HEBREW NEW COVENANT
PAGAN GENTILE CHRISTIANITY
Unlike the Gentiles who proclaimed an allegiance to a philosophy that redeemed them from their own sinful ways, and then continued to live in the same manner as everyone else, the Hebrew holy men went to the heart of the matter in their quest to bridge the gap between this world and the Kingdom. Because the masses of people -- being of a carnal mindset -- cannot embrace the revelation of higher knowledge, what the Hebrews created was a religious culture -- a way of life -- that brought man and God together in every aspect of the people’s lives.
The objective of the Hebrew holy men was to shift the perception of the common people beyond the physical, and develop them to the point where they were better able to overcome their very carnal nature that banished man from his true place of origination. What they accomplished was to devise a practical means to fulfill the objective, which was contained in the words: I "...bridle the whole body" (James 3:2 KJV); or "...beat my body and make it my slave..." (1 Cor 9:27 NIV); "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature" (Col 3:5 NIV) -- Which spiritual concepts can be realized in the requirement set forth by the Apostle Paul when he said that all Christians should "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5 NIV)? How solemnly this requirement was set forth can be seen in the words of Jesus where he warned: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt 12:36 KJV).
From the perspective of the people of the Nations, these biblical statements embody rigid extremism in its ultimate form. How can man bridle his body -- beat it to make it his slave -- put to death his earthly nature -- and "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"? How can we be judged for every idle word that we speak?
Yet, these verses of scripture represent core spiritual concepts that are absent from religiously based philosophy -- and in these statements is confirmed the words found in the Imitation of Christ where it is written: "‘If any love Me, he will keep My words, and We will come unto him, and will make our abode with him’. Give therefore, admittance unto Christ, and deny entrance to all others... Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world. Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you."
Is the original New Covenant teachings the embodiment of extremism, as our liberal thinkers would reason today? Yes it is extreme -- until we truly become cognizant of the fact that we dwell in a prison -- i.e., our true self exists in a twelve dimensional reality that is beyond even our imagination and ability to contemplate -- and because our true (soul) presence is so reduced by the three dimensions of this very incomplete realm, our intelligence and power of mind has been diminished to a mere fraction of our potential. In the same way that we would question the wisdom of a parent who keeps their child locked in a room and separated from the outside world, it is not until we comprehend that the term extremism is only applicable to the poverty in which we presently dwell, can we begin to walk the path that the men and women of wisdom have called The Way.
The essence of living in accordance with the Law is not constrainment, but to bring God-awareness into every experience of life -- thereby creating the foundational mindset that enables ones vital energies to be channeled back into one’s inner Source, rather than out into the world. If the heathen is to become the Jew -- and the Jew is to be transformed into Israel -- there is no other means to bring this about. From a biblical perspective, what one’s subjectivity to the Law of God accomplishes, is to start the process where man’s innate spiritual nature begins to become more manifest in the life of the people.
In order to comprehend why the Hebrews created this culture, one must first understand that our thoughts and words that we speak have their similarities in the pattern of our modern system of electrical power. Our appliances consume power in the form of current -- and this current is moved through electrical wires by a force that is called voltage. If, in the course of transmission from the electrical generation plants to the appliance, the wires were not properly insulated, and power was permitted to bleed off, our electrical appliances would be energy-starved, and would not be able to function at its intended potential.
When medical doctors monitor a persons electroencephalogram (EEG), what they are doing is measuring the presence of minute levels of electrical bio-energy that are present in all living beings. When the person dies, this bio-energy is no longer being generated. In the case of a person who is brain dead, movement of this bio-energy can no longer be observed because its source is the soul, which is no longer present even though the body continues to function.
In many respects the soul is as a conductor of this observable power, with the ultimate source of this energy being God. In the same way that all energy is moved because of a difference of potential -- a negative and positive polarity -- the bio-energy upon which our thoughts, consciousness and life-force ride upon and manifest our soul in this world as living beings, can be moved between the polarities either external to us through nature, or internal -- thus we have the foundational principle of the teachings of the Two Ways.
When Moses said to the people: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut 30:19 KJV); in the world of religious philosophies, this is known as the Two Ways. Throughout the New Testament Jesus taught about the Two Ways -- especially as seen in his words: "Enter through the narrow gate; For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matt 7:13-14 NIV).
When we permit our bio-energy to be bled off into the world, this is indicative of the biblical condition known as carnal -- which is the "broad way" that leads to destruction. The result of this lifestyle is that we become sense bound -- resulting in the condition where our inner resources of higher mind never develops, and the presence of our soul and our spiritual nature remains dormant. On the other hand, we enter through the narrow gate when we begin to channel our bio-energy within us, rather than squander it in the world. It is as water flowing through a leak in a dike. In the beginning its just a trickle -- but as the water continues to flow, the opening becomes larger and larger.
What the Hebrews did was create a culture where every aspect of the people’s lives would continually make them conscious of themselves in relation to God. Just as important, though, was the fact that they created a series of rituals and symbols that would cause the consciousness to transcend the bridge between the outer world and the Kingdom within. This has the effect of increasing the flow of bio-energy within the person, thereby quickening their spiritual development. Moreover, as the potential of mind and spiritual energy of the person increased, the disciple would begin to see and perceive with a greater depth, thereby enabling them to comprehend the inner meaning of the ritual or symbol, and this would in fact supercharge the (religious) experience. These symbols, then, are a means to connect this outer world to the Kingdom.
From the perspective of what they eventually accomplished, even this was elementary. The Hebrew holy men became so God-conscious, that they were able to create what can truly be called a spiritual language that transcended all dimensions of inner consciousness. Their spiritual awareness had taught them that at the Essence of Creation, God was One and in Total Harmony. They understood that as God’s vital energies moved out into creation, what was ONE at its Source, became divided.
In the cosmic design, there was the threefold creative force that interacts and brings everything into existence -- the seven sacred spiritual centers in the body -- the twelve spheres of mind -- and in the numbers we observe the elders, tribes and the nations. The Hebrew sages perceived how God’s energies continued to move out into creation -- continuing to divide into the sub-atomic worlds and bring about every element of this and all other realms of existence. In this respect, their vision was so elevated above that of carnal man, that if our scientists and physicists today could sit at their feet, these holy men would be heralded as the ultimate master scientists of all time.
More importantly, though, is that they understood the workings of the Laws of God that held all of Creation in balance and being. They therefore created a language very different than what we are accustomed to today -- a language where each letter of their alphabet represented a law -- or pathway between the twelve spheres of mind as represented in the Tree of Life. In their heightened perception of reality, each letter had a numerical equivalent, as well as a sound and vibration that would activate the Laws of Creation within themselves when used in the proper sequences. They called this language the primary language of God -- symbolically, that which was spoken in the scriptures as being prior to the Tower of Babel when it was said of mankind that "...they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them" (Gen 11:6 RSV).
It is not that the Hebrew holy men authored and created this spiritual language -- but rather, that their awareness of God had expanded to the degree where they understood the secrets of Creation. In their heightened vision of reality, they saw that God brought everything into being through Natural and Organic Laws that encompassed every spectrum of light, color, sound, harmony, shape -- and transcended every dimension of consciousness of Creation. In making themselves subject to the Will of God, they therefore brought these Natural and Organic Laws into the most ancient forms of the Hebrew language itself.
Now let us revisit the statement regarding the Hebrew original of the Gospel of Matthew written by St. Jerome to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus: "A difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, did not wish to be openly written. For if it had not been Secret, he would have added to the evangel that which he gave forth was his; but he made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious, who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed, and its text they related some one way and some another".
The spiritual language of the soul that we are speaking about is the original Hebrew Characters -- not the form of Hebrew used by the common people. This language was so secret, that it contained no vowels, and each reader had to know the sound and pronunciation of the words. Moreover, it was so flexible and diverse, that its very reading could be accomplished in almost any number of ways -- as seen in Jerome’s words: "and its text they related some one way and some another".
How spiritually far advanced were these writings? Recently the power of the modern computer has been turned upon the Hebrew text of the scriptures -- a text not near as pure as the original ancient Hebrew -- and what they discovered has been called the Bible Codes -- which codes have transcend time as we know it. It is as if the Hebrew prophets were able to predict every person that would ever exist, as well as every occurrence that would come into being and transpire throughout every age. How could they do this? The essence of what men are only now beginning to perceive, is that the language was written multidimensional -- and its vision of reality was not of this world, but from the perception of the soul and spirit of all of Creation.
The Hebrew holy men became so God-conscious, that they were in fact the guide for all the major religions of the world. It was not that they invented what we have come to perceive as religious concepts -- but rather, they guided many of the philosophers and people of others cultures along the path of self-discovery. Yet, these other religions were hindered by the fact that they could never attain to the level of the Hebrews. Regardless of the fact that the philosophers were able to contemplate the Mysteries of God, they lacked a spiritual culture -- a nation and body of believers that acted as a support for the varying levels of spiritual adepts that manifested every degree of spiritual consciousness.
In comprehending these great truths, we can also understand why those teachings which were referred to as the Mysteries of God could not be understood by the carnal minded believers. Because they were only using a mere fraction of their potential of mind, they simply did not possess the tools to even begin to contemplate the true essence of the sacred teachings. These great truths cannot be taught, in the manner that we teach today -- they can only be learned through man’s direct spiritual interaction and experience with the Divine. Hebrew holy men could act as guides -- and direct the disciples quest in a more pure direction -- but in view of the fact that man’s true quest is one of self-discovery, the path of Life must be explored by each of us in pursuit of our destiny.
One of the major problems that confront man today is that it is very difficult to accomplish these spiritual milestones alone. Something that is beyond our present-day understanding is the effect of another person’s presence within the close proximity of each other. Because we are all connected at the essence of our being with the One True Source of Life -- and it is the same vital force moving out into creation upon which each of our own individual consciousness dwells -- the presence of other people actually invokes the vibration that they represent within our own mind and being.
What this means is that when we are in the presence of a true holy man, his entrance into our outer domain draws our consciousness towards the vibration that he represents within us -- with the result being that we are drawn closer to God. In like manner, when we are in the presence of an evil man -- one who is spiritually unclean -- one who lives a sinful life -- their proximity to our domain can draw us into their vibration. Thus, it is for this reason that the Bible places such strong emphasis on the necessity of marriage, family and community, as part of the foundation of genuine religion. Moreover, because Paul understood the dynamics of how others influence us, it was for this reason that the Apostle confirmed the need for Christians to live separate and apart from the unbelievers: "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you" (2 Cor 6:17 NIV). What the Apostle is stating is a fundamental Bible truth that to our own detriment we ignorantly ignore. That in our present-day philosophical perception of the Word we have violated this great truth, has only contributed to our own spiritual defilement. I will write more on this later -- but the impact upon our children can be spiritually devastating.
The Hebrew holy man did not need to teach in our sense of the word. His very presence invoked a higher mindset -- and even without words, he had the power to draw the disciple closer to God. In the case of Jesus, he had the power to take his disciples beyond the barrier of this world, and open the door to spiritual realms. On the other hand, his presence caused the violent nature of the spiritual impostors to errupt in his condemnation. Why? Because those who dwell in darkness, fear the Light.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts that the Hebrew prophets ever gave into the hands of mankind, was the original Gospel of Matthew -- a writing often referred to as the Gospel According to the Hebrews -- which was written in the original Hebrew characters. Here was the culmination of ages of prophetic work brought into a first century New Covenant form -- and its value is beyond modern human comprehension. I use the word is, because there are still copies in existence today. In fact, perhaps a check of the Vatican Library would produce a number of profound biblical discoveries.
In the case of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, here was a writing that not only declared and manifested the teachings of the Son of God in the body of its text, but it was written in the spiritual language of the soul, and revealed the Source of Light in its multidimensional form. As the disciple read the words, the very nature of the text not only spoke from within as well as without, but also transcended heaven and earth -- all polarities of mind and being, as well as time and space as we know it. What we are today beginning to decipher as Bible Codes with our modern-day computers, is a reality that actually works upon the consciousness of the disciple as he studies the Holy Word of God.
In the same way that the true spiritual depth was lost when sacred writings such as these were translated into the Hebrew of the masses, with its punctuation marks and the like, the translation into Greek made it at best, mealy a revelation of the lesser mysteries. Moreover, when the Greek texts are then translated into a spiritually dead language such as English, they retain little more than a moral code by which the multitude of believers can use to shape their lives. The result is that the scriptures, being devoid of their multidimensional essence, have lost their power to invoke the inner dimensions of man’s spiritual nature.
Once these truths are realized, it is also understood that the form of Christianity embraced by the Gentiles was defective from the very beginning. The scriptures could not be translated into the Greek and still retain their multidimensional nature. Thus, because the people of the Nations did not possess a God-centered culture that permeated their language and manner of living, the Greeks were spoken of as philosophers. They were never able to build a truly religious culture as did the Hebrews, and their holy men were found only in little schools where the master taught his disciples. In the same way that the Greek language was not founded upon the Natural Laws of Creation, and there is nothing in the Greek Mystery Religions that contains anything such as the revelations pertaining to The Tree of Life, their spiritual state of mind was in no wise comparable to that of the Hebrew holy men.
Even today, though our biblical scholars do not possess the spiritual depth to comprehend the far reaching implications of the true New Covenant foundation, what they saw in the caves of Quamran came as no surprise to informed people. "Biblical scholars", said the late A. Powell Davies, "were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been" (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). They knew all along that Jesus was part of a movement -- a movement whose quest was to be God’s "kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex 19:6). Didn’t Jesus himself tell us: "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22 KJV).
One of the great problems that confront us today is that the essence of New Covenant thought is so foreign to our modern culture, that we cannot even envision what is revealed in the scrolls. In many respects, the Dead Sea Scrolls have given birth to still another form of error, as seen in the words of Edmund Wilson, an expert who worked on the scrolls, in his book The Scrolls From The Dead Sea who raises the question as to what difference it makes if "Jesus... had been trained in the discipline and imbued with the thought of a certain Jewish sect, and that he had learned from it the role that he afterwards lived..."? Thus, the problem is that carnal man is incapable of comprehending the true place of Jesus in the history of mankind.
The obstacle that confronts us is that until we begin to embrace a more clear understanding of the true nature of Jesus in relation to ourselves and the purpose of Creation, we will remain spiritually stagnant, and the gates to the Kingdom will continue to be obscured from our perception. Who was Jesus in the eyes of those who lived with him, spoke to him, and was taught by him? Their perception of Jesus is captured by Gibbon where he wrote concerning the Hebrew followers of Jesus: "They revered Jesus as the greatest of the prophets, endowed with supernatural virtue and power. They ascribed to his person and to his future reign all the predictions of the Hebrew oracles which relate to the spiritual and everlasting kingdom of the promised Messiah" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.2, P.222).
Writing about the beliefs of the very first followers of Jesus, as demonstrated in the doctrines ascribed to the Jewish Messianic believers known as the Ebionites which were held in common with the man Cerinthus, who was himself a Jewish Messianic leader, the second century writer Irenaeus states that they: "represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the ordinary course of human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous, prudent, and wise than other men. Moreover, after his baptism, Christ descended upon him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles" (Irenaeus, Bk 1, Ch 26, doctrines of Cerinthus).
What the first followers of Jesus believed was exactly what I have previously demonstrated was written in each of the New Testament Gospels, and is still noted in the footnote of the Revised Standard Version that many of the more ancient manuscripts read: "Today I have begotten thee", instead of the "In thee I am well pleased" at Luke 3:22. Thus, we can alter our scriptures to say anything we please, but the disciples of Jesus believed what he taught them when he explained that when the Anointing came upon him when he was baptized in the Jordan, it was at that time that he became the Messiah/Christ, as seen in the words: "Today I have begotten thee".
Jesus taught his disciples that they were all the prodigal sons of the Father -- that being lost in this, the far country, they were all dead -- and he, being the first among his brothers to completely fulfill the Law of God, was the first to return to the Kingdom. This, then, is the perspective of the words where it is written: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead" (Rev 1:5 KJV).
From a biblical perspective, being reborn from the dead is the exact same destiny of all of mankind as seen in the words of the Apostle: "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Acts 13:33 KJV). Yet, the Gentile world which lacked the God-centered foundation of the Jews, simply refused to believe what Jesus taught, and what the Apostles witnessed to, as can be seen in the words of Barnes’ Notes on Acts 13:33 with respect to the words Have I begotten thee: "This evidently cannot be understood in a literal sense. It literally refers to the relation of an earthly father to his children; but in no such sense can it be applied to the relation of God the Father to the Son. It must, therefore, be figurative".
The Book of Acts tells us that after Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit -- not partially -- or merely inspired -- but speaking with the perception of an Anointed Mind, he proclaimed before the people: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know" (Acts 2:22 KJV). Thus, Peter confirms the first century doctrine that Jesus was a man -- a man who was approved by God -- and it was God who performed the "miracles and wonders and signs" through him.
From a biblical perspective, there is nothing in the Old Testament that implies or predicts that the Eternal God will come in the form of man. The prediction was that God would raise up a prophet from among the Jews, like Moses, as seen where it is written: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him" (Deut 18:15 NIV). When Peter spoke before the Jews, he stated that this prediction applied to Jesus -- and in so doing, himself called Jesus a prophet: "Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you... This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up’" (Acts 3:22;7:37 RSV).
Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Jesus referred to himself as a prophet, as seen in the words: "But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house’" (Matt 13:57 RSV). When conversing about his crucifixion, Jesus again spoke of himself as a prophet, as seen where it is written: "Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!" (Luke 13:33 NLT). Thus, Jesus told his disciples and followers that he was a prophet.
In Jesus’ prayer to the Father prior to his crucifixion it is written: "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt 26:39 KJV). If Jesus was God, and the Father and the Son were not separate and distinct individuals, such a prayer would have been meaningless. In these many such instances where Jesus prays to God -- or the Father -- if they were one and the same, Jesus would have been praying to himself -- and his will, would of necessity have been the Father’s will. Moreover, neither could God call his disciples his brothers, and make the statement: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’" (John 20:17 NIV).
What Jesus taught his disciples was that he and the Father were One -- but this same Oneness was also applied to his disciples, as seen in the words: "That they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me" (John 17:21-23 NAS). The problem is that we cannot even begin to understand the essence and meaning of this spiritual concept, until we are first able to comprehend our own divided nature -- the reality of our pre-existent soul -- and our vision has been opened to where we are able to see beyond the natural barriers of this world. What Jesus is saying, though, is that in the same way that he and the Father are One, they too are One.
If Jesus was God -- or even coequal with God as in the foundation of the doctrine of the Trinity -- Jesus could never have said to his disciples: "You heard me say, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me" (John 14:28-31 NIV). How could a coequal God say that God was greater than he was? Moreover, if they were one and the same personage, how could Jesus say that he must do "exactly what my Father has commanded me".
It is a widely accepted doctrine among Christians today that the disciples and Messianic followers did not comprehend the true nature of Jesus, because they did not proclaim that he was God -- as did the Pagan Gentile converts. What Jesus taught his disciple with regard to who he was, is exactly what was stated by Peter after he was totally enlightened by the Holy Spirit: "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know" (Acts 2:22 NIV). Where did Peter get the notion that Jesus was a man -- a man that God performed miracles, wonders and signs through? Didn’t Jesus himself say that "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself..." (John 5:19 NAS); "The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works" (John 14:10 NKJ); "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:30 NKJ); "...I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him" (John 8:28-29 NIV); "for the works which the Father has given Me to finish -- the very works that I do -- bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me" (John 5:36 NKJ); "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You" (John 17:6-7 NKJ).
How could God give God works to finish? How could God know nothing except what God taught him? Moreover, why would God -- a Being that cannot be defiled -- consecrate himself as seen in the words: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth" (John 17:16-19 RSV).
Are these just words -- or did Jesus truly mean that his disciples were not of this world? When Jesus states that he is At-One with God, does that mean that he is God? And when Jesus states that his disciples are at-one with both him and God, does that make them God? These are question that carnal man is incapable of answering – incapable, until they have themselves attained this level of oneness. Perhaps, then, before we attempt to explain them away with carnal perceptions and traditions in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees, we had better do as Jesus said, walk in The Way, and find out the Truth of the matter for ourselves.
In view of what Jesus taught his disciples and followers, again let us review the direct witness of the Apostle Peter as found in the Clementine Holily number sixteen, Chapter fifteen, where he opposed Simon Magus and states: "Our Lord neither asserted that there were gods except the Creator of all, nor did He proclaim Himself to be God, but He with reason pronounced blessed him who called Him the Son of that God who has arranged the universe".
It is a well recorded fact of history that the disciples of Jesus, his brother James, and the Messianic Jewish believers who were his friends, brothers and followers, did not believe that Jesus was God. Those people who spoke to him -- ate with him -- traveled with him -- and were taught by him -- and was even his brother -- believed exactly as it is written in the scriptures: "But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men" (Matt 9:8 KJV).
Fundamentally, every person who was taught directly by Jesus held a common belief of a "supernatural union of a man and a God; and this mystic doctrine was adopted with many fanciful improvements by Carpocrates, Basilides, and Valentine... In their eyes, Jesus of Nazareth was a mere mortal, the legitimate son of Joseph and Mary: but he was the best and wisest of the human race, selected as the worthy instrument to restore upon earth the worship of the true and supreme Deity. When he was baptized in the Jordan, the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry" (Gibbon; The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.366).
This belief -- that "the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry", is simply not understood by the carnal mind of natural man -- as is very clearly stated in the Bible itself. We can only start to comprehend this belief that was held commonly by ALL the faithful believers who were taught directly by Jesus himself, as well as those who were closest to him in the first century, when we begin to apply what the Apostle Paul put forth in the first chapter of Romans, and explore the belief in relation to our own entrance into this world.
We came into being by virtue of the Powers of Creation coming together -- male and female -- and a part of our parent’s essence -- a divided part -- was merged into a single core unit. This unit, then, did not suddenly spring forth into a body -- but rather, it began the process of expansion and growth by dividing itself. It becomes a person because of a genetic code -- a code that we can liken to a set of predetermined laws that totally controls its formation and growth.
In this respect, our whole existence as the offspring of God is controlled in this same fashion. In the same way that an embryo has a genetic destiny that is predetermined by a set of laws, we are as an embryo that has been planted within the Being of God -- i.e., "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28 KJV) -- because all of Creation has sprang forth from God, and at one level, remains connected to its Source of Being.
When we say that the prodigal son returns to his father -- or that we must "be converted, and become as little children" (Matt 18:3 KJV), which I have already demonstrated means to "turn about", or reverse ones direction -- what we are in fact saying is that we must return to our Source of Being.
Man is plagued by a less than ten percent limitation on his mind because his consciousness is focused on the outer world. For the prodigal son to turn about, he must reverse the attention of his consciousness away from this world, and become aware of the inner source of his being. Most religions the world depict this as following a river to its source -- returning to Mecca or Jerusalem -- of which the Apostle writes: "Which things are an allegory: 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" (Gal 4:24-26 KJV).
Following a physical river -- or traveling to the Jerusalem or Mecca of this world -- will do little for your spiritual growth. On the other hand, traveling to the spiritual Jerusalem by following the stream of consciousness via that flow of vital life-force into the essence of our being, will bring you before the throne of the Eternal God. Regardless of the fact that such religious concepts have become foreign to the Christian world today, we have no other means to explain the many biblical teachings that the Kingdom is within us (Luke 17:20-21), and that we are the Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16)! If we believe that the Bible is true, and the Kingdom is indeed within us, then we must accept the fact that we have the ability to go there -- i.e., the prodigal son turns about, and returns to his Source of Being.
When we do this, we begin to be able to use a greater amount of our inherent potential of mind. With each step up-stream in consciousness towards the Source of our Being, we begin to see things from both a wider and clearer perception. As our vision becomes more spiritual through the process of moving closer to our soul and spirit, we begin to understand why Jesus condemned both the Sadducees and Pharisees, as well as the religions of the Nations -- i.e., because their illegitimate priests and pseudo-wise men created doctrines which attempted to explain Creation from a carnal perspective -- a perspective which was founded upon a less than ten percent of their potential of mind -- and a perspective that was established upon a very limited vision of a three-dimensional world.
We have no other means to explain the many biblical verses that require us to "...bridle the whole body" (James 3:2 KJV) -- or "...beat my body and make it my slave..." (1 Cor 9:27 NIV) -- or "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature" (Col 3:5 NIV) -- Which spiritual concepts can be realized in the requirement set forth by the Apostle Paul when he said that all Christians should "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5 NIV) -- or why Jesus warned that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt 12:36 KJV). Why would such extreme acts of religious discipline be required if all we had to do was have faith and believe? What these concepts speak to us about is the process of transformation from physical to spiritual as we lessen the influence of this world upon us, in the endeavor to find and move into harmony with our inner Source of Being.
In this respect, we can refute the words of Gibbon when he described the beliefs of the first Christians as being in error, because they are allegorical! When Gibbon wrote that "the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry" -- what actually happened was that Jesus -- the first of the prodigal sons to return -- had become so Godly, that he opened the door to the very Source of his being -- the Alpha Cell, which is the very first cell in the order of Creation that is derived from the essence given to each of us by our Mother-Father God -- the original cell that divided itself in the manner of an embryo, until we were brought into being in the manifestation of the people we have come to be throughout all of time as we know it.
All the scriptural references to the Temple and its inner chambers are not indicative of a building perceptible to the human eyes -- i.e., "God... dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:24 KJV) -- and all the many biblical testimonials regarding the temple throughout the scriptures are all allegorical references to the Spiritual Temple within our own minds where the presence of God dwells -- "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Cor 3:16 KJV). As we walk in The Way, and travel along the streams of inner consciousness, we are no longer sense bound and controlled by the god and powers of this physical realm. With every reverse step towards the source of our consciousness -- which can be likened to our entering and moving within the Temple where the Bible states God dwells -- our mind begins to be drawn closer to its true inner source of being. The more it grows nearer to God, the greater its perception and power.
Because by nature, carnal man is imbued with a Darwinist mindset -- i.e., the Christian’s greatest obstacle and stumbling block that causes him difficulty in perceiving spiritual truths -- and only when the Christian begins to look beyond the limitations of the Darwinist mindset, can the believer come to terms with the difference between Jesus, the believer, and the common people that he sees in his life. Because carnal man’s very limited vision of reality does not permit him to understand the process by which Jesus became first the Messiah, and then the Son of God, carnal man views souls such as Jesus as being different than themselves. Yes, it is true, that Jesus was born very different than the people the Apostle calls the natural man who is incapable of perceiving the things of the spirit (1 Cor 2:14 NKJ), but that is because carnal man has yet to walk the walk that leads along The Way!
With regard to our search for the Truth, what the believer must come to terms with is the fact that they can argue over doctrine and dogma till they take their last dieing breath, and the only way they will ever know for sure, is to prove it within their own lives! Belief and faith in the Lord are necessary attributes, but Jesus also said to adhere to his Commandments, pick up your crosses, take his yoke upon you, and follow in his footsteps. When you do this, the early Christians professed that your faith and belief will be turned into sure spiritual knowledge -- Gnostic knowledge that is gained by virtue of your own first-hand spiritual experiences -- and this knowledge will be taught to you directly by the First Cause of Creation -- i.e., the Son of God. This is the True and Genuine message of the Bible!
A fundamental key in comprehending the process by which all truth is revealed as we walk the road of spiritual perfection, is to understand the mindset of the first century Jew -- which represents the necessary mindset within which the Word and Mysteries of God was planted by Jesus. An important difference between the modern Christian and the first century Jew was their ideas pertaining to their place of origin, as demonstrated in the words of Gibbon: "...the Jews were persuaded of the pre-existence, transmigration, and immortality of souls; and providence was justified by a supposition, that they were confined in their earthly prisons to expiate the stains which they had contracted in a former state" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.364).
Just this one difference in the believer’s ideas pertaining to life can so dramatically alter one’s understanding of the Gospel, that it’s present-day absence is responsible for an entirely erroneous perception of both Jesus, and the source and purpose of New Covenant teachings. The average person whose thinking is bounded by a Darwinist three-dimensional model, is simply unable to comprehend how Jesus came to be the Messiah, and the manner in which the revelation of spiritual truth is revealed. Taking the words of Gibbon, unless the believer understands the "pre-existence, transmigration, and immortality of souls" -- limitations of the physical body of man which acts in the manner of an "earthly prisons" -- and the limitations that are places upon the individual as a result of the "stains which they had contracted in a former state" -- the believer will be incapable of perceiving the spiritual essence, purpose and revelation of the Gospel message.
The disciples and followers of Jesus had the perception to understand how he came to be a great soul -- and the first of whom it could be said that his spiritual nature had been totally regenerated, whereby it could be said of him that he was the first Son of God -- and in the paradoxical reality of the word, even God. Because their thinking and perception were not limited by the Darwinist mindset that is prevalent today, they were able to envision the Divine Plan of God that Jesus revealed to them, and they recognized the true greatness and depth of the accomplishments that Jesus had brought about. Unlike the modern Christian, they understood that he had evolved into this great spiritual being over the course of many lifetimes. How did they know this? Because as Origen himself admitted, the knowledge of one’s own past lives is merely one of the lesser mysteries that is revealed to the genuine disciples of the Christ.
It is true that when Jesus entered into life he had many advantages in his life that we do not have today. Jesus was born into a religious society of people who not only knew who he was, but provided him the spiritual community that was necessary in order to grow and develop in that life. The Essenes, who were preparing for his return into life, knew that he was coming, because he had been their teacher and guide in the past. Contrary to the logic and reasoning of our religious authorities today, they did not simply create a doctrine that the soul is immortal, and is perfected over the course of many lifetimes -- this belief was the result of the remembrance of their own more distant past -- and is a knowledge that is given freely to the genuine disciples of the Light as they walk in The Way.
With regard to the biblical birth of Jesus, what is contained in the scriptures is of a spiritual nature, and the narrative is universal to all of mankind, and written from the perspective of the Christ being born within the mind of the returning prodigal son. The idea of the infant Jesus being carried into Egypt to save his life because all the male Jewish babies were slaughtered, is scripture -- i.e., it is not historically true -- and has it meaning in the spirit. The belief among Christians today that this was an historical event is easily disproved. Moreover, every aspect of the birth narratives is written from the perspective of his spiritual awakening and birth, rather than an historical event. Further, what is portrayed in the Bible is more important than history, because it is written for us as a guide to bring about our own spiritual rebirth.
Even though the scriptures portray twelve disciples for purely spiritual reasons -- each representing a sphere in the Tree of Life -- it is also true that Jesus had a body of followers as is depicted in the Bible. When Jesus chose his disciples, he did not make arbitrary choices -- but rather, he chose those souls who had been his faithful followers over the course of many lifetimes. Moreover, with the enlightenment of the Spirit, they were neither ignorant of who they were -- their intimate past-life relationship to the soul who was now Jesus -- or the Mysteries of God in relation to the crowning achievement of the soul of Jesus as the first of many brothers to become ONE with the very First Order of Creation -- which Creative Force is called the Son of God because it is the Active Principle of Mind. And with this union with the First Principle of Creation, Jesus then fulfilled the Word, and brought himself into Oneness with the Eternal God and Source of all Being. The disciples of Jesus celebrated, and understood that the first of the prodigal sons returned Home to the Father.
That the more enlightened among the Gentile believers understood this great truth -- i.e., that the soul of Jesus was joined to the Son of God -- can be seen in the writings of Origen where he replies to the allegations of Celsus: "Nor is it at all wonderful if we maintain that the soul of Jesus is made one with so great a Son of God through the highest union with Him, being no longer in a state of separation from Him. For the sacred language of holy Scripture knows of other things also, which, although ‘dual’ in their own nature, are considered to be, and really are, ‘one’ in respect to one another. It is said of husband and wife, ‘They are no longer twain, but one flesh;’ and of the perfect man, and of him who is joined to the true Lord, Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, that ‘he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.’ And if he who ‘is joined to the Lord is one spirit,’ who has been joined to the Lord, the Very Word, and Wisdom, and Truth, and Righteousness, in a more intimate union, or even in a manner at all approaching to it than the soul of Jesus? And if this be so, then the soul of Jesus and God the Word - the first-born of every creature - are no longer two, but one" (Origen Contra Celsum; Bk 6, ch 47).
Notice that Origen makes reference to the soul of Jesus becoming ONE with "God the Word" -- which in the scriptures is understood to be the Son of God -- and sometimes referred to as the Mind of God -- the Word -- or Logos in the writings of Plato, the philosophers, and is presently in the beginning of the Gospel of John. In the teachings of Peter as contained in the Clementine writings, this active Mind of God is referred to as the True Prophet that dwells within the minds of all mankind, and lies dormant in the unbelievers. From this perspective, it is comprehensible that as we overcome our inner division, and begin to unite with our Essence of Being, we will move in total harmony with "God the Word" -- the Son of God -- the True Prophet -- and is referred to as the Logos.
Important also is Origen’s comparison to the soul of Jesus becoming One with the Son of God, with a husband and wife becoming One flesh. What this means is that every person who has ever lived, has embraced the Divine Pattern of God, and has been intimately working and refining the process of spiritual development in their own life. Ultimately, the knowledge they learn in perfecting their relationship between husband and wife, they will be able to use in their endeavor to overcome the polarities of Creation both within themselves, and in the world in which we presently dwell. The problem is that in declaring Jesus to be God, and in not comprehending the process that enabled him to become One Flesh with God -- thereby standing before us as both God and Man -- we have placed a great obstacle in our path to spiritual maturity.
It is therefore impossible for modern Christians to embrace the higher teachings of the Mysteries of God, because they fail to understand the relationship of Jesus to the Logos -- Son or Mind of God. So long as they believe the two to be the same -- failing to manifest the indwelling Logos in their own life -- they can never grow and mature in the Word. And when they object to the teaching that Jesus became At-One with the Son of God, we ask, upon what basis do they protest? They were not there when Jesus taught his disciples. They do not have the spiritual experiences of Jesus’ disciples. They reject the whole Gnostic and Spiritual element of the Gospel that Jesus taught. Fundamentally, they base their assumption about spiritual matters upon their very human perception of the literal word of the Bible -- a sacred writing that warns them that a carnal perception of the written word will always lead the reader into error.
What Origen writes is that Jesus became At-One with the Son of God, and then goes on and applies this doctrine of Oneness in the manner that was revealed by the Apostle Paul: "If, however, holy Scripture says that the perfect man is joined to and made one with the Very Word by means of virtue, so that we infer that the soul of Jesus is not separated from the first-born of all creation, he [Celsus] laughs at Jesus being called ‘Son of God,’ not observing what is said of Him with a secret and mystical signification in the holy Scriptures. But that we may win over to the reception of our views those who are willing to accept the inferences which flow from our doctrines, and to be benefited thereby, we say that the holy Scriptures declare the body of Christ, animated by the Son of God, to be the whole Church of God, and the members of this body - considered as a whole - to consist of those who are believers; since, as a soul vivifies and moves the body, which of itself has not the natural power of motion like a living being, so the Word, arousing and moving the whole body, the Church, to befitting action, awakens, moreover, each individual member belonging to the Church, so that they do nothing apart from the Word. Since all this, then, follows by a train of reasoning not to be depreciated, where is the difficulty in maintaining that, as the soul of Jesus is joined in a perfect and inconceivable manner with the very Word, so the person of Jesus, generally speaking, is not separated from the only-begotten and first-born of all creation, and is not a different being from Him?".
If you claim that you desire to know the Truth, then you must recognize that the most important phrase in this statement embodies a great truth of life that each reader must personally embrace -- i.e., the only means that the modern believer can prove the validity of what they believe, is to walk in The Way in such a manner that "...they do nothing apart from the Word". Is this not the essence of capturing every thought to Christ -- putting to death the deeds of the flesh -- bridling the body and the tongue -- and being accountable for every idle word? In this respect the modern church is correct in its assertion that man cannot accomplish these things by virtue of his own physical-organic power -- but we can, when we harness our desire, our faith, and our life in the endeavor to make ourselves the disciples of Christ, and permit the indwelling Logos to manifest in the fullness of our being.
These great truths are again seen in Origen’s reply to Celsus where he wrote: "By participation in the Son of God one is adopted as a son"..., "by participation in the Holy Spirit is a man rendered holy and spiritual"... and, "every rational creature needs a participation in the Trinity".
What Origen is saying is that the soul of Jesus was not only perfected, and he became the Lord’s Anointed -- which in the Greek language is the Christ -- but going beyond the mere Anointing of the Mind by the Light, the soul of Jesus moved into total Oneness with the First Cause of Creation -- the very Mind of God -- which is known among holy men as the Son of God because it is the active principle that not only creates all things, and does all things, but it is the harmonizing principle that merges the positive and negative poles into ONENESS. The result is that what was once a divided nature, becomes ONE.
In the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, we can see the same fundamental doctrine that existed among the Christians of the first century. The Word is the True Teacher of the righteous -- and the Mysteries of God that are delivered to those who are worthy of their revelation, cannot be comprehended or understood by those people who are of a carnal mind and of the world, as seen where it is written: "I do not speak of things strange to me, nor do I aim at anything inconsistent with right reason; but having been a disciple of the Apostles, I am become a teacher of the Gentiles. I minister the things delivered to me to those that are disciples worthy of the truth. For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciples, to whom the Word being manifested has revealed them, speaking plainly [to them], not understood indeed by the unbelieving, but conversing with the disciples, who, being esteemed faithful by Him, acquired a knowledge of the mysteries of the Father? For which reason He sent the Word, that He might be manifested to the world... This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is to-day called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful. Giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the gospel is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us".
In this statement we see the great looming question that has again been posed to believers today: "For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word, would not seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciples"? Those who claim to be followers of the Christ are not those who believe doctrine, or what other men teach, or the dogma of a sect -- but rather, are those who "...seek to learn accurately the things which have been clearly shown by the Word to His disciples". There is only one Genuine Teacher and Revealer of Truth -- who in the words of Mathetes: "This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints".
Modern Christians who do not comprehend the difference between Jesus, the Christ, and the Son of God, preach that (the historical) Jesus must be born in your heart. What they fail to realize is that Yehshua (Jesus/Joshua) is from a scriptural perspective the vibration of mind which is necessary for the Son of God to be At-One with the believer. Therefore, if the believer embraces the teachings of The Way and lives in accordance with the Royal Law of the Most High, their own minds must become this most sacred of vibrations.
It is in this respect that Paul said we are no longer to seek the Christ of the flesh, but rather the Christ of the Spirit: "Therefore, 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). And in recognition of the doctrine of the Spiritual Christ over the testimony of the Christ that Paul called the "milk" of the Gospel, biblical scholar Rudolf Bultmann concluded that the "...Christian faith is, and should be, comparatively uninterested in the historical Jesus and centered instead on the transcendent Christ" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 electronic edition).
What this means is that belief and faith in the historical personage of Jesus cannot save you -- but rather, when your faith is expressed in your life in such a way that you become a fit vessel for the Holy Spirit to inhabit, and you become of an Anointed (Christ) Mind, only then can you even be called a follower of the Christ.
That the scriptures are spiritual forms, allegories and patterns which employ sacred truths that guide the disciple along the inner journey into the Kingdom, is further seen in the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, where he writes regarding the importance of genuine knowledge in relation to a true spiritual life: "When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a paradise of delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys - it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life, and when those who were first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked. For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, declares, ‘Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.’ For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather in those things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted, but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover of the Lord advances, and the choirs are gathered together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints, - by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen".
All these symbols reveal a great spiritual reality within each of us -- i.e., paradise, the serpent, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Tree of Life, Adam, the virgin Eve -- are all embraced when the disciple celebrates the True Passover of the Lord. And what does he say: "For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit".
In his Epistle, Mathetes then compares the soul of a person to the genuine Christian in the world: "To sum up all in one word - what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures. The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them. The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling in the heavens. The soul, when but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number. God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake".
These concepts which are for the most part totally absent from modern-day Christian understanding, is of the most profound importance in our endeavor to embrace the higher perception of the Word that we pray for. Again we see the recurring theme that our soul is "imprisoned in the body… and… is immortal", and not of this world. We also see the soul portrayed as the revealer of truth to the carnal mind that is at war with its own spiritual nature. It is therefore important for us to begin to embrace a genuine comprehension of what the first followers of Christ believed, in order to better understand what Jesus taught. To accomplish this it is absolutely essential that we recognize certain spiritual facts: Not only does the Divine Presence of God dwell within us, but that our immortal soul is not only separate from the body, but that it has existed since the very dawn of time as we understand it. Moreover, it is this essential knowledge that protects us from becoming imbued with Darwinism -- which is the limited vision of life that gives birth to Christian-agnosticism.
The disciples and original Messianic Jewish followers of Christ became known as Ebionites -- and this name is derived from the Hebrew word ebion, which means poor -- which was adopted in accordance with the words of Jesus to his disciples when he said: "And turning His gaze on His disciples, He began to say, ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20 NAS). They therefore maintained themselves in the purity of the Word -- as the genuine disciples of the Messiah by continuing in strict accordance with Jesus’ teachings -- one of which was in their remaining poor in relation to the thinking, doctrines and things of the world, which Jesus taught was an anchor to the soul. Why is this manner of life necessary? Because the true person we are is found in the union with our pre-existent soul, while the philosophy of this world is temporal, and severs our inner union with our true nature.
On the central theme of the alleged beliefs ascribed to the Ebionites, the early church writer Hippolytus tells us: "They live conformably to the customs of the Jews, alleging that they are justified according to the law, and saying that Jesus was justified by fulfilling the law. And therefore it was, (according to the Ebionaeans,) that (the Savior) was named (the) Christ of God and Jesus, since not one of the rest (of mankind) had observed completely the law. For if even any other had fulfilled the commandments (contained) in the law, he would have been that Christ. And the (Ebionaeans allege) that they themselves also, when in like manner they fulfill (the law), are able to become Christs; for they assert that our Lord Himself was a man in a like sense with all the rest of the human family" (Hippolytus; The Refutation of All Heresies, Bk 7, Ch 22, Doctrine of the Ebionaeans).
When Prof. John Allegro was quoted as saying that what has been revealed in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a great amount of overwhelming evidence that "...may upset a great many basic teachings of the Christian Church. This in turn would greatly upset many Christian Theologians and believers. The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine" (August 1966 issue of Harpers Magazine); what he was in fact stating is that, everything that we now know about Christian beginnings demonstrate that the Essene-Ebionites were not the heretics, as they were falsely portrayed by the later Gentile church, but were in fact the body of genuine believers that held fast to the authentic teachings of Jesus and the New Covenant.
That Jesus foresaw a great many of the body of believers would be led astray, was predicted in his words: "For false Christs shall arise, and false prophets, and will do wonderful miracles so that if it were possible, even God’s chosen ones would be deceived. See, I have warned you" (Matt 24:24-25 TLB). The conflict regarding the nature of the beliefs between the Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus, and the Gentile church which remains to this day the foundation of many of our present day doctrines, can only be understood when it is realized that the majority of carnally minded Gentile believers were incapable of understanding the spiritual meaning of the Law -- the revelations of the Mysteries of God as demonstrated in the parable of the prodigal son -- and the reality of the pre-existent immortal soul of man.
In order to even begin to comprehend the true depth of the controversy we must recognize that, like the Essenes, the Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus were Gnostic -- and their vision of the Law (as revealed by Moses) can only be understood in a mystical perception of religious symbols. Moreover, it must be realized that Jesus himself not only embraced the Law, but taught that its fulfillment would continue to be a requirement for those who would be called his followers.
The answer to the question that has plagued the Gentile converts since the first century can be found in the early codexs of Luke that still contain a saying of Jesus that is also found in the Gospel of Thomas -- which is part of the recently discovered cache of early Christian scriptures that have come to be known as the Nag Hammidi Library. I previously used this quote to demonstrate the validity of Sabbath Observance, but let us here look at it from another perspective. In this codex of the Gospel of Luke there is still contained the verses: "On the same day, He (Jesus) beholding a man laboring on the Sabbath, said to him: Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; if however thou dost not know, cursed art thou and a transgressor of the law".
In coming to terms with the relationship of the Law to the teachings of the New Covenant, the Christian must ask themselves why Jesus would warn the man that only if he possesses the true knowledge of the meaning of the Sabbath can he be blessed -- and if he does not possess this essential knowledge, then he is cursed. The answer goes to the very heart of the difference between the Spiritual Jew and the Carnal Jew: If one is spiritual, and has manifested the inner workings of the Law in their body, mind and spirit, then one is free from the constraints of the Law, and outward observances mean nothing. Whereas, if the inner workings of the Law have not been manifested in the body, mind and spirit of the believer-disciple, then they are cursed. Perhaps more importantly from a spiritual perspective, when one walks in The Way and enters the Kingdom within, from a biblical perspective, there is nothing but Sabbaths.
When the Apostle Paul told the Galatians that they were freed from the constraint of the Law, this was because they were supposed to be a spiritual people who were in the world and not of it -- i.e., every day was to be a Sabbath. But this can no longer be said of the believers in our own time who have permitted themselves to become chained to the doctrines of Constantine and the mindset of Darwin.
The meaning of the Sabbath is directly related to the significance of the number as it relates to the spiritual centers of the body -- and ultimately, the mind and spirit of man. Under the heading of NUMBERS, Nelson’s bible dictionary states that "Many times seven is important as a symbol rather than a number. It is used almost 600 times in the Bible. Often it expresses the idea of completeness or perfection" (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
The number seven is a numeral symbol that conveys a Divine pattern throughout all of creation. It is written that all of Creation was completed in six days, and God rested on the seventh. Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam, never died because God took him up to heaven. The seven feasts, the seven churches, seven seals -- all these countless places where the number seven is used -- what is conveyed is a series of great spiritual truths that is of the greatest importance to the disciple when he embraces these biblical patterns in his life.
In the example of what Jesus said regarding the man laboring on the Sabbath, the only way for the man to know what he was doing, was if he had himself overcome, and had entered within the Kingdom. In the words of Jesus: "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27 KJV). What this means is that, those who follow in the Lord’s footsteps into the Kingdom, themselves become the Sabbath, and they become free. While all those people who are outside of the Kingdom remain slaves to the god of this world, and are under Law. It is therefore from this perspective that Jesus could say to the man who was laboring of the Sabbath: "Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; if however thou dost not know, cursed art thou and a transgressor of the law".
This same thought is fundamentally the essence of what Paul attempted to express in his Epistles to the Romans and Galatians. "For in my inner being I delight in God’s law", writes Paul, "but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members" (Rom 7:22-23 NIV). What Paul was conveying to us is that those who follow Christ into the Kingdom are the recipients of God’s grace, and are able to escape the Law, and enter into Life. What this means is that, unless you have followed Christ into the Kingdom, and have achieved the union of the natural mind with the soul, then you are still possessed by the works of the flesh that obstruct your walk with the Lord -- and as such, the Apostles states that you are spiritually dead. From the perspective of Paul’s Epistles, life only exists in the Kingdom -- everything outside the Kingdom is death, and belongs to the god of this world.
The doctrine contrived by the later Gentile church that Jesus abolished the Law so they could live in any manner of their choosing, is refuted in the words of Jesus himself when he declared: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matt 5:17-18 NIV). Thus, because not even one precept of the Law has been done away with or abolished, when they are present in this world, the followers of Jesus are required to remain faithful to the Law.
The Ebionites, or Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus understood his words when he commanded them: "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:19 NIV). What we can see from these words is that Jesus expected his followers to not only practice and observe the Commandments of God as set forth in the scriptures, but to teach others to do the same.
This same exact concept of the New Covenant in relation to the Law is affirmed in the Epistle of James where he writes: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10 NIV). That the followers of Jesus were to not only keep and observe the Law in its fullness, but do it better than the Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees, can be seen in the words of the Lord: "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20 NIV).
Did Jesus abolish the Law, as is commonly believed by Christians today? All three synoptic Gospels contain the passage of scripture which states: "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:16 KJV). The more we consider the reply of Jesus to this question, the more we comprehend that his answer undermines our whole modern-day understanding of the Gospel: "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt 19:17 KJV).
What we must first acknowledge is the fact that Jesus’ reply is in total conflict with what was later seemingly preached by Paul regarding the Law. Where Paul writes that no one can be saved by observing the Law, Jesus contradicts Paul, and states: "but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments". From this we can see that when Jesus was questioned about how we are to enter into Life, Jesus replied that we must observe and be faithful to the Law of God.
From a modern Christian perspective, what this means is that we must either choose between the teachings of Paul, or the teachings of Jesus -- in that, they appear to not only at odds with each other, but are in direct conflict. In fact, it is the realization of this conflict, and the inability to harmonize the contradictions that eventually caused Martin Luther to reject the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and base his tenets of belief only on the doctrine of faith set forth by Paul. In recognition of this fact, many scholars have pointed out that the modern Christian faith is based on the writings of Paul -- a man who had never seen or known Jesus. What they have further pointed out is that this is a dangerous course of action because they reject the allegation that Paul was not the heretic that the disciples of Christ claimed that he was.
In the modern Christian’s search for a higher understanding of the Gospel message, what is presented in this passage of scripture is of the greatest importance, as seen in the Adam Clarke Commentary which writes:
"Much instruction may be had from seriously attending to the conduct, spirit, and question of this person.
1. He came running (Mark 10:17), for he was deeply convinced of the importance of his business, and seriously determined to seek so as to find.
2. He kneeled, or caught him by the knees, thus evidencing his humility, and addressing himself only to mercy. (See Matt. 17:14).
3. He came in the spirit of a disciple, or scholar, desiring to be taught a matter of the utmost importance to him -- Good teacher.
4. He came in the spirit of obedience; he had worked hard to no purpose, and he is still willing to work, provided he can have a prospect of succeeding -- What good thing shall I do?
5. His question was the most interesting and important that any soul can ask of God -- How shall I be saved?"
As was the case then, the question that was asked by this person remains valid in our own time -- i.e., in the words of the Adam Clark Commentary, the most "...important that any soul can ask of God -- How shall I be saved?" In fact, the question is so important to us in our present time that it could be said that if we do not possess the genuine answer, it is as if we are playing Russian roulette with our lives. When each of us stands before the judgment seat of the Lord, our ability to answer this question will be of a paramount importance. The problem is that the nature of the question itself demands our utmost attention, and cannot be answered in a casual manner. At stake is your very life and future existence. Why? Because a true understanding of life and the Gospel is dependent upon what you see, perceive and comprehend in this all-important story that is contained in each of the three synoptic gospels.
The time will come -- the event is imminent -- regardless of what you do, you cannot evade your destiny -- everyone must come to terms with the question that this man asked the Lord. If you have listened to the wrong people or religious authority -- believed the wrong doctrine -- or squandered your opportunity in life -- then everything that you have labored to acquire and achieve will be forever lost. Regardless of how religious you are -- how often you attend church -- how much money you donate to the church -- if you fail to answer this single question correctly, the result of your life could be as spiritually stagnant as the Sadducees and Pharisees who worshiped the Lord in vain!
From the perspective of the Gospel message, it is of the greatest importance that we understand what is being presented here. Moreover, it is important to recognize that from our modern day perception of the gospel message, we would conclude that the person who approached Jesus would be saved, and he would be counted as being faithful by today’s concepts of New Covenant teachings. In fact, by today’s standards, this man could be a pillar of the church. He came to Jesus -- falling on his knees -- declaring his faith -- calling upon the name of the "good master" -- desiring to be saved.
Yet, in total opposition to our understanding of the preaching of Paul and the doctrine of the modern church, Jesus replied that the man has to do more than believe and have faith, fall on his knees to Jesus, and acknowledge him as the "good master". Not only did the man have to observe the Commandments of God, but he had to relinquish all that he owned in this world, and follow the Lord: "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matt 19:21 KJV).
If our modern-day perception of the gospel was correct, and the good news that is presently being preached from the pulpits of our churches represents the true revelation of the Lord to mankind, then Jesus would have told the man that his faith (in Jesus) has saved him. In opposition to what is commonly believed today, we can see clearly demonstrated here that belief and faith in Jesus, without the observance of the Commandments as found in the Law, and without the relinquishing of the things of this world, cannot save us -- as expressed in the words of the Matthew Henry’s Commentary which concludes: "Though many that call themselves Christians, do not act as if they believed it; it is certain, that, when we embrace Christ, we must let go the world, for we cannot serve God and mammon... we must devote ourselves entirely to the conduct and government of our Lord Jesus; Come, and follow me. It seems here to be meant of a close and constant attendance upon his person, such as the selling of what he had in the world was as necessary as it was to the other disciples to quit their callings; but of us it is required that we follow Christ, that we duly attend upon his ordinances, strictly conform to his pattern, and cheerfully submit to his disposals, and by upright and universal obedience observe his statutes, and keep his laws, and all this from a principle of love to him, and dependence on him, and with a holy contempt of every thing else in comparison of him, and much more in competition with him. This is to follow Christ fully".
Another element of this biblical account that the modern believer must seriously consider is the rebuke of Jesus when the man called him "good master". In our churches today we can observe people who feel they are right with the Lord by praising His name. What Jesus said to the man is that what you say with your lips means absolutely nothing -- and it is what you do with your life with respect to fulfilling the Commandments, and being in the world and not of it, that will save you.
It is important that we be continually cognizant of the words of the Lord when he warned: "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt 22:14 KJV)! And when we ask who are those who are called? The answer can only be: Those who have had the Gospel preached to them. The answer to the question that was asked of the Lord is very much like the parable that Jesus put forth regarding the Kingdom: "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off -- one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city" (Matt 22:2-7 NIV).
The observation of the Adam Clark Commentary is correct: It is not enough to fall on one’s knees to the Lord. It is not enough to express one’s faith. It is not enough to praise him, and call him good master. It is not even enough to live a good life in accordance with the Commandments of God. After all, the Christians who are called, are to be held to a higher spiritual standard than others: "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20 NIV).
The message that is clearly portrayed is that those who desire to be the genuine followers of Christ are required to relinquish any and all hold the things of this world has upon them -- and only then will they become free from the entanglement of the god of this world, and they will be able to then follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Belief and faith -- when they are stagnated because of spiritual complacency, cannot save you -- and in this respect, it is our modern day perception of the Word that could very well be our eventual demise. Moreover, it is those we listen to -- those who presently shepherd the flock -- those who preach that we are saved by faith alone -- who ultimately must be seen as the assassins who pull the trigger of the lethal weapon that will have killed the very spiritual life of the believer’s soul -- of whom Jesus warned: "Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit" (Matt 15:14 NIV).
What is clear in the scriptures is that the Christian must have more than belief and faith, and this is readily seen even among the leaders of the Gentile converts. In the First Apology of the second century Justin Martyr we find his warning to those who would call themselves the followers of Christ: "And when a certain man came to Him and said, ‘Good Master,’ He answered and said, ‘There is none good but God only, who made all things.’ And let those who are not found living as He taught, be understood to be no Christians, even though they profess with the lip the precepts of Christ; for not those who make profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to His word: ‘Not every one who saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. For whosoever heareth Me, and doeth My sayings, heareth Him that sent Me. And many will say unto Me, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in Thy name, and done wonders? And then will I say unto them, Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity. Then shall there be wailing and gnashing of teeth, when the righteous shall shine as the sun, and the wicked are sent into everlasting fire. For many shall come in My name, clothed outwardly in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly being ravening wolves. By their works ye shall know them. And every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire.’ And as to those who are not living pursuant to these His teachings, and are Christians only in name, we demand that all such be punished by you".
These words of Justin Martyr we see represented the understanding of the Gospel with respect to what the more mature Gentile Christian believed in the first and second century. The reason these fundamental teachings and requirements of the New Covenant could not be comprehended by the more carnal and Pagan Gentile converts is twofold. In the first place, they did not wish to change their life in order to give up the world for the sake of the Kingdom. And because they remained carnal in their thinking, they saw Jesus as God -- which is totally opposite to what was believed by his disciples and followers. This fault in the Gentile perception of the Word is of the utmost importance from a modern Christian perspective, and is especially seen in the initial reply of Jesus to the question: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God".
If Jesus was God, as the majority of Christians believe today, then Jesus’ answer to the question posed to him would have been an acknowledgement that he was in fact the "good master". What we can observe in his reply was that our perception of Jesus as being God is in error. This presents us with a great dilemma with respect to our faith. In order to remain faithful to Luther and our modern-day church canons and doctrines of belief, we must take the position that we know more about Jesus than even Jesus did. This places us in an extremely vulnerable position: When the time comes that you stand before the Lord, and make an accounting as to what you accomplished in this life, what will you say?
The spiritual reality of what is herein presented is explored in the Adam Clarke Commentary where it is written: "This passage, as it stood in the common editions, has been considered by some writers as an incontrovertible proof against the Divinity or Godhead of Christ. A very learned person, in his note on this place, thus concludes concerning it: ‘Therefore our Saviour cannot be God: and the notion of, I know not what, a trinity in unity, three Gods in one, is here proved beyond all controversy, by the unequivocal declaration of JESUS CHRIST himself, to be ERRONEOUS and IMPOSSIBLE.’"
If this were of course the only witness against the Godhead of Jesus, then perhaps we could be justified in our acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity -- but when we consider the great number of early New Testament manuscripts and Church Fathers who attest to the fact that our Bibles at one time said at the baptism of Jesus: "This is my beloved Son, Today I have begotten thee" -- the fact that those who personally knew Jesus, and were taught by him, all believed that he was a man who fulfilled the Law more perfectly than all who had ever lived, and it was this fulfillment of the Law and Commandments of God that brought him into unity with the Father -- and the witness of the Apostle Peter which is contained in the Clementine Homilies which reads: "Our Lord neither asserted that there were gods except the Creator of all, nor did He proclaim Himself to be God" -- and in addition to all the rest of the biblical references that point to the adoption of Jesus as the Son of God, we have the words of Jesus himself when he said: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’" (John 20:17 NIV). Moreover, if these many witnesses were not enough, we now have both the Dead Sea Scrolls and the cache of early Christian scriptures known as the Nag Hammadi Library that all reveal to us that Jesus was not created God -- but rather, through his holiness and perfection, became the "first begotten of the dead" (Rev 1:5 KJV). Further, this is especially understood when it is realized that the prodigal son is spoken of as being dead and brought back to life: "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:24 KJV).
There is sufficient evidence presented here that should cause the sincere Christian to question the foundation of modern-day church dogma. The case against the doctrine of the Trinity and the affirmation that Jesus was the adopted Son of God, is easily demonstrated. Once this fact is realized, it could then be said that we would have better odds playing Russian roulette, than holding steadfast to modern day church doctrine.
Under the heading of A Trinity Statute, The Encyclopedia Britannica says: "Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ (Deut. 6:4). . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. . . . By the end of the 4th century . . . the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since" (1976, Micropedia, Vol. X, p. 126).
The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: "The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective" (1967, Vol. XIV, p. 299).
In The Encyclopedia Americana we read: "Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching" (1956, Vol. XXVII, p. 294L).
According to the Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel, "The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches. . . . This Greek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions" (Paris, 1865-1870, edited by M. Lachâtre, Vol. 2, p. 1467).
In his Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, S.J., writes that: "The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of ‘person’ and ‘nature’ which are G[ree]k philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as ‘essence’ and ‘substance’ were erroneously applied to God by some theologians" (New York, 1965, p. 899).
The answer is clearly written in the very beginning of the Revelation where it is stated: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him..." (Rev 1:1 NIV). Thus, throughout the New Testament we are presented with the continual theme that Jesus was Anointed by God -- Anointed being the meaning of the Greek word Christ -- and that God gave Jesus a revelation to preach to mankind. In becoming the first of the prodigal sons to return to the Kingdom, he became Master of The Way, and God bestowed upon him the highest place of honor.
In our analysis we must understand why many people -- Jews and Gentiles alike -- have become extremely hostile to what the revelation of the New Testament actually says. In the works of John Cassian we see it written: "Indeed it blasphemously taught that our Lord Jesus Christ was born as a mere man, and maintained that the fact that He afterwards obtained the glory and power of the Godhead resulted from His human worth and not from His Divine nature; and by this it taught that He had not always His Divinity by the right of His very own Divine nature which belonged to Him, but that He obtained it afterwards as a reward for His labors and sufferings. Whereas then it blasphemously taught that our Lord and Savior was not God at His birth, but was subsequently taken into the Godhead..." (Bk 1, Ch 2).
We can better understand the root cause of the hostility where John Cassian writes about what has been referred to as the Pelagian heresy: "...that in saying that Jesus Christ had lived as a mere man without any stain of sin, they actually went so far as to declare that men could also be without sin if they liked. For they imagined that it followed that if Jesus Christ being a mere man was without sin, all men also could without the help of God be whatever He as a mere man without participating in the Godhead, could be. And so they made out that there was no difference between any man and our Lord Jesus Christ, as any man could by effort and striving obtain just the same as Christ had obtained by His earnestness and efforts. Whence it resulted that they broke out into a more grievous and unnatural madness, and said that our Lord Jesus Christ had come into this world not to bring redemption to mankind but to give an example of good works, to wit, that men, by following His teaching, and by walking along the same path of virtue, might arrive at the same reward of virtue: thus destroying, as far as they could, all the good of His sacred advent and all the grace of Divine redemption, as they declared that men could by their own lives obtain just that which God had wrought by dying for man’s salvation. They added as well that our Lord and Savour became the Christ after His Baptism, and God after His Resurrection, tracing the former to the mystery of His anointing, the latter to the merits of His Passion. Whence this new author of a heresy that is not new, who declares that our Lord and Savior was born a mere man, observes that he says exactly the same thing which the Pelagians said before him, and allows that it follows from his error that as he asserts that our Lord Jesus Christ lived as a mere man entirely without sin, so he must maintain in his blasphemy that all men can of themselves be without sin, nor would he admit that our Lord’s redemption was a thing needful for His example, since men can (as they say) reach the heavenly kingdom by their own exertions. Nor is there any doubt about this, as the thing itself shows us".
What John Cassian and the whole host of Gentiles who opposed this doctrine -- which doctrine we can now clearly see embodied in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fundamentals of New Covenant theology -- is that they were in opposition to the very essence of what Jesus declared to mankind: "Change the mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". Every element of what Jesus taught requires a change of mind -- i.e., "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?... Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?" Rom 6:1-2; 6:16 NAS).
What the foremost Apostle of the modern church is saying in these very words is that the true Christian does not sin -- and that those who continue in sin, regardless of what beliefs they proclaim, embrace a life "resulting in death". And if this is not clear to us, the disciple John writes: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God... We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him" (1 Jn 3:9-10; 5:18 KJV).
Paul writes to Timothy with regard to Christians who continue to sin: "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear" (1 Tim 5:20 KJV). What is it that they should fear? If the original form of Christianity was a redemptive religion -- as is believed today -- then there would be no rebuke of sinners, or fear. But because, from a New Covenant perspective, sinners are turned out of The Way, Christians who continue to sin have a greater reason to fear than those who have never heard the Gospel.
In this respect, Paul cautioned the believers at Corinth: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’. Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (2 Cor 6:14-7:1 NIV).
What the Apostle of the modern church is herein standing in witness to, is the fact that we do not comprehend the essence of the Gospel in today’s Christian world. It is clear that the Bible affirms the contention that man has the capacity to live a God centered life, free from sin. In this respect, neither the disciples of Jesus, the Ebionites, the Greek Gnostics, or Pelagius, believed that man could live a purified and sinless life on his own -- but rather, he is able to do this by opening his heart and mind to the power of God. In this respect it is important to see where John Cassian totally misrepresents what he does not understand, as seen in the exact words expressed by Pelagius: "Man is able, if he likes, to live without sin and keep the commandments of God, in as much as God gives him this ability".
Pelagius did not say that man, by his own virtue and power, has the ability to live without sin! In view of this fact we must realize that those who opposed Pelagius totally misrepresented what he preached. What Pelagius, the Essene-Ebionites, and the Spiritual (Gnostic) Christians said, was that if man is faithful in his desire to know God, and is willing to consecrate his life to the Word, God gives him the ability to live without sin! Not to believe this, is to deny the Power of God.
With respect to the assertion that Jesus himself was a man -- just like all men -- who purified his life and became the Anointed (Christ), and in the annihilation of all carnal desires, became the Son of God, this process is documented by the disciple Peter in the words: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God" (1 Pet 4:1-2 KJV). Once we understand that Jesus was a man who literally became God -- and that there was a time in his own previous lives when his soul, like ours, sinned, we then begin to understand that Jesus himself "ceased from sin" -- and in the life that we know his soul as Jesus, he overcame the world by living a totally sinless and purified life -- which is exactly what the original disciples of Christ believed.
The modern Christian whose thinking has been strongly influenced by the doctrines of the Church of Constantine simply cannot deal with such concepts. They tremble -- fear is invoked in their hearts -- for they are literally terrorized at the mere thought of entertaining such a heretical concept of Christ. Because they attempt to serve two masters -- calling upon the name of the Lord, while still permitting themselves to be possessed by the elemental and sensual things of this world -- they become angry over the mere concept that man can life free from sin.
What they fail to realize is the reality that they are under the control of the god of this world -- a power of darkness that has blinded their hearts and minds -- and they refuse to embrace the Genuine Word of God. In this respect, the Bible means nothing to them when it is at odds with what they believe. The very first principles that Jesus preached to the people was to "Change the mind (repent), the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". Yet, they are burdened by doctrinal chains -- and because they are controlled by the powers of darkness that rule over this world, they are unable to embrace even the first principles of the revelation of the Christ and the Gospel of God.
Regardless of what name the people call themselves, the thinking of carnal believers has remained the same since the very dawn of time. Rather than change their way of thinking and manner of living, the Jews condemned the prophets that were sent to them by God. Rather than change, the Sadducees and Pharisees brought about the crucifixion of Jesus. Rather than open their minds to the Spiritual Gospel of Christ, the greater number of Gentile converts condemned the faithful flock of Messianic Jewish believers as heretics, re-established their old Pagan manner of thinking, and deemed it to be the orthodox and genuine teachings of Jesus. By the force of the sword welded by almost unlimited government control, their carnal perception of the Word then came to be the only lawful teachings permitted in the empire, and it was their doctrines that were then passed down to future generations of believers as the only true teachings.
Knowing these facts to be true from an historical perspective, if you desire to be a genuine disciple of the Light, it is absolutely necessary to carefully examine every element of what you presently believe. Is what you believe the teachings of Jesus? Or does your beliefs originate with Constantine, Justinian, Luther, Darwin, or the church? Even the modern idea that you cannot know for sure -- as to the facts -- is a doctrine that is derived from the teachings of men, and not from the Lord.
In the writings of the Christians prior to the fourth century there exists a magnitude of scriptural quotations that are no longer present in our Bibles today. In many instances these quotations are the oldest New Testament scriptural references that we possess. Are they important? If we are to rise above a carnal perception of the Word, rid ourselves of what is manmade, and seek out the essence of the Lord’s true teachings, then we must travel back in time so that we can understand our own religious beliefs as they were in their more pure form at the beginning of our Common Era. These verses of scripture then, that are either deferent, or were edited out of our present-day Bibles, are in many instances of the utmost importance. In many places they demonstrate why our modern beliefs differ from those of the earliest Christians.
In the Stromata, a second century work of Clement of Alexandria, one of many verses of scripture is quoted that are no longer present in our bibles today: "For by doing the will of God we know the will of God". Which exhibits to us one of the fundamental concepts of the scriptures. Man cannot know, or understand God, without taking the yoke of the Lord upon him. Man cannot know Jesus, without himself taking up his own cross, and walking in The Way of the Master. The man who calls upon the name of the Lord, cannot do so with his lips only -- but rather, with every element of his being. It is a Divine Ordinance that controls every aspect of our existence that we can never possess any greater amount of truth than we are willing to live and manifest in our daily lives. The Word of God is not philosophy! Man does not learn the will of God by believing, or by expressing ones faith, but rather by demonstrating ones faith and belief in the manner in which they live their lives.
In his Stromata, Clement again quotes scripture when he writes: "Thou thoughtest that I would be like thee"? What is being said in these words? How foolish it is for carnal man, who is of a very limited perception of reality, to attempt to predict the Will of God. Throughout history it is demonstrated that in the many instances that carnal man professes to know, and put his faith in his perception of God, the god he envisions, is more of a product of his own thinking. The scriptures warn us not to worship false gods -- and yet, carnal man has continually violated this Commandment every time he worships the god that he has created in his own image. The scriptures exhibit this fundamental truth to the reader from the time of Moses and the prophets, right up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The scriptures testify to the fact that mankind has continually persecuted those who have attempted to reveal the true God -- because the true God, the God the prophets gave witness to, did not conform to the god mankind believed in. Do you believe that we are any different than our forefathers?
The scriptures warn us that: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa 55:9 KJV) -- and yet we so foolishly and arrogantly believe that, with our very limited carnal minds we can predict the will of God, or understand the Divine Plan. Time and again history has demonstrated that the thinking of carnal man is so limited and bounded by superstition, that the majority of people beg to be deceived by every charlatan who will sell or inspire them to believe their false doctrines. All that needs to be done is for the charlatan to move the emotions of the people to make them feel good about what is being preached to them -- speak to their imaginations in such a way that they loose focus on the essence of scriptural knowledge -- and then the charlatan is free to lead them, and live a life of lavishness off the very people he seduced. Again, do you believe that we are any different than our forefathers?
The very first principles of New Covenant teachings declares that, to learn and know about God, we must learn directly from God first hand. There is no other way. Everything that we can learn from other men amounts to nothing more than the manner in which we must personally approach God -- i.e., what we must do in order to make ourselves a fit vessel for the indwelling Spirit of God to fill, enlighten and manifest within.
When it was said of Samuel that he "did not yet know the LORD" (1 Sam 3:7 KJV), this word "know" is the same exact word that was used when Adam knew Eve and she conceived a child. Knowing God must be experiential, and must surpass the intimacy of knowing one’s spouse. Further, just as in a marriage, for the union to mature and be fruitful, the child of Truth and Light must be born and nurtured until the Son of God is complete within the soul of the disciple. This is the Divine Plan for mankind -- for each of us is the Prodigal Son of our Heavenly Father.
In the many parables where the Lord is depicted as the Bridegroom, who is the bride? In the quotation from the Imitation of Christ it was written: "I WILL hear what the Lord God will speak in me. Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her...". Thus, in relation to the Christ, we are spoken of as being feminine, or one who must be receptive to the Light that impregnates our mind with Divine Wisdom. This impregnation is not philosophical -- and is as real as the woman who travails in the birth of a physical child.
If God appears distant and confusing, it is because you cannot seek Him with a foundation of beliefs "based on human commands and teachings" (Col 2:22 NIV) -- for God can only be found and comprehended when He is sought, not with the doctrines of men, but rather the whole truth of God’s Word. In the sacred writings that comprise what is known today as the Old and New Testaments, we find documented the battle between the forces of good and evil, and the sons of darkness and the sons of light. With regard to the darkness, it is taught in scripture that the god who is the ruler of this world is known as Satan -- the power that enslaves mankind -- the prince of darkness -- the source of all evil and corruption -- of whom it is said that he controls and holds dominion over mankind because of man’s own spiritual ignorance and impurities. In scripture, this defiled condition is attributed to our own sin and imperfections. On the other hand, there is the God of Light and Spirit who is our Savior -- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who sends us His Messiah -- which in Greek is the Christ -- and in our native English tongue means The Lord’s Anointed, or the Anointed One of the Lord.
In the Torah, or Books of Moses which are referred to as the Law, it is written that "I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil" (Deut 30:15), and it is all a matter of one’s choices in life that controls their destiny. In fact, it is taught that man has very little control over his own life, with the exception of which of these two powers he opens his heart and mind to. From a biblical perspective, we cannot walk the path of Light, unless we live in The Way of the Light. The scriptures also teach that without strict adherence and observation of the Commandments of the Lord, that the path of the Light will be very difficult to again find.
What is it that we can learn from the mistakes of our forefathers? In the manner of the Sadducees, Pharisees and the philosophers of the Nations, people who believe they are embracing genuine religious teachings will be easily fooled into thinking they are walking the path of Life, when they are not. Thus, the Lord has warned that once we permit ourselves to walk in the way of darkness, and we come under control of the god of this world, we shall remain as one of his prisoners, and "thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing" (Matt 5:26 KJV). The serpent, then, will maintain control by making those under his power falsely believe they are walking the path of light, when they are not. For it is warned that the god of this world has the power to "deceive the very elect" (Matt 24:24 KJV). Take heed of the Apostles warning that: "if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" (1 Cor 8:2 NKJ).
If the very elect can be deceived, and those who think they know, know nothing, and do not yet know as they ought to know, then to whom should the faithful flock look to for a shepherd? In this question you will find the very essence of New Covenant thought embedded. The second century Christian Church Father Clement of Alexandria wrote that each of us must "know for what we are born". Yet, based upon a combination of our interpretation of scripture, and our religious beliefs, many of us believe or assume that we know the reason we were born into this life. But do we? When we make assumptions based upon modern religious doctrine, we ignore the fact that our present day vision of life is from a Darwinist perspective -- a perspective in which we wrongly perceive our origination as being physical, instead of spiritual -- and because of this Darwinist perception of life, what we believe is very much in conflict with the very foundational doctrines of the people who Jesus taught.
On an immediate level, it is impossible for Christians today to know the reason they were born into this life! Why? Because we believe in the manner of Constantine, Justinian, Darwin, and the fossilized three-dimensional science of our time. The truth is, that it is impossible for us to know why we are born into this life without first understanding the journey of our pre-existent soul. Truth can only be found when we reject the philosophy of men such as Constantine, Justinian and Darwin -- look beyond the birth of our physical body -- and begin to perceive our true reality from the perspective of our soul and spirit.
On a more immediate level we must ask exactly what in this life the scriptures warn us that we must overcome? In order to even begin to understand this question, we must first know the conditions of our birth. An important element in this equation is made reference to by Edward Gibbon in a footnote regarding the question of the disciples at John 9:2: "The disciples of Jesus were persuaded that a man might have sinned before he was born, (John, ix. 2,) and the Pharisees held the transmigration [reincarnation] of virtuous souls, (Joseph. de Bell. Judaico, l. ii. c. 7;) and a modern Rabbi is modestly assured, that Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, etc., derived their metaphysics from his illustrious countrymen" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall) -- metaphysics that embraced the concept of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
Again let me pose the question as to what this statement mean to us from a modern day perspective? The mindset of the disciples is explored in the Wycliffe Commentary where it is written: "The question of the disciples (v. 2) was grounded in the belief that bodily infirmity or suffering was due to sin, whether of parents (Exo 20:5) or of the man himself, presumably on the basis of the soul’s pre-existence, which some Jews held".
On the question itself -- Master, who did sin? -- the commentary Barnes’ Notes writes that: "It was a universal opinion among the Jews that calamities of all kinds were the effects of sin. The case, however, of this man was that of one that was blind from his birth, and it was a question which the disciples could not determine whether it was his fault or that of his parents. Many of the Jews, as it appears from their writings (see Lightfoot), believed in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; or that the soul of a man, in consequence of sin, might be compelled to pass into other bodies, and be punished there. They also believed that an infant might sin before it was born (see Lightfoot), and that consequently this blindness might have come upon the child as a consequence of that".
On the question of who did sin, this man, or his parents, and the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul, the Adam Clarke Commentary tells us: "The doctrine of the transmigration of souls appears to have been an article in the creed of the Pharisees, and it was pretty general both among the Greeks and the Asiatics. The Pythagoreans believed the souls of men were sent into other bodies for the punishment of some sin which they had committed in a pre-existent state. This seems to have been the foundation of the disciples’ question to our Lord. Did this man sin in a pre-existent state, that he is punished in this body with blindness? Or, did his parents commit some sin, for which they are thus plagued in their offspring!... The Jewish rabbis have had the same belief from the very remotest antiquity. Origen cites an apocryphal book of the Hebrews, in which the patriarch Jacob is made to speak thus: I am an angel of God; one of the first order of spirits. Men call me Jacob, but my true name, which God has given me, is Israel: Orat. Joseph. apud ORIG. Many of the Jewish doctors have believed that the souls of Adam, Abraham, and Phineas, have successively animated the great men of their nation. Philo says that the air is full of spirits, and that some, through their natural propensity, join themselves to bodies; and that others have an aversion from such a union. See several other things relative to this point in his treatises, De Plant. Noe-- De Gigantibus-- De Confus. Ling.-- De Somniis, etc.; and see Calmet, where he is pretty largely quoted".
It is important in our assessment of biblical foundations to recognize the fact that the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul was a universally accepted belief among the people who Jesus taught the Gospel and Mysteries of God. Once this fact is acknowledged, then we are forced to conclude that if this belief about the nature of life was in error, then Jesus would have had to condemn it -- or, we must recognize that it was removed by the later Gentile Church.
That the Pharisees understood that a man is born blind from the misdeeds of a previous life is seen in their words to the man: "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" (Jn 9:34 NAS). Moreover, it is well documented that the Essenes -- who with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now understood to be the foundation of New Covenant teachings -- also believed in the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
The belief that a man inherits his conditions of birth in direct relation to the trials and accomplishments of his pre-existent soul, is easily demonstrated among the Gentile converts. Thus, the early second century writer Justin Martyr even speaks about the doctrine of transmutation -- the embodiment of a person in the body of a beast as punishment for the misdeeds of a previous life -- when he answers the question of Trypho, the Jew, and writes: "And what do those suffer who are judged to be unworthy of this spectacle? said he. They are imprisoned in the bodies of certain wild beasts, and this is their punishment" (Dialogue of Justin With Trypho, a Jew). If the doctrine of the transmutation (man into beast) appears irrational to the modern believer, this same doctrine is also embraced by the modern day Hasidic Jews as a sacred teaching of great antiquity among the wise men of Israel.
That the soul pre-existed the body is easily demonstrated in the discourse between Justin and Trypho, the Jew, in the words: "But if the world is begotten, souls also are necessarily begotten; and perhaps at one time they were not in existence, for they were made on account of men and other living creatures, if you will say that they have been begotten wholly apart, and not along with their respective bodies. This seems to be correct".
As demonstrated by Gibbon, the disciples of Jesus believed that a man could sin before he was born (John 9:2), because they were considering the conditions of life from the perspective of the pre-existent soul. The fact that Jesus said that in this instance, the man was not born blind because of either his own, or the sin of his parents -- but rather, so that Jesus could heal him and give the glory to God, does not negate the question with regard to the instances of why a person is born blind -- unless, of course, we are to believe that all people are born blind so that Jesus can heal them.
From a biblical perspective, there is a great void in the thinking of modern believers who do not comprehend the reason why people are born blind -- or a whole host of other problems and deformities that mankind is either born with, or are manifest in the life of the individual. More importantly, though, because we are Darwinist in our thinking, it is impossible for Christians today to understand the mindset of the people who Jesus taught. What we therefore view as their heresy, is in fact our own error!
In view of the fact that it is well documented that both the Pharisees and the Essenes believed in the pre-existence and the transmigration (reincarnation) of the soul, and it is well documented that Jesus knew the thoughts of the people who spoke to him, we must understand that when Jesus said that in this case -- i.e., "His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life" (Jn 9:2-3 NIV) -- Jesus was well aware that he was speaking about the exception, and both Jesus and his disciples knew that other men were born blind because of either the sin of the person in a previous life which was committed prior to being born, the sin of the parents, or because this is a life that their soul has chosen to overcome the handicap. Unless we close our minds to what is being portrayed here, there can be no other explanation.
When Jesus taught the parable of the prodigal son, his disciples and those who were present did not question how this story could be related to them with regard to the son having left the Father on his own accord prior to his entrance into the far country -- which is something that Christians can’t do today. They did not ask this question, because they understood that the soul is immortal, and was created by God in the very beginning of time as we understand it.
In our present day it is one thing for us to admit that both the Pharisees and Essenes believed in the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul, but it is quite another thing for us to fail to introduce another element into the equation that has been very plainly set before us. The most important aspect to the controversy is well documented in the scriptures -- i.e., that Jesus knew the thoughts of the people to whom he spoke. He was well aware that they were perceiving the revelations and mysteries that he was teaching as an integral part of the spiritual truth that the soul not only pre-exists the body, but has inhabited many such physical vessels while traveling through this world in its struggle to return Home to the Father. When it is admitted that Jesus was fully cognizant of the fact that the majority of religious Jews believed in the transmigration of the pre-existent soul, then we cannot deny the fact that Jesus knew what they believed -- i.e., Jesus knew that the majority of people he both taught and opposed, believed that the soul reincarnates through many lives in this realm. In recognition of this fact, we must then begin to accept the fact that this belief which we oppose today, was perceived as a foundational principle upon which the teachings of the New Covenant was based.
If we could focus on just one major difference that has caused the modern church to be out of harmony with the fundamentals of what Jesus taught -- one doctrine that has been infused upon the present-day church that has alienated it from its spiritual essence -- it could only be this difference in mindset between the people at the time the scriptures were written, and believers today. It must be recognized that what we are dealing with in this instance cannot be seen as just a minor difference of opinion. In fact, the ramifications are so far-reaching and extensive, that they cannot even be contemplated by the majority of modern believers today.
From the perspective of original New Covenant thought, it could be said that when the Emperor Justinian imposed his decree on the church condemning the Christian doctrine of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul in the sixth century, what he did was alter the foundation of biblical thought, and extinguish whatever Light was remaining in the church. Moreover, what Justinian did was set the stage for the entrance of men such as Darwin -- who in turn brought about the state of Christian agnosticism that is paramount in our present day.
We will forever remain strangers -- never being able to even begin to understand ourselves, without first comprehending how we came to be at our present station in life -- until we overcome this obstacle. The ramifications are so serious, and the differences in the perception of the Word are so great, that it can be unequivocally affirmed that there is no way we can even begin to understand and know the genuine Jesus -- how he came to be the Lord’s Anointed (Christ) -- how he came to be the Son of God -- and what makes Jesus different from us -- until we first understand our own long struggle to overcome this world as the prodigal sons of our Father. In many respects, it is an almost useless endeavor to open the pages of our Bibles, while our minds and manner of thinking remain Darwinist and carnal, and so far out of harmony with the very foundational precepts of the scriptures themselves.
If we desire the Light and the Truth, then we cannot take the sacred writings of the most spiritual people the world has ever known -- place these writings into the environment of an alien culture and mindset -- and expect to achieve the desired results and objectives of the authors. To even begin to embrace such a course of action can only be judged as insanity.
It is only when we open our eyes, hearts and minds -- and begin to recognize and become cognizant of the stark reality that confronts us -- a reality that demands that we acknowledge that every word and concept which Jesus spoke -- and every word that is recorded in our Bibles today -- is born from a foundational mindset that is essential to the very form and constitution of the Word -- a mindset and constitution that must be maintained in order to insure the integrity of the entire message -- can we begin to even contemplate the genuine teachings of Christ.
Modern Christian doctrine can be compared to a man who desires to plant a vineyard, and having procured the finest seedlings ever developed, attempts to plant these seedlings in a desert. Regardless of the fact that we possess the most perfect seedlings ever known to man, because we have chosen a barren wasteland in which to plant these most choice of all plants, the vineyard that we envision can never manifest and become a reality.
Now there are those who will ardently disagree with this statement. They will tell you that the Word of God is just as viable today as when Jesus preached it at the beginning of our Common Era. They will tell you that the Word of God is so universal, that it is applicable to any culture and any age that mankind has ever known. What the Bible says regarding the assertions of these people who preach this falsehood, is that they are deceiving and seducing you into embracing a doctrine of darkness -- a doctrine designed to keep you in bondage to the god of this world. Moreover, the serpent is so crafty and seductive, they fail to even recognize they have been ordained as ministers of darkness. The Sadducees and Pharisees did not -- and neither did Constantine and those who followed in his footsteps.
In our quest to demonstrate this fact we must ask what the Bible states: In the parable of the sower and the seed (Mt 13:1-58; Mk 4:1-20; Lk 8:4-56), Jesus taught that the Word could only be fruitful when it was planted in the proper environment. The Word that fell upon the ground at the side of The Way, could not become fruitful because Satan takes away what was sown -- and where was the seed sown? "...the word that was sown in their hearts" (Mark 4:15 KJV) -- thus, alienating us from our own true inner spiritual reality.
And who are the people who can be likened to the Word sown on stoney ground? The Bible says that they receive the Word with gladness -- in our own time they would be seen as people who proclaim that Jesus is their personal Lord and savoir -- they call themselves by his name -- and they profess to be the people of God. But because they "have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended" (Mark 4:17 KJV).
What does it mean to have no root? The root of man is his connection to the Kingdom within the essence of his being. If this root is healthy, then the Spirit and Knowledge of the Kingdom will flow from its inner Source to bring about the growth of the disciple. If the believer clings to the doctrines and traditions of other men, then the Genuine Knowledge that can only be received from the Kingdom is negated, and the root that carries the life-giving Spirit and Truth is severed.
And who are those people who can be likened to the Word sown among thorns? Again we see the problem being when these people cling to the things of this world -- i.e., its culture, doctrines and materialism -- anything that draws the consciousness of the believer away from the inner Kingdom, and fixates their attentiveness and focus of being in the outer world -- as seen in the words: "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19 KJV).
Do not permit yourselves to be seduced and deceived: The Bible itself warns that the Word cannot be planted anywhere we choose -- i.e., it cannot be planted by the side of The Way, upon the stony ground, or among thorns -- but rather, only in the environment of what Jesus calls the "good ground". When it is realized that the "good ground" is symbolic of our state of mind and body, then we must recognize that our whole conception of the teachings of The Way as a purely faith-based revelation is seriously flawed.
The ramifications of this biblical fact should serve as a warning to the modern day believer. If all that was required was to have faith and profess the name of the Lord, then there would be no purpose in teaching the concepts found in the parable of the sower and the seed. Moreover, we have the frightening declaration of the Lord to all who would call themselves his followers that: "Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" (Mark 4:13 KJV) -- or, in the wording of a the modern language New Living Translation: "But if you can’t understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell?"
Those people who preach that the Word of God is universal to any and all environments -- or, in the manner of Luther, that the meaning of the Bible is plain, and can be easily understood -- simply do not comprehend the very first principles of what this verse of scripture proclaims to all who would call themselves the people of God. Moreover, the Bible itself puts us on notice that only the people who are the good ground, are able to even begin to understand the true meaning of the scriptures -- i.e., "But if you can’t understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell?"
Contrary to what we choose to believe in our present time, what this parable tells us is that in the same way that we cannot plant seedlings from a fine vineyard in the desert -- among thorns -- or on rocky ground -- neither can we plant the Word of God in any cultural or doctrinal mindset. How do we know this? Because Jesus said that if we try, then we will be ignoring the very first principles of the Gospel -- and regardless of what we profess with our lips, we will remain spiritually unfruitful.
The Word must be planted in the "good ground" in order to grow. Every teaching and concept that Jesus spoke must be envisioned as an essential truth that sprang forth from the biblical foundation that existed at the beginning of our Common Era. In the same way that a seedling cannot exist apart from the ground within which it is planted, the Bible itself warns us that the purity of the Word cannot flourish within any culture or manner of thinking we attempt to transplant it into. Unless the word that is preached to you is planted and nurtured within the "good ground" and the same biblical foundation as that which Jesus revealed it from, then it cannot be the genuine Word of God.
From a carnal perspective, we cannot fulfill the commandment of Jesus where he said: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:48 KJV). Who among us is perfect? We can’t be! Moreover, we can’t even envision the very concept in our present cultural mindset. We therefore reason that because perfection is beyond our human capacity, the scriptures will be fulfilled when God will make us perfect at some later time. This doctrine is founded upon human reasoning, and is not what the Lord commanded of his disciples.
The Bible openly reveals that the knowledge of the Mysteries of God is beyond the comprehension of the carnal mind. What the scriptures state is that: "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away" (1 Cor 13:10 KJV). We therefore reason that in view of the fact that we are all human, then it is logical to conclude that some day God will move in our lives, and we will understand the Secrets of Creation. Thus, to our own demise we see the words of Paul in reverse of what he preached. The great truth that the Apostle conveys to us is that when we purify ourselves, and make our body and mind a fit vessel, God will move in our lives and enable us to understand the Mysteries that are beyond the comprehension of carnal man. This cleansing of the mind and body from the defilements of the world is prerequisite to becoming the good ground, and was the consuming focal point of the Spiritual (Gnostic) Christian.
The Bible demonstrates that Jesus possessed supernatural knowledge -- supernatural powers -- he was conceived, born, lived, died and was resurrected in a supernatural manner. In acknowledgment of this, we reason that because we are mere men -- mortal and flawed -- Jesus was therefore different than we are, and he must have been superior to us -- he must be God.
We then open the pages of the Bible with preconceived ideas -- ideas that are founded upon a carnal perception of life and the Word -- ideas that have been systematized and clothed by the religious concepts of secular rulers such as the Emperors Constantine and Justinian -- ideas which attempt to explain the scriptures and life through the vision of a Darwinist perception of life. The result is that we permit ourselves to become chained to this world by a long series of false assumptions. In the Gospels that emerged from the side of the Essene/Ebionites -- i.e., the disciples and Messianic Jewish believers -- there is no such limitation placed upon man as that which was adopted by the later Institutionalized Church of the Roman Empire. If, then, the prayers of the modern believer is to be answered with respect to a greater knowledge of the Gospel, and a true spiritual revival is to be brought about, then it is absolutely necessary to rid ourselves of these carnal limitations and perceptions of the Word that obstructs our spiritual growth and perfection.
Instead of rejecting the use of reason, as did Luther and the Middle Age reformers, we must permit the Lord to mold our reason in the Anointing and Illumination of our Minds. It must be understood that mankind could not even begin to fulfill the Word of God that Jesus taught with respect to the commandment that we should "be in the world and not of it", unless God provided us the ability to accomplish this requirement. If man is nothing more than what is observed with our physical senses -- born a congenital sinner -- then our modern-day perception of the Gospel would be correct. Whereas, by virtue of the fact that in addition to his physical form, man also possesses a spiritual vessel of a Divine Nature, and a pre-existent soul that not only transcends this world, but remains firmly planted in a parallel dimension, only with the realization of these great spiritual concepts can man begin to comprehend the true depth of the Gospel and the dynamics of Creation.
In our quest to overcome this world and reign in the Kingdom, we must come to terms with the fact that the whole concept of the New Covenant rests upon the precept that both the Unbegotten essence of God, as well as the soul that was created in the beginning, dwells within each of us. What this means in our quest to become a spiritual people is that in order to start the process whereby we can fulfill the Good News message that Jesus declared, we must redirect both our vital energies, and our consciousness away from this world. This is absolutely necessary in order to begin to build a bridge within us that transcends the two realms of existence -- i.e., we must apply scriptural concepts to our own selves: "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand" (Matt 12:25 NIV). What is it that the scriptures proclaim? Jesus knew their thoughts. He knew that they were incapable to knowing the greater Truths of the Gospel, until they first overcame their divided nature.
We have the answers to the human dilemma right at our finger tips, but we continue to close our eyes to the question. With regard to the literal interpretation of the Bible, if Jesus or the Holy Spirit was the genuine author of the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christians believe today, then why didn’t Jesus take his place as the High Priest of the Jerusalem Temple? The answer is found in the historical evidence which confirms the fact that there were great numbers of Essenes living in and around Jerusalem at the time of Christ, and these Essenes made no effort to fulfill the biblical requirements regarding Temple sacrifice and holy day observances. If the Essenes were the most devout among the Jews, why didn’t they live in accordance with biblical requirements? Further, why didn’t Jesus condemn the Essenes for not adhering to the mandates of the very scriptures that we believe Jesus authored? The answer can only be found in the acknowledgement that the literal meaning of the scriptures reveal a knowledge that portrays a form and pattern of the inner Temple of Man, and it is in this inner Temple that man must initiate his sacrifices and observances in order to enter the holy of holies -- that most sacred of places that lies beyond the veil within the Temple of God.
What the Bible conveys to us is this: Within each of us there exists a Supernatural Kingdom -- a Supernatural Kingdom that can and must be brought fourth from the inner world and manifest in the outer. With respect to this inner Kingdom Jesus taught: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" (Matt 13:33 NKJ). What Jesus said, then, is that the Kingdom of heaven with is the kernel of our being, has the power to raise the whole of the three natures of man -- body, mind and spirit -- to the elevated level of perfection and Godliness.
"Again he said, What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade. With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything" (Mark 4:30-34 NIV).
The teachings of the New Covenant reveal to us that the Kingdom can be compared to leaven, or a mustard seed, that grows and consumes the whole person -- and since the very nature of the Kingdom is supernatural, the person who overcomes his inner division, and evolves his outer being spiritually, is in every way a supernatural being. With respect to these essential truths, what Jesus did not say was how long the spiritual journey of life would take. With regard to the element of time, or the process that would be involved in this transformational destiny of man, it is important we comprehend that Jesus only taught "as much as they could understand" -- and that when instructing the common people "He did not say anything to them without using a parable" -- and that only to his faithful disciples "he explained everything".
In view of these very clear biblical statements, how can we condemn the manner in which the Messianic followers of Jesus believed, when the scriptures plainly state that he taught them differently than the common people? Further, in our endeavor to understand the higher message of the Word, we must ask why Jesus did not declare the Mysteries of God in the manner that our clergy today preach the gospel? What the Bible clearly declares is that the genuine knowledge of the Kingdom cannot be taught with words, but rather through experience -- which is the fundamental difference between the Gnostic Christian, and the entry-level Christian of the simple faith. From this perspective, it is for this reason that such great emphasis is placed upon "works" in the Old Testament. One only has to open the Book of Revelation to recognize that there is little mention of faith with respect to what is required of us, and it is our works that will be the criteria which will be used to judge us.
To our own detriment, what we fail to comprehend today is that a genuine Christian is a person of action -- he overcomes this world by following in the footsteps of the Master -- and he arrives at his destiny in the Kingdom. Therefore, if we have not experienced the events depicted in the Revelation -- if we have not fought the battles of Armageddon within our own mind and being -- then we ourselves stand before the Lord self-condemned. Thus, the words of the Revelation: "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. 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 22:12-15 NKJ).
A great fact that our modern doomsday prophesiers have consistently ignored, is that this is the very last vision of the Book of Revelations -- and yet, it contains no thought that the world outside the gates to the city would be transformed, as seen in the words of Jesus when he said: "The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen" (Luke 17:20 TEV). Why? "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21 KJV). Therefore, we can begin to understand the manner in which the promise of the Lord is fulfilled: "I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (Rev 22:12). The genuine Christian is the faithful disciple "who does His commandments" -- and by virtue of doing the will of the Lord, the genuine Christian has "the right to the tree of life" -- and it is the knowledge and spiritual transforming power of the Tree of Life that enables the genuine Christian to "enter through the gates into the city".
What can be seen in the above quotation is that while the genuine Christian is at Home in the Kingdom with his Father, all those who continue to practice the falsehoods of this world -- the "dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie" (Rev 22:15) -- remain "outside". Thus, the person who claims to be a genuine Christian, and yet fails to put on the "wedding garment" (Mt 22:12) -- which is the robe of spiritual union and perfection -- will be "cast into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 22:13 NKJ). And where is this outer darkness? Outside the gates to the city -- which from the perspective of the Bible, is the place in which we presently dwell.
What is conveyed to us here regarding the Kingdom is that when we open and read the scriptures, what we have before us is the mystical/Gnostic writings of a spiritual people -- writings that are written for the edification of a spiritual people -- and we can never understand the Mysteries of God through a superficial reading of the literal word of the Bible. Why Gnostic? Because it is the Greek word that differentiates between what we call knowledge which is learned in our manner of teaching, and knowledge that is learned directly through our spiritual experiences and interaction with the Divine -- which is something that is totally rejected in the Darwinist perception of Creation.
With regard to our preconceived ideas and assumptions, the Bible itself warns us that the carnal -- or natural man -- has no idea what great spiritual concepts Jesus taught his genuine followers. Why? Because the Mysteries of God that Jesus revealed to his disciples can only be learned when the pre-existent spiritual leaven within us raises up our whole being, and when the small implanted seed grows into the greatest of all plants in the garden that God has planted.
Again it is important that we understand that Jesus did not teach men what to believe -- or what doctrines were correct -- because to teach in the manner that carnal man teaches is the way of the anti-christ: "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest" (Heb 8:11 NIV). It is not necessary to teach men about the Kingdom of God -- neither is it necessary to teach men that their pre-existent soul is perfected over the course of many lifetimes -- all these truths are revealed to the genuine Christian as they embrace the Gospel in word, thought and deed. This knowledge -- or gnosis -- is the leaves that are present on a healthy plant that springs forth from the mindset of the good ground.
The Great Revelation of the New Covenant is envisioned in the concept that the Kingdom is at hand -- it is present here and now -- and the knowledge of the Mysteries of the Kingdom and Sacred Secrets of God exists deeply implanted within the heart of man. It is by virtue of this inner spiritual reality that we need not be taught about God and spiritual matters by other men -- but rather, we must cleanse the physical vessel in which we presently dwell from all defilements and impurities, and seek the indwelling Spirit that will reveal all truths to us. The carnal mind, which is that part of us that came into being along with the physical body in which we presently dwell, having never experienced life from the perspective of the inner spiritual realm, has no idea of the great spiritual reality that exists within us (Lk 17:21 KJV).
If, then, we are to experience the Revelation of the Lord, as set before us in the vision of the people who authored our scriptures, it is absolutely necessary that we must first embrace the proper biblical mindset. What is clear is that the Gentile converts of the simple faith who only understood the Epistles of Paul in a very superficial manner, and ignored the many references the Apostle made with regard to the need to become transformed into a body of spiritual people. In the error of their carnal ways, they reinterpreted the Gospel message in a Pagan manner of thinking, and focused on the worship of Jesus, instead of the imitation of the Divine Pattern. This can be seen by revisiting the conclusion under the heading of Jesus and Paul by the Encyclopedia Britannica where it is written: "In calling Paulinism ‘Christocentric’, one raises the question as to its relation to the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus... how far he unconsciously modified the Gospel by making Christ its subject matter rather than its revealer.... Paul... put all into so fresh a perspective as to change the relative emphasis on points central to the teaching of Jesus, and so alter its spirit. A school of writers, by no means unappreciative of Paul as they understand him, of whom W. Wrede may be taken as example, answer that Paul so changed Christianity as to become its ‘second founder’ -- the real founder of ecclesiastical Christianity as distinct from the Christianity of Jesus. They say, ‘either Jesus or Paul’ it cannot be both at once’".
The carnal perspective of the Gospel which Paul calls the milk, is that man is the three-dimensional being of flesh and blood that is the offspring of Adam and Eve -- Jesus is God, and we are to worship him. The spiritual perspective is that man has both a pre-existent soul and spiritual nature -- and if one imitates the life and thinking of the Son of God in the manner of a pattern, our true reality as portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son of our Heavenly Father will become manifest.
How can we be sure which perception of the scriptures is correct? The key to unlocking the mysteries of the scriptures is found when we begin to live the Commandments of God, and start the transformational process of becoming a mature spiritual being. Unlike the people of the Nations who defined their morality and life in accordance with their culture and momentary desires of the flesh, the authors of our scriptures had been trained and disciplined by the Law of God to perceive a higher reality. The men who authored our sacred writings were themselves possessed by a quest for spiritual knowledge of the One God. They fully expected an answer to their prayers and supplications for a great teacher -- and the idea that a truly great soul such as Jesus could appear -- do great works -- teach the Word of God -- and even become (At-One with) God -- did not disturb the more enlightened of the Jewish minds at the beginning of our Common Era.
Unlike the people of the Nations, Hebrew thinking was founded upon the principle that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27) -- that God was in fact the Source of his being -- that having been born in the image of God, and having had the very breath of God breathed into him, mankind is in fact the true Offspring of God. This fact is clearly stated in the scriptures: "for in Him we live and move and exist... For we also are His offspring" (Acts 17:28 NAS). Therefore, the Hebrew mind had no difficulty in accepting the concept that the soul who God Anoints (Christ), had the capacity to truly be the Son of God. In fact, they expected the arrival of such a person. And because they did not possess our present-day doctrinal limitations, and they understood that the soul of such a great Master has evolved over many lifetimes into his present level of perfected spirituality, the scriptures state that: "They were all filled with awe and praised God. A great prophet has appeared among us, they said. God has come to help his people" (Luke 7:16 NIV); and "Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men" (Matt 9:8 NKJ).
God had sent them a prophet -- God had Anointed (Christ) one of their brethren, and they glorified God who had bestowed such power upon a man -- and that prophet and man is known to us today as Jesus. If we claim to believe the Bible, then the essential facts to the matter are exactly as reported in the scriptures: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:18-21 NIV).
Jesus, a man who was the greatest of all the souls who had ever walked this earth, became the Anointed of the Lord, was sent by God to preach the good news to the poor, and proclaim freedom for the prisoners who were being held captive in this world by the prince of darkness. Unlike the Gentiles who worshiped everything in nature as god -- i.e., the sun, moon, stars, planets, seasons, rocks, wood carvings, animals, sex, other men, women, the sex organs, etc. -- the Jewish mind understood that a great soul such as this was again sent into the world, and Anointed by God’s Light and Power, in order to lead the people in The Way.
In the First Apology of Justin Martyr, who was an early second century Gentile Christian, we can see the mindset of the more enlightened people who understood the symbology of the scriptures: "And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Aesculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Caesar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre?"
What we truly fail to realize today is the events that we see as being unique to Jesus -- i.e., the story of the virgin birth, the great wonders and signs, the crucifixion and resurrection from the dead -- was not at the time unique at all, and the mindset of the people is found embodied in the words of Justin where he wrote: "...we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter". Why? Because these concepts that we view literally, are important symbols that convey sacred spiritual truths with regard to the spiritual leaven and growth of the mustard seed into a great spiritual plant.
We cannot make sense of these spiritual symbols until we begin to perceive that the Kingdom is within us -- that we are an image of our pre-existent soul -- and that throughout all time there were wise men who, over the course of many lives, developed their level of spiritual awareness and had searched for the answers to life within themselves. Thus, only when we begin to perceive the reality of the indwelling Word, can we begin to understand why Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Those who lived according to the Logos were really Christians, though they have been thought to be atheists; as Socrates and Heraclitus were among the Greeks, and such as resembled them" (Strom. bk. i, ch xix). This same truth is further detailed by Eusebius, the great historian of early Church, where he admits that the religion that is called Christianity was known to the ancients (Eccl. Hist., 1, ch iv) and writes that the religion of Jesus had "...been known among all nations, nevertheless our life and our conduct, with our doctrines of religion, have not been lately invented by us, but from the first creation of man, so to speak, have been established by the natural understanding of divinely favored men of old... What then should prevent the confession that we who are of Christ practice one and the same mode of life and have one and the same religion as those divinely favored men of old? Whence it is evident that the perfect religion committed to us by the teaching of Christ is not new and strange, but, if the truth must be spoken, it is the first and the true religion".
Modern-day Christianity embraces the doctrine that God created man, and then abandoned all communication with man except for a very few Hebrew prophets. Modern-day Christianity believes that man can only be saved when they believe in Jesus -- yet they adhere to this doctrine only because they are unaware of the indwelling Logos, or Word. The result is that in our very limited vision of reality, we fail to recognize biblical passages that state: "Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved" (Prov 28:18 NKJ). What this means is that the indwelling Word has since the very beginning of time taught those who walked blamelessly the higher truths of man’s spiritual reality.
The enlightened Pagans who were the initiates of the Mystery religions, and understood the symbols and inner meaning of the writings of the philosophers, referred to themselves as Christians -- Christians even before the birth of Jesus -- and they understood the theory of the process by which man becomes at One with God.
In the First Apology of Justin Martyr -- which again is one of the earliest of Gentile Christian writings that we possess today -- Justin reveals the spiritual reality of what is portrayed in the scriptures: "Moreover, the Son of God called Jesus, even if only a man by ordinary generation, yet, on account of His wisdom, is worthy to be called the Son of God; for all writers call God the Father of men and gods. And if we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God. But if any one objects that He was crucified, in this also He is on a par with those reputed sons of Jupiter of yours, who suffered as we have now enumerated. For their sufferings at death are recorded to have been not all alike, but diverse; so that not even by the peculiarity of His sufferings does He seem to be inferior to them; but, on the contrary, as we promised in the preceding part of this discourse, we will now prove Him superior -- or rather have already proved Him to be so -- for the superior is revealed by His actions. And if we even affirm that He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept of Perseus. And in that we say that He made whole the lame, the paralytic, and those born blind, we seem to say what is very similar to the deeds said to have been done by Aesculapius".
What we can see is that even among the more enlightened of the Gentile converts, they understood the process of spiritual development and the destiny of man -- as seen in the words of Justin where he wrote: "the Son of God called Jesus, even if only a man by ordinary generation, yet, on account of His wisdom, is worthy to be called the Son of God; for all writers call God the Father of men and gods".
Justin states that Jesus, "even if only a man by ordinary generation", became the Anointed (Christ) Son of God because of his holiness and wisdom -- and that God is the true Father of all men. What we can see is that the enlightened people of the time understood that the Word of God -- or the Logos -- is implanted within the minds of all men -- and the more we choose to walk in the Light, and reject the darkness, the more the indwelling Word is able to teach us through the Anointing of our mind. In the words of Peter, as contained in the writings of his disciple Clement, the True Prophet remains in a dormant condition in the hearts of carnal men. This same truth is found in the Second Apology of Justin Martyr where he wrote: "And those of the Stoic school -- since, so far as their moral teaching went, they were admirable, as were also the poets in some particulars, on account of the seed of reason (the Logos) implanted in every race of men -- were, we know, hated and put to death -- Heraclitus for instance, and, among those of our own time, Musonius and others. For, as we intimated, the devils have always effected, that all those who anyhow live a reasonable and earnest life, and shun vice, be hated".
That a small group of men the world over who desired true wisdom, and focused all of their energies in the quest to embrace the Light, received the measure of that Light in proportion to their own ability to manifest it in their lives, is merely the fulfillment of the promise of the scriptures. That we do not perceive this to be true in our modern day, is because we judge them to be heretics unless they speak the words that we are accustomed to hearing. Thus, in our judgments of what we don’t really understand, we slam the door to higher understanding of the Will of God.
That men of genuine spiritual wisdom the world over have only perceived partial truths, is because they have only been able to receive a partial Anointing of the Light. That the Hebrews possessed a greater number of these partially Anointed men of wisdom, is because they succeeded in building a culture, a language, a set of sacred writings, and a way of life with its whole focus on bringing man into unity with God. Thus, the Hebrews succeeded in embracing the very mindset of the parable of the sower and the seed -- in that they created a society of people who were striving to be the good ground in which the Word could be planted and grown.
Until the time of Jesus, the prophets and men of God who had not attained the full maturity that is man’s ultimate destiny could only receive a partial Anointing (Christ), and this is explained by Justin: "Our doctrines, then, appear to be greater than all human teaching; because Christ, who appeared for our sakes, became the whole rational being, both body, and reason, and soul. For whatever either lawgivers or philosophers uttered well, they elaborated by finding and contemplating some part of the Word. But since they did not know the whole of the Word, which is Christ, they often contradicted themselves. And those who by human birth were more ancient than Christ, when they attempted to consider and prove things by reason, were brought before the tribunals as impious persons and busybodies. And Socrates, who was more zealous in this direction than all of them, was accused of the very same crimes as ourselves. For they said that he was introducing new divinities, and did not consider those to be gods whom the state recognized. But he cast out from the state both Homer and the rest of the poets, and taught men to reject the wicked demons and those who did the things which the poets related; and he exhorted them to become acquainted with the God who was to them unknown, by means of investigation of reason, saying, ‘That it is neither easy to find the Father and Maker of all, nor, having found Him, is it safe to declare Him to all.’ But these things our Christ did though His own power. For no one trusted in Socrates so as to die for this doctrine, but in Christ, who was partially known even by Socrates (for He was and is the Word who is in every man, and who foretold the things that were to come to pass both through the prophets and in His own person when He was made of like passions, and taught these things), not only philosophers and scholars believed, but also artisans and people entirely uneducated, despising both glory, and fear, and death; since He is a power of the ineffable Father, and not the mere instrument of human reason".
In order for us to understand the eventual fall of the Gentile church and the adoption of Pagan doctrines, it is important that we comprehend the belief that Socrates, Plato, and the other poets knew Christ; as seen in the words: "...but in Christ, who was partially known even by Socrates for He was and is the Word who is in every man".
With regard to the indwelling Logos that the first Gentile Christians believed exists within every man, Justin writes that Plato, Socrates and the Greek holy men taught that the mind has an eye that the carnal man cannot use -- lying dormant -- and it is with the mind’s eye that the soul is able to see God: "Plato indeed says... that the mind’s eye is of such a nature, and has been given for this end, that we may see that very Being when the mind is pure itself, who is the cause of all discerned by the mind, having no color, no form, no greatness -- nothing, indeed, which the bodily eye looks upon; but It is something of this sort, he goes on to say, that is beyond all essence, unutterable and inexplicable, but alone honorable and good, coming suddenly into souls well-dispositioned, on account of their affinity to and desire of seeing Him".
It was the knowledge of this great universal truth that was the reason why one of the main focuses of the Essene/Ebionite followers of Christ was the purification of the body and mind of the believer. This same truth is clearly stated in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where it is written: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matt 5:8 KJV). What Jesus taught was that only those who have cleansed themselves from the defilements of this world -- and through this purification have begun to see with the eye of the mind -- are able to see God.
The truth that both the Hebrew and Greek holy men and women attested to was that this eye of the mind, as well as the higher reasoning, cannot be tapped into, unless the disciple is willing to live in accordance with man’s indwelling spiritual nature. The all-important faith that Paul wrote about is based upon this knowledge -- i.e., the faith that empowers a person to change their manner of living -- release themselves from servitude to the carnal desires of the flesh -- and begin the process of detaching their lives from slavery to the god of this world, and beginning the transformational process of manifesting man’s indwelling spiritual nature in their lives. That this could only be done through the Anointing (Christ) of the Light, was the common message of Jesus, Paul, as well as the Greek holy men. That Jesus accomplished what other men theorized about, is a true historical event that changed the face of religion ever since.
Belief and faith in Jesus, then, is not abstract and theoretical -- but rather, is something that must be manifest in the manner in which the believer lives his life. The Law of God was never abolished, as some people believe -- but rather, in the words of Jesus: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matt 5:17-18 NIV).
What Jesus taught is that those who claim to be his followers must adhere to, practice, and keep the Law in accordance with higher standards than did the carnally minded Jews. In this respect Jesus warned that: "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:18-20 NAS).
If we were truly Christians, and of an Anointed mind, we would perceive the true spiritual meaning of the Law. We would understand why the Spiritual Jews known as the Essenes never observed the Law in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees. They did not worship and sacrifice animals in the Temple. Being vegetarians, neither did they eat a lamb and celebrate the Passover in the manner that was customary to the carnal Jews. Many of them did not physically circumcise their children, as was the custom of the barbarians. In this respect, what has been revealed to those who have studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, was that the Spiritual Jews known as the Essenes already anticipated and embraced every concept that was taught by Jesus in the sermon on the mount. In fact, their most holy of writings, the Book of Enoch, contains whole passages that are now found in what has come to be known as the New Testament. How did they receive this higher revelation of the Word prior to the advent of Jesus? Being disciples of the Light, they were taught The Way from the indwelling Word.
With regard to the physical, versus the spiritual observances of the Law, Jesus taught "You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former" (Matt 23:23 NIV). What does this commandment that Jesus faulted the carnal Jews for not observing mean? What the scriptures reveal is that Jesus neither abolished, nor did he find fault with the Law and Commandments of God -- but rather, he found fault with the hypocrites who preached one thing, but in their deeds they practiced something else, as seen in the words: "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them" (Matt 23:1-3 NAS).
Because they preached the Word of God, and did not perform the Word in their daily lives, and they cleansed and purified the outside, rather then the inside (Matt 23:25), they were not fit vessels for the Holy Spirit to inhabit -- and as such, they were blind to the true meaning of the scriptures because they saw only with physical eyes, having never opened the spiritual eye of the mind. What the New Testament demonstrates is that from the perspective of Jesus’ teachings, they were not the people of God -- but rather, they were impostors. Jesus, then, never condemned the Jews, as we erroneously believe today -- but rather, he condemned impostors who put themselves before the people as Jews. In recognition of this truth, are we so foolish to believe that he will not in like manner condemn us as impostors when we claim to be the followers of Christ -- and yet, we continue to live and believe in the manner of the heathens?
It is important to recognize Jesus’ instruction to his followers with regard to the keeping of the Law: "all that they tell you, do and observe" -- observe all things in the Law; but with respect to the manner in which the impostor Jews live: "but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them". Thus, the commandment: "You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former" (Matt 23:23 NIV), does not negate the former -- but rather, raises the former up to new spiritual heights, making the Law of God a truly Spiritual Manifestation.
This same concept is found in the Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, where Justin states: "The new law requires you to keep perpetual Sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you: and if you eat unleavened bread, you say the will of God has been fulfilled. The Lord our God does not take pleasure in such observances: if there is any perjured person or a thief among you, let him cease to be so; if any adulterer, let him repent; then he has kept the sweet and true Sabbaths of God. If any one has impure hands, let him wash and be pure". What Justin states is that it is the changing of the mind with regard to the things of this world, and the strict adherence to spiritual principles and the Will of God -- built on top of the Commandments of God, that brings delight to the Lord. The genuine followers of Jesus are not those who embrace a lawless lifestyle -- but rather, those whose righteousness and purity exceed that of the impostor Jews, and dwell in the Light -- i.e., "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD" (Isa 52:11 KJV).
That the later Church of the Roman Empire could not understand the importance of the essence of what Jesus taught -- the purification of the flesh and the living in accordance with the Law in order to receive the spirit -- is due to the fact that the carnal mind is incapable of comprehending man’s true spiritual reality. One of the problems we face in understanding our true nature in relation to our Creator is seen in the fact that we continually deceive ourselves in both our doctrines and our Bible translations. The King James translation at Psalms 82:1 reads: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods". Realizing the defectiveness of this wording, the Revised Version of 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1902 render this same verse: "God standeth in the congregation of God; He judgeth among the gods". Because the verse did not make much sense from the perspective of modern Christian doctrine, the Revised Standard Version has: "God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment". As we move into still more modern translations, the message in the New American Standard Version becomes even more obscure: "God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers".
When the first century Justin Martyr quoted the 82nd chapter of Psalms from his scriptures, the sacred writings that he used did not read as ours does today. "God standeth in the congregation of gods", Justin wrote, I said, Ye are gods, and are all children of the Most High. But ye die like men..." (Dialogue of Justin). In addition to Justin, this verse is also found translated in this same manner in the works of Tertullian, Origen and Cyprian. Thus, we have the witness of four of the earliest of Christians that "God standeth in the congregation of gods", when the scriptures are speaking about us.
Justin then goes on to explain that all men were made like God, "free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves... thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming ‘gods’, and of having power to become sons of the Highest; and shall be each by himself judged and condemned like Adam and Eve".
Unlike the modern church, the first Spiritual Christians believed that we are gods -- but, like Eve, each of us is tempted by the serpent -- and, like Esau, we surrender our birthright and make ourselves mortal, and bring death upon ourselves. We fail to recognize that Satan tempts each of us with the fruit of inequity that conceals from us the knowledge of this sacred truth. It is the serpent that blinds our eyes and deludes us into thinking that when we see our reflection, we perceive our true nature -- which is not physical, but spiritual -- all the while seducing us into believing erroneous or incomplete doctrines of belief.
Even our very own Bibles at one time more clearly taught this same concept. In the third century 1 John 3:2 read somewhat differently than it does in our present translations. Quoting from Origen’s Contra Celsum we read that "it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like God, and shall see Him as He is". With regard to our becoming like God, Origen then writes regarding Matthew 5:48 that "...the virtue of man and of God is identical. And therefore we are taught to become ‘perfect,’ as our Father in heaven is perfect". Yet, it is this very important biblical concept that the majority of churches today reject, and do not believe the witness of the scriptures and the first Christians. Why do we believe differently? Because we are unaware of man’s pre-existent soul and spiritual nature, we create doctrines that contradict what Jesus taught -- doctrines that falsely proclaim that man cannot become perfect -- and we choose instead to cling to a Darwinist perception of creation!
When questioned as to His claim to be the Son of God, Jesus stated in John 10:34: "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" We are gods, but we suffer and die like men, because we neither know ourselves, or our true relationship to God, because Satan and his army of disciples has hidden these things from our perception. Like Eve, we have permitted the crafty serpent to seduce us with his doctrines of error, and have allowed him to engulf us in a cloud of forgetfulness -- and, like those struck with amnesia, he has caused us to forget that we are the prodigal sons of our Father -- and that it is our own attachment to the citizen of the far country that has caused us to remain lost without remembrance of the Heavenly Kingdom that is our true home (Lk 15:11-32).
Like the prodigal sons that we truly are, we must "come to ourselves/senses", arise, cast off the shackles of the citizen of this world, and return again to our Father. But, the problem that confronts us is that in order to begin our journey, we must first be willing to rid ourselves of error, and be faithful only to the Truth. There is no other way! Like the prodigal son, we must cease to consume the food of the unclean swine, seek the bread of life, and prepare ourselves to be a fit vessel for the Holy Spirit to inhabit. For the seeds of Life are sown in our hearts, and the work of salvation has already been done by our Lord and Savior. In order to begin our journey Home, we have only to rid ourselves of the tares sown by Satan in order to make ourselves the good ground that brings forth the fruit of the Kingdom -- a fruit in the form of Divine Knowledge that exists within us (Lk 17:21.
Like the prodigal son in the parable, we dwell in spiritual poverty and famine, separated from our Father, and the path that leads to Life has been obscured because we no longer possess the knowledge to enter through the narrow gate (Mat 7:13) -- or, as Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa wrote: "...it is imperative on all those who have an equally earnest desire for the Good as He has, to be followers by the path of an exact imitation of Him Who leads the way to salvation, and to carry into action what He has shown them. It is, in fact impossible for persons to reach the same goal unless they travel by the same ways". Yet, we vainly imagine that we can cling to the Jesus of Constantine, and be saved without ourselves picking up our own crosses and walking in The Way.
By continuing to embrace the philosophy of this world, and the heathenistic culture that has consumed our modern society, Christians today embrace a form of religious agnosticism. They do not believe the scriptures -- they do not believe the witness of men such as St. Gregory -- neither do they believe the many other second and third century Christian witnesses. From a spiritual perspective, neither do they believe in the Living Christ that can save them. It is clear that Satan has sifted our hearts and minds and had his way with us. We wrongly believe we can recite a prayer and be saved. Satan has had his way with Christian doctrine, and caused us to believe that we no longer need to fulfill the commandments of God -- but rather, that we can dwell as complacent casual observers of the Lord of righteousness. Christians today have created a new Jesus, and have put their doctrines in his mouth, and the flock has been seduced into believing that all they need to do is call upon his name to be saved.
In contradistinction to this present day concept of Christianity, Gregory then writes that unless they "...follow him their leader step by step", they can in no way make it through the "labyrinth of this our life" and arrive at the spiritual and eternal end that is promised to us in the scriptures. Yet, even though Gregory is merely reflecting on the message of the Bible, we don’t believe him! Moreover, in our carnal vision of ourselves, we are defeated before we even open the pages of the scriptures. In this respect we ask: What did Jesus say was our relationship to himself? And to God? One of the great truths that Jesus taught the people was that he was their brother -- i.e., "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’" (John 20:17 NIV).
Who are we -- that we should be called a brother of such a soul as Jesus, and we should be called gods by God? How important is the answer to this question? What we must realize this day is that we cannot make claim to any worth while knowledge what-so-ever, without knowing for sure the answer to this great looming question with regard to our true essence of being? Moreover, when we stand before the judgment seat, what excuse will we use in our defense. If it is true that the men of old who dwelled among the heathen in a Pagan world were able to be taught by the indwelling Word, how can we who possess a much more perfect savoir, and a much finer source of teaching in the New Testament scriptures, continue to remain indolent in our relationship with the Lord?
The nature of the problem goes to the very heart of the controversy over the struggle regarding the modern day theory of evolution. It was Darwin’s assertion that all of life is the result of a series of natural occurrences and selection, and the world as we see it is not the result of the intervention of God, or supernatural forces working upon the earth. Thus, in Darwin’s manner of thinking, the earth itself is both the cause and effect of all things. In accordance with Darwin’s vision of reality, there is nothing beyond what we see with our physical senses -- and all the mysteries of life can be explained by looking to the physical world for answers.
The problem with modern Christian doctrine with respect to what Jesus taught, and what the original Messianic Jewish followers of Christ believed, is that when the Church of the Roman Empire reinterpreted the Word in a carnal sense, what they did was embrace a quasi-Darwinist mindset that severely limited their vision of reality, and caused them to entertain a very incomplete perception of the nature of mankind. Embracing the same perspective as Darwin later formalized in his writings, man was a creature who came into being by virtue of the conception and birth of his physical body. It was easy, then, to conclude that man was not born from God -- but rather, was the offspring of Adam and Eve who was created out of the dust of the earth.
Until we comprehend the common essence of thought that caused the Roman Church to view man from the same fundamental perspective as did Darwin, we cannot understand the genuine reality of man that Jesus taught. In accordance with the Darwinist perception of the word: Man was the body -- therefore, man was not born from God, and the many references to mankind being the children of God was then explained away through the process of adoption -- in the manner that people adopt an animal or subspecies as a pet. Jesus, on the other hand, was pre-existent, and was not born from Adam and Eve. In fact, from their perspective, the whole issue of the relationship of Jesus to God becomes very confusing. Because the Roman Church declared that Jesus was of the substance of the Trinity, the term Son of God did not really apply, in that Jesus being God, could not have a beginning.
What happened was the Roman Church attempted to insert the Platonic perception of God as embodied in the doctrine of the Trinity into the Hebrew scriptures -- which was an environment that it did not belong. When it was pointed out that the relationship of a son and a father cannot exist if the father did not pre-exist the son, and neither can a father even have a son without the son being born from the generation of the child out of the relationship of a pre-existent mother and father, the Roman Church responded by condemning as heretics anyone who questioned church doctrine. To silence all opposition to their dogma, they then outlawed the reading of the Bible by the common people.
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