The Shepherd of Hermas

APOSTOLIC FATHERS (trans. and ed., J. B. Lightfoot)

Is The Church Christian?


When rightfully understood, the above question should be rephrased to mean: Does modern Christianity have anything in common with the original teachings of Jesus known as TheWay?    The key to answering the question is to first understand that in the ancient Greco-Roman world, there was Christ prior to the birth of the man Jesus (see Christ Before Jesus).    The universal religion of the empire was Mithrac -- and the inner core of initiates of Mithraicism were called Christians.    So when Spotlight Ministries in an article on the Shepherd of Hermas (see Article) brings up the statement attributed to Brite Divinity School Prof Carolyn Osiek that "...some have doubted whether the work (Shepherd Of Hermas) should even be considered as Christian", the question that should be posed is whether Christianity has anything in common with the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay?  

That the Shepherd of Hermas is very much in harmony with the original teachings of Jesus can easily be demonstrated.   And this fact has been confirmed with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls where biblical scholars such as A. Powell Davies warned the Christian world that discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls had confirmed what they had suspected all along -- (1) that the dogmatic religion known today as Christianity came into existence in the fourth century -- (2) that it's doctrines of belief were dictated by a series of Roman Emperors who ruled over the Church as its head -- (3) that the Roman Church created the divinity of Yeshua/Jesus -- i.e., “Biblical scholars 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).  Worse yet, Edmund Wilson, another expert who worked extensively on the scrolls, further raised 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...” (The Scrolls From The Dead Sea).  To the uninformed and unknowing believer, it made all the difference in the world!  If Jesus was an Essene who lived a holy and consecrated life, fulfilling the Law within himself so completely, that he became One with the Logos/Son of God at his baptism as stated by all Church Authorities prior to the fourth century Nicene Council held by the Roman Emperor Constantine (see The Ten Words), then the Adam Clark Bible Commentary is correct when it states that "...the whole Christian system is vain and baseless"!!!    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 modern Church has little in common with the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay.    Which then raises the question: Does it matter?   Does it matter if you follow the Christianity of Mithraicism and the Pagan Roman world where emperors and their priests dictated what beliefs were valid?   Does it matter if you follow the Christianity of the Emperor Justinian who, after imposing his will and doctrines on the Church, rendered it spiritually impotent.  Both of these Roman Emperors not only declared many important original teachings heresy, but then hunted down and murdered the Spiritual Christians who refused to accept the religion of the emperors.  

Modern Christians maintain that they are saved by faith totally apart from their actions and works -- and their salvation is guaranteed from the moment they accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.   But is this the original teachings of Jesus?  Perhaps this can be gauged by a recent interview with Pastor Brian McLaren who made the rather profound statement: "One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history - it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn about church history."   And truth be told, it can easily be demonstrated that the core purpose and objectives of the original Gospel teachings are so radically different than what is preached from our pulpits today, that the Gospel of the first century would be condemned as heresy if it was presented to a modern congregation of believers.   And this in turn raises the question: What will be the consequences if you follow the religion of Rome -- even as watered-down by Martin Luther -- while ignoring the core original teachings of Jesus and TheWay?   Thus, to the modern Christian believer in search of Truth and the Kingdom, this article and the Shepherd of Hermas is a godsend that is one of the most important writings that they have ever encountered.

  The Enigma Of The Shepherd Of Hermas: Even though it is said of the Shepherd of Hermas that it was "...the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries...", it remains unknown to the modern Church.   Why?   Why was the book that is representative of the core Gospel of the earliest Church, no longer is use today?   Because while Hermas reflected the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay, it would be deemed heresy by the modern Church.   And when rightly understood, the fact of the matter is that it is impossible for the modern believer, critic, biblical expert or scholar to in any manner understand the message that Hermas bears.   Which means that if the Shepherd of Hermas was indeed the most popular scripture in the Gentile Church over the first three centuries, then it can rightly be stated that the modern Church has virtually nothing in common with the pre-Nicene Gentile Church.   And when it is recognized that the Original Jewish segment of the Church who were known as Ebionite and Nazirenes have all been rejected and condemned as heretics, then we can rightly state that the modern Church has virtually nothing in common with the essence of Original Gospel teachings -- and more importantly, the Original Gospel Objectives.  

What are the implications?   What this means is that it is virtually impossible for the modern congregations of believers and their critics alike to understand the original teachings of Jesus and the religion of TheWay.    Why?   How can I make such a profound statement that to the thinking of the modern Christian would seem patiently absurd?   The answer is very simple: Because the modern Christian only sees their own dogmatic reflection when they open the pages of the New Testament -- while ignoring and/or explaining away what does not at all support their dogma.   Thus, the all important question that has become paramount in our modern culture and society:  Who was Jesus?  Man, Myth or God?   Theologian Albert Schweitzer suggested that there will never be one answer to that question.   He said that looking for Jesus in history is like looking down a well: You see only your own reflection.  The “real” Jesus, Schweitzer says, will remain “a stranger and an enigma”.   While what Albert Schweitzer stated is true with respect to those who even imagine that they know who Jesus was by reading a book -- in the article An Inconvenient Truth, it is demonstrated that Schweitzer has been proven wrong.   And most importantly, it is not necessary to believe me -- because all of mankind who are portrayed as the lost prodigal sons possess the innate ability to properly apply what Jesus called the Key of Knowledge to both the scriptures, and then to the enigma of life itself -- and having properly applied the Key of Knowledge, each individual believer will then be able to confirm the Great Truths and Mysteries of Creation.

The Shepherd of Hermas is a most valuable resource to the modern Christian, because (1) it enables them to correct the historical flaws in the man-made dogma of the Church; and (2)provides a means for them to circumvent the doctrines of Roman Emperors and move in harmony with the Original Source of the Gospel message and objectives; (3) with the end result of developing their innate ability to Prove The Truth and the Kingdom -- the entrance to which exists within all of mankind.   Because modern Christians only see their own reflection when they open the pages of the New Testament -- or, the reflection of their own predetermined beliefs -- alleged scholars and purported believers alike hold almost countless opinions as to the meaning of the scriptures.   Sadly, to their own detriment they overlook the most important part of the equation -- i.e., the scriptures are exactly what the original authors intended them to be.   And if we then pose the question: What are the implications of this fact?   While you may have read and even studied countless opinions of scriptural interpretation and commentary -- and you may have even undergone the formal study of the scriptures yourself -- but unless you understand how to apply what Jesus portrayed as the Key of Knowledge -- and unless you properly apply the Key of Knowledge in accord with the original intent and objectives which the authors composed these sacred writings -- then your assumptions about the meaning of the scriptures will amount to just one more of the infinite and often meaningless opinions as to just what the scriptures mean.   Moreover, there is also the intellectual-educational factor -- which means that because our culture and thinking has been built upon a defective Paradigm of Thought that is taught in our systems of education, which is therefore foundational to all our modern ideas about self and the life that man is living, everything that has been built upon that foundation - i.e., our philosophies, our religions, our culture and even our ideas about self, has all been severely impacted because of the defective foundational Paradigm of Thought upon which the whole of our modern structure of mind has been built.   In the example of the scripture that was the most widely used among the earliest of Gentile Christians, the fact that a divinity school professor can make the statement that "...some have doubted whether the work should even be considered as Christian", is proof that modern Christianity has absolutely nothing in common with the original Church which widely used this same scripture.   And since the pre-Nicene Church was much closer to the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay, modern Christianity as we know it today must be recognized as a conglomeration of man-made dogma that has its foundation in Pagan Rome.

When rightly understood, the term BC (Before Christ) with respect to the beginning of our Common Era, should be reevaluated to indicate Before Constantine with respect to the birth of the Christ that is worshiped in the modern Church and promoted by its secularized (Orthodox) dogma.  That the modern-day Christ and the religion of the Church were conceived and born under the dominion of the Roman Emperor Constantine -- and that the dogma of the Church was purely political, in contradistinction to the spiritual foundation of the original teachings -- is demonstrated in the fact that modern Christianity has very little in common with the original objectives of the teachings of TheWay which was to bring about "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”  (see Expansion Of Mind) -- which has absolutely nothing in common with the blind faith dogmatized Church that came into being in the fourth century under the rulership and doctrinal control of Pagan Rome.   But the fact that the modern Christians continue to worship the dogmatic-god of Constantine should come as no surprise, in view of the fact that the Apostle Paul predicted that the worship of the true God would cease, and those who called themselves Christian would instead worship Satan (see The Church of the AntiChrist).   That the objective of what Paul portrays as the god of this world, is to keep the congregation of Christians ignorant and promoters of blind-faith in the spurious doctrines of Pagan Rome, has for the most part continued to inhibit the True Spiritual ReBirth of the Church.   And while pseudo-priests such as Martin Luther convinced the Church to embrace the dogma of faith apart from actions --  to the degree that every tenet of the modern Church is openly condemned in their own New Testament (see The Lie & The Ten Minute Test) -- the modern believer continues to ignore the scriptures in their allegiance to the dogma of Pagan Rome.   And, just as equally important to understand, is that "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”  has absolutely nothing to do with the expansion of the physical brain -- but rather, both the refinement of the physical body that permits this expansion of mind to be brought about, and the development of those areas which lie under the control of the innate Intuitive Spheres of the Mind that the physical brain does not naturally support.

It is pointed out in the Article on the Shepherd of Hermas by Prof Carolyn Osiek that the personage of the historical Jesus is not only never mentioned, but is seen as being separate from the Son of God (see Logos).   But what is really being revealed in Osiek's statement is the fact that the modern believer fails to understand the difference between the historical man Jesus, and the indwelling Logos.  Why?   Because the original Gospels were corrupted in order to make them support the tenets of Pagan Rome.   And while the vast majority of Christians today choose to close their eyes to the facts, the truth is very clearly expressed in the words of Prof. Bart D. Ehrman in his book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, where he warns us that: "...theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy".    If all Gospel statements which supported important spiritual teachings and concepts were edited, corrupted and even removed, in order to make the scriptures support the doctrines of a sectarian group of Christians who portrayed themselves as Orthodox in relation to other groups within the early Church, then how can the modern Christian even begin to make a valid examination of their own beliefs?   Further, this conflict and dissension between early Christian groups among the Gentiles existed from earliest times -- i.e., the corrupting of the scriptures by the Gentile Church which portrayed itself as Orthodox, began as soon as the copies were given to them by the original Ebionite Nazirene Jewish groups led by the brother of Jesus and the disciples.   And this fact that the Gentiles corrupted their copies of the scriptures virtually as soon as they received them, is confirmed to us by Dr. F. H. Scrivener where he writes that: "In the second century we have seen too many instances of attempts to tamper with the text of Scripture, some merely injudicious, others positively dishonest".  Scrivener further states that "it is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within 100 years after it was composed: and that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church" used inferior manuscripts (F.H.Scrivener, Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament).    Dean Burgon quotes Gaius (AD175-200) who speaks of the source of corruptions that survive in the early papyri: "The Divine Scriptures these heretics have audaciously corrupted. Laying violent hands upon them, under pretense of correcting them." (Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 323).   Eusebius (Eccleastical History), citing the second century Church Father Clement of Alexandria: "The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected originated within one hundred years after it was composed."   In the words of Colwell (What Is The Best New Testament Text?, p.119)  "The first two centuries witnessed the creations of the large number of variations known to scholars today.  In the manuscripts of the New Testament most variations, I believe, were made deliberately."   G.D. Kilpatrick (Atticism and the Text of the Greek New Testament, pp 125-131):  "Deliberate changes in all text types appear to antedate A.D. distinct from errors... all categories of deliberate alteration...  are present in both groups.  ...The vast majority of deliberate changes were older then A.D. 200.  They came into being in the period A.D. 50-200."

Thus, Prof Osiek writes with respect to the Shepherd of Hermas which was said to be the most popular scripture used by the early Gentile Church that "...some have doubted whether the work should even be considered as Christian", only because the Shepherd is more representative of the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay -- while the Gospels have both the most important teachings removed -- others corrupted -- and the interpolations of scribes added directly into the text of the earliest of New Testament scriptures and epistles (see Bible Corruption).    But even more important is the fact that the Shepherd of Hermas is further confirmation that the original teachings and Church was a purely Spiritual Religion, with the purely Spiritual goals of the transformation of the physical, that brings about the spiritual ascension of the seeker/disciple that enables them to be taught directly from what the disciples of Jesus portrayed as the True Prophet.     Which means that the conflict which Prof. Ehrman makes reference to where it is demonstrated that "...Scribes [intentionally] modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy", was because the original Gospels supported a Gnostic and purely Spiritual Religion that the carnal minds of the pagan Gentiles could not come to terms with.   Which prompted Prof. Elaine Pagles to assert: “It is the winners who write history - their way. No wonder, then, that the viewpoint of the successful majority has dominated all traditional accounts of the origin of Christianity… It suggests that these religious debates - questions of the nature of God, or of Christ - simultaneously bear social and political implications that are crucial to the development of Christianity as an institutional religion. In simplest terms, ideas which bear implications contrary to that development come to be labeled as heresy; ideas which implicitly support it become orthodox” (see Pagles, The Gnostic Gospels).    Which brought about the synthesis of Mithraicism and Christianity in the fourth century in order to unite the religions of the empire -- which necessitated the recreation of the historical man Jesus into the embodiment and personification of God in the flesh -- as proven in the article The Ten Words.    So the crucial question then becomes: Is Jesus God on the basis that the fourth century Church corrupted the very words allegedly spoken to mankind by the Father at Jesus' baptism in the Jordan?   In view of the fact that a Roman Emperor and his minion priests cannot recreate Creation in accord with their own doctrines of belief -- forcing God to submit to their decree -- then it must be understood that the Shepherd of Hermas not only supports the original Gospel teachings -- but in the idyllic worship of a man in place of God, the modern Church is merely declaring and worshiping the Christ of its Mithraic and Roman Pagan roots.    But is the Christ of Mithraicism -- i.e., the pagan sun-god that is reborn on December 25th (see Passover vs Easter) -- the same as the Anointed One (Messiah/Christ) of the Gospels? 
The Dogmatic Enigma Of Salvation: A further witness of the Shepherd of Hermas against the paganism of the modern Church is demonstrated in the statement in the Article where it is written: "In Hermas' dialogue with the Shepherd, among the many instructions that are given to him, the issue of post-baptismal sin is discussed. It is revealed to Hermas that anyone who sins after baptism is given the opportunity to repent only once. Any sin that is committed afterwards is viewed extremely dismally and the implication is given that such an individual will no longer be able to obtain forgiveness. Various interpretations have been applied to this doctrine of penance for post- baptismal sins. For example, it is possible to view Hermas as one who is compromising the area of Christian repentance, one who acts as a reformer and exhorts the Church to holy living, or even one who is of such intense eschatological anticipation that he believes there will be no possibility of further repentance."   The fact that the question is even raised with respect to sin after baptism, only serves to demonstrate the state of absolute disenfranchisement of the Church from both the New Testament, as well as the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay.

The very first statement in The Ten Minute Test entitled The Fallacy Of Salvation By Faith Alone demonstrates that the Shepherd of Hermas totally supports the teachings of the Apostle Paul where it is written: "For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who ...then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.. For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries." (Heb 6:4-6;10:26-27 RSV).   And when it is pointed out that the Apostle Peter warns that the fate of those who believe otherwise -- i.e., the followers of pseudo-shepherds who attempt to portray Jesus as a pagan mojo that enables the believer to continue to sin after escaping the corruptions of this world -- that their fate is such that "...they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning" (see Worse Off Than The Unbelievers).    With Peter concluding with respect to their fate: "It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them."   But the modern Christian has been so disenfranchised from the original Gospel teachings, that they have been rendered spiritually impotent -- to the degree that it is impossible for them to even come to terms with the teaching that the fate of the unbelievers is better than those who have come to the knowledge of the Gospel, and continued to sin. 

The modern Christian can't even begin to come to terms with the statement of the Apostle Peter that "It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them".   Which from a Gospel perspective can only mean that the fate of those who never came to Christ is better, than the fate of those who have affirmed their faith in Jesus and the Gospel, and continued to live in accord with the thinking and lifestyle of this world.   And when rightly understood, the foregoing is confirmed in the statement of Jesus: “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:47-48 NIV).   What this means is that the believer who fails to properly prepare himself by picking up their own cross and travailing in TheWay, has a far worse fate -- i.e., “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows..." -- while the sinner who had never come to Christ will not receive the same harsh fate as the apostate believer: "...the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows".    Thus, there can only be one possible conclusion: That the statement in the Shepherd of Hermas which prompted Prof. Carolyn Osiek to write: "...Any sin that is committed afterwards is viewed extremely dismally and the implication is given that such an individual will no longer be able to obtain forgiveness", is supported by Paul's warning that "...if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment", which is confirmed by the statement of Jesus that “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows..." -- which is further confirmed in the words: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21 NIV).   

The problem is seen in the fact that the modern Christian whose thinking has been imbued with the dogma of the Church, can't even begin to relate to these concepts of religion which in the pre-Nicene Church was the foundation of the Gospel message.   And this is further demonstrated in the historical fact that the Roman Emperor Constantine who adopted and ruled over the Church was never baptized, until he was on his death-bed.   Which is the basis of why Prof. Carolyn Osiek wrote that "...It is revealed to Hermas that anyone who sins after baptism is given the opportunity to repent only once. Any sin that is committed afterwards is viewed extremely dismally and the implication is given that such an individual will no longer be able to obtain forgiveness."        

   Christian Seekers Ask: What Are We To Do?  If it is true that the New Testament has been corrupted -- with important teachings removed -- then how are Christians to know what to believe?   Even when shown factual evidence that the Greek texts from which our English translations are derived were corrupted by the early Church, most fundamentalist believers remain in denial -- going so far as to state that God authored the King James version of the Bible, so that the Church will know what to believe.   And while this may sound feasible to the body of faith-based believers who remain totally ignorant of the facts, it is important to recognize that it was the leaders of the Church who censored and rejected the very words of God spoken directly to mankind!   There is only one instance where God spoke directly to man in the Gospel account -- which is when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, and God spoke from the Heavens so that all those who were present could hear His words.   Yet, the very words spoken directly to man was rejected by the fourth century Church -- and the message and meaning of the words spoken by God were corrupted and changed (see The Ten Words) -- which prompted the Adam Clark Bible Commentary to state that if the original words spoken by God to man was in fact correct, then it must be concluded that "...the whole Christian system is vain and baseless"!!! 

If the Bible is The Word of God -- and it has been corrupted by the hand of a very Pagan Church -- and even the ONLY words spoken by God to man has been altered to reflect a totally different meaning -- then what can the modern believer do, other than to have faith in Jesus?   Yet, when rightly understood, blind faith in the man-made dogma which was forced upon the Church by the secular sword of the Roman Emperor Constantine, is not at all the right solution to the problem.   When in fact the answer to the dilemma is in both the Shepherd of Hermas, and the very words of Jesus when he proclaimed: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46 KJV).  


  The Heightening And Expansion Of Mind: If the question is posed: Do you know the purpose and objectives of the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay?   The answer of modern believers and critics alike would equally be in error.   If the biblical scholars are correct in their assertion that "...the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been -- [and] ...The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine -- [and] ...The worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected originated within one hundred years after it was composed  -- which corruptions suppressed the most important teachings which supported a purely Spiritual Church, in order to make the New Testament instead support a secularized Church under Pagan Rome -- then the fact that the Shepherd of Hermas which was the most used scripture by the earliest Gentile Christians, should come as no surprise to the modern believer that is does not at all support the dogma of the Church today.   

An important insight into the very essence, purpose and higher spiritual objectives of the original teachings of TheWay is contained in an article in the Encyclopedia Britannica under the heading, The History of Christian Mysticism, where it reads: “Although the essence of mysticism is the sense of contact with the transcendent, mysticism in the history of Christianity should not be understood merely in terms of special ecstatic experiences but as part of a religious process lived out within the context of the Christian community. From this perspective mysticism played a vital part in the early church. Early Christianity was a religion of the spirit that expressed itself in the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”.     What is expressed in these words is of the utmost importance.   Why?   Because the original teachings of Jesus was not the profession of blind faith and belief in a prophet or god-man that was ordained by 4th century Pagan Rome -- but rather, the means to transform all sincere and true Christian disciples of TheWay into prophets and mystics as demonstrated in the words: "...From this perspective mysticism played a vital part in the early church. Early Christianity was a religion of the spirit that expressed itself in the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”.   But, we must then pose the question: Just what is a "...religion of the spirit"?    Like an astronaut who travels beyond the limits of the earth's atmosphere into outer space, a spiritual religion prepares the seeker/disciple to transcend the barrier of this physical world, and enter into what the biblical authors portrayed as the Kingdom of God which Jesus taught was within us.   But to accomplish this spiritual transcendence, you had to first prepare the physical body to make it an environment that would permit "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” to be brought about -- and this requires a great amount of effort and preparation.     And in the same way that charlatans peddle get-rich schemes which rob the people of their wealth and prosperity, wolves in sheep's attire peddled short-cut schemes -- and it was these counterfeit shepherds who seduced the naive faith-based believers seeking a dogmatic dispensation, into handing over their money and support so they could live lucratively off the collection plate.  

The spiritual Christians who followed in TheWay and prepared themselves to transcend the natural physical limitations of the body, possessed the Divine Knowledge of the Kingdom which they had succeeded in entering.   And the Spiritual Christians were opposed by those who portrayed themselves as Orthodox -- who more often than not were charlatans who for the sake of mammon and the political power of this world, ardently opposed the Spiritual Christians because they represented a direct threat to their base of money and political power.  

  Transformation VS Systematic Linear Rhetorical Programming:  The predominant cultural, philosophical and religious Paradigm of Thought today is that the mind of a child is empty, and needs filling through external teaching and programming.    Yet, the wisest among the ancients perceived man from a totally opposite reality.   And if we pose the question: Does it matter?   The answer is very much a gateway to the proverbial Two Ways -- i.e., the Way of Life, and what Jesus and others portrayed as the Broad-Way of Destruction.   And while our modern educators, intellectuals, philosophers and religious leaders are motivated to do good, the result of their actions is always that of the denial of opportunity and even personal destruction.   Thus, the proverbial warning: "There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov 14:12).   

  Religion As A System Of Education And Enlightenment: When Jesus promised that his disciples will know the Truth that will set them free (John 8:32), he was not portraying the blind faith and belief in manmade dogma that has bound and enslaved the modern Church today -- but rather, that they will become immersed in a system of spiritual development known as TheWay, that will evolve and Anoint (Messiah/Christ) their mind in order to reveal all the Mysteries of Creation to their elevated and enlightened understanding.   And that at any time that the modern Christian chooses to re-embrace the original teachings and spiritual process of development, they will once again be restored to the most intelligent and enlightened people who will lead the people out of the dark ignorance of this world.   

What is today known as faith-based religion is portrayed in the Bible as the elementary teachings designed specifically for entry-level congregations of believers.    What the Apostle Paul portrayed as the "testimony" of Christ, was set forth to the people he converted as a starting point.  And when it is understood that the objectives of the original teachings of TheWay were in fact parallel to that of our modern educational systems -- i.e., "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” -- with the objective being to learn directly from the Source of all Knowledge that Creation was brought into existence to bring about in the eternal reality of the soul of mankind -- then it can also be understood that if the objective of our educational system is to obtain a university and graduate degree, then the beginning of the educational process starts with pre-school or kindergarten -- i.e., an entry-level environment which is necessary to prepare the student to embrace the process of higher learning.   In the same way that you can't enroll an immature student in a college or university, so too must entry-level Christians be exposed one step and level at a time in a religious-based process that brings about their own spiritual maturity and attainment.    And this design and objective of the teachings of Jesus and TheWay is explored in the chapter of the article The Three Lies entitled The Mystery Of The Gospel .    And it is further demonstrated that the pre-Nicene Church (before 325 CE) very much resembled a spiritual healing center that was totally focused on the objective of the development of the seeker/disciple, one level at a time, of the congregation of believers (see The Secret Doctrine ).   To the degree that the Church was accused of being a Secret System that taught the spiritually mature a totally different doctrine than the congregation of entry-level believers.   And in reply to the allegations against the Church by the pagan philosopher Celsus, it was noted that the elementary doctrines which survive today as the foundation of faith-based Christianity, was said to be “...preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief” (Origen Contra Celsum).    So what happened?   In the article  The Secret Doctrine, the pre-Nicene Church is presented in its finest moments as a three-tier healing system which served the needs of the people at every level of the process.  But what happened?  In time the proverbial saying that the inmates took over the institution came to pass -- and the charlatan political leaders of the lower echelon put to death the genuine spiritual healers who were the original core and spiritual essence of the Church.   Resulting in the reality that the entry-level dogmatic beliefs became the only surviving teachings, when the original Ebionite Nazirenes and Spiritual (Gnostic) Christians were hunted down and murdered because they refused to accept the doctrines of the Emperor of Pagan Rome who ruled over the Church beginning in the fourth century.

Based upon the dogmatic folly of pseudo-authorities such as Martin Luther who promote the thinking that you have completed the process even before you have begun -- i.e., the dogma that once you say your Jesus-prayer, that you have fulfilled all Gospel requirements -- these fraudulent doctrines  (see The Lie & The Ten Minute Test) are easily demonstrated to be spiritually counterfeit.   Again, under examination, we can easily perceive a parallel relationship between the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay, and our modern-day cultural educational systems.   When a child is first introduced into the system as an entry-level student, what is presented to the child is a vision of the final result where the graduate student is able to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, computer programmer or some other professional.   The child is told that if they ardently embrace the objectives of the educational system -- prepare their minds through proper study and application -- that they can arise and fulfill all cultural expectations and find great success in their lives.   From the vision presented to the entry-level student, the promise of success is never presented from the perspective of the dropout -- or those who flunk out and fail to take advantage of the learning environment that the educational system provides to the student.   It is not at all suggested that you can hangout in school without study and application, and collect your university degree by merely putting in your time and going through the motions of going to school.   And what is not at all understood  today, is the fact that the promise of the scriptures is parallel to that of the promise presented to the child who enters our educational system -- in that, the promise of the scriptures portrays the reality of those who sincerely engage and complete the process of the original objectives of  "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”, will attain the promised results -- and this promise cannot be achieved by those who become spiritual dropouts.    But as the original teachings became institutionalized under secular control, charlatan priests and clergy (see The Example Of Paul Of Samosata) peddled dogmatic shortcuts that they said eliminated the need to strive and fulfill the original spiritual objectives of "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” -- with a greater number of dogmatic dispensations being invented in order to circumvent the process of higher development --  to the degree where the focus of the Church became instant salvation for the purpose of acquiring mammon and the political power of the secular priests and clergy.   And when the remaining spiritual core objected, they were condemned as heretics, hunted down and murdered.  

  Christ Before Jesus: In the Gentile world prior to the time of Jesus, the word Christos or Christian was used in reference to an enlightened initiate in the Greek Mystery Religions -- which was basically Mithraic.  Those who authored the Epistles that came to bear the name of Paul, were in a number of instances drawn from Mithraic (Christian) Initiates.   Thus, what came to be called Christianity existed before the time of Jesus -- as demonstrated at this link ( ).   Quoting the foregoing link:  Today we call ourselves by the Greek word Christian -- but have we ever questioned where the term originated? And what does it mean?  The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge confirms that the name "originated outside of Christian and Jewish circles".  The Mercer Dictionary of the Bible states that: "By the late first and early second centuries the name ‘Christian,’ which early believers avoided using of themselves, was beginning to be accepted".   Why?   Because of the direct influence of the Mithraic initiates who called themselves Christian.   The Mithraic clergy adopted the Gospels -- corrupted them to make them support the tenets of this Greek Mystery religious system -- and portrayed the original disciples of TheWay as heretics who were too Jewish to understand the teachings of Jesus.  Then they created what has been called Replacement Theology -- which parallels that of Islam in many ways -- which states that Jesus was born among the Jews to condemn them, and then took his rightful place as the leader of the Christians (enlightened Mithrac initiates) -- which, according to their dogmatic mindset, meant that the Gentile Church was always the true Church.  Again, quoting the above link:  With regard to the historical people who were called the people of Christ before the time of Jesus, it did not mean anything to an enlightened Christian that the masses of people worshiped the sun, moon, stars or idols.  What is now Christmas is the rebirth of the sun-god -- and what is now Easter was the worship of the moon goddess Ishtar and the resurrection of the sun-god (see Easter vs Passover).  

That the initiates of the ancient mystery religions were called Christians prior to the time of Jesus is demonstrated in a letter from the Emperor Adrian to Servianus, written in 134 A.D., wherein it is stated: "Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis, call themselves Bishops of Christ".   What is confirmed is that, with the advent of Jesus, the Christ or Christos was not a new term, and there were people throughout the empire who were called Christians prior to the time when the name came to be associated with the followers of Jesus.   More important, though, is the fact that they brought their ideas and beliefs pertaining to Christ into the religion of Jesus -- which teachings in their original form possessed an essence and spiritual reality that few of these Pagan Christians could perceive.  It wasn't that the original disciples were too Jewish to understand the teachings of Jesus and TheWay -- but rather, that a whole segment of the Gentile Church was too pagan and heathen to understand the teachings and objectives of the Gospels.  

Archaeologists have demonstrated that the word Christos, which we render Christ, has been found not only on Pagan temples, and used in relation to those who were said to be the sons of the Pagan gods, but the term was also engraved on tombstones and other Pagan artifacts prior to the time of Jesus.  In the Greek and Roman mystery religions of the time, the Christos was the Anointing of the Logos, and the Christian was the follower of the Anointed.  In the writings of Clement of Alexandria we find it explained that: "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).   Eusebius, the great historian of the early Church, 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 Christians who erroneously believe that what is today called Christianity started with Jesus, will be unable to relate to the words that "our doctrines of religion... have been established by the natural understanding... and [is] the same religion as those divinely favored men of old". The early Gentile Christians knew this fact, and it was for this reason that a copy of Plato’s Republic and other such writings was contained among the writings preserved in the recently discovered Nag Hammadi Library of early Christian writings.   St. Augustine wrote: "That, in our times, is the Christian religion, which to know and follow is the most sure and certain health, called according to that name, but not according to the thing itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself which is now called the Christian religion, really was known to the ancients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of the human race, until the time when Christ came in the flesh, from whence the true religion, which had previously existed, began to be called Christian; and this in our days is the Christian religion, not as having been wanting in former times, but as having in later times received this name" (Opera Augustini, vol. i, p.12).   What this means is that the Jesus in the existing Gospels was converted by the Church to support the tenets of Mithraism, which was the universal religion of the empire.  The problem is that the original teachings of TheWay had absolutely nothing in common with what came to be called Christianity under Pagan Rome.

Those teachings in the scriptures that supported the original objectives of  "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” were removed by the scribes of that segment of the Church which called itself Orthodox -- and the verses of the scriptures which supported the original spiritual objectives, were then portrayed and condemned as Gnostic interpolations.   Resulting in the reality that the modern congregation of believers have been spiritually disenfranchised by the dogmatic dispensations that became ingrained in the doctrines of the Church -- which dogmatic dispensations was necessary in the creation of a secularized religion where the "...political implications ...[were] crucial to the development of Christianity as an institutional religion"  (see Pagles, The Gnostic Gospels).   That modern Christianity is faith-based, is the result of being deprived of the most important spiritual teachings and concepts which was removed from the tradition of scriptures which they received through the hands of the Church of Rome.   And that their doctrines of belief are openly condemned and rejected as spiritual apostasy by the original New Testament authors as demonstrated in the 10 Minute Test of The Lie, remains incomprehensible to the disenfranchised congregation of believers today.    In the same way that educational dropouts can't perform and function at the level envisioned in the creation of our system of schools and universities, neither can the spiritual dropouts even begin to perform and function at the level envisioned in the Gospels.   For their own worldly desire for mammon and political power, the charlatan priests moved the goal-posts of the original Gospel objectives, and peddled spurious dispensations that seduced the congregation of believers to imagine that they could dropout of the process at an elementary school level, and achieve the degree that is equal to that of a university graduate.   And in the same way that in Mao Tse-tung's Cultural Revolution he turned upon and executed the intellectual leaders who voiced opposition once he didn't need them anymore, so too did the Orthodox priests turn upon the spiritual core of the Church, once they achieved their desired positions of political power within the Church of Pagan Rome.  

  Intuitive Mind vs Linear-Rational: Mystics have long warned mankind that the reality of this world of appearances is not at all what is seems to be through the perception of man's physical eyes and senses -- i.e., that there is a great deal more that man's senses and perception cannot detect or even imagine.   And this same enigma of the limits of man's physical senses was noted by Albert Einstein who concluded with respect to man's dilemma when he stated: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."   

In view of the fact that our culture neither understands the intuitive spheres of mind -- neither do they understand the Source of knowledge that the intuitive spheres of mind tap into -- mankind has for all intent and purposes shackled himself to a condition of profound self-imposed ignorance with respect to a higher reality that he does not at all understand.   And what the Mystic has long warned mankind, is that because of shackles imposed upon mankind by his traditional religious, philosophical, cultural and educational institutions which "...have created a society that honors the [rational] servant and has forgotten [and suppressed the development of] the [intuitive] gift" -- thus, blinding mankind to the underlying cause of all that man sees and experiences in this world, man remains perpetually lost and blind in what Jesus portrayed as the "outer darkness" of mind and being (see Outer Darkness) -- or what the philosopher portrayed in the analogy of the illusions of Plato's Cave (see Cave) .  

That the whole of our culture is based exclusively upon the very limited vision of the linear-rational mind which strives to inhibit the intuitive gift, is why the Apostle Paul warned "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world..." (Col 2:8 NIV).   Thus, where the biblical authors portray what they call the "testimony" of Christ as the entry-level language of allegorical symbols that are intended to act as a catalyst in the beginning development of the entry-level believing Christian, the objective is to bring about the necessary maturity and transformation in the development of the latent intuitive spheres of mind, that enables the seeker/disciple of TheWay to fulfill the higher spiritual objectives of the Gospel -- as presented in the above words of the Britannica: “Although the essence of mysticism is the sense of contact with the transcendent, mysticism in the history of Christianity should not be understood merely in terms of special ecstatic experiences but as part of a religious process lived out within the context of the Christian community. From this perspective mysticism played a vital part in the early church. Early Christianity was a religion of the spirit that expressed itself in the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”.   That this spiritual objective and body of esoteric teachings became lost when the Church came under the dominion of Pagan Rome -- which was the primary reason why our Constitutional Framers inhibited the government from interfering in the practice of religion -- means that the spiritual objective of the practice of religion is in the development of the seeker/disciple to utilize those higher intuitive areas of the mind that is able to connect with the inner transcendent -- i.e., " with the transcendent [that was] part of a religious process lived out within the context of the Christian community. From this perspective mysticism played a vital part in the early church. Early Christianity was a religion of the spirit that expressed itself in the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness”.    Which means that the true objective of the teachings of Jesus and TheWay is "...the heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” through the development of the intuitive centers of the mind which Einstein correctly portrays as "...a sacred gift".

The very fact that it was the objective of the original teachings associated with the historical man Jesus known as TheWay, to bring about this condition of enlightenment about in the life of the individual Christian believer, means that there exists the means to bring this enlightened reality of mind about.   Which means that the question then becomes not if -- but rather, how to bring this "...heightening and enlargement of human consciousness” about in the life of the believer as he progresses down the path of TheWay?   Certainly not through the further development of the mind through the linear rational servant.   In fact, it is the lopsided development of what Einstein portrayed as the linear rational servant that inhibits the development of the intuitive gift -- i.e., as seen in Einstein's statement that “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”     Without the balanced development of the intuitive, the linear rational which only senses outwardly, arrives as a point where it becomes what can be portrayed as flat-lined -- which in turn inhibits the further development of the linear rational servant from itself maturing beyond organic limitations.   And herein lies the great obstacle to human development that linear-intellectuals don't at all understand -- i.e., the reality that the linear programming of the mind which is the agenda of our educational systems -- including the reading of books and traditional study -- only serves to inhibit the development of the intuitive spheres of mind -- and it is the lack of balance between the inward looking intuitive and the outward looking linear-rational that inhibits the development of the mind beyond a certain very shallow organic physical level of maturity.  

The problem is seen in the fact that the linear rational servant can only look outwardly -- and not only remains totally ignorant of an inner reality that it is blind to -- but it demands that all of mankind ignore and even reject the higher causal reality that can only be sensed and understood through the development of the intuitive centers of mind.   Like the tip of the proverbial iceberg, what is observed protruding out of the water is very small in relation to the immense body of ice that is beyond man's normal scope of vision lying beneath the water line.   And because our culture and linear learning environment actually inhibits the development of the intuitive, it remains atrophied and latently embryonic.   This is seen in the fact that when the leaders of the Jews (Pharisees) asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come upon the earth in the manner that they believed it would, he told them that it would never come upon the earth so as to be seen with their eyes (that look outwardly), because the Kingdom already exists within them (see ) -- and it is accessed through the development of the intuitive spheres of mind that are positioned to look inwardly -- which then must be balanced with the outward looking rational linear. 



  The Shepherd And The Keeping Of The Commandments:  From a modern Christian perspective, the statement in the Article where it is written: "Hermas expresses some doubt as to his ability to keep the commandments that have been revealed to him" -- is of a primary importance to the modern believer in search of the original teachings of TheWay. 

Thus, the author of the Article writes: After being presented with the twelfth and final mandate Hermas says: "...these commandments are great and good and glorious, and are able to gladden the heart of the man who is able to keep them. But I do not know if these commandments can be kept by man, for they are very hard." And then the author of the Article adds: After saying these things the Shepherd, the individual who speaks with Hermas from the fifth vision onwards, tells him that "if he is of the opinion that the commandments are difficult then they will indeed be arduous to keep" .  




  No Longer Is There A Cloak For Sin: What the Shepherd of Hermas presents to the modern Christian is a window into the original Gospel teachings before the scriptures were corrupted to make them support the dogma of Pagan Rome (see Bible Corruption) -- and before the creation of the Jesus-god by the Pagan Emperor Constantine (see The Corruption Of The Church).   And what each person does -- i.e., their actions -- after coming to the point where the Truth of the Gospel Message is presented to them, will not only hold their fate in the balance -- but will determine their future.   What does Jesus say: : "...sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14 KJV).   In the same way that Paul writes that their can be no sacrifice and salvation if a person knowingly sins after coming to the knowledge of the Truth, the same is true with respect to turning back to the dogma of Pagan Rome, and ignoring the window of opportunity that the Shepherd of Hermas and the above links that present to the seeker/disciple the original teachings that were corrupted by the Church.    And while it was admittedly difficult for the Christian in the past to find the Truth and the Original Teachings that were suppressed by the Church, with the publican of these web sites this is no longer the case -- and in Jesus' own words, there no longer exists a cloak for the sin of those who continue to embrace the pagan dogma of Rome, while rejecting the pure Gospel teachings of TheWay -- i.e., "...If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin" (John 15:21-23 NKJ). 

The original objective of the Gospel teachings of TheWay was to prepare the seeker/disciple to gain access to the Kingdom within -- portrayed as entering In The House -- and learn from what the original disciples called The True Prophet who Jesus commanded was the One and Only Teacher that his followers must seek out (see True Prophet).    Sin was seen as a symptom associated with being under the control of the god of this world.    The Gospel teachings of TheWay is the path where the lower carnal nature is spiritually transformed -- i.e.,  "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature" (Col 3:5 NIV).   To the degree where every thought is raised up to it's highest spiritual expression -- i.e., "…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5 NIV).   For Paul correctly warned that “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom 8:13 KJV).   That living after the flesh is sin -- and "...if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries" -- which means that the whole structure of the modern Church which promotes Jesus as an exemption for living lives of sin attached to our carnally driven culture, is a Gospel fraud that is being peddled in the Churches for the profit of the clergy.    And as a Church that promotes apostasy in the name of Jesus, this is why modern Christians are totally ignorant of the means by which they are to come into the Presence of the Indwelling Logos/Son of God (see True Prophet), and learn directly from the One Teacher that Jesus said to exclusively learn from.   Thus, the modern Christian who is spiritually disenfranchised, teach in the manner of the people and wisdom of this world, and totally fail to understand the statement of Peter: "...therefore great care is to be taken, that when the law of God is read, it be not read according to the understanding of our own mind. For there are many sayings in the divine Scriptures which can be drawn to that sense which every one has preconceived for himself; and this ought not to be done. For you ought not to seek a foreign and extraneous sense, which you have brought from without" (see Flawed Linear Human Reasoning).

From the perspective of the Original Gospel Teachings, ONLY the direct teaching of the One True Prophet can reveal the true spiritual meaning of the scriptures.   Peter correctly states that a believer should reject all outward interpretations.   Paul correctly states that a believer must reject all doctrines and sects as being turned out of TheWay.    It is for this reason the Apostle cautioned Titus to “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11 NIV).   Paul was so adamantly opposed to manmade schisms and carnal opinions that he chastised the believers at Corinth that they were not men of the spirit -- as was evidenced that they had divisions among them.   He explained that the carnal, or “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 KJV); and informs them that they are too “carnal, and walk as men” (1 Cor 3:3 KJV) to open the inner door of the mind and learn directly from the Lord via the spirit. From his perspective, the very existence of these divisions was proof the believers at Corinth were too carnal to experience direct communication with the indwelling True Prophet -- which opening of the inner door to the spirit was the whole essence of New Covenant theology.

Writing about schisms and divisions that Paul condemns in the above statement in the Epistle to Titus, the Church Father Turtillian writes: “On this point, however, we dwell no longer, since it is the same Paul who, in his Epistle to the Galatians, counts 'heresies' among 'the sins of the flesh,' who also intimates to Titus, that 'a man who is a heretic' must be 'rejected after the first admonition,' on the ground that 'he that is such is perverted, and committeth sin, as a self-condemned man.' Indeed, in almost every epistle, when enjoining on us (the duty) of avoiding false doctrines, he sharply condemns heresies. Of these the practical effects are false doctrines, called in Greek heresies, a word used in the sense of that choice which a man makes when he either teaches them (to others) or takes up with them (for himself). For this reason it is that he calls the heretic self-condemned, because he has himself chosen that for which he is condemned”.   In the gospel preached by Paul, heresy is considered a “sin of the flesh”, because schisms and divisions are the result of natural man clinging to ideas of a carnal nature.   Why are these baptized and committed Christians plagued by schisms and divisions?   Because they only call upon the Lord with their lips, while failing to do as the Apostle states by following in The Way and “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col 3:5 NIV).

Sincere believers must therefore turn from the understanding of the flesh, or in the words of the Apostle: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom 8:6 KJV).  The religion of Christ was one of the spirit -- and Paul taught the Gentile believers not to look to the historical man Jesus, but rather the indwelling Spiritual Living Messiah/Christ as their savior and revealer of truth: “Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according o the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer” (2 Cor 5:16 NAS).   This Spiritual Messiah/Christ, over the historical Messiah/Christ in the flesh, was what biblical scholar Rudolf Bultmann was speaking of when he 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).

The Paradox of Belief & Unbelief

Atheists and Believers are each opposite sides of the Paradox of Shared Reality - a Paradox where both are right, and both are equally in error.  In possessing fragments of truth -- while rejecting the opposing paradoxical fragment -- neither the Atheist or Believer is able to grasp the Higher Truth of Spiritual Enlightenment.  In the same way that the Child of Higher Truth must be born from the divided reality of it's parents, the below Intro written by the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus, and the Text of the first century writing known as the Shepherd of Hermas, have the power to overcome the gulf of division between believer and non-believer.  In discovering the great wisdom that most modern believers reject -- a wisdom that was so clearly defined in the original teachings of Jesus and TheWay -- the reader will become aware of a reality they never knew existed.   You will ask: How can believers be so blind -- and unbelievers so uninformed as to the facts as presented by the earliest of Church authorities?   Are you willing to open the mind in pursuit of Higher Truth?   Are you ready to understand why the Church Father Origen who is referred to as the greatest Christian theologian after the Apostles, called the blind believers of today idiots?   Why Augustine said they were slaves to signs they did not comprehend the meaning of?   Why the Apostle Peter warned that you can easily get the Bible to say anything you virtually want it to read?   And in realization of this fact, whey the Church Father Origen called the literal text of the Bible worthless? Stating the truth that every Atheist believes, that the text of the Bible is untrue?   Why Eusbius would have categorized the modern believer as misguided people of very small intelligence?  What is written herein will utterly shock you, when you learn what modern Christians have closed their hearts and minds to the reality of!   

If it is true that the Shepherd of Hermas was the most widely accepted and used Book by the earliest of non-Jewish followers of Jesus, then it is also true that what Jesus taught has very little in common with what Christians believe today.   And if this is true, then the Atheist and non-believers who oppose Christianity, do not find fault and oppose what Jesus taught -- but rather, the manmade doctrines of the Church of Constantine that came into existence in the fourth century (see The Death Of the Religion of Jesus).   

Every believer and non-believer has the ability to prove the Truth beyond any doubt whatsoever by virtue of their own spiritual experiences.   And while it is true that the modern believer has alienated themselves to the Truth by virtue of the adoption of manmade beliefs and doctrine, those unbelievers who oppose them are equally imbued with error.   And while each individual has the ability to prove the Truth for themselves, the Laws that control this world would inhibit them from revealing this Higher Truth to either the body of believers, or their unbelieving brothers and sisters.   Therefore, being able to point out the error of others does not in and of itself constitute Truth, because both the believer and unbeliever dwell in a divided reality where each possesses valid facts that are rejected by their opposites, each remains equally in error!   Most believers need what many unbelievers possess, and most unbelievers have been themselves alienated from the Higher Truths by virtue of the same government secular forces that ruled the Church for over a thousand years.   



The Shepherd





By Allan Cronshaw

The man who in a previous life lived as the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus 

In the introduction of the early Christian writing known as the Shepard of Hermas, it is written: “The Pastor of Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries..."   A. D. Howell-Smith writes concerning the Shepherd of Hermas (Jesus Not a Myth, pp.120-121): "The Shepherd of Hermas, a strange allegory written sometime in the second century, had a great vogue in orthodox circles and was even included in some copies of the New Testament (it is found in the Sinaitic Codex). The theology of the Church must have been very elastic at a time when such a book could enjoy popularity and implicit, if not explicit, ecclesiastical sanction...  The Shepherd speaks of a Son of God; but this Son of God is distinguished from Jesus. 'That Holy Spirit which was created first of all, God placed in a body, in which it should dwell, in a chosen body, as it pleased him.' This is Martini's translation. F. C. Conybeare renders the passage: 'God made His Holy Spirit, which pre-existed and created all creation, to enter and dwell in the flesh which He approved.' In this text the Holy Spirit appears to be a divine substance. But we must not suspect Patripassionism. The 'flesh' is spoken of as a person who 'walked as pleased God, because it was not polluted on earth.' 'God, therefore, took into counsel the Son and the angels in their glory, to the end that this flesh might furnish, as it were, a place of tabernacling (for the Spirit), and might not seem to have lost the reward of its service. For all flesh shall receive the reward which shall be found without stain or spot, and in it the Holy Spirit shall have its home.' This passage appears to make the 'tabernacling' of the Holy Spirit in Jesus a reward for the purity of his life. Jesus then becomes divine through the power of God, after consultation with the Son of God, who elsewhere in The Shepherd is identified with the Holy Spirit. 'The most venerable angel,' 'the glorious angel,' 'the holy angel' are titles that Hermas gives to Jesus in his allegory; but it is understood that the angelic status of Jesus is not his by nature. His labours on earth to save and to cleanse have gained him a co-inheritance with the Holy Spirit, God's primary Son, so that Jesus now is the second Son of God."

What is clear in the above is that modern Christianity has become spiritually disenfranchised from it's pre-Nicene fourth-century roots.  That the Son of God and Jesus were separate, is well represented in the original teachings of the Ebionite/Nazirene disciples -- as demonstrated in the teaching that Jesus became the Messiah/Christ through a
“supernatural union of a man and God... 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)  (See Ebionite HomePage @ ).   Before being corrupted by the fourth century pagan Church of Rome, the Gospels confirmed the original Ebionite Nazirene position that Jesus was a holy man who lived a Consecrated Life that enabled him to totally fulfill the Law within himself, and thus became the Anointed One (Messiah/Christ), as proven in the article The Ten Words.    And this original pre-Nicene portrayal of what has come to be Christian teachings is confirmed in the words of Irenaeus who replied that the Ebionite/Nazirenes “...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).  And unlike modern Christianity which is the religion of Mithraicism renamed (see The Death Of The Religion Of Jesus), the Shepherd of Hermas more closely represents the original teachings of Jesus which focused on becoming the Anointed (Messiah/Christ) of the Lord, rather than worshiping a spiritual concept that is not understood by the modern believer with any depth.   Thus, the earliest of Christians often quoted the words of Jesus ( Matt. 10: 24- 25 ) as their warrant, and affirmed their motto to be: "We also would be imitators of Christ" (Origen, quoted by Schliemann). Jesus, they asserted, "was justified by fulfilling the Law. He was the Christ of God, since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law, he would have been the Christ." Hence, when disciples of TheWay "...thus fulfill the law, they are able to become Christs" (Hippolytus, Refut. Omn. Haer. vii. 34). 

Christians today have lost all understanding of the Law that the early Gentile Church embraced and the Ebionite/Nazirenes adhered to.  Thus the words found in Hermas 78:17-18) `As many,' saith he, `as transgressed the law which they received from him, these he left under my authority for repentance; but as many as already satisfied the law and have observed it, these he has under his own authority.'"   And while the man known as the Apostle Paul was correct in his assertion that Jesus came to free us from the ritual observance of the Law as practiced by the Sadducees, Pharisees and Jews of a carnal mind, the Royal Law of the Most High is Spiritual, and remains in effect throughout all time (see The Law And TheWay; The Spiritual Torah/Law; and No Jew Has Ever Read The Torah/Law).   

Why was the Shepherd of Hermas which was held in such high esteem by the earliest of non-Jewish followers of Jesus, and is even found in one of our oldest Bibles, rejected by the Church which came into existence in the fourth century?  Because of the great importance of both this question and the writing to not only modern Christians, but also those Atheists and non-believers who reject the reality of God and the whole foundation of religion, both believer and non-believe have been equally spiritually disenfranchised by the Church of Constantine which rejected the most read and accepted of early Christian writing -- i.e., the Shepherd of Hermas!

Something that is easily observed throughout all of humanity is the fact that it is natural for people to move in groups -- all groups of people have their leaders -- and leaders retain their position of authority either by force, or because they say what the group wants to hear.   Successful leaders learn to speak to the people’s imagination.   In the case of religion, these leaders convince the people that they are the chosen people, and they will inherit the good, while those who oppose the doctrines of the leader or group will meet with destruction.   From a spiritual perspective, this causes stagnation -- as was the case with the Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees that Jesus condemned.   The result is that these groups squander their opportunity of life, so limiting themselves with their doctrines of belief, that they never perceive either their own spiritual nature, or the inner mind and spirit of the scriptures.

In his Stromata, Clement of Alexandria writes: “now that the Savior has taught the Apostles, the unwritten rendering of the written, this has been handed down also to us”.   What Clement is stating is that it was Jesus who taught his disciples the inner meaning of the scriptures.   Clement explains that “the mysteries are delivered mystically, that what is spoken may be in the mouth of the speaker; rather not in the voice, but in his understanding”.  


In his search for Truth and Meaning, man is perpetually confronted by the path that leads to a higher understanding of the mysteries of life that Clement makes reference to -- but because man does not endeavor to properly prepare the mind to embrace spiritual reality, he continually rejects the higher path of knowledge.   To overcome this stagnation, the scriptures are themselves designed to impede the literal perception of the written word -- and the more one reads and studies the Bible, the more difficult it is to believe the written word.   On this very issue, Origen is quoted pertaining to this biblical fact in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: “Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the history, in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning”.

What does this mean?   “Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the history” -- or, there exists events reported in what, on the surface appears to be history, that never actually happened.   Why?  Why would the scriptures contain events that never physically happened?   In answer to this question Origen writes: “ order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning”.   What Origen is stating is that to read scripture as history is a worthless endeavor!   Why?   Because what happened during historical events of the past cannot save you -- you can only be saved by entering within the Kingdom and becoming a disciple of the Living Christ.   Yet Christians today not only read their scriptures solely as history, but unceasingly argue over their many interpretations of what Origen labels as being worthless.

In this respect, Christians today are falling prey to the very trap that has been set by the literal word of the scriptures.   In the Clementine Homilies the Apostle Peter is found explaining the nature of scripture to his disciple Clement: “…consider with me that if any one, as he pleases, form a dogma agreeable to himself, and then carefully search the Scriptures, he will be able to produce many testimonies from them in favor of the dogma that he has formed”.   In considering this, Clement then asks Peter: “How, then, can confidence be placed in them against God, when what every man wishes is found in them?”

What Peter is stating is this great truth: All the many conflicting opinions, that all the sects of Christianity have argued about throughout all of Christian history, are the product of the design of the scriptures themselves.   As Peter warns, if anyone form a dogma, …and then carefully search the Scriptures, he will be able to produce many testimonies from them in favor of the dogma”.   In other words, no matter what you choose to believe, you will find in the scriptures conformation of your beliefs.   Why, we ask, would the Bible be written in such a convoluted manner?   Why not compose the scriptures so they make sense?   The answer can only be realized when we begin to comprehend the true problem.   If the scriptures were composed in such a manner so they made perfect sense, then it would be to the carnal mind that the body of the text would make sense to.   The purpose of the scriptures is to awaken the dormant part of the mind that corresponds to man's soul and spiritual nature -- thereby enabling the disciple to use a greater part of his potential of mind.  

The scriptures themselves are written from a universal perspective.   Therefore, the exoteric doctrine -- or milk of the scriptures -- is designed to prepare all mankind to walk in The Way.   If each person did not see their own personal mindset present in the writings, then the scriptures would be useless in their purpose of being the means to lead all men into the Kingdom.   Clement of Alexandria puts the whole problem into perspective when he quotes a passage of scripture that is no longer in our bibles today: “For by doing the will of God we know the will of God” (Stromata, Bk 1, Ch 8).  

What we must begin to grasp is that the scriptures are created in a Divine Pattern that is beyond our very limited comprehension.   If all men see their own mindset and predetermined beliefs in the scriptures, and claim the scriptures as their source of spiritual truth, and then begin to incorporate the Commandments of God into their lives, then the scriptures will begin to mold them, and prepare them to receive the higher knowledge.   It is by design that the man who is a Jehovah's Witness sees his doctrine in the scriptures -- God wants it that way.   It is by design that the Baptist sees his -- that the Pentecostal or Seventh Day Adventist sees theirs -- and it is by design that even the Atheist sees his doctrine.  

Regardless of how many pamphlets the born again Christian publishes in an attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, the Jehovah's Witness will continue to see their favorite passages of scripture that affirm their position that Jesus was not God.   In like manner, the sects that are considered more mainstream, will continue to use the Bible to prove that the other two groups are fundamentalist extremists.   Why? Because these mainstream groups are so attached to the philosophy and thinking of this world, that they would be incapable of a fundamentalist perception of life and the Bible.  

The result is that each group uses the same book to prove the other group in error.   Why was the scriptures written in such a way?   Because the Bible is universal -- and though each of them embraces the Bible from a different doctrinal perspective, when they begin to do the will of God, they will then begin to know the Will of God -- and in the process of knowing and doing, the disciple begins the process of spiritual transformation.   How successful each one will be in their religious quest, will be in direct relation to how quickly each can shed their carnal mindset and limitations, and begin to truly come to the Lord in word, thought and deed.

In the words of Origen, the Word takes on a form that is appropriate to a certain group of people, that it might bring those people to a spiritual level of maturity: “If a Greek wished by wholesome instruction to benefit people who understood only Egyptian or Syriac, the first thing that he would do would be to learn their language; and he would rather pass for a Barbarian among the Greeks, by speaking as the Egyptians or Syrians, in order to be useful to them, than always remain Greek, and be without the means of helping them. In the same way the divine nature, having the purpose of instructing not only those who are reputed to be learned in the literature of Greece, but also the rest of mankind, accommodated itself to the capacities of the simple multitudes whom it addressed. It seeks to win the attention of the more ignorant by the use of language which is familiar to them, so that they may easily be induced, after their first introduction, to strive after an acquaintance with the deeper truths which lie hidden in Scripture. For even the ordinary reader of Scripture may see that it contains many things which are too deep to be apprehended at first; but these are understood by such as devote themselves to a careful study of the divine word, and they become plain to them in proportion to the pains and zeal which they expend upon its investigation” (Origen Contra Celsum).

This statement by Origen is of the utmost importance if we are to begin to comprehend the manner in which God reveals Himself to all peoples of the world.   The scriptures are written in the language and the culture of the people.   In order to benefit the Jews, the Divine Nature was revealed in the Old Testament scriptures in a manner that would be acceptable to the Jewish carnal mindset of the people in the time-frame they were composed.   The New Testament, on the other hand, was written for the people of the New Covenant who were known as the Essenes, Ebionites and Nazirenes.   And as the Gospel message found its way into the hands of the Gentiles, there were then literally hundreds of scriptures composed from the perspective of the Greek converts known as Christians.  

In many instances, these scriptures that were published by the Gentile Christians did not even retain a connection with the Jewish heritage of the Gospel.   Is God Jewish?   In the Old Testament the Divine Nature that Origen makes reference to, incorporates the language of the people in order to develop the people.   The authors of the scriptures were the historical Essenes who, in the words of Origen, “would rather pass for a Barbarian… in order to be useful to them”.   Unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Essenes did not slaughter animals for the redemption of sin in the temple -- neither did they eat only certain kinds of animals, because they were vegetarians and embraced a spiritual lifestyle that was free from the defilements of this world.  

Why did they write the scriptures in the manner that we observe in the Old Testament?   Because the carnal Jews had been for a long time sacrificed animals to the gods -- and by sacrificing only to the One God, in the One Temple, and only sacrificing certain animals that represented higher symbols in the consciousness of man, they were able to begin the process of preparing barbarians to embrace the teachings of The Way.   Moreover, they were successful -- i.e., the Old Testament moral law and symbolism incorporates concealed mysteries that pertain to man's spiritual nature and his relationship to God which the average person whose mindset is imbued with our modern culture would be unable to even conceive of.

In much the same manner, the Gentile converts created scriptures that basically performed the same function -- i.e., they made the Divine Nature acceptable and perceptible to the people of the Nations.   Jesus became severed from his original Hebrew foundation, and became more universal in his appeal to the mind of the Greeks and Romans.   Though these scriptures were successful in their purpose to transform the Greek convert into a Spiritual Christian, they presented another problem.   Regardless of the level of their spiritual revelation, because they could not be used in an historical sense, they were later condemned by the Roman Church.   In view of the fact that the Gentile Christians had no relationship to Judaism, the leaders of these movements wrote their scriptures in the language and culture of the Gentiles, which meant that there was little or no connection to either the Old or New Testament writings that we have today.

In each case, the scriptures were written to reveal the Divine Nature in a way the people could accept.   A common thread to all the sacred writings, though, was the fact that the body of the scriptures contained many points that were not historically accurate or true.   Why?   Because the Divine Nature is not Jewish, Greek, Roman, or of any other worldly culture -- and, like the scriptures, the body of man is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to the totality of his being.   Therefore, both the body of the scriptures, as well as the body of man, always points to -- and is dependent upon -- a mental (soul) and spiritual nature that is not perceived with the physical senses.  

The ThreeFold Nature Of The Scriptures: By Divine Providence, everything in this world -- which is the body or physical embodiment -- is always incomplete without the higher spheres of mind and spirit.   In the same way that the concept of male and female can only be defined by their relationship to each other, nothing in the body can be explained without its interconnected mental and spiritual natures.   Throughout all of life there is a Divine Pattern: In the same way that the organic life chain of this world begins with the sun (spirit), the atmosphere (mind), and the physical manifestation of life (body), this same pattern exists within each of us and throughout all of Creation.   From a purely physical perspective, it is impossible to understand both the scriptures, as well as one's own higher reality of soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom, without overcoming the limitations of the organic consciousness of the body (see Organic Limitations).   And this is why Paul commanded: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature" (Col 3:5 NIV) -- because it is the limited consciousness of the untransformed earthly nature, that causes all people to be dead to their own higher soul and spiritual natures. 

The “correct… understanding of the Scriptures, and the investigation of their meaning, we consider to be of the following kind” writes Origen, “for we are instructed by Scripture itself in regard to the ideas which we ought to form of it”.   Origen then goes on to explain that: “In the Proverbs of Solomon we find… the following laid down, respecting the consideration of holy Scripture: 'And do thou,' he says, 'describe these things to thyself in a threefold manner, in counsel and knowledge, and that thou mayest answer the words of truth to those who have proposed them to thee.’”   Scripture, then, is patterned after all of creation, and exists in a threefold manner -- i.e., body, mind and spirit.

Origen then goes on to state: “Each one, then, ought to describe in his own mind, in a threefold manner, the understanding of the divine letters -- that is, in order that all the more simple individuals may be edified, so to speak; by the very body of Scripture; for such we term that common and historical sense: while, if some have commenced to make considerable progress, and are able to see something more (than that), they may be edified by the very soul of Scripture. Those, again, who are perfect, and who resemble those of whom the apostle says, 'We speak wisdom among them that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, who will be brought to naught; but we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, which God hath decreed before the ages unto our glory’”.  

The carnal man, then, sees only the body of the scriptures -- which body instructs him in the proper lifestyle to embrace in order to make spiritual progress.   In our analysis we must ask the question: Does the carnal Christian believe that he knows the Word of God?   From his perception, everything that he believes can be demonstrated by reading the Bible in its literal sense.  If he did not believe it, then it could have no lasting and beneficial effect upon him.   Therefore, it is the Will of God that he believes -- and it is the Hand of God upon his heart and mind that causes him to proclaim the truth of the Gospel that he perceives.   What he fails to comprehend, though, is that the scriptures were designed so that he would easily see his beliefs in the written word.   From a spiritual perspective, what he believes about the Mysteries of Creation that is beyond his understanding is not important at that point in his life.   What is important, is that he begin the process of cleansing and surrendering to the Light of the Word.  

In view of the fact that all carnal perceptions of the scriptures are equally very partial and incomplete, does it really matter from the Divine Perspective which flavor of incompleteness he embraces?   From one perspective the answer is no -- and from another perspective, there is a necessary and good reason why each man views both the Bible and life itself from a different point of view.

The person who progresses beyond the milk of the Gospel, and becomes a disciple in the beginning of his walk with the Lord, seeks the gnosis or mind of the scripture that he might learn “The Way” by which he can enter the Kingdom.   And further along the path, those who have ceased to be of this world -- those who no longer live in slavery to sin and carnal desire -- and have themselves entered the kingdom and are walking in “The Way” of the Lord, are those who perceive the spirit of the scriptures.  

With this foundation laid, Origen then explains that: “…all such as these may be edified by the spiritual law itself (which has a shadow of good things to come), as if by the Spirit. For as man is said to consist of body, and soul, and spirit, so also does sacred Scripture, which has been granted by the divine bounty for the salvation of man”.   The scriptures are universal -- and are made for the salvation of all men.   The carnal sees the physical laws of God -- the disciple sees The Way -- the perfected soul sees God and the Divine Nature that manifests throughout all of Creation.

Widows And Orphans: Origen then observes this same great truth being conveyed in an early Christian scripture known as the Shepherd of Hermas, and he writes: “Hermas is commanded to write two little books, and afterwards to announce to the presbyters of the Church what he learned from the Spirit. For these are the words that are written: 'And you will write,' he says, 'two books; and you will give the one to Clement, and the other to Grapte. And let Grapte admonish the widows and orphans, and let Clement send through all the cities which are abroad, while you will announce to the presbyters of the Church.' Grapte, accordingly, who is commanded to admonish the orphans and widows, is the pure understanding of the letter itself; by which those youthful minds are admonished, who have not yet deserved to have God as their Father, and are on that account styled orphans. They, again, are the widows, who have withdrawn themselves from the unjust man, to whom they had been united contrary to law; but who have remained widows, because they have not yet advanced to the stage of being joined to a heavenly Bridegroom. Clement, moreover, is ordered to send into those cities which are abroad what is written to those individuals who already are withdrawing from the letter -- as if the meaning were to those souls who, being built up by this means, have begun to rise above the cares of the body and the desires of the flesh; while he himself, who had learned from the Holy Spirit, is commanded to announce, not by letter nor by book, but by the living voice, to the presbyters of the Church of Christ, i.e., to those who possess a mature faculty of wisdom, capable of receiving spiritual teaching”.

When James, the brother of Jesus writes that: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27 NIV), he is not saying that pure religion is to look after the wives and children of those whose husband and father has died.   Widows and orphans are those believers who are still carnal in nature.   It is these believers who see only the letter -- or body -- of the scriptures, of which Origen writes whose “youthful minds are admonished, who have not yet deserved to have God as their Father, and are on that account styled orphans”.   With regard to widows Origen writes: “They, again, are the widows, who have withdrawn themselves from the unjust man, to whom they had been united contrary to law; but who have remained widows, because they have not yet advanced to the stage of being joined to a heavenly Bridegroom”.   The unjust man is the citizen of the far country in the parable of the prodigal son -- i.e., the god of this world.

Thus, widows and orphans do not represent widows and orphans in accordance with our understanding of these terms, but rather they represent stages of spiritual growth.   Moreover, because of our modern politically correct mindset where the Bible is at time viewed as sexist, in these words we must perceive that the term widows is used with respect to both men and women.   We can never get a right sense of either the scriptures, or life, until we begin to realize that all of us are reflective with respect to our soul, and therefore we are often rightfully portrayed in the feminine gender.

In the words of James: Pure religion consecrated by the Father is for the disciple to be of the spirit, minister to the orphans and widows, while keeping oneself “unspotted from the world” (KJV).   Unspotted denotes that condition where one has absolutely no part of the world, with the exception of ones manifestation as a spiritual presence.   It is these unspotted individuals who are those who have been reborn into the spirit, and have totally manifested the Light of Christ in their lives.

Widows and orphans see only the body of the scriptures, and are yet carnal believers who the Apostle Paul describes as the Christians of the simple faith.   We can see the next stage of development in Origen's words as he describes those who are more mature: “Clement, moreover, is ordered to send into those cities which are abroad what is written to those individuals who already are withdrawing from the letter -- as if the meaning were to those souls who, being built up by this means, have begun to rise above the cares of the body and the desires of the flesh”.   Those who are abroad are the people who have transversed the sea of spiritual cleansing, and have risen above the “cares of the body and the desires of the flesh”.   It is these men and women who have consecrated their lives in the pursuit of Truth, that will see the mind of the scriptures in their quest to walk in The Way.


With regard to the more mature in Christ, Origen writes of Hermas: “…while he himself, who had learned from the Holy Spirit, is commanded to announce, not by letter nor by book, but by the living voice, to the presbyters of the Church of Christ, i.e., to those who possess a mature faculty of wisdom, capable of receiving spiritual teaching”.   The name Hermas means the “messenger” -- thus it is only the spiritual Christians who are able to hear the Shepherd -- or in the Shepherd of Hermas, the Living voice of Christ.   Clement means merciful -- and it is only those who are themselves walking in The Way, who receive the mercy of the Lord.   The widows and orphans -- or those believers who remain of the flesh and see only the letter of the scriptures and the exoteric doctrine or good news of the Christ -- must spiritually mature in order to begin to receive from the Lord, perceive the Gospel of God, and enter the Kingdom.

Returning once again to the writings of Clement, we can now see that Peter's explanation should make perfect sense in the confrontation that is to take place with Simon Magus: “Therefore Simon, who is going to discuss in public with us tomorrow, is bold against the monarchy of God, wishing to produce many statements from these Scriptures, to the effect that there are many gods, and a certain one who is not He who made this world, but who is superior to Him; and, at the same time, he is going to offer many scriptural proofs. But we also can easily show many passages from them that He who made the world alone is God, and that there is none other besides Him”. Thus, it is foretold that each side will be able to prove their dogma with many scriptural passages.   Simon will be able to prove that the world was created by a false god -- and Peter will be able to prove that the world was created by the One God.   Both will be able to use the same scriptures to prove their assertions.   This inherent design of scripture is by Divine Providence that each person sees in the body of the writings confirmation of their own beliefs.  

Peter then goes on to state that: “But if any one shall wish to speak otherwise, he also shall be able to produce proofs from them at his pleasure. For the Scriptures say all manner of things, that no one of those who inquire ungratefully may find the truth, but simply what he wishes to find, the truth being reserved…” for the disciple who can only learn the correct meaning of the scriptures from the Shepherd and True Prophet.  

During their discussion, Simon became hostile when Peter refused to engage in his interpretation of the scriptures and said: “Then said Simon: 'You are manifestly avoiding the hearing of the charge from the Scriptures against your God.' Then Peter: 'You yourself appear to me to be doing this; for he who avoids the order of inquiry, does not wish a true investigation to be made. Hence I, who proceed in an orderly manner, and wish that the writer should first be considered, am manifestly desirous to walk in a straight path’”.

In these words are noted the most profound error of Bible readers today who only perceive what is literally written in the narrative of the written word.   Believers see and read the scriptures in the manner of their doctrines, while ignoring the very warning of the scriptures that it is their own perception of the Word that is in error.   Simon wants to engage Peter and use the scriptures to prove that the world was created by a lesser god.   Peter states that anyone can prove almost any doctrine by using the scriptures -- and therefore, before the scriptures can be understood, the “writer should first be considered” -- meaning that the reader must look past their own opinions and beliefs, and perceive the inner meaning conveyed by the writer.  

That Peter's warning is correct, is overwhelmingly proven by the modern church.   Many very intelligent minds and astute biblical students have studied the scriptures and continue to hold conflicting opinions that oppose what the next person sees very clearly represented in the Bible.   Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God -- and they can demonstrate their doctrine in the bible.   Baptists, Pentecostals, and most other Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus is God, and they have a whole host of biblical citations to prove their doctrines.   The Mormons believe in the pre-existence of the soul.   The Quakers have no formal doctrine, and believe only in the revelation of the inner Light.   Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, this Orthodox, that Orthodox, this Church of God, the Universalists, the Reformers, the all inclusive Liberals, the Conservatives, etc., all faithfully read the scriptures, and all find important points of disagreement.   What we must begin to understand is that many of these people are very intelligent and sincere believers -- and yet they all see something different when they read the scriptures.   Their flaw is not in what they see -- but like Simon, they all failed to heed Peter's words when he warned that the “writer should first be considered” -- and if the writer is the Holy Spirit, then it is the interpretation that this writer teaches that is the only true meaning.

If what the early church authorities say is true, and any number of doctrines and dogma can be proven using the same scriptures, then the reader must learn to relinquish personal interpretation.   What, then, is the answer?   The genuine revelation of the scriptures can only be learned from the True Prophet as to the correct meaning of the narrative.  “Hence, O beloved Clement”, proclaims Peter, “if you would know the things pertaining to God, you have to learn them from Him alone, because He alone knows the truth. For if any one else knows anything, he has received it from Him or from His disciples”.   These words -- that you can only learn the things of God from Him alone -- are as true today as when Peter spoke them to his disciple Clement in the first century.

Modern Christians who are in search of the correct doctrine to believe in, are aghast and horrified at the thought that the Bible was purposely designed so that anyone could prove almost any doctrine by using the scriptures -- or that the scriptures contain narratives that are not historically accurate.   Modern believers will rightly ask: If what is written in the scriptures is not a faithful portrayal of the historical events that transpired, then of what value are they?   This type of thinking is carnal, and is the result of anti-Gnostic thinking -- i.e., tell me what to believe, so I can be on the right side of God.   The problem is that man can never be on the right side of God, until he returns home to the Kingdom.   Belief, or faith, then, is not part of the equation where these things are independent of man's efforts to walk in The Way.   If you do not pick up your own cross, and follow in the footsteps of the Lord, then you are neither a believer, or a person of faith.

In the words of Origen, those who demand historical accuracy do not understand the very purpose of the scriptures -- they have yet to “withdraw themselves from the unjust man”, and are still carnal and under the power of this world.   As believers, they are orphans, and not yet even considered widows.   They may proclaim they are chosen -- saved -- they may even wear the garb of a priest, minister, rabbi, or other clergy -- but they have yet to begin the process of spiritual maturity.   The disciple knows that in order to draw nearer to God, they must possess Spiritual Truth -- and truth can only be found in the mind and spirit of both the scriptures and the Kingdom within themselves.

What man must come to terms with is that reality only exists in the Kingdom -- the world in which we presently dwell is only a shadow of reality; and by virtue of its incompleteness, is an illusion.   The scriptures were not written to comfort the believer during their stay in this world.   The scriptures were not written to confirm tradition, or to verify ones doctrines of belief.   What the scriptures were written for was to provide the disciples with the keys to escape this world and enter the kingdom.   The scriptures speak of life in our present realm of existence as being a state of death, because we dwell in the world of incompleteness and illusion.   From the vision of spiritual reality: We literally dwell in the realm of allegorical appearances.   The scriptures -- though not always historically accurate -- are real keys that provide the disciple with genuine truths in his spiritual quest.  

In conformation of what Origen said regarding the fact that in the narrative of the scriptures there exists many things that are not true, Peter said: “If, therefore, some of the Scriptures are true and some false, with good reason said our Master, 'Be ye good money-changers,' inasmuch as in the Scriptures there are some true sayings and some spurious. And to those who err by reason of the false scriptures He fitly showed the cause of their error, saying, 'Ye do therefore err, not knowing the true things of the Scriptures; for this reason ye are ignorant also of the power of God.’”

In his celebrated work, De Principiis, Origen wrote concerning the factualness of the literal narrative of the scriptures: “Where the word found that things done according to the history could be adapted to these mystical senses, he made use of them concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but where in the narrative of the development of super-sensual things, there did not follow the performance of those certain events which were already indicated by the mystical meaning, the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not.”

What is Origen saying to us?   Where the Word found that using events from history could fulfill the purpose of the scriptures, the Word used these historical events, “concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning”.   In this respect, Jesus lived and taught the people the Royal Law of God and the means to gain entrance into the Kingdom.   These things are true.   But scripture is designed for a greater purpose than to inform us with respect to the past -- scripture is the handbook of those who desire to enter into Life.

What is the purpose of the scriptures?   Surely not to teach us about history -- how can history open the door to the Kingdom within us.   By placing spiritual truths in what appears to he an historical document, accomplishes the necessary task of putting the sacred truths of God in the hands of the people -- in a language they can understand and relate to -- even during that time when they are yet carnal, and unable to comprehend the Mysteries of God.   By writing the scriptures in this fashion, the carnal Jew could relate to the scriptures because the writings appeared -- on the surface -- to communicate and manifest a history of the people who were using them.   Yet, Origen warns that, even when the scriptures are historically accurate, there is concealed within the narrative a deeper meaning than what is grasped by the carnal reader.  

Was there a historical man named Jesus?   Yes -- but it is the Living Christ that will save you.   Because the scriptures are written for the purpose of assisting the disciples in finding the Christ, even when the scriptures are conveying historical truths pertaining to the Christ, the genuine message is still embedded within the body of the text.   Why?   Because the purpose of the scriptures is that of a guide and road map out of this world -- not to convey to us a system of doctrines in which we should blindly believe and remain immersed in lives of materialism.

Why two gospels?  Why would Jesus have incorporate in his teachings what has been referred to as a secret doctrine?   The modern believer who only possesses a very limited perception of higher reality will reject the idea of an inner meaning to the scriptures, and will reason that Jesus would have spoken all truths very clearly.   To the carnal believer, if it is true that Jesus concealed the mysteries, this would be viewed as being dishonest.   Moreover, they would ask why, even when the scriptures are historically accurate, would the true meaning of the message be concealed from the reader?   The believer asks the question: Why not just write the truth.   The answer is found in the words of Ignatius: “Might I not write to you things more full of mystery?  But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are babes.  Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled by them.  

In the words of St. Nazianzen: “The Divine Nature then is boundless and hard to understand”.   And in the words of St. Gregory: “The man who in calculating the transcendent powers of the Deity limits them by his own is a fool”.   In order to perceive God and reality, man must go beyond the physical, and activate his own spiritual nature that is lying dormant within his carnal nature.   Until this spiritual nature is manifested, man's true reality makes no sense, and man is unable to understand things of any real value.  

Carnal man places great confidence and reliance on the events of history -- so the Holy Spirit uses what appears to be historical narratives to convey great spiritual truths in the form of allegories.   Origen writes that some parts of these historical narratives are based upon a correct perception of historical facts.   This causes us to adopt them, and cling to them as a source of spiritual truth.   But, Origen warns, even when the narratives of the scriptures are historically accurate, they are still written in such a way that a higher level of spiritual truth is contained within the vail of what is written.

Did Jesus heal a man who was born blind?   Yes he did.   But how does this knowledge of an historical event draw you closer to God?   Even if it makes you believe and have faith in Jesus, this knowledge means nothing if it does not provoke you to strive to walk in The Way.   On the other hand, when you begin to recognize the fact that all men born of woman are congenitally blind from a spiritual perspective -- and will remain blind until healed by the Son of God -- then this knowledge has the capacity to provoke you to change, and cause you to desire to see and behold man's true reality.

Unlike our modern text books which are different for each level of instruction, the scriptures are written for believers and disciples of all levels of spiritual maturity.   This is seen in the words of Origen when he wrote: “Since, then, it was the intention of the Holy Spirit to enlighten with respect to these and similar subjects, those holy souls who had devoted themselves to the service of the truth, this object was kept in view, in the second place, for the sake of those who either could not or would not give themselves to this labor and toil by which they might deserve to be instructed in or to recognize things of such value and importance, to wrap up and conceal, as we said before, in ordinary language, under the covering of some history and narrative of visible things, hidden mysteries. There is therefore introduced into the narrative of the visible creation, and the creation and formation of the first man; then the offspring which followed from him in succession, and some of the actions which were done by the good among his posterity, are related, and occasionally certain crimes also, which are stated to have been committed by them as being human; and afterwards certain unchaste or wicked deeds also are narrated as being the acts of the wicked. The description of battles, moreover, is given in a wonderful manner, and the alternations of victors and vanquished, by which certain ineffable mysteries are made known to those who know how to investigate statements of that kind. By an admirable discipline of wisdom, too, the law of truth, even of the prophets, is implanted in the Scriptures of the law, each of which is woven by a divine art of wisdom, as a kind of covering and veil of spiritual truths; and this is what we have called the 'body' of Scripture, so that also, in this way, what we have called the covering of the letter, woven by the art of wisdom, might be capable of edifying and profiting many, when others would derive no benefit”.

Thus, the body of the scriptures which are not necessarily historically accurate, are “capable of edifying and profiting many” by the reading of the literal word.   Yet, as the believer matures, he begins to realize that the endless expose of wars, genealogies, and stories of carnal strife against Divine Providence, are absolutely meaningless in the life of the disciple.   As he begins to spiritually develop, and starts to experience a shift in perception, he begins to realize that these wars, genealogies and strife in the flesh have great meaning within his own being, as he travails to overcome his carnal nature in his quest to enter the Spiritual Kingdom of his soul.   What, therefore, the carnal believer sees as history, the disciple sees as great spiritual truths that are imparted to him in his pursuit of spiritual perfection and manifestation.

Origen writes that the scriptures contain many places where what is written literally could not have happened.   In examination of this statement we ask why?   Why not create a written word that was totally factual?   The answer that Origen provides to this question is once again very simple:  “But as if, in all the instances of this covering (i.e., of this history), the logical connection and order of the law had been preserved, we would not certainly believe, when thus possessing the meaning of Scripture in a continuous series, that anything else was contained in it save what was indicated on the surface; so for that reason divine wisdom took care that certain stumbling-blocks, or interruptions, to the historical meaning should take place, by the introduction into the midst (of the narrative) of certain impossibilities and incongruities; that in this way the very interruption of the narrative might, as by the interposition of a bolt, present an obstacle to the reader, whereby he might refuse to acknowledge the way which conducts to the ordinary meaning; and being thus excluded and debarred from it, we might be recalled to the beginning of another way, in order that, by entering upon a narrow path, and passing to a loftier and more sublime road, he might lay open the immense breadth of divine wisdom”.

What Origen states is not only true, but is of the utmost importance for us to comprehend in our present day: If the scriptures were historically accurate, then we would believe, and never move beyond the written word.   In never moving beyond the written word, we would fail to develop those parts of our mind that relate to our soul and spiritual natures and reality -- and in our failure to mature, we would remain lost in this carnal world, and never open the door to the Kingdom within our being.   From a scriptural perspective, the prodigal son would never return home to his Father.  

Origen and many of the other early Church Fathers comprehended this design and higher purpose of the Gospel.   They understood that the scriptures are written in such a way that our reading them would be interrupted by the many instances where what we read literally is not true -- and in coming to this scriptural roadblock, the intension was for us to seek to understand the deeper meaning -- a meaning that can only be perceived by drawing closer to our own spiritual nature.

Some of the more outrageous and blatant untruths in the literal word would be the classic case of the sun and moon standing still: “Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, 'O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” (Josh 10:12-13 NAS).   In the first instance, the sun does not revolve around the earth.   Secondly, there exists sufficient records of the time in question to confirm that such an event never took place.  

“Nor was it only with regard to those Scriptures which were composed down to the advent of Christ that the Holy Spirit thus dealt” writes Origen, “but as being one and the same Spirit, and proceeding from one God, He dealt in the same way with the evangelists and apostles. For even those narratives which He inspired them to write were not composed without the aid of that wisdom of His, the nature of which we have above explained. Whence also in, them were intermingled not a few things by which, the historical order of the narrative being interrupted and broken up, the attention of the reader might be recalled, by the impossibility of the case, to an examination of the inner meaning”.

Just one of these examples are provided at the time of the crucifixion where it reads: “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst” (Luke 23:44-45 KJV).   There exists sufficient historical records of that time to demonstrate conclusively that the earth was never plunged into darkness for a period of three hours.   In view of the fact that this event took place at the time of the Passover, when the moon is full, it could not have been an eclipse.   Moreover, neither can an eclipse bring darkness over all the earth for a period of three hours.

Since this event could not have taken place in the historical sense, why is it reported?   Origen explains this when he writes that, in the development of “super-sensual things… the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that did not take place” -- which denotes episodes such as these in the scriptures that a reasonable mind must conclude is not historically accurate.   In the words of Origen, “sometimes what could not have happened” -- events reported as history that could not have taken place -- and “sometimes what could but did not”.  

Sometimes the inconsistencies in scripture are blatant.   This is done intentionally, so the believer is unable to read the text of the body of scripture in its literal sense.   Speaking of the conversion of Paul along the road to Damascus, Acts 9:7 reads: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man”.   Yet, in Acts 22:9 the narrative reads: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me”.   Which account was true?   In the first instance they heard the voice but saw nothing, in the second they saw the light but heard nothing. 

By design the reader is supposed to question and reason to themselves that, if the same person wrote both accounts, then why were they written in direct opposition to each other?    If you look in the many Bible commentaries you will observe numerous creative attempts to explain away this apparent contradiction.   Yet, none of them perceives that Saul/Paul is spoken of as being in The Way -- that Saul in this New Testament rendition is synonymous with the Saul who proceeded David as king of Israel -- that only Saul/Paul was struck down with blindness, while those who were with him were not -- and that they were on their way to Damascus -- that Saul/Paul was blind for a period of three days -- that a disciple named Ananias was told in a vision to go to Saul/Paul, who would be at the house of Judas, on a street named “straight”, and heal and baptize him.  

This account is so rich with important symbolism and meaning to the disciple, that it is almost inconceivable that it could be read as an historical, rather than a spiritual event.   The idea that Saul (the forerunner of David) was in The Way, and was blinded by the Light for a period of three days (a period of time used throughout the scriptures to denotes a certain spiritual transformation), and was at the house of Judas (the betrayer of the Christ), on a street named straight, where he was to be baptized.   Thus, we see the common references to the command to “Enter ye in at the strait gate” (Matt 7:13 KJV); “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Matt 3:3 KJV); as well as the connection between the concept of the straight path and baptism: “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him…” (Luke 3:5-7 KJV).

What is important here is that the reader understand the things conveyed not as the conversion of an historical man, but rather the evolution of consciousness from Stephen who was stoned by Saul and the Jews -- to Saul who began to walk in The Way -- was transformed from a Jew, who was blind when he resided at the house of Judas, the betrayer of Christ -- and after his baptism became Paul, who was the little one who was chosen to serve the Lord by bringing the teachings of The Way to the Gentiles -- Gentiles being that part of us that worships the gods (powers and things) of this world.   Where these things mean very little to us from an historical perspective, they are of the highest importance to us from the perspective of spiritual events that are to take place in the life of the disciple.  

Was Paul an historical man?   Yes.   But what is conveyed in the scriptures is not historical -- and cannot even be read in a literal sense.   What is important is that we see that the death of Stephen -- a man who is constantly referred to as a person of great faith, and whose name is defined in the Thayer’s Lexicon as one who is “crowned”.   As we investigate we must also recognize that Stephen was one of seven deacons in the Jerusalem Church, and the first martyr.  Just as important is the fact that after Stephen is introduced into the narrative of the scriptures, we see the recital of an historical account of the Jewish people -- and in this recital, the names, places, events and numbers are conveyed in such a manner, so as to instruct the disciple into the necessary stages with respect to the evolution in consciousness and God awareness.

Death in the scriptures has nothing to do with physical death -- but rather, the transitioning from one level of consciousness to another.   Thus, when Stephen is stoned by the angry Jews, we see the immergence of Saul -- which Thayer’s Lexicon defines as having to do with desire.   Again in the transformation of this desire into Paul, which is defined as the “little one”, we are presented with the pattern that one must “turn about”, and become a “little one”, in order to enter the Kingdom.  

In order to force the reader to stop, and contemplate the inner spiritual message, a conflicting account is purposely entered into the scriptures: Acts 9:7 reads: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man”.   Yet, in Acts 22:9 the narrative reads: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me”.   It means absolutely nothing for the modern reader to believe that Saul was converted on the road to Damascus -- there is no spiritual edification or uplifting when we relate this knowledge to an historical event at the beginning of our Common Era.   But what is conveyed spiritually is of great value to the disciple in search of the Light -- and must bring about a change of mind in his quest to open the door to the Kingdom.   Thus the disciple begins to see his own transformation from the death of Stephen as spirit became clothed with flesh, to Saul -- from a Jew to Paul -- from Paul the little one, whose blindness was healed by Ananias -- the gift from God.

The many points at which the scriptures conflict in order to force the reader to look for the inner meaning is so numerous, that an entire book could be written in their compilation.   Acts 7:14 has 75 persons coming with Jacob into Egypt -- Gen 46:27; Ex 1:5; Deut 10:22 state there were 70.   Acts 7:16-17 has Jacob buried in Shechem -- Gen 49:28-30; 50:13 buried in Mamre which is Hebron according to Gen 23:19.   If the Holy Spirit wrote both sets of scriptures, there should have been uniformity between them.   Moreover, if the New Testament authors were attempting to convince others that they knew what they were speaking about from a literal sense, they would have been very careful to get the facts correct.

Perhaps one of the finest examples of the carnal mind's attempt to explain away what it should be investigating is demonstrated in the genealogies of Jesus.   The fact that the genealogy presented in Luke is not the same as that in Matthew has been the source of many dogmatic theories.   But the fact that the genealogy in Matthew contains four women, and three foreigners, should immediately send up a red flag warning that these genealogies cannot be read literally.

Two of the women were strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, Rachab a Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth the Moabitess.   In the pedigree of the kings of Judah, between Joram and Ozias (v. 8), there are three left out, namely, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah -- and therefore Joram could not have begat Ozias.   When it is said (v. 12) that Jechonias begat Salathiel, that Jechonias was the son of that Jehoiakim who was carried into Babylon, the scriptures tell us that Jechonias was childless (Jer. 22:30), and in direct contradiction to what is written in Matthew, it is written that “No man of his seed shall prosper”.

In order to insure that the genealogies cannot be read literally, it is further stated in Matthew: “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ” (Matt 1:17 NIV).   With regard to the many problems presented in the genealogies, the Adam Clark Commentary writes:

[Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:] There are three considerable difficulties in this verse.


1.   Josias was not the father of Jechonias; he was only the grandfather of that prince: (1 Chr. 3:14-16)

2. Jechonias had no brethren; at least, none are on record.

3.   Josias died 20 years before the Babylonian captivity took place, and therefore Jechonias and his brethren could not have been begotten about the time they were carried away to Babylon.


To this may be added a fourth difficulty, namely, there are only thirteen in this 2nd class of generations; or forty-one, instead of forty-two, in the whole

When we closely examine the literal word of the Bible, all of the scriptures could be deciphered in this same manner to demonstrate the inconsistencies from an historical perspective.   Moreover, the problem would be even more serious than it is at present if the Bible had been left in its original condition.   In many instances, where these many places that appear to be contradictions were detected, they were fixed by later scribes who copied the scriptures.   In their ignorance of the very manner that scripture is composed, every time they fixed a contradiction or offending verse, they defiled and obstructed the very purpose of the Word of God.   In the case of the difference between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke, there are Greek texts that exist where the genealogy of Luke was replaced by the one in Matthew in the endeavor to conceal this easily detected flaw in the written word.  

Where the carnal believer sees a genealogy that would be impossible to be read literally, it never dawns on the readers that what we have is the pedigree of the three minds of man -- physical, mental, and spiritual -- and that in the formation of the series of numbers in the pattern of fourteen, fourteen and fourteen, what is being indicated has great spiritual significance.   Moreover, the fact that there is forty-one, instead of forty-two, is also important in our quest to understanding the spiritual meaning of what is being conveyed with regard to what Jesus had yet to accomplish in his endeavor to become the first Son re-born into the Kingdom.

Does all these things mean that the scriptures are untrue?   In the words of Paul: God forbid!   It is us who is not real and untrue; not the scriptures.   In understanding why the Bible is written in this manner, we must not allow ourselves to be burdened by carnal thinking, and lose sight of what sets scriptures apart from any other writings known to man.   “The chief object of the Holy Spirit”, writes Origen, “is to preserve the coherence of the spiritual meaning, either in those things which ought to be done or which have been already performed, if He anywhere finds that those events which, according to the history, took place, can be adapted to a spiritual meaning, He composed a texture of both kinds in one style of narration, always concealing the hidden meaning more deeply; but where the historical narrative could not be made appropriate to the spiritual coherence of the occurrences, He inserted sometimes certain things which either did not take place or could not take place; sometimes also what might happen, but what did not: and He does this at one time in a few words, which, taken in their 'bodily' meaning, seem incapable of containing truth, and at another by the insertion of many. And this we find frequently to be the case in the legislative portions, where there are many things manifestly useful among the 'bodily' precepts, but a very great number also in which no principle of utility is at all discernible, and sometimes even things which are judged to be impossibilities. Now all this, as we have remarked, was done by the Holy Spirit in order that, seeing those events which lie on the surface can be neither true nor useful, we may be led to the investigation of that truth which is more deeply concealed, and to the ascertaining of a meaning worthy of God in those Scriptures which we believe to be inspired by Him”.

Origen writes that we must come to the realization that “those events which lie on the surface can be neither true nor useful”.   In opposition to this statement we ask: Isn't the belief in the historical Jesus useful?   The answer is yes, but only to the degree that the historical narrative assists the disciple in manifesting the Living Christ in their life at the present time.   What does the name Jesus mean?   What must we do in order to bring about that state of mind which is portrayed in the scriptures in the life of the historical Jesus, into our present life?

What is important is that we “be led to the investigation of that truth which is more deeply concealed”.   Since we know that everything we can learn from others in this world is of a preparatory nature, and the one true doctrine that will nourish us, can only be revealed to those who are in “the house”, and are deserving to be taught privately the Mysteries of the Kingdom, we must therefore seek to enter into the house with our Lord and Savior.   It is important that we perceive that whatever is written literally in the historical narrative is the exoteric doctrine -- or good news -- that serves as merely the invitation to the masses to enter the mystical house of the Lord where the Secrets of Creation can be revealed to us.  

In fully comprehending these statements in relation to the whole purpose of the teachings of The Way, let us again examine the definitive statement which conveys to us the very essence of the Gospel -- and especially the Revelation of John: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Rev 22:14-15 NKJ).  

If the Revelation represented the end of the world, as is commonly believed by the majority of Christians today, then why are those who remain outside the city portrayed as “dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie”?   Armageddon, then, indicates the disciples personal conflict as he endeavors to overcome his own lower nature through the crucifixion of what is symbolized by the flesh, in order that he can possess the Knowledge of the fruit of the Tree of Life, transcend the natural barriers of this world, and “enter through the gates into the city”.   With regard to those who call themselves Christian, and continue to remain in this world, these are the ones who, like the Sadducees and Pharisees, “loves and practices a lie” in their refusal to follow in the footsteps of the Master.

Again let us revisit the statement by the Wycliffe Commentary on Genesis 2:7 where it writes about the nature of man: “Man's body was fashioned from the dust of the ground, while his spirit came from the very 'breath' of God. He is literally a creature of two worlds; both earth and heaven can claim him”.   What the fundamental teachings of the New Covenant convey is that if man “turns about”, and re-focuses his direction in life through the process of “opening and unloosing the mind” -- freeing it from the attachments and constraints of this realm -- man will discover that God has given him the power to gaze upon that which is Eternal.

As with all things Created by God, the scriptures are multidimensional.   Even in what appears to be historical, we see the same form being followed.   Our scholars know that Herod could not have been king during that time frame that Jesus was born.   They also know that the plight into Egypt to evade being killed is also not true: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matt 2:16 KJV).   Such an act would have been well documented in the numerous writings of the many historians of the time.  

The answer is found in the meaning of the names Herod and Egypt -- and why it was important to make the connection between the same episode that is portrayed in the saving of Moses when the slaughter of the infants was ordered.   Thus, what is a meaningless and worthless historical account to the modern believer, is used to convey great truths to the disciple of the Light -- in that they, themselves, must undergo these same transformations in order for the Christ to be born within them.

In an attempt to clarify his position, and place these things in their proper perspective, Origen writes: “No one, I think, can doubt that the statement that God walked in the afternoon in paradise, and that Adam lay hid under a tree, is related figuratively in Scripture, that some mystical meaning may be indicated by it. The departure of Cain from the presence of the Lord will manifestly cause a careful reader to inquire what is the presence of God, and how any one can go out from it. But not to extend the task which we have before us beyond its due limits, it is very easy for any one who pleases to gather out of holy Scripture what is recorded indeed as having been done, but what nevertheless cannot be believed as having reasonably and appropriately occurred according to the historical account. The same style of Scriptural narrative occurs abundantly in the Gospels, as when the devil is said to have placed Jesus on a lofty mountain, that he might show Him from thence all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. How could it literally come to pass, either that Jesus should be led up by the devil into a high mountain, or that the latter should show him all the kingdoms of the world (as if they were lying beneath his bodily eyes, and adjacent to one mountain), i.e., the kingdoms of the Persians, and Scythians, and Indians? or how could he show in what manner the kings of these kingdoms are glorified by men? And many other instances similar to this will be found in the Gospels by any one who will read them with attention, and will observe that in those narratives which appear to be literally recorded, there are inserted and interwoven things which cannot be admitted historically, but which may be accepted in a spiritual signification”.

Where the carnal mind looks upon the world and attempts to see continuity, it is the disciple who knows full well that we dwell in a world of incompleteness and illusion.   Where the carnal believer attempts to read the scriptures as a witness to historical events, the disciple probes to the depths of the scriptures and understands them as the means by which we begin to awaken to the inner Truth and the Light of the Spirit.  

The believer will rightly ask, if God wants us to know what to believe, why would the scriptures contain events that did not, and even what could not have happened?   Again, the purpose of the scriptures is not to induce people to believe what happened in the past, and then dwell in the comfort of their beliefs -- but rather, to focus their attention to what is taking place at the present time in their own lives.   That the scriptures were written to coincide with a particular time or event in history, only makes them that much more acceptable to the common people.   This acceptance is important -- because even though the scriptures are not historically accurate, they contain within the body of the narrative the essential truths that each of us must embrace in order to find the ultimate Truth which is our destiny.   In their original form -- prior to their being defiled by the Roman Church -- what was written in the scriptures was one hundred percent accurate with respect to man's quest to enter the Kingdom.

With regard to reading the narrative as actual events in history, Origen wrote: “What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second and third days in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars, and the first day without a heaven.   What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in paradise in Eden, like a husbandman, and planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes and senses, which gave life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a knowledge of good and evil?  I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen - Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142).

A man of reason will ask: If there was no sun, moon and stars, how could there have been a day, night and dawn of a new day?   “What man of sense”, Origen asks, will blindly believe such statements?   This fundamental question is very similar to that asked by Jesus with regard to the blindness of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who also attempted to read the scriptures literally.   Who could believe that God planted trees in the Garden of Eden which gave to the eater the knowledge of good and evil, while the fruit of another tree gave eternal life?   These things are not history, writes Origen, but rather “images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed”.   Origen explains that the scriptures are an allegory that conceal the deeper truths of the spirit, and writes: “It is sufficient however, to represent in the style of a historic narrative what is intended to convey a secret meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject.”

When Clement (Clementine Homilies) asked of Peter concerning the many things in scripture that are not true, he said: “Truly I rejoice, and I give thanks to God, who in all things doeth well. However, he knows that I shall be able to think nothing other than that all things are for God. Wherefore do not suppose that I ask questions, as doubting the words concerning God, or those that are to be spoken, but rather that I may learn, and so be able myself to instruct another who is ingenuously willing to learn. Wherefore tell me what are the falsehoods added to the Scriptures, and how it comes that they are really false. Then Peter answered: Even although you had not asked me, I should have gone on in order, and afforded you the exposition of these matters, as I promised. Learn, then, how the Scriptures misrepresent Him in many respects, that you may know when you happen upon them”.

In his Ecclestical History Eusebius writes that: “Many were led astray by reading the allegorical contents of the scriptures literally in the method of the Pharisees and Sadducees”.   In these words we are provided great insight into the true heresy of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and why Jesus condemned them as being blind guides.   When it is realized that Jesus was born among the Essenes, who were Gnostic, and a people who comprehended the inner meaning of the Law, we begin to understand that the true focus of the conflict in scripture was the spiritual Israelites vs the carnal Jews.   On the side of the spiritual Israelites was Jesus and the Essenes -- who perceived the true meaning of the scriptures as the guide that assists the disciple in opening the doors to the true Temple of God.   The Pharisees and Sadducees, on the other hand, read the scriptures literally -- and were under the erroneous belief that God dwells in temples made with man's hands -- and employed a body of priests -- and approved a series of sacrifices, rituals and observances.  

What was it that the Lord accused the Pharisees of doing? “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered” (Luke 11:52 NAS).   Yet, modern Christians today do not believe this statement.   We do not believe that the lawyers possessed the keys of knowledge prior to the advent of Christ.   We thus fail to understand that the keys of knowledge is the understanding of the true threefold nature of the scriptures, and man's inherent ability to learn directly from the Christ within.  

Because we read the scriptures in the manner of the Pharisees, we have ourselves become the modern day Jews in opposition to the Lord.   Thus, the scriptural confrontation continues right down to this present day -- the spiritual vs. the carnal believers.   In the words of Origen: “Many, not understanding the Scriptures in a spiritual sense, but incorrectly, have fallen into heresies”.   Anyone who attempts to read the scriptures, seeing the body only, while ignoring the mind and spirit, are doomed to fall into these heresies.

From a scriptural perspective, even the name Jew contains a very real message to the disciple of the Light.   Jesus warned of the pitfalls of division -- i.e., “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth” (Luke 11:17 KJV).   The Jews, being the decedents of Judah, represented one twelfth of the children of Israel.   The disciple understands that, throughout both the Old and New Testament scriptures, the Bible is not speaking about a people who called themselves Jews, but rather the spiritual condition of mind -- a mind that by virtue of its carnal perception of the Word, is limited to only one twelfth of its potential -- which potential can only begin to be realized when we contemplate and embrace the difference between the partiality of the Jew, and the completeness of Israel.  

In this respect, from a biblical perspective, the majority of believers today are represented in the scriptures as Jews, others as Samaritans, and still many others as the people of the Nations.   Moreover, we are not just Jews, or Samaritans, or of the Nations -- in that, each one of us possesses aspects of our person that are as the multitudes of separate personalities -- separate personalities wherein each must be converted, brought into oneness, and raised up as the children of Israel.   In all things what we perceive as the one, is comprised of the many, and the disciple understands that the all needs to be brought into total harmony if the prodigal son is to return to the Father.   Thus, it is the realization of these great spiritual truths that enables us to understand the words of Origen where he wrote:  “Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the history, in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning” (Origen quoted under Origen Adamntius; The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics).  

Perhaps one of the most classic verses that remains an enigma to believers today is where Jesus states: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick… for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt 9:12-13 KJV).   By present day religious doctrine, Jesus made a mistake, and it is apparent that he did not know what he was speaking about.   From our perception of mankind, no one is whole, and there are no righteous people.   Contrary to what is clearly written in the scriptures, we believe that Jesus came to call everyone.   In Matthew Henry's Commentary we read that: “Jesus Christ is the great Physician of souls… Sin-sick souls have need of this Physician, for their disease is dangerous; nature will not help itself; no man can help us; such need have we of Christ, that we are undone, eternally undone, without him. Sensible sinners see their need, and apply themselves to him accordingly”.   Thus, the Matthew Henry Commentary does not agree with the words that Jesus spoke, that only those who are sick need a physician, and he did not come to call the righteous.

The Adam Clarke Commentary clarifies this doctrine when it states that: “Jesus Christ represents himself here as the sovereign Physician of souls. That all stand in need of his healing power. That men must acknowledge their spiritual maladies, and the need they have of his mercy, in order to be healed by him. That it is the most inveterate and dangerous disease the soul can be afflicted with to imagine itself whole, when the sting of death, which is sin, has pierced it through in every part, infusing its poison everywhere”.   Again we see that the Adam Clark Commentary also does not believe the words of Jesus.

In our present day understanding of the scriptures we cannot even comprehend the meaning of “They that be whole need not a physician”.   Why?   Because we have lost sight of the very Kingdom that Jesus came to declare -- a Kingdom that exists within each of us (Lk 17:21 KJV).   Like Cain, each of us has gone forth from the presence of God, and it is the destiny of all the prodigal sons of the Father to return to the Kingdom.   In order to accomplish this, we must first understand what the Bible means when it states that we must be whole?  

The Gnostic Essenes and early Christians understood the term whole as indicating one who converts the Jew, Samaritan, and the Nations within himself, and brings the twelve spheres of mind together into abiding harmony -- reigning over his three natures, body, mind and spirit -- and consciously dwells in the Kingdom within himself.   The disciple also understands that when the twelve spheres of mind which are represented in the Revelation as the Tree of Life, are divided, what we have is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.   Thus the words of Origen: “What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in paradise in Eden, like a husbandman, and planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes and senses, which gave life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a knowledge of good and evil?  I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed”.

We fail to understand these elementary truths of the scriptures, because what is today called the Christian religion has been cast out of The Way by Constantine and the Church of the Roman Empire.   Having been imbued with a carnal mindset, we simply cannot come to terms with the words: “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved” (Prov 28:18 NKJ).   Why? Because in the adoption of Augustine's doctrine of Original Sin that attempts to explain away sacred spiritual symbols that are impossible to understand from a carnal perspective, we don't believe that any man can walk blamelessly without the historical Jesus.   In our doctrines, we do not believe Jesus.   We do not believe that the Kingdom is within us -- and when we manifest the laws of the inner Kingdom in our outer life, we will walk blamelessly.   We view the Christ as an historical personage, and not the Light that calls to us from within the door of our soul.

In our scriptures at Luke 10:25-28 (NIV) we find “an expert in the law” asking Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?  What is written in the Law?” replies Jesus.   Yet, in accordance with our present day doctrines of belief, Jesus never would have answered in this manner.   Again we see another scriptural sighting where it is clear that Jesus is in need of instruction with regard to what we must do to be saved.

In light of modern Christian dogma, there is nothing in the Law that could save the man, and this passage of scriptures represents just one more enigma -- in that we are unable to even comprehend why Jesus would ask him the question: What is written in the Law.   In the narrative, the man answers and says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself”.   In our Bibles today Jesus replies: “Do this and you will live”; but in the Bible used in the second century by Clement of Alexandria, Jesus replied: “This do, and thou shalt be saved” (The Instructor, Book 3).  

Fundamentally, modern Christians do not believe these words of Jesus!  Why?  Because we don't believe the Law can either save us, or bestow upon us life.   If what is written here is true, and one can be saved by fulfilling the Law, then where does belief in the historical Jesus come into the picture?   Moreover, if this is true, that would mean that modern day Jews who fully embrace the Law could be saved, even though they never converted to Christianity.

In the version of this scriptural encounter contained in Mark 12:34, the reply of Jesus takes on a whole new dimension.   In reply, Jesus said to the scribe when he answered correctly: “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God”.  But we don't believe that either.   Why?   Because in accordance with our doctrines, one cannot be saved apart from the historical Jesus.

What is written in the gospel is no different than what was conveyed by Paul when he wrote: “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves” (Rom 2:14 NAS).   How could the Gentiles who did not have the Law, keep the precepts of the Law?  “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts” (Rom 1:19 TLB).   Thus, because we view the scriptures from the same vision as the Sadducees and Pharisees, we are incapable of comprehending the reality of what the Bible is conveying to us -- i.e., by doing good, and seeking to know God -- our True Source of Being -- the Christ that dwells in the heart of man will reveal himself to the faithful, and make known to them the means by which they may enter the Kingdom.  

Contrary to modern day Christian doctrine: If a man lives on a remote island -- having never heard the Law of God spoken -- having never heard a word about the Jesus of the New Testament -- and this man searches within his own heart and manifests the truth (instinctively), he will be saved because, in the words of Paul: “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves” (Rom 2:14 NAS) -- and in spirit, the Lord will come to the man who instinctively does the things of God in their life, and make them whole.  Thus, by fulfilling the Law of God that is written in their hearts, we can begin to comprehend the truth in the statement that: “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved” (Prov 28:18 NKJ); and, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick… for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt 9:12-13 KJV).

Why don't we believe these many passages of scriptures?   Because, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, we look only to the letter, and read the scriptures as history, rather than keys to open the door to the Spirit and the Kingdom of God within our own mind and being.   An example of this same error of reading the scriptures literally in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees is brought to light by Eusebius, who writes of the doctrines conceived by the early Christians Papias and Irenaeus, and still held throughout the modern Christian world today: “Papias reproduces other stories communicated to him by word of mouth, together with some otherwise unknown parables and teachings of the Saviour, and other things of a more allegorical character.   He says that 'after the resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a thousand years when Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material form'.  I suppose he got these notions by misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they said in mystic and symbolic language.  For he seems to have been a man of very small intelligence, to judge from his books.  But it is partly due to him that the great majority of churchmen after him took the same view, relying on his early date; e.g. Irenaeus and several others, who clearly held the same opinion” (Eusebius, Hist Eccl., Book III, 39.11).

The Spiritual Christian understands all these teachings in the scriptures as not signifying historical events -- even if there is an historical basis -- but rather, spiritual truths pertaining to the plight of the disciple as they seek to open the gates to the Kingdom within their mind and being.   When Eusebius writes of Papias' doctrine that “after the resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a thousand years when Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material form”, he makes reference to the error of Papias when he interprets the “allegorical character” of the scriptures in a literal fashion in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees and writes: “I suppose he got these notions by misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they said in mystic and symbolic language.  For he seems to have been a man of very small intelligence, to judge from his books”.   In these words it is again important for us to grasp what Eusebius states -- i.e., that the apostolic accounts are written in the “mystic and symbolic language” of the Essene Gnostics.   With regard to the thousand years when the kingdom will be set up on the earth -- Armageddon and the second coming of Christ is understood to signify the true war that wages within the disciple in his spiritual quest to reign in the kingdom.  

If Eusebius could meet with modern Christians today, he would convey that we are a people who have been greatly deceived.   He would ask: Why have we taken upon ourselves the error of the Sadducees and Pharisees, and that of Papias, Irenaeus and the others who “got these notions by misinterpreting the apostolic accounts and failing to grasp what they said in mystic and symbolic language”?  When Eusebius writes of Papias that he must “have been a man of very small intelligence, to judge from his books”, he said this because any man who is “outside” of the house, even if they are one of carnal man's greatest scholars, is of “very small intelligence” -- using at best only one twelfth of their mental resources -- in comparison to the Gnostic or Spiritual Christians who are the children of Israel, and who -- in their completion of mind and spirit -- have found entrance into the Kingdom.

Eusebius questions how carnal Christians can believe the doctrine that: “after the resurrection of the dead there will be a period of a thousand years when Christ's kingdom will be set up on this earth in material form”, when Jesus clearly explained to the Pharisees that the kingdom of God will never come upon the earth in material form: “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21 NIV).   It is because the Kingdom is a Spiritual Kingdom within you that Thomas can say in his gospel: “Whoever finds the explanation of these words will not taste death” -- and: “When the Lord was asked by a certain man, when should his kingdom come, he said unto him, when two shall be one and the without as the within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female”.   Thus, the disciple understands that the “apostolic accounts” are written in a “mystic and symbolic language” that only the Lord can open their mind to see and understand.

In the words of St. Augustine: “What the apostle says pertains to this problem: 'For the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth', that is, when that which is said figuratively is taken as though it were literal, it is understood carnally.  Nor can anything more appropriately be called the death of the soul than that condition in which the thing which distinguishes us from beasts, which is the understanding, is subjected to the flesh in the pursuit of the letter.  He who follows the letter takes figurative expressions as though they were literal and does not refer the things signified to anything else” (De Doctrina Christiana).

When St. Augustine quotes Paul with regard to the saying “the letter killeth, but the spirit” makes alive, he is making reference to those who read the scriptures literally as historic narratives vs those who perceive the inner meaning of what is written.   “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?”  Writes the Apostle Paul to those who want to read the written word literally.   “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory” (Gal 4:21-24 KJV).  

In these words, what is Paul conveying to us?   The Apostle is stating nothing different than that expressed by either of the two Clement's, Origen, or Eusebius when they warn that those who observe these things by the letter of the written word cannot know the truth, because the letter or body of the scriptures cannot save us.   The Apostle states that to observe these things by the letter is meaningless, because the things written literally in the scripture are an allegory -- which allegory is a story that conceals a deeper spiritual truth.  

From an historical perspective, maybe there was a person named Abraham -- maybe there wasn't.   Maybe he had two sons -- maybe more, maybe one, maybe none.   From the perspective of man entering into the Kingdom, it makes no difference whether the historical personage of Abraham lived or not, or how many sons he had.   What matters is that we understand that we cannot be free until we rid ourselves of the covenant of the flesh, which is the letter of the Law, and cleave to the spiritual, which is the Life that lies within the letter.   In the same way that the body of man without the mind and spirit is dead, so too is the written word of the scriptures dead without the mind and spirit, and belief in the letter and the historical context cannot save us.

To carnal believers such as the Sadducees and Pharisees, it is very important that Abraham was an historical person -- that he had two sons -- and that they are of the lineage of Sarah, his wife.   Without these things being historically true, they would not be able to call themselves the chosen people blest by God.   When John the Baptist saw the Sadducees and Pharisees he said to them: “And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matt 3:9 NIV).   The Sadducees and Pharisees viewed the scriptures as literal historical narratives.    John the Baptist, who through the Dead Sea Scrolls it has been demonstrated was an Essene, and understood the scriptures in their spiritual language, warned them that God is not the God of carnal believers who twist the meaning of the scriptures -- but rather, the God of the spiritual believer who surrenders his life to the Lord, and lives the Word of God in word, thought and deed.

Do you believe in the historical Jesus?   Do you believe that the historical Jesus can save you?   If you believe, that is good, but be sure to heed his words when he warned: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 KJV).   The New Testament scriptures were written for the very purpose of your salvation -- but those who do not do what the Lord has commanded are unbelievers, regardless of what they profess with their lips.

With regard to the body of the scriptures: “Which things are an allegory”, writes the Apostle, “for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Gal 4:24-31 KJV).

The Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham is not historically true, and is an allegory.   If this is so, how can the Jews be the children of Abraham?   Origen would probably say: What man of sense would believe that Sarah conceived a child at the age of ninety nine.   Does not the very concept of two nines -- nine divided -- convey to us a state of division.   Is not this same state of division presented to us in the New Testament scriptures where it states: “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?” (Matt 18:12 NAS).

The Hebrew Holy Men wrote and conveyed messages in numbers, and the number nine has a profound meaning in relation to the Kingdom.   Therefore, the number ninety-nine demonstrates a division that can be overcome when we begin to comprehend what it means to go and search in the mountains in our quest for the one hundredth sheep -- which is a number that conveys wholeness and completion.

In view of the fact that the Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham, Sarah, and the two sons are not historically true, how does this impact the genealogy of Jesus?   Was his lineage born from an allegory -- or does the lineage itself convey a series of profound sacred truths to the disciple -- truths that are concealed from the carnal believer?

With regard to the two covenants, we are the children of the free woman so long as we pursue the spirit of the Word, rather than the flesh.   In the words of St. Augustine: “He is a slave to a sign who uses or worships a significant thing without knowing what it signifies.   But he who uses or venerates a useful sign divinely instituted whose signifying force he understands does not venerate what he sees and what passes away but rather that to which all such things are to be referred.  Such a man is spiritual and free, even during that time of servitude in which it is not yet opportune to reveal to carnal minds those signs under whose yoke they are to be tamed” (De Doctrina Christiana).

The literal word of the scriptures are signs that signify spiritual truths.   The literal word may be based upon historical facts, or the text of the narrative may be a complete fabrication.   Whether they are historically accurate or not, they appear in scripture as signs that signify profound spiritual truths that assist the disciple in his quest to enter the Kingdom.   Augustine writes that: “He is a slave to a sign who uses or worships a significant thing without knowing what it signifies”.   These stories that resemble historical narratives are allegories, not history.   These allegories are written “when it is not yet opportune to reveal to carnal minds those signs under whose yoke they are to be tamed”.   Yet, those who perceive the deeper meaning of the word, “are spiritual and free”.

Carnal believers will view these things as confusing and not in accord with their understanding of the scriptures.   They will rightly say: How can I believe the scriptures when you state that they are not historically accurate.   With regard to this position Origen wrote: “Let no one, however, entertain the suspicion that we do not believe any history in Scripture to be real, because we suspect certain events related in it not to have taken place; or that no precepts of the law are to be taken literally, because we consider certain of them, in which either the nature or possibility of the case so requires, incapable of being observed; or that we do not believe those predictions which were written of the Savior to have been fulfilled in a manner palpable to the senses; or that His commandments are not to be literally obeyed. We have therefore to state in answer, since we are manifestly so of opinion, that the truth of the history may and ought to be preserved in the majority of instances. For who can deny that Abraham was buried in the double cave at Hebron, as well as Isaac and Jacob, and each of their wives? Or who doubts that Shechem was given as a portion to Joseph? or that Jerusalem is the metropolis of Judea, on which the temple of God was built by Solomon? - and countless other statements. For the passages which hold good in their historical acceptation are much more numerous than those which contain a purely spiritual meaning. Then, again, who would not maintain that the command to 'honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee,' is sufficient of itself without any spiritual meaning, and necessary for those who observe it? Especially when Paul also has confirmed the command by repeating it in the same words. And what need is there to speak of the prohibitions, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' 'Thou shalt not steal,' 'Thou shalt not bear false witness,' and others of the same kind? And with respect to the precepts enjoined in the Gospels, no doubt can be entertained that very many of these are to be literally observed, as e.g., when our Lord says, 'But I say unto you, Swear not at all;' and when He says, 'Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart;' the admonitions also which are found in the writings of the Apostle Paul, 'Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men,' and very many others. And yet I have no doubt that an attentive reader will, in numerous instances, hesitate whether this or that history can be considered to be literally true or not; or whether this or that precept ought to be observed according to the letter or not. And therefore great pains and labor are to be employed, until every reader reverentially understand that he is dealing with divine and not human words inserted in the sacred books”.

What we must not loose sight of is that the bible is a spiritual book that does not deal with man's history -- but rather, man's relationship to the Kingdom of God.   Yes, the Son of Man walked the earth at the beginning of our Common Era, and he came to save those who were lost -- this is an historical fact that with my own eyes I have been permitted to witness.   But we must remain ever mindful that the Son of God is calling us into his Kingdom this very day, and those who will hear him calling and enter therein will be saved.   Therefore, even when the scriptures are historically accurate, their accuracy means very little unless you can understand what is being conveyed in the context of your quest to enter the Kingdom during our present time.

The carnally minded believer who simply skims over the body of the scriptures and sees historical events -- rather than intimate spiritual truths -- believes horrific absurdities about God that are not worthy to even entertain, as well as beliefs that are often contradicted in other places within the scriptures.   Anyone who believes that the Bible is literally true where it is written: “And the LORD our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining” (Deut 2:33-34 NKJ); is simply unable to perceive the Divine Essence of God.  

How can we believe that God would look favorably upon the senseless destruction of innocent men, women, and children?   How can we believe that God would Himself orchestrate such a heinous act of irrational and pointless violence?   Only those people who are themselves of a gross, barbaric, and unrefined nature, would even entertain the belief that a Supreme Being would orchestrate and affirm such horrendous behavior.

Often those places in scripture that contain the greatest absurdities, are the very places where important truths are placed for man to discern and behold.   Thus, an example of this fact is seen in the Ten Commandments where it is written: “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Deut 5:9 NIV).   Is this the loving God revealed by Jesus who holds the children of unbelievers accountable to the third and fourth generation?  

From a spiritual perspective, what we have here is the embodiment of a very important and profound spiritual concept -- a concept conveying a truth of such magnitude, that if we understood its spiritual meaning, we would begin to comprehend the reason why carnal man cannot gaze into the heavenly realms with his physical eyes.   Going one step further, if we knew what is being conveyed in this statement, and we could perceive the workings of the natural laws of this realm and their impact upon our minds and thinking, we would immediately understand why we are limited to less then ten percent of our potential of mind.   Instead of seeking out the spiritual significance of this absurdity, we believe that God punishes the children of sinners to the third and fourth generation.  

That the literal meaning of the written word is not worthy of our belief is even demonstrated in the Bible's own refutation of such a doctrine that the children of sinners will be held accountable to the third and fourth generation: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek 18:20 KJV).

The reader who pays close attention to the scriptures will immediately question why God would hold innocent children accountable for the sins of their forefathers to the third and fourth generation?   Is this the righteousness of God?   Or, are we supposed to seek the inner meaning of the scriptures, and learn what great spiritual truth the Bible is attempting to convey to us with regard to the third and fourth sequential generation?

In view of the fact that such an absurdity was written so that men of a reasonable mind could not believe such statement literally, we would do well to learn from the first Christians, and investigate their mindset regarding the nature of scripture?   In the introduction of the early Christian writing known as the Shepard of Hermas, it is written: “The Pastor of Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries... In ancient times two opinions prevailed in regard to the authorship. The most widely spread was, that the Pastor of Hermas was the production of the Hermas mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans. Origen states this opinion distinctly, and it is repeated by Eusebius and Jerome”.

If it is true that the Pastor of Hermas was one of the most important scriptural authorities over the first four centuries, then we can use it in our endeavor to better understand the essence of early Christian thought.   What the Shepherd of Hermas has to say is very important to us today, because it represents the scriptural tradition that was taught directly to the faithful flock by the Apostles of Christ.  Thus, on the nature of scripture, in the Shepherd we find: “I am senseless, sir, say I, and do not understand these parables. For how she can crush out, and on the other hand save, I do not perceive. Listen, says he. Those who have never searched for the truth, nor investigated the nature of the Divinity, but have simply believed, when they devote themselves to and become mixed up with business, and wealth, and heathen friendships, and many other actions of this world, do not perceive the parables of Divinity; for their minds are darkened by these actions, and they are corrupted and become dried up. Even as beautiful vines, when they are neglected, are withered up by thorns and divers plants, so men who have believed, and have afterwards fallen away into many of those actions above mentioned, go astray in their minds, and lose all understanding in regard to righteousness; for if they hear of righteousness, their minds are occupied with their business, and they give no heed at all. Those, on the other hand, who have the fear of God, and search after Godhead and truth, and have their hearts turned to the Lord, quickly perceive and understand what is said to them, because they have the fear of the Lord in them. For where the Lord dwells, there is much understanding. Cleave, then, to the Lord, and you will understand and perceive all things”.

The message that is very clear from this early Christian writing is that it is impossible to mature spiritually, while attempting to divide oneself between the two worlds.   In our present day culture we are living proof as to the validity of the wisdom that is portrayed in this writing -- i.e., one cannot perceive the true meaning of the parables and the inner significance of the historical narrative of the scriptures, while one devotes their lives to their “business, and wealth, and heathen friendships, and many other actions of this world” -- which would include an addiction to television, computer games, internet pornography, and all the many leisure’s and entertainments that captivate and control our every-day lives.   Fundamentally, what this universally accepted first century writing conveys is that, contrary to what is being preached in our pulpits, the Sunday go to church people who live culturized lives over the course of the rest of the week, are incapable of fulfilling the requirements of the Word of God.

In the Shepherd of Hermas a reference is made to a tower, of which it is written: “And the tower, I asked, what does it mean? This tower, he replied, is the Church. And these virgins, who are they? They are Holy Spirits, and men cannot otherwise be found in the kingdom of God unless these have put their clothing upon them: for if you receive the name only, and do not receive from them the clothing, they are of no advantage to you. For these virgins are the powers of the Son of God. If you bear His name but possess not His power, it will be in vain that you bear His name”.  

In understanding what is written, it is most important for us to be aware of the continual message found in the words: “If you bear His name but possess not His power, it will be in vain that you bear His name”.   Thus, if you call yourselves Christian, but fail to purify and develop your mind and body from the defilements of this world -- and do not possess the true Knowledge of the Spiritual Christ -- and have not yourselves inherited the same higher powers of mind that the Son of God promised all his followers would possess -- then “it will be in vain that you bear His name”.

Everything throughout the scriptures, including the New Testament, has three meanings, as proclaimed in the Proverbs: “And do thou describe these things to thyself in a threefold manner, in counsel and knowledge, and that thou mayest answer the words of truth to those who have proposed them to thee”.   In explaining this great truth, Origen writes of the miracles of Jesus: “…so also there were many dead in the days of Jesus, but those only rose from the grave whom the Logos knew to be fitted for a resurrection, in order that the works done by the Lord might not be merely symbols of certain things, but that by the very acts themselves He might gain over many to the marvelous doctrine of the Gospel. I would say, moreover, that, agreeably to the promise of Jesus, His disciples performed even greater works than these miracles of Jesus, which were perceptible only to the senses. For the eyes of those who are blind in soul are ever opened; and the ears of those who were deaf to virtuous words, listen readily to the doctrine of God, and of the blessed life with Him; and many, too, who were lame in the feet of the 'inner man,' as Scripture calls it, having now been healed by the word, do not simply leap, but leap as the hart, which is an animal hostile to serpents, and stronger than all the poison of vipers. And these lame who have been healed, receive from Jesus power to trample, with those feet in which they were formerly lame, upon the serpents and scorpions of wickedness, and generally upon all the power of the enemy; and though they tread upon it, they sustain no injury, for they also have become stronger than the poison of all evil and of demons” (Symbols of miracles; Origen, Contra Celsum).

What these words demonstrate to us is the great truth that both life, and the scriptures, is a great deal more than what we perceive it to be.   The secret to understanding the Bible, which is the key to the knowledge of life itself, was possessed by the early church, and can still be embraced in the words of Origen when he responded to Celsus that the Christ still visits the Godly, as seen in the words: “I maintain that even after His incarnation, He is always found by those who possess the acutest spiritual vision to be most God-like”.   Thus, the secret, then, is not in what one believes -- for all philosophical belief is at best a mere shadow of reality -- but rather, all the great Truths of Creation belong to those who are willing to live their life in accordance with the teachings of The Way, in order to make themselves a fit vessel for the Son of God to come and make his abode within them, and personally reveal the Mysteries of God and the Sacred Secrets of Creation.

The Shepherd Of Hermas



1:2 The master, who reared me, had sold me to one Rhoda in Rome.

1:3 After many years, I met her again, and began to love her as a sister.

1:4 After a certain time I saw her bathing in the river Tiber;

1:5 and I gave her my hand, and led her out of the river.

1:6 So, seeing her beauty, I reasoned in my heart, saying, ` Happy were I, if I had such an one to wife both in beauty and in character'.

1:7 I merely reflected on this and nothing more.

1:8 After a certain time, as I was journeying to Cumae, and glorifying God's creatures for their greatness and splendor and power, as I walked I fell asleep.

1:9 And a Spirit took me, and bore me away through a pathless tract, through which no man could pass:

1:10 for the place was precipitous, and broken into clefts by reason of the waters.

1:11 When then I had crossed the river, I came into the level country, and knelt down, and began to pray to the Lord and to confess my sins.

1:12 Now, while I prayed, the heaven was opened, and I see the lady, whom I had desired, greeting me from heaven, saying, `Good morrow, Hermas'.

1:13 And, looking at her, I said to her, `Lady, what doest thou here'?

1:14 Then she answered me, `I was taken up, that I might convict thee of thy sins before the Lord'.

1:15 I said to her, `Dost thou now convict me'?

1:16 `Nay, not so', said she, `but hear the words, that I shall say to thee.

1:17 God, Who dwelleth in the heavens, and created out of nothing the things which are, and increased and multiplied them for His holy Church's sake, is wroth with thee, for that thou didst sin against me'.

1:18 I answered her and said, `Sin, against thee?

1:19 In what way?

1:20 Did I ever speak an unseemly word unto thee?

1:21 Did I not always regard thee as a goddess?

1:22 Did I not always respect thee as a sister?

1:23 How couldst thou falsely charge me, lady, with such villainy and uncleanness ?`

1:24 Laughing she saith unto me, `The desire after evil entered into thine heart.

1:25 Nay, thinkest thou not that it is an evil deed for a righteous man, if the evil desire should enter into his heart?

1:26 It is indeed a sin and a great one too', saith she;

1:27 `for the righteous man entertaineth righteous purposes.

1:28 While then, his purposes are righteous, his repute stands stedfast in the heavens, and he finds the Lord easily propitiated in all that he does.

1:29 But they that entertain evil purposes in their hearts, bring upon themselves death and captivity,

1:30 especially they that claim for themselves this present world, and boast in its riches, and cleave not to the good things that are to come.

1:31 Their souls shall rue it, seeing that they have no hope, but have abandoned themselves and their life.

2:1 As soon as she had spoken these words the heavens were shut;

2:2 myself, `If this sin is recorded against me, how can I be saved?

2:3 Or how shall I propitiate God for my sins which are full-blown?

2:4 Or with what words shall I entreat the Lord that He may be propitious unto me?`

2:5 While I was advising and discussing these matters in my heart,

2:6 I see before me a great white chair of snow-white wool and there came an aged lady in glistening raiment, having a book in her hands,

2:7 and she sat down alone, and she saluted me, ` Good morrow, Hermas'.

2:8 Then I grieved and weeping, said, `Good morrow, lady'.

2:9 And she said to me, `Why so gloomy, Hermas, thou that art patient and good-tempered, and art always smiling?

2:10 Why so downcast in thy looks, and far from cheerful'?

2:11 And I said to her, ` Because of an excellent lady's saying that I had sinned against her'.

2:12 Then she said, `Far be this thing from the servant of God ! Nevertheless the thought did enter into thy heart concerning her.

2:13 Now to the servants of God such a purpose bringeth sin.

2:14 For it is an evil and mad purpose to overtake a devout spirit that hath been already approved,

2:15 that it should desire an evil deed, and especially if it be Hermas the temperate, who abstaineth from every evil desire, and is full of all simplicity and of great guilelessness.

3:1 `Yet it is not for this that God is wroth with thee, but that thou mayest convert thy family, that hath done wrong against the Lord and against you their parents.

3:2 But out of fondness for thy children thou didst not admonish thy family, but didst suffer it to become fearfully corrupt.

3:3 Therefore the Lord is wroth with thee.

3:4 But He will heal all thy past sins, which have been committed in thy family;

3:5 for by reason of their sins and iniquities thou hast been corrupted by the affairs of this world.

3:6 But the great mercy of the Lord had pity on thee and thy family, and will strengthen thee, and establish thee in His glory.

3:7 Only be not thou careless, but take courage, and strengthen thy family.

3:8 For as the smith hammering his work conquers the task which he wills, so also doth righteous discourse repeated daily conquer all evil.

3:9 Cease not therefore to reprove thy children;

3:10 for I know that if they shall repent with all their heart, they shall be written in the books of life with the saints'.

3:11 After these words of hers had ceased, she saith unto me, `Wilt thou listen to me as I read'?

3:12 Then say I, `Yes, lady'.

3:13 She saith to me, `Be attentive, and hear the glories of God'.

3:14 I listened with attention and with wonder to that which I had no power to remember;

3:15 for all the words were terrible, such as man cannot bear.

3:16 The last words however I remembered, for they were suitable for us and gentle.

3:17 `Behold, the God of Hosts, Who by His invisible and mighty power and by His great wisdom created the world,

3:18 and by His glorious purpose clothed His creation with comeliness,

3:19 and by His strong word fixed the heaven,

3:20 and founded the earth upon the waters and by His own wisdom and providence formed His Holy Church, which also He blessed-behold,

3:21 He removeth the heavens and the mountains and the hills and the seas,

3:22 and all things are made level for His elect,

3:23 that He may fulfill to them the promise which He promised with great glory and rejoicing, if so be that they shall keep the ordinances of God, which they received, with great faith'.

4:1 When then she finished reading and arose from her chair, there came four young men, and they took away the chair, and departed towards the East.

4:2 Then she calleth me unto her, and she touched my breast, and saith to me, `Did my reading please thee?`

4:3 And I say unto her, `Lady, these last words please me, but the former were difficult and hard'.

4:4 Then she spake to me, saying, `These last words are for the righteous, but the former are for the heathen and the rebellious'.

4:5 While she yet spake with me, two men appeared, and took her by the arms, and they departed, whither the chair also had gone towards the East.



5:2 and I called to mind my last year's vision as I walked;

5:3 and again a Spirit taketh me, and carrieth me away to the same place as last year.

5:4 When then I arrived at the place, I fell upon my knees, and began to pray to the Lord, and to glorify His name, for that he counted me worthy, and made known unto me my former sins.

5:5 But after I had risen up from prayer, I behold before me the aged lady, whom also I had seen last year, walking and reading a little book.

5:6 And she saith to me, `Canst thou report these things to the elect of God'?

5:7 I say unto her, `Lady, I cannot recollect so much;

5:8 but give me the little book, that I may copy it'.

5:9 `Take it', saith she, `and be sure and return it to me'.

5:10 I took it, and retiring to a certain spot in the country I copied it letter for letter:

5:11 for I could not make out the syllables.

5:12 When then I had finished the letters of the book, suddenly the book was snatched out of my hand;

6:1 Now after fifteen days, when I had fasted and entreated the Lord earnestly, the knowledge of the writing was revealed to me.

6:2 And this is what was written:

6:3 the Lord, and have betrayed their parents through great wickedness, yea, they have got the name of betrayers of parents, and yet they did not profit by their betrayal;

6:4 and they still further added to their sins wanton deeds and reckless wickedness;

6:5 and so the measure of their transgressions was filled up.

6:6 But make these words known to all thy children, and to thy wife who shall be as thy sister;

6:7 for she too refraineth not from using her tongue, wherewith she doeth evil.

6:8 But, when she hears these words, she will refrain, and will find mercy.

6:9 After that thou hast made known unto them All these words,

6:10 which the Master commanded me that they should be revealed unto thee, then all their sins which they sinned aforetime are forgiven to them;

6:11 yea, and to all the saints that have sinned unto this day, if they repent with their whole heart, and remove double-mindedness from their heart.

6:12 For the Master sware by His own glory, as concerning His elect;

6:13 that if, now that this day has been set as a limit, sin shall hereafter be committed, they shall not find salvation;

6:14 for repentance for the righteous hath an end;

6:15 the days of repentance are accomplished for all the saints;

6:16 whereas for the Gentiles there is repentance until the last day.

6:17 Thou shalt therefore say unto the rulers of the Church, that they direct their paths in righteousness, that they may receive in full the promises with abundant glory.

6:18 Ye therefore that work righteousness be steadfast, and be not double-minded, that ye may have admission with the holy angels.

6:19 Blessed are ye, as many as endure patiently the great tribulation that cometh, and as many as shall not deny their life.

6:20 For the Lord sware concerning His Son, that those who denied their Lord should be rejected from their life, even they that are now about to deny Him in the coming days;

7:1 `But do thou, Hermas, no longer bear a grudge against thy children, neither suffer thy sister to have her way,

7:2 so that they with a righteous chastisement, unless thou bear a grudge against them thyself.

7:3 The bearing of a grudge worketh death.

7:4 But thou, Hermas, hast had great tribulations of thine own, by reason of the transgressions of thy family, because thou hadst no care for them.

7:5 For thou wast neglectful of them, and wast mixed up with thine evil transactions.

7:6 But herein is thy salvation, in that thou didst not depart from the living God, and in thy simplicity and thy great continence.

7:7 These have saved thee, if thou abidest therein;

7:8 and they save all who do such things, and walk in guilelessness and simplicity.

7:9 These men prevail over all wickedness, and continue unto life eternal.

7:10 Blessed are all they that work righteousness.

7:11 They shall never be destroyed.

7:12 But thou shalt say to Maximus, "Behold tribulation cometh (upon thee), if thou think fit to deny a second time.

7:13 The Lord is nigh unto them that turn unto Him, as it is written in Eldad and Modat, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness."'

8:1 Now, brethren, a revelation was made unto me in my sleep by a youth of exceeding fair form,

8:2 who said to me, `Whom thinkest thou the aged woman, from whom thou receivedst the book, to be'?

8:3 I say, `The Sibyl'.

8:4 `Thou art wrong', saith be, `she is not'.

8:5 `Who then is she'?

8:6 I say.

8:7 `The Church', saith he.

8:8 I said unto him, `Wherefore then is she aged'?

8:9 `Because', saith he, `she was created before all things;

8:10 therefore is she aged;

8:11 and for her sake the world was framed'.

8:12 And afterwards I saw a vision in my house.

8:13 The aged woman came, and asked me, if I had already given the book to the elders.

8:14 I said that I had not given it.

8:15 `Thou hast done well', she said, `for I have words to add.

8:16 When then I shall have finished all the words, it shall be made known by thy means to all the elect.

8:17 Thou shalt therefore write two little books, and shalt send one to Clement, and one to Grapte.

8:18 So Clement shall send to the foreign cities, for this is his duty;

8:19 while Grapte shall instruct the widows and the orphans.



9:2 fasting often, and entreating the Lord to declare unto me the revelation which He promised to show me by the mouth of the aged woman,

9:3 that very night the aged woman was seen of me,

9:4 and she said to me, `Seeing that thou art so importunate and eager to know all things, come into the country where thou abidest,

9:5 and about the fifth hour I will appear, and will show thee what thou oughtest to see'.

9:6 I asked her, saying, `Lady, to what part of the country ?

9:7 ` Where thou wilt', saith she.

9:8 I selected a beautiful and retired spot;

9:9 but before I spoke to her and named the spot, she saith to me, `I will come, whither thou willest'.

9:10 I went then, brethren, into the country, and I counted up the hours, and came to the place where I appointed her to come,

9:11 and I see an ivory couch placed there, and on the couch there lay a linen cushion, and on the cushion was spread a coverlet of fine linen of flax.

10:1 When I saw these things so ordered, and no one in the place,

10:2 I was amazed, and a fit of trembling seized me, and my hair stood on end and a fit of shuddering came upon me, because I was alone.

10:3 When then I recovered myself, and remembered the glory of God, and took courage, I knelt down and confessed my sins to the Lord once more, as I had done on the former occasion.

11:1 Then she came with six young men, the same whom I had seen before, and she stood by me, and listened attentively to me, as I prayed and confessed my sins to the Lord.

11:2 And she touched me, and said:

11:3 `Hermas, make an end of constantly entreating for thy sins;

11:4 entreat also for righteousness, that thou mayest take some part forthwith to thy family'.

11:5 Then she raiseth me by the hand, and leadeth me to the couch, and saith to the young men, `Go ye, and build'.

11:6 And after the young men had retired and we were left alone, she saith to me, `Sit down here'.

11:7 I say to her, `Lady, let the elders sit down first'.

11:8 `Do as I bid thee', saith she, `sit down'.

11:9 When then I wanted to sit down on the right side, she would not allow me, but beckoned me with her hand that I should sit on the left side.

11:10 As then I was musing thereon, and was sad because she would not permit me to sit on the right side, she saith to me, `Art thou sad, Hermas?

11:11 The place on the right side is for others, even for those who have already been well-pleasing to God, and have suffered for the Name's sake.

11:12 But thou lackest much that thou shouldest sit with them;

11:13 but as thou abidest in thy simplicity, even so continue, and thou shalt sit with them, thou and as many as shall have done their deeds, and have suffered what they suffered'.

12:1 `What did they suffer'?

12:2 say I.

12:3 `Listen', saith she.

12:4 `Stripes, imprisonments, great tribulations, crosses, wild beasts, for the Name's sake.

12:5 Therefore to them belongs the right side of the Holiness-to them, and to all who shall suffer for the Name.

12:6 But for the rest is the left side.

12:7 Howbeit, to both, to them that sit on the right, and to them that sit on the left, are the same gifts, and the same promises, only they sit on the right and have a certain glory.

12:8 Thou indeed art very desirous to sit on the right with them, but thy shortcomings are many;

12:9 yet thou shalt be purified from thy shortcomings;

13:1 When she had said this, she wished to depart;

13:2 but, falling at vision which she promised.

13:3 Then she again took me by the hand, and raiseth me, and seateth me on the couch at the left hand, while she herself sat on the right.

13:4 And lifting up a certain glistening rod, she saith to me, `Seest thou a great thing'?

13:5 I say to her, ` Lady, I see nothing'.

13:6 She saith to me, `Look thou;

13:7 dost thou not see in front of thee a great tower being builded upon the waters, of glistening square stones'?

13:8 Now the tower was being builded foursquare by the six young men that came with her.

13:9 And countless other men were bringing stones, some of them from the deep, and others from the land, and were handing them to the six young men.

13:10 And they took them and builded.

13:11 The stones that were dragged from the deep they placed in every case,

13:12 just as they were, into the building, for they had been shaped, and they fitted in their joining with the other stones;

13:13 and they adhered so closely one with another that their joining could not possibly be detected;

13:14 and the building of the tower appeared as if it were built of one stone.

13:15 But of the other stones which were brought from the dry land, some they threw away, and some they put into the building;

13:16 and others they broke in pieces, and threw to a distance from the tower.

13:17 Now many other stones were lying round the tower, and they did not use them for the building;

13:18 for some of them were mildewed, and others had cracks ill them, and others were too short, and others were white and round, and did not fit into the building.

13:19 And I saw other stones thrown to a distance from the tower, and coming to the way, and yet not staying in the way, but rolling to where there was no way;

13:20 and others falling into the fire and burning there;

14:1 When she had shown me these things, she wished to hurry these things, and yet not to know what the things mean'?

14:2 She answered and said unto me, `Thou art an over-curious fellow, in desiring to know all that concerns the tower'.

14:3 `Yea, lady', I said, `that I may announce it to any brethren, and that they [may be the more gladdened and] when they hear [these things] may know the Lord in great glory'.

14:4 `Then said she, `Many shall hear;

14:5 but when they hear, some of them shall be glad, and others shall weep.

14:6 Yet even these latter, if they hear and repent, shall likewise be glad.

14:7 Hear thou therefore the parables of the tower;

14:8 for I will reveal all things unto thee.

14:9 And trouble me no more about revelation;

14:10 for these revelations have an end, seeing that they have been completed.

14:11 Nevertheless thou wilt not cease asking for revelations;

14:12 for thou art shameless.

15:1 `The tower, which thou seest building, is myself, the Church, which was seen of thee both now and aforetime.

15:2 Ask, therefore, what thou willest concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice with the saints'.

15:3 I say unto her, Lady, since thou didst hold me worthy once for all, that thou shouldest reveal all things to me, reveal them'.

15:4 Then she saith to me, `Whatsoever is possible to be revealed to thee, shall be revealed.

15:5 Only let thy heart be with God, and doubt not in thy mind about that which thou seest'.

15:6 I asked her, `Wherefore is the tower builded upon waters, lady'?

15:7 `I told thee so before', said she, `and indeed thou dost enquire diligently.

15:8 So by thy enquiry thou discoverest the truth.

15:9 Hear then why the tower is builded upon waters;

15:10 it is because your life is saved and shall be saved by water.

16:1 I answered and said unto her,

16:2 `Lady, this thing is great and `These are the holy angels of GOD, that were created first of all, unto whom the Lord delivered all His creation to increase and to build it, and to be masters of all creation.

16:3 By their hands therefore the building of the tower will be accomplished'.

16:4 `And who are the others who are bringing the stones'?

16:5 `They also are holy angels of God;

16:6 but these six are superior to them.

16:7 The building of the tower then shall be accomplished, and all alike shall rejoice in the (completed) circle of the tower, and shall glorify God that the building of the tower was accomplished'.

16:8 I enquired of her, saying, ` Lady, I could wish to know concerning the end of the stones, and their power, of what kind it is'.

16:9 She answered and said unto me, `It is not that thou of all men art especially worthy that it should be revealed to thee;

16:10 for there are others before thee, and better than thou art, unto whom these visions ought to have been revealed.

16:11 But that the name of God may be glorified,

16:12 it hath been revealed to thee, and shall be revealed, for the sake of the doubtful-minded, who question in their hearts whether these things are so or not.

16:13 Tell them that all these things are true, and that there is nothing beside the truth, but that all are steadfast, and valid, and established on a firm foundation.

17:1 `Hear now concerning the stones that go to the building.

17:2 The stones that are squared and white, and that fit together in their joints,

17:3 these are the apostles and bishops and teachers and deacons,

17:4 who walked after the holiness of God,

17:5 and exercised their office of bishop and teacher and deacon in purity and sanctity for the elect of God, some of them already fallen on sleep, and others still living.

17:6 And because they always agreed with one another, they both had peace among themselves and listened one to another.

17:7 Therefore their joinings fit together in the building of the tower'.

17:8 `But they that are dragged from the deep, and placed in the building, and that fit together in their joinings with the other stones that are already builded in, who are they'?

17:9 `These are they that suffered for the name of the Lord'.

17:10 `But the other stones that are brought from the dry land, I would fain know who these are, lady'.

17:11 She said, `Those that go to the building, and yet are not hewn, these the Lord hath approved because they walked in the uprightness of the Lord, and rightly performed His commandments'.

17:12 `But they that are brought and placed in the building, who are they'?

17:13 `They are young in the faith, and faithful;

17:14 but they are warned by the angels to do good, because wickedness was found in them'.

17:15 `But those whom they rejected and threw away, who are they'?

17:16 `These have sinned, and desire to repent, therefore they were not cast to a great distance from the tower, because they will be useful for the building, if they repent.

17:17 They then that shall repent, if they repent, will be strong in the faith, if they repent now while the tower is building.

17:18 But if the building shall be finished, they have no more any place, but shall be castaways.

18:1 But wouldst thou know about them that are broken in pieces, and cast away far from the tower?

18:2 These are the sons of wickedness was absent from them.

18:3 Therefore they have not salvation, for they are not useful for building by reason of their wickednesses.

18:4 Therefore they were broken up and thrown far away by reason of the wrath of the Lord, for they excited Him to wrath.

18:5 But the rest whom thou hast seen lying in great numbers, not going to the building, of these they that are mildewed are they that knew the truth, but did not abide in it, nor cleave to the saints.

19:1 `But they that have the cracks, who are they'?

19:2 `These are they at peace among themselves;

19:3 who have an appearance of peace, but when they depart from one another, their wickednesses abide in their hearts.

19:4 These are the cracks which the stones have.

19:5 But they that are broken off short, these have believed, and have their greater part in righteousness, but have some parts of lawlessness;

20:1 `But the white and round stones, which did not fit into the building, who are they, lady'?

20:2 She answered and said to me, ` How understandest nothing?

20:3 These are they that have faith, but have also riches of this world.

20:4 When tribulation cometh, they deny their Lord by reason of their riches and their business affairs'.

20:5 And I answered and said unto her, `When then, lady, will they be useful for the building ?`

20:6 `When', she replied, `their wealth, which leadeth their souls astray, shall be cut away, then will they be useful for God.

20:7 For just as the round stone, unless it be cut away, and lose some portion of itself, cannot become square,

20:8 so also they that are rich in this world, unless their riches be cut away, cannot become useful to the lord.

20:9 Learn first from thyself.

20:10 When thou hadst riches, thou wast useless;

20:11 but now thou art useful and profitable unto life.

21:1 `But the other stones which thou sawest cast far away from the tower and falling into the way and rolling out of the way into believed,

21:2 but by reason of their double heart they abandon their true way.

21:3 Thus thinking that they can find a better way, they go astray and are sore distressed, as they walk about in the regions where there is no way.

21:4 But they that fall into the fire and are burned,

21:5 these are they that finally rebelled from the living God,

21:6 and it no more entered into their hearts to repent by reason of the lusts of their wantonness and of the wickednesses which they wrought.

21:7 But the others, which fall near the waters and yet cannot roll into the water, wouldest thou know who are they?

21:8 These are they that heard the word, and would be baptized unto the name of the Lord.

21:9 Then, when they call to their remembrance the purity of the truth, they change their minds, and go back again after their evil desires'.

21:10 So she finished the explanation of the tower.

21:11 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower there was repentance, and they had a place in this tower.

21:12 `They can repent', she said, `but they cannot be fitted into this tower.

21:13 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins.

21:14 And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated it, the Righteous Word;

21:15 and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart;

22:1 When then I ceased asking her concerning all these things, desirous of beholding, I was greatly rejoiced that I should see it.

22:2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, `Seest thou seven women round the tower'?

22:3 `I see them, lady', say I.

22:4 `This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

22:5 Hear now their employments.

22:6 The first of them, the woman with the strong hands, is called Faith;

22:7 through her are saved the elect of God.

22:8 And the second, that is girded about and looketh like a man, is called Continence;

22:9 she is the daughter of Faith.

22:10 Whosoever then shall follow her, becometh happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life'.

22:11 `And the others, lady, who be they'?

22:12 `They are daughters one of the other.

22:13 The name of the one is Simplicity, of the next, knowledge, of the next, Guilelessness, of the next, Reverence, of the next, Love.

22:14 When then thou shalt do all the works of their mother, thou canst live'.

22:15 `I would fain know, lady', I say, `what power each of them possesseth'.

22:16 `Listen then', saith she, `to the powers which they have.

22:17 Their powers are mastered each by the other, and they follow each other, in the order in which they were born.

22:18 From Faith is born Continence, from Continence Simplicity, from Simplicity Guilelessness, from Guilelessness Reverence, from Reverence knowledge, from knowledge Love.

22:19 Their works then are pure and reverent and divine.

22:20 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God'.

22:21 Then I asked her concerning the seasons, whether the consummation is even now.

22:22 But she cried aloud, saying, ` Foolish man, seest thou not that the tower is still a-building?

22:23 Whensoever therefore the tower shall be finished building, the end cometh;

22:24 but it shall be built up quickly.

22:25 Ask me no more questions:

22:26 this reminder is sufficient for you and for the saints, and is the renewal of your spirits.

22:27 But it was not revealed to thyself alone, but in order that thou mightest show these things unto all.

22:28 After three days-for thou must understand first,

22:29 and I charge thee, Hermas, first with these words, which I am about to speak to thee-(I charge thee to) tell all these things into the ears of the saints,

22:30 that hearing them and doing them they may be purified from their wickednesses, and thyself also with them.

23:1 `Hear me, my children.

23:2 I brought you up in much simplicity and guilelessness and reverence,

23:3 through the mercy of the Lord, Who instilled righteousness into you, that ye might be justified and sanctified from all wickedness and all crookedness.

23:4 But ye will not to cease from your wickedness.

23:5 Now then hear me and be at peace among yourselves, and have regard one to another, and assist one another,

23:6 and do not partake of the creatures of God alone in abundance, but share them also with those that are in want.

23:7 For some men through their much eating bring weakness on the flesh, and injure their flesh:

23:8 whereas the flesh of those who have nought to eat is injured by their not having sufficient nourishment, and their body is ruined.

23:9 This exclusiveness therefore is hurtful to you that have and do not share with them that are in want.

23:10 Look ye to the judgment that cometh.

23:11 Ye then that have more than enough, seek out them that are hungry, while the tower is still unfinished;

23:12 for after the tower is finished, ye will desire to do good, and will find no place for it.

23:13 Look ye therefore, ye that exult in your wealth,

23:14 lest they that are in want shall moan, and their moaning shall go up unto the Lord, and ye with your [abundance of) good things be shut outside the door of the tower.

23:15 Now therefore I say unto you that are rulers of the Church, and that occupy the chief seats;

23:16 be not ye like unto the sorcerers.

23:17 The sorcerers indeed carry their drugs in boxes,

23:18 but ye carry your drug and your poison in your heart Ye are case-hardened,

23:19 and ye will not cleanse your hearts and mix your wisdom together in a clean heart, that ye may obtain mercy from the Great King.

23:20 Look ye therefore, children, lest these divisions of yours deprive you of your life.

23:21 How is it that ye wish to instruct the elect of the Lord, while ye yourselves have no instruction?

23:22 Instruct one another therefore, and have peace among yourselves, that I also may stand gladsome before the Father, and give an account concerning you all to your Lord'.

24:1 When then she ceased speaking with me, the six young men, who were building, came, and took her away to the tower, and other four lifted the couch, and took it also away to the tower.

24:2 I saw not the face of these, for they were turned away.

24:3 And, as she went, I asked her to reveal to me concerning the three forms, in which she had appeared to me.

24:4 She answered and said to me;

24:5 `As concerning these things thou must ask another, that they may be revealed to thee'.

24:6 Now she was seen of me, brethren, in my first vision of last year, as a very aged woman and seated on a chair.

24:7 In the second vision her face was youthful, but her flesh and her hair were aged, and she spake to me standing;

24:8 and she was more gladsome than before.

24:9 But in the third vision she was altogether youthful and of exceeding great beauty, and her hair alone was aged;

24:10 and she was gladsome exceedingly and seated on a couch.

24:11 Touching these things I was very greatly anxious to learn this revelation.

24:12 And I see the aged woman in a vision of the night, saying to me, `Every enquiry needs humility.

24:13 Fast therefore, and thou shalt receive what thou askest from the Lord'.

24:14 So I fasted one day;

24:15 and that very night there appeared unto me a young man, and he saith to me, `Seeing that thou askest me revelations offhand with entreaty, take heed lest by thy much asking thou injure thy flesh.

24:16 Sufficient for thee are these revelations.

24:17 Canst thou see mightier revelations than those thou hast seen'?

24:18 I say unto him in reply, `Sir, this one thing alone I ask, concerning the three forms of the aged woman, that a complete revelation may be vouchsafed me'.

24:19 He saith to me in answer, `How long are ye without understanding?

24:20 It is your double-mindedness that maketh you of no understanding, and because your heart is not set towards the Lord'.

25:1 `Listen', saith he, `concerning the three forms, of which thou enquirest.

25:2 In the first vision wherefore did she appear to aged, and already decayed, and had no power by reason of your infirmities and acts of double-mindedness.

25:3 For as aged people, having no longer hope of renewing their youth, expect nothing else but to fall asleep,

25:4 so ye also, being weakened with the affairs of this world, gave yourselves over to repining, and cast not your cares on the Lord;

25:5 but your spirit was broken, and ye were aged by your sorrows'.

25:6 ` Wherefore then she was seated on a chair, I would fain know, Sir'.

25:7 `Because every weak person sits on a chair by reason of his weakness, that the weakness of his body may be supported.

26:1 `But in the second vision thou sawest her standing, and with her countenance more youthful and more gladsome than before;

26:2 saith he.

26:3 `Imagine an old man, who has now lost all hope of himself by reason of his weakness and his poverty, and expecteth nothing else save the last day of his life.

26:4 Suddenly an inheritance is left him.

26:5 He heareth the news, riseth up and full of joy clothes himself with strength, and no longer lieth down, but standeth up,

26:6 and his spirit, which was now broken by reason of his former circumstances, is renewed again, and he no longer sitteth, but taketh courage;

26:7 so also was it with you, when ye heard the revelation which the Lord revealed unto you.

26:8 For He had compassion on you, and renewed your spirits,

26:9 and ye laid aside your maladies, and strength came to you, and ye were made powerful in the faith, and the Lord rejoiced to see you put on your strength.

26:10 And therefore He showed you the building of the tower;

27:1 `But in the third vision ye saw her younger and fair and cometh some piece of good tidings,

27:2 immediately he forgetteth his former sorrows,

27:3 and admitteth nothing but the tidings which he hath heard, and is strengthened thenceforth unto that which is good, and his spirit is renewed by reason of the joy which he hath received;

27:4 so also ye have received a renewal of your spirits by seeing these good things.

27:5 And whereas thou sawest her seated on a couch, the position is a firm one;

27:6 for the couch has four feet and standeth firmly;

27:7 for the world too is upheld by means of four elements.

27:8 They then that have fully repented shall be young again, and founded firmly, seeing that they have repented with their whole heart.

27:9 There thou hast the revelation entire and complete.


28:1 VISION FOUR The fourth vision which I saw, brethren, twenty days after tribulation.

28:2 I was going into the country by the Campanian Way.

28:3 From the high road, it is about ten stades;

28:4 and the place is easy for traveling.

28:5 While then I am walking alone,

28:6 I entreat the Lord that He will accomplish the revelations and the visions which He showed me through His holy Church,

28:7 that He may strengthen me and may give repentance to His servants which have stumbled,

28:8 that His great and glorious Name may be glorified, for that He held me worthy that He should show me His marvels.

28:9 And as I gave glory and thanksgiving to Him, there answered me as it were the sound of a voice, ` Be not of doubtful mind Hermas'.

28:10 I began to question in myself and to say, How can I be of doubtful mind, seeing that I am so firmly founded by the Lord, and have seen glorious things'?

28:11 And I went on a little, brethren, and behold, I see a cloud of dust rising as it were to heaven, and I began to say within myself, `Can it be that cattle are coming, and raising a cloud of dust ?`

28:12 for it was just about a stade from me.

28:13 As the cloud of dust waxed greater and greater, I suspected that it was something supernatural.

28:14 Then the sun shone out a little, and behold, I see a huge beast like some sea-monster, and from its mouth fiery locusts issued forth.

28:15 And the beast was about a hundred feet in length, and its head was as it were of pottery.

28:16 And I began to weep, and to entreat the Lord that He would rescue me from it.

28:17 And I remembered the word which I had heard, `Be not of doubtful mind, Hermas'.

28:18 Having therefore, brethren, put on the faith of the Lord and called to mind the mighty works that He had taught me, I took courage and gave myself up to the beast.

28:19 Now the beast was coming on with such a rush, that it might have ruined a city.

28:20 I come near it, and, huge monster as it was, it stretcheth itself on the ground, and merely put forth its tongue, and stirred not at all until I had passed by it.

28:21 And the beast had on its head four colours;

29:1 Now after I had passed the beast,

29:2 and had gone forward about thirty feet, behold, there meeteth me a virgin arrayed as if she sandals, veiled up to her forehead, and her head-covering consisted of a turban, and her hair was white.

29:3 I knew from the former visions that it was the Church, and I became more cheerful.

29:4 She saluteth me, saying, `Good morrow, my good man';

29:5 and I saluted her in turn, ` Lady, good morrow'.

29:6 She answered and said unto me, `Did nothing meet thee?

29:7 ` I say unto her, Lady, such a huge beast, that could have destroyed whole peoples :

29:8 but, by the power of the Lord and by His great mercy, I escaped it'.

29:9 `Thou didst escape it well', saith she,

29:10 because thou didst cast thy care upon God, and didst open thy heart to the Lord, believing that thou canst be saved by nothing else but by His great and glorious Name.

29:11 Therefore the Lord sent His angel, which is over the beasts, whose name is Segri, and shut its mouth, that it might not hurt thee.

29:12 Thou hast escaped a great tribulation by reason of thy faith, and because, though thou sawest so huge a beast, thou didst not doubt in thy mind.

29:13 Go therefore, and declare to the elect of the Lord His mighty works, and tell them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come.

29:14 If therefore ye prepare yourselves beforehand,

29:15 and repent (and turn) unto the Lord with your whole heart, ye shall be able to escape it, if your heart be made pure and without blemish, and if for the remaining days of your life ye serve the Lord blamelessly.

29:16 Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will set them straight.

29:17 Trust ye in the Lord, ye men of doubtful mind, for He can do all things, yea, He both turneth away His wrath from you, and again He sendeth forth His plagues upon you that are of doubtful mind.

29:18 Woe to them that hear these words and are disobedient;

30:1 I asked her concerning the four colours, which the beast had upon its head.

30:2 Then she answered me and said, `Again thou art me what these things are'.

30:3 `Listen', said she;

30:4 `the black is this world in which ye dwell;

30:5 and the fire and blood colour showeth that this world must perish by blood and fire;

30:6 and the golden part are ye that have escaped from this world.

30:7 For as the gold is tested by the fire and is made useful, so ye also [that dwell in it] are being tested in yourselves.

30:8 Ye then that abide and pass through the fire will be purified by it.

30:9 For as the gold loses its dross, so ye also shall cast away all sorrow and tribulation, and shall be purified, and shall be useful for the building of the tower.

30:10 But the white portion is the coming age, in which the elect of God shall dwell;

30:11 because the elect of God shall be without spot and pure unto life eternal.

30:12 Wherefore cease not thou to speak in the ears of the saints.

30:13 Ye have now the symbolism also of the tribulation which is coming in power.

30:14 But if ye be willing, it shall be nought.

30:15 Remember ye the things that are written beforehand'.

30:16 With these words she departed, and I saw not in what direction she departed;

30:17 for a noise was made;



31:2 As I prayed in the house, and sat on the couch,

31:3 there entered a skin wrapped about him, and with a wallet on his shoulders and a staff in his hand.

31:4 And he saluted me, and I saluted him in return.

31:5 And he immediately sat down by my side, and he saith unto me, `I was sent by the most holy angel, that I might dwell with thee the remaining days of thy life'.

31:6 I thought he came to tempt me, and I say unto him, `Why, who art thou?

31:7 For I know', say I, `unto whom I was delivered'.

31:8 He saith to me, `Dost thou not recognise me'?

31:9 `No', I say.

31:10 `I', saith he, `am the shepherd, unto whom thou wast delivered'.

31:11 While he was still speaking, his form was changed, and I recognised him as being the same, to whom I was delivered;

31:12 and straightway I was confounded, and fear seized me, and I was altogether overwhelmed with distress that I had answered him so wickedly and senselessly.

31:13 But he answered and said unto me, `Be not confounded, but strengthen thyself in my commandments which I am about to command thee.

31:14 For I was sent', saith he, `that I might show thee again all the things which thou didst see before, merely the heads which are convenient for you.

31:15 First of all, write down my commandments and my parables;

31:16 and the other matters thou shalt write down as I shall show them to thee.

31:17 The reason why', saith he, `I command thee to write down first the commandments and parables is, that thou mayest read them off-hand, and mayest be able to keep them'.

31:18 So I wrote down the commandments and parables, as he commanded me.

31:19 If then, when ye hear them, ye keep them and walk in them, and do them with a pure heart, ye shall receive from the Lord all things that He promised you;

31:20 but if, when ye hear them, ye do not repent, but still add to your sins, ye shall receive from the Lord the opposite.



32:2 First of all, believe that God is One,

32:3 even He Who created all non-existence into being, Who comprehendeth all things, being alone incomprehensible.

32:4 Believe Him therefore, and fear Him, and in this fear be continent.

32:5 Keep these things,

32:6 and thou shall cast off all wickedness from thyself, and shall clothe thyself with every excellence of righteousness, and shall live unto God, if thou keep this commandment.



33:2 He saith to me;

33:3 `Keep simplicity and be guileless, and thou shall be as little children, that know not the wickedness which destroyeth the life of men.

33:4 First of all, speak evil of no man, neither take pleasure in listening to a slanderer.

33:5 Otherwise thou that hearest too shalt be responsible for the sin of him that speaketh the evil, if thou believest the slander, which thou hearest;

33:6 for in believing it thou thyself also wilt have a grudge against thy brother.

33:7 So then shalt thou be responsible for the sin of him that speaketh the evil.

33:8 Slander is evil;

33:9 it is a restless demon, never at peace, but always having its home among factions.

33:10 Refrain from it therefore, and thou shalt have success at all times with all men.

33:11 But clothe thyself in reverence, wherein is no evil stumbling-block, but all things are smooth and gladsome.

33:12 Work that which is good,

33:13 and of thy labours, which God giveth thee, give to all that are in want freely, not questioning to whom thou shall give, and to whom thou shall not give.

33:14 Give to all;

33:15 for to all God desireth that there should be given of His own bounties.

33:16 They then that receive shall render an account to God why they received it, and to what end;

33:17 for they that receive in distress shall not be judged, but they that receive by false pretence shall pay the penalty.

33:18 He then that giveth is guiltless;

33:19 for as he received from the Lord the ministration to perform it, he hath performed it in sincerity, by making no distinction to whom to give or not to give.

33:20 This ministration then, when sincerely performed, becomes glorious in the sight of God.

33:21 He therefore that ministereth thus sincerely shall live unto God.

33:22 `Therefore keep this commandment, as I have told thee, that thine own repentance and that of thy household may be found to be sincere, and [thy] heart pure and undefiled'.



34:2 Again he saith to me;

34:3 `Love truth, and let nothing but truth proceed out of thy mouth, that the Spirit which God made to dwell in this flesh, may be found true in the sight of all men;

34:4 and thus shall the Lord, Who dwelleth in thee, be glorified;

34:5 for the Lord is true in every word, and with Him there is no falsehood.

34:6 They therefore that speak lies set the Lord at naught, and become robbers of the Lord, for they do not deliver up to Him the deposit which they received.

34:7 For they received of Him a spirit free from lies.

34:8 This if they shall return a lying spirit, they have defiled the commandment of the Lord and have become robbers'.

34:9 When then I heard these things, I wept bitterly.

34:10 But seeing me weep he saith, `Why weepest thou ?`

34:11 `Because, Sir', say I, `I know not if I can be saved'.

34:12 `Why so'?

34:13 saith he.

34:14 `Because, Sir', I say, `never in my life spake I a true word, but I always lived deceitfully with all men and dressed up my falsehood as truth before all men;

34:15 and no man ever contradicted me, but confidence was placed in my word.

34:16 How then, Sir', say I, `can I live, seeing that I have done these things'?

34:17 `Your supposition', he saith, `is right and true,

34:18 for it behoved thee as a servant of God to walk in truth, and no complicity with evil should abide with the Spirit of truth, nor bring grief to the Spirit which is holy and true'.

34:19 `Never, Sir', say I, `heard I clearly words such as these'.

34:20 `Now then', saith he, `thou hearest.

34:21 Guard them, that the former falsehoods also which thou spakest in thy business affairs may themselves become credible, now that these are found true;

34:22 for they too can become trustworthy.

34:23 If thou keep these things,

34:24 and from henceforward speak nothing but truth,

34:25 thou shalt be able to secure life for thyself And whosoever shall hear this command, and abstain from falsehood, that most pernicious habit, shall live unto God'.



35:2 `I charge thee', saith he, `to keep purity,

35:3 and let not a thought enter into thy heart concerning another's wife, or concerning fornication or concerning any such like evil deeds;

35:4 for in so doing thou committest a great sin.

35:5 But remember thine own wife always, and thou shalt never go wrong.

35:6 For should this desire enter into thine heart, thou wilt go wrong, and should any other as evil as this, thou committest sit,.

35:7 For this desire in a servant of God is a great sin;

35:8 and if any man doeth this evil deed, he worketh out death for himself Look to it therefore.

35:9 Abstain from this desire;

35:10 for, where holiness dwelleth, there lawlessness ought not to enter into the heart of a righteous man'.

35:11 I say to him, `Sir, permit me to ask thee a few more questions'.

35:12 `Say on', saith he.

35:13 `Sir', say I, `if a man who has a wife that is faithful in the Lord detect her in adultery, doth the husband sin in living with her'?

35:14 `So long as he is ignorant', saith he, `he sinneth not;

35:15 but if the husband know of her sin, and the wife repent not, but continue in her fornication, and her husband live with her, he makes himself responsible for her sin and an accomplice in her adultery'.

35:16 `What then, Sir', say I, `shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this case'?

35:17 `Let him divorce her', saith he, `and let the husband abide alone:

35:18 but if after divorcing his wife he shall marry another, he likewise committeth adultery'.

35:19 `If then, Sir', say I, `after the wife is divorced, she repent and desire to return to her own husband, shall she not be received'?

35:20 `Certainly', saith he, `if the husband receiveth her not, he sinneth and bringeth great sin upon himself;

35:21 nay, one who hath sinned and repented must be received, yet not often;

35:22 for there is but one repentance for the servants of God.

35:23 For the sake of her repentance therefore the husband ought not to marry.

35:24 This is the manner of acting enjoined on husband and wife.

35:25 Not only', saith he, `is it adultery, if a man pollute his flesh, but whosoever doeth things like unto the heathen committeth adultery.

35:26 If therefore in such deeds as these likewise a man continue and repent not, keep away from him, and live not with him.

35:27 Otherwise, thou also art a partaker of his sin.

35:28 For this cause ye were enjoined to remain single, whether husband or wife;

35:29 for in such cases repentance is possible.

35:30 I', said he, `am not giving an excuse that this matter should be concluded thus, but to the end that the sinner should sin no more.

35:31 But as concerning his former sin, there is One who is able to give healing;

36:1 I asked him again, saying, `Seeing that the Lord held me worthy that thou shouldest always dwell with me, suffer me still to made dense by my former deeds.

36:2 Make me to understand, for I am very foolish, and I apprehend absolutely nothing'.

36:3 He answered and said unto me, `I', saith he, `preside over repentance, and I give understanding to all who repent.

36:4 Nay, thinkest thou not', saith he, `that this very act of repentance is understanding?

36:5 To repent is great understanding', saith he.

36:6 `For the man that hath sinned understandeth that he hath done evil before the Lord,

36:7 and the deed which he hath done entereth into his heart, and he repenteth, and doeth no more evil, but doeth good lavishly, and humbleth his own soul and putteth it to torture because it sinned.

36:8 Thou seest then that repentance is great understanding'.

36:9 `It is on this account therefore, Sir', say I, `that I enquire everything accurately of thee;

36:10 first, because I am a sinner;

36:11 secondly, because I know not what deeds I must do that I may live, for my sins are many and various'.

36:12 `Thou shalt live', saith he, `if thou keep my commandments and walk in them;

37:1 `I will still proceed, Sir', say I, `to ask a further question'.

37:2 `Speak on', saith he.

37:3 `I have heard, Sir', say I, `from took place when we went down into the water and obtained remission of our former sins'.

37:4 He saith to me;

37:5 `Thou hast well heard;

37:6 for so it is.

37:7 For he that hath received remission of sins ought no longer to sin, but to dwell in purity.

37:8 But, since thou enquirest all things accurately,

37:9 I will declare unto thee this also, so as to give no excuse to those who shall hereafter believe or those who have already believed, on the Lord.

37:10 For they that have already believed, or shall hereafter believe, have not repentance for sins, but have only remission of their former sins.

37:11 To those then that were called before these days the Lord has appointed repentance.

37:12 For the Lord, being a discerner of hearts and foreknowing all things,

37:13 perceived the weakness of men and the manifold wiles of the devil, how that he will be doing some mischief to the servants of God, and will deal wickedly with them.

37:14 The Lord then, being very compassionate, had pity on His handiwork, and appointeth this (opportunity' of) repentance, and to me was given the authority over this repentance.

37:15 But I say unto you', saith he, `if after this great and holy calling any one, being tempted of the devil, shall commit sin, he hath only one (opportunity of) repentance.

37:16 But if he sin off-hand and repent, repentance is unprofitable for such a man;

37:17 for he shall live with difficulty'.

37:18 I say unto him, `I was quickened into life again, when I heard these things from thee so precisely.

37:19 For I know that, if I shall add no more to my sins, I shall be saved'.

38:1 I asked him again, saying, `Sir, since once thou dost bear with me, declare unto me this further matter also'.

38:2 `Say on', saith and one of them marry, doth the one that marrieth sin'?

38:3 `He sinneth not', saith he, `but if he remain single, he investeth himself with more exceeding honour and with great glory before the Lord;

38:4 yet even if he should marry, he sinneth not.

38:5 Preserve purity and holiness therefore, and thou shalt live unto God.

38:6 All these things, which I speak and shall hereafter speak unto thee, guard from this time forward, from the day when thou vast committed unto me, and I will dwell in thy house.

38:7 But for thy former transgressions there shall be remission, if thou keepest my commandments.



39:2 thou shalt have the mastery over all evil deeds, and shalt work all righteousness.

39:3 For if thou art long-suffering,

39:4 the Holy Spirit that abideth in thee shall be pure,

39:5 not being darkened by another evil spirit,

39:6 but dwelling in a large room shall rejoice and be glad with the vessel in which he dwelleth, and shall serve God with much cheerfulness, having prosperity in himself.

39:7 But if any angry temper approach, forthwith the Holy Spirit, being delicate, is straitened, not having [the) place clear, and seeketh to retire from the place;

39:8 for he is being choked by the evil spirit, and has no room to minister unto the Lord, as he desireth, being polluted by angry temper.

39:9 For the Lord dwelleth in long-suffering, but the devil in angry temper.

39:10 Thus that both the spirits then should be dwelling together is inconvenient and evil for that man in whom they dwell.

39:11 For if you take a little wormwood, and pour it into a jar of honey, is not the whole of the honey spoiled, and all that honey ruined by a very small quantity of wormwood?

39:12 For it destroyeth the sweetness of the honey, and it no longer hath the same attraction for the owner, because it is rendered bitter and hath lost its use.

39:13 But if the wormwood be not put into the honey, the honey is found sweet and becomes useful to its owner.

39:14 Thou seest [then) that long-suffering is very sweet, beyond the sweetness of honey, and is useful to the Lord, and He dwelleth in it.

39:15 But angry temper is bitter and useless.

39:16 If then angry temper be mixed with long-suffering, long-suffering is polluted and the man's intercession is no longer useful to God'.

39:17 `I would fain know, Sir', say I, `the working of angry temper, that I may guard myself from it'.

39:18 `Yea, verily', saith he, `if thou guard not thyself from it-thou and thy family-thou hast lost all thy hope.

39:19 But guard thyself from it;

39:20 for I am with thee.

39:21 Yea, and all men shall hold aloof from it, as many as have repenteth with their whole heart.

39:22 For I will be with them and will preserve them;

40:1 `Hear now', saith he, `the working of angry temper, how evil it is,

40:2 and how it subverteth the servants of God by its own working, lead astray them that are full in the faith, nor can it work upon them, because the power of the Lord is with them;

40:3 but them that are empty and double-minded it leadeth astray.

40:4 For when it seeth such men in prosperity it insinuates itself into the heart of the man,

40:5 and for no cause whatever the man or the woman is embittered on account of worldly matters,

40:6 either about food, or some triviality, or about some friend, or about giving or receiving, or about follies of this kind.

40:7 For all these things are foolish and vain and senseless and inexpedient for the servants of God.

40:8 But long-suffering is great and strong,

40:9 and has a mighty and vigorous power, and is prosperous in great enlargement, gladsome, exultant, free from care, glorifying the Lord at every season, having no bitterness in itself, remaining always gentle and tranquil.

40:10 This long-suffering therefore dwelleth with those whose faith is perfect.

40:11 But angry temper is in the first place foolish, fickle and senseless;

40:12 then from foolishness is engendered bitterness, and from bitterness wrath, and from wrath anger, and from anger spite;

40:13 then spite being composed of all these evil elements becometh a great sin and incurable.

40:14 For when all these spirits dwell in one vessel, where the Holy Spirit also dwelleth, that vessel cannot contain them, but overfloweth.

40:15 The delicate spirit therefore,

40:16 as not being accustomed to dwell with-an evil spirit nor with harshness, departeth from a man of that kind, and seeketh to dwell with gentleness and tranquillity.

40:17 Then, when it hath removed from that man, in whom it dwells,

40:18 that man becometh emptied of the righteous spirit,

40:19 and henceforward, being filled with the evil spirits, he is unstable in all his actions,

40:20 being dragged about hither and thither by the evil spirits, and is altogether blinded and bereft of his good intent.

40:21 Thus then it happeneth to all persons of angry temper.

40:22 Refrain therefore from angry temper, the most evil of evil spirits.

40:23 But clothe thyself in long-suffering, and resist angry temper and bitterness, and thou shalt be found in company with the holiness which is beloved of the Lord.

40:24 See then that thou never neglect this commandment;

40:25 for if thou master this commandment, thou shalt be able likewise to keep the remaining commandments, which I am about to give thee.

40:26 Be strong in them and endowed with power;



41:2 `I charged thee', saith he,

41:3 `in my first commandment to guard saith he, `I wish to show thee their powers also, that thou mayest understand what is the power and effect of each one of them.

41:4 For their effects are twofold.

41:5 Now they are prescribed alike to the righteous and the unrighteous.

41:6 Do thou therefore trust righteousness, but trust not unrighteousness;

41:7 for the way of righteousness is straight, but the way of unrighteousness is crooked.

41:8 But walk thou in the straight [and level] path, and leave the crooked one alone.

41:9 For the crooked way has no tracks, but only pathlessness and many stumbling-stones, and is rough and thorny.

41:10 So it is therefore harmful to those who walk in it.

41:11 But those who walk in the straight way walk on the level and without stumbling :

41:12 for it is neither rough nor thorny.

41:13 Thou seest then that it is more expedient to walk in this way'.

41:14 `I am pleased, Sir', say I, `to walk in this way'.

42:1 `Hear now', saith he, `concerning faith.

42:2 There are two then, Sir', say I, `shall I know their workings, seeing that both angels dwell with me'?

42:3 `Hear', saith he, `and understand their workings.

42:4 The angel of righteousness is delicate and bashful and gentle and tranquil.

42:5 When then this one enters into thy heart,

42:6 forthwith he speaketh with thee of righteousness, of purity, of holiness, and of contentment, of every righteous deed and of every glorious virtue.

42:7 When all these things enter into thy heart, know that the angel of righteousness is with thee.

42:8 [These then are the works of the angel of righteousness.]

42:9 Trust him therefore and his works.

42:10 Now see the works of the angel of wickedness also.

42:11 First of all, he is quick-tempered and bitter and senseless, and his works are evil, overthrowing the servants of God.

42:12 Whenever then he entereth into thy heart, know him by his works'.

42:13 `How I shall discern him, Sir', I reply, `I know not'.

42:14 `Listen', saith he.

42:15 `When a fit of angry temper or bitterness comes upon thee, know that he is in thee.

42:16 Then the desire of much business and the costliness of many viands and drinking bouts and of many drunken fits and of various luxuries which are unseemly,

42:17 and the desire of women, and avarice, and haughtiness and boastfulness,

42:18 and whatsoever things are akin and like to these-when then these things enter into thy heart, know that the angel of wickedness is with thee.

42:19 Do thou therefore, recognising his works, stand aloof from him, and trust him in nothing, for his works are evil and inexpedient for the servants of God.

42:20 Here then thou hast the workings of both the angels.

42:21 Understand them, and trust the angel of righteousness.

42:22 But from the angel of wickedness stand aloof, for his teaching is evil in every matter;

42:23 for though one be a man of faith, and the desire of this angel enter into his heart, that man, or that woman, must commit some sin.

42:24 And if again a man or a woman be exceedingly wicked, and the works of the angel of righteousness come into that man's heart, he must of necessity do something good.

42:25 Thou seest then', saith he, `that it is good to follow the angel of righteousness, and to bid farewell to the angel of wickedness.

42:26 This commandment declareth what concerneth faith,, that thou mayest trust the works of the angel of righteousness, and doing them mayest live unto God.

42:27 But believe that the works of the angel of wickedness are difficult;



43:2 `Fear the Lord', saith he, `and keep His commandments.

43:3 So deed, and thy doing shall be incomparable.

43:4 For whilst thou fearest the Lord, thou shalt do all things well.

43:5 But this is the fear wherewith thou oughtest to be afraid, and thou shalt be saved.

43:6 But fear not the devil;

43:7 for, if thou fear the Lord, thou shalt be master over the devil, for there is no power in him.

43:8 [For] in whom is no power, neither is there fear of him;

43:9 but in whom power is glorious, of him is fear likewise.

43:10 For every one that hath power hath fear, whereas he that hath no power is despised of all.

43:11 But fear thou the works of the devil, for they are evil.

43:12 While then thou fearest the Lord, thou wilt fear the works of the devil, and wilt not do them, but abstain from them.

43:13 Fear therefore is of two kinds.

43:14 If thou desire to do evil, fear the Lord, and thou shalt not do it.

43:15 If again thou desire to do good, fear the Lord and thou shalt do it.

43:16 Therefore the fear of the Lord is powerful and great and glorious.

43:17 Fear the Lord then, and thou shalt live unto Him;

43:18 yea, and as many of them that keep His commandments as shall fear Him, shall live unto God'.

43:19 ` Wherefore, Sir', say I, didst thou say concerning those that keep His commandments, "They shall live unto God"'?

43:20 ` Because', saith he, `every creature feareth the Lord, but not every one keepeth His commandments.

43:21 Those then that fear Him and keep His commandments, they have life unto God;



44:2 `I told thee', saith he, `that the creatures of God are twofold;

44:3 be temperate, but in other things it is not right'.

44:4 `Make known unto me, Sir', say I, `in what things it is right to be temperate, and in what things it is not right'.

44:5 `Listen', saith he.

44:6 `Be temperate as to what is evil, and do it not;

44:7 but be not temperate as to what is good, but do it.

44:8 For if thou be temperate as to what is good, so as not to do it, thou committest a great sin;

44:9 but if thou be temperate as to what is evil, so as not to do it, thou doest great righteousness.

44:10 Be temperate therefore in abstaining from all wickedness, and do that which is good'.

44:11 `What kinds of wickedness, Sir', say I, `are they from which we must be temperate and abstain'?

44:12 `Listen', saith he;

44:13 `from adultery and fornication,

44:14 from the lawlessness of drunkenness, from wicked luxury,

44:15 from many viands and the costliness of riches, and vaunting and haughtiness and pride, and from falsehood and evil-speaking and hypocrisy, malice and all blasphemy.

44:16 These works are the most wicked of all in the life of men.

44:17 From these works therefore the servant of God must be temperate and abstain;

44:18 for he that is not temperate so as to abstain from these cannot live unto God.

44:19 Listen then to what follows upon these'.

44:20 ` Why, are there still other evil deeds, Sir'?

44:21 say I.

44:22 `Aye, saith he, `there are many, from which the servant of God must be temperate and abstain;

44:23 theft, falsehood, deprivation, false witness, avarice, evil desire, deceit, vain-glory, boastfulness, and whatsoever things are like unto these.

44:24 Thinkest thou not that these things are wrong, yea, very wrong', [saith he,] `for the servants of God?

44:25 In all these things he that serveth God must exercise temperance.

44:26 Be thou temperate, therefore, and refrain from all these things, that thou mayest live unto God, and be enrolled among those who exercise self-restraint in them.

44:27 These then are the things from which thou shouldest restrain thyself Now hear', saith he, `the things, in which thou shouldest not exercise self-restraint, but do them.

44:28 Exercise no self-restraint in that which is good, but do it'.

44:29 `Sir', say I, `show me the power of the good also, that I may walk in them and serve them, that doing them it may be possible for me to be saved'.

44:30 `Hear', saith he, `the works of the good likewise, which thou must do, and towards which thou must exercise no self-restraint.

44:31 First of all, there is faith, fear of the Lord, love, concord, words of righteousness, truth, patience;

44:32 nothing is better than these in the life of men.

44:33 If a man keep these, and exercise not self-restraint from them, he becomes blessed in his life.

44:34 Hear now what follow upon these;

44:35 to minister to widows, to visit the orphans and the needy,

44:36 to ransom the servants of God from their afflictions,

44:37 to be hospitable (for in hospitality benevolence from time to time has a place),

44:38 to resist no man, to be tranquil, to show yourself more submissive than all men,

44:39 to reverence the aged, to practice righteousness, to observe brotherly feeling,

44:40 to endure injury, to be long-suffering, to bear no grudge,

44:41 to exhort those who are sick at soul, not to cast away those that have stumbled from the faith,

44:42 but to convert them and to put courage into them, to reprove sinners, not to oppress debtors and indigent persons, and whatsoever actions are like these.

44:43 Do these things', saith he, `seem to thee to be good'?

44:44 `Why, what, Sir', say I, `can be better than these ?`

44:45 `Then walk in them', saith he, `and abstain not from them, and thou shalt live unto God.

44:46 Keep this commandment therefore.

44:47 If thou do good and abstain not from it, thou shalt live unto God;

44:48 yea, and all shall live unto God who act so.

44:49 And again if thou do not evil, and abstain from it, thou shalt live unto God;

44:50 yea, and all shall live unto God, who shall keep these commandments, and walk in them'.



45:2 He saith to me;

45:3 Remove from thyself a doubtful mind and doubt not at all whether to ask of God, saying within thyself, " How can I ask a thing of the Lord and receive it, seeing that I have committed so many sins against Him?"

45:4 Reason not thus, but turn to the Lord with thy whole heart,

45:5 and ask of Him, nothing wavering, and thou shalt know His exceeding compassion, that He will surely not abandon thee, but will fulfill the petition of thy soul.

45:6 For God is not as men who bear a grudge, but Himself is without malice and hath compassion on His creatures.

45:7 Do thou therefore cleanse thy heart from all the vanities of this life, and from the things mentioned before;

45:8 and ask of the Lord, and thou shalt receive all things, and shalt lack nothing of all thy petitions, if thou ask of the Lord nothing wavering.

45:9 But if thou waver in thy heart, thou shalt surely receive none of thy petitions.

45:10 For they that waver towards God, these are the doubtful-minded, and they never obtain any of their petitions.

45:11 But they that are complete in the faith make all their petitions trusting in the Lord, and they receive, because they ask without wavering, nothing doubting;

45:12 for every doubtful-minded man, if he repent not, shall hardly be saved.

45:13 Cleanse therefore thy heart from doubtful-mindedness, and put on faith, for it is strong, and trust God that thou wilt receive all thy petitions which thou askest;

45:14 and if after asking anything of the Lord, thou receive thy petition somewhat tardily, be not of doubtful mind because thou didst not receive the petition of thy soul at once.

45:15 For assuredly it is by reason of some temptation or some transgression, of which thou art ignorant, that thou receivest thy petition so tardily.

45:16 Do thou therefore cease not to make thy soul's petition, and thou shalt receive it.

45:17 But if thou grow weary, and doubt as thou askest, blame thyself and not Him that giveth unto thee.

45:18 See to this doubtful-mindedness;

45:19 for it is evil and senseless, and uprooteth many from the faith, yea, even very faithful and strong men.

45:20 For indeed this doubtful-mindedness is a daughter of the devil, and worketh great wickedness against the servants of God.

45:21 Therefore despise doubtful-mindedness and gain the mastery over it in everything, clothing thyself with faith which is strong and powerful.

45:22 For faith promiseth all things, accomplisheth all things;

45:23 but doubtful-mindedness, as having no confidence in itself, fails in all the works which it doeth.

45:24 Thou seest then', saith he, `that faith is from above from the Lord, and hath great power;

45:25 but doubtful-mindedness as an earthly spirit from the devil, and hath no power.

45:26 Do thou therefore serve that faith which hath power, and hold aloof from the doubtful-mindedness which hath no power;

45:27 and thou shalt live unto God;

45:28 yea, and all those shall live unto God who are so minded'.



46:2 `Put away sorrow from thyself', saith he, `for she is the sister of doubtful-mindedness and of angry temper'.

46:3 ` How, Sir', say I, `is she the sister of these?

46:4 For angry temper seems to me to be one thing, doubtful-mindedness another, sorrow another'.

46:5 `Thou art a foolish fellow', saith he,

46:6 `[and] perceivest not that sorrow is more evil than all the spirits,

46:7 and is most fatal to the servants of God, and beyond all the spirits destroys a man, and crushes out the Holy Spirit, and yet again saves it'.

46:8 `I, Sir', say I, `am without understanding, and I understand not these parables.

46:9 For how it can crush out and again save, I do not comprehend'.

46:10 `Listen', saith he.

46:11 Those who have never investigated concerning the truth,

46:12 nor enquired concerning the deity,

46:13 but have merely believed,

46:14 and have been mixed up in business affairs and riches and heathen friendships,

46:15 and many other affairs of this world-as many, I say, as devote themselves to these things, comprehend not the parables of the deity;

46:16 for they are darkened by these actions, and are corrupted and become barren.

46:17 As good vineyards,

46:18 when they are treated with neglect, are made barren by the thorns and weeds of various kinds,

46:19 so men who after they have believed fall into these many occupations which were mentioned before, lose their understanding and comprehend nothing at all concerning righteousness;

46:20 for if they hear concerning the deity and truth, their mind is absorbed in their occupations, and they perceive nothing at all.

46:21 But they that have the fear of God,

46:22 and investigate concerning deity and truth, and direct their heart towards the Lord, perceive and understand everything that is said to them more quickly,

46:23 because they have the fear of the Lord in themselves;

46:24 for where the Lord dwelleth, there too is great understanding.

46:25 Cleave therefore unto the Lord, and thou shalt understand and perceive all things.

47:1 `Hear now, senseless man', saith he, `how sorrow crusheth out the Holy Spirit, and again saveth it.

47:2 When the man of doubtful mind sets his hand to any action, and fails in it owing to his doubtful-mindedness, grief at this entereth into the man, and grieveth the Holy Spirit, and crusheth it out.

47:3 Then again when angry temper cleaveth to a man concerning any matter,

47:4 and he is much embittered, again sorrow entereth into the heart of the man that was ill-tempered, and he is grieved at the deed which he hath done, and repenteth that he did evil.

47:5 This sadness therefore seemeth to bring salvation, because he repented at having done the evil.

47:6 So both the operations sadden the Spirit;

47:7 first, the doubtful mind saddens the Spirit, because it succeeded not in its business, and the angry temper again, because it did what was evil.

47:8 Thus both are saddening to the Holy Spirit, the doubtful mind and the angry temper.

47:9 Put away therefore from thyself sadness, and afflict not the Holy Spirit that dwelleth in thee, lest haply He intercede with God [against thee], and depart from thee.

47:10 For the Spirit of God, that was given unto this flesh, endureth not sadness neither constraint.

48:1 `Therefore clothe thyself in cheerfulness, which hath favour with God always, and is acceptable to Him, and rejoice in it.

48:2 For every cheerful man worketh good, and thinketh good, and despiseth sadness;

48:3 but the sad man is always committing sin.

48:4 In the first place he committeth sin, because he grieveth the Holy Spirit, which was given to the man being a cheerful spirit;

48:5 and in the second place, by grieving the Holy Spirit he doeth lawlessness, in that he doth not intercede with neither confess unto God.

48:6 For the intercession of a sad man hath never at any time power to ascend to the altar of God'.

48:7 `Wherefore', say I, ` doth not the intercession of him that is saddened ascend to the altar'?

48:8 `Because', saith he, `sadness is seated at his heart.

48:9 Thus sadness mingled with the intercession doth not suffer the intercession to ascend pure to the altar.

48:10 For as vinegar when mingled with `vine in the same (vessel) hath not the same pleasant taste, so likewise sadness mingled with the Holy Spirit hath not the same intercession.

48:11 Therefore cleanse thyself from this wicked sadness, and thou shalt live unto God;

48:12 yea, and all they shall live unto God, who shall cast away sadness from themselves and clothe themselves in all cheerfulness'.



49:2 He shewed me men seated on a couch, and another man seated on a chair.

49:3 And he saith to me, `Seest thou those that are seated on the couch ?`

49:4 `I see them, Sir', say I.

49:5 `These', saith he, `are faithful,

49:6 but he that sitteth on the chair is a false prophet who destroyeth the mind of the servants of God-I mean, of the doubtful-minded, not of the faithful.

49:7 These doubtful-minded ones then come to him as to a soothsayer and enquire of him what shall befall them.

49:8 And he, the false prophet, having no power of a divine Spirit in himself, speaketh with them according to their enquiries [and according to the lusts of their wickedness],

49:9 and filleth their souls as they themselves wish.

49:10 For being empty himself he giveth empty answers to empty enquirers;

49:11 for whatever enquiry may be made of him, he answereth according to the emptiness of the man.

49:12 But he speaketh also some true words for the devil filleth him with his own spirit, if so be he shall be able to break down some of the righteous.

49:13 So many therefore as are strong in the faith of the Lord, clothed with the truth, cleave not to such spirits, but hold aloof from them;

49:14 but as many as are doubters and frequently change their minds, practise soothsaying like the Gentiles, and bring upon themselves greater sin by their idolatries.

49:15 For he that consulteth a false prophet on any matter is an idolater and emptied of the truth, and senseless.

49:16 For no Spirit given of God needeth to be consulted;

49:17 but, having the power of deity, speaketh all things of itself, because it is from above, even from the power of the divine Spirit.

49:18 But the spirit which is consulted, and speaketh according to the desires of men, is earthly and fickle, having no power;

49:19 and it speaketh not at all, unless it be consulted'.

49:20 ` How then, Sir', say I, ` shall a man know who of them is a prophet, and who a false prophet'?

49:21 `Hear', saith he, `concerning both the prophets;

49:22 and, as I shall tell thee, so shalt thou test the prophet and the false prophet.

49:23 By his life test the man that hath the divine Spirit.

49:24 In the first place, he that hath the [divine] Spirit, which is from above,

49:25 is gentle and tranquil and humble-minded,

49:26 and abstaineth from all wickedness and vain desire of this present world,

49:27 and holdeth himself inferior to all men, and giveth no answer to any man when enquired of, nor speaketh in solitude (for neither doth the Holy Spirit speak when a man wisheth Him to speak);

49:28 but the man speaketh then when God wisheth him to speak.

49:29 When then the man who hath the divine Spirit cometh into an assembly of righteous men, who have faith in a divine Spirit,

49:30 and intercession is made to God by the gathering of those men,

49:31 then the angel of the prophetic spirit, who is attached to him, filleth the man, and the man, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaketh to the multitude, according as the Lord willeth.

49:32 In this way then the Spirit of the deity shall be manifest.

49:33 `This then is the greatness of the power as touching the Spirit of the deity of the Lord.

49:34 Hear now', saith he, `concerning the earthly and vain spirit, which hath no power but is foolish.

49:35 In, the first place, that man who seemeth to have a spirit exalteth himself,

49:36 and desireth to have a chief place,

49:37 and straight-way he is impudent and shameless and talkative and conversant in many luxuries and in many other deceits, and receiveth money for his prophesying, and if he receiveth not, he prophesieth not.

49:38 Now can a divine Spirit receive money and prophesy?

49:39 It is not possible for a prophet of God to do this, but the spirit of such prophets is earthly.

49:40 In the next place, it never approacheth an assembly of righteous men;

49:41 but avoideth them, and cleaveth to the doubtful-minded and empty,

49:42 and prophesieth to them in corners, and deceiveth them, speaking all things in emptiness to gratify their desires;

49:43 for they too are empty whom it answereth.

49:44 For the empty vessel placed together with the empty is not broken, but they agree one with the other.

49:45 But when he comes into an assembly full of righteous men who have a Spirit of deity,

49:46 and intercession is made from them,

49:47 that man is emptied, and the earthly spirit fleeth from him, in fear, and that man is struck dumb and is altogether broken in pieces, being unable to utter a word.

49:48 For, if you pack wine or oil into a closet, and place an empty vessel among them, and again desire to unpack the closet,

49:49 the vessel which you placed there empty, empty in like manner you will find it.

49:50 Thus also the empty prophets, whenever they come unto the spirits of righteous men, are found just such as they came.

49:51 I have given thee the life of both kinds of prophets.

49:52 Therefore test, by his life and his works, the man who says that he is moved by the Spirit.

49:53 But do thou trust the Spirit that cometh from God, and hath power;

49:54 but in the earthly and empty spirit put no trust at all;

49:55 for in it there is no power, for it cometh from the devil.

49:56 Listen [then] to the parable which I shall tell thee.

49:57 Take a stone, and throw it up to heaven-see if thou canst reach it;

49:58 or again, take a squirt of water, and squirt it up to heaven-see if thou canst bore through the heaven'.

49:59 ` How, Sir', say I, `can these things be?

49:60 For both these things which thou hast mentioned are beyond our power'.

49:61 `Well then', saith he, `just as these things are beyond our power, so likewise the earthly spirits have no power and are feeble.

49:62 Now take the power which cometh from above.

49:63 The hail is a very small grain, and yet, when it falleth on a man's head, what pain it causeth! Or again, take a drop which falls on the ground from the tiles, and bores through the stone.



50:2 He saith to me;

50:3 `Remove from thyself all evil desire, and clothe thyself in the desire which is good and holy;

50:4 for clothed with this desire thou shalt hate the evil desire, and shalt bridle and direct it as thou wilt.

50:5 For the evil desire is wild, and only tamed with difficulty;

50:6 for it is terrible, and by its wildness is very costly to men;

50:7 more especially if a servant of God get entangled in it, and have no understanding, he is put to fearful costs by it.

50:8 But it is costly to such men as are not clothed in the good desire, but are mixed up with this life.

50:9 These men then it hands over to death.'

50:10 `Of what sort, Sir,' say I, `are the works of the evil desire, which hand over men to death?

50:11 Make them known to me, that I may hold aloof from them.'

50:12 `Listen,' [saith he,] `through what works the evil desire bringeth death to the servants of God.

51:1 `Before all is desire for the wife or husband of another, and for extravagance of wealth, and for many needless dainties, and for drinks and other luxuries, many and foolish.

51:2 For every luxury is foolish and vain for the servants of God.

51:3 These desires then are evil, and bring death to the servants of God.

51:4 For this evil desire is a daughter of the devil.

51:5 Ye must, therefore, abstain from the evil desires, that so abstaining ye may live unto God.

51:6 But as many as are mastered by them, and resist them not, are done to death utterly;

51:7 for these desires are deadly.

51:8 But do thou clothe thyself in the desire of righteousness, and, having armed thyself with the fear of the Lord, resist them.

51:9 For the fear of God dwelleth in the good desire.

51:10 If the evil desire shall see thee armed with the fear of God and resisting itself, it shall flee far from thee, and shall no more be seen of thee, being in fear of thine arms.

51:11 Do thou therefore, when thou art crowned for thy victory over it, come to the desire of righteousness,

51:12 and deliver to her the victor's prize which thou hast received, and serve her, according as she herself desireth.

52:1 `I would fain know, Sir,' say I, `in what ways I ought to serve the and the fear of the Lord, faith and gentleness, and as many good deeds as are like these.

52:2 Practising these thou shalt be well-pleasing as a servant of God, and shalt live unto Him;

53:1 So he completed the twelve commandments, and he saith to me;

53:2 `Thou hast these commandments;

53:3 walk in them, and exhort thy hearers that their ministration, which I give thee, fulfil thou with all diligence to the end, and thou shalt effect much.

53:4 For thou shalt find favour among those who are about to repent, and they shall obey thy words.

54:1 I say to him;

54:2 `Sir, these commandments are great and beautiful and glorious, and are able to gladden the heart of the man' who is able to man, for they are very hard.'

54:3 He answered and said unto me;

54:4 `If thou set it before thyself that they can be kept, thou wilt easily keep them, and they will not be hard;

54:5 but if it once enter into thy heart that they cannot be kept by a man, thou wilt not keep them.

54:6 But now I say unto thee;

54:7 if thou keep them not, but neglect them, thou shalt not have salvation, neither thy children nor thy household, since thou hast already pronounced judgment against thyself that these commandments cannot be kept by a man.'

55:1 And these things he said to me very angrily, so that I was confounded, and feared him exceedingly;

55:2 for his form was changed, so that a man could not endure his anger.

55:3 And when he saw that I was altogether disturbed and confounded, he began to speak more kindly [and cheerfully] to me, and he saith;

55:4 `Foolish fellow, void of understanding and of doubtful mind,

55:5 perceivest thou not the glory of God, how great and mighty and marvellous it is,

55:6 how that He created the world for man's sake, and subjected all His creation to man, and gave all authority to him, that he should be master over all things under the heaven?

55:7 If then,' [he saith,] `man is lord of all the creatures of God and mastereth all things, cannot he also master these commandments?

55:8 Aye,' saith he, `the man that hath the Lord in his heart can master [all things and] all these commandments.

55:9 But they that have the Lord on their lips, while their heart is hardened, and are far from the Lord, to them these commandments are hard and inaccessible.

55:10 Therefore do ye, who are empty and fickle in the faith, set your Lord in your heart, and ye shall perceive that nothing is easier than these commandments, nor sweeter, nor more gentle.

55:11 Be ye converted, ye that walk after the commandments of devil, (the commandments which are so) difficult and bitter and wild and riotous;

55:12 and fear not the devil, for there is no power in him against you.

55:13 For I will be with you, I, the angel of repentance, who have the mastery over him.

55:14 The devil hath fear alone, but his fear hath no force.

56:1 I say to him, Sir, listen to a few words from me.'

56:2 `Say what thou wilt,' saith he.

56:3 `Man, Sir,' I say, `is eager to keep the commandments of strengthened in His commandments, and be subject to them;

56:4 but the devil is hard and overmastereth them.'

56:5 `He cannot, saith he, `overmaster the servants of God, who set their hope on Him with their whole heart.

56:6 The devil can wrestle with them, but he cannot overthrow them.

56:7 If then ye resist him, he will be vanquished, and will flee from you disgraced.

56:8 But as many,' saith he, `as are utterly empty, fear the devil as if he had power.

56:9 When a man has filled amply sufficient jars with good wine, and among these jars a few are quite empty, he comes to the jars, and does not examine the full ones, for he knows that they are full;

56:10 but he examineth the empty ones, fearing lest they have turned sour.

56:11 For empty jars soon turn sour, and the taste of the wine is spoilt.

56:12 So also the devil cometh to all the servants of God tempting them.

56:13 As many then as are complete in the faith, oppose him mightily, and he departeth from them, not having a place where he can find an entrance.

56:14 So he cometh next to the empty ones, and finding a place goeth into them, and further he doeth what he willeth in them, and they become submissive slaves to him.

57:1 `But I, the angel of repentance, say unto you;

57:2 Fear not the devil;

57:3 for I was sent,' saith he, `to be with you who repent with your whole heart, and to strengthen you in the faith.

57:4 Believe, therefore, on God, ye who by reason of your sins have despaired of your life, and are adding to your sins, and weighing down your life;

57:5 for if ye turn unto the Lord with your whole heart,

57:6 and work righteousness the remaining days of your life, and serve Him rightly according to His will, He will give healing to your former sins, and ye shall have power to master the works of the devil.

57:7 But of the threatening of the devil fear not at all;

57:8 for he is unstrung, like the sinews of a dead man.

57:9 Hear me therefore, and fear Him, Who is able to do all things, to save and to destroy', and observe these commandments, and ye shall live unto God.'

57:10 I say to him, `Sir, now am I strengthened in all the ordinances of the Lord, because thou art with me;

57:11 and I know that thou wilt crush all the power of the devil, and we shall be masters over him, and shall prevail over all his works.

57:12 And I hope, Sir, that I am now able to keep these commandments which thou hast commanded, the Lord enabling me.'

57:13 Thou shalt keep them,' saith he, `if thy heart be found pure with the Lord;



58:2 He saith to me;

58:3 `Ye know that ye, who far from this city.

58:4 If then ye know your city, in which ye shall dwell, why do ye here prepare fields and expensive displays and buildings and dwelling-chambers which are superfluous?

58:5 He, therefore, that prepareth these things for this city does not purpose to return to his own city.

58:6 O foolish and double-minded and miserable man, perceivest thou not that all these things are foreign, and are under the power of another?

58:7 For the lord of this city shall say, "I do not wish thee to dwell in my city;

58:8 go forth from this city, for thou dost not conform to my laws."

58:9 Thou, therefore, who hast fields and dwellings and many other possessions,

58:10 when thou art cast out by him, what wilt thou do with thy field and thy house and all the other things that thou preparedst for thyself?

58:11 For the lord of this country saith to thee justly, "Either conform to my laws, or depart from my country."

58:12 What then shalt thou do, who art under law in thine own city?

58:13 For the sake of thy fields and the rest of thy possessions wilt thou altogether repudiate thy law, and walk according to the law of this city?

58:14 Take heed, lest it be inexpedient to repudiate thy law;

58:15 for if thou shouldest desire to return again to thy city, thou shalt surely not be received [because thou didst repudiate the law of thy city], and shalt be shut out from it.

58:16 Take heed therefore;

58:17 as dwelling in a strange land prepare nothing more for thyself but a competency which is sufficient for thee,

58:18 and make ready that,

58:19 whensoever the master of this city may desire to cast thee out for thine opposition to his law, thou mayest go forth from his city and depart into thine own city, and use thine own law joyfully, free from all insult.

58:20 Take heed therefore, ye that serve God and have Him in your heart work the works of God being mindful of His commandments and of the promises which He made, and believe Him that He will perform them, if His commandments be kept.

58:21 Therefore, instead of fields buy ye souls that are in trouble, as each is able, and visit widows and orphans, and neglect them not;

58:22 and spend your riches and all your displays, which ye received from God, on fields and houses of this kind.

58:23 For to this end the Master enriched you, that ye might perform these ministrations for Him.

58:24 It is much better to purchase fields [and possessions] and houses of this kind, which thou wilt find in thine own city, when thou visitest it.

58:25 This lavish expenditure is beautiful and joyous, not bringing sadness or fear, but bringing joy.

58:26 The expenditure of the heathen then practise not ye;

58:27 for it is not convenient for you the servants of God.

58:28 But practice your own expenditure, in which ye can rejoice;

58:29 and do not corrupt, neither touch that which is another man's, nor lust after it;

58:30 for it is wicked to lust after other men's possessions.



59:2 As I walked in the field, and noticed an elm and a vine,

59:3 and was distinguishing them and their fruits, the shepherd appeareth thinking, [Sir,]' say I, `about the elm and the vine, that they are excellently suited the one to the other.'

59:4 `These two trees,' saith he, `are appointed for a type to the servants of God.'

59:5 `I would fain know, [Sir,]' say I, `the type contained in these trees, of which thou speakest.'

59:6 `Seest thou,' saith he, `the elm and the vine?'

59:7 `I see them, Sir,' say I.

59:8 `This vine,' saith he, `beareth fruit, but the elm is an unfruitful stock.

59:9 Yet this vine, except it climb up the elm, cannot bear much fruit when it is spread on the ground;

59:10 and such fruit as it beareth is rotten, because it is not suspended upon the elm.

59:11 When then the vine is attached to the elm, it beareth fruit both from itself and from the elm.

59:12 Thou seest then that the elm also beareth [much] fruit, not less than the vine, but rather more.'

59:13 `How more, Sir?' say I.

59:14 `Because,' saith he, `the vine, when hanging upon the elm, bears its fruit in abundance, and in good condition;

59:15 but, when spread on the ground, it beareth little fruit, and that rotten.

59:16 This parable therefore is applicable to the servants of God, to poor and to rich alike.'

59:17 `How, Sir?' say I;

59:18 `instruct me.'

59:19 `Listen,' saith he;

59:20 `the rich man hath much wealth, but in the things of the Lord he is poor, being distracted about his riches, and his confession and intercession with the Lord is very scanty;

59:21 and even that which he giveth is small and weak and hath not power above.

59:22 When then the rich man goeth up to the poor, and assisteth him in his needs,

59:23 believing that for what he doth to the poor man he shall be able to obtain a reward with God-because the poor man is rich in intercession [and confession],

59:24 and his intercession hath great power with God-the rich man then supplieth all things to the poor man without wavering.

59:25 But the poor man being supplied by the rich maketh intercession for him, thanking God for him that gave to him.

59:26 And the other is still more zealous to assist the poor man, that he may he continuous in his life:

59:27 for he knoweth that the intercession of the poor man is acceptable and rich before God.

59:28 They both then accomplish their work;

59:29 the poor man maketh intercession, wherein he is rich [which he received of the Lord];

59:30 this he rendereth again to the Lord Who supplieth him with it.

59:31 The rich man too in like manner furnisheth to the poor man, nothing doubting, the riches which he received from the Lord.

59:32 And this work is great and acceptable with God,

59:33 because (the rich man) hath understanding concerning his riches, and worketh for the poor man from the bounties of the Lord, and accomplisheth the ministration of the Lord rightly.

59:34 In the sight of men then the elm seemeth not to bear fruit,

59:35 and they know not, neither perceive,

59:36 that if there cometh a drought, the elm having water nurtureth the vine, and the vine having a constant supply of water beareth fruit twofold', both for itself and for the elm.

59:37 So likewise the poor, by interceding with the Lord for the rich, establish their riches, and again the rich, supplying their needs to the poor, establish their souls.

59:38 So then both are made partners in the righteous work.

59:39 He then that doeth these things shall not be abandoned of God, but shall be written in the books of the living.

59:40 Blessed are the rich, who understand also that they are enriched from the Lord.



60:2 He showed me many trees which had no leaves, but they seemed to me to be, as it were, withered for they were all alike.

60:3 And he all alike, and are withered.'

60:4 He answered and said to me;

60:5 `These trees that thou seest are they that dwell in this world.'

60:6 `Wherefore then, Sir,' say I, `are they as if they were withered, and alike?'

60:7 `Because, saith he, ` neither the righteous are distinguishable, nor the sinners in this world, but they are alike.

60:8 For this world is winter to the righteous, and they are not distinguishable, as they dwell with the sinners.

60:9 For as in the winter the trees, having shed their leaves, are alike, and are not distinguishable, which are withered,

60:10 and which alive, so also in this world neither the just nor the sinners are distinguishable, but they are all alike.'



61:2 He showed me many trees again, some of them sprouting, and others withered, and he saith to me;

61:3 `Seest thou,' saith he, `these trees?'

61:4 `I see them, Sir,' say I, `some of them sprouting, and others withered.'

61:5 `These trees,' saith he, `that are sprouting are the righteous, who shall dwell in the world to come;

61:6 for the world to come is summer to the righteous, but winter to the sinners.

61:7 When then the mercy of the Lord shall shine forth, then they that serve God shall be made manifest;

61:8 yea, and all men shall be made manifest.

61:9 For as in summer the fruits of each several tree are made manifest,

61:10 and are recognized of what sort they are,

61:11 so also the fruits of the righteous shall be manifest, and all [even the very smallest] shall be known to be flourishing in that world.

61:12 But the Gentiles and the sinners,

61:13 just as thou sawest the trees which were withered,

61:14 even such shall they be found, withered and unfruitful in that world, and shall be burnt up as fuel, and shall be manifest, because their practice in their life hath been evil.

61:15 For the sinners shall be burned, because they sinned and repented not;

61:16 and the Gentiles shall be burned, because they knew not Him that created them.

61:17 Do thou therefore bear fruit, that in that summer thy, fruit may be known.

61:18 But abstain from overmuch business, and thou shalt never fall into any sin.

61:19 For they that busy themselves overmuch, sin much also, being distracted about their business, and in no wise serving their own Lord.

61:20 How then,' saith he, `can such a man ask anything of the Lord and receive it, seeing that he serveth not the Lord?

61:21 [For] they that serve Him, these shall receive their petitions, but they that serve not the Lord, these shall receive nothing.

61:22 But if any one work one single action, he is able also to serve the Lord;

61:23 for his mind shall not be corrupted from (following') the Lord, but he shall serve Him, because he keepeth his mind pure.

61:24 If therefore thou doest these things, thou shalt be able to bear fruit unto the world to come;



62:2 As I was fasting and seated on a certain mountain, and giving thanks to the Lord for all that He had done unto me, I see the morn?

62:3 "Because, Sir,' say I, `I am keeping a station.'

62:4 `What,' saith he, `is a station?'

62:5 `I am fasting, Sir,' say I.

62:6 `And what,' saith he, `is this fast [that ye are fasting]?'

62:7 `As I was accustomed, Sir,' say I, `so I fast.'

62:8 `Ye know not,' saith he, `how to fast unto the Lord, neither is this a fast, this unprofitable fast which ye make unto Him.'

62:9 `Wherefore, Sir,' say I, `sayest thou this?'

62:10 `I tell thee,' saith he, `that this is not a fast, wherein ye think to fast;

62:11 but I will teach thee what is a complete fast and acceptable to the Lord.

62:12 Listen,' saith he;

62:13 `God desireth not such a vain fast;

62:14 for by so fasting unto God thou shalt do nothing for righteousness.

62:15 But fast thou [unto God] such a fast as this;

62:16 do no wickedness in thy life, and serve the Lord with a pure heart;

62:17 observe His commandments and walk in His ordinances, and let no evil desire rise up in thy heart;

62:18 but believe God.

62:19 Then, if thou shalt do these things, and fear Him, and control thyself from every evil deed, thou shalt live unto God;

62:20 and if thou do these things, thou shalt accomplish a great fast, and one acceptable to God.

63:1 `Hear the parable which I shall tell thee relating to fasting.

63:2 A certain man had an estate, and many slaves, and a portion of his estate he planted as a vineyard;

63:3 and choosing out a certain slave who was trusty and well-pleasing (and) held in honour, he called him to him and saith unto him ;

63:4 "Take this vineyard [which I have planted], and fence it [till I come], but do nothing else to the vineyard.

63:5 Now keep this my commandment, and thou shalt be free in my house."

63:6 Then the master of the servant went away to travel abroad.

63:7 When then he had gone away, the servant took and fenced the vineyard;

63:8 and having finished the fencing of the vineyard, he noticed that the vineyard was full of weeds.

63:9 So he reasoned within himself, saying, " This command of my lord I have carried out.

63:10 I will next dig this vineyard, and it shall be neater when it is digged;

63:11 and when it hath no weeds it will yield more fruit, because not choked by the weeds."

63:12 He took and digged the vineyard, and all the weeds that were in the vineyard he plucked up.

63:13 And that vineyard became very neat and flourishing, when it had no weeds to choke it.

63:14 After a time the master of the servant [and of the estate] came, and he went into the vineyard.

63:15 And seeing the vineyard fenced neatly, and digged as well, and [all] the weeds plucked up, and the vines flourishing, he rejoiced [exceedingly] at what his servant had done.

63:16 So he called his beloved son, who was his heir,

63:17 and the friends who were his advisers, and told them what he had commanded his servant, and how much he had found done.

63:18 And they rejoiced with the servant at the testimony which his master had borne to him.

63:19 And he saith to them;

63:20 "I promised this servant his freedom, if he should keep the commandment which I commanded him;

63:21 but he kept my commandment and did a good work besides to my vineyard, and pleased me greatly.

63:22 For this work therefore which he has done, I desire to make him joint-heir with my son, because, when the good thought struck him, he did not neglect it, but fulfilled it."

63:23 In this purpose the son of the master agreed with him, that the servant should be made joint-heir with the son.

63:24 After some few days, his master made a feast, and sent to him many dainties from the feast.

63:25 But when the servant received [the dainties sent to him by the master], he took what was sufficient for him, and distributed the rest to his fellow-servants.

63:26 And his fellow-servants, when they received the dainties, rejoiced, and began to pray for him,

63:27 that he might find greater favor with the master, because he had treated them so handsomely.

63:28 All these things which had taken place his master heard, and again rejoiced greatly at his deed.

63:29 So the master called together again his friends and his son, and announced to them the deed that he had done with regard to his dainties which he had received;

64:1 I say, `Sir, I understand not these parables, neither can I apprehend thee,' saith he;

64:2 `and will show thee whatsoever things I shall speak with thee.

64:3 Keep the commandments of the Lord, and thou shalt be well-pleasing to God, and shalt be enrolled among the number of them that keep His commandments.

64:4 But if thou do any good thing outside the commandment of God, thou shalt win for thyself more exceeding glory, and shalt be more glorious in the sight of God than thou wouldest otherwise have been.

64:5 If then, while thou keepest the commandments of God, thou add these services likewise, thou shalt rejoice, if thou observe them according to my commandment.'

64:6 I say to him, `Sir, whatsoever thou commandest me, I will keep it;

64:7 for I know that thou art with me.'

64:8 `I will be with thee,' saith he, `because thou hast so great zeal for doing good;

64:9 yea, and I will be with all,' saith he, whosoever have such zeal as this.

64:10 This fasting,' saith he, `if the commandments of the Lord are kept, is very good.

64:11 This then is the way, that thou shalt keep this fast [which thou art about to observe].

64:12 First of all, keep thyself from every evil word and every evil desire, and purify thy heart from all the vanities of this world.

64:13 If thou keep these things, this fast shall be perfect for thee.

64:14 And thus shalt thou do.

64:15 Having fulfilled what is written, on that day on which thou fastest thou shalt taste nothing but bread and water;

64:16 and from thy meats, which thou wouldest have eaten,

64:17 thou shalt reckon up the amount of that day's expenditure, which thou wouldest have incurred,

64:18 and shalt give it to a widow, or an orphan, or to one in want,

64:19 and so shalt thou humble thy soul, that he that hath received from thy humiliation may satisfy his own soul, and may pray for thee to the Lord.

64:20 If then thou shalt so accomplish this fast, as I have commanded thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable in the sight of God, and this fasting shall be recorded;

64:21 and the service so performed is beautiful and joyous and acceptable to the Lord.

64:22 These things thou shalt so observe, thou and thy children and thy whole household;

64:23 and, observing them, thou shalt be blessed;

65:1 I entreated him earnestly,

65:2 that he would show me the parable of the fenced the vineyard, [and of the fence,]

65:3 and of the weeds which were plucked up out of the vineyard, and of the son, and of the friends, the advisers.

65:4 For I understood that all these things are a parable.

65:5 but he answered and said unto me;

65:6 `Thou art exceedingly importunate in enquiries.

65:7 Thou oughtest not,' [saith he,] `to make any enquiry at all;

65:8 for if it be right that a thing be explained unto thee, it shall be explained.'

65:9 I say to him;

65:10 `Sir, whatsoever things thou showest unto me and dost not explain, I shall have seen them in vain, and without understanding what they are.

65:11 In like manner also, if thou speak parables to me and interpret them not, I shall have heard a thing in vain from thee.'

65:12 But he again answered, and said unto me;

65:13 `Whosoever,' saith he, `is a servant of God, and hath his own Lord in his heart, asketh understanding of Him,

65:14 and receiveth it, and interpreteth every parable, and the words of the Lord which are spoken in parables are made known unto him.

65:15 But as many as are sluggish and idle in intercession, these hesitate to ask of the Lord.

65:16 But the Lord is abundant in compassion, and giveth to them that ask of Him without ceasing.

65:17 But thou who hast been strengthened by the holy angel, and hast received from him such (powers of) intercession and art not idle, wherefore dost thou not ask understanding of the Lord, and obtain it from Him?'

65:18 I say to him, `Sir, I that have thee with me have (but) need to ask thee and enquire of thee;

65:19 for thou showest me all things, and speakest with me;

65:20 but if I had seen or heard them apart from thee I should have asked of the Lord, that they might be shown to me.

66:1 `I told thee just now,' saith he, `that thou art unscrupulous and importunate, in enquiring for the interpretations of the parables.

66:2 But since thou art so obstinate, I will interpret to thee the parable of the estate and all the accompaniments thereof, that thou mayest make them known unto all.

66:3 Hear now,' saith he, `and understand them.

66:4 The estate is this world, and the lord of the estate is He that created all things, and set them in order, and endowed them with power;

66:5 and the servant is the Son of God, and the vines are this people whom He Himself planted;

66:6 and the fences are the [holy] angels of the Lord who keep together His people;

66:7 and the weeds, which are plucked up from the vineyard, are the transgressions of the servants of God;

66:8 and the dainties which He sent to him from the feast are the commandments which He gave to His people through His Son;

66:9 and the friends and advisers are the holy angels which were first created;

66:10 and the absence of the master is the time which remaineth over until His coming.'

66:11 I say to him;

66:12 `Sir, great and marvellous are all things and all things are glorious;

66:13 was it likely then,' say I, `that I could have apprehended them?'

66:14 Nay, nor can any other man, though he be full of understanding, apprehend them.'

66:15 `Yet again, Sir,' say I, `explain to me what I am about to enquire of thee.'

66:16 `Say on,' he saith, `if thou desirest anything.'

67:1 Listen,' said he;

67:2 the Son of God is not represented in the guise of a I;

67:3 `I comprehend not.'

67:4 `Because,' saith he, `God planted the vineyard, that is, He created the people, and delivered them over to His Son.

67:5 And the Son placed the angels in charge of them, to watch over them;

67:6 and the Son Himself cleansed their sins, by labouring much and enduring many toils;

67:7 for no one can dig without toil or labour.

67:8 Having Himself then cleansed the sins of His people, He showed them the paths of life, giving them the law which He received from His Father.

67:9 Thou seest,' saith he, `that He is Himself Lord of the people, having received all power from His Father.

67:10 But how that the lord took his son and the glorious angels as advisers concerning the inheritance of the servant, listen.

67:11 The Holy Pre-existent Spirit, Which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired.

67:12 This flesh, therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit, walking honourably in holiness and purity, without in any way defiling the Spirit.

67:13 When then it had lived honourably in chastity,

67:14 and had laboured with the Spirit, and had cooperated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, He chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit;

67:15 for the career of this flesh pleased [the Lord], seeing that, as possessing the Holy Spirit, it was not defiled upon the earth.

67:16 He therefore took the son as adviser and the glorious angels also,

67:17 that this flesh too, having served the Spirit unblameably, might have some place of sojourn, and might not seem to have lost the reward for its service;

67:18 for all flesh, which is found undefiled and unspotted, wherein the Holy Spirit dwelt, shall receive a reward.

68:1 `I was right glad, Sir,' say I, `to hear this interpretation.'

68:2 `Listen now,' saith he.

68:3 `Keep this thy flesh pure and undefiled, that the Spirit justified.

68:4 See that it never enter into thine heart that this flesh of thine is perishable, and so thou abuse it in come defilement.

68:5 [For] if thou defile thy flesh, thou shalt defile the Holy Spirit also;

68:6 but if thou defile the flesh, thou shalt not live.'

68:7 `But if, Sir,' say I, `there has been any ignorance in times past, before these words were heard, how shall a man who has defiled his flesh be saved?'

68:8 `For the former deeds of ignorance,' saith he, `God alone hath power to give healing;

68:9 for all authority is His.

68:10 [But now keep thyself, and the Lord Almighty, Who is full of compassion, will give healing for thy former deeds of ignorance,] if henceforth thou defile not thy flesh, neither the Spirit;

68:11 for both share in common, and the one cannot be defiled without the other.



69:2 As I sat in my house, and glorified the Lord for all things that I had seen, and was considering concerning the glorious and able to save a man's soul, I said within myself;

69:3 `Blessed shall I be, if I walk in these commandments;

69:4 yea, and whosoever shall walk in them shall be blessed.'

69:5 As I spake these things within thyself, I see him suddenly seated by me, and saying as follows;

69:6 `Why art thou of a doubtful mind concerning the commandments, which I commanded thee?

69:7 They are beautiful.

69:8 Doubt not at all;

69:9 but clothe thyself in the faith of the Lord, and thou shalt walk in them.

69:10 For I will strengthen thee in them.

69:11 These commandments are suitable for those who meditate repentance, for if they walk not in them, their repentance is in vain.

69:12 Ye then that repent, cast away the evil doings of this world which crush you;

69:13 and, by putting on every excellence of righteousness, ye shall be able to observe these commandments, and to add no more to your sins.

69:14 If then ye add no further sin at all, ye will depart from your former sins.

69:15 Walk then in these my commandments, and ye shall live unto God.

69:16 These things have [all] been told you from me.'

69:17 And after he had told these things to me, he saith to me, `Let us go into the country, and I will show thee the shepherds of the sheep.'

69:18 `Let us go, Sir,' say I.

69:19 And we came to a certain plain, and he showeth me a young man, a shepherd, clothed in a light cloak, of saffron colour;

69:20 and he was feeding a great number of sheep, and these sheep were, as it were, well fed and very frisky, and were gladsome as they skipped about hither and thither;

69:21 and the shepherd himself was all gladsome over his flock;

69:22 and the very visage of the shepherd was exceedingly gladsome;

69:23 and he ran about among the sheep.

70:1 And he saith to me;

70:2 `Seest thou this shepherd?'

70:3 `I see him, Sir,' I say.

70:4 `This,' saith he, `is the angel of self-indulgence and of deceit.

70:5 He crusheth the souls of the servants of God, and perverteth them from the truth, leading them astray with evil desires, wherein they perish.

70:6 For they forget the commandments of the living God, and walk in vain deceits and acts of self-indulgence, and are destroyed by this angel, some of them unto death, and others unto corruption.'

70:7 I say to him, `Sir, I comprehend not what means "unto death," and what "unto corruption".'

70:8 `Listen,' saith he;

70:9 `the sheep which thou sawest gladsome and skipping about, these are they who have been turned asunder from God utterly, and have delivered themselves over to the lusts of this world.

70:10 In these, therefore, there is not repentance unto life.

70:11 For the Name of God is being blasphemed through them.

70:12 The life of such persons is death.

70:13 But the sheep, which thou sawest not skipping about, but feeding in one place,

70:14 these are they that have delivered themselves over to acts of self-indulgence and deceit, but have not uttered any blasphemy against the Lord.

70:15 These then have been corrupted from the truth.

70:16 In these there is hope of repentance, wherein they can live.

70:17 Corruption then hath hope of a possible renewal, but death hath eternal destruction.'

70:18 Again we went forward a little way, and he showeth me a great shepherd like a wild man in appearance, with a white goatskin thrown about him;

70:19 and he had a kind of wallet on his shoulders, and a staff very hard and with knots in it, and a great whip.

70:20 And his look was very sour, so that I was afraid of him because of his look.

70:21 This shepherd then kept receiving from the young man, the shepherd,

70:22 those sheep that were frisky and well-fed,

70:23 but not skipping about, and putting them in a certain spot,

70:24 which was precipitous and covered with thorns and briars, so that the sheep could not disentangle themselves from the thorns and briars, but [became entangled among the thorns and briars.

70:25 And so they] pastured entangled in the thorns and briars, and were in great misery with being beaten by him;

70:26 and he kept driving them about to and fro, and giving them no rest, and altogether those sheep had not a happy time.

71:1 When then I saw them so lashed with the whip and vexed, I was sorry for their sakes, because they were so tortured and had no rest at all.

71:2 I say to the shepherd who was speaking with me;

71:3 `Sir', who is this shepherd, who is [so] hard-hearted and severe, and has no compassion at all for these sheep?'

71:4 `This,' saith he, `is the angel of punishment, and he is one of the just angels, and presides over punishment.

71:5 So he receiveth those who wander away from God, and walk after the lusts and deceits of this life, and punisheth them, as they deserve, with fearful and various punishments.'

71:6 `I would fain learn, Sir,' say I, `of what sort are these various punishments.'

71:7 `Listen,' saith he;

71:8 `the various tortures and punishments are tortures belonging to the present life;

71:9 for some are punished with losses, and others with want,

71:10 and others with divers maladies, and others with [every kind] of unsettlement, and others with insults from unworthy persons and with suffering in many other respects.

71:11 For many, being unsettled in their plans, set their hands to many things, and nothing ever goes forward with them.

71:12 And then they say that they do not prosper in their doings, and it doth not enter into their hearts that they have done evil deeds, but they blame the Lord.

71:13 When then they are afflicted with every kind of affliction,

71:14 then they are delivered over to me for good instruction, and are strengthened in the faith of the Lord, and serve the Lord with a pure heart the remaining days of their life.

71:15 But, if they repent, the evil works which they have done rise up in their hearts,

71:16 and then they glorify God, saying that He is a just Judge, and that they suffered justly each according to his doings.

71:17 And they serve the Lord thenceforward with a pure heart, and are prosperous in all their doings, receiving from the Lord whatsoever things they may ask;

72:1 I say unto him;

72:2 `Sir, declare unto me this further matter.

72:3 `What self-indulgence and are deceived undergo torments during the same length of time as they live in self-indulgence and are deceived.'

72:4 He saith to me, `They undergo torments for the same length of time.'

72:5 `Then, Sir,' say I, `they undergo very slight torments;

72:6 for those who are living thus in self-indulgence and forget God ought to have been tormented sevenfold.'

72:7 He saith to me, `Thou art foolish, and comprehendest not the power of the torment.

72:8 `True,' say I, `for if I had comprehended it, I should not have asked thee to declare it to me.'

72:9 `Listen,' saith he, `to the power of both, [of the self-indulgence and of the torment].

72:10 The time of the self-indulgence and deceit is one hour.

72:11 But an hour of the torment hath the power of thirty days.

72:12 If then one live in self-indulgence and be deceived for one day, and be tormented for one day, the day of the torment is equivalent to a whole year.

72:13 For as many days then as a man lives in self-indulgence, for so many years is he tormented.

72:14 Thou seest then,' saith he, `that the time of the self-indulgence and deceit is very short, but the time of the punishment and torment is long.

73:1 `Inasmuch, Sir,' say I, `as I do not quite comprehend concerning the time of the deceit and self-indulgence and torment, show me more clearly.'

73:2 He answered and said unto me;

73:3 `Thy stupidity cleaveth to thee;

73:4 and thou wilt not cleanse thy heart and serve God.

73:5 Take heed,' [saith he,] `lest haply the time be fulfilled, and thou be found in thy foolishness.

73:6 Listen then,' [saith he,] `even as thou wishest, that thou mayest comprehend the matter.

73:7 He that liveth in self-indulgence and is deceived for one day, and doeth what he wisheth, is clothed in much folly and comprehendeth not the thing which he doeth;

73:8 for on the morrow he forgetteth what he did the day before.

73:9 For self-indulgence and deceit have no memories, by reason of the folly, wherewith each is clothed;

73:10 but when punishment and torment cling to a man for a single day, he is punished and tormented for a whole year long;

73:11 for punishment and torment have long memories.

73:12 So being tormented and punished for the whole year, the man remembers at length the self-indulgence and deceit, and perceiveth that it is on their account that he is suffering these ills.

73:13 Every man, therefore, that liveth in self-indulgence and is deceived, is tormented in this way because, though possessing life, they have delivered themselves over unto death.'

73:14 `What kinds of self-indulgence, Sir,' say I, `are harmful?

73:15 "Every action,' saith he, `is self-indulgence to a man, which he does with pleasure;

73:16 for the irascible man, when he gives the reins to his passion, is self-indulgent;

73:17 and the adulterer and the drunkard and the slanderer and the liar and the miser and the defrauder and he that doeth things akin to these, giveth the reins to his peculiar passion;

73:18 therefore he is self-indulgent in his action.

73:19 All these habits of self-indulgence are harmful to the servants of God;

73:20 on account of these deceits therefore they so suffer who are punished and tormented.

73:21 But there are habits of self-indulgence likewise which save men;

73:22 for many are self-indulgent in doing good, being carried away by the pleasure it gives to themselves.

73:23 This self-indulgence then is expedient for the servants of God, and bringeth life to a man of this disposition;

73:24 but the harmful self-indulgencies afore-mentioned bring to men torments and punishments;



74:2 After a few days I saw him on the same plain, where also I had seen the shepherds, and he saith to me, `What seekest punisheth go out of My house;

74:3 for he afflicteth me much.'

74:4 `It is necessary for thee,' saith he, `to be afflicted;

74:5 for so,' saith he, `the glorious angel ordered as concerning thee, for he wisheth thee to be proved.'

74:6 `Why, what so evil thing have I done, Sir,' say I, `that I should be delivered over to this angel?

74:7 " Listen,' saith he.

74:8 `Thy sins are many, yet not so many that thou shouldest be delivered over to this angel;

74:9 but thy house has committed great iniquities and sins,

74:10 and the glorious angel was embittered at their deeds,

74:11 and for this cause he made thee be afflicted for a certain time, that they also might repent and cleanse themselves from every lust of this world.

74:12 When therefore they shall repent and be cleansed, then shall the angel of punishment depart.'

74:13 I say to him;

74:14 `Sir, if they perpetrated such deeds that the glorious angel is embittered, what have I done?'

74:15 `They cannot be afflicted otherwise,' saith he, `unless thou, the head of the [whole] house, be afflicted;

74:16 for if thou be afflicted, they also of necessity will be afflicted;

74:17 but if thou be prosperous, they can suffer no affliction.'

74:18 `But behold, Sir,' say I, `they have repented with their whole heart.'

74:19 `I am quite aware myself,' saith he, `that they have repented with their whole heart;

74:20 well, thinkest thou that the sins of those who repent are forgiven forthwith?

74:21 Certainly not;

74:22 but the person who repents must torture his own soul, and must be thoroughly humble in his every action, and be afflicted with all the divers kinds of affliction;

74:23 and if he endure the afflictions which come upon him, assuredly He Who created all things and endowed them with power will be moved with compassion and will bestow some remedy.

75:1 But why speak I many words to thee?

75:2 Thou must be afflicted as the angel of the Lord commanded, even he that delivered thee unto me;

75:3 and for this give thanks to the Lord, in that He deemed thee worthy that I should reveal unto thee beforehand the affliction, that foreknowing it thou mightest endure it with fortitude.'

75:4 I say to him;

75:5 `Sir, be thou with, me, and I shall be able to endure all affliction [easily].'

75:6 `I will be with thee,' saith he;

75:7 `and I will ask the angel that punisheth to afflict thee more lightly;

75:8 but thou shalt be afflicted for a short time, and thou shalt be restored again to thy house.

75:9 Only continue to be humble and to minister unto the Lord with a pure heart,

75:10 thou and thy children and thy house, and walk in my commandments which I command thee, and thus it will be possible for thy repentance to be strong and pure.

75:11 And if thou keep these commandments with thy household, all affliction shall hold aloof from thee;



76:2 He showed me a [great] willow, overshadow' are called by the name of the Lord.

76:3 And by the willow there stood an angel of the Lord, glorious and very tall, having a great sickle,

76:4 and he was lopping branches from the willow, and giving them to the people that sheltered beneath the willow;

76:5 and he gave them little rods about a cubit long.

76:6 And after all had taken the rods, the angel laid aside the sickle, and the tree was sound, just as I had seen it.

76:7 Then I marveled within myself, saying, `How is the tree sound after so many branches have been lopped off?'

76:8 The shepherd saith to me, `Marvel not that the tree remained sound, after so many branches were lopped off;

76:9 but wait until thou seest all things, and it shall be shown to thee what it is.'

76:10 The angel who gave the rods to the people demanded them back from them again;

76:11 and according as they had received them, so also they were summoned to him, and each of them returned the several rods.

76:12 But the angel of the Lord took them, and examined them.

76:13 From some he received the rods withered and eaten as it were by grubs:

76:14 the angel ordered those who gave up rods like these to stand apart.

76:15 And others gave them up withered, but not grub-eaten;

76:16 and these again he ordered to stand apart.

76:17 And others gave them up half-withered;

76:18 these also stood apart.

76:19 And others gave up their rods half-withered and with cracks;

76:20 these also stood apart.

76:21 And others gave up their rods green and with cracks;

76:22 these also stood apart.

76:23 And others gave up their rods one half withered and one half green;

76:24 these also stood apart.

76:25 And others brought their rods two parts of the rod green, and the third part withered;

76:26 these also stood apart.

76:27 And others gave them up two parts withered, and the third part green;

76:28 these also stood apart.

76:29 And others gave up their rods nearly all green, but a very small portion of their rods was withered, just the end;

76:30 but they had cracks in them;

76:31 these also stood apart.

76:32 And in those of others there was a very small portion green, but the rest of the rods was withered;

76:33 these also stood apart.

76:34 And others came bringing their rods green, as they received them from the angel;

76:35 and the most part of the multitude gave up their rods in this state;

76:36 and the angel rejoiced exceedingly at these;

76:37 these also stood apart.

76:38 And others gave up their rods green and with shoots;

76:39 these also stood apart;

76:40 and at these again the angel rejoiced exceedingly.

76:41 And others gave up their rods green and with shoots;

76:42 and their shoots had, as it were, a kind of fruit.

76:43 And those men were exceeding gladsome, whose rods were found in this state.

76:44 And over them the angel exulted, and the shepherd was very gladsome over them.

77:1 And the angel of the Lord commanded crowns to be brought.

77:2 And crowns were brought, made as it were of palm-branches;

77:3 and he crowned the men that had given up the rods which had the shoots and some fruit, and sent them away into the tower.

77:4 And the others also he sent into the tower, even those who had given up the rods green and with shoots, but the shoots were without fruit;

77:5 and he set a seal upon them.

77:6 And all they that went into the tower had the same raiment, white as snow.

77:7 And those that had given up their rods green as they received them, he sent away, giving them a [white] robe, and seals.

77:8 After the angel had finished these things, he saith to the shepherd;

77:9 `I go away;

77:10 but these thou shall send away to (their places within) the walls, according as each deserveth to dwell;

77:11 but examine their rods carefully, and so send them away.

77:12 But be careful in examining them.

77:13 Take heed lest any escape thee,' saith he.

77:14 `Still if any escape thee, I will test them, at the altar.'

77:15 When he had thus spoken to the shepherd, he departed.

77:16 And, after the angel had departed, the shepherd saith to me;

77:17 `Let us take the rods of all and plant them, to see whether any of them shall be able to live.'

77:18 I say unto him, `Sir, these withered things, how can they live?'

77:19 He answered and said unto me;

77:20 `This tree is a willow, and this class of trees clingeth to life.

77:21 If then the rods shall be planted and get a little moisture, many of them will live.

77:22 And afterwards let us try to pour some water also over them.

77:23 If any of them shall be able to live, I will rejoice with it;

77:24 but if it live not, I at least shall not be found neglectful.'

77:25 So the shepherd made me call them, just as each one of them was stationed.

77:26 And they came row after row, and they delivered up the rods to the shepherd.

77:27 And the shepherd took the rods, and planted them in rows, and after he had planted them, he poured much water over them, so that the rods could not be seen for the water.

77:28 And after he had watered the rods, he saith to me;

77:29 `Let us go now, and after a few days let us return and inspect all the rods;

77:30 for He Who created this tree willeth that all those who have received rods from this tree should live.

78:1 I say to him;

78:2 `Sir, inform me what this tree is.

78:3 For I am perplexed and nothing appears to have been cut from it;

78:4 I am therefore perplexed thereat.'

78:5 `Listen,' saith he;

78:6 `this great tree which overshadows plains and mountains and all the earth is the law of God which was given to the whole world;

78:7 and this law is the Son of God preached unto the ends of the earth.

78:8 But the people that are under the shadow are they that have heard the preaching', and believed on Him;

78:9 but the great and glorious angel is Michael, who hath the power over this people and is their captain.

78:10 For this is he that putteth the law into the hearts of the believers;

78:11 therefore he himself inspecteth them to whom he gave it, to see whether they have observed it.

78:12 But thou seest the rods of every one;

78:13 for the rods are the law.

78:14 Thou seest these many rods rendered useless, and thou shalt notice all those that have not observed the law, and shalt see the abode of each severally.'

78:15 I say unto him;

78:16 `Sir, wherefore did he send away some into the tower, and leave others for thee?'

78:17 `As many,' saith he, `as transgressed the law which they received from him, these he left under my authority for repentance;

78:18 but as many as already satisfied the law and have observed it, these he has under his own authority.'

78:19 `Who then, Sir,' say I, `are they that have been crowned and go into the tower?

78:20 `[`As many,' saith he, `as wrestled with the devil and overcame him in their wrestling, are crowned:]

78:21 these are they that suffered for the law.

78:22 But the others, who likewise gave up their rods green and with shoots,

78:23 though not with fruit, are they that were persecuted for the law, but did not suffer nor yet deny their law.

78:24 But they that gave them up green just as they received them, are sober and righteous men, who walked altogether in a pure heart and have kept the commandments of the Lord.

79:1 And after a few days we came to the place, and the shepherd sat down thyself with a garment of raw flax, and minister to me.'

79:2 So I girded myself with a clean garment of raw flax made of coarse material.

79:3 And when he saw me girded and ready to minister to him, `Call,' saith he, `the men whose rods have been planted, according to the rank as each presented their rods.'

79:4 And I went away to the plain, and called them all;

79:5 and they stood all of them according to their ranks.

79:6 He saith to them;

79:7 `Let each man pluck out his own rod, and bring it to me.'

79:8 Those gave them up first, who had had the withered and chipped rods, and they were found accordingly withered and chipped.

79:9 He ordered them to stand apart.

79:10 Then those gave them up, who had the withered but not chipped;

79:11 and some of them gave up the rods green, and others withered and chipped as by grubs.

79:12 Those then that gave them up green he ordered to stand apart;

79:13 but those that gave them up withered and chipped he ordered to stand with the first.

79:14 Then those gave them up who had had the half-withered and with cracks;

79:15 and many of them gave them up green and without cracks;

79:16 and some gave them up green and with shoots, and fruits on the shoots, such as those had who went into the tower crowned;

79:17 and some gave them up withered and eaten, and some withered and uneaten, and some such as they were, half-withered and with cracks.

79:18 He ordered them to stand each one apart, some in their proper ranks, and others apart.

80:1 Then those gave them up who had their rods green, but with cracks.

80:2 These all gave them up green, and stood in their own company.

80:3 And the shepherd rejoiced over these, because they all were changed and had put away their cracks.

80:4 And those gave them up likewise who had the one half green and the other half withered.

80:5 The rods of some were found entirely green, of some half-withered, of some withered and eaten, and of some green and with shoots.

80:6 These were all sent away each to his company.

80:7 Then those gave them up who had two parts green and the third withered;

80:8 many of them gave them up green, and many half-withered, and others withered and eaten.

80:9 These all stood in their own company.

80:10 Then those gave them up who had two parts withered and the third part green.

80:11 Many of them gave them up half-withered, but some withered and eaten, others half-withered and with cracks, and a few green.

80:12 These all stood in their own company.

80:13 Then those gave them up who had had their rods green, but a very small part [withered] and with cracks.

80:14 Of these some gave them up green, and others green and with shoots.

80:15 These also went away to their own company.

80:16 Then those gave them up who had a very small part green and the other parts withered.

80:17 The rods of these were found for the most part green and with shoots and fruit on the shoots, and others altogether green.

80:18 At these rods the shepherd rejoiced very [greatly], because they were found so.

80:19 And these went away each to his own company.

81:1 After [the shepherd] had examined the rods of all, he saith to me, `I told thee that this tree clingeth to life.

81:2 Seest thou,' saith he, `how many repented and were saved?'

81:3 `I see, Sir,' say I.

81:4 `It is,' saith he, `that thou mayest see the abundant compassion of the Lord, how great and glorious it is,

81:5 and He hath given (His) Spirit to those that are worthy of repentance.'

81:6 `Wherefore then, Sir,' say I, `did they not all repent?'

81:7 `To those, whose heart He saw about to become pure and to serve Him with all the heart, to them He gave repentance;

81:8 but those whose craftiness and wickedness He saw who intend to repent in hypocrisy, to them He gave not repentance, lest haply they should again profane His name.'

81:9 I say unto him,

81:10 `Sir, now then show me concerning those that have given up their rods, what manner of man each of them is, and their abode,

81:11 that when they hear this, they that believed and have received the seal and have broken it and did not keep it sound may fully understand what they are doing, and repent, receiving from thee a seal, and may glorify the Lord,

81:12 that He had compassion upon them and sent thee to renew their spirits.'

81:13 `Listen,' saith he;

81:14 `those whose rods were found withered and grub-eaten,

81:15 these are the renegades and traitors to the Church, that blasphemed the Lord in their sins, and still further were ashamed of the Name of the Lord, which was invoked upon them.

81:16 These then perished altogether unto God.

81:17 But thou seest how not one of them repented, although they heard the words which thou spakest to them, which I commanded thee.

81:18 From men of this kind life departed.

81:19 But those that gave up the green and undecayed (rods), these also are near them;

81:20 for they were hypocrites,

81:21 and brought in strange doctrines, and perverted the servants of God, especially them that had sinned,

81:22 not permitting them to repent, but persuading them with their foolish doctrines.

81:23 These then have hope of repenting.

81:24 But thou seest that many of them have indeed repented from the time when thou spakest to them my commandments;

81:25 yea, and (others) still will repent.

81:26 And as many as shall not repent, have lost their life;

81:27 but as many of them as repented, became good;

81:28 and their dwelling was placed within the first walls, and some of them even ascended into the tower.

81:29 Thou seest then,' [saith he,] `that repentance from sins bringeth life, but not to repent bringeth death.

82:1 `But as many as gave up (the rods) half-withered, and with cracks in them, hear also concerning these.

82:2 Those whose rods were half-withered throughout are the double-minded;

82:3 for they neither live nor are dead.

82:4 But those that have them half-withered and cracks in then,, these are both double-minded and slanderers, and are never at peace among themselves but always causing dissensions.

82:5 Yet even to these,' [saith he,] `repentence is given.

82:6 Thou seest,' [saith he,] `that some of them have repented;

82:7 and there is still,' saith he, `hope of repentance among them.

82:8 And as many of them,' saith he, `as have repented, have their abode within the tower but as many of them as have repented tardily shall abide within the walls;

82:9 and as many as repent not, but continue in their doings, shall die the death.

82:10 But they that have given up their rods green and with cracks, these were found faithful and good at all times, [but] they have a certain emulation one with another about first places and about glory of some kind or other;

82:11 but all these are foolish in having (emulation) one with another about first places.

82:12 Yet these also, when they heard my commandments, being good, purified themselves and repented quickly.

82:13 They have their habitation, therefore, within the tower.

82:14 But if any one shall again turn to dissension, he shall be cast out from the tower and shall lose his life.

82:15 Life is for all those that keep the commandments of the Lord.

82:16 But in the commandments there is nothing about first places, or about glory of any kind, but about long-suffering and humility in man.

82:17 In such men, therefore, is the life of the Lord, but in factious and lawless men is death.

83:1 `But they that gave up their rods half green and half withered, these are they that are mixed up in business and cleave not to the saints.

83:2 Therefore the one half of them liveth, but the other half is dead.

83:3 Many then when they heard my commandments repented.

83:4 As many then as repented, have their abode within the tower.

83:5 But some of them altogether stood aloof.

83:6 These then have no repentance;

83:7 for by reason of their business affairs they blasphemed the Lord and denied Him.

83:8 So they lost their life for the wickedness that they committed.

83:9 But many of them were doubtful-minded.

83:10 These still have place for repentance, if they repent quickly, and their dwelling shall be within the tower;

83:11 and if they repent tardily, they shall dwell within the walls;

83:12 but if they repent not, they too have lost their life.

83:13 But they that have given up two parts green and the third part withered, these are they that have denied with manifold denials.

83:14 Many of them therefore repented, and departed to dwell inside the tower;

83:15 but many utterly rebelled from God;

83:16 these lost their life finally.

83:17 And some of them were double-minded and caused dissensions.

83:18 For these then there is repentance, if they repent speedily and continue not in their pleasures;

83:19 but if they continue in their doings, they likewise procure for themselves death.

84:1 `But they that have given up their rods two thirds withered and one third green, these are men who have been believers, but grew rich and became renowned among the Gentiles.

84:2 They clothed themselves with great pride and became high-minded,

84:3 and abandoned the truth and did not cleave to the righteous, but lived together after the manner of the Gentiles, and the path appeared the more pleasant unto them;

84:4 yet they departed not from God, but continued in the faith, though they wrought not the works of the faith.

84:5 Many of them therefore repented, and they had their habitation within the tower.

84:6 But others at the last living with the Gentiles, and being corrupted by the vain opinions of the Gentiles, departed from God, and worked the works of the Gentiles.

84:7 These therefore were numbered with the Gentiles.

84:8 But others of them were doubtful-minded, not hoping to be saved by reason of the deeds that they had done;

84:9 and others were double-minded and made divisions among themselves.

84:10 For these then that were double-minded by reason of their doings there is still repentance;

84:11 but their repentance ought to be speedy, that their dwelling may be within the tower;

84:12 but for those who repent not, but continue in their pleasures, death is nigh.

85:1 `But they that gave up their rods green, yet with the extreme ends withered and with cracks;

85:2 these were found at all times good and faithful and glorious in the sight of God,

85:3 but they sinned to a very slight degree by reason of little desires and because they had somewhat against one another.

85:4 But, when they heard my words, the greater part quickly repented, and their dwelling was assigned within the tower.

85:5 But some of them were double-minded, and some being double-minded made a greater dissension.

85:6 In these then there is still a hope of repentance, because they were found always good;

85:7 and hardly shall one of them die.

85:8 But they that gave up their rods withered, yet with a very small part green, these are they that believed, but practiced the works of lawlessness.

85:9 Still they never separated from God, but bore the Name gladly, and gladly received into their houses the servants of God.

85:10 So hearing of this repentance they repented without wavering, and they practiced all excellence and righteousness.

85:11 And some of them even suffer persecution willingly, knowing the deeds that they did.

85:12 All these then shall have their dwelling within the tower.

86:1 And after he had completed the interpretations of all the rods, he saith unto me;

86:2 `Go, and tell all men to repent, and they shall live unto God;

86:3 for the Lord in His compassion sent me to give repentance to all, though some of them do not deserve it for their deeds;

86:4 but being long-suffering the Lord willeth them that were called through His Son to be saved.'

86:5 I say to him;

86:6 `Sir, I hope that all when they hear these words will repent;

86:7 for I am persuaded that each one, when he fully knows his own deeds and fears God, will repent.'

86:8 He answered and said unto me;

86:9 `As many,' [saith he,] `as [shall repent] from their whole heart [and] shall cleanse themselves from all the evil deeds afore-mentioned,

86:10 and shall add nothing further to their sins,

86:11 shall receive healing from the Lord for their former sins, unless they be double-minded concerning these commandments, and they shall live unto God.

86:12 [But as many,' saith he, `as shall add to their sins and walk in the lusts of this world, shall condemn themselves to death.]

86:13 But do thou walk in my commandments, and live [unto God;

86:14 yea, and as many as shall walk in them and shall do rightly, shall live unto God.']

86:15 Having shown me all these things [and told me them] he saith to me;



87:2 After I had written down the commandments and parables of the shepherd, the angel of repentance, he came to me and saith with thee in the form of the Church, showed unto thee.

87:3 For that Spirit is the Son of God.

87:4 For when thou wast weaker in the flesh, it was not declared unto thee through an angel;

87:5 but when thou wast enabled through the Spirit, and didst grow mighty in thy strength so that thou couldest even see an angel,

87:6 then at length was manifested unto thee, through the Church, the building of the tower.

87:7 In fair and seemly manner hast thou seen all things, (instructed) as it were by a virgin;

87:8 but now thou seest (being instructed by an angel, though by the same Spirit;

87:9 yet must thou learn everything more accurately from me.

87:10 For to this end also was I appointed by the glorious angel to dwell in thy house, that thou mightest see all things mightily, in nothing terrified, even as before.'

87:11 And he took me away into Arcadia, to a certain rounded mountain, and set me on the top of the mountain, and showed me a great plain, and round the plain twelve mountains, the mountains having each a different appearance.

87:12 The first was black as soot;

87:13 the second was bare, without vegetation;

87:14 the third was thorny and full of briars;

87:15 the fourth had the vegetation half-withered, the upper part of the grass green, but the part by the roots withered, and some of the grass became withered, whenever the sun had scorched it;

87:16 the fifth mountain had green grass and was rugged;

87:17 the sixth mountain was full with clefts throughout, some small and some great, and the clefts had vegetation,

87:18 but the grass was not very luxuriant, but rather as if it had been withered;

87:19 the seventh mountain had smiling vegetation, and the whole mountain was in a thriving condition, and cattle and birds of every kind did feed upon that mountain;

87:20 and the more the cattle and the birds did feed, so much the more did the herbage of that mountain flourish.

87:21 The eighth mountain was full of springs, and every kind of creature of the Lord did drink of the springs on that mountain.

87:22 The ninth mountain had no water at all, and was entirely desert;

87:23 and it had in it wild beasts and deadly reptile, which destroy mankind.

87:24 The tenth mountain had very large trees and was umbrageous throughout, and beneath the shade lay sheep resting and feeding.

87:25 The eleventh mountain was thickly wooded all over, and the trees thereon were very productive, decked with divers kinds of fruits, so that one seeing then would desire to eat of their fruits.

87:26 The twelfth mountain was altogether white and its aspect was cheerful;

87:27 and the mountain was most beauteous in itself.

87:28 And in the middle of the plain he showed me a great white rock, rising up from the plain.

87:29 The rock was loftier than the mountains, being four-square, so that it could contain the whole world.

87:30 Now this rock was ancient, and had a gate hewn out of it;

87:31 but the gate seemed to me to have been hewed out quite recently.

87:32 And the gate glistened beyond the brightness of the sun, so that I marveled at the brightness of the gate.

87:33 And around the gate stood twelve virgins.

87:34 The four then that stood at the corners seemed to me to be more glorious (than the rest);

87:35 but the others likewise were glorious;

87:36 and they stood at the four quarters of the gate, and virgins stood in pairs between them.

87:37 And they were clothed in linen tunics and girt about in seemly fashion, having their right shoulders free, as if they intended to carry some burden.

87:38 Thus were they prepared, for they were very cheerful and eager.

87:39 After I had seen these things, I marveled in myself at the greatness and the glory of what I was seeing.

87:40 And again I was perplexed concerning the virgins, that delicate as they were they stood up like men, as if they intended to carry the whole heaven.

87:41 And the shepherd saith unto me;

87:42 `Why questionest thou within thyself and art perplexed, and bringest sadness on thyself?

87:43 For whatsoever things thou canst not comprehend, attempt them not, if thou art prudent;

87:44 but entreat the Lord, that thou mayest receive understanding to comprehend them.

87:45 What is behind thee thou canst not see, but what is before thee thou beholdest.

87:46 The things therefore which thou canst not see, let alone, and trouble not thyself (about then);

87:47 but the things which thou seest, these master, and be not over curious about the rest;

87:48 but I will explain unto thee all things whatsoever I shall show thee.

89:1 I saw six men come, tall and glorious and alike in appearance;

89:2 and they summoned a multitude of men.

89:3 And the others also which came were tall men above the gate.

89:4 And there arose a great noise from those men who had come to build the tower, as they ran hither and thither round the gate.

89:5 For the virgins standing round the gate told the men to hasten to build the tower.

89:6 Now the virgins had spread out their hands, as if they would take something from the men.

89:7 And the six men ordered stones to come up from a certain deep place, and to go to the building of the tower.

89:8 And there went up ten stones square and polished, [not] hewn from a quarry.

89:9 And the six men called to the virgins, and ordered them to carry all the stones which should go unto the building of the tower, and to pass through the gate and to hand them to the men that were about to build the tower.

89:10 And the virgins laid the first ten stones that rose out of the deep on each other, and they carried them together, stone by stone.

90:1 And just as they stood together around the gate, in that order they carried them that seemed to be strong enough and had stooped under the corners of the stone, while the others stooped at the sides of the stone.

90:2 And so they carried all the stones.

90:3 And they carried them right through the gate, as they were ordered, and handed them to the men for the tower;

90:4 and these took the stones and builded.

90:5 Now the building of the tower was upon the great rock and above the gate.

90:6 Those ten stones then were joined together, and they covered the whole rock.

90:7 And these formed a foundation for the building of the tower.

90:8 And [the rock and] the gate supported the whole tower.

90:9 And, after the ten stones, other twenty-five stones came up from the deep, and these were fitted into the building of the tower, being carried by the virgins, like the former.

90:10 And after these thirty-five stones came up.

90:11 And these likewise were fitted into the tower.

90:12 And after these came up other forty stones, and these all were put into the building of the tower.

90:13 So four rows were made in the foundations of the tower.

90:14 And (the stones) ceased coming up from the deep, and the builders likewise ceased for a little.

90:15 And again the six men ordered the multitude of the people to bring in stones from the mountains for the building of the tower.

90:16 They were brought in accordingly from all the mountains, of various colours, shaped by the men, and were handed to the virgins;

90:17 and the virgins carried them right through the gate, and handed them in for the building of the tower.

90:18 And when the various stones were placed in the building, they became all alike and white, and they lost their various colours.

90:19 But some stones were handed in by the men for the building, and these did not become bright;

90:20 but just as they were placed, such likewise were they found;

90:21 for they were not handed in by the virgins, nor had they been carried in through the gate.

90:22 These stones then were unsightly in the building of the tower.

90:23 Then the six men, seeing the stones that were unsightly in the building, ordered them to be removed and carried [below] into their own place whence they were brought.

90:24 And they say to the men who were bringing the stones in;

90:25 `Abstain for your parts altogether from handing in stones for the building;

90:26 but place them by the tower, that the virgins may carry them through the gate, and hand them in for the building.

90:27 For if,' [say they,] `they be not carried in through the gate by the hands of these virgins, they cannot change their colours.

90:28 Labor not therefore,' [say they,] `in vain.

91:1 And the building was finished on that day, yet was not the tower finally completed, for it was to be carried up [still] higher;

91:2 and there was a cessation in the building.

91:3 And the six men ordered the builders to retire for a short time [all of them], and to rest;

91:4 but the virgins they ordered not to retire from the tower.

91:5 And me thought the virgins were left to guard the tower.

91:6 And after all had retired [and rested], I say to the shepherd;

91:7 `How is it, Sir,' say I, `that the building of the tower was not completed?'

91:8 `The tower,' he saith, `cannot yet he fully completed, until its master come and test this building, that if any stones be found crumbling, he may change them;

91:9 for the tower is being built according to His will.'

91:10 `I would fain know, Sir,' say I,

91:11 `what is this building of this tower, and concerning the rock and gate, and the mountains, and the virgins, and the stones that came up from the deep, and were not shaped, hut went just as they were into the building;

91:12 and wherefore ten stones were first placed in the foundations,

91:13 then twenty-five, then thirty-five, then forty,

91:14 and concerning the stones that had gone to the building and were removed again and put away in their own place-concerning all these things set by soul at rest, Sir, and explain them to me.'

91:15 `If,' saith he, `thou be not found possessed of an idle curiosity, thou shalt know all things.

91:16 For after a few days we shall come here, and thou shalt see the sequel that overtaketh this tower and shalt understand all the parables accurately.'

91:17 And after a few days we came to the place where we had sat, and he saith to me, `Let us go to the tower;

91:18 for the owner of the tower cometh to inspect it.'

91:19 And we came to the tower, and there was no one at all by it, save the virgins alone.

91:20 And the shepherd asked the virgins whether the master of the tower had arrived.

91:21 And they said that he would be there directly to inspect the building.

92:1 And, behold, after a little while I see an array of many men coming, and in the midst a man of such lofty stature that he overtopped the tower.

92:2 And the six men who superintended the building walked with him on the right hand and on the left, and all they that worked at the building were with him, and many other glorious attendants around him.

92:3 And the virgins that watched the tower ran up and kissed him, and they began to walk by his side round the tower.

92:4 And that man inspected the building so carefully, that he felt each single stone;

92:5 and he held a rod in his hand and struck each single stone that was built in.

92:6 And when he smote, some of the stones became black as soot, others mildewed,

92:7 others cracked, others broke off short, others became neither white nor black, others rough and not fitting in with the other stones, and others with many spots;

92:8 these were the varied aspects of the stones which were found unsound for the building.

92:9 So he ordered all these to be removed from the tower, and to be placed by the side of the tower, and other stones to be brought and put into their place.

92:10 And the builders asked him from what mountain he desired stones to be brought and put into their place.

92:11 And he would not have them brought from the mountains, but ordered them to be brought from a certain plain that was nigh at hand.

92:12 And the plain was dug, and stones were found there bright and square, but some of them too were round.

92:13 And all the stones which there were anywhere in that plain were brought every one of them, and were carried through the gate by the virgins.

92:14 And the square stones were hewed, and set in the place of those which had been removed;

92:15 but the round ones were not placed in the building, because they were too hard to be shaped, and to work on them was slow.

92:16 So they were placed by the side of the tower, as though they were intended to be shaped and placed in the building;

92:17 for they were very bright.

93:1 So then, having accomplished these things,

93:2 the glorious man who was lord of the whole tower called the shepherd to him,

93:3 and delivered unto him all the stones which lay by the side of the tower, which were cast out from the building, and saith unto him;

93:4 `Clean these stones carefully, and set them in the building of the tower, these, I mean, which can fit with the rest;

93:5 but those which will not fit, throw far away from the tower.'

93:6 Having given these orders to the shepherd, he departed from the tower with all those with whom he had come.

93:7 And the virgins stood round the tower watching it.

93:8 I say to the shepherd, `How can these stones go again to the building of the tower, seeing that they have been disapproved?'

93:9 He saith unto me in answer;

93:10 `Seest thou,' saith he, `these stones?'

93:11 `I see them, Sir,' say I.

93:12 `I myself,' saith he, will shape the greater part of these stones and put them into the building, and they shall fit in with the remaining stones.'

93:13 `How, Sir,' say I, `can they, when they are chiseled, fill the same space?'

93:14 He saith unto me in answer, As many as shall be found small, shall be put into the middle of the building;

93:15 but as many as are larger, shall be placed nearer the outside, and they will bind them together.'

93:16 With these words he saith to me, Let us go away, and after two days let us come and clean these stones, and put them into the building;

93:17 for all things round the tower must be made clean,

93:18 lest haply the master come suddenly and find the circuit of the tower dirty,

93:19 and he be wroth, and so these stones shall not go to the building of the tower, and I shall appear to be careless in my master's sight.

94:1 And after two days we came to the tower, and he saith unto me;

94:2 `Let us inspect all the stones, and see those which can go to the building.'

94:3 I say to him, `Sir, let us inspect them.'

94:4 And so commencing first we began to inspect the black stones;

94:5 and just as they were when set aside from the building, such also they were found.

94:6 And the shepherd ordered them to be removed from the tower and to be put on one side.

94:7 Then he inspected those that were mildewed, and he took and shaped many of them, and ordered the virgins to take them up and put them into the building.

94:8 And the virgins took them up and placed them in the building of the tower in a middle position.

94:9 But the rest he ordered to be placed with the black ones;

94:10 for these also were found black.

94:11 Then he began to inspect those that had the cracks;

94:12 and of these he shaped many, and he ordered them to be carried away by the hands of the virgins for the building.

94:13 And they were placed towards the outside, because they were found to be sounder.

94:14 But the rest could not be shaped owing to the number of the cracks.

94:15 For this reason therefore they were cast aside front the building of the tower.

94:16 Then he proceeded to inspect the stunted (stones), and many among them were found black, and some had contracted great cracks;

94:17 and he ordered these also to be placed with those that had been cast aside.

94:18 But those of them which remained he cleaned and shaped, and ordered to he placed in the building.

94:19 So the virgins took them up, and fitted them into the middle of the building of the tower;

94:20 for they were somewhat weak.

94:21 Then he began to inspect those that were half white and half black, and many of them were (now) found black;

94:22 and he ordered these also to be taken up with those that had been cast aside.

94:23 *But all the rest were [found white, and were] taken up by the virgins;

94:24 for being white they were fitted by [the virgins] them[selves] into the building.

94:25 *But they were placed towards the outside, because they were found sound, so that they could hold together those that were placed in the middle;

94:26 for not a single one of them was too short.

94:27 Then he began to inspect the hard and rough;

94:28 and a few of them were cast away, because they could not be shaped;

94:29 for they were found very hard.

94:30 But the rest of them were shaped [and taken up by the virgins] and fitted into the middle of the building of the tower;

94:31 for they were somewhat weak.

94:32 Then he proceeded to inspect those that had the spots, and of these some few had turned black and were cast away among the rest;

94:33 but the remainder were found bright and sound, and these were fitted by the virgins into the building;

94:34 but they were placed towards the outside, owing to their strength.

95:1 Then he came to inspect the white and round stones, and he saith unto me;

95:2 `What shall we do with these stones?'

95:3 `How do I know, Sir?'

95:4 say I.

95:5 [And he saith to me,] `Perceivest thou nothing concerning them?'

95:6 `I, Sir,' say I, `do not possess this art, neither am I a mason, nor can I understand.'

95:7 Seest thou not,' saith he, that they are very round;

95:8 and if I wish to make them square, very much must needs be chiseled off from them?

95:9 Yet some of them must of necessity be placed into the building.'

95:10 `If then, Sir,' say I, `it must needs be so, why distress thyself, and why not choose out for the building those thou willest, and fit them into it?'

95:11 He chose out from them the large and the bright ones, and shaped them;

95:12 and the virgins took them up, and fitted them into the outer parts of the building.

95:13 But the rest, which remained over, were taken up, and put aside into the plain whence they were brought;

95:14 they were not however cast away, `Because,' saith he, `there remaineth still a little of the tower to be builded.

95:15 And the master of the tower is exceedingly anxious that these stones be fitted into the building, for they are very bright.

95:16 So twelve women were called, most beautiful in form, clad in black, [girded about and having the shoulders bare,] with their hair hanging loose.

95:17 And these women, me thought, had a savage look.

95:18 And the shepherd ordered them to take up the stones which had been cast away from the building, and to carry them off to the same mountains from which also they had been brought;

95:19 and they took them up joyfully, and carried away all the stones and put them in the place whence they had been taken.

95:20 And after all the stones had been taken up, and not a single stone still lay round the tower, the shepherd saith unto me;

95:21 Let us go round the tower, and see that there is no defect in it.

95:22 And I proceeded to go round it with him.

95:23 And when the shepherd saw that the tower was very comely in the building, he was exceedingly glad;

95:24 for the tower was so well builded, that when I saw it I coveted the building of it ;

95:25 for it was builded, as it were, of one stone, having one fitting in it.

95:26 And the stone-work appeared as if hewn out of the rock;

95:27 for it seemed to be all a single stone.

96:1 And I, as I walked with him, was glad to see so brave a sight.

96:2 And the shepherd saith to me `Go and bring plaster and fine clay, that I may fill up the shapes of the stones that have been taken up and put into the building;

96:3 for all the circuit of the tower must be made smooth.

96:4 And I did as he bade, and brought them to him.

96:5 `Assist me,' saith he, `and the work will speedily be accomplished.

96:6 So he filled in the shapes of the stones which had gone to the building, and ordered the circuit of the tower to be swept and made clean.

96:7 And the virgins took brooms and swept, and they removed all the rubbish from the tower, and sprinkled water, and the site of the tower was made cheerful and very seemly.

96:8 The shepherd saith unto me, `All,' saith he, `hath now been cleaned.

96:9 If the lord come to inspect the tower, he hath nothing for which to blame us.'

96:10 Saying this, he desired to go away.

96:11 But I caught hold of his wallet, and began to adjure him by the Lord that he would explain to me [all] what he had showed me.

96:12 He saith to me;

96:13 `I am busy for a little while, and then I will explain everything to thee.

96:14 Await me here till I come.'

96:15 I say to him;

96:16 `Sir, when I am here alone what shall I do?'

96:17 `Thou art not alone,' saith he;

96:18 for these virgins are here with thee.' `Commend me then to them,' say I.

96:19 The shepherd calleth them to him and saith to them;

96:20 `I commend this man to you till I come,' and he departed.

96:21 So I was alone with the virgins;

96:22 and they were most cheerful, and kindly disposed to me, especially the four of them that were the more glorious in appearance.

97:1 The virgins say to me;

97:2 `Today the shepherd cometh not here.'

97:3 `What then shall I do?' say I.

97:4 `Stay for him,' say they, `till eventide;

97:5 and if he come, he will speak with thee;

97:6 but if he come not, thou shalt stay here with us till he cometh.'

97:7 I say to them;

97:8 `I will await him till evening, and if he come not, I will depart home and return early in the morning.'

97:9 But they answered and said unto me;

97:10 `To us thou wast entrusted;

97:11 thou canst not depart from us.'

97:12 `Where then,' say I, `shall I remain?

97:13 "Thou shalt pass the night with us,' say they, as a brother, not as a husband;

97:14 for thou art our brother, and hence-forward we will dwell with thee;

97:15 for we love thee dearly.'

97:16 But I was ashamed to abide with them.

97:17 And she that seemed to be the chief of them began to kiss and to embrace me;

97:18 and the others seeing her embrace me, they too began to kiss me, and to lead me round the tower, and to sport with me.

97:19 And I had become as it were a younger man, and I commenced myself likewise to sport with them.

97:20 For some of them began to dance, [others to skip,] others to sing.

97:21 But I kept silence and walked with them round the tower, and was glad with them.

97:22 But when evening came I wished to go away home;

97:23 but they would not let me go, but detained me.

97:24 And I stayed the nigh with them, and I slept by the side of the tower.

97:25 For the virgins spread their linen tunics on the ground, and made me lie down in the midst of them, and they did nothing else but pray;

97:26 and I prayed with them without ceasing, and not less than they.

97:27 And the virgins rejoiced that I so prayed.

97:28 And I stayed there with the virgins until the morning till the second hour.

97:29 Then came the shepherd, and saith to the virgins;

97:30 `Have ye done him any injury?'

97:31 `Ask him,' say they.

97:32 I say to him, `Sir, I was rejoiced to stay with them.'

97:33 `On what didst thou sup?' saith he.

97:34 `I supped, Sir,' say I, `on the words of the Lord the whole nigh through.'

97:35 `Did they treat thee well?' saith he.

97:36 `Yes, Sir,' say I.

97:37 `Now,' saith he, what wouldest thou hear first?'

97:38 `In the order as thou showedst to me, Sir, from the beginning,' say I;

97:39 `I request thee, Sir, to explain to me exactly in the order that I shall enquire of thee.'

98:1 `First of all, Sir,' say I, `explain this to me.

98:2 The rock and the `How, Sir,' say I, `is the rock ancient, but the gate recent?'

98:3 `Listen,' saith he, `and understand, foolish man.

98:4 The Son of God is older than all His creation, so that He became the Father's adviser in His creation.

98:5 `Therefore also He is ancient.'

98:6 `But the gate, why is it recent, Sir?' say I.

98:7 `Because,' saith he, `He was made manifest in the last days of the consummation;

98:8 therefore the gate was made recent, that they which are to be saved may enter through it into the kingdom of God.

98:9 Didst thou see,' saith he,

98:10 `that the stones which came through the gate have gone to the building of the tower, but those which came not through it were cast away again to their own place?'

98:11 `I saw, Sir,' say I.

98:12 "Thus,' saith he, `no one shall enter into the kingdom of God, except he receive the name of His Son.

98:13 For if thou wishest to enter into any city, and that city is walled all round and has one gate only, canst thou enter into that city except through the gate which it hath?'

98:14 `Why, how, Sir,' say I, `is it possible otherwise?'

98:15 `If then thou canst not enter into the city except through the gate itself, even so, saith he, `a man cannot enter into the kingdom of God except by the name of His Son that is beloved by Him.

98:16 Didst thou see,' saith he, `the multitude that is building the tower?'

98:17 `I saw it, Sir,' say I.

98:18 `They,' saith he, are all glorious angels.

98:19 With these then the Lord is walled around.

98:20 But the gate is the Son of God;

98:21 there is this one entrance only to the Lord.

98:22 No one then shall enter in unto Him otherwise than through His Son.

98:23 Didst thou see,' saith he, `the six men, and the glorious and mighty man in the midst of them, him that walked about the tower and rejected the stones from the building?'

98:24 `I saw him, Sir,' say I.

98:25 `The glorious man,' saith he, `is the Son of God, and those six are the glorious angels who guard Him on the right hand and on the left.

98:26 Of these glorious angels not one,' saith he, `shall enter in unto God without Him;

99:1 `But the tower,' say I, what is it?

99:2 "The tower,' saith he, why, this is the Church.

99:3 `And these virgins, who are they?'

99:4 `They,' saith he, `are unless these shall clothe him with their garment;

99:5 for if thou receive only the name, but receive not the garment from them, thou profitest nothing.

99:6 For these virgins are powers of the Son of God.

99:7 If [therefore] thou bear the Name, and bear not His power, thou shalt bear His Name to none effect.

99:8 And the stones,' saith he, which thou didst see cast away, these bare the Name, but clothed not themselves with the raiment of the virgins.'

99:9 `Of what sort, Sir,' say I, `is their raiment?

99:10 "The names themselves,' saith he, `are their raiment.

99:11 `Whosoever beareth the Name of the Son of God, ought to bear the names of these also;

99:12 for even the Son Himself beareth the names of these virgins.

99:13 As many stones,' saith he, `as thou sawest enter into the building of the tower, being given in by their hands and waiting for the building, they have been clothed in the power of these virgins.

99:14 For this cause thou seest the tower made a single stone with the rock.

99:15 So also they that have believed in the Lord through His Son and clothe themselves in these spirits, shall become one spirit and one body, and their garments all of one colour.

99:16 But such persons as bear the names of the virgins have their dwelling in the tower.'

99:17 `The stones then, Sir,' say I, which are cast aside, wherefore were they cast aside?

99:18 For they passed through the gate and were placed in the building of the tower by the hands of the virgins.'

99:19 `Since all these things interest thee,' saith he, `and thou enquirest diligently, listen as touching the stones that have been cast aside.

99:20 These all,' [saith he,] `received the name of the Son of God, and received likewise the power of these virgins.

99:21 When then they received these spirits, they were strengthened, and were with the servants of God, and they had one spirit and one body [and one garment];

99:22 for they had the same mind, and they wrought righteousness.

99:23 After a certain time then they were persuaded by the women whom thou sawest clad in black raiment, and having their shoulders bare and their hair loose, and beautiful in form.

99:24 When they saw them they desired them, and they clothed themselves with their power, but they stripped off from themselves the power of the virgins.

99:25 They then were cast away from the house of God, and delivered to these (women).

100:1 `What then, Sir,' say I, `if these men, being such as they are, should repent and put away their desire for these women, and return unto the virgins, and walk in their power and in their works?

100:2 Shall they not enter into the house of God?'

100:3 `They shall enter,' saith he, `if they shall put away the works of these women, and take again the power of the virgins, and walk in their works.

100:4 For this is the reason why there was also a cessation in the building, that, if these repent, they may go into the building of the tower;

100:5 but if they repent not, then others will go, and these shall be cast away finally.'***

100:6 For all these things I gave thanks unto the Lord, because He had compassion on all that called upon His name,

100:7 and sent forth the angel of repentance to us that had sinned against Him, and refreshed our spirit, and, when we were already ruined and had no hope of life, restored our life.

100:8 `Now, Sir,' say I, show me why the tower is not built upon the ground, but upon the rock and upon the gate.'

100:9 `Because thou art senseless,' saith he, `and without understanding [thou askest the question].'

100:10 I am obliged, Sir,' say I, `to ask all questions of thee, because I am absolutely unable to comprehend anything at all;

100:11 for all are great and glorious and difficult for men to understand.'

100:12 `Listen,' saith he.

100:13 `The name of the Son of God is great and incomprehensible, and sustaineth the whole world.

100:14 If then all creation is sustained by the Son [of God], what thinkest thou of those that are called by Him, and bear the name of the Son of God, and walk according to His commandments?

100:15 Seest thou then what manner of men He sustaineth?

100:16 Even those that bear His name with their whole heart.

101:1 `Declare to me, Sir,' say I, `the names of the virgins, and of the of the more powerful virgins, those that are stationed at the corners.

101:2 The first is Faith, and the second, Continence, and the third, Power, and the fourth, Longsuffering.

101:3 But the others stationed between them have these names Simplicity, Guilelessness, Purity, Cheerfulness, Truth, Understanding, Concord, Love.

101:4 He that beareth these names and the name of the Son of God shall be able to enter into the kingdom of God.

101:5 Hear,' saith he, `likewise the names of the women that wear the black garments.

101:6 Of these also four are more powerful than the rest;

101:7 the first is Unbelief;

101:8 the second, Intemperance;

101:9 the third, Disobedience;

101:10 the fourth, Deceit;

101:11 and their followers are called, Sadness, Wickedness, Wantonness, Irascibility, Falsehood, Folly, Slander, Hatred.

101:12 The servant of God that beareth these names shall see the kingdom of God, but shall not enter into it.'

101:13 `But the stones, Sir,' say I, `that came from the deep, and were fitted into the building, who are they?

101:14 "The first,' saith he, `even the ten, that were placed in the foundations, are the first generation;

101:15 the twenty-five are the second generation of righteous men;

101:16 the thirty-five are God's prophets and His ministers;

101:17 the forty are apostles and teachers of the preaching of the Son of God.'

101:18 `Wherefore then, Sir,' say I, `did the virgins give in these stones also for the building of the tower and carry them through the gate?

101:19 " Because these first,'saith he,

101:20 `bore these spirits, and they never separated the one from the other, neither the spirits from the men nor the men from the spirits, but the spirits abode with them till they fell asleep;

102:1 `Show me still further, Sir,' say I.

102:2 `What desirest thou to know the deep, and wherefore were they placed into the building, though they bore these spirits?

102:3 "It was necessary for them,' saith he, `to rise up through water, that they might be made alive;

102:4 for otherwise they could not enter into the kingdom of God, except they had put aside the deadness of their [former] life.

102:5 So these likewise that had fallen asleep received the seal of the Son of God and entered into the kingdom of God.

102:6 For before a man,' saith he, `has borne the name of [the Son of] God, he is dead;

102:7 but when he has received the seal, he layeth aside his deadness, and resumeth life.

102:8 The seal then is the water so they go down into the water dead, and they come up alive.

102:9 Thus to them also this seal was preached, and they availed themselves of it that they might enter into the kingdom of God.'

102:10 `Wherefore, Sir,' say I, `did the forty stones also come up with them from the deep, though they had already received the seal?'

102:11 `Because,'saith he,

102:12 `these,the apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after they had fallen asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God,

102:13 preached also to them that had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave unto them the seal of the preaching.

102:14 Therefore they went down with them into the water, and came up again.

102:15 But these went down alive [and again came up alive];

102:16 whereas the others that had fallen asleep before them went down dead and came up alive.

102:17 So by their means they were quickened into life, and came to the full knowledge of the name of the Son of God.

102:18 For this cause also they came up with them, and were fitted with them into the building of the tower and were builded with them, without being shaped;

102:19 for they fell asleep in righteousness and in great purity.

102:20 Only they had not this seal.

102:21 Thou hast then the interpretation of these things also.'

102:22 I have, Sir,' say I.

103:1 `Now then, Sir, explain to me concerning the mountains.

103:2 Wherefore are their forms diverse the one from the other, and various?'

103:3 `Listen,' saith he.

103:4 `These twelve mountains are [twelve] tribes that inhabit the whole world.

103:5 To these (tribes) then the Son of God was preached by the Apostles.'

103:6 `But explain to me, Sir, why they are various-these mountains-and each has a different appearance.

103:7 `Listen,' saith he.

103:8 `These twelve tribes which inhabit the whole world are twelve nations;

103:9 and they are various in understanding and in mind.

103:10 As various, then, as thou sawest these mountains to be, such also are the varieties in the mind of these nations, and such their understanding.

103:11 And I will show unto thee the conduct of each.'

103:12 `First,Sir,' say I,

103:13 `show me this, why the mountains being so various, yet,

103:14 when their stones were set into the building, became bright and of one colour, just like the stones that had come up from the deep.'

103:15 `Because,' saith he, `all the nations that dwell under heaven, when they heard and believed, were called by the one name of [the Son of] God.

103:16 So having received the seal, they had one understanding and one mind, and one faith became theirs and [one] love, and they bore the spirits of the virgins along with the Name;

103:17 therefore the building of the tower became of one colour, even bright as the sun.

103:18 But after they entered in together, and became one body, some of them defiled themselves, and were cast out from the society of the righteous, and became again such as they were before, or rather even worse.

104:1 `How, Sir,' say I, `did they become worse, after they had fully known God?'

104:2 `He that knoweth not God,' saith he, `and committeth wickedness, hath a certain punishment for his wickedness;

104:3 but he that knoweth God fully ought not any longer to commit wickedness, but to do good.

104:4 If then he that ought to do good committeth wickedness, does he not seem to do greater wickedness than the man that knoweth not God?

104:5 Therefore they that have not known God, and commit wickedness, are condemned to death;

104:6 but they that have known God and seen His mighty works, and yet commit wickedness, shall receive a double punishment, and shall die eternally.

104:7 In this way therefore shall the Church of God be purified.

104:8 And as thou sawest the stones removed from the tower and delivered over to the evil spirits, they too shall be cast out;

104:9 and there shall be one body of them that are purified, just as the tower, after it had been purified, became made as it were of one stone.

104:10 Thus shall it be with the Church of God also, after she hath been purified, and the wicked and hypocrites and blasphemers and double-minded and they that commit various kinds of wickedness have been cast out.

104:11 When these have been cast out, the Church of God shall be one body, one understanding, one mind, one faith, one love.

104:12 And then the Son of God shall rejoice and be glad in them, for that He hath received back His people pure.'

104:13 `Great and glorious, Sir,' say I, `are all these things.

104:14 Once more, Sir,' [say I,] `show me the force and the doings of each one of the mountains, that every soul that trusteth in the Lord, when it heareth, may glorify His great and marvelous and glorious name.'

104:15 Listen,' saith he, `to the variety of the mountains and of the twelve nations.

105:1 `From the first mountain, which was black, they that have believed are such as these;

105:2 rebels and blasphemers against the Lord, and betrayers of the servants of God.

105:3 For these there is no repentance, but there is death.

105:4 For this cause also they are black;

105:5 for their race is lawless.

105:6 And from the second mountain, the bare one, they that believed are such as these;

105:7 hypocrites and teachers of wickedness.

105:8 And these then are like the former it not having the fruit of righteousness.

105:9 For, even as their mountain is unfruitful, so likewise such men as these have a name indeed, but they are void of the faith, and there is no fruit of truth in them.

105:10 For these then repentance is offered, if they repent quickly;

105:11 but if they delay, they will have their death with the former.

105:12 `Wherefore, Sir,' say I, `is repentance possible for them, but not for the former?

105:13 For their doings are almost the same.'

105:14 On this account, he saith, `is repentance offered for them, because they blasphemed not their Lord, nor became betrayers of the servants of God;

105:15 yet from desire of gain they played the hypocrite, and taught each other [after] the desires of sinful men.

105:16 But they shall pay a certain penalty;

105:17 yet repentance is ordained for them, because they are not become blasphemers or betrayers.

106:1 `And from the third mountain, which had thorns and briars, they that believed are such as these;

106:2 some of them are wealthy and others are entangled in many business affairs.

106:3 The briars are the wealthy, and the thorns are they that are mixed up in various business affairs.

106:4 These [then, that are mixed up in many and various business affairs,] cleave [not] to the servants of God, but go astray, being choked by their affairs,

106:5 but the wealthy unwillingly cleave to the servants of God, fearing lest they may be asked for something by them.

106:6 Such men therefore shall hardly enter into the kingdom of God.

106:7 For as it is difficult to walk on briars with bare feet, so also it is difficult for such men to enter into the kingdom of God.

106:8 But for all these repentance is possible, but it must be speedy, that in respect to what they omitted to do in the former times, they may now revert to (past) days, and do some good.

106:9 If then they shall repent and do some good, they shall live unto God;

106:10 but if they continue in their doings, they shall be delivered over to those women, the which shall put them to death.

107:1 And from the fourth mountain, which had much vegetation, the upper part of the grass green and the part towards the roots withered, and some of it dried up by the sun, they that believed are such as these;

107:2 the double-minded, and they that have the Lord on their lips, but have Him not in their heart.

107:3 Therefore their foundations are dry and without power, and their words only live, but their works are dead.

107:4 Such men are neither alive nor dead.

107:5 They are, therefore, like unto the double-minded;

107:6 for the double-minded are neither green nor withered;

107:7 for they are neither alive nor dead.

107:8 For as their grass was withered up then it saw the sun, so also the double-minded, when they hear of tribulation, through their cowardice worship idols and are ashamed of the name of their Lord.

107:9 Such are neither alive nor dead.

107:10 Yet these also, if they repent quickly, shall be able to live;

107:11 but if they repent not, they are delivered over already to the women who deprive them of their life.

108:1 `And from the fifth mountain, which had green grass and was rugged, they that believed are such as these;

108:2 they are faithful, but slow to learn and stubborn and self-pleasers, desiring to know all things, and yet they know nothing at all.

108:3 By reason of this their stubbornness, understanding stood aloof from them, and a foolish senselessness entered into them;

108:4 and they praise themselves as having understanding, and they desire to be self-appointed teachers, senseless though they are.

108:5 Owing then to this pride of heart many, while they exalted themselves, have been made empty;

108:6 for a mighty demon is stubbornness and vain confidence.

108:7 Of these then many were cast away, but some repented and believed, and submitted themselves to those that had understanding, having learnt their own senselessness.

108:8 Yea, and to the rest that belong to this class repentance is offered;

108:9 for they did not become wicked, but rather foolish and without understanding.

108:10 If these then shall repent, they shall live unto God;

108:11 but if they repent not, they shall have their abode with the women who work evil against them.

109:1 `But they that believed from the sixth mountain, which had clefts great and small, and in the clefts herbage withered, are such as these;

109:2 they that have the small clefts, these are they that have aught against one another, and from their backbitings they are withered in the faith;

109:3 but many of these repented.

109:4 Yea, and the rest shall repent, when they hear my commandments;

109:5 for their backbitings are but small, and they shall quickly repent.

109:6 But they that have great clefts, these are persistent in their backbitings and bear grudges, nursing wrath against one another.

109:7 These then were thrown right away from the tower and rejected from its building.

109:8 Such persons therefore shall with difficulty live.

109:9 If God and our Lord,Who ruleth over all things and hath the authority over all His creation, beareth no grudge against them that confess their sins, but is propitiated,

109:10 doth man, who is mortal and full of sins, bear a grudge against man, as though he were able to destroy or save him?

109:11 I say unto you-I, the angel of repentance unto as many as hold this heresy, put it away from you and repent, and the Lord shall heal your former sins, if ye shall purify yourselves from this demon;

109:12 but if not, ye shall be delivered unto him to be put to death.

110:1 `And from the seventh mountain, on which was herbage green and smiling, and the whole mountain thriving,

110:2 and cattle of every kind and the fowls of heaven were feeding on the herbage on that mountain, and the green herbage, on which they fed, only grew the more luxuriant, they that believed are such as these;

110:3 they were ever simple and guileless and blessed, having nothing against one another,

110:4 but rejoicing always in the servants of God, and clothed in the Holy Spirit of these virgins, and having compassion always on every man, and out of their labours they supplied every man's need without reproach and without misgiving.

110:5 The Lord then seeing their simplicity and entire childliness made them to abound in the labours of their hands, and bestowed favour on them in all their doings.

110:6 But I say unto you that are such-I, the angel of repentance-remain to the end such as ye are, and your seed shall never be blotted out.

110:7 For the Lord hath put you to the proof, and enrolled you among our number, and your whole seed shall dwell with the Son of God;

110:8 for of His Spirit did ye receive.

111:1 `And from the eighth mountain, where were the many springs, and all the creatures of the Lord did drink of the springs, they that believed are such as these;

111:2 apostles and teachers,who preached unto the whole world, and who taught the word of the Lord in soberness and purity,

111:3 and kept back no part at all for evil desire, but walked always in righteousness and truth, even as also they received the Holy Spirit.

111:4 Such therefore shall have their entrance with the angels.

112:1 `And from the ninth mountain, which was desert, which had [the] reptiles and wild beasts in it which destroy mankind, they that believed are such as these;

112:2 they that have the spots are deacons that exercised their office ill,and plundered the livelihood of widows and orphans, and made gain for themselves from the ministrations which they had received to perform.

112:3 If then they abide in the same evil desire, they are dead and there is no hope of life for them;

112:4 but if they turn again and fulfil their ministrations in purity, it shall be possible for them to live.

112:5 But they that are mildewed, these are they that denied and turned not again unto their Lord, but having become barren and desert, because they cleave not unto the servants of God but remain alone, they destroy their own souls.

112:6 For as a vine left alone in a hedge,if it meet with neglect, is destroyed and wasted by the weeds,

112:7 and in time becometh wild and is no longer useful to its owner, so also men of this kind have given themselves up in despair and become useless to their Lord, by growing wild.

112:8 To these then repentance cometh, unless they be found to have denied from the heart;

112:9 but if a man be found to have denied from the heart, I know not whether it is possible for him to live.

112:10 And this I say not in reference to these days, that a man after denying should receive repentance;

112:11 for it is impossible for him to be saved who shall now deny his Lord;

112:12 but for those who denied Him long ago repentance seemeth to be possible.

112:13 If a man therefore will repent, let him do so speedily before the tower is completed;

112:14 but if not, he shall he destroyed by the women and put to death.

112:15 And the stunted, these are the treacherous and backbiters;

112:16 and the wild beasts which thou sawest on the mountain are these.

112:17 For as wild beasts with their venom poison and kill a man, so also do the words of such men poison and kill a man.

112:18 These then are broken off short from their faith through the conduct which they have in themselves;

112:19 but some of them repented and were saved;

112:20 and the rest that are of this kind can be saved, if they repent;

112:21 but if they repent not, they shall meet their death from those women of whose power they are possessed.

113:1 `And from the tenth mountain, where were trees sheltering certain sheep, they that believed are such as these;

113:2 bishops, hospitable persons, who gladly received into their houses at all times the servants of God without hypocrisy.

113:3 [These bishops] at all times without ceasing sheltered the needy and the widows in their ministration and conducted themselves in purity at all times.

113:4 These [all] then shall be sheltered by the Lord for ever.

113:5 They therefore that have done these things are glorious in the sight of God, and their place is even now with the angels, if they shall continue unto the end serving the Lord.

114:1 `And from the eleventh mountain, where were trees full of fruit, decked with divers kinds of fruits, they that believed are such as these;

114:2 they that suffered for the Name [of the Son of God], who also suffered readily with their whole heart, and yielded up their lives.'

114:3 `Wherefore then, Sir,' say I, `have all the trees fruits, but some of their fruits are more beautiful than others?'

114:4 `Listen,' saith he;

114:5 `all as many as ever suffered for the Name's sake are glorious in the sight of God,

114:6 and the sins of all these were taken away, because they suffered for the name of the Son of God.

114:7 Now hear why their fruits are various, and some surpassing others.

114:8 As many,' saith he, `as were tortured and denied not, when brought before the magistracy, but suffered readily, these are the more glorious in the sight of the Lord;

114:9 their fruit is that which surpasseth.

114:10 But as many as became cowards,and were lost in uncertainty,

114:11 and considered in their hearts whether they should deny or confess,

114:12 and yet suffered, their fruits are less, because this design entered into their heart for this design is evil, that a servant should deny his own lord.

114:13 See to it, therefore, ye who entertain this idea, lest this design remain in your hearts, and ye die unto God.

114:14 But ye that suffer for the Name's sake ought to glorify God, because God deemed you worthy that ye should bear this name, and that all your sins should be healed.

114:15 Reckon yourselves blessed therefore;

114:16 yea, rather think that ye have done a great work, if any of you shall suffer for God's sake.

114:17 The Lord bestoweth life upon you, and ye perceive it not;

114:18 for your sins weighed you down, and if ye had not suffered for the Name [of the Lord], ye had died unto God by reason of your sins.

114:19 These things I say unto you that waver as touching denial and confession.

114:20 Confess that ye have the Lord, last denying Him ye be delivered into prison.

114:21 If the Gentiles punish their slaves, if any one deny his lord, what think ye the Lord will do unto you, He Who hath the authority over all things?

114:22 Away with these designs from your hearts, that ye may live for ever unto God.

115:1 `And from the twelfth mountain, which was white, they that believed are such as these;

115:2 they are as very babes, into whose heart no guile entereth, neither learnt they what wickedness is, but they remained as babes for ever.

115:3 Such as these then dwell without doubt in the kingdom of God, because they defiled the commandments of God in nothing, but continued as babes all the days of their life in the same mind.

115:4 As many of you therefore as shall so continue,' saith he, `and shall be as infants not having guile, shall be more glorious [even] than all them that have been mentioned before;

115:5 for all infants are glorious in the sight of God, and stand first in His sight.

115:6 Blessed then are ye, as many as have put away wickedness from you, and have clothed yourselves in guilelessness:

116:1 After he had finished the parables of the mountains,I say unto him,

116:2 `Sir, now explain to me concerning the stones that were taken from the from the tower, and concerning the round (stones) which were placed in the building, and concerning those that were still round.'

117:1 Hear,' saith he, `likewise concerning all these things.

117:2 The stones which were taken from the plain and placed in the building of the tower in the room of those that were rejected, are the roots of this white mountain.

117:3 When then they that believed from this mountain were all found guileless, the lord of the tower ordered these from the roots of this mountain to be put into the building of the tower.

117:4 For He knew that if these stones should go to the building [of the tower], they would remain bright and not one of then would turn black.

117:5 But if he had added (stones) from the other mountains, he would have been obliged to visit that tower again, and to purify it.

117:6 Now all these have been found white, who have believed and who shall believe;

117:7 for they are of the same kind.

117:8 Blessed is this kind, for it is innocent! Hear now likewise concerning those round and bright stones.

117:9 All these are from this white mountain.

117:10 Now hear wherefore they have been found round.

117:11 Their riches have darkened and obscured them a little from the truth, yet they never departed from God, nor did any evil word proceed from their mouth, but all equity and virtue which comes from the truth.

117:12 When therefore the Lord perceived their mind,that they could favour the truth, *and likewise remain good,

117:13 He commanded their possessions to be cut from off them,yet not to be taken away altogether, so that they might be able to do some good with that which hath been left to them, and might live unto God, for that they come of a good kind.

117:14 So therefore they have been cut away a little, and placed in the building of this tower.

118:1 `But the other (stones), which have remained round and have not been fitted into the building, because they have not yet received the seal, have been replaced in their own position, for they were found very round.

118:2 For this world and the vanities of their possessions must be cut from off them, and then they will fit into the kingdom of God.

118:3 For it is necessary that they should enter into the kingdom of God;

118:4 because the Lord hath blessed this innocent kind.

118:5 Of this kind then not one shall perish.

118:6 Yea, even though any one of them being tempted by the most wicked devil have committed any fault, he shall return speedily unto his Lord.

118:7 Blessed I pronounce you all to be-I, the angel of repentance-whoever of you are guileless as infants, because your part is good and honourable in the sight of God.

118:8 Moreover I bid all of you, whoever have received this seal, keep guilelessness, and bear to grudge, and continue not in your wickedness nor in the memory of the offences of bitterness;

118:9 but become of one spirit, and heal these evil clefts and take them away from among you, that the owner of the flocks may rejoice concerning them.

118:10 For he will rejoice, if he find all things whole.

118:11 But if he find any part of the flock scattered, woe unto the shepherds.

118:12 For if the shepherds themselves shall have been found scattered, how will they answer for the flocks?

118:13 Will they say that they were harassed by the flock?

118:14 No credence will be given them.

118:15 For it is an incredible thing that a shepherd should be injured by his flock;

118:16 and he will be punished the more because of his falsehood.

118:17 And I am the shepherd, and it behoveth me most strongly to render an account for you.

119:1 `Amend yourselves therefore, while the tower is still in course of building.

119:2 The Lord dwelleth in men that love peace;

119:3 for to Him peace is dear;

119:4 but from the contentious and them that are given up to wickedness He keepeth afar off.

119:5 Restore therefore to Him your spirit whole as ye received it.

119:6 For suppose thou hast given to a fuller a new garment whole, and desirest to receive it back again whole, but the fuller give it back to thee torn, wilt thou receive it thus?

119:7 Wilt thou not at once blaze out and attack him with reproaches, saying;

119:8 "The garment which I gave thee was whole;

119:9 wherefore hast thou rent it and made it useless?

119:10 See, by reason of the rent, which thou hast made in it, it cannot be of use."

119:11 Wilt thou not then say all this to a fuller even about a rent which he has made in thy garment?

119:12 If therefore thou art thus vexed in the matter of thy garment,and complainest because thou receivest it not back whole,

119:13 what thinkest thou the Lord will do to thee,He, Who gave thee the spirit whole, and thou hast made it absolutely useless, so that it cannot be of any use at all to its Lord?

119:14 For its use began to be useless, when it was corrupted by thee.

119:15 Will not therefore the Lord of this spirit for this thy deed punish [thee with death]?

119:16 "Certainly,' I said, `all those, whomsoever He shall find continuing to bear malice, He will punish.'

119:17 `Trample not,' said he, `upon His mercy, but rather glorify Him, because He is so long-suffering with your sins, and is not like unto you.

119:18 Practise then repentance which is expedient for you.

120:1 `All these things which are written above I, the shepherd, the angel of repentance, have declared and spoken to the servants of God.

120:2 If then ye shall believe and hear my words, and walk in them, and amend your ways, ye shall be able to live.

120:3 But if ye continue in wickedness and in bearing malice, no one of this kind shall live unto God.

120:4 All things which were to be spoken by me have (now) been spoken to you.'

120:5 The shepherd said to me, `Hast thou asked me all thy questions?'

120:6 And I said, `Yes, Sir.'

120:7 `Why then hast thou not enquired of me concerning the shape of the stones placed in the building, in that we filled up their shapes?'

120:8 And I said, `I forgot, Sir.'

120:9 `Listen now,' said he, `concerning them.

120:10 These are they that have heard my commandments now, and have practised repentance with their whole heart.

120:11 So when the Lord saw that their repentance was good and pure, and that they could continue therein, he ordered their former sins to be blotted out.

120:12 These shapes then were their former sins, and they have been chiseled away that they might not appear.



121:2 After I had written out this book completely, the angel who had delivered me to the shepherd came to the house where I was, and sat upon a couch, and the shepherd stood at his right hand.

121:3 Then he called me, and spake thus unto me;

121:4 `I delivered thee,' said he, `and thy house to this shepherd, that thou mightest be protected by him.'

121:5 `True, Sir,' I said.

121:6 `If therefore,'said he, `thou desirest to be protected from all annoyance and all cruelty,

121:7 to have also success in every good work and word,and all the power of righteousness, walk in his commandments, which I have given thee, and thou shalt be able to get the mastery over all wickedness.

121:8 For if thou keep his commandments, all evil desire and the sweetness of this world shall be subject unto thee;

121:9 moreover success shall attend thee in every good undertaking.

121:10 Embrace his gravity and self-restraint,and tell it out unto all men that he is held in great honour and dignity with the Lord, and is a ruler of great authority, and powerful in his office.

121:11 To him alone in the whole world hath authority over repentance been assigned.

121:12 Seemeth he to thee to be powerful?

121:13 Yet ye despise the gravity and moderation which he useth towards you.

122:1 I say unto him;

122:2 `Ask him, Sir, himself, whether from the time that he hath been in my house, I have done ought out of order, whereby I have offended him.'

122:3 `I myself know,' said he, `that thou hast done nothing out of order, nor art about to do so.

122:4 And so I speak these things unto thee, that thou mayest persevere.

122:5 For he hath given a good account of thee unto me.

122:6 Thou therefore shalt speak these words to others, that they too who have practised or shall practise repentance may be of the same mind as thou art;

122:7 and he may give a good report of then to me, and I unto the Lord.'

122:8 `I too, Sir,' I say, `declare to every man the mighty works of the Lord;

122:9 for I hope that all who have sinned in the past, if they hear these things, will gladly repent and recover life.'

122:10 `Continue therefore,' said he, `in this ministry, and complete it unto the end.

122:11 For whosoever fulfil his commandments shall have life;

122:12 yea such a man (shall have) great honour with the Lord.

122:13 But whosoever keep not his commandments, fly from their life, and oppose him, and follow not his commandments, but deliver themselves over to death;

122:14 and each one becometh guilty of his own blood.

122:15 But I bid thee obey these commandments, and thou shalt have a remedy for thy sins.

123:1 `Moreover, I have sent these virgins unto thee, that they may dwell with thee;

123:2 for I have seen that they are friendly towards thee.

123:3 Thou hast them therefore as helpers, that thou mayest be the better able to keep his commandments;

123:4 for it is impossible that these commandments be kept without the help of these virgins.

123:5 I see too that they are glad to be with thee.

123:6 But I will charge them that they depart not at all from thy house.

123:7 Only do thou purify thy house;

123:8 for in a clean house they will gladly dwell.

123:9 For they are clean and chaste and industrious, and all have favour in the sight of the Lord.

123:10 If, therefore, they shall find thy house pure, they will continue with thee;

123:11 but if the slightest pollution arise, they will depart from thy house at once.

123:12 For these virgins love not pollution in any form.'

123:13 I say unto him, `I hope, Sir, that I shall please them, so that they may gladly dwell in my house for ever;

123:14 and just as he to whom thou didst deliver me maketh no complaint against me, so they likewise shall make no complaint.'

123:15 He saith unto the shepherd, `I perceive,' saith he, `that he wishes to live as the servant of God, and that he will keep these commandments, and will place these virgins in a clean habitation.'

123:16 With these words he again delivered me over to the shepherd, and called the virgins, and said to them;

123:17 `Inasmuch as I see that ye are glad to dwell in this man's house, I commend to you him and his house, that ye depart not at all from his house.'

123:18 But they heard these words gladly.

124:1 He said then to me, `Quit you like a man in this ministry;

124:2 declare to every man the mighty works of the Lord, and thou shalt have favour in this ministry.

124:3 Whosoever therefore shall walk in these commandments, shall live and be happy in his life;

124:4 but whosoever shall neglect them, shall not live, and shall be unhappy in his life.

124:5 Charge all men who are able to do right, that they cease not to practise good works;

124:6 for it is useful for them.

124:7 I say moreover that every man ought to be rescued from misfortune;

124:8 for he that hath need, and suffereth misfortune in his daily life, is in great torment and want.

124:9 Whosoever therefore rescueth from penury a life of this kind,

124:10 winneth great joy for himself For he who is harassed by misfortune of this sort is afflicted and tortured with equal torment as one who is in chains.

124:11 For many men on account of calamities of this kind, because they can bear them no longer, lay violent hands on themselves.

124:12 He then who knows the calamity of a man of this kind and rescueth him not, committeth great sin, and becometh guilty of the man's blood.

124:13 Do therefore good works, whoever of you have received (benefits) from the Lord, lest, while ye delay to do them, the building of the tower be completed.

124:14 For it is on your account that the work of the building has been interrupted.

124:15 Unless then ye hasten to do right, the tower will be completed, and ye shut out. When then he had finished speaking with me, he rose from the couch and departed, taking with him the shepherd and the virgins. He said however unto me, that he would send the shepherd and the virgins back again to my house.

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The below web sites are written in the name of Allan Cronshaw, which is my birth name in this present life.   The manner in which these other web sites are composed is very different than on this one -- wherein, on these other web sites there is an attempt to document and demonstrate every proof and concept of TheWay using a multitude of resources and biblical verses -- while on this web site there is no other authority than Jacob writing to you as the Brother Of Yeshua who was the leader of the Hebrew/Christian movement of TheWay.   In the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas it is written: (12) The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."   So to once again restore the teachings of TheWay which is today known as Christianity, the Lord has sent Jacob/James, the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus, back into the world in order to guide the faithful flock into the Truth, the Light, and the Kingdom within (Luke 17:20-21).   It is there that my brother Yeshua/Jesus awaits you.

The above warning with respect to the predicted corruption of Yeshua's teachings is further stated in the first century writings known today as the Clementine Recognitions where it is written: "Our Lord and Prophet, who hath sent us, declared to us that the wicked one, having disputed with Him forty days, and having prevailed nothing against Him, promised that he would send apostles from amongst his subjects, to deceive.  Wherefore, above all, remember to shun apostle or teacher or prophet who does not first accurately compare his preaching with that of James, who was called the brother of my Lord, and to whom was entrusted to administer the church of the Hebrews in Jerusalem, — and that even though he come to you with witnesses: lest the wickedness which disputed forty days with the Lord, and prevailed nothing, should afterwards, like lightning falling from heaven upon the earth, send a preacher to your injury, as now he has sent Simon upon us, preaching, under pretense of the truth, in the name of the Lord, and sowing error. Wherefore He who hath sent us, said, ‘Many shall come to me in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them.’" 

Again it is warned by Clement: "Wherefore observe the greatest caution, that you believe no teacher, unless he bring from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord’s brother, or of whosoever may come after him. For no one, unless he has gone up thither, and there has been approved as a fit and faithful teacher for preaching the word of Christ, — unless, I say, he brings a testimonial thence, is by any means to be received. But let neither prophet nor apostle be looked for by you at this time, besides us. For there is one true Prophet, whose words we twelve apostles preach"

As predicted, the ministers of Satan have succeeded in altering the teachings of my brother Yeshua, and continue to lead many into the abyss of darkness.   But have no fear my brothers and sisters, for the teachings of TheWay has been restored so that you might be able to overcome the darkness, and enter the Kingdom of Light within you (Luke 17:20-21). 

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The Brother Of Yeshua/Jesus: 2000 years ago I lived as Jacob who many all James, and I was known as the Brother of Yeshua and the first leader of the New Covenant movement of TheWay which is today known as Christianity.  I was sent back into the world to restore the teachings of my brother Yeshua to their original spiritual essence, and to guide you in TheWay that is "narrow" so you will be able to open the "strait gate" within you and enter the Kingdom that Yeshua declared must be attained through the second birth.

The Ebionite HomePage: If you call yourself a Christian, Jew, Messianic believer, Evyonim, Nazarene or Muslim, then it is imperative that you learn of the Ebionites who are True Spiritual Israel -- They are the Poor Ones to the ways and thinking of this world -- The Ebionites were the Israelites of the Nazirene Vow They are/were the Genuine Disciples of Yeshua/Jesus who are in the world and not of it! 

Gate Of Eden - Why were the Disciples and followers of Yeshua vegetarian? Why did they live in accordance with the precepts of the Torah/Law? Why did they live separate and apart from both Jews and Christians? The answer is very simple: The Gate of Eden is within us, and if we fail to enter therein while we are still physically alive in the body, we will have failed in our opportunity to enter into Life. And while it can be countered that we are saved by our belief in Messiah/Christ, faith, or the blood of the lamb, the truth is that if we were truly faithful disciples of TheWay, that we would experience the opening of the inner door and the Kingdom coming within us. The GateOfEden article explores all aspects of the need to pick up one's own cross and follow the narrow path that leads to the inner gate to the Edenic Kingdom of Origination.

The Nazirene HomePage: The original spiritual teachings of Yeshua/Jesus as practiced by the people of The Way who where known historically as the Essenes, Ebionites, and Nazirenes. The teachings of The Way are Spiritual -- and provide a means to open the "strait gate" into the Kingdom while still physically alive in the body/vessel.

The Light Of Yeshua -- The Messianic Nazirene Disciple of TheWay: While many teach that believers are saved by faith, the journey of the disciple of Yeshua is one of absolute dedication to The Way. The disciple who becomes a brother to Yeshua must live as he lived, and become a Nazirene who is consecrated and wholly set apart as they walk the Narrow Way, enter into the Kingdom through the Strait Gate, and learn directly from the L-rd -- the One Rabbi and Teacher of the Mysteries of G-d.

TheWay of the Nazirene Rings HomePage: This is the Ring Home page of TheWay of the Nazirene. It will provide you with a listing of all the Nazirene Rings, and a brief description of the importance of walking in The Way and entering the Kingdom of God before physical death occurs. Come visit and learn the essence of the teachings of Jesus/Yeshua that were lost by the institutionalized church.

The Long Island Mystic and Nazirene Disciple of TheWay: The Organizational HomePage of The Nazirene -- the Long Island Mystic, Evangelical Minister, and Prophet of TheWay -- who God bestowed upon him the gift of the recall of his previous life as a Disciple and Brother of Messiah/Christ -- and thus has re-entered this world at the present time in order to restore the Spiritual Essence and Teachings of his Master, Yeshua/Jesus. The Kingdom is within! And we must sojourn the narrow path of TheWay, enter the "strait gate" to the Inner Spiritual Temple, while still alive in the physical body.  Thus, modern Christians have misunderstood the words of Yeshua -- he never said that we must physically die to enter the Edenic Kingdom of Origination -- but rather, we must die to the culture, mindset and ways of this world in order to enter the Kingdom!