not part of the equation where these things are independent of man's
efforts to walk in The Way. If
you do not pick up your own cross and follow in the footsteps of the Lord, then
you are neither a genuine believer or a person of sincere faith.
the words of Origen, those who demand historical accuracy do not understand the
very purpose of the scriptures -- they have yet to “withdraw themselves
from the unjust man”, and are still carnal and under the power of this
world. As believers, they are
orphans, and not yet even considered widows.
They may proclaim they are chosen -- saved -- they may even wear the garb
of a priest, minister, rabbi, or other clergy -- but they have yet to begin the
process of spiritual maturity. The
disciple knows that in order to draw nearer to God, they must possess Spiritual
Truth -- and truth can only be found in the mind and spirit of both the
scriptures and the Kingdom within themselves.
Confirmation Of Science: In
order to demonstrate the co-relationship between the wisdom of the authors of
our scriptures with the findings of modern science, we can observe this same
message in the words of Einstein when he admitted: “We may therefore regard matter as being constituted by the regions of
space in which the field is extremely intense… There is no place in this new
kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only
reality” (quoted in M. Capek, The Philosophical Impact of Contemporary
Physics). What both the
scientist and the prophet are conveying to us is that man must come to terms
with the fact that reality only exists in the Kingdom -- the world in which we
presently dwell is only a shadow of reality; and by virtue of its
incompleteness, is an illusion. The
scriptures were not written to comfort the believer during their stay in this
world. The scriptures were
not written to confirm tradition, or to verify ones doctrines of belief. What the scriptures were written for was to provide the
disciples with the keys to escape this world and enter the Kingdom which is
their source of origination. The
scriptures speak of life in our present realm of existence as being a state of
death, because we dwell in the world of incompleteness and illusion.
From the vision of spiritual reality: We literally dwell in the realm of
allegorical appearances. The
scriptures -- though not always historically accurate -- are real keys that
provide the disciple with genuine truths in his spiritual quest.
conformation of what Origen said regarding the fact that in the narrative of the
scriptures there exists many things that are not true, Peter said:
therefore, some of the Scriptures are true and some false, with good reason said
our Master, 'Be ye good money-changers,' inasmuch as in the Scriptures there are
some true sayings and some spurious. And to those who err by reason of the false
scriptures He fitly showed the cause of their error, saying, 'Ye do therefore
err, not knowing the true things of the Scriptures; for this reason ye are
ignorant also of the power of God.’”
Origen On Allegory:
his celebrated work, De Principiis, Origen wrote concerning the factualness of
the literal narrative of the scriptures: “Where the word found that things
done according to the history could be adapted to these mystical senses, he made
use of them concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but where in the
narrative of the development of super-sensual things, there did not follow the
performance of those certain events which were already indicated by the mystical
meaning, the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that
did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could
but did not.”
is Origen saying to us? Where
the Word found that using events from history could fulfill the purpose of the
scriptures, the Word used these historical events, “concealing from the
multitude the deeper meaning”.
In this respect, Jesus lived and taught the people the Royal Law of God
and the means to gain entrance into the Kingdom.
These things are true. But
scripture is designed for a greater purpose than to inform us with respect to
the past -- scripture is the handbook of those who desire to enter into Life.
is the purpose of the scriptures? Surely
not to teach us about history -- how can history open the door to the Kingdom
within us. By placing
spiritual truths in what appears to he an historical document, scripture
accomplishes the necessary task of putting the sacred truths of God in the hands
of the people -- in a language they can understand and relate to -- even during
that time when they are yet carnal, and unable to comprehend the Mysteries of
God. By writing the
scriptures in this fashion, the carnal Jew could relate to the scriptures
because the writings appeared -- on the surface -- to communicate and manifest a
history of the people who were using them.
Yet, Origen warns that, even when the scriptures are historically
accurate, there is concealed within the narrative a deeper meaning than what is
grasped by the carnal reader.
there a historical man named Jesus? Yes
-- but it is the Living Christ that will save you. Because the scriptures are written for the purpose of
assisting the disciples in finding the Christ, even when the scriptures are
conveying historical truths pertaining to the Christ, the genuine message is
still embedded within the body of the text.
Why? Because the
purpose of the scriptures is that of a guide and road map out of this world --
not to convey to us a system of doctrines in which we should blindly believe and
remain immersed in lives of materialism.
two gospels? Why would Jesus have
incorporate in his teachings what has been referred to as a secret doctrine?
The modern believer who only possesses a very limited perception of
higher reality will reject the idea of an inner meaning to the scriptures, and
will reason that Jesus would have spoken all truths very clearly.
To the carnal believer, if it is true that Jesus concealed the mysteries,
this would be viewed as being dishonest.
Moreover, they would ask why, even when the scriptures are historically
accurate, would the true meaning of the message be concealed from the reader?
The believer asks the question: Why not just write the truth.
The answer is found in the words of Ignatius: “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 words of St. Nazianzen: “The Divine Nature then is boundless and hard
to understand”. And in
the words of St. Gregory: “The man who in calculating the transcendent
powers of the Deity limits them by his own is a fool”.
In order to perceive God and reality, man must go beyond the physical,
and activate his own spiritual nature that is lying dormant within his carnal
nature. Until this spiritual
nature is manifested, man's true reality makes no sense, and man is unable to
understand things of any real value.
man places great confidence and reliance on the events of history -- so the Holy
Spirit uses what appears to be historical narratives to convey great spiritual
truths in the form of allegories. Origen
writes that some parts of these historical narratives are based upon a correct
perception of historical facts. This causes us to adopt them, and cling to them as a
source of spiritual truth. But,
Origen warns, even when the narratives of the scriptures are historically
accurate, they are still written in such a way that a higher level of spiritual
truth is contained within the veil of what is written.
Jesus heal a man who was born blind?
Yes he did. But how
does this knowledge of an historical event draw you closer to God?
Even if it makes you believe and have faith in Jesus, this knowledge
means nothing if it does not provoke you to strive to walk in The Way.
On the other hand, when you begin to recognize the fact that all men born
of woman are congenitally blind from a spiritual perspective -- and will remain
blind until healed by the Son of God -- then this knowledge has the capacity to
provoke you to change, and cause you to desire to see and behold man's true
Jesus have twelve disciples? He
had many disciples -- but the number twelve is of the greatest importance
because of its relevance to the mind of man as he begins the process of walking
in The Way. Therefore, it
does not injure the people of the simple faith to believe that Jesus had twelve
disciples -- but it is important for the seeker who looks beyond the narrative
of the text to perceive the blueprint of the mind that he must bring into a
state of harmony in order to walk in The Way.
our modern text books which are different for each level of instruction, the
scriptures are written for believers and disciples of all levels of spiritual
maturity. This is seen in the
words of Origen when he wrote: “Since, then, it was the intention of the
Holy Spirit to enlighten with respect to these and similar subjects, those holy
souls who had devoted themselves to the service of the truth, this object was
kept in view, in the second place, for the sake of those who either could not or
would not give themselves to this labor and toil by which they might deserve to
be instructed in or to recognize things of such value and importance, to wrap up
and conceal, as we said before, in ordinary language, under the covering of some
history and narrative of visible things, hidden mysteries. There is therefore
introduced into the narrative of the visible creation, and the creation and
formation of the first man; then the offspring which followed from him in
succession, and some of the actions which were done by the good among his
posterity, are related, and occasionally certain crimes also, which are stated
to have been committed by them as being human; and afterwards certain unchaste
or wicked deeds also are narrated as being the acts of the wicked. The
description of battles, moreover, is given in a wonderful manner, and the
alternations of victors and vanquished, by which certain ineffable mysteries are
made known to those who know how to investigate statements of that kind. By an
admirable discipline of wisdom, too, the law of truth, even of the prophets, is
implanted in the Scriptures of the law, each of which is woven by a divine art
of wisdom, as a kind of covering and veil of spiritual truths; and this is what
we have called the 'body' of Scripture, so that also, in this way, what we have
called the covering of the letter, woven by the art of wisdom, might be capable
of edifying and profiting many, when others would derive no benefit”.
the body of the scriptures which are not necessarily historically accurate, are “capable
of edifying and profiting many” by the reading of the literal word.
Yet, as the believer matures, he begins to realize that the endless
portrayal of wars, genealogies, and stories of carnal strife against Divine
Providence, are absolutely meaningless in the life of the disciple.
As he begins to spiritually develop, and starts to experience a shift in
perception, he begins to realize that these wars, genealogies and strife in the
flesh have great meaning within his own being, as he travails to overcome his
carnal nature in his quest to enter the extended realm of his soul.
What, therefore, the carnal believer sees as history, the disciple sees
as great spiritual truths that are imparted to him in his pursuit of spiritual
perfection and manifestation.
writes that the scriptures contain many places where what is written literally
could not have happened. In
examination of this statement we ask why?
Why not create a written word which was totally factual?
The answer that Origen provides to this question is once again very
simple: “But as if, in all the
instances of this covering (i.e., of this history), the logical connection and
order of the law had been preserved, we would not certainly believe, when thus
possessing the meaning of Scripture in a continuous series, that anything else
was contained in it save what was indicated on the surface; so for that reason
divine wisdom took care that certain stumbling-blocks, or interruptions, to the
historical meaning should take place, by the introduction into the midst (of the
narrative) of certain impossibilities and incongruities; that in this way the
very interruption of the narrative might, as by the interposition of a bolt,
present an obstacle to the reader, whereby he might refuse to acknowledge the
way which conducts to the ordinary meaning; and being thus excluded and debarred
from it, we might be recalled to the beginning of another way, in order that, by
entering upon a narrow path, and passing to a loftier and more sublime road, he
might lay open the immense breadth of divine wisdom”.
Origen states is not only true, but is of the utmost importance for us to
comprehend in our present day: If the scriptures were historically accurate,
then we would believe, and never move beyond the written word.
In never moving beyond the written word, we would fail to develop those
parts of our mind that relate to our soul and spiritual natures and reality --
and in our failure to mature, we would remain lost in this carnal world, and
never open the door to the Kingdom within our being.
From a scriptural perspective, the prodigal son would never return home
to his Father.
and many of the other early Church Fathers comprehended this design and higher
purpose of the Gospel. They
understood that the scriptures are written in such a way that our reading them
would be interrupted by the many instances where what we read literally is not
true -- and in coming to this scriptural roadblock, the intension was for us to
seek to understand the deeper meaning -- a meaning that can only be perceived by
drawing closer to our own spiritual nature.
UnTruths Written Into Scriptures:
of the more outrageous and blatant untruths in the literal word would be the
classic case of the sun and moon standing still: “Then Joshua spoke to the
LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of
Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, 'O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O
moon in the valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the
book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten
to go down for about a whole day” (Josh 10:12-13 NAS).
In the first instance, the sun does not revolve around the earth.
Secondly, there exists sufficient records of the time in question to
confirm that such an event never took place.
was it only with regard to those Scriptures which were composed down to the
advent of Christ that the Holy Spirit thus dealt”
writes Origen, “but as being one and the same Spirit, and proceeding from
one God, He dealt in the same way with the evangelists and apostles. For even
those narratives which He inspired them to write were not composed without the
aid of that wisdom of His, the nature of which we have above explained. Whence
also in, them were intermingled not a few things by which, the historical order
of the narrative being interrupted and broken up, the attention of the reader
might be recalled, by the impossibility of the case, to an examination of the
one of these examples are provided at the time of the crucifixion where it
reads: “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all
the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the
temple was rent in the midst” (Luke 23:44-45 KJV).
There exists sufficient historical records of that time to demonstrate
conclusively that the earth was never plunged into darkness for a period of
three hours. In view of the
fact that this event took place at the time of the Passover, when the moon is
full, it could not have been an eclipse.
Moreover, neither can an eclipse bring darkness over all the earth for a
period of three hours.
this event could not have taken place in the historical sense, why is it
reported? Origen explains
this when he writes that, in the development of “super-sensual things…
the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that did not
take place” -- which denotes episodes such as these in the scriptures that
a reasonable mind must conclude is not historically accurate. In the words of Origen, “sometimes what could not
have happened” -- events reported as history that could not have taken
place -- and “sometimes what could but did not”.
the inconsistencies in scripture are blatant.
This is done intentionally, so the believer is unable to read the text of
the body of scripture in its literal sense. Speaking of the conversion of Paul along the road to
Damascus, Acts 9:7 reads: “And the men which journeyed with him stood
speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man”.
Yet, in Acts 22:9 the narrative reads: “And they that were with me
saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that
spake to me”. The
discerning reader will immediately ask which account was true? In the first instance they heard the voice but saw
nothing, in the second they saw the light but heard nothing. Thus, we are presented with two contradictory witnesses
pertaining to the same event.
design the reader is supposed to question and reason to themselves that, if the
same person wrote both accounts, then why were they written in direct opposition
to each other? If you
look in the many Bible commentaries you will observe numerous creative attempts
to explain away this apparent contradiction.
Yet, none of them perceives that Saul/Paul is spoken of as being in The
Way -- that Saul in this New Testament rendition is synonymous with the Saul who
proceeded David as king of Israel -- that only Saul/Paul was struck down with
blindness, while those who were with him were not -- and that they were on their
way to Damascus -- that Saul/Paul was blind for a period of three days -- that a
disciple named Ananias was told in a vision to go to Saul/Paul, who would be at
the house of Judas, on a street named “straight”, and heal and
account is so rich with important symbolism and meaning to the disciple, that it
is almost inconceivable that it could be read as an historical, rather than a
spiritual event. The idea
that Saul (the forerunner of David) was in The Way, and was blinded by the Light
for a period of three days (a period of time used throughout the scriptures to
denote a process of spiritual transformation), and was at the house of Judas
(the betrayer of the Christ), on a street named straight, where he was to be
baptized. Thus, we see the
common references to the command to “Enter ye in at the strait gate”
(Matt 7:13 KJV); “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths
straight” (Matt 3:3 KJV); as well as the connection between the concept of
the straight path and baptism: “Every valley shall be filled, and every
mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation
of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of
him…” (Luke 3:5-7 KJV). While
it is impossible to believe the two accounts literally in an historical sense,
the purpose of the text is to force us to look beyond the letter and into the
spirit, as demonstrated in the words of the Apostle: “Who also hath made us
able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for
the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Cor 3:6 KJV).
is important here is that the reader understand the things conveyed not as the
conversion of an historical man, but rather the evolution of consciousness from
Stephen who was stoned by Saul and the Jews -- to Saul who began to walk in The
Way -- was transformed from a Jew who was blind when he resided at the house of
Judas, the betrayer of Christ -- and after his baptism became Paul, who was the
little one (meaning of the name Paul) who was chosen to serve the Lord by
bringing the teachings of The Way to the Gentiles -- Gentiles being that part of
us that worships the gods (powers and things) of this world.
Where these things mean very little to us from an historical perspective,
they are of the highest importance to us from the perspective of spiritual
events that are to take place in the life of the disciple.
Paul an historical man? Yes.
But what is conveyed in the scriptures is not historical -- and cannot
even be read in a literal sense. What
is important is that we see that the death of Stephen -- a man who is constantly
referred to as a person of great faith, and whose name is defined in the
Thayer’s Lexicon as one who is “crowned”.
As we investigate we must also recognize that Stephen was one of seven
deacons in the Jerusalem Church, and the first martyr.
Just as important is the fact that after Stephen is introduced into the
narrative of the scriptures, we see the recital of an historical account of the
Jewish people -- and in this recital, the names, places, events and numbers are
conveyed in such a manner so as to instruct the disciple into the necessary
stages with respect to the evolution in consciousness and God awareness.
in the scriptures has nothing to do with physical death -- but rather, the
transitioning from one level of consciousness to another.
Thus, when Stephen is stoned by the angry Jews, we see the immergence of
Saul -- which Thayer’s Lexicon defines as having to do with desire.
Again in the transformation of this desire into Paul, which is defined as
the “little one”, we are presented with the pattern that one must “turn
about”, and become a “little one”, in order to enter the
Kingdom. This message is very
plainly seen in the warning of Jesus when he said: “Truly, I say to you,
unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of
heaven” (Matt 18:3 RSV).
Intentional Conflicts In Text: In
order to force the reader to stop, and contemplate the inner spiritual message,
a conflicting account is purposely entered into the scriptures: Acts 9:7 reads: “And
the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing
no man”. Yet, in Acts
22:9 the narrative reads: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light,
and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me”.
It means absolutely nothing for the modern reader to believe that Saul
was converted on the road to Damascus -- there is no spiritual edification or
uplifting when we relate this knowledge to an historical event at the beginning
of our Common Era. But what is conveyed spiritually is of great value to
the disciple in search of the Light -- and must bring about a change of mind in
his quest to open the door to the Kingdom.
Thus the disciple begins to see his own transformation from the death of
Stephen as spirit became clothed with flesh, to Saul -- from a Jew to Paul --
from Paul the little one, whose blindness was healed by Ananias -- the gift from
many points at which the scriptures conflict in order to force the reader to
look for the inner meaning is so numerous, that an entire book could be written
in their compilation. Acts
7:14 has 75 persons coming with Jacob into Egypt -- Gen 46:27; Ex 1:5; Deut
10:22 state there were 70. Acts
7:16-17 has Jacob buried in Shechem -- Gen 49:28-30; 50:13 buried in Mamre which
is Hebron according to Gen 23:19. If
the Holy Spirit wrote both sets of scriptures, there should have been uniformity
between them. Moreover, if
the New Testament authors were attempting to convince others that they knew what
they were speaking about from a literal sense, they would have been very careful
to get the facts correct.
The Genealogies: Perhaps
one of the finest examples of the carnal mind's attempt to explain away what it
should be investigating is demonstrated in the genealogies of Jesus.
The fact that the genealogy presented in Luke is not the same as that in
Matthew has been the source of many dogmatic theories.
But the fact that the genealogy in Matthew contains four women, and three
foreigners, should immediately send up a red flag warning that these genealogies
cannot be read literally.
of the women were strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, Rachab a Canaanitess,
and a harlot besides, and Ruth the Moabitess.
In the pedigree of the kings of Judah, between Joram and Ozias (v. 8),
there are three left out, namely, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah -- and therefore
Joram could not have begat Ozias. When
it is said (v. 12) that Jechonias begat Salathiel, that Jechonias was the son of
that Jehoiakim who was carried into Babylon, the scriptures tell us that
Jechonias was childless (Jer. 22:30), and in direct contradiction to what is
written in Matthew, it is written that “No man of his seed shall prosper”.
order to insure that the genealogies cannot be read literally it is further
stated in Matthew: “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from
Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from
the exile to the Christ” (Matt 1:17 NIV).
With regard to the many problems presented in the genealogies, the Adam
Clark Commentary writes:
begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to
Babylon:] There are three considerable difficulties in this verse.
was not the father of Jechonias; he was only the grandfather of that prince: (1
. 2. Jechonias had no
brethren; at least, none are on record. Josias
died 20 years before the Babylonian captivity took place, and therefore
Jechonias and his brethren could not have been begotten about the time they were
carried away to Babylon.
this may be added a fourth difficulty, namely, there are only thirteen in this
2nd class of generations; or forty-one, instead of forty-two, in the whole".
we closely examine the literal word of the Bible, all of the scriptures could be
deciphered in this same manner to demonstrate the inconsistencies from an
historical perspective. Moreover,
the problem would be even more serious than it is at present if the Bible had
been left in its original condition.
In many instances, where these many places that appear to be
contradictions were detected, they were fixed by later scribes who copied the
scriptures. In their
ignorance of the very manner in which the scripture are composed, every time
they fixed a contradiction or offending verse, they defiled and obstructed the
very purpose of the Word of God. In
the case of the difference between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke, there
are Greek texts that exist where the genealogy of Luke was replaced by the one
in Matthew in the endeavor to conceal this easily detected flaw in the written
the carnal believer sees a genealogy that would be impossible to be read
literally, it never dawns on the readers that what we have is the pedigree of
the three minds of man -- physical, mental (soul), and spiritual -- and that in
the formation of the series of numbers in the pattern of fourteen, fourteen and
fourteen, what is being indicated has great spiritual significance.
Moreover, the fact that there is forty-one, instead of forty-two, is also
important in our quest to understanding the spiritual meaning of what is being
conveyed with regard to what Jesus had yet to accomplish in his endeavor to
become the first Son re-born into the Kingdom.
Origen - Scripture Objectives:
all these things mean that the scriptures are untrue? In the words of Paul: God forbid! It is us who is not real and untrue; not the
scriptures. In understanding
why the Bible is written in this manner, we must not allow ourselves to be
burdened by carnal thinking, and lose sight of what sets scriptures apart from
any other writings known to man. “The
chief object of the Holy Spirit”, writes Origen, “is to preserve the
coherence of the spiritual meaning, either in those things which ought to be
done or which have been already performed, if He anywhere finds that those
events which, according to the history, took place, can be adapted to a
spiritual meaning, He composed a texture of both kinds in one style of
narration, always concealing the hidden meaning more deeply; but where the
historical narrative could not be made appropriate to the spiritual coherence of
the occurrences, He inserted sometimes certain things which either did not take
place or could not take place; sometimes also what might happen, but what did
not: and He does this at one time in a few words, which, taken in their 'bodily'
meaning, seem incapable of containing truth, and at another by the insertion of
many. And this we find frequently to be the case in the legislative portions,
where there are many things manifestly useful among the 'bodily' precepts, but a
very great number also in which no principle of utility is at all discernible,
and sometimes even things which are judged to be impossibilities. Now all this,
as we have remarked, was done by the Holy Spirit in order that, seeing those
events which lie on the surface can be neither true nor useful, we may be led to
the investigation of that truth which is more deeply concealed, and to the
ascertaining of a meaning worthy of God in those Scriptures which we believe to
be inspired by Him”.
writes that we must come to the realization that “those events which lie on
the surface can be neither true nor useful”. In opposition to this statement we ask: Isn't the
belief in the historical Jesus useful?
The answer is yes, but only to the degree that the historical narrative
assists the disciple in manifesting the Living Christ in their life at the
present time. What does the
name Jesus (Yehshua) mean? What
must we do in order to bring about that state of mind which is portrayed in the
scriptures in the life of the historical Jesus, into our present life?
is important is that we “be led to the investigation of that truth which is
more deeply concealed”. Since
we know that everything we can learn from others in this world is of a
preparatory nature, and the one true doctrine that will nourish us can only be
revealed to those who are in “the house”, and are deserving to be
taught privately the Mysteries of the Kingdom, we must therefore seek to enter
into the house with our Lord and Savior.
It is important that we perceive that whatever is written literally in
the historical narrative is the exoteric doctrine -- or good news -- that serves
as merely the invitation to the masses to enter the mystical house of the Lord
where the Secrets of Creation can be revealed to the disciple in search of the
Truth and the Mysteries of God.
fully comprehending these statements in relation to the whole purpose of the
teachings of The Way, let us again examine the definitive statement which
conveys to us the very essence of the Gospel -- and especially the Revelation of
John: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the
right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But
outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters,
and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Rev 22:14-15 NKJ).
the Revelation represented the end of the world, as is commonly believed by the
majority of Christians today, then why are those who remain outside the city
portrayed as “dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and
idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie”?
Armageddon, then, indicates the disciples personal conflict as he
endeavors to overcome his own lower nature through the crucifixion of what is
symbolized by the flesh, in order that he can possess the Knowledge of the fruit
of the Tree of Life, transcend the natural barriers of this world, and “enter
through the gates into the city”.
With regard to those who call themselves Christian, and continue to
remain in this world, these are the ones who, like the Sadducees and Pharisees, “loves
and practices a lie” in their refusal to follow in the footsteps of the
let us revisit the statement by the Wycliffe Commentary on Genesis 2:7 where it
writes about the nature of man: “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”.
What the fundamental teachings of the New Covenant convey is that if man “turns
about”, and re-focuses his direction in life through the process of “opening
and unloosing the mind” -- freeing it from the attachments and constraints
of this realm -- man will discover that God has given him the power to gaze upon
that which is Eternal.
with all things Created by God, the scriptures are multidimensional.
Even in what appears to be historical, we see the same form being
followed. Our scholars know
that Herod could not have been king during that time frame that Jesus was born.
They also know that the plight into Egypt to evade being killed is also
not true: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was
exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in
Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men”
(Matt 2:16 KJV). Such an act
would have been well documented in the numerous writings of the many historians
of the time.
answer is found in the meaning of the names Herod and Egypt -- and why it was
important to make the connection between the same episode that are portrayed in
the saving of Moses when the slaughter of the infants was ordered.
Thus, what is a meaningless and worthless historical account to the
modern believer, is used to convey great truths to the disciple of the Light --
in that they, themselves, must undergo these same transformations in order for
the Christ to be born within them.
an attempt to clarify his position, and place these things in their proper
perspective, Origen writes: “No one, I think, can doubt that the statement
that God walked in the afternoon in paradise, and that Adam lay hid under a
tree, is related figuratively in Scripture, that some mystical meaning may be
indicated by it. The departure of Cain from the presence of the Lord will
manifestly cause a careful reader to inquire what is the presence of God, and
how any one can go out from it. But not to extend the task which we have before
us beyond its due limits, it is very easy for any one who pleases to gather out
of holy Scripture what is recorded indeed as having been done, but what
nevertheless cannot be believed as having reasonably and appropriately occurred
according to the historical account. The same style of Scriptural narrative
occurs abundantly in the Gospels, as when the devil is said to have placed Jesus
on a lofty mountain, that he might show Him from thence all the kingdoms of the
world, and the glory of them. How could it literally come to pass, either that
Jesus should be led up by the devil into a high mountain, or that the latter
should show him all the kingdoms of the world (as if they were lying beneath his
bodily eyes, and adjacent to one mountain), i.e., the kingdoms of the Persians,
and Scythians, and Indians? or how could he show in what manner the kings of
these kingdoms are glorified by men? And many other instances similar to this
will be found in the Gospels by any one who will read them with attention, and
will observe that in those narratives which appear to be literally recorded,
there are inserted and interwoven things which cannot be admitted historically,
but which may be accepted in a spiritual signification”.
the carnal mind looks upon the world and attempts to see continuity, it is the
disciple who knows full well that we dwell in a world of incompleteness and
illusion. Where the carnal
believer attempts to read the scriptures as a witness to historical events, the
disciple probes to the depths of the scriptures and understands them as the
means by which we begin to awaken to the inner Truth and the Light of the
believer will rightly ask: If God wants us to know what to believe, why would
the scriptures contain events that did not, and even what could not have
happened? Again, the purpose
of the scriptures is not to induce people to believe what happened in the past,
and then dwell in the comfort of their beliefs -- but rather, to focus their
attention on what is taking place at the present time in their own lives.
That the scriptures were written to coincide with a particular time or
event in history, only makes them that much more acceptable to the common
people. This acceptance is
important -- because even though the scriptures are not historically accurate,
they contain within the body of the narrative the essential truths that each of
us must embrace in order to find the ultimate Truth which is our destiny.
In their original form -- prior to their being defiled by the Roman
Church -- what was written in the scriptures was one hundred percent accurate
with respect to man's quest to enter the Kingdom.
Thus, in their original form, the scriptures were the Truth of all
The Allegorical Genesis:
regard to reading the narrative as actual events in history, Origen wrote: “What
man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second and third days
in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars,
and the first day without a heaven. What
man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in paradise in
Eden, like a husbandman, and planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to
the eyes and senses, which gave life to the eater thereof; and another tree
which gave to the eater thereof a knowledge of good and evil?
I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which
the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen - Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck,
man of reason will ask: If there was no sun, moon and stars, how could there
have been a day, night and dawn of a new day?
“What man of sense”, Origen asks, will blindly believe such
statements? This fundamental
question is very similar to that asked by Jesus with regard to the blindness of
the Sadducees and Pharisees who also attempted to read the scriptures literally.
Who could believe that God planted trees in the Garden of Eden which gave
to the eater the knowledge of good and evil, while the fruit of another tree
gave eternal life? These things are not history, writes Origen, but rather “images,
under which the hidden sense lies concealed”. Origen explains that the scriptures are an allegory
that conceal the deeper truths of the spirit, and 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.”
Clement (Clementine Homilies) asked of Peter concerning the many things in
scripture that are not true, he said: “Truly I rejoice, and I give thanks
to God, who in all things doeth well. However, he knows that I shall be able to
think nothing other than that all things are for God. Wherefore do not suppose
that I ask questions, as doubting the words concerning God, or those that are to
be spoken, but rather that I may learn, and so be able myself to instruct
another who is ingenuously willing to learn. Wherefore tell me what are the
falsehoods added to the Scriptures, and how it comes that they are really false.
Then Peter answered: Even although you had not asked me, I should have gone on
in order, and afforded you the exposition of these matters, as I promised.
Learn, then, how the Scriptures misrepresent Him in many respects, that you may
know when you happen upon them”.
his Ecclestical History Eusebius writes that: “Many were led astray
by reading the allegorical contents of the scriptures literally in the method of
the Pharisees and Sadducees”. In
these words we are provided great insight into the true heresy of the Pharisees
and Sadducees, and why Jesus condemned them as being blind guides. When it is realized that Jesus was born among the
Essenes, who were Gnostic, and a people who comprehended the inner meaning of
the Law, we begin to understand that the true focus of the conflict in scripture
was the spiritual Israelites vs the carnal Jews.
On the side of the spiritual Israelites was Jesus and the Essenes -- who
perceived the true meaning of the scriptures as the guide that assists the
disciple in opening the doors to the true Temple of God.
The Pharisees and Sadducees, on the other hand, read the scriptures
literally -- and were under the erroneous belief that God dwells in temples made
with man's hands -- and employed a body of priests -- and approved a series of
sacrifices, rituals and observances.
was it that the Lord accused the Pharisees of doing? “Woe to you lawyers!
For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves,
and those who were entering in you hindered” (Luke 11:52 NAS).
Yet, modern Christians today do not believe this statement.
We do not believe that the lawyers possessed the keys of knowledge prior
to the advent of Christ. We
thus fail to understand that the keys of knowledge is the understanding of the
true threefold nature of the scriptures, and man's inherent ability to learn
directly from the Christ within.
we read the scriptures in the manner of the Pharisees, we have ourselves become
the modern day Jews in opposition to the Lord. Thus, the scriptural confrontation continues right down
to this present day -- the spiritual vs. the carnal believers.
In the words of Origen: “Many, not understanding the Scriptures in a
spiritual sense, but incorrectly, have fallen into heresies”.
Anyone who attempts to read the scriptures, seeing the body only, while
ignoring the mind and spirit, are doomed to fall into these heresies.
a scriptural perspective, even the name Jew contains a very real message to the
disciple of the Light. Jesus
warned of the pitfalls of division -- i.e., “But he, knowing their
thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to
desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth” (Luke 11:17 KJV).
The Jews, being the decedents of Judah, represented one twelfth of the
children of Israel. The disciple understands that, throughout both the Old
and New Testament scriptures, the Bible is not speaking about a people who
called themselves Jews, but rather the spiritual condition of mind -- a mind
that by virtue of its carnal perception of the Word, is limited to only one
twelfth of its potential -- which potential can only begin to be realized when
we contemplate and embrace the difference between the partiality of the Jew, and
the completeness of Israel.
this respect, from a biblical perspective the majority of believers today are
represented in the scriptures as Jews, others as Samaritans, and still many
others as the people of the Nations.
Moreover, we are not just Jews, or Samaritans, or of the Nations -- in
that, each one of us possesses aspects of our person that are as the multitudes
of separate personalities -- separate personalities wherein each must be
converted, brought into oneness, and raised up as the children of Israel.
In all things what we perceive as the one, is comprised of the many, and
the disciple understands that the many factions need to be brought into total
harmony if the prodigal son is to return to the Father.
Thus, it is the realization of these great spiritual truths that enables
us to understand the words of Origen where he wrote:
“Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the
history, in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the
spiritual meaning” (Origen quoted under Origen Adamntius; The Encyclopedia
of Religion and Ethics).
one of the most classic verses that remains an enigma to believers today is
where Jesus states: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that
are sick… for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance” (Matt 9:12-13 KJV).
By present day religious doctrine Jesus made a mistake, and it is
apparent from a modern dogmatic perspective that he did not know what he was
speaking about. From our
perception of mankind, no one is whole, and there are no righteous people.
Contrary to what is clearly written in the scriptures, we believe that
Jesus came to call everyone. In
Matthew Henry's Commentary we read that: “Jesus Christ is the great
Physician of souls… Sin-sick souls have need of this Physician, for their
disease is dangerous; nature will not help itself; no man can help us; such need
have we of Christ, that we are undone, eternally undone, without him. Sensible
sinners see their need, and apply themselves to him accordingly”.
Thus, the Matthew Henry Commentary does not agree with the words that
Jesus spoke, that only those who are sick need a physician, and he did not come
to call the righteous.
Adam Clarke Commentary clarifies this doctrine when it states that: “Jesus
Christ represents himself here as the sovereign Physician of souls. That all
stand in need of his healing power. That men must acknowledge their spiritual
maladies, and the need they have of his mercy, in order to be healed by him.
That it is the most inveterate and dangerous disease the soul can be afflicted
with to imagine itself whole, when the sting of death, which is sin, has pierced
it through in every part, infusing its poison everywhere”.
Again we see that the Adam Clark Commentary also does not believe the
words of Jesus.
our present day understanding of the scriptures we cannot even comprehend the
meaning of the words: “They that be whole need not a physician”.
Why? Because we have
lost sight of the very Kingdom that Jesus came to declare -- a Kingdom that
exists within each of us (Lk 17:21 KJV).
Like Cain, each of us has gone forth from the presence of God, and it is
the destiny of all the prodigal sons of the Father to return to the Kingdom.
In order to accomplish this, we must first understand what the Bible
means when it states that we must be whole?
Mystical Essenes and early Gnostic Christians understood the term “whole”
as indicating one who converts the Jew, Samaritan, and the Nations within
himself, and brings the twelve spheres of mind together into abiding harmony --
reigning over his three natures (body, mind and spirit) -- and consciously
dwells in the Kingdom that is accessed within himself.
The disciple also understands that when the twelve spheres of mind which
are represented in the Revelation as the Tree of Life, are divided, what we have
is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Thus the words of Origen: “What man is found such an idiot as to
suppose that God planted trees in paradise in Eden, like a husbandman, and
planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes and senses, which gave
life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a
knowledge of good and evil? I
believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden
sense lies concealed”.
fail to understand these elementary truths of the scriptures, because what is
today called the Christian religion has been cast out of The Way by Constantine
and the Church of the Roman Empire. Having
been imbued with a carnal mindset, we simply cannot come to terms with the
words: “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved” (Prov 28:18 NKJ).
Why? Because in the adoption of Augustine's doctrine of Original Sin that
attempts to explain away sacred spiritual symbols that are impossible to
understand from a carnal perspective, we don't believe that any man can walk
blamelessly without the historical Jesus.
In our doctrines, we do not believe Jesus.
We do not believe that the Kingdom is within us -- and when we manifest
the laws of the inner Kingdom in our outer life, we will walk blamelessly.
We view the Christ as an historical personage, and not the Light that
calls to us from within the door of our soul.
our scriptures at Luke 10:25-28 (NIV) we find “an expert in the law”
asking Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” To
this question Jesus asks: “What
is written in the Law?” Yet,
in accordance with our present day doctrines of belief, Jesus never would have
answered in this manner. Again
we see another scriptural sighting where it is clear that Jesus is in need of
instruction with regard to what we must do to be saved.
the perspective of modern Christian dogma and belief: There is nothing in the
Law that could save the man, and this passage of scriptures represents just one
more enigma. Moreover, we are
unable to even comprehend why Jesus would ask him the question: What is written
in the Law. In the narrative
the man answers and says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love
your neighbor as yourself”. In
our Bibles today Jesus replies: “Do this and you will live”; but in
the Bible used in the second century by Clement of Alexandria, Jesus replied: “This
do, and thou shalt be saved” (The Instructor, Book 3).
modern Christians do not believe these words of Jesus!
Why? Because we don't
believe the Law can either save us, or bestow upon us life.
If what is written here is true, and one can be saved by fulfilling the
Law, then where does belief in the historical Jesus come into the picture?
Moreover, if this is true, that would mean that modern day Jews who fully
embrace the Law could be saved, even though they never converted to
the version of this scriptural encounter contained in Mark 12:34, the reply of
Jesus takes on a whole new dimension.
In reply, Jesus said to the scribe when he answered correctly: “Thou
art not far from the kingdom of God”.
But we don't believe that either.
Why? Because in
accordance with our doctrines, one cannot be saved apart from the historical
is written in the gospel is no different than what was conveyed by Paul when he
wrote: “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the
things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves”
(Rom 2:14 NAS). How could the
Gentiles who did not have the Law, keep the precepts of the Law? “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively;
God has put this knowledge in their hearts” (Rom 1:19 TLB).
Thus, because we view the scriptures from the same vision as the
Sadducees and Pharisees, we are incapable of comprehending the reality of what
the Bible is conveying to us -- i.e., by doing good, and seeking to know God --
our True Source of Being -- the Christ that dwells in the heart of man will
reveal himself to the faithful, and make known to them the means by which they
may enter the Kingdom.
to modern day Christian doctrine: If a man lives on a remote island -- having
never heard the Law of God spoken -- having never heard a word about the Jesus
of the New Testament -- and this man searches within his own heart and manifests
the truth (instinctively), he will be saved -- as seen in the words of Paul: “For
when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law,
these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves” (Rom 2:14 NAS) -- and
in spirit, the Lord will come to the man who instinctively does the things of
God in their life, and make them whole. Thus,
by fulfilling the Law of God that is written in their hearts, we can begin to
comprehend the truth in the statement that: “Whoever walks blamelessly will
be saved” (Prov 28:18 NKJ); and, “They that be whole need not a
physician, but they that are sick… for I am not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance” (Matt 9:12-13 KJV).
must ask the question: Why can’t the modern Christian believe these many
passages of scriptures? Because,
having adopted the traditions of the Pharisees and Sadducees, we look only to
the letter of the written word -- reading the scriptures as history -- rejecting
the wisdom of both the Essene/Ebionite/Nazirenes, as well as the Gentile
Christians, whereby they used the scriptures as keys to open the door to the
Spirit and the Kingdom of God within their our own minds and being. An example of this same error of reading the scriptures
literally in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees is brought to light by
Eusebius, who writes of the doctrines conceived by the early Christians Papias
and Irenaeus, and still held throughout the modern Christian world today: “Papias
reproduces other stories communicated to him by word of mouth, together with
some otherwise unknown parables and teachings of the Saviour, and other things
of a more allegorical character. He
says that 'after the resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a
thousand years when Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material
form'. I suppose he got these
notions by misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they
said in mystic and symbolic language. For
he seems to have been a man of very small intelligence, to judge from his books.
But it is partly due to him that the great majority of churchmen after
him took the same view, relying on his early date; e.g. Irenaeus and several
others, who clearly held the same opinion” (Eusebius, Hist Eccl., Book
mature spiritual Christian understands the parables and the seemingly historical
events of the written word not as signifying events in a past age -- even if
there is an historical basis -- but rather, these events are seen as spiritual
events pertaining to the plight of the disciple as they seek to open the gates
to the Kingdom within their mind and being.
When Eusebius writes of Papias' doctrine that “after the
resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a thousand years when
Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material form”, he makes
reference to the error of Papias when he interprets the “allegorical
character” of the scriptures in a literal fashion in the manner of the
Sadducees and Pharisees and writes: “I suppose he got these notions by
misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they said in
mystic and symbolic language. For
he seems to have been a man of very small intelligence, to judge from his
books”. In these words
it is again important for us to grasp what Eusebius states -- i.e., that the
apostolic accounts are written in the “mystic and symbolic language”
of the Essene Gnostics. With
regard to the thousand years when the kingdom will be set up on the earth --
Armageddon and the second coming of Christ is understood to signify the true war
that wages within the disciple in his mental and spiritual quest to overcome the
elemental powers in his physical body, and thereby reign in the Kingdom that
Jesus said is accessed within us (Luke 17:20-21).
Eusebius could meet with modern Christians today, he would convey that we are a
people who have been greatly deceived.
He would ask: Why have we taken upon ourselves the error of the Sadducees
and Pharisees and that of Papias, Irenaeus and the others who “got these
notions by misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they
said in mystic and symbolic language”? When Eusebius writes of Papias that he must “have been a
man of very small intelligence, to judge from his books”, he said this
because any man who is “outside” of the house, even if they are one
of carnal man's greatest scholars, is of “very small intelligence” --
using at best only one twelfth of their mental resources. In comparison to the Gnostic or Spiritual Christians or
Hebrews who are the true children of Israel, and who -- in their completion of
mind and spirit -- have found entrance into the Kingdom -- the modern believer
has embraced only the simple faith that Paul refers to as the “milk”
of the Gospel meant for “babes in Christ”.
questions how carnal Christians can believe the doctrine that: “after the
resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a thousand years when
Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material form”, when
Jesus clearly explained to the Pharisees that the kingdom of God will never come
upon the earth in material form: “The kingdom of God does not come with
your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,'
because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21 NIV).
It is because the Kingdom is a Spiritual Kingdom within you that Thomas
can say in his gospel: “Whoever finds the explanation of these words will
not taste death” -- and: “When the Lord was asked by a certain man,
when should his kingdom come, he said unto him, when two shall be one and the
without as the within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female”.
Thus, the disciple understands that the “apostolic accounts”
are written in a “mystic and symbolic language” that only the Lord
can open their mind to see and understand.
the words of St. Augustine: “What the apostle says pertains to this
problem: 'For the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth', that is, when that
which is said figuratively is taken as though it were literal, it is understood
carnally. Nor can anything more
appropriately be called the death of the soul than that condition in which the
thing which distinguishes us from beasts, which is the understanding, is
subjected to the flesh in the pursuit of the letter. He who follows the letter takes figurative expressions as
though they were literal and does not refer the things signified to anything
else” (De Doctrina Christiana).
St. Augustine quotes Paul with regard to the saying “the letter killeth,
but the spirit” makes alive, he is making reference to those who read the
scriptures literally as historic narratives vs those who perceive the inner
meaning of what is written. “Tell
me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?”
Writes the Apostle Paul to those who want to read the written word
literally. “For it is
written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a
freewoman. But he who was of the
bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Which things are an allegory” (Gal 4:21-24 KJV).
these words we must ask what Paul is conveying to us? The Apostle is stating nothing different than that
expressed by either of the two Clement's, Origen, or Eusebius when each of these
earliest of Christian witnesses warn the believer that those “babes in
Christ” who observe these things by the letter of the written word cannot
know the truth, because the letter or body of the scriptures cannot save us.
The Apostle states that to observe these things by the letter is
meaningless, because the things written literally in the scripture are an
allegory -- which allegory is a story which may on the surface appear to be
historical, but in the sacred writings conceals a deeper spiritual truth.
an historical perspective, maybe there was a person named Abraham -- maybe there
wasn't. Maybe he had two sons
-- maybe more, maybe one, maybe none.
From the perspective of man entering into the Kingdom, it makes no
difference whether the historical personage of Abraham lived or not, or how many
sons he had. What matters is
that we understand that we cannot be free until we rid ourselves of the covenant
of the flesh, which is the letter of the Law, and cleave to the spiritual, which
is the Life that lies within the letter.
In the same way that the body of man without the mind and spirit is dead,
so too is the written word of the scriptures dead without the mind and spirit,
and belief in the letter and the historical context cannot save us.
carnal believers such as the Sadducees and Pharisees, it is very important that
Abraham was an historical person -- that he had two sons -- and that they are of
the lineage of Sarah, his wife. Without
these things being historically true, they would not be able to call themselves
the chosen people blest by God. When John the Baptist saw the Sadducees and Pharisees
he said to them: “And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have
Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up
children for Abraham” (Matt 3:9 NIV).
It is important that we ask what was John attempting to convey?
In an opposite fashion to the mystical Essenes, the Sadducees and
Pharisees viewed the scriptures as literal historical narratives.
John the Baptist, who through the Dead Sea Scrolls it has been
demonstrated was an Essene, and who understood the scriptures in their spiritual
language, warned them that God is not the God of carnal believers who twist the
meaning of the scriptures -- but rather, the God of the spiritual believer who
surrenders his life to the Lord, and lives the Word of God in word, thought and
you believe in the historical Jesus?
Do you believe that the historical Jesus can save you? If you believe, that is good, but be sure to heed his
words when he warned: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the
things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 KJV).
The New Testament scriptures were written for the very purpose of your
salvation -- but those who do not do what the Lord has commanded are
unbelievers, regardless of what they profess with their lips.
regard to the body of the scriptures: “Which things are an allegory”,
writes the Apostle, “for these are the two covenants; the one from the
mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount
Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with
her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us
all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and
cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she
which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of
promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was
born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture?
Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be
heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of
the bondwoman, but of the free” (Gal 4:24-31 KJV).
Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham is not historically true, and is
an allegory. If this is so,
how can the Jews be the children of Abraham?
Origen would probably say: What man of sense would believe that Sarah
conceived a child at the age of ninety-nine.
Does not the very concept of two nines -- nine divided -- convey to us a
state of division? Is not
this same state of division presented to us in the New Testament scriptures
where it states: “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and
one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains
and go and search for the one that is straying?” (Matt 18:12 NAS).
man of the spirit perceives that the Hebrew Holy Men wrote and conveyed messages
in numbers -- and the number nine has a profound meaning in relation to the
Kingdom. Therefore, the
number ninety-nine demonstrates a division that can be overcome when we begin to
comprehend what it means to go and search in the mountains in our quest for the
one hundredth sheep -- which is a number that conveys wholeness and completion.
view of the fact that the Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham, Sarah,
and the two sons are not historically true, how does this impact the genealogy
of Jesus? Was his lineage
born from an allegory -- or does the lineage itself convey a series of profound
sacred truths to the disciple -- truths that are concealed from the perception
of the carnal believer who sees only the letter of the written word?
regard to the two covenants, we are the children of the free woman so long as we
pursue the spirit of the Word, rather than the flesh.
In the words of St. Augustine: “He is a slave to a sign who uses or
worships a significant thing without knowing what it signifies.
But he who uses or venerates a useful sign divinely instituted whose
signifying force he understands does not venerate what he sees and what passes
away but rather that to which all such things are to be referred.
Such a man is spiritual and free, even during that time of servitude in
which it is not yet opportune to reveal to carnal minds those signs under whose
yoke they are to be tamed” (De Doctrina Christiana).
literal word of the scriptures are signs that signify spiritual truths.
The literal word may be based upon historical facts, or the text of the
narrative may be a complete fabrication.
Whether they are historically accurate or not, they appear in scripture
as signs that signify profound spiritual truths that assist the disciple in his
quest to enter the Kingdom. Augustine
writes that: “He is a slave to a sign who uses or worships a significant
thing without knowing what it signifies”.
These stories that resemble historical narratives are allegories, not
history. These allegories are
written “when it is not yet opportune to reveal to carnal minds those signs
under whose yoke they are to be tamed”.
Yet, those who perceive the deeper meaning of the word, “are
spiritual and free”.
believers will view these things as confusing and not in accord with their
understanding of the scriptures. They
will rightly say: How can I believe the scriptures when you state that they are
not historically accurate. With
regard to this position Origen wrote: “Let no one, however, entertain the
suspicion that we do not believe any history in Scripture to be real, because we
suspect certain events related in it not to have taken place; or that no
precepts of the law are to be taken literally, because we consider certain of
them, in which either the nature or possibility of the case so requires,
incapable of being observed; or that we do not believe those predictions which
were written of the Savior to have been fulfilled in a manner palpable to the
senses; or that His commandments are not to be literally obeyed. We have
therefore to state in answer, since we are manifestly so of opinion, that the
truth of the history may and ought to be preserved in the majority of instances.
For who can deny that Abraham was buried in the double cave at Hebron, as well
as Isaac and Jacob, and each of their wives? Or who doubts that Shechem was
given as a portion to Joseph? or that Jerusalem is the metropolis of Judea, on
which the temple of God was built by Solomon? - and countless other statements.
For the passages which hold good in their historical acceptation are much more
numerous than those which contain a purely spiritual meaning. Then, again, who
would not maintain that the command to 'honor thy father and thy mother, that it
may be well with thee,' is sufficient of itself without any spiritual meaning,
and necessary for those who observe it? Especially when Paul also has confirmed
the command by repeating it in the same words. And what need is there to speak
of the prohibitions, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' 'Thou shalt not steal,'
'Thou shalt not bear false witness,' and others of the same kind? And with
respect to the precepts enjoined in the Gospels, no doubt can be entertained
that very many of these are to be literally observed, as e.g., when our Lord
says, 'But I say unto you, Swear not at all;' and when He says, 'Whosoever
looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already
in his heart;' the admonitions also which are found in the writings of the
Apostle Paul, 'Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the
weak, be patient towards all men,' and very many others. And yet I have no doubt
that an attentive reader will, in numerous instances, hesitate whether this or
that history can be considered to be literally true or not; or whether this or
that precept ought to be observed according to the letter or not. And therefore
great pains and labor are to be employed, until every reader reverentially
understand that he is dealing with divine and not human words inserted in the
we must not loose sight of is that the bible is a spiritual book that does not
deal with man's history -- but rather, man's relationship to the Kingdom of God.
Yes, it is true that the Son of Man walked the earth at the beginning of
our Common Era -- that he came to save those who were lost -- this is an
historical fact that with my own eyes I have been permitted to witness.
But we must remain ever mindful that the Son of God is calling us into
his Kingdom this very day, and those who will hear him calling and enter therein
will be saved. Therefore,
even when the scriptures are historically accurate, their accuracy means very
little unless you can understand what is being conveyed in the context of your
quest to enter the Kingdom during our present time.
is not until we understand that the Living Christ is present within us, and that
we must become the Son of Man who walks in The Way, that we can begin to embrace
the written word in its soul and spiritual essence. All the names, numbers and seemingly events that are
reported in the New Testament, convey a sacred meaning to the disciple of the
Lord who is in search of the Truth and Light.
All those who walk in The Way must be born of a virgin -- be baptized in
the river Jordan -- raise us twelve disciples -- preach the Living Word to the
Nations (the elemental forces of the body/mind -- convert the Jew (Judas) who
practices the Word of God outwardly, instead of inwardly -- carries their cross
to the crucifixion in the endeavor to overcome the body/mind of flesh and return
as the prodigal son to the Kingdom of Origination where our Heavenly Father
carnally minded believer who simply skims over the body of the scriptures and
sees historical events -- rather than intimate spiritual truths -- believes
horrific absurdities about God that are not worthy to even entertain, as well as
beliefs that are often contradicted in other places within the scriptures.
Anyone who believes that the Bible is literally true where it is written:
“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); is simply unable to perceive the Divine
Essence of God.
can we believe that God would look favorably upon the senseless destruction of
innocent men, women, and children? How
can we believe that God would Himself orchestrate such a heinous act of
irrational and pointless violence? Only
those people who are themselves of a gross, barbaric, and unrefined nature,
would even entertain the belief that a Supreme Being would orchestrate and
affirm such horrendous behavior.
those places in scripture that contain the greatest absurdities, are the very
places where important truths are placed for man to discern and behold.
Thus, an example of this fact is seen in the Ten Commandments where it is
written: “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD
your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to
the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Deut 5:9 NIV).
Is this the loving God revealed by Jesus who holds the children of
unbelievers accountable to the third and fourth generation?
a spiritual perspective, what we have here is the embodiment of a very important
and profound spiritual concept -- a concept conveying a truth of such magnitude,
that if we understood its spiritual meaning, we would begin to comprehend the
reason why carnal man cannot gaze into the heavenly realms with his physical
eyes. Going one step further,
if we knew what is being conveyed in this statement, and we could perceive the
workings of the natural laws of this realm and their impact upon our minds and
thinking, we would immediately understand why we are limited to less then ten
percent of our potential of mind. Yet, instead of seeking out the spiritual significance
of this absurdity, Christians believe that God punishes the children of sinners
to the third and fourth generation.
the literal meaning of the written word is not worthy of our belief is even
demonstrated in the Bible's own refutation of such a doctrine that the children
of sinners will be held accountable to the third and fourth generation: “The
soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the
father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness
of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be
upon him” (Ezek 18:20 KJV).
reader who pays close attention to the scriptures will immediately question why
God would hold innocent children accountable for the sins of their forefathers
to the third and fourth generation? Is
this the righteousness of God? Or,
are we supposed to seek the inner meaning of the scriptures, and learn what
great spiritual truth the Bible is attempting to convey to us with regard to the
third and fourth sequential generation?
view of the fact that such an absurdity was written so that men of a reasonable
mind could not believe such statement literally, we would do well to learn from
the first Christians, and investigate their mindset regarding the nature of
scripture? In the
introduction of the early Christian writing known as the Shepard of Hermas it is
written: “The Pastor of Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not
the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and
fourth centuries... In ancient times two opinions prevailed in regard to the
authorship. The most widely spread was, that the Pastor of Hermas was the
production of the Hermas mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans. Origen states
this opinion distinctly, and it is repeated by Eusebius and Jerome”.
it is true that the Pastor of Hermas was one of the most important scriptural
authorities over the first four centuries, then we can use it in our endeavor to
better understand the essence of early Christian thought.
What the Shepherd of Hermas has to say is very important to us today
because it represents the scriptural tradition that was taught directly to the
faithful flock by the Apostles of Christ. Thus,
on the nature of scripture, in the Shepherd we find: “I am senseless, sir,
say I, and do not understand these parables. For how she can crush out, and on
the other hand save, I do not perceive. Listen, says he. Those who have never
searched for the truth, nor investigated the nature of the Divinity, but have
simply believed, when they devote themselves to and become mixed up with
business, and wealth, and heathen friendships, and many other actions of this
world, do not perceive the parables of Divinity; for their minds are darkened by
these actions, and they are corrupted and become dried up. Even as beautiful
vines, when they are neglected, are withered up by thorns and divers plants, so
men who have believed, and have afterwards fallen away into many of those
actions above mentioned, go astray in their minds, and lose all understanding in
regard to righteousness; for if they hear of righteousness, their minds are
occupied with their business, and they give no heed at all. Those, on the other
hand, who have the fear of God, and search after the Godhead and truth, and have
their hearts turned to the Lord, quickly perceive and understand what is said to
them, because they have the fear of the Lord in them. For where the Lord dwells,
there is much understanding. Cleave, then, to the Lord, and you will understand
and perceive all things”.
message that is very clear from this early Christian writing is that it is
impossible to mature spiritually, while attempting to divide oneself between the
two worlds. In our present
day culture we are living proof as to the validity of the wisdom that is
portrayed in this writing -- i.e., one cannot perceive the true meaning of the
parables and the inner significance of the historical narrative of the
scriptures, while one devotes their lives to their “business, and wealth,
and heathen friendships, and many other actions of this world” -- which
would include an addiction to television, computer games, internet pornography,
and all the many leisure’s and entertainments that captivate and control our
every-day lives. Moreover,
how can we even be called believers when we send our children to educational
systems that not only teach a Darwinist perception of life that is fatally
flawed, but further teaches our children to become totally immersed in the
sensual and materialistic powers of this world?
Fundamentally, what this universally accepted first century writing
conveys to us is that, contrary to what is being preached in our pulpits, the
Sunday go to church people who live culturized lives over the course of the rest
of the week, are incapable of fulfilling the requirements of the Word of God.
the Shepherd of Hermas a reference is made to a tower, of which it is written: “And
the tower, I asked, what does it mean? This tower, he replied, is the Church.
And these virgins, who are they? They are Holy Spirits, and men cannot otherwise
be found in the kingdom of God unless these have put their clothing upon them:
for if you receive the name only, and do not receive from them the clothing,
they are of no advantage to you. For these virgins are the powers of the Son of
God. If you bear His name but possess not His power, it will be in vain that you
bear His name”.
understanding what is written, it is most important for us to be aware of the
continual message found in the words: “If you bear His name but possess not
His power, it will be in vain that you bear His name”.
Thus, if you call yourselves Christian, but fail to purify and develop
your mind and body from the defilements of this world -- and do not possess the
true Knowledge of the Spiritual Christ -- and have not yourselves inherited the
same higher powers of mind that the Son of God promised all his followers would
possess -- then “it will be in vain that you bear His name”.
throughout the scriptures, including the New Testament, has three meanings, as
proclaimed in the Proverbs: “And do thou describe these things to thyself
in a threefold manner, in counsel and knowledge, and that thou mayest answer the
words of truth to those who have proposed them to thee”.
In explaining this great truth, Origen writes of the miracles of Jesus: “…so
also there were many dead in the days of Jesus, but those only rose from the
grave whom the Logos knew to be fitted for a resurrection, in order that the
works done by the Lord might not be merely symbols of certain things, but that
by the very acts themselves He might gain over many to the marvelous doctrine of
the Gospel. I would say, moreover, that, agreeably to the promise of Jesus, His
disciples performed even greater works than these miracles of Jesus, which were
perceptible only to the senses. For the eyes of those who are blind in soul are
ever opened; and the ears of those who were deaf to virtuous words, listen
readily to the doctrine of God, and of the blessed life with Him; and many, too,
who were lame in the feet of the 'inner man,' as Scripture calls it, having now
been healed by the word, do not simply leap, but leap as the hart, which is an
animal hostile to serpents, and stronger than all the poison of vipers. And
these lame who have been healed, receive from Jesus power to trample, with those
feet in which they were formerly lame, upon the serpents and scorpions of
wickedness, and generally upon all the power of the enemy; and though they tread
upon it, they sustain no injury, for they also have become stronger than the
poison of all evil and of demons” (Symbols of miracles; Origen, Contra
these words demonstrate to us is the great truth that both life, and the
scriptures, is a great deal more than what we perceive it to be. The secret to understanding the Bible, which is the key
to the knowledge of life itself, was possessed by the early church, and can
still be embraced in the words of Origen when he responded to Celsus that the
Christ still visits the Godly, as seen in the words: “I maintain that even
after His incarnation, He is always found by those who possess the acutest
spiritual vision to be most God-like”.
Thus, the secret, then, is not in what one believes -- for all
philosophical belief is at best a mere shadow of reality -- but rather, all the
great Truths of Creation belong to those who are willing to live their life in
accordance with the teachings of The Way, in order to make themselves a fit
vessel for the Son of God to come and make his abode within them, and personally
reveal the Mysteries of God and the Sacred Secrets of Creation.
To contact the author: Allan_Cronshaw@nazirene.org