The Unanswerable Question!

Part III

Reincarnation -- the Key to Christianity

and Understanding the Bible!


Gospel of the Nazirenes 

Chap 37

1.Jesus sat in the porch of the temple, and some came to learn His doctrine, and one said to Him, "Master, what do you teach concerning life?" 

2.And He said to them, "Blessed are they who suffer many experiences, for they will be made perfect through suffering; they will be as the angels of God in heaven and will die no more. Neither will they be born any more, for death and birth have no more dominion over them." 

3."They who have suffered and have overcome will be made pillars of the temple of my God, and they will go out no more. I say to you, except you be born again of water and of fire, you cannot see the kingdom of God."  

4.And a certain Rabbi, Nicodemus, came to Him by night for fear of the Jews, and said to Him, "How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again?" 

5.Jesus answered "Except a man be born again of flesh and of spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God. The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound of it, but can not tell from where it comes or to where it goes." 

6."The light shines from the East even to the West; out of the darkness. The sun rises and sets into darkness again; so is it with man, from the ages to the ages." 

7."When it cometh from the darkness, it is that he has lived before, and when it goes down again into darkness, it is that he may rest for a little, and there after again exist." 

8."So through many changes must you be made perfect, as it is written in the book of Job, 'I am a wanderer, changing place after place and house after house, until I come into the city and mansion which is eternal.'" 

9.And Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" And Jesus answered , "You are a teacher in Israel, and do not understand these things? Truly, we speak that which we know, and bear witness to that which we have seen, and you do not receive our witness." 

10."If I tell you of earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you of heavenly things? No one ascends into heaven, unless they descended out of heaven, even the son or daughter of man which is in Heaven."

From the perspective of modern doctrine and religious experience, Christians today would have a very difficult time with the statement of the second century Church Father Clement of Alexandria when he wrote: “As a consequence of this intelligent sympathy with the Divine Will, the Gnostic becomes in perfect unity in himself, and as far as possible like God.  Definite outward observances cease to have any value for one whose being is brought into abiding harmony with that which is eternal; he has no wants, no passions; he rests in the contemplation of God, which is and will be his unfailing blessedness.”  

In addressing these words by Clement, it is important for us to recognize that because we do not comprehend the manner in which a mortal man of flesh and blood can rise above his very carnal and impermanent nature, to this high state of perfected spiritual consciousness spoken of by Clement, we no longer understand the very essence of Pure Christian Thought.   Becoming perfect and complete (Matt 5:48), and ultimately the Anointed of God, is simply no longer the objective of the modern church -- and in acknowledgement of this fact, we must conclude that Christians today proclaim an entirely different religion than was taught by Jesus and practiced by his original followers.  

Regardless of the fact that modern Christians will ardently dispute this statement and claim that they are embracing the pure teachings of the Word of God -- even a very casual investigation into the serious differences between the witnesses of the early Christians, and what is commonly believed today, will immediately demonstrate the discrepancy of totally incompatible thought, that the two cannot be seen as emanating from the same source.  Traditionally, the modern church has attempted to explain away these very serious discrepancies by claiming that the Hebrew-Christians were too Jewish to perceive the pure teachings of Christ, and the Gentile Christians were too Hellenistic.   So long as believers fail to question the implications of these rather shallow explanations, the Christian world will continue to embrace a very surface understanding of what Paul makes reference to as the Mysteries of God.  

Were the Hebrew Christians too Jewish?   Were the Gentile Christians too Hellenistic?   Or is there yet another element of the Gospel that is presently missing from our understanding, that causes us to embrace a doctrine of belief that is totally alien to the religion of Christ as practiced over the course of the first three centuries of our Common Era?  This is a very serious question that deserves the absolute attention of those who would like to consider themselves sincere believers.  When we begin to examine the (written) thoughts and perceptions of Christianity through the eyes of the leaders of the church prior to the time of Constantine, the great truth that begins to emerge is that we have been hampered by a very limited vision of life -- and having absolutely no perception of our true spiritual nature, we do not even possess a clear understanding of even our own individual potential.  

The missing element in the Gentile Church that evolved in the fourth century was replaced with a number of very seriously flawed manmade doctrines that was totally alien to original New Covenant thought.   Thus, doctrines such as Original Sin which was conceived by the celebrated but very clouded vision of the Latin Church Father Augustine -- i.e., that man is a congenital sinner -- conceived in sin, born in sin, dwelling in sin -- and because he can do nothing on his own to save himself, he is in need of redemption -- is an example of one of the flawed foundational doctrines that had caused great harm to Christians right into our present time.   In fact, it was doctrines such as this that caused the Gentile Church to anchor themselves even deeper in the abyss of darkness than even the Jews who Jesus condemned.  Where the Jews at least continued to use the biblical symbols that could easily be reinterpreted in a spiritual sense, and they attempted to live in accordance with a biblical lifestyle, the Pagan reinterpretation of the gospel destroyed the symbolism, and permitted believers to comfortably embrace a heathen lifestyle.

The result is that the very important spiritual concept that man can be “brought into abiding harmony with that which is eternal”, while still physically alive, is simply beyond modern-day doctrinal comprehension.   You can easily observe the congenital limitation today by simply suggesting to a believer that they must become as perfect as God while still living in their present life (Mat 5:48).   In fact, you will be met with immediate hostility.   Yet, this thought was a common theme among the first Hebrew and Gentile Christians.   Once this fact is realized, we must then ask why?   Why are we hostile to a religious tenet that was openly embraced by the first Church of the New Covenant?   Moreover, why does this concept of religion that was extensively written about over the first three centuries, now invoke fear and overt opposition in the hearts of the modern believer?  

The answer is not something that will be easily accepted by the modern believer who has been disenfranchised from the Word by manmade church doctrine.  And if we ask what represents the great divide between the past and the present?   Because of its Pagan foundational principles, the church today is one of spiritual containment and limits -- and the present church environment is no longer able to support a body of believers of whom it can be said of them that: “outward observances cease to have any value… he has no wants, no passions; he rests in the contemplation of God”.   Moreover, we cannot even relate to the wisdom expressed in the statement of Clement when he writes: “The greatest of all lessons is 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”.

We can of course condemn Clement of Alexandria as a Gnostic heretic who wrote under the guise of Christian orthodoxy -- but then we have Origen to contend with.   Origen tells us that the message at 1 John 3:2 in his Bible read a little differently than ours does today when he quoted the verse: “…it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like God, and shall see Him as He is”.  With regard to our becoming like God, Origen then writes regarding Matt 5:48 that: “…the virtue of man and of God is identical. And therefore we are taught to become 'perfect,' as our Father in heaven is perfect” (Mat 5:48).

If man is a congenital sinner because of the fall of Adam and Eve, then how can a man such as Origen even suggest that “…the virtue of man and God is identical”?   Origen, who was called the “prince of Christian learning”, we know was condemned by the Emperor Justinian in the year 553 -- so if we choose to permit our thinking and beliefs to be controlled by a heathen politician whose manner of thinking anticipated Darwin, we can ignore Origen also.   St. Nazianzen, though, was never condemned.   In fact, it is recorded that he was called by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus “The Great”, and was universally known as “The Divine” -- which is a title he shares with St. John the Evangelist.   St. Nazianzen, in apparent agreement with all the preceding Church Fathers, wrote that when we make ourselves fit vessels for the Lord, the Spirit will reveal to us our true nature, and make “us like God; so that when we have thus become like Himself, God may, to use a bold expression, hold converse with us as Gods, being united to us, and that perhaps to the same extent as He already knows those who are known to Him”.

In apparent total agreement, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should “therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph 5:1 NAS).   Yet, if it is true that we are carnal and born in sin, how can we accomplish such a feat?   In much the same manner as these other early Christian writers, the disciple Peter expresses this same requirement in our scriptures: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Pet 1:15-16 NIV) -- which is very near the commandment of Jesus when he said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48 KJV).

Many faithful believers today have a great problem in coming to terms with these biblical passages and concepts of early Christian beliefs.   They truly do not understand how they can be perfect.   Moreover, the religious authorities they listen to claim that such a thing is impossible, and often label those who even suggest that man has the capacity to be perfect as heretics.   Based upon our observations of human nature, they will conclude that none among us is perfect?   Who is of such a heightened spiritual stature that God converses with them as a God?   What man today is so virtuous, that he possesses the virtue of God?   It is therefore easy to conclude in accordance with our observations and judgment, that not one man in our present time has lived up to such a level of Godliness.  

The problem is that our conclusions have three fatal flaws.   The first fatal flaw of our thinking is to assume that we would know a Godly man if we saw one.   I base this statement on the biblical example that all the prophets sent from God were hated, condemned and killed as heretics.   The two other fatal flaws of our thinking are in fact related to the first -- in that, the reason the prophets sent from God have been killed by the people they revealed themselves to, is that in every generation mankind always chooses his own ways over those of God's.   The second fatal flaw to our thinking, then, is that we do not understand God's Divine Plan for Creation -- and we make our assumptions and doctrines of belief based upon our own very limited understanding of life.

The third fatal flaw to our thinking is very closely related to the first two:  Because we fail to recognize the means by which men become perfect, and we do not understand the Divine Plan of God, we fail to comprehend not only the reason for life itself, but also the all-encompassing force that has brought us to our current station in the life we are presently living.   This last fatal flaw, then, is the very stake that is driven through our heart that brings about our own spiritual suicide -- in that, this stake is the weapon we use to drive through the heart of our own understanding and intellect that we must rely upon in order to comprehend anything of any real value.

Brute beasts have no understanding of life.   They do not comprehend the reasons they live.   They know not from where they have come -- and neither do they know their destiny.   They live their day-to-day existences in either fulfillment of their carnal needs, or as victors or victims of the consequences of nature and their surroundings.   Brute beasts live a sensual existence -- in that, life holds nothing for them beyond the experience of the senses, the appetite, and the fulfillment of the laws of nature.

Mankind, on the other hand, was created in the “image… and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26).   He, therefore, has latent Divine capabilities that are able to raise him far above the limitations of nature.   For us to fully understand the true depth of the Divine Pattern within which he was formed, it is necessary for us to stop for a moment and ponder this all-pervading thought and concept.   By virtue of man's Divine attributes and genetic identity, man possesses the innate ability -- IF HE CHOOSES -- to soar above the limitations of nature, into a level of Being that carnal man who is sense bound in the manner of the beasts of this world, to even envision.   

What I have accomplished in these few words is to re-establish the Gospel message of Jesus in a slightly different twist.   The carnal believers who Paul stated were incapable of understanding the mysteries of God, and who Jesus spoke of as “without”, are those who have not lifted their understanding above the limitations of nature.   The Gnostic or Spiritual Christians, on the other hand, are those who have used God's gift to mankind, and evolved themselves beyond the level of the senses and nature.   That the carnal believers who called themselves orthodox condemned the genuine spiritual Gnostic believers is something that is well documented in the scriptures, and was predicted by the authors of the New Testament.

I listened to a preacher one day expound the doctrine that man is incapable of any good whatsoever.   To prove his point he quoted the verse in Genesis that states: “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen 6:5 NIV).   And yet, in his agreement that man was wicked, the preacher failed to offer any definition as to what evil was.   Thus, the flaw is not with the design of man -- but more appropriately, the fact that our religious leaders have very little understanding with regard to the design, pattern, and potential of both man and Creation.

Speaking of the mysteries of God and the acquisition of Divine Knowledge, the Apostle says that: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb 5:14 KJV).   Thus, the Apostle uses the term “senses exercised” in relation to “good and evil”.   This confirms the words of St. Gregory when he wrote that: “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”.

What is said here is that unless man uses his inner mental and spiritual facilities to rise above the limitations of the senses, then all his inclinations are evil.   Why?   Because they are of this world, and incomplete.   The doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees were evil -- not because they did not know the scriptures, but because they were founded upon the senses and thinking of this world.   In like manner, the customs and practices of the Gentiles were evil, because they too were founded upon the senses and thinking of this world.  

How would God view us today?   The Christian in our present time would of course point at our Hedonistic society and say the people of our modern culture are evil.   But what about those who call themselves Christian -- are they also evil?   From the original vision of the Bible and the first Christians, in order for us to rise above the religious people of the past, and embrace the good, it is absolutely necessary that we raise our understanding and perception above the senses and thinking of this world.   In view of the fact that Christians today live in accordance with the same culture and often embrace the same lifestyle as their heathen and hedonistic brothers and sisters, then from a biblical perspective we must entertain the possibility that modern believers who claim to be Christian, are themselves part of the very same evil generation they condemn.

What then is good?   Perhaps the key to understanding the true definition of good and evil is found in the words of the Apostle when he commands us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5 NIV).   In this statement that on the surface appears rather extreme and impossible -- and in fact could be considered the very essence of religions such as Buddhism -- lies the answer to the dilemma of good and evil.   Man has been imbued by his Creator with three natures: Body, Soul or Mind, and Spirit.   As we have seen previously, Origen states that scripture, being itself of Divine creation, is in like manner written in the same threefold nature as man.   The Gnostic Christians of Paul viewed the three natures as spiritual, psychic and material.   Going one step further, all of creation being of Divine Origination, is also manifested in accordance with this same pattern.

The source of all life and being springs from God.   With regard to the allegorical nature of scripture Origen wrote: 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”.  The thoughtful reader will of course conclude that nothing can go out from the presence of God because “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28 KJV).   Therefore, in order to begin to get a right sense of good and evil, it is first necessary for us to recognize that every movement and inclination of mind is powered and carried upon a life-force that originates with God.   Yet, we must recognize the fact that the words of the Apostle complicate this vision when he tells us that there is the god of this world, and the God of the Kingdom.

If it is true that the Source of all life is the Kingdom -- or perhaps better defined as originating with God -- good, then, can be defined as whatever is immediately returned directly via body, mind and spirit back to God by the shortest, internal path.   In the words of the Apostle this truth is expressed in the requirement to: “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5 NIV).   Evil, on the other hand, is when these Divine Energies that originate with God are instead expelled into nature -- or the physical world only -- instead of being returned by the shortest route back to their Source.  

This same concept is presented to us in the parable of the Master who went on a journey to another country, and disbursed to his servants his goods, as depicted in the scriptures in the form of talents -- which is actually a unit of weight and measure that was used at the time.   In the parable, those servants who increased what had been given to them were said to be good and faithful servants.   The servant who did not increase, and instead buried his talent in the earth, as seen in the words: “I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own” (Matt 25:25 ASV), conveys to us the manner in which we must begin to contemplate the concepts of good and evil from a biblical perception.

The modern-day Christian can agree with the concept of the worldly versus the faithful servant -- but they have a serious problem contemplating the deeper spiritual perception from the level of vital life-force -- and especially that each of us was given their number of talents in accordance with pre-existing conditions.  

There is no doubt that this whole manner of thinking will sound foreign to the mind of the believer today -- but we must also recognize the fact that the whole concept of capturing every thought to Christ is also just as alien to the mindset of the modern Christian.   We can of course say that surely man has the capacity to know good and evil -- and yet we must question the reason why such a prominent early Christian such as St. Gregory would write that evil cannot be judged “by the standard of the senses”?   The problem is that the source of evil goes beyond the depth of the physical world in which we observe, and the answer can only be envisioned at the level where our thoughts are seen to ride upon the vital energies of God.   From a biblical perspective, when our thoughts or lifestyle causes our vital energies to go off into nature, this is evil -- while only those thoughts and manner of living which cause our vital energies to immediately return via mind and spirit to their Originating Source can be understood as being good.  

When the scriptures declare that: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9) -- we should ask ourselves why?   The answer is found in the parable of he prodigal son Luke 15:11-32).   Where in our carnal reasoning we relate the concept of our inheritance to material wealth, the inheritance that is envisioned in the scriptures can only be perceived from a sub-atomic level of being, and must be seen from the perspective of the very force of life itself -- i.e., that energy that permits us to “…move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28 KJV).  

From this all-encompassing perspective of life is born the realization that in our existance as the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father, our inheritance (Lk 15:13) that we squander away in the far country is in fact the organic vital energies and life-force that gives us life.   When we take these vital energies, and funnel them only through our carnal mind, thereby putting them in the earth in the manner of the unfaithful servant, then make ourselves a slave to the “citizen” of the far country (Lk 15:15) -- which from the perception of the Apostle Paul is the god of this world.   When these energies are expelled into nature -- regardless of whether we have faith or belief -- it is that condition from a biblical perspective where the person has immersed themselves in a life of sin.   In its extreme form which we would label hedonistic and sensually driven, represents that condition that the Bible makes reference to in the words: “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen 6:5 NIV).   This very sensual and materialistic state is of course descriptive of the greater majority of mankind that presently inhabit this world.

If we begin to think about these carnal versus spiritual concepts, and ponder the manner in which we presently live, salvation would appear to be impossible.   The plight of man is that he has been born into a carnal sense bound world -- one in which everything is external to ourselves.   Even if we desired to be faithful to the commands of the Apostle, we don't know how to even begin to capture every thought to Christ -- much less how to return these vital life-force streams of organic energy back through the path of consciousness to the Kingdom within us.   Most of us aren't even aware that there is a Kingdom within us.   Being immersed in an unspiritual culture since birth, we are not even sure what the term inner Kingdom means, much less if it even exists.

Being reared in an anti-Gnostic interpretation of New Covenant religion, the words “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24 KJV), has very little meaning to us today.   After all, being people of flesh and blood, it is beyond our scope of experience to comprehend what spirit meant -- much less what it means to worship God in “spirit and truth”?   How can we be saved if we do not know these things?   The answer is found in the New Testament: “And when the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, Then who can be saved? And looking upon them Jesus said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:25-26 NAS).

The multitudes who were satisfied with hearing the Son of God speak, and continued in their normal course of life, were taught in parables and ethical stories that if practiced, would improve their lives and prepare them for the next stage in the transformational process.   To those who realized that Jesus had “the words of eternal life” -- and knew that he was “the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69 NIV), Jesus taught the means to enter the Kingdom -- a parallel realm where all things are possible.

That there is A Way to fulfill all things, and simultaneously live in this world as spiritual sojourners and alien residents, is seen in the words of the Apostle when he wrote: “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Phil 4:12 NAS).   Paul, as well as the early Church Fathers, the Gnostic Christians, the Essenes and the Messianic Jewish believers who followed in the footsteps of our Lord, all “learned the secret” to overcome the trials of this world.   Faith, then, from their perspective, was a faith and belief that if they imitated the Lord, that the Kingdom would come upon them, and they would be saved.

In order to reverse the anti-Gnostic process that each of us was born into, we must begin to perceive and become willing participants in the Divine Plan of God.   When the scriptures declare that “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9) -- it then goes on to explain that: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa 55:10-11 NAS) -- there is a great number of important concepts that are being conveyed by the author of the scriptures.  

In these words are contained a revelation of Divine Truth that few readers of the Bible are able to perceive.   What is set forth here is a fundamental concept of cyclic-universal law that, when properly understood, is one of the foundational images that all of reality continually embraces.   What does it convey to us?   Every aspect of creation, as well as every substance of vital energy and life-force that proceeds out from God, must BY NATURAL LAW return back to its Source.   Going one step further the Bible states “My word… shall not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it”.   This same Divine concept is demonstrated to us in the example as seen in the parable of the prodigal son.   We, who are the children and offspring of God, were originally with our Father in the kingdom -- we came into this, the far country, and it is our destiny to return -- and this return which is orchestrated by Divine Law, cannot be negated.

The scriptures predict that: “I have sworn by myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isa 45:23 NAS).   Yet, if we examine this verse from the perspective of modern church doctrine, we must pose the question: How can this vision of God ever come to pass if the majority of people who are non-believers, and even casual philosophical believers, are going to be lost forever in the destruction of Hell?  

There is a Divine Plan that was instituted prior to that time when “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2 KJV).   For the Lord has said that: “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isa 46:10 NAS). 

What this means is that the vision and plan of God was ordained and guaranteed prior to the first act of Creation -- and whatever was, whatever is, and whatever will be, is all within the design of God -- a design that will eventually bring everything that proceeded forth from God into a perfected state.   In the words of the Apostle: “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment -- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:9-11 NIV).

We can even go one step further in understanding the Divine Plan and demonstrate that all of Creation is a willing participant.   This is seen in the words of the Apostle when he wrote: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom 8:16-17 NIV).  

Of these sufferings the Apostle writes: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed” (Rom 8:18-19 NIV).   It is important to realize that Paul speaks of the creation in its entirety, waiting for the sons -- in its plural sense -- to be revealed.

The Apostle then goes on to explain that: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom 8:20-22 NIV).   We, then, are the sons of God who are in “pains of childbirth”, and in the process of begin born.

Once we begin to understand the true essence of the cause of sin, we can begin to find total agreement with the words of the Apostle when he proclaimed: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 NAS).   This is true -- but we must also remember that “the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it”.   What the Apostle is herein declaring is that our plight in this world was predestined and forced upon us by God, our Father, so that we will come to our inheritance of the “glorious freedom of the children of God”.

These spiritual concepts should have been passed down to us by a body of Anointed Christians.   The problem is that when the emperors and politicians who ruled the thinking and doctrine of the Roman Church killed off spiritual Christians -- both Jewish and Gentile -- and recreated the Church as a Government institution, the Church lost the ability to grasp the spiritual meaning of the scriptures.   Thus, like the Sadducees and Pharisees that Jesus condemned, we see only the written word, and fail to grasp the sacred truths conveyed in such stories as Adam and Eve and the story of Creation that engulfs everything we think, do and say.  

If we ask what Jesus taught his disciples about these biblical stories, we can find the answer in the teachings of Peter as preserved in the writings known as the Clementine Homilies: “Then Peter answered: Assuredly, with good reason, I neither believe anything against God, nor against the just men recorded in the law, taking for granted that they are impious imaginations. For, as I am persuaded, neither was Adam a transgressor, who was fashioned by the hands of God; nor was Noah drunken, who was found righteous above all the world; nor did Abraham live with three wives at once, who, on account of his sobriety, was thought worthy of a numerous posterity; nor did Jacob associate with four women - of whom two were sisters - who was the father of the twelve tribes, and who intimated the coining of the presence of our Master; nor was Moses a murderer, nor did he learn to judge from an idolatrous priest - he who set forth the law of God to all the world, and for his right judgment has been testified to as a faithful steward”.

It was of these sacred truths of which Origen said: “I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed”.   Even the Apostle Paul confirmed this when he wrote: “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 the same way that it is a sin to put one's vital energies into the world without bringing them back into spirit and returning them directly to God, it is equally a sin to read the scriptures and see only the letter, or body of what is written.   It is for this reason that the Apostle Paul warned: “if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Cor 8:2 NKJ).

Knowledge of the mysteries of God and the Divine Plan begins with the knowledge of ourselves and our relationship to our Father in heaven.   It is for this reason that 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”.

From the perspective of our modern beliefs, what these earliest of Christian writers and saints are witnessing to is impossible from our understanding of the Word.   We are a created being that was defiled because of original sin -- and as such, we view ourselves as congenital sinners.   Because we embrace the religious concepts of Justinian and Darwin, we cannot even conceive of the idea that “the Resurrection is no other thing than 'the re-constitution of our nature in its original form’”.  

In view of the fact that the scriptures themselves state that what proceeds forth from God “…shall not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa 55:10-11 NAS) -- and the fact that “…to me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Isa 45:23 NAS) -- and the whole of creation has been “predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph 1:9-11 NIV) -- then we must begin the process of re-evaluating our beliefs in order to raise them above the limits of nature, and bring them into conformity with the Divine Plan.

If we are in fact the prodigal sons of our Father in heaven, and we were with our Father prior to our entrance into this, the far country, then we must totally re-evaluate the concept of ourselves as to when we come into existence?   We must instead perceive the reality of the words of Nemesius, Bishop of Emesa, who writes: “Moses does not say that the soul was created at that moment at which it was put into the body, nor would it be reasonable to suppose it… that the soul is not thus mortal and that man's destiny is not bounded by his present life…”

In review of the attack of Celsus upon the second century church for teaching two doctrines -- the doctrine of haven and hell to the common believers, and the doctrine of reincarnation to the more spiritual body of believers in the church -- we find the answer to our doctrinal dilemma in Origen's reply: “But on these subjects much and that of a mystical kind, might be said; in keeping with which is the following: It is good to keep close the secret of a king, (Tobit xii, 7), in order that the doctrine of the entrance of souls into bodies, not, however, that of the transmigration from one body into another, may not be thrown before the common understanding, nor what is holy given to the dogs, nor pearls be cast before swine.  For such a procedure would be impious, being equivalent to a betrayal of the mysterious declaration of God's Wisdom”.

Origen's defense against the allegations of Celsus was embodied in the words that the church has never concealed the fact that it teaches the doctrine of reincarnation -- or in his words “the transmigration from one body into another”.   What Origen does admit to being concealed from the common believers as one of the more profound Mysteries of God is the “doctrine of the entrance of souls into bodies” -- or, the reason why mankind was thrown into this world in the beginning of time.   Why?   Because only a true holy man can even begin to contemplate man's beginning and end -- and in many respects, reincarnation cannot even be considered to be a valid religious belief.

Contrary to popular understanding, religion is not a system of beliefs -- like philosophy -- but rather, religion is the means by which the disciple gains entrance into the Kingdom and returns home to the Father.   Religion in its pure form is literally The Way.   What Jesus taught was that many (religious) philosophies the world over are embroiled in an uncountable number of doctrines and controversies, but none of their philosophers and holy men have succeeded in totally embracing the Light, and becoming the Anointed Son of God.  

In this respect, all things that pertain to the process of returning to the Father would be considered religious because it is an integral part of the domain of walking in The Way.   Whatever is of this world and its perpetual cycles and manifestations of law, are not truly considered part of the teachings of The Way.

When religion deals with death, it is dealing with physical death -- but rather, that condition when man is bound by the physical, and is not cognizant of his source of being which is God -- i.e.: Another disciple said to him, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. But Jesus told him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matt 8:21-22 NIV).   Thus, from a scriptural perspective, death is that condition when our vital energies go out into the world, instead of being captured to Christ and returned back into the Kingdom.

Origen openly confirmed that the church taught reincarnation over the course of the first three centuries, and considered this doctrine to be little more than one of the lesser mysteries of God.   Why?   How can Origen view the transmigration of the soul in such a casual manner, when it is such a stumbling block to believers today?   Because from a religious perspective, reincarnation is something that is a fact of life, and is not something to believe in as a matter of religious faith.   It is looked upon by the Gnostic or Spiritual believer as simply one of many natural occurrences in the evolution of the soul towards its ultimate destiny.   The truth of the matter is that, people will reincarnate whether they believe it or not.   In the same way that man -- without much choice in the matter -- is born, he breathes, he consumes food, he engages in sex, he dies, and a whole host of other events that are simply part of his physical reality, reincarnation is just another one of these facts of life.  

From the position of the disciple, reincarnation is not an arguable point.   It is considered one of the lesser mysteries of God because it is part of the process by which the Lord brings about our perfection.   It is not part of the teachings of The Way -- in that the Lord came to save us from the trials of the Law of Rebirth.   As soon as the disciple even begins to turn to the Lord in spirit and truth, and releases himself from the theological baggage of this world created by the doctrines of men, these lesser mysteries are revealed to him so that he might gain insight into the trials of life.   The fact that we have lived many such lives as we are doing at present is not part of the solution, and is just one of the many lesser mysteries of this world that are made known to the disciple.

To reaffirm a previous statement: When the disciple begins to truly perceive many of the inner meanings of the Law of Moses -- a Law that could very well instead be called the Law of perpetual Rebirth -- and the disciple begins to comprehend the forces that shackle his soul to this world, only then is he able to begin the process of breaking free.   If Jesus came to save the sinners, then he came to save them from their fate -- which fate is lifetimes of perpetual enslavement to the sufferings, punishments and hardships imposed upon them by the god of this world -- which in the symbolism of the scriptures is often referred to as Hell.  

It was warned that we should settle matters “with our adversary quickly, while we are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out from there, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing” (Matt 5:25-26 KJV).  

This same concept of imprisonment is stated in the parable of the unforgiving servant who failed to forgive in the manner that he had been forgiven: “In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matt 18:34-35 NIV).   What is being conveyed here is that our heavenly Father will not forgive our debts, unless we extend this same forgiveness to our brothers.   And again we see that the unforgiving person will be thrown into a prison, and tortured, until which time he “should pay back all he owed”.

Christians today are under the false assumption that they are free from the Law as portrayed in the Old Testament -- and yet, it is the New Testament that very clearly warns us not to become entangled in the Law -- i.e., the Mosaic Law of Retaliation -- or action and reaction.   There is absolutely nothing in the gospel message that was revealed by Jesus that even remotely suggests that his followers would be exempt from the Law.   In this we are confused -- i.e., what both Jesus and Paul taught was that if we walk in The Way, then we will receive grace and rise above the Law that controls the workings of this world.   If Jesus came to abolish the Law, then it is by leading us into a better place where the laws of this realm can no longer enslave us.   If we refuse to follow, and just philosophically believe, then the warning of Peter becomes our fate: “…they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 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” (2 Pet 2:20-21 NIV).  

Jesus did not alter the vision of God with respect to the purpose of life.   He did not inaugurate a system whereby carnal man would be exempt from both spiritual standards and their eventual destiny -- and give them a free pass to dwell on earth under the dominion of the god of this realm.   Jesus came to lead us out of this world of darkness and despair -- if we refuse to follow, then we neither have faith, or are we genuine believers.

Jesus came to enlighten us!   Ignorance of the laws of this world causes the soul to become immersed in an uncountable number of senseless lifetimes of suffering and pain where we dwell in darkness, and very little spiritual gain can be made.   In our effort to understand our plight in this realm, we must ask ourselves what the Lord is conveying to us when he admonishes us that if we violate his Commandments we cannot be forgiven, but cast aside?   In Jesus' own words he warns us that if we permit ourselves to have differences with an adversary, or do not forgive, we are delivered to the judge, who will cast us into prison, and we will not be permitted to come out of prison until we have repaid the last debt that we owe.   This is the Law of Action and Reaction -- often referred to as the Mosaic Law of retaliation, that Jesus came to save us from.

Are Christian's exempt from the Law, as is commonly believed today?   The Law of Action and Reaction as it applies to all people -- believe and non-believer alike -- is further demonstrated in Paul's warning to the Galatians: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal 6:7 NKJ).   What the Apostle is stating is that you are presently creating your future.   Most modern believers accept this with reservations, in that they mistakenly believe that Paul is making reference to what is known as the Day of Judgment.  Yet, in the teachings of Jesus we see that the Day of Judgment is not in the future, but rather is a continual process in our daily lives.   In order to begin the process of following in The Way, Jesus warns us to settle matters with our adversaries quickly, or we will be delivered to the judge and cast into prison.  

The true scope of what Jesus actually taught regarding the Law can be seen in his warning: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny” (Matt 5:21-26 RSV).

Once we begin to realize the great truth conveyed by the Apostle when he taught us that we are the Temple of God -- who dwells within us -- and we become cognizant that the true alter of the Lord is likewise within us -- then the reality of what Jesus is warning us about begins to take form in our minds.   It is this realm that is the prison -- and we cannot even begin the process of walking in The Way, until we are free from the debts that we have incurred against our brothers and sisters.   Moreover, what Jesus said regarding the Law of Moses is that his followers will not be exempt from fulfilling the Commandments of God; but actually held to higher standards than what was portrayed in the Old Testament scriptures.

How long will we remain in prison?   In their doctrine of heaven and hell modern Christians believe that whatever a person's fate is once they are brought to the judgment seat of Christ, their destiny will be either eternal damnation of eternal bliss.   Yet Jesus taught contrary to this doctrine when he said: “Thou shalt by no means come out from there, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing”.    This of course is contrary to what we presently believe, in that it speaks of a time when those condemned to prison will come out.

How different modern Christians perceive what the scriptures convey to us today is easily demonstrated by using our very own Bibles.   When Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders that the “…tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matt 21:31 RSV), such a statement simply has no place within the present day understanding of Christian doctrine.   Because we are without a means to explain Jesus' words, most Bible commentaries simply ignore the implications of this passage of scripture.   One widely used commentary attempts to correct the text by changing the words to “instead of” -- which would then make the meaning doctrinally correct and read: “The tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God instead of you”.  

In this verse of scripture we are presented with one of the core reasons why the original followers of Christ believed differently than most Christians today.   The question that must be posed is: When will the chief priests and elders enter into the kingdom?   Modern Christian   doctrine states that because of their disbelief and rejection of Christ, they will be cut off from the face of God, and condemned to eternal judgment.   And yet we cannot deny the fact that Jesus' own words convey the message that there will come a time when the chief priests and elders will also enter the Kingdom of God -- and it will be at a time after the tax collectors and harlots who believed, repented, and followed the Christ.

As students of the scriptures, we should ask ourselves why modern Bible commentaries are silent about the implications of these words that Jesus spoke?   If it is our desire to know and embrace the truth that Jesus taught, then we would want to expand our knowledge and understanding in order to better comprehend the Word.   Why, then, do our commentaries generally ignore the implications of these words that Jesus taught?   The answer is simple: There are three possible resolutions to the problem, and each of the resolutions is not in harmony with modern Christian doctrine: (1) The chief priests and elders will be permitted into the Kingdom even though they did not believe, and did not accept Christ in their lifetime; (2) They will be given the opportunity to work off their sins in some after-life state of existence; (3) Or, the unthinkable is true, and the beliefs of the direct followers of Jesus and the earliest of Christians are correct, and those souls who were the chief priests and elders will be reincarnated, and continue to live lives in this realm, until which time they have paid back the last debt, accept Christ, and mature to the level of spiritual perfection that is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.  

Our commentaries fail to explore the possibilities, because to go beyond our limitations of thinking, we begin to navigate unchartered territory -- and this creates turmoil in our religious life.  Moreover, any commentary that strays too far from accepted religious opinion would be immediately condemned as heresy.   Because we cling to the milk, and are afraid to eat the more solid food of the Spiritual Gospel, we simply fail to contemplate and investigate along unfamiliar lines of thinking.   The result is that we do violence to ourselves by extending our servitude to the prison of this world by obstructing the very path that leads us to the threshold of The Way.

With respect to the above statement of Jesus: Such a concept of religion is so adverse and antagonistic to modern doctrine, and the ramifications so frightening to the flock of faith-based believers, that this -- and many other such passages of scripture -- are simply ignored by Christians today.   Yet, the direct followers of Jesus, as well as the first Gentile Christians, understood such statements in the Bible as being part of the process that brings about the requirement that Jesus set forth for those who would be truly saved: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48 RSV).   Where we lack a means to understand these biblical concepts, the early Christians recognized these teachings to be part of the process whereby each of us will continue to live out lives in this realm until we become very serious in our walk with Christ, and put on the necessary cloak of perfection as required in order to enter the Kingdom of God.  

If what Jesus said is true, and the chief priests and elders will eventually be given the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God -- and if Jesus truly meant what he said when he stated that mankind must indeed become perfect, as our heavenly Father, then where does that leave the modern believer today.   Thus, we see in this single concept an example of one of the many points where the modern Christian's approach to the Bible is founded upon a different premise, and from a totally different perspective than those who sat at the Masters feet and learned directly from him.  

The Apostle Paul writes much the same thing to the believers at Corinth: “his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor 3:13-15 NIV).   In evaluating this, let us be ever mindful of the fact that Paul was writing to believers who were yet too carnal to receive and comprehend the Mysteries of God.  

This same concept where every debt must be repaid is reinforced throughout many other teachings of the scriptures: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same” (Job 4:8 KJV) -- “For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way” (Job 34:11 NAS) -- “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (Prov 1:31 KJV) -- “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isa 3:10-11 KJV) -- “But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it” (Jer 21:14 KJV) -- “And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth” (Ezek 7:9 KJV) -- “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:10 KJV).

What is truly important is for us to understand that the above verses are one side of the coin -- all those many biblical verses that speak about predestination are merely revealing to us that whatever shape our life takes from birth to death, is the direct result of our own past actions; i.e., “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom 2:6 KJV) -- “You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men” (Hosea 10:13 NKJ) -- “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray” (Prov 5:22-23 NAS).

We are the prodigal sons of our Father in heaven.  Our soul is our elder brother who has remained in spirit with the Lord -- and in our wanderings where we have squandered away our inheritance, our soul has lived many such lifetimes as we are at present in a body of flesh in this the far country.   Moreover, we will continue to live in the prison of this, the far country, until we have repaid every debt that we owe -- or until we accept the grace of Christ, and inherit the freedom of a disciple of the Light.  

As Christians we must ask what is the significance of children?   In the message of the scriptures the Lord pays particular attention and importance to the “little ones” -- being warned that if we do not “turn about”, and become as little children, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.   How can we fulfill the vision of Jesus respecting the requirement to turn about and become as a little child, unless we can understand the meaning that Jesus placed upon this condition which he said was absolutely necessary for our salvation.

In view of the fact that I previously demonstrated in a preceding chapter that a whole section of scripture was removed from our Bibles because the Church of Constantine did not agree with the vision of Jesus with regard to the little children, we must question as to what importance from a spiritual perspective was the understanding of children that was conveyed by the Lord to the hearer or reader of the gospel?   If Jesus warned us that we cannot gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven -- and yet, his understanding of this requirement was kept from us when the Bible was edited in order to support the religion of Constantine -- a very important question for the modern believer to answer is how can be sure that we have fulfilled this requirement today?  

What is a child?   We would say that it is a new soul that was created by God -- but is it?   The Bible itself states to us in Eccl 1:9-11 that “there is no new thing under the sun” -- and then asks the question: “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See this is new”.   Let us refute the wisdom of the Bible, and use the example of a new-born baby as something that is new.   Surely this baby is new -- i.e., it has never had an existence prior to being born.  

Yet, the scripture confutes us, and teaches that “It hath been already of old time, which was before us”.   So that we might be sure that the scriptures are speaking about a new born baby, it then goes on to clarify the statement by adding: “There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after”.   Based upon these words is can be said that, from a biblical perspective, even though a baby (or person) will not remember its past: “It hath been already of old time”.   According to the first Christians, this is true -- unless the Lord opens the minds of a person in order for them to remember the previous lives that their soul has lived.   That the majority of people do not remember the previous lives that their pre-existent soul has lived prior to their coming into being in their present life, is basically caused by the fact that by embracing the culture of this world, they have made themselves alien to their true self.  

What this means is that as we rid ourselves of what is false because of our attachment to the culture and mindset of this world, our awareness and knowledge of our soul's past will be made available to us.   Since very few of us are even cognizant that we are an image of our pre-existent soul, and have little in common with the being we truly are within us, it is easily understood why we fail to remember our past -- which past is not ours because the person we are is a product of our culture, rather than what is genuine and real.

Speaking of Rebecca, the mother of Jacob and Esau, the Apostle wrote that “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil… it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.   As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom 9:11-13).   Thus the Lord said: “Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee” (Jer 1:5).   And again it is written: “Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men”.   In these words we have been presented with one of the key elements in the verses pertaining to children that was removed from the gospels -- the idea that we are each known prior to being formed in the womb -- and are again made children because we had previously been led into the paths of destruction.

Since Christianity is in fact an outgrowth of Judaism, it is reasonable to conclude that it would be of benefit in our quest to comprehend these mysteries if we understood whether the belief in the pre-existence of the soul was a part of our Jewish heritage?   The following quotation is taken from The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, under the heading of Souls, Transmigration of: “The doctrine of transmigration of souls, which was especially accepted by the Karaites… is generally attacked by Jewish philosophers, but is defended by Isaac Abravanel and Manasseh ben Israel.  It appears often in Cabala; it is found in organized form in the Zohar, it is further developed in the teachings of Isaac Luria (1534-1572), and in Hasidism it becomes a universal belief.   According to these teachings, all human souls have a common origin in the spiritual unity of the primordial man, sparks of which form the individual souls... The sin of Adam brought higher and lower souls into confusion; as a result, every soul has to pass through a series of incarnations... The soul itself has no sex, which is determined by the body and may vary from incarnation to incarnation”.  

In the Zohar, a doctrine of Jewish Mysticism, it is written that: “All souls are subject to the trials of transmigration; and men do not know the designs of the Most High with regard to them… The souls must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged.  But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God”.   This reunion with God is the rebirth that was spoken of by Jesus to the Pharisee Nicodemus, “a ruler of the Jews”.  

In the reading of the scriptures, it is often important for us to grasp the essence of totality of thought that is expressed.   One of the things that we should see is that Jesus expected a “ruler of the Jews” (Jn 3:1) to understand the objective and the purpose of the sacred writings.   When Jesus said that “Verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”; he was speaking of a sacred truth that a ruler of the Jews should know. 

Finally, Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again”!   Why?   Because the rebirth is well documented throughout the writings of the Spiritual Jews that “All souls… must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged.  But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them... until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God.”

What does it mean where the Zohar states that “All souls… must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged”?   Isn't the primary essence of what is being said in this writing of Jewish Mysticism the same exact vision of man's plight that is portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son?   The “absolute substance” would be another way of saying the son went forth from his place of origination with his Father, and entered into this world -- wherein, the sons of the Father “must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged”.  

How, then, do we develop the necessary perfection to return to God?   Again the Zohar gives us the same exact requirement as did Jesus when he commanded us at Matthew 5:48 to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father: “All souls are subject to the trials of transmigration; and men do not know the designs of the Most High with regard to them… to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections… if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth, until they have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God” -- which is seen in the return of the prodigal son to his Father's Kingdom.

What is important is that we begin to see the connection and uniformity of thought between the mindset of the Spiritual Jew and the Spiritual Christian.   Moreover, it is important that we understand that what we perceive as two religions, are truly only separated by cultural and political differences.   The essence of both are one and the same.

In his book Nishmath Hayem, Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel (1604-1657) wrote: The belief in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a firm and infallible teaching accepted by the whole assemblage of our people with one accord, so that there is none to be found who would dare to deny it… Indeed, there are a great number of sages in Israel who hold firm to this doctrine so that they made it a teaching, a fundamental point of our religion.  We are therefore in duty bound to obey and to accept this teaching with acclamation… as the truth of it has been incontestably demonstrated by the Zohar, and all books of the Kabalists.”

Interestingly enough, in Hasidism, in which the pre-existence of the soul “becomes a universal belief” (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia), there is no salvation apart from the belief in and advent of the Messiah in the life of the individual.   In view of the fact that our present-day ideas pertaining to the Messiah have been form and strongly influenced by the Church of the Roman Empire, what if the Hasidic Jew has a more pure perception of the Son of God than does the majority of Christians?

When the Zohar states that “men do not know the designs of the Most High with regard to them…”, we must recognize that this is the same exact message that is prevalent throughout the New Testament scriptures?   In fact, isn't it because (carnal) men do not know what God requires, and (carnal) man can do nothing on his own, that prompts the Apostle Paul to write that (carnal) man is saved by faith alone.  

The Apostle is correct in his assertion that the ritual observance practiced by the Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees cannot absolve a person of sin, and save them in the hereafter -- but he would say the same thing of the ritual observances of the Church of Rome.   Based upon the words of Jesus it can also be concluded that faith and belief without actively following in the Lord's footsteps will not save even those who call themselves Christian -- i.e., “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 KJV).   What we must understand is that Paul possessed a much higher vision of life than did the majority of Christians who followed after him -- and Paul's faith was in a system of Laws that control the destiny of mankind.

Christian's will of course say: Paul preached that man must have faith in Christ -- and this is true, but we must understand that Paul had no difficulty in connecting the historical Christ and the transcendental Spiritual Christ -- and Paul also knew that everything in Creation is subject to, and controlled by a series of Laws that either restrict or open, dependent upon the manner in which man approaches and invokes them.   We know from the writings of the historians at the time that all Essene initiates had to take an oath not to reveal the names of the angels -- what we fail to realize is that in the scriptures and sacred writings of these New Covenant people, the portrayal of angels were allegorical symbols that revealed the characteristics of the Laws that must be overcome in order to open the inner door to higher consciousness.

What this means is that the angels and powers depicted in the Book of Enoch, Daniel, and the Revelation of John, all convey to us a knowledge of the obstacles -- or Laws -- that we must transgress, in order to embrace our soul and spiritual natures.   The Essenes knew the secrets of these Laws -- Jesus taught the secrets of these Laws to his faithful disciples -- and Paul knew that if man lives and thinks in a manner that invokes the Laws that control all aspects of life, then the door to higher consciousness will open to the disciple of the Light.   In order to begin to comprehend the religion that Paul ordained, we must understand Paul's essential mindset that was embodied in the words that each man “will be rewarded according to his own labor” (1 Cor 3:8 NIV) -- which knowledge of the Laws are the essential foundational principle upon which the concept of reincarnation of the pre-existent soul is based.

The essence of New Covenant thought is based upon the journey as embodied in the parable of the prodigal son.   The fall of man as depicted in the Genesis Creation Account, conveys to the seeker the universal knowledge of the journey of the soul to know its Source of Being through the knowledge of itself as the offspring of the One Eternal God.   Again we can observe this same truth expressed in a different manner by the Apostle Paul when he wrote: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom 8:20-22 NIV).

The symbolism of Adam and Eve has far less to do with men and women as we perceive the sexes to be, than it indicates the division of the soul which has caused the female -- or reflected nature -- to wander in this world of reflected reality in search of itself.   When this reflected nature is active, it is portrayed as male.   When it is passive, it is portrayed as female.   In view of the fact that each polarity of a paradox contains its opposite in a passive or constrained manner, the manner in which it is portrayed has more to do with the circumstances of what truth the scriptures are attempting to convey to us at that point.

What the Apostle states in the above quotation is that it was the Creator God that subjected mankind to the frustration of what we perceive as the fall of man, in order that “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage” through the process of the spiritual rebirth into the Kingdom -- i.e., “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time”.

As I have already demonstrated in previous chapters, all things are brought about by Law.   In the same way that a child is conceived by the merging of the opposites at conception, the child of the Light is born within us as a matter of Law.   Paul, who was of an elevated mindset, knew these Laws -- that the path of return had not only been envisioned since the very dawn of time itself, but was in fact perfected by Jesus, the forerunner, who through his own suffering and efforts had cleared The Way for all to follow.  

Paul was therefore correct in his doctrine that it was faith in Jesus that would save us -- which faith extended to the all-encompassing reality of the Laws of God -- and not the observance of what he called dead works.   But we must also understand that Paul was a Gnostic among Gnostics -- i.e., someone who possessed a higher knowledge of the Laws, and knew that if the prodigal sons of the Father actively followed in The Way, that the end results would be guaranteed.   The key word here is active -- i.e., active faith which fostered a lifestyle that was a moving force that embraced the higher Laws of Creation, that freed us from being servants to the god of this world.

This book is written from this same perspective -- i.e., that if you manifest a certain lifestyle -- open your thinking to a certain mindset -- incorporate certain elements in your life -- seek to understand the manner in which the Hand of God moves in the lives of men -- endeavourer to learn the Mysteries of God through the higher revelation of the Word -- recognize and overcome your own divided nature -- and, in the wisdom of the ancients: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).  

In the same way that our modern-day leaders would say to a child: If you desire to be a doctor, a lawyer, a banker, or any other profession, then you must attend certain schools in order to gain the appropriate knowledge, and you must be able to pass certain tests and requirements, and you must then practice your chosen profession, and maintain a certain standard of discipline and behavior.   The disciples of the Light who had themselves gained the knowledge of the Kingdom, taught to their own disciples the things they must do in order to embrace their destiny as the mature Sons of God.  

In their elevated perception of Life and Creation, the disciples of The Way recognized that this world responds to the manner in which we live it.   In the University of Life that God Created, this world reacts to our own personal needs.   There are no accidents or random events that victimize us.   Whatever events we experience is the direct result of something that we initiated in our own past.   Our conditions under which we are born is directly related to what we have accomplished in our own previous lives.   In the words of the Church Father Origen: “Every soul… comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis).   That we do not remember the events of the past that brought about our present circumstances of life, is our own fault.   The knowledge to the answers to the test of life is given only to those who become active servants of the Master of The Way.

One of the great keys of understanding is to become aware of our present conditions that we dwell under.   The more we become cognizant of the forces that work upon us in the life we live, the more we begin to recognize that we dwell in a world of opposites.   The problem is that we embrace and applaud what appears to us as good, and condemn and fail to understand the reason for what we perceive to be evil.   In view of the fact that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil existed prior to the Creation of man, and was Created by the Hand of God that brought all things into existence, we must then comprehend that what we call evil and darkness existed from the very beginning -- and more importantly, there is a Divine Reason for the existence of what we judge as evil, and we cannot draw nearer to God until we are able to perceive the forces of Creation and Life from the same perspective as does the Lord Himself.  

What this means is that we will be barred from the Knowledge of the Kingdom and the movement and very purpose of Life itself, until we can begin to comprehend the purpose of all that we see and experience in this life.   Moreover, we cannot even begin to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life, until we are able to merge the opposite polarities of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil into one harmonious perception of Creation.   In the vision of God, all things have a reason and purpose -- and we can never begin to truly know God, without embracing the Divine Vision of Creation.  

We begin the process of drawing nearer to God when we become very cognizant of the forces at work upon us and all of life itself.   What this means is that we reject the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and instead eat the fruit of the Tree of Life, when we begin to merge the two worlds into One Vision.   If we look beyond the symbolism of the scriptures, we see the triune force of creation at work in the two trees.   In the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we see the two polarities of Light and darkness that pervades all of Creation.   In the Tree of Life, we see the third force -- which force is the polarity of the two brought into harmony in Divine Oneness.   If, then, we desire to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life, then we must perceive the Divine Pattern and Vision in such a way, that we no longer perceive good and evil, light and darkness, positive and negative, male and female -- but rather, we must see and understand the harmony, reason and completeness of all aspects of Creation.

When the Bible warns that man in his natural state cannot know or see God, it is because his carnal nature does not permit him to see beyond the barrier of this world.   In his congenital state of spiritual blindness caused by his very limited perception of life, it is impossible for him to understand the underlying spiritual reality that moves, initiates, and completes every element and factor of Life and Creation that exists in this realm.   In the same way that every aspect of life in this world moves within a series of positive and negative polarities, the polarities of this world are in fact polarities within a polarity -- and these polarities interact with their opposite forces of Creation that is beyond our carnal perception of reality.

What this means is that there is a Divine blueprint and pattern that remains the underlying factor and principle throughout every aspect of Creation.   In the same way we can observe the polarities of Creation at work in the universe, the movement of the seasons, day and night, the interaction of male and female, hot and cold, positive and negative, we can find these same polarities at work in the most far reaching vision of Life, right down to their presence in the subatomic world.   Once this is understood, then we can begin to contemplate this world in relation to those worlds that are beyond our carnal perception.   We accomplish this by understanding that in the same way that these polarities work within this realm, this realm interacts with the unseen (spiritual) worlds within the scope of these same polarities that exist as the Divine Pattern of all of Creation.

Every action -- positive or negative -- in this world, invokes a responding reaction in those (spiritual) realms that are beyond the perception of our physical eyes and senses.   Every event that takes place in this world is in direct reaction to a force that -- like a wave -- was initiated by a corresponding force from these (spiritual) realms -- which were in turn initiated by events that previously transpired in this physical realm.   What we experience is merely a shift of polarity between the multidimensional reality of Creation -- i.e., an action here begins the movement of a wave that invokes a Spiritual Law, which in turn is brought back into our lives at some future time.   The manner in which we react to this event that was/is initiated by the wave invoked by the Laws that control every aspect of life, will be the determining factor with regard to the events that this same wave from our own past continues to initiate in our future.  

In the language of our times, these principles can be expressed in the saying: What goes around, comes around.   In the scriptures this is expressed in the words: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV).   The problem is that, from the perspective of modern Christian doctrine, we place little to no emphasis on this warning of the Apostle.   We reason that in the day of judgment, it will be at that time when man will reap what he sows.   The defect in our reasoning is immediately brought to light when it is easily demonstrated that this was not the mindset of the people in biblical times -- and our present day doctrines of belief find little support in the scriptures.   What the people believed who Jesus himself taught, was that every event and aspect in the life of man is the direct result of his own actions -- good, bad or indifferent -- that were brought about by his own previous actions.  

Something that the modern believer does not understand is the fact that, when the Apostle suggests that it is God that returns to man the fruit of his own behavior and conduct, that does not mean that God -- Himself -- sits back orchestrating every event that takes place.   The first century followers of Christ were able to comprehend the workings of the organic Laws of Heaven and Earth, because they possessed an illumined mind and an enlightened understanding.   They were therefore able to perceive reality beyond the three-dimensional barrier of this world, and see that all things are brought about by the Laws of Creation -- positive, negative, and the third force which is the balance of the two -- within which all of life moves.   What we, in our limited carnal vision perceive as evil, is actually the result of a previous action -- controlled and brought about by the Laws of Creation, in direct response to a previous occurrence or action.   More important, though, is for us to open our minds to the biblical revelation that, what we perceive as evil, is not only the result of our own actions, but is also for our own good -- and when consciously merged with its opposite polarity through the knowledge of the Mysteries of God, can be channeled in a new direction to bring about our re-entrance into the Kingdom from which we originally emerged.

These truths were in fact the underlying principles of the revelation of the Gospel by Jesus to mankind.   The essence of the dynamics of these truths which are invoked by the polarities that control every aspect of life, is seen in the words of the Apostle where he wrote: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' No, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:19-21 RSV).

These concepts are foundational principles that must be incorporated in the life of the genuine Christian if they are to be permitted access into the Kingdom that Jesus declared.  





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Allan Cronshaw

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