What prompted the disciples of Yeshua/Jesus to ask this question? Turning to the historian, this important element to this equation of life is made reference to by Edward Gibbon in the footnote regarding the question of the disciples at John 9:2: "The disciples of Jesus were persuaded that a man might have sinned before he was born, (John, ix. 2,) and the Pharisees held the transmigration [reincarnation] of virtuous souls, (Joseph. de Bell. Judaico, l. ii. c. 7;) and a modern Rabbi is modestly assured, that Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, etc., derived their metaphysics from his illustrious countrymen" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall) -- metaphysics that embraced the concept of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
Again let me pose the question as to what this statement means to us from a modern day perspective? The mindset and thinking with respect to the events of life from the perception of the disciples is explored in the Wycliffe Commentary where it is written: "The question of the disciples (v. 2) was grounded in the belief that bodily infirmity or suffering was due to sin, whether of parents (Exo 20:5) or of the man himself, presumably on the basis of the soul’s pre-existence, which some Jews held". Is this some Jewish fable that the disciples of Christ conjured up themselves? Or is this belief a foundational element of the Gospel that Jesus taught to them?
On the question itself -- Master, who did sin? -- the commentary Barnes’ Notes writes that: "It was a universal opinion among the Jews that calamities of all kinds were the effects of sin. The case, however, of this man was that of one that was blind from his birth, and it was a question which the disciples could not determine whether it was his fault or that of his parents. Many of the Jews, as it appears from their writings (see Lightfoot), believed in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; or that the soul of a man, in consequence of sin, might be compelled to pass into other bodies, and be punished there. They also believed that an infant might sin before it was born (see Lightfoot), and that consequently this blindness might have come upon the child as a consequence of that".
On the question of who did sin, this man, or his parents, and the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul, the Adam Clarke Commentary tells us: "The doctrine of the transmigration of souls appears to have been an article in the creed of the Pharisees, and it was pretty general both among the Greeks and the Asiatics. The Pythagoreans believed the souls of men were sent into other bodies for the punishment of some sin which they had committed in a pre-existent state. This seems to have been the foundation of the disciples’ question to our Lord. Did this man sin in a pre-existent state, that he is punished in this body with blindness? Or, did his parents commit some sin, for which they are thus plagued in their offspring!... The Jewish rabbis have had the same belief from the very remotest antiquity. Origen cites an apocryphal book of the Hebrews, in which the patriarch Jacob is made to speak thus: I am an angel of God; one of the first order of spirits. Men call me Jacob, but my true name, which God has given me, is Israel: Orat. Joseph. apud ORIG. Many of the Jewish doctors have believed that the souls of Adam, Abraham, and Phineas, have successively animated the great men of their nation. Philo says that the air is full of spirits, and that some, through their natural propensity, join themselves to bodies; and that others have an aversion from such a union. See several other things relative to this point in his treatises, De Plant. Noe-- De Gigantibus-- De Confus. Ling.-- De Somniis, etc.; and see Calmet, where he is pretty largely quoted".
It is important in our assessment of genuine biblical foundations of thought to recognize the fact that the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul was a universally accepted belief among the people who Jesus taught the Gospel and Mysteries of God. Once this fact is acknowledged, then we are forced to conclude that if this belief about the nature of life was in error, and reincarnation is not a viable part of the teachings of Jesus, then Jesus would have had to condemn it -- or, we must recognize that it was removed by the later Gentile Church.
That the Pharisees understood that a man is born blind from the misdeeds of a previous life is seen in their words to the man: "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" (Jn 9:34 NAS). Moreover, it is well documented that the Essenes -- who with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now understood to be the foundation of New Covenant teachings -- also believed in the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul.
The belief that a man inherits his conditions of birth in direct relation to the trials and accomplishments of his pre-existent soul, is easily demonstrated among the Gentile converts. Thus, the early second century Christian writer Justin Martyr even speaks about the doctrine of transmutation -- the embodiment of a person in the body of a beast as punishment for the misdeeds of a previous life -- when he answers the question of Trypho, the Jew, and writes: "And what do those suffer who are judged to be unworthy of this spectacle? said he. They are imprisoned in the bodies of certain wild beasts, and this is their punishment" (Dialogue of Justin With Trypho, a Jew). If the doctrine of the transmutation (man into beast) appears irrational to the modern believer, this same doctrine is also embraced by the modern day Hasidic Jews as a sacred teaching of great antiquity among the wise men of Israel. That this doctrine is once again a paradox -- and thus, is both true and false with the third element to the equation beyond our comprehension, is also part of the Mysteries of God that Paul was unable to speak of to the carnally minded believers of the simple faith.
Once it is understood that man possesses an animal nature, it is not that he incarnates as a beast -- but rather, that he consciousness sinks below the level of human consciousness, and is totally ruled over by his animal nature. This may happen when confronted with certain external events or stimulation -- or it may be continual. Thus, the story of Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde is more real than most people realize.
The reality of people who are controlled by their lower animal nature, and thus are beasts while living in the body of man, is openly portrayed in the teachings of Jesus to his disciples. Verse two of the eighty-eighth chapter of the Gospel of the Nazirenes conveys to us that there is a level of humanity with respect to the dividing line between man and man-beast: And He said to them, "Love you one another and all the creatures of God, Yet I say to you, not all are men, who are in the form of man. Are they men or women in the image of God whose ways of violence, of oppression and wrong, who choose a lie rather than the truth? No, truly, till they are born again, and receive the spirit of love and wisdom within their hearts. Then only are they sons and daughters of Israel, and being of Israel they are children of God, And for this cause came I into the world, and for this I have suffered at the hands of sinners."
While this may on the surface appear absurd to the modern believer who likes to think of themselves as being above the beasts of the earth, the fact that what is being portrayed is in substance only elementary in relation to man’s true reality, is further proof of the validity of the Apostle’s warning that the mysteries of God will appear to be "foolishness" to the mind of natural man. That carnal man has the inherent ability to reason and express himself at a higher level than the beasts of the earth, and on the surface appears to be more advanced than his lesser brothers, does not mean that he is living and functioning anything near to his true potential which is beyond even his wildest imaginings.
As modern Christians, we are simply unable to even contemplate what is being conveyed by Jesus to his disciples. What Jesus is stating is that so long as a person is ruled by their lower animal nature, and fails to achieve the next stage of birth, that they are really beasts in the physical form of man. This raises a number of really important questions -- i.e., can these beast-men call upon the name of the Lord and be saved? Can these beast-men profess their faith in Messiah/Christ in the manner in which the Apostle envisions? Paul warns that to be carnal is death, and only those who are spiritual are actually alive in a biblical sense. Paul also places little importance on the philosophy of the world -- which suggests that these beast-men are capable of living in accordance with the many cultures of the earth? If this is true, then we must also recognize that these beast-men will be leaders in our churches and government. How, you ask? From a biblical perspective they remain beast-men and beast-women because they do not dwell in the image of the Eternal God -- as seen in the words of Jesus in the Nazirene Gospel: "…Are they men or women in the image of God whose ways of violence, of oppression and wrong, who choose a lie rather than the truth?" The answer is no! And in the words of Jesus: "…No, truly, till they are born again, and receive the spirit of love and wisdom within their hearts. Then only are they sons and daughters of Israel, and being of Israel they are children of God, And for this cause came I into the world, and for this I have suffered at the hands of sinners."
Thus, it is important for us to grasp the reality of the words of Jesus where he stated: "Love you one another and all the creatures of God, Yet I say to you, not all are men, who are in the form of man." What this means is that the teachings, concepts, and promise of the scriptures do not even apply to those who continue to live in accordance with the gross reality of this world. In the words of Jesus: "The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one…" (Matt 13:38 NIV). Both groups dwell in the physical form of the bodies we are accustomed to seeing, but those who are of the earth are as the beasts of this world.
The children of this realm who are carnal, and are ruled over by their beastly animal natures, dwell is a world of "an eye for an eye", and every other sort of aggression, hostility and violence against their brothers and sisters. Even if they become quasi-civilized, as the people of our present culture, they are not the children of the Eternal God unless they endure the process of rebirth and elevate themselves to the higher plane and consciousness of spiritual man, rather then natural (carnal) man who is temporal. Because we fail to comprehend these truths which the Church Father Origen called the minor mysteries, we fail to understand the words of the Apostle when he warned us: "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom 8:5-8 NAS).
can observe the same exact thought which is expressed in the Nazirene Gospel --
i.e., that the Genuine Christian is the one who "…wholeheartedly
obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted" -- in the
words of the Apostle where he wrote: "Therefore, brothers, we have an
obligation-- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if
you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you
put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led
by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Rom 8:12-14 NIV). If you
live in accordance with the carnal desires of this world, then you are ruled
over by your lower nature, and you are the children of this world. The children
of God are those who live in accordance with the Royal Law of God; and in their
trials of walking in The Way, their carnal (animal) nature becomes transmuted,
and they transcend this world through the next stage of birth which Jesus taught
was absolutely necessary to enter into the Kingdom. The doctrine of the
Resurrection, then, is reserved for those who pick up their cross and follow in
TheWay: "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find
(Matt 10:38-39 NKJ)
-- "Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,
One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow
Me. But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of
God! And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them,
Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of
God" (Mark 10:21-25
If believers were saved in the manner that modern Christians proclaim -- and the believer was reborn by virtue of saying a prayer and calling upon the name of the Lord, then Jesus would never have warned: "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:32-36 NKJ). Because the Christians of the institutionalized Church have never understood the warning that all biblical predictions will take place in "this generation", to their own demise they have created a whole host of doctrines which attempt to explain these words away. A genuine Christian releases himself from the attachments to this world, overcomes his carnal nature, picks up their cross and walks in TheWay in the footsteps of the Master, and enters the Kingdom through the inner door, as seen in the words: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt 7:13-14 KJV)
An interesting addition to this requirement is found in the Gospel According to Luke where it states: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out" (Luke 13:24-28 KJV). The words "...the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door" indicates the physical death of the body -- which means that we can only enter the Kingdom while physically alive in this life. In view of the fact that Jesus called the people of this world "dead", this entering of the Inner Kingdom is the true resurrection from the dead.
The great truth that has been continually expressed by both Jewish and Christian visionaries is that the knowledge of the mysteries of God and the Divine Plan begins with the knowledge of ourselves as the Prodigal Sons of our Heavenly Father. It is for this reason that the second-century Church Father Clement of Alexandria said that it is “…the greatest of all lessons to know one's self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God… and that man becomes God, since God so wills”. In his treaties on The Soul and the Resurrection, St Gregory writes that “the Resurrection is no other thing than 'the re-constitution of our nature in its original form’”, and states that there will come a time “…when the complete whole of our race shall have been perfected from the first man to the last”.
The reason these great truths are no longer the focus of the modern church is best captured in the words of A. Powell Davies: “Biblical scholars”, he writes, "were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been” (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). What Davies was referring to was the fact that the Church of Constantine severed Christianity from its Hebrew roots -- so altered the focus of the teachings of the New Covenant -- that what we call Christianity today has its doctrinal legacy of birth in the fourth century, and has little in common with the religion that the Son of God revealed to man at the beginning of our Common Era.
Among the many statements by the Apostle which tends to confuse the reader as to the exact thought that prompted the account, Paul appears to at times express the thought that God does not know all people -- i.e., "But the man who loves God is known by God (1 Cor 8:3 NIV) …But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God…" (Gal 4:9 NAS) -- it would appear that God only knows those who are spiritual and belong to His Fold. How can this be, you will ask? What we fail to realize is the fact that the truth is far more real than we can even imagine.
Again, because we close our eyes to the paradoxical reality of Creation, we severely inhibit our comprehension of life when we fail to recognize the fact that two opposing truths can equally be valid. While on the one hand it is true that God loves is unbounded, it is also true that if God was to constrain and inhibit us -- thereby denying us our own freedom of expression -- then God’s love would be counterfeit and imperfect. In recognizing this fact, we must be prepared to seriously examine all sides and factions of any given issue. With this fact in mind, we can say that from one perspective it can be concluded that Darwin is correct in his assertion that man’s physical body and associated consciousness of mind is borne from the earth -- an integral part of nature -- and is very much a product of this world. While we like to think of ourselves as being on a higher plane than the other creatures of the earth, from one perspective both positions are true. The problem is that we cannot get a sense of our own carnal/spiritual reality, until we first come to understand that it is our soul and spiritual natures that were created in the image of God, and we are an embryonic image of our soul which has been projected into this world and clothed with a body of flesh. Thus, it is not until we are truly cognizant of both realities, that we can even begin to get a correct sense of what is being portrayed to us in the scriptures.
Throughout the Bible there is the presence of a perpetual dividing line between what is referred to as the children of this world and the children of God. Throughout the writings of the Essenes there is a constant portrayal of the struggle between the sons of Light and the sons of darkness -- but what is the means by which the two are determined and classified? In view of the fact that the Sadducees and Pharisees were greatly offended when Jesus condemned them -- calling them the counterfeit Nation of Israel because they were truly the offspring of the god of this world. In like manner Paul warned that in the future the church which would call itself Christian, would be ruled by the god of this world, as seen in the words: "…there will be a time of great rebellion against God, and then the man of rebellion will come-- the son of hell. He will defy every god there is and tear down every other object of adoration and worship. He will go in and sit as God in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God" (2 Th 2:3-4 TLB). What this means is that the people who call themselves Christian, will in fact be worshiping the antichrist.
Since the Bible warns us that both the carnal Jews and Christians were deceived, and each erroneously looked upon themselves as those who were chosen and saved, when they were in fact the children of the god of this world, then we must endeavor to understand the dividing line that causes one person to be the child of this world, and another to be the child of the Light. While each of us thinks of ourselves as being good by virtue of the fact that we can see others who we judge to be evil, throughout the scriptures it is demonstrated that God uses different criteria than we do. Recognizing the very limited perception and judgment of man, St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa states: "…it is wrong to judge of what is morally excellent, or, on the other hand, of what is evil, by the standard of the senses". St. Gregory then writes of the need to go beyond man’s physical reality in order to ascertain the truth and states: "…by withdrawing the mind from bodily phenomena, we must decide by itself and from itself the true nature of moral excellence and of its opposite".
More than any other indicator the element that divides the good from the bad is the very existence of division itself. Thus, Jesus warned: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand" (Matt 12:25 NKJ). The problem is that from a carnal or Darwinist perspective of life, we have no means to comprehend what Jesus is attempting to convey to us.
When Moses spoke of the Commandments of God, he said to the people: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" (Deut 6:4 NKJ). Thus, the pattern of the Two that is One is demonstrated in the Nazirene Gospel where the Most High God is portrayed as either the All-Parent or Father-Mother God, and it is understood that the Two are One. The second day of the Genesis Creation account is the only day that is not called good because it is two -- i.e., dualistic. When Eve was separated from Adam the very first words reportedly spoken by man conveyed the need for the two to become "one flesh". As the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father God, our destiny is portrayed in our eventual return to the Kingdom in a Complete and Perfected State. That the path is traveled as we endeavor to overcome our own divided natures, is seen in the words of St. Clement, the disciple of Peter, in his Second Epistle of Clement where he writes: "Let us expect, therefore, hour by hour, the kingdom of God in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of God. For the Lord Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, 'When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female’". What these important teachings convey is the reality of an inner Armageddon, and the spiritual birth of the disciple in the Kingdom within.
The ultimate portrayal of our destiny is seen in the words: "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen 3:21-24 NIV). Once the symbolism of the scriptures is understood, it is seen that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is really the Tree of Life in a divided state. The Garden of Eden is equal to the place of origin of the prodigal son before he traveled into the "far country". The cherubim and the flaming sword are the laws that must be overcome as we endeavor to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life, and return. Thus the words: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God… Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations… And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev 2:7; 22:1-2 NIV; 22:12-14 KJV).
The key, then, to overcoming our plight in this and all other realms, is given to us in the above quotation of Jesus which is still preserved in the Epistles of St. Clement: "Let us expect, therefore, hour by hour, the kingdom of God in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of God. For the Lord Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, 'When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female’".
The Apostle states that only those who are of His fold are known by God, because it is only when we overcome our own divided state, and we attain to a soul level of consciousness, that it can be said of us that we dwell in the image of our Creator. So long as our mind remains an undeveloped embryonic image of our soul, and fails to develop beyond the level of the natural organic consciousness of the physical body in which we dwell, then we remain very much the children of this world -- temporal, and possesses no real substance beyond the limits of this realm.
While some will view this reality which I am portraying to be rather cruel, this misconception is the result of a very limited perception of man’s true plight. As the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father, we have it within our power to return to the Kingdom whenever we begin to realize the futility, senselessness and pointlessness of life in this temporal world. Because everything in this world is in fact a form and allegorical symbol which portrays elements of man’s own consciousness, we begin to overcome the Laws which banish us from the Kingdom, by embracing a true reverence for life and all of Creation.
What does St. Clement convey to us with respect to the quoting of Jesus as to when the Kingdom will come? That each of us has a divided male and female nature means that we will learn the wisdom and knowledge necessary to overcome this state of inner division, by entering into a true and genuine relationship with our own spouse -- i.e., thus the teaching that man and woman must become "one flesh". We will in like manner overcome the division between heaven and earth when we learn to merge our own lower (animal) nature with the potential of higher consciousness of our pre-existent soul. Again we will break down the inner wall when we begin to perceive and understand the outside world to be an allegorical reflection of the inner world.
In the parable of the prodigal son, he exists in a state of famine when he dwells under the power of the "citizen" of this world. Thus, we become confused and misguided because we embrace the doctrines of men who have limited themselves to the three-dimensional consciousness of this realm -- i.e., Darwin, Constantine, Justinian, Marx, and the cultural and philosophical prophets of our time. We look upon ourselves as having originated by virtue of our conception or birth into this life, and we associate the totality of ourselves with the physical body in which we are presently dwelling. We therefore fail to think beyond our present circumstances of life -- our gender, race or nationality -- and we remain totally ignorant of the reason why we were born into this present life -- or even that there is a higher purpose and goal that has molded the agenda of life itself. In limiting our consciousness to the fulfillment of sensual and carnal needs, we never even contemplate anything beyond the facade of the physical body that our soul uses as a vessel in this realm.
Because we know nothing beyond the superficial elements of this world, we cannot inherit the promise of the scriptures -- i.e., the temporal person we are will not go to Glory as the majority of Christians believe, and neither will we reincarnate as others believe. In this the Apostle warns us: "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh… For the mind set on the flesh is death… because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom 8:5-8 NAS). Why? If it is true that we are an image of our pre-existent soul which is projected into this realm in an embryonic state -- and in failing to develop we utilize less than ten percent of our potential of mind -- and even this ten percent we surrender when we thoroughly immerse ourselves in the fulfillment of the sensual and carnal needs of the physical body which is the mere vessel of our pre-existent soul -- then there is virtually nothing in our life that is associated with our true self, which is our soul -- and thus our accomplishments have no value or validity beyond the elemental and natural fulfillment of this organic world. Thus, when our physical form ceases to support life at the time of death, we must ponder the question as to what will remain of our consciousness that is genuine and real from the perspective of our soul? In most cases, absolutely nothing!
The more we embrace the temporal culture of this world -- it’s thinking and mindset that knows absolutely nothing of our pre-existents soul -- the more superficial and counterfeit we become. In becoming estranged and alienated from our true self, we manifest nothing that is genuinely and truly the being that we are. Thus, in suppressing the essence of who we truly are, we surrender our opportunity of life itself when we become totally controlled by the thinking and elemental powers of this world.
In living our lives as natural beings of this realm -- even viewing ourselves from a Darwinist perspective as just a mere corporeal life-form that shares a common origin and heritage with the beasts of this world -- we never develop ourselves beyond the animal consciousness associated with our physical bodies. That we appear to possess a higher intelligence than the other organic life-forms of this world, is merely brought about by the fact that our physical bodies are more developed. The problem is that because our bodies only support that level of intelligence necessary for the continuance of physical life, we never begin to actually manifest our true potential of mind without a truly conscious effort to comprehend our own indwelling higher nature.
What the Apostles warns us is that because we have virtually squandered away our opportunity of life on sensual, materialistic and elemental things of no real value to our indwelling soul -- and instead of embracing man’s higher spiritual reality wherein we endeavor to live in accordance with the Laws of our Creator God -- in squandering away our life by embracing only what is temporal and of this realm, we have made ourselves the children of this world rather than the children of God. Thus, in limiting ourselves to the natural organic consciousness associated with our physical bodies, we make ourselves nothing more than trained and cultured man-beasts of this world. Thus, the reality of Jesus’ words in the Nazirene Gospel: "Love you one another and all the creatures of God, Yet I say to you, not all are men, who are in the form of man."
We fail to perceive the truth -- not because anything is hidden or concealed from us -- but rather, because we view life in reverse of our own true reality. That the first-century Gentile Christians believed that the soul pre-existed the body is easily demonstrated in the discourse between Justin and Trypho the Jew, in the words: "But if the world is begotten, souls also are necessarily begotten; and perhaps at one time they were not in existence, for they were made on account of men and other living creatures, if you will say that they have been begotten wholly apart, and not along with their respective bodies. This seems to be correct".
As demonstrated by Gibbon, the disciples of Jesus believed that a man could sin before he was born (John 9:2), because they were considering the conditions of life from the perspective of the pre-existent soul. The fact that Jesus said that in this single instance, the man was not born blind because of either his own, or the sin of his parents -- but rather, so that Jesus could heal him and give the glory to God, does not negate the question with regard to the instances of why a person is born blind -- unless, of course, we are to believe thhat all people are born blind so that Jesus can heal them.
From a biblical perspective, because we view life in reverse, there is a great void in the thinking of modern believers who do not comprehend the reason why people are born blind -- or a whole host of other problems and deformities that mankind is either born with, or are manifest in the life of the individual. More importantly, though, because we are quasi-Darwinist in our thinking, it is impossible for Christians today to understand the mindset of the people who Jesus taught. What we therefore view as their heresy is in reality our own error!
In view of the fact that it is well documented that both the Pharisees and the Essenes believed in the pre-existence and the transmigration (reincarnation) of the soul, and it is well documented that Jesus knew the thoughts of the people who spoke to him, we must understand that when Jesus said that in this case -- i.e., "His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life" (Jn 9:2-3 NIV) -- Jesus was well aware that he was speaking about the exception, and both Jesus and his disciples knew that other men were born blind because of either the sin of the person in a previous life which was committed prior to being born, the sin of the parents, or because this is a life that their soul has chosen to overcome the handicap. Unless we close our minds to what is being portrayed here, there can be no other explanation.
The next question we must ask with respect to the above question put to Jesus by his disciples, is whether our present-day Bibles provide an accurate account of what was actually portrayed in this important passage of the New Testament? In the Gospel of the Nazirenes this passage is translated: "Jesus answered, To what purpose is it, whether this man sinned or his parents? The rewards of our actions return again to us so that the works of the Lord are made manifest. I must work the works of the Lord while in this season. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world".
In view of the nature of the question that was posed to Jesus, and the fact that those asking the question not only believed in the pre-existence of the soul -- but that "The rewards of our actions return again to us so that the works of the Lord are made manifest" -- which is fundamentally the same as the warning of the Apostle when he proclaimed that "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal 6:7 NKJ) -- it would appear that the correct rendition is the 1997 translation.
The first thing we must come to terms with is the fact that our banishment from the Kingdom is self-imposed. The insurmountable obstacle that each of us is confronted with in our search for the Kingdom and the answers to Life, is seen in the fact that we do not think in the same manner as those who learned the Mysteries of God directly from the Master of The Way. When Jesus taught the parable of the prodigal son, his disciples and those who were present did not question how this story could be related to them with regard to the son having left the Father on his own accord prior to his entrance into the far country -- which is something that Christians can’t do today. They did not ask this question, because they understood that the soul is immortal, and was created by God in the very beginning of time, as we understand it. Yet, the parable of the prodigal son demonstrates the great void and flaw in the thinking of the modern Christian. When did we at one time dwell with our Heavenly Father in the Kingdom? When did we ask our Heavenly Parent for our inheritance, and then travel into this, the "far country"? Because we embrace the quasi-Darwinist philosophy of men who are very carnal in their thinking, we are unable to answer these all-important questions -- questions which the original followers of Jesus had absolutely no problem in answering.
In our present day it is one thing for us to admit that both the Pharisees and Essenes believed in the pre-existence and reincarnation of the soul, but it is quite another thing for us to fail to introduce another element into the equation that has been very plainly set before us. The most important aspect to the controversy is well documented in the scriptures -- i.e., that Jesus knew the thoughts of the people to whom he spoke. He was well aware that they were perceiving the revelations and mysteries that he was teaching as an integral part of the spiritual truth that the soul not only pre-exists the body, but has inhabited many such physical vessels while traveling through this world in its struggle to return Home to the Father. When it is admitted that Jesus was fully cognizant of the fact that the majority of religious Jews believed in the transmigration of the pre-existent soul, then we cannot deny the fact that Jesus knew what they believed -- i.e., Jesus knew that the majority of people he both taught and opposed, believed that the soul reincarnates through many lives in this realm. In recognition of this fact, we must then begin to accept the fact that this belief which Christians fail to understand and oppose today, was perceived as a foundational principle upon which the teachings of the New Covenant was based.
If we could focus on just one major difference that has caused the modern church to be out of harmony with the fundamentals of what Jesus taught -- one doctrine that has been infused upon the present-day church that has alienated it from its spiritual essence -- it could only be this difference in mindset between the people at the time the scriptures were written, and believers today. Moreover, it must be recognized that what we are dealing with in this instance cannot be seen as just a minor difference of opinion. In fact, the ramifications are so far-reaching and extensive, that the majority of modern believers cannot even contemplate them today.
From the perspective of original New Covenant thought, it could be said that when the Emperor Justinian imposed his decree on the church in the year 553AD, condemning the Christian doctrine of the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul in the sixth century, what he did was alter the foundation of biblical thought, and extinguish whatever Light was remaining in the church. Moreover, what Justinian did was set the stage for the entrance of men such as Darwin -- who in turn brought about the state of Christian agnosticism that is paramount in our present day. What is perhaps truly sinful is the fact that we continue to alienate our own children from their own soul and spiritual natures, when we permit their thinking to be molded by the carnally-minded doctrines and philosophical speculation of men of limited vision with respect to the true reality of mankind and Creation.
We will forever remain strangers -- never being able to even begin to know or understand ourselves, without first comprehending how we came to be at our present station in life -- until we overcome this obstacle. Again, to even begin to contemplate and know who we truly are, we must not only learn about the temporal part of us that came into existence at conception and birth, but also the part of us that is an embryonic image of our pre-existent soul. In the same way that our physical bodies was formed by the merging of the two (mother and father), our minds and consciousness was in like manner formed from the merging of two realms (physical/reflective and soul/active). Going still one step further: In the same way that we were formed in the womb of our mother until which time we developed enough to be born into the physical world, the three-dimensional world in which we presently dwell is feminine in relation to the realm of souls, and we cannot enter that world until we have again developed enough to be born again in the manner that Jesus taught.
The more we embrace the thinking, philosophy and culture of this world, and fail to develop our mind in relation to our indwelling soul and spiritual natures, the more we bring about our own demise. If we physically die without achieving the next level of birth, then we are as one of the innumerable number of eggs that a woman expels from her body each month because the egg was never fertilized, and never developed to the degree where it could be born into this world as an infant.
Is this cruel? Not when it is realized that all that is required is for us to live in accordance with the Royal Law of God -- i.e., treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated -- cherish the life of all of God’s creatuures as we cherish our own gift of life -- instead of going with the crowd, be true to our highest moral standard -- seek to know and understand truth, and let you level of truth become manifest in the way that you live your life -- and listen intently to that still small voice that speaks to us from within (1 Kgs 19:12). What this means is that every day of our life as we walk what the Bible refers to as the broad-way to destruction, there is always a detour leading away from the road to annihilation -- and if we seriously and sincerely seek to walk upon this path least traveled, that the Lord Himself will guide us into The Way. In this we have the embodiment of Paul’s doctrine of faith -- i.e., that if we seek the Will of God, and do the Will of God, that we will Know the Will of God -- and we will receive the knowledge that will enable us to enter into the Paradise of our Eternal Father God.
Instead we choose the doctrines of men and the cultural thinking of the philosophers of this world which the Apostle warned us would come to naught. Does it make a difference that we view both the Gospel and Life itself reflectively, in reverse of reality? The ramifications are so serious, and the differences in the perception of the Word are so great, that it can be unequivocally affirmed that there is no way we can even begin to understand and know the genuine Jesus -- how he came to be the Lord’s Anointed (Christ) -- how he came to be the Son of God -- and what makes Jesus different from us -- until we first understand our own long struggle to overcome this world as the prodigal sons of our Father. In many respects, it is a almost useless endeavor to open the pages of our Bibles, while our minds and manner of thinking remain Darwinist and carnal, and so far out of harmony with the very foundational precepts of the scriptures themselves.
If we desire the Light and the Truth, then we cannot take the sacred writings of the most spiritual people the world has ever known -- place these writings into the environment of not only an alien culture and mindset, but one that is based upon a totally opposite perception, goals and manner of life -- and expect to achieve the desired results and objectives of the authors. To even begin to embrace such a course of action can only be judged as insanity.
It is only when we open our eyes, hearts and minds -- and begin to recognize and become cognizant of the stark reality that confronts us -- a reality that demands us to acknowledge that every word and concept which Jesus spoke -- and every word that is recorded in our Bibles today -- is born from a foundational mindset that is essential to the very form and constitution of the Word -- a mindset and constitution that must be maintained in order to insure the integrity of the entire message -- can we even begin to contemplate the genuine teachings of Christ.
In many ways, modern Christian doctrine can be compared to a man who desires to plant a vineyard -- and having procured the finest seedlings ever developed, attempts to plant these seedlings in a desert. Regardless of the fact that we possess the most perfect seedlings ever known to man, because we have chosen a barren wasteland in which to plant these most choice of all plants, the vineyard that we envision can never manifest and become a reality.
Now there are those modern Church authorities who will ardently disagree with this statement. They will tell you that the Word of God is just as viable today as when Jesus preached it at the beginning of our Common Era. They will tell you that the Word of God is so universal, that it is applicable to any culture and any age that mankind has ever known. They will proclaim that man is saved by faith -- and yet, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible which supports the idea that a man who lives in accordance with the thinking and the culture of this world is saved by a mere profession that he believes that the historical man Jesus lived and was crucified! What the Bible says regarding the assertions of these people who preach this falsehood is that they are deceiving and seducing you into embracing a doctrine of darkness -- a doctrine designed to keep you in bondage to the god of this world. Moreover, the serpent is so crafty and seductive, that even the very people who preach these doctrines fail to recognize they have been ordained as ministers of darkness.
The Sadducees and Pharisees were greatly offended when Jesus condemned them as being counterfeit! But what of the church which called itself Christian? Any sincere person of faith must recognize that Constantine and the Roman Imperial Church which he created was not only counterfeit, but would more appropriately be called satanic and depraved -- as seen in the words of Martin Luther when he wrote in a letter to Pope Leo X on September 6th, 1520 with respect to the Christian Church of his day: "…once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness" (Quoted in: The Great Thoughts; compiled by George Seldes).
What did this Church which was called the synagogue of Satan change? Go to part three and find out.
GoTo Part Three