The Spiritual Void That Created Original Sin: The doctrine of Original Sin as explored in the above (see The Folly Of Original Sin), is the direct result of the removal of one of the most important Gospel foundational teachings — i.e., the teaching on the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes. In fact, with the removal of this teaching, the Church made it virtually impossible for Christians to understand the primary Gospel teachings — leaving the Gospels with two lines of conflicting teachings that remain virtually impossible to reconcile — i.e., that of Divine Providence/Predestination and Freewill. And the void is so serious, that the Rev. Charles Spurgeon wrote about it in his autobiography: “The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is athirst, Come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely [Rev. 22:17]. Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that it is not of he who wills, nor of he who runs, but of God Who shows mercy [Rom 9:16]. I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not. The fault is in our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other” (Charles H. Spurgeon, Autobiography Vol. 1: The Early Years. pp. 173, 174).
The words of Spurgeon when he wrote: “…Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism”. Because of the mass-confusion and inability of the Church to bring these two lines of teachings together, a great number of rational people simply dismiss the Church as a bogus fraud. If we pose the question as to what degree life on earth is predestined? It is at this point where the biblical teaching of predestination gets really frightening — as demonstrated in Jesus’ own words when he said: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will” (Matt 10:29 RSV). If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without the Will of the Father, then we have no other option than to come to terms with the biblical fact that everything in this life is directly orchestrated by God? On this verse the Adam Clark Commentary states: “The providence of God extends to the minutest things; everything is continually under the government and care of God, and nothing occurs without his will or permission”. In relation to this verse under the heading of Providence in the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary it is explained that: “Divine government is the continued activity of God by which He directs all things to the ends He has chosen in His eternal plan… He governs insignificant things (Matt. 10:29-31), apparent accidents (Prov. 16:33), as well as man’s good (Phil. 2:13) and evil deeds (Acts 14:16). God acts in accordance with the laws and principles that He has established in the world. The laws of nature are nothing more than man’s description of how we perceive God at work in the world. They neither have inherent power nor do they work by themselves. Man is not free to choose and act independently from God’s will and plan; he chooses and acts in accordance with them. In His sovereignty, God controls man’s choices and actions (Gen. 45:5; Deut. 8:18; Prov. 21:1). God’s actions, however, do not violate the reality of human choice or negate man’s responsibility as a moral being”.
What the Bible states is that all sinners — all evil people since the dawn of time to the present, have all been preordained into the life that they lived by God’s all pervasive power over the mind of man. What the Bible states is that the only difference between a good and moral God-fearing man, and one who would be deemed a degenerate, is that God chose that life for each individual person. While such a biblical concept on the surface will immediately appear to be unjust, there is yet another dimension to the problem that few Christians today have ever pondered. The question that every believer of the Gospel today should ask is this: How can the modern church lead the people, when they cannot tell you how, if “man is not free to choose and act independently from God’s will and plan”, and can only choose and act in accordance with God’s Will; and “in His sovereignty, God controls man’s choices and actions”; how does this “not violate the reality of human choice or negate man’s responsibility as a moral being”? The problem is that our modern churches cannot possibly answer these all-important questions. Moreover, it is because of the irreconcilable differences of these two biblical teachings — teachings that are both fully represented throughout the scriptures — that the Rev. Spurgeon admitted that: “…it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other”.
For nineteen hundred years many Christians have condemned the Jews for “killing Christ”. Yet Peter states to the leaders of the Jews regarding Jesus that: “this Man delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (Acts 2:23 NAS). The word “predetermined” as used in this instance, should invoke a great many questions in the minds of Christians. Did the Jews and Romans crucify Christ? Commenting on this verse, Barnes’ Notes states: “The fact, moreover, that this was predicted, shows that it was fixed or resolved on. No event can be foretold, evidently, unless it be certain that it will take place. The event, therefore, must in some way be fixed or resolved on beforehand”. Speaking about the Hand of God upon the hearts and minds of the people, Peter and John said: “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen” (Acts 4:27-28 NIV). What the two disciples are conveying to the reader is that every event that took place at the crucifixion was directly brought about by the Hand of God acting upon the hearts and minds of the people. Regardless of whether we understand it, in order to begin the journey of walking in The Way, it is imperative for us to acknowledge the validity of this biblical statement. Moreover, if this is true, we must ask ourselves the question: How can man resist the “power and will” of what God“decided beforehand should happen”? How could the Jews resist the Will of God?
What is clearly conveyed to the reader is that the biblical teaching regarding the crucifixion was a pre-planned drama that God brought about by imposing His supernatural and all-pervasive Will upon a group of people who were little more than puppets on God’s stage of life. Unless Christians are ready to adopt the doctrine that man is more powerful than the Will of God, then they must be ready to acknowledge the fact that those who brought about the events which culminated in the crucifixion, had little to no choice in what transpired. This biblical fact is seen quite clearly documented in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia under the heading of Foreknow, where it writes: “Thus, in Peter’s speeches in Acts the predestination which finds expression in (Acts 4:28) is practically identified with the term prognosis in (2:23). Everything which happened to Jesus took place in accordance with ‘the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,’ so that nothing happened except that which God had foreordained”. Who killed Christ? “God had willed the death of Jesus (John 3:16) and the death of Judas (Acts 1:16)”, writes Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, and then adds: “but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt (Luke 22:22)”. If Judas was one of the instruments by which God carried out what God Himself predestined — and the scriptures tell us that both God and Satan (Lk 22:3) worked in concert by using their supernatural powers to induce Judas to betray Jesus — and Judas was predestined for the purpose that he performed — it is imperative that we ask the question as to how can Judas be held responsible for what God brought about?
If man is to even begin to understand both the scriptures and the life he is presently living, it is absolutely necessary to comprehend how man can be held responsible for what God has brought about? Quoting the Adam Clark Commentary: “…neither the Jews nor Romans had any power here, but what was given to them from above”. How could the Jews and Romans have killed Christ, if neither “had any power” over their actions, because the event was brought about by the power of God? When Peter said: “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus” (Acts 1:16 NAS); Peter is stating that all of the people who were involved were mere pawns in the hand of God — who had hardened the hearts of the Jews and Romans in order to fulfill what the Holy Spirit had predicted in the scriptures. These “two lines” spoken of by Rev. Spurgeon, is again seen in the words of Jesus when he warned: “For the Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Mark 14:21 NAS). How can God, the Higher and Controlling Power, force men to perform a series of events under His direct control, and then hold the people who God forced into the role they played on the stage of life be held responsible for what God brought about? Thus, we must answer the proverbial question which the Bible itself asks: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” (Rom 9:19 NIV). Not one of us is able to resist His will — and because we fail to understand this great truth, and condemn the manifest Will of God that we observe in others, we make ourselves apostates to the New Covenant — calling upon the name of the Lord in vain.
The inability of those we look to as religious authorities to comprehend these fundamental conditions of life, as well as an uncountable number of other biblical paradoxes, is further expounded upon in the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on Romans 9:22, where it is written with regard to the Apostle’s words Fitted to destruction: “It is well remarked by Stuart, that the difficulties which such statements involve are not to be gotten rid of by softening the language of one text, while so many others meet us which are of the same tenor; and even if we give up the Bible itself, so long as we acknowledge an omnipotent and omniscient God, we cannot abate in the least degree from any of the difficulties which such texts make. Be it observed, however, that if God, as the apostle teaches, expressly designed to manifest His wrath, and to make His power (in the way of wrath) known, it could only be by punishing some, while He pardons others; and if the choice between the two classes was not to be founded, as our apostle also teaches, on their own doings, but on God’s good pleasure, the decision behooved ultimately to rest with God”. Do we have free will and choice? Because it is impossible for our present-day religious authorities to explain the relationship of these two biblical doctrines, many Christian preachers and theologians are of the opinion that the biblical concepts of predestination and Divine Providence should not be taught to the multitude of believers. Their theology is that you don’t preach what you do not possess the means to understand. Yet, the ever looming problem goes far beyond the fact that it is not only confusing, but instead is based upon the fact that the church itself does not have an answer that can satisfactorily explain what the church itself cannot comprehend. If you are a believer — it is the position of the Apostle that your belief is the work of God manifest in your life. There is no works that you can do which will earn salvation — you did not do anything deserving of God’s blessings — you merely inherited the promise because God indiscriminately decided that He would throw you a life preserver. The problem that arises is in the biblical fact that, if you are a non-believer, that too is the work of God — who chooses not to throw you a life preserver.
These irreconcilable lines of teachings did not exist when the Gospel Teachings were in their original form because there existed a Bridge of Truth that connected Divine Providence/Predestination and Freewill. And that Bridge was the teachings on the pre-existent soul that evolves to Completion/Perfection over the cause of many lifetimes — fulfilling the statement of the Apostle: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV). When the doctrine of the pre-existent soul which was embraced and taught by the pre-Nicene (325 CE) Church was outlawed by the Emperor Justinian, the Britannica confirms that the emperor then forced his will upon the Church when he “…banished the pope to Egypt , and afterwards to an island, until he accepted the Council, which he ultimately did” (see http://Ebionite.com/reincarnation.htm ). After relenting to the will of the emperor, and finely accepting the decree of the emperor after seven months of imprisonment, it is reported that the pope met with an untimely death before he could even return to the Vatican. Quoting from The Religion Of Roman Emperors:
“In the early centuries of Christian history, many battles were waged over issues of doctrine, church councils being convened to settle disputes. In the sixth century Emperor Justinian declared war against the followers of Origen. At Justinian’s instigation it appears that a local synod, which convened in Constantinople in the year 543, condemned the teachings of Origen, and ten years later, in 553, Justinian issued his anathemas against Origen, possibly submitting them for final ratification to an extra-conciliary or unofficial session of the Fifth Ecumenical Council – also called the Second Council of Constantinople. The anathemas cursed, among other teachings of Origen, the doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul. The Catholic Encyclopedia gives some rather astonishing information concerning this Fifth Ecumenical Council, permitting the conclusion, on at least technical grounds, that there is no barrier to belief in reincarnation for Catholic Christians. With the exception of six Western bishops from Africa, the council was attended entirely by Eastern bishops, no representative from Rome being present. Although Pope Vigilius was in Constantinople at the time, he refused to attend. In fact, the Pope was Justinian’s prisoner since November of 545, when he had been kidnapped from Rome. The president of the Council was Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople. ‘From the time of Justinian the emperor controlled the patriarch absolutely.’
“There apparently had been intense conflict between Justinian and Pope Vigilius for several years. Violating previous agreements, Justinian in 551 issued an edict against what was known as ‘The Three Chapters,’ the teachings of three supposed heretics. ‘For his dignified protest Vigilius thereupon suffered various personal indignities at the hands of the civil authority and nearly lost his life.’ Later, to bring peace between the Eastern and Western branches of the church, this Fifth Ecumenical Council was called. Justinian, however, refused Pope Vigilius’ request for equal representation of bishops from the East and West, and summarily convened the council on his own terms; hence the Pope’s refusal to attend. When we learn that as many as 165 bishops were present at the final meeting on June 2, only six of whom could possibly be from the West, it can safely be concluded that the voting during all the sessions was very much in Justinian’s hands. The Council’s ‘decrees were received in the East, but long contested in the Western Church, where a schism arose that lasted for seventy years.
Quoting directly from The Catholic Encyclopedia regarding the Fifth Ecumenical Council:
“Were Origen and Origenism anathematized? Many learned writers believe so; and equal number deny that they were condemned; most modern authorities are either undecided or reply with reservations. Relying on the most recent studies on the question it may be held that: It is certain that the fifth general council was convoked exclusively to deal with the affair of the Three Chapters, and that neither Origen nor Origenism were the cause of it. It is certain that the council opened on 5 May 553, in spite of the protestations of Pope Vigilius, who though at Constantinople refused to attend it, and that in the eight conciliary sessions (from 5 May to 2 June), the Acts of which we possess, only the questions of the Three Chapters is treated. Finally it is certain that only the Acts concerning the affair of the Three Chapters were submitted to the pope for his approval, which was given on 8 December, 553, and 23 February, 554.
It is a fact that Popes Vigilius, Pelagius I (556-61), Pelagius II (579-90), Gregory the Great (590-604), in treating the fifth council deal only with the Three Chapters, make no mention of Origenism, and speak as if they did not now of its condemnation. It must be admitted that before the opening of the council, which had been delayed by the resistance of the pope, the bishops already assembled at Constantinople had to consider, by order of the emperor, a form of Origenism that had practically nothing in common with Origen, but which was held, we know, by one of the Origenist parties in Palestine. . . . The bishops [at this extra-conciliary session referred to in No. 5 above] certainly subscribed to the fifteen anathemas proposed by the emperor [against Origen]; an admitted Origenist, Theodore of Scythopolin, was forced to retract; but there is no proof that the approbation of the pope, who was at that time protesting against the convocation of the council, was asked.”
It is easy to understand how this extra-conciliary sentence was mistaken at a later period for a decree of the actual ecumenical council. (Italics added.) However, one far-reaching result of the mistake still persists, namely, the exclusion from consideration by orthodox Christianity of the teaching of the pre-existence of the soul and, by implication, reincarnation.
In the light of the references to reincarnation in the Bible, and of statements by some of the early Church Fathers, and now of the position of Catholic scholars in disclaiming the crusade against Origen, it is not remarkable that a growing number of the clergy are speaking favorably of the new interest in reincarnation, and are even hoping that this ‘lost chord of Christianity’ may once more vibrate in harmony with Christ’s teaching of hope and responsibility. Now what do Protestant scholars and theologians say about the supposed condemnation of Origen? Dr. Henry R. Percival writes in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Did the Fifth synod examine the case of Origen and finally adopt the XV. Anathemas against him which are usually found assigned to it? It would seem that with the evidence now in our possession it would be the height of rashness to give a dogmatic answer to this question. Scholars of the highest repute have taken, and do take today, the opposite sides of the case. . . . To my mind the chief difficulty in supposing these anathematism to have been adopted by the Fifth Ecumenical is that nothing whatever is said about Origen in the call of the council, nor in any letters written in connection with it; all of which would seem unnatural had there been a long discussion upon the matter, and had such an important dogmatic definition been adopted as the XV. anathemas.
Once the original Christian teachings on the transmigration of the soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes was removed from the Gospels and outlawed by the Church, it was necessary to fill the void that was left by the absence of this core teaching on the higher reality of the soul. And this removed core teaching was originally an integral part of the questions posed by the disciples of Jesus when they asked: “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'” (John 9:1-2 NKJ). Thus, it is easily demonstrated that the original Gospel mindset was built upon a very different foundation than what has evolved into the modern Church. What Christian today would ask the forgoing question? “…Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'” It must be immediately recognized that not a single modern Christian would even consider asking such a question. Why? Because modern Christians have been totally alienated from the biblical foundational mindset by the very doctrines such as Original Sin that was adopted while the Church was ruled over by Pagan Rome. Thus, we must pose the question: What prompted the disciples of Jesus to even ask such a question? Turning to the historian, this ultra important element to the 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? It means that the mindset and doctrinal thinking of the modern believer is so alienated from the original biblical foundational mindset and thinking, that the modern believer has been disenfranchised from the Gospel teachings and rendered spiritually sterile. In the question posed to Jesus there simply is no element of the Augustinian doctrine of Original Sin. The question posed to Jesus by his disciples was whether the soul of the man born blind was caused by the sin committed by the man’s Soul in a previous life, or whether his blindness was the result of the sin of his parents? The original 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”. Thus we must ask: Is this concept that a soul can sin prior to birth some Jewish fable that the disciples of Christ conjured up themselves? Or, is this belief based upon a foundational teaching of the Gospel that Jesus taught to them? Once properly understood, the position of the disciples is founded upon the construct of Jesus’ statement to the woman caught in adultery: “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore” (John 8:11). Thus, Jesus did not tell the woman caught in adultery to believe in him (Jesus) as her personal lord and savior for the forgiveness of her sins. If, as Augustine set forth, the woman sinned because of the congenial sin imposed upon mankind by virtue of the sin of Adam and Eve, then Jesus never would have stated to her to go forward in her life and cease to sin — acknowledging that she had the power and ability to cease from sinning. And this is especially presented in the example of the person Jesus healed and made whole where he said: “…sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14 KJV). Once again we see Jesus rejecting the Augustinian doctrine of Original Sin — conveying to the man the need to begin to live a life wherein he would cease to sin — i.e., “…sin no more”. But it was the second part of his statement to the man where he made reference to The Laws in the statement “…lest a worse thing come unto thee” that immerses each of us in our own personal Labyrinth of Laws that is molded by our previous actions, and has orchestrated the path and the choices of our destiny (see The Laws That Control Our Lives http://OuterDarkness.Nazirene.org#TheLawsThatControlOurLives ).
Once again we do not see Jesus conveying to the man to believe in him as his personal lord and savior for the forgiveness of his sins. We not only see Jesus instructing the man to “sin no more” — which, in opposition to the Augustian doctrine of Original Sin, meant that the man had the ability to live free of sin — but also warning the man that if he sins again after being healed, that “…a worse thing [will] come unto thee”. Why? Because the Laws of God that were instituted at the dawn of Creation, monitor our every word, thought, desire and deed (see The Laws Of Creation http://OuterDarkness.Nazirene.org#TheLawsOfCreation . And it is these Laws of Creator-God that were put in place in the Alpha of man’s beginning, that returns to each soul the fruit of their own thinking and actions. And it is for this reason why both Peter and Paul affirm the reality that those who sin — especially after coming to the knowledge of the Gospel message — inherit a fate even worse than before they were exposed to the Gospel teachings. To the degree that Paul warned the congregation of believers: , “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7 NIV).
What does it mean that “…God cannot be mocked — [and that each person] reaps what he sows”? To the degree that Jesus warned the man: “…sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Yet, to their own spiritual demise, the vast majority of Christians promote the belief that they are exempt from having their own sin and misdeeds come back upon them in the manner that is portrayed in these verses — and that somehow they have been exempted from the fruit of their own ways, while everyone else is held in judgment. In fact, Christians promote the doctrine that because they attempt to appease the Lord with their lips, they virtually have a license to live in sin. And they cling to this doctrine even though the Gospel warns that their fate will be worse than the unbelievers (see Fate) — and that because of their infidelity to the Gospel, wherein they are portrayed as crucifying the Son of God afresh, even the opportunity of salvation by virtue of the sacrifice on the cross has been denied to them (see Sacrifice). And because of their infidelity to the Gospel, they have been rendered spiritually blind to the degree that they fail to perceive that they are dwelling in what Jesus portrayed as The Prison and the “outer darkness” of mind and being (see Blindness) — incapable of understanding the core meaning of the Gospel and the scriptures.
The original ending of the Gospel of Mark reads very differently than the present version — i.e., “This Age of lawlessness and unbelieving lies under the sway of Satan, who will not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God; therefore, they said to Christ, reveal your righteousness now. Christ answered them, The term of years for Satan’s power has now expired, but other terrors are at hand. I was delivered to death on behalf of sinners, that they might return to the truth and sin no more, that they might inherit that glory of righteousness which is spiritual and imperishable in heaven” (Moffatt, quoting Gospel Of Mark in Codex W — Also quoted by St. Jerome as being the authentic ending of the Gospel of Mark). This original ending of the Gospel of Mark that is still contained in some of the oldest biblical manuscripts, presents the core essential Gospel teaching that believes in Jesus will “…return to the truth and sin no more” — t inherit that glory of righteousness which is spiritual and imperishable in heaven”. Which is why Paul wrote: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom 6:1-2,12,16 KJV). And again Paul wrote: “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor” (Gal 2:17-18 KJV). While the Mithraic Eucharist that was embraced by the Roman Church was for the forgiveness of sins, Paul warns that if you sin and partake the cup of the Lord, that you drink judgment unto yourself: “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” (1 Cor 11:27-30 NKJ). Thus, while the modern Christian Church is founded upon the Augustinian (Manichaean/Mithraic) doctrine of Original Sin and a savior sun-god who was sacrificed to forgive the congenital sins of the people, the Original Gospel teachings were founded upon the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection and having fulfilled the Royal Law within themselves, believers are able to live a life free of sin.
In opposition to the Augustine Manichaean doctrine, of the monk named Pelagius (354–420 or 440) the Encyclopedia Britannica (1998 electronic edition) reads: “Pelagius, though not a priest, became a highly regarded spiritual director for both clergy and laymen. The rigorous asceticism of his adherents acted as a reproach to the spiritual sloth of many Roman Christians, whose moral standards greatly distressed him. He blamed Rome’s moral laxity on the doctrine of divine grace that he heard a bishop cite from the Confessions of Saint Augustine, who in his prayer for continence beseeched God to grant whatever grace the divine will determined. Pelagius attacked this teaching on the grounds that it imperiled the entire moral law and soon gained a considerable following at Rome”. Pelagius wrote that: “Man is able, if he likes, to live without sin and keep the commandments of God, in as much as God gives him this ability”. Which is exactly what the Original Gospel teachings taught. Notice that Pelagius stated that “…God gives [man] this ability”. The Wikipedia states: “Pelagius rejected the Augustinian concept of grace. According to his opponents, Pelagius taught that moral perfection was attainable in this life without the assistance of divine grace through human free will. Augustine contradicted this by saying that perfection was impossible without grace because we are born sinners with a sinful heart and will. The Pelagians charged Augustine with departing from the accepted teaching (e.g.: John 8:11) of the Apostles and the Bible, demonstrating that the doctrine of original sin amounted to Manichaeism, which taught that the flesh was in itself sinful (and thus denied that Jesus came in the flesh). This charge would have carried added weight since contemporaries knew that Augustine had himself been a Manichaean layman before converting to Christianity. Augustine also taught that a person’s salvation comes solely through a free gift, the efficacious grace of God, but that this was a gift that one had no free choice to accept or refuse.”
When Jesus warned the man “…sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” — he confirmed the doctrine that all the calamities of life that each individual person encounters and experiences, is caused by each soul’s sin and disobedience to the Royal Law of God. On the question itself that the disciples of Jesus asked — i.e., 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 what some call the reincarnation of the soul — was a universally accepted belief among the people who Jesus taught the Gospel Precepts — and in the case of the Disciples, the higher reality of the soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom 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 the journey of the pre-existent soul 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.
With respect to the question: Did the Jews in the first century believe in the pre-existent soul? The Hastings-Scribner Dictionary Of The Bible (New York, 1903. Bk 4, p. 63) “To affirm that Jews in Christ’s time did not believe in pre-existence is simply incorrect”. At Genesis 2:7, the Wycliffe Commentary writes: “Man’s body was fashioned from the dust of the ground, while his spirit came from the very ‘breath’ of God. He is literally a creature of two worlds; both earth and heaven can claim him”. More importantly, though, is for us to clarify our understanding of when the soul came into existence. Thus, the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary notes the belief of both the Jews and early Church: “The… views of Origen and other Fathers, and the… Talmudists, that all souls had been created ‘in the beginning,’ and were lodged by God in a certain place, whence each one was taken out to inhabit the respective bodies of individuals”. In this respect, it can easily be demonstrated the first followers of Jesus firmly believed that the soul pre-existed the body, and that our present physical forms are mere vessels that we inhabit during our sojourn in this life.
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. In his Antiquity of the Jews, the Jewish historian Josephus, who had lived among the Essenes, and was a contemporary of the man Jesus, stated that the Essenes: “…resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again. For their doctrine is this, that bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue for ever; and that they came out of the most subtle air, and are united to their bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; but that when they are set free from the bonds of flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward…”.
Josephus openly wrote the foregoing words pertaining to the pre-existent soul that incarnates into the body, because it was a predominant belief held by the Jews in the first century. This fact is also seen in the writings of Philo in his On Dreams Being Sent from God, section 22, where he speaks of the various kinds of souls and of the celestial bodies as being animated entities, quite in common with the general teaching of antiquity, and remarks: “Now all these souls seem to descend upon the earth with a view to being bound up in mortal bodies, those namely which are most nearly connected with the earth, and which are lovers of bodily habitations. Others, however, soar upwards, and are distinguished from others of their class according to the times and characteristics which Nature has appointed unto them. All these souls, those which are influenced by desires for mortal existence and which have been previously familiarized with it, return to mortal life. But others, refusing bodily life as a great folly, and as a mere trifling, pronounce it a prison or a grave, and fleeing from it by the impulses of their nature as from a house of correction or a tomb, raise themselves on the light wings of their nature towards the aether where they devote all their life to speculations of a divine type…”. And in the version of John 9:1 that is contained in the Gospel of the Nazirenes 53:1 (see Born Blind) we can see what the Gospel of John used to contain before being edited by the Church (see BibleCorruption.com) where it is written: “And at another time as Yeshua passed by, he saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Yeshua answered, To what importance is it whether this man or his parents sinned? 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.”
Why is there no doctrine of Original Sin in Judaism? The foundational doctrine which St. Augustine brought into the Church from his Manichaean background? Modern Christians fail to realize that their religion evolved out of Judaism, and Spiritual Jews have always founded their system of beliefs upon the concept of the pre-existent soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many lifetimes. 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, the foundational 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”.
Parallel to the Journey of the Soul as set forth in the Zohar in the foregoing, is the teachings in the Qur’an which states “God generates beings, and sends them back over and over again, till they return to Him” Which again parallels the teachings of Jesus in the Pistis Sophia where it is stated: “But if he shall have sinned once, twice, or thrice, they shall reject that soul, sending it back again into the world according to the form of the sins that it may have committed; the form whereof I will declare unto you hereafter. But verily, verily I say unto you, that even the righteous man that hath committed no sin at all cannot be brought into the Kingdom of Light, forasmuch the seal of the mysteries of that kingdom is not found upon him. Once for all, I say unto you, a soul cannot be brought into the kingdom, if it be without the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Light.” When it is understood that the “…seal of the mysteries” which is further stated in the pronouncement that “…Once for all, I say unto you, a soul cannot be brought into the kingdom, if it be without the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Light” is parallel to the Zohar where it states that “…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”.
Virtually all of the sayings of the Gospel of Thomas was removed from the traditional scriptures and teachings (see The Gospel Enigma That Modern Christians Can’t Comprehend ). Saying 84 (see The Foundation Of The Soul And The Threefold Self ) restores the teachings on the pre-existent Soul and our own relationship to the previous lives our Soul has lived. Saying demonstrates that the traditional belief in reincarnation as embraced by the Easter religions is in error — and while the Pre-existent Soul does evolve over the course of many lifetimes, each of these lifetimes are themselves unique incarnations. And this is why the pre-Nicene Church Fathers rejected the traditional belief in reincarnation, they embraced the teachings of the pre-existent Soul that evolves to perfection over the course of many (unique) lifetimes. Therefore, as a soul-generated personality, most people don’t remember past lives, because they never lived them — yet, their own Soul generates as many soul-personalities as is needed to become Whole, Complete, and fulfill the requirement of perfection — i.e., “You, therefore, must be Perfect, as you Heavenly Father is Perfect” (Matt 5:48). And as demonstrated in the previous link, the great difficulty in explaining the reality of the Soul to organic man who Paul portrays as being of a “natural” mind (see Animal-Soul), is because the typical teachings on reincarnation are in error — and the pre-existent Soul evolves over the course of many Incarnations — with each soul-generated personality only living one life. And because of the spiritual-amnesia of having been cast into the “outer darkness” of mind and being in which mankind as the prodigal sons/daughters have been cast, Paul is correct when he asserts that man in his “natural” untransformed mindset will reject his own higher Soul-Reality as utter “foolishness” — i.e., “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14 NKJ).
While Christians attempt to interpret the parable of the Prodigal Son in fragmented piecemeal, when taken as a whole, and understood as a universal reality common to all of mankind in the manner it was intended to be understood, it is recognized to be in total conflict with modern Christian doctrine. Once it is understood that each of us is the Prodigal Son/Daughter of our Heavenly Father, then it must also be recognized that each of us at one time dwelled in the Kingdom prior to journeying out into this, the “far country”. We don’t remember our more distant past prior to this present life, because this realm is the “outer darkness” that causes us to be stricken with Spiritual-Amnesia http://AnInconvenientTruth.org#SpiritualAmnesia . Thus, we see this parallel concept in the above quotation from the Zohar where it states that each of us, like the Prodigal Son that we are, must return to our Source — i.e., “The souls must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged….”
In the parable of the Wedding Feast, those who come to TheCall must have put on the required Wedding Garment — and thus, we see the parallel concept in the Zohar in the words with respect to the required perfection of each soul: “But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them…”. To the degree that Jesus stated in the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 5:48 that each soul must be as perfect as their Heavenly Father — i.e., again parallel to the Zohar: “…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”. In the parable of the talents, when the distribution of Talents is understood within the Foundation of the Original Gospel Teachings prior to being corrupted — and the difference is understood between those portrayed as “invited guests” and the majority who were not “invited guests” as pertaining to The Talents And A Person’s Spiritual DNAhttp://TheCall.Nazirene.org#SpiritualDNA , a totally different picture of each of our more distant past begins to emerge — prompting the Church Father Origen to explain: “Every soul… comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis).
God did not hate Esau and love Jacob for no reason! Paul gives the example of Jacob and Esau, and writes: “For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, The older will serve the younger. Just as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Rom 9:11-13 NAS). What the Apostle is very clearly stating is that, before either of the twins had been born, before either had “done anything good or bad”, God not only decided their fate in life, but for no apparent reason, He hated Esau and loved Jacob. Why? Paul offers no explanation other than God does what he wants to do — and man does not have the right to question God’s choices in these matters. This is especially seen in the words: “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Rom 9:21 NKJ). Origen then demonstrates that our lot in life is the result of our own deserts, and writes: “For God the Creator makes a certain vessel unto honor, and other vessels to dishonor; but that vessel which has cleansed itself from all impurity [an untarnished wedding garment] He makes a vessel unto honor, while that which has stained itself with the filth of vice He makes a vessel unto dishonor. The conclusion from which, accordingly, is this, that the cause of each one’s actions is a pre-existing one; and then every one, according to his deserts, is made by God either a vessel unto honor or dishonor. Therefore every individual vessel has furnished to its Creator out of itself the causes and occasions of its being formed by Him to be either a vessel unto honor or one unto dishonor. And if the assertion appear correct, as it certainly is, and in harmony with all piety, that it is due to previous causes that every vessel be prepared by God either to honor or to dishonor, it does not appear absurd that, in discussing remoter causes in the same order, and in the same method, we should come to the same conclusion respecting the nature of souls, and (believe) that this was the reason why Jacob was beloved before he was born into this world, and Esau hated, while he still was contained in the womb of his mother”. This same reality where each of us comes into the body in accord with the accomplishments of our Soul’s past, is expressed in the Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20, where it reads: “Now I was a child good by nature, and… being good, I came into a body undefiled”.
To even begin to comprehend this higher reality of the perfection of the soul over the course of many lifetimes, the person must understand the cycle of the Prodigal Son/Daughter as presented in the words: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says 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. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa 55:8-11 NKJ). God cannot fail — and nothing in Creation can be void — and as the Prodigal Sons of the Most High, each of us emanated from the Edenic Kingdom of Origination — and each us us must fulfill the requirement of perfection as presented at Matt 5:48 — and if this required perfection is “…not fulfilled this condition during one life, [we] must commence another, a third, and so forth, until [our souls] have acquired the condition which fits them for reunion with God”
With respect to not only the example of Jacob and Esau in the womb — but also all infants — the question must be posed: What is a child? From the perspective of the framework of modern Christian thought, we would say that a child it is a newly soul that was created at conception 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., from a Christian perspective 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 mind of a person which would then permit 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.
Once the teachings on the pre-existent soul was removed from the Gospels and suppressed by the Church of Constantine, it became necessary to fill the void with the Augustinian doctrine of Original Sin as a means of explaining many of the inconsistencies left in the scriptures. And in total conflict with Original Sin, Paul not only stated that mankind was forced into what is personified in the allegorical Fall of Man — but the journey in the Far Country portrayed in the parable was absolutely necessary for each of our development. As the Prodigal Sons/Daughters of the Most High, each of us was forced to leave the Kingdom and venture out into this world which is portrayed in the parable as the “far country” — not by our own choosing, but by the Will of God who through the Natural Laws forced each of us into the “outer darkness” of the Far Country. But what is the Far Country? A realm where each of us is able to grow and evolve to perfection — i.e., “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). What the Apostle states in the above quotation is that it was (the Laws of) 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 soul-evolution in this world which is God’s Spiritual University that perfects and brings about our eventual 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”. Yet, it remains virtually impossible to convey to organic “natural” man that this realm of the “outer darkness” can be better portrayed as the “mental-womb” of Mother-Earth (see Mental Womb http://OuterDarkness.Nazirene.org#MentalWomb ). And in the same way that a fetus is evolved within the womb of its mother to prepare for physical birth, mankind who is born into this world as a Cosmic Ovum or Sperm , must become a viable embryo that is prepared to evolve within the Womb of Mother-Earth, and bring about the next stage of birth that Jesus said was absolutely necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.
What does Paul’s words mean? Take especial notice of the words: “…For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it …For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now”. In the same way that Jesus stated that unless you bring about the next stage of birth, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven — all of the trials of the prodigal son in this, the Far Country, is the process of birth that was brought upon mankind by the Laws — Laws which evolve each and every soul from the Alpha of ignorance, to the Omega of Enlightened Light and Knowing (see The Laws That Control Our Lives). The great truth that is not at all understood in the above words — a 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. And 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”. And that this statement is confirmed in the Gospel of Thomas in the words: “But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty… Whoever finds himself is superior to the world.” 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”. This statement should provoke great thought in the reader who is under the misconception that our Heavenly Father would destroy or forever cut off one of his sons or daughters who are lost in this world. Moreover, the reality that mankind did not Fall from Grace because of the insane folly of what the Church of Rome portrayed as Original Sin — but rather “…the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it” — and that what mankind is presently enduring is the “…groans and labors [of] birth pangs”. Which means that what is presented and concealed within the allegory of the letter of the written word, is simply beyond even man’s imagination. Which is why Paul warns that the higher reality of the soul and the Mysteries of the Kingdom is incomprehensible to the “natural” mind of man who, because of his own mental and spiritual immaturity, will reject the Truth as utter “foolishness” (see Mystery Of The Gospel). Moreover, this means that if what the biblical authors and early Church authorities are saying is true, how could those who wrote the scriptures possibly put what is incomprehensible into a plain written narrative that those who totally lack the capacity to understand, would read and comprehend? Further, so long as mankind remains what is portrayed as being “glued” to the Citizen of this world — and the Citizen or god of this world maintains absolute control over the thinking and life of organic man — then it remains impossible for man to comprehend anything of a higher reality than the most mundane things of this world.
In the above what the biblical authors portray with respect to the Original Gospel teachings was the means for the prodigal sons to evolve to maturity — and by achieving a condition of becoming At-One with the Indwelling Logos/Son of God, restore themselves to the Kingdom within them through the process of the necessary subsequent stages of birth. Biblical scholars now can demonstrate that the Source of Christianity was the Essenes — and when Prof. John Allegro was quoted as saying that what has been revealed in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a great amount of overwhelming evidence that “…may upset a great many basic teachings of the Christian Church. This in turn would greatly upset many Christian Theologians and believers. The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine” — the reality that the Christians were not even prepared to come to terms with was echoed by Edmund Wilson, an expert who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls, further raised the question as to what difference it makes if “Jesus… had been trained in the discipline and imbued with the thought of a certain Jewish sect, and that he had learned from it the role that he afterwards lived…” (The Scrolls From The Dead Sea). And this is exactly what the original followers and disciples who walked and spoke with the historical man Jesus daily attested to the reality that Jesus was a Holy Man who became At-One with God by fulfilling the Law within himself — i.e., they believed that Jesus “…was justified by fulfilling the Law. He was the Christ of God, since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law, he would have been the Christ, for they assert that our Lord Himself was a man in like sense with all humanity“ (see Hippolytus, Refut. Omn. Haer. vii. 34). That the historical man Jesus was a pattern for all of mankind because he was the first prodigal son to be restored to the Edenic Kingdom of Origination because of his success in overcoming the Laws within his own mind and being, is demonstrated in the words: “He was the Christ of God, since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law, he would have been the Christ…” And this confirms this statement with respect to the true potential of all of mankind that Jesus taught, as demonstrated in the words of the pre-Nicene Church Father Hippolytus when he wrote that they believed that when any of the prodigal sons “…thus fulfill the law, they are able to become Christs” (Hippolytus, Refut. Omn. Haer. vii. 34 – see http://Ebionite.com ). And this is why Jesus taught that he was our brother — i.e., “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'” (John 20:17 NIV). And this is especially demonstrated in the words of Edward Gibbon with respect to the original position of the Ebionite Nazirene disciples of Jesus that he was in “…supernatural union of a man and God… In their eyes, Jesus of Nazareth was a mere mortal, the legitimate son of Joseph and Mary: but he was the best and wisest of the human race, selected as the worthy instrument to restore upon earth the worship of the true and supreme Deity. When he was baptized in the Jordan, the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry” (Gibbon; The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.366). The historical and spiritual factualness of these words can be proven when one understands the original words that were spoken to the man Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan River — when the Voice of God stated: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (see http://TheTenWords.com ).
The Essenes and the Ebionite Nazirenes understood that as the prodigal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, each of us has the Destiny to bring about the subsequent stages of birth and be restored to the (Inner) Edenic Kingdom of Origination. How many lives will be required, is based upon the choices that each of is makes. The vast majority of the Gentiles were carnal and spiritually immature, and therefore incapable of comprehending this higher reality. @@@
Both Martin Luther and John Calvin were dependent upon the Augustinian doctrine of Original Sin to explain and justify their position of faith apart from actions. When the Church embraced the man-made doctrine of Martin Luther that a Christian inherits the promise of salvation based solely upon faith — totally irrespective of their lifestyle and actions — using Jesus as a one time sacrifice for their perpetual sin — the Christian world became apostates to the Original Gospel teachings and the Kingdom. The Flawed Doctrine Of Perpetual Redemption totally ignores the many statements by Paul where he warns: “For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who …then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.. For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Heb 6:4-6;10:26-27 RSV). Why did Paul make such a statement? Because the original Gospel teachings in their original form was one of spiritual transformation — a process that would evolve the mind of the seeker/disciple from their embryonic condition, to that of spiritual maturity and Wholeness — and those who reject these teachings and fall back into the thinking and lifestyle of this world — who willfully sin after coming to the knowledge of the Gospel message — are not only unbelievers and apostates to the teachings of the Gospels, but in Paul’s words these counterfeit believers crucify the Son of God afresh. And, in total opposition to what is preached in the modern Churches, Paul warns that “…there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.”
There is of course the further statement by Peter that confirms the foregoing by Paul — i.e., “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, 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. Of them the proverbs are true: A dog returns to its vomit, and, A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud” (2 Pet 2:20-22 NIV). Where the modern Church promotes the doctrine that they are saved by Grace regardless of the manner in which they live their lives, Peter not only states that this doctrine is in grave error, but correctly states that: “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” Every Christian should ask themselves: How Can This Be??? How can those who have never known the teachings of Christ, be better off than those who having heard, and are complacent towards those teachings?
In the Revelation it is warned: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev 3:15-16 NKJ). What works are being made reference to? Someone who is cold to the Gospel, is an unbeliever — while someone who is hot, is on fire as a true Disciple of TheWay. But someone who is lukewarm, is very clearly a member of the Church who is complacent, and fails to bring about the works of the spirit that is required to walk in TheWay. Thus, Jesus warned: “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47-48 KJV). Thus, the modern Christian simply has no means to understand why and how the lukewarm believer will be beaten with the stripes of greater judgment, than the unbeliever. So what is the fate of those who “…did commit things worthy of stripes” — but they shall clearly receive far less than those who knew the masters will, but did not properly prepare themselves? This is in opposition to everything that modern Christians believe.
It is virtually impossible for the modern Christian to answer any of the above questions, because they are missing many of the most important teachings that were removed by the later Church from the Gospels. But in each of the above scriptural citings, the alleged (Christian) believer was dealt with more harshly than the unbeliever. The Law of Grace can only be invoked when the person brings about change in their lives — and a person who should know better, is dealt with more severely than the person who is not in a position to know better. Much I what I am presenting to you can be found on the website TheLie @ http://TheLie.org . Let me therefore quote a little more:
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. Which provokes the questions: Did Jesus misspeak? Was he wrong? Or, are modern Christians lacking an important aspect of the Original Gospel teachings? Because the modern believer is 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”. But this is not what Jesus stated. And this reality is further confirmed in the case of sinners and those who have been judged by the Law are portrayed as having been cast into a type of prison, Jesus stated: “Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matt 5:26 NKJ).
All three synoptic Gospels contain the passage of scripture which states: “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:16 KJV). The more we consider the reply of Jesus to this question, the more we comprehend that his answer undermines our whole modern-day understanding of the Gospel: “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt 19:17 KJV). Why would Jesus tell the man seeking eternal life to go and “…keep the commandments”? If, as modern Church doctrine proclaims, there is no salvation apart from faith and belief in Jesus — and no works or actions are a part of the equation — then why wouldn’t Jesus simply tell the man to believe?
In the modern Christian’s search for a higher understanding of the Gospel message, what is presented in this passage of scripture is of the greatest importance, as seen in the Adam Clarke Commentary which writes:
“Much instruction may be had from seriously attending to the conduct, spirit, and question of this person.
1. He came running (Mark 10:17), for he was deeply convinced of the importance of his business, and seriously determined to seek so as to find.
2. He kneeled, or caught him by the knees, thus evidencing his humility, and addressing himself only to mercy. (See Matt. 17:14).
3. He came in the spirit of a disciple, or scholar, desiring to be taught a matter of the utmost importance to him — Good teacher.
4. He came in the spirit of obedience; he had worked hard to no purpose, and he is still willing to work, provided he can have a prospect of succeeding — What good thing shall I do?
5. His question was the most interesting and important that any soul can ask of God — How shall I be saved?”
Then there is the all-encompassing statement: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matt 7:22-23 NAS). Practicing lawlessness is to be made aware of the Commandments, and failing to manifest them in one’s daily life.
In the Original New Covenant Sacraments ( http://Sacraments.Nazirene.org ) Baptism was the required wedding garment to come to TheCall to the Wedding Feast. And in accord with the Original Gospel Teachings, if a person knowingly sins after baptism, then they have defiled the Wedding Garment — and there can be no more forgiveness of sins. And I believe that Paul answers the question in the statement. (quoting from http://sacraments.nazirene.org/#SpiritualAbuseOfSacraments ): When Paul wrote and warned that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord — i.e., “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11:27-29) — the question should be posed as to what constitutes a lack of discernment? While a more exacting translation of the above is found in many of the older versions which state: “eateth and drinketh damnation to himself”, few Christians who have been taught the modern man-made doctrines of the Church, are able to understand how a baptized and confirmed Christian can eat and drink damnation and judgment for their failure to properly discern the Lord’s body.
Thus, the question that must be asked in light of the Biblical experts who have raised the question as to “…the source and originality of Christian doctrine”, is what exactly constitutes the required “wedding garment”? Which also raises the question: While it is true that Paul rejected the ritual observance of the Jews, what was the requirements that Paul did set forth for the congregation of believers? To the faith-based Christians Paul stated: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Col 3:5 NIV) — stating that “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24 NIV). Therefore it can be concluded that from Paul’s perspective, living in accord with the Gospel teachings requires repentance and change — and thus, the reality of the words of Isaiah have enveloped the modern faith-based believers: “For they that lead this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed” (Isa 9:6). And when rightly understood, the resounding truth is that the modern believers have chosen tradition and dogma over the Knowledge of the Original Teachings associated with the New Covenant — i.e., “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hos 4:6).
If what St. Gregory states is true, and the whole of our race will one day be perfected — i.e., “…when the complete whole of our race shall have been perfected from the first man to the last” — then there are so many grave misconceptions on the part of believers today, that it would be impossible for them to even being to understand their own higher soul-reality. And thus, the wisdom in the words: “…if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty”. But it is important to begin to recognize that the whole design of Creation itself is imbued with Laws that through a process that few understand, have the power to free mankind from this poverty of mind and being that causes him to dwell in a state of profound ignorance — and especially, ignorance about himself and his true soul and spiritual reality. And what is the process? By perpetually confronting self, each prodigal son begins to evolve to a state of maturity that fulfills the requirement set forth by Jesus in the Gospels: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). And while Christians fail to understand why and how this is accomplished — and make countless excuses as to why they are not bound by the requirements of perfection — their dogmatic belief’s does not in any manner detract from what Jesus stated. That they don’t remember their more distant past — nor are they cognizant of their own higher spiritual nature which is personified in the allegorical symbology of the elder brother who remains with the Father — and the fact that they remain “glued” to the Citizen of this world — is the very reason that they are portrayed as being “dead” (see The Dead Know Nothing). And this is why the Father said of the prodigal son with respect to when he was in the Far Country: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again” (Luke 15:24 KJV).
Jesus warned that for those who persist in doing evil to their brothers and sisters, that they become confined in a type of prison (see The Prison). In the parable of The Call, those who have failed to put on the required “wedding garment”, are cast out into what is portrayed as the“outer darkness” of mind and being (see Outer Darkness). That what Jesus taught in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, is the means by which the individual can begin to break out of the prison (see Getting Out Of The Prison), is representative of one of the most essential teachings that should be observed by all of mankind. That unbeknown to the vast majority of the people of this world, that they dwell under the total control of what the biblical author’s call the god of this world, which in the parable of the prodigal son Jesus portrayed as the Citizen of the Far Country, is further demonstrated in the words of Paul where he wrote: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath” (Eph 2:1-4 NIV). It is important to recognize that this world is a kingdom which has a “ruler” whose “…spirit [is] …at work in those who are disobedient.” And that the spirit of this ruler in this kingdom maintains absolute control over those who have permitted themselves to exist under his power. And that it is impossible for them to know anything of any real value, so long as they remain under the power of the ruler of this kingdom.
In the recent movie Pearl Harbor there was a scene where all the causalities were taken to a place where medical assistance could be rendered, and as each soldier was brought to the clinic they were immediately evaluated so as to categorize them. Because the attending physicians and nurses were overwhelmed with causalities, each person had to be quickly evaluated and classified. Those who could be helped were put in a location where the physicians and nurses could render them medical care and assistance. Those who could not be helped, were maintained in a separate place until the inevitable death came upon them. Is this cruel? Wasn’t it unfair to withhold medical care to those who were classified as beyond the ability to help? Not when it is realized that if the doctors attempted to render care to those whose condition was not life-sustainable, that an even greater number of soldiers would be lost. In the reality of life, the same is true of those who mature to the point where they can guide sincere seekers in TheWay, and help them to escape the spiritual death of this world.
To even begin to come to terms with the reality of this world, it must be recognized that it is impossible for those lost prodigal sons and daughters who dwell under the power and control of the consciousness (god) of this world to possess any degree of spiritual knowledge. In the parable it is stated: “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together and took his journey into a far country; and there he wasted his substance with riotous living” (Luke 15:13 ASV) — and it is this weakened state where man has been deprived and robbed of his spiritual inheritance — drained of the necessary vital life-force that enters his being through the spiritual centers of the body — that inhibits man from developing and using his higher resources of mind that enables him to possess the necessary spiritual knowledge that he needs to escape the clutches of the the god of this world. This inability to perceive and understand is confirmed in what is known as the original ending to the Gospel of Mark in the words: “This Age of lawlessness and unbelieving lies under the sway of Satan, who will not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God” (see Original Gospel Message). If the god of this world that Jesus portrays as the Citizen of the Far Country, has the power to inhibit the understanding of those who are under his control, then it is not only impossible for the lost prodigal sons to comprehend what they don’t possess the mental capacity to understand — but this condition will remain in effect, so long as the lost prodigal sons remain “…under the sway of Satan”. Thus, they exist as causalities that are beyond the ability of the spiritual physicians to help. But perhaps even more important is the fact that each person is born into this life in accord with their own past actions (see Conditions Of One’s Birth). And this reality that is no longer understood by the Church today, was expressed in the words of the early Church Father Origen when he wrote: “Every soul… comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life” (Origen, De Principiis). And this reality of the Laws is explored in The Laws That Perfect Mankind — and is detailed in the early Church’s teachings of predestination (see Early Church On Predestination).