In 1870 an important writing known as The Gospel of the Holy Twelve was published from an ancient manuscript that had been hidden away in an eastern monastery in order to protect it from falling into the hands of the (church) corrupters. It is my understanding that another copy of this gospel has also been found at the Mt. Carmel Monastery, and that many other fragmentary copies also exist which were in like manner hidden away for safekeeping. In 1997 a newer translation of this gospel was published under the name of The Gospel of the Nazirenes, by Alan Wauters and Rick VanWyhe. This Gospel was not that which was used by the Ebionites -- but rather, was fundamentally used to instruct those Jews who were converting from the simple (Jewish) faith, to that of Nazirene Judaism and TheWay. It therefore focuses on conversion from a very (carnal) Jewish perspective -- i.e., the flawed ritual practice of temple sacrifice, the polluting effect of eating animal flesh, the uselessness of physical circumcision, the inner Kingdom -- and the Gospel further clarified such spiritual concepts as the pre-existence of the soul, the deeper spiritual meaning of the written word of the scriptures, the reality of the Royal Law of the Most High God, the Masculine and Feminine aspects of God as perceived in the Singleness of the All-Parent, and the universal nature of the indwelling Word to all peoples of the earth.
Is this gospel genuine? While the modern church which remains drunk on the old wine of Rome will vehemently reject many of the tenets of this gospel, an astute reader will immediately see that many readings parallel those in the Gospel of Thomas which was not discovered until 1947, and many missing elements which were removed from our present New Testament copies are still represented and well contained in this less than perfect writing. That the Bible which Christians present us has been corrupted, has already been established in the article on Biblical Corruption (see http://BibleCorruption.com ). Perhaps one of the classic sightings is as well historical as seen in Chapter 57 verse 14 where the Nazirene Gospel reads: "Then Peter came to ham and said, Lord, how often do I allow my brother to sin against me and forgive him? Seven times? Jesus said to him I don't tell you seven times, but seven times seventy. For in the Prophets likewise sinful behavior was found, even after they were Anointed by the Holy Spirit." In the Jerome's Dialogue against Pelagius there is a quotation taken from the Gospel of the Hebrews which is historically known as the Genuine Matthew which reads: "If thy brother (saith he) have sinned by a word and made thee amends, seven times in a day receive thou him. Simon his disciple said unto him: Seven times in a day? The Lord answered and said unto him: Yea, I say unto thee, unto seventy times seven times. For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, the word of sin was found."
In the Second Epistle of Clement, iv. 5, this saying is attributed to Yeshua as saying: "The Lord said: If ye be with me gathered together in my bosom and do not my commandments, I will cast you away and say unto you: Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of wickedness." In the Nazirene Gospel 21:9, this saying is found in the words: "And I say to you, "Though you be gathered together in my bosom, if you keep not my commandments I will cast you forth. For if you keep not the lesser mysteries, who shall give you the greater." Why was these words removed from our copy of Matthew? What these words totally dispel is the modern doctrine that we are saved by professing the Lord to be our personal Lord and Savior -- without living in strict accord with both the commandments of the Lord.
The Missing Account Of Zacharias: At Matthew 23:34-35 Yeshua/Jesus says to the false religious leaders in that day: "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar" (Mt 23:35;Lk 11:51 NIV). Upon reading this we should ask who Zechariah was who was murdered between the temple and the alter?
If we pose a number of important simple questions: Who Zechariah was? Why were the secular Jews held accountable for his blood? And what does this account mean to us in our present time? Our severely edited Bibles which we rely upon today, cannot even begin to provide us with the answers to these and many other important questions. To demonstrate our inability to even remotely comprehend what Yeshua/Jesus is talking about while using our present-day copies of the New Testament which was severely altered by the Church of Rome, on this verse Barnes’ Notes writes: "It is not certainly known who this was. Some have thought that it was the Zecharias whose death is recorded in 2 Chr. 24:20-21. He is there called the son of Jehoiada; but it is known that it was common among the Jews to have two names, as Matthew is called Levi; Lebbeus, Thaddeus; and Simon, Cephas. Others have thought that Yeshua/Jesus referred to Zecharias the prophet, who might have been massacred by the Jews, though no account of his death is recorded. It might have been known by tradition."
We don’t know of whom Yeshua/Jesus speaks, because the whole account of Zacharias the prophet and the father of John the Baptist was removed from our Bibles. In the Nazirene Gospel 3:5-6 we read: "His father, Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit , and prophesied, Be blessed, Oh God of Israel , for you have visited and redeemed your people; and have raised up a symbol of power and strength for us, in the house of your servant David; as you spoke by the mouth of your holy prophets , who have been since the world began. You have spoken through the prophets so that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all those who hate us; You have spoken through the prophets in order to perform the mercy promised to our ancestors, and to remember Your holy covenant. The covenant! The oath which you swore to our father Abraham, that we, being granted deliverance from the hand of our enemies, might serve you without fear, in holiness and righteousness before you, all the days of our life. This child [John] will be called the prophet of the Most High; for He will stand before your face, Oh God, to prepare your ways; to give knowledge of salvation to your people by the remission of their sins. Through the tender mercy of you, Oh God, the day spring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and his spirit intensified. His mission was hidden until the day of his presentation to Israel"
Spiritual holy men such as Zacharias, along with all other examples of Jews who were part of the Holy Nation of Israel, had to be removed from the text of the scriptures in order for the Gentile-Roman Church to rewrite history to make it appear that the Jews rejected Yeshua/Jesus, and the Gentiles became the new chosen people. Thus, in the same way that the above reference to Zacharias was removed, so also was that found in the Nazirene Gospel 5:13-19: "When they had departed, behold the angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream , saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt. Remain there until I bring you word, for Herod will seek to destroy Him. And when Joseph arose, he took the young child and His mother by night, and went to Egypt, and was there for about seven years until the death of Herod The prophet, had spoken the word of God saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Elisabeth too, when she heard it, took her infant son and went up into a mountain and hid him. Herod sent his officers to Zacharias in the temple and said to him, Where is your child? Zacharias answered, I am a minister of God and am continually in the temple. I don't know where he is. And Herod demanded again, Truly, tell me where your son is? Don't you know that your life is in my hand? And Zacharias answered, The Lord is witness if you shed my blood. God will receive my spirit; for you will shed the blood of the innocent. And they slew Zacharias in the temple between the holy place and the altar; and the people knew it, for a voice was heard, Zacharias is slain, and his blood will not be washed out until the avenger comes. After a time the priests cast lots. The lot fell upon Simeon, and he filled Zacharias' place. Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was furious, and ordered to have all the children age two years and under, living in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, slain. He set the age of the children to be slain, according to the information asked of the wise men. Then were fulfilled the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel, weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not"
It is interesting to note that the Church Father Origen noted that the account of Zacharias had been removed from many of the biblical texts, and was only preserved in the uncanonical scriptures. Thus, in a letter from Origen to Africanus, he writes concerning the removal of this important account:
"But probably to this you will say, Why then is the "History" not in their Daniel, if, as you say, their wise men hand down by tradition such stories? The answer is, that they hid from the knowledge of the people as many of the passages which contained any scandal against the elders, rulers, and judges, as they could, some of which have been preserved in uncanonical writings (Apocrypha)."
"Let us see now if in these cases we are not forced to the conclusion, that while the Saviour gives a true account of them, none of the Scriptures which could prove what He tells are to be found."
about Zacharias the son of Barachias, who was slain between the temple
and the altar, we learn from Jesus only, not knowing it otherwise from
any Scripture. Wherefore I think no other supposition is possible, than
that they who had the reputation of wisdom, and the rulers and elders,
took away from the people every passage which might bring them into
discredit among the people. We need not wonder, then, if this history of
the evil device of the licentious elders...was concealed and removed
from the Scriptures by men themselves not very far removed from the
counsel of these elders."
Thus, sincere Christians would look at this missing account of Zacharias -- the fact that it was noted to be removed in a letter by the Church Origen -- and the fact that it appears in the what is now called the Gospel of the Nazirenes -- and they would recognize that what they have been given is a sign from the Lord that they should question the integrity of their scriptures and doctrines of belief. Once we see the sections which were removed from our own Bibles that are still contained in the Nazirene Gospel, we can easily begin to understand what Yeshua/Jesus was making reference to with respect to the allegation that the secular Jews were guilty of the blood of Zacharias. What is clear is the fact that this revelation pertaining to Zacharias was once contained in our Bibles, but was purposely removed by the Gentile Chruch. At Mark 10:46 our Bible reads: "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging". Upon reading this, any person who sincerely desires to understand the word of God would ask: So what happened in Jericho? An interesting notation is seen in the Wycliffe Commentary which reads: "The [Jericho] of Yeshua/Jesus' day was located about five miles west of Jordan and fifteen miles northeast of Jerusalem. The site of the Canaanite city of Joshua's day lay one mile to the north. There is a difficulty in harmonization here. Matthew and Mark say that the miracle occurred as Jesus went out of Jericho; Luke places it as he was come nigh unto Jericho (18:35). Perhaps the most plausible solution is that the healing occurred as Jesus left the site of old Jericho and entered the new city of Jericho. The difficulty with this explanation is that there is no evidence that the old Jericho was inhabited in Jesus' time. This problem arises, no doubt, from our lack of complete historical and geographical information. We may be assured that no discrepancy would exist if all the facts were known. Meanwhile, the divergence is a testimony to the independent character of the two accounts."
If we look into chapter 41 of the Nazirene Gospel we can immediately see why the whole reference to what transpired in Jericho had to be removed by the Gentile-Roman Church:
1.And as Yeshua/Jesus was going to Jericho He met a man with a cage full of birds, including some very young doves, which he had caught. And He saw how they were in misery having lost their liberty, and moreover being tormented with hunger and thirst.
2.And He said to the man, What are you doing with these? And the man answered, I go to make my living by selling these birds which I have taken.
3.And Yeshua/Jesus said, What would you think, if another, stronger than you or with greater craft, were to catch you and bind you, or your wife, or your children, and cast you into a prison, in order to sell you into captivity for his own profit, and to make a living?
4.Are not these your fellow creatures only weaker than you? And doesn't the same God our Father-Mother care for them as for you? Let these your little brothers and sisters have their freedom, and see that you don't do this thing any more, but provide honestly for your living."
5.And the man marveled at these words and at His authority, and he let the birds go free. So when the birds came forth they flew to Yeshua/Jesus and stood on his shoulder and sang to Him.
6.And the man inquired further of His doctrine, and he went his way, and learnt the craft of making baskets, and by this craft he earned his bread; and afterwards he broke his cages and his traps and became a disciple of Yeshua/Jesus.
7.And Yeshua/Jesus beheld a man working on the Sabbath, and He said to him, man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed, for you are not breaking the law in the spirit; but if you don't know, you are accursed and a transgressor of the law.
8.And again Yeshua/Jesus said to His disciples, what shall be done to these servants who, knowing their Lord's will, don't prepare themselves for His coming, neither do according to His Will?
9.They that know their master's will, and don't do it, will be beaten with many stripes. But they who don't know their master's will, and don't do it, will be beaten with but few stripes. To whomsoever much is given, of them is much required; and to whom little is given, from them is but little required.
10.And there was a certain man who was blind from his birth. And he denied that there were such things as sun, moon, and stars, or that color existed. And they tried in vain to persuade him that other people saw them; and they led him to Yeshua/Jesus, and He anointed his eyes and made him see.
11.And he greatly rejoiced with wonder and fear, and confessed that before he was blind. And now, after this, he said, I see all, I know everything, I am a god.
12.And Yeshua/Jesus again said to him, How can you know all? You can't see through the walls of your house, nor read the thoughts of your fellow-men, nor understand the language of birds, or of beasts. You can not even recall the events of your former life, conception, or birth.
13.Remember with humility how much remains unknown to you, yes, unseen, and doing so, you may see more clearly.
In the original teachings of The Way, the followers of Yeshua/Jesus were required to do no harm to any living creature -- whether animal or man. Yeshua/Jesus was called the Prince of Peace -- he preached a Gospel where peace was the essence of the disciple’s life and manner of thinking. In the Nazirene Gospel it is expressed in numerous places that God expected man to eat only the vegetation and fruit of the earth, as seen in the words: "And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day" (Gen 1:29-31 NKJ).
Perhaps the most plain explanation was given by Yeshua/Jesus in the thirty-third chapter of the Nazirene Gospel where he taught: "Yeshua/Jesus was teaching His disciples in the outer court of the temple and one of them said to Him, Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Can then the blood offerings of the laws take away sin? And Yeshua/Jesus answered, No blood offering, of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin. For how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation. The priests indeed receive such offerings as a reconciliation of the worshippers for the trespasses against the Law of Moses; but for sins against the Law of God there can be no remission, save by repentance and amendment. Is it not written in the prophets, Put your blood sacrifices to your burnt offerings, and away with them, and cease from the eating flesh. I did not speak to your fathers nor commanded them, concerning these things, when I brought them out of Egypt. But this thing I commanded saying, Obey my voice and walk in the ways that I have commanded you, and you will be my people, and it shall be well with you. But they did not listen, nor inclined their ear. And what doth the eternal command you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God? Is it not written that in the beginning God ordained the fruits of the trees and the seeds and the herbs to be food for all flesh? But they have made the house of prayer a den of thieves, and for the oblation with incense, they have polluted my altars with blood, and eaten of the flesh of the slain. But I say to you, shed no innocent blood nor eat flesh. Walk upright, love mercy, and do justly, and your days shall be long in the land".
What Yeshua/Jesus is teachings is that if we wish to dwell in the Paradise of our Creator God, and inherit the promise of eternal life, then we must live in the manner that God intended when mankind dwelled in Eden. We must do no harm to any creature -- we must cease to do evil -- and we must "do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God". And if you say that such a thing is impossible -- that you cannot live your life in this manner -- then your soul has eternity to aimlessly wander this world of suffering, death and pain, until which time you desire to enter into the Paradise that awaits you.
Natural man often has great problems with embracing such a manner of life. He reasons: The animals were put here for me to eat. The problem is that because he is ruled over by the beasts of his animal nature, he craves the blood and fat of slain beasts. In like manner, the teachings of The Way were unacceptable to the Gentile-heathen world, so they simply eliminated what was objectionable in the scriptures they inherited from the holy men of Israel.
Modern Christians often point to the biblical verse where the Pharisees ask Yeshua/Jesus: "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!" (Matt 15:2 NIV) -- and the answer of Yeshua/Jesus to affirm that Christians were not required to observe the dietary restrictions in the Old Testament: "What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean… Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’" (Matt 15:11-20 NIV).
Regardless of the fact that what is being presented here is true; the question remains, is it the whole truth? What should give us a clue that these verses have been doctored is the fact that we know the author of this scripture -- i.e., the Apostle Matthew -- was himself a vegetarian, as seen in the words of Clement of Alexandria: "Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh" (The Instructor). If we add to this the witness of Eusebius, who quotes Hegesippus and writes of James, the brother of Yeshua/Jesus, and first leader of the New Covenant Chruch: "He drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat", and it is well documented that all the Messianic Nazirene followers of Yeshua/Jesus did not eat the flesh of animals, we should question why a religious society of vegetarians would promote the eating of animal flesh?
In the Gospel of the Nazirenes we can see what the original message that Yeshua/Jesus taught conveyed to the reader: "And Yeshua said, ‘Well has Moses commanded you to be clean, and to keep your bodies clean, and your vessels clean, but you have added things which ofttimes cannot be observed by everyone at all times and in all places. Hear me therefore, not only unclean things entering into the body of man defile the man, but much more do evil thoughts and unclean things which pour from the heart of man, defile the inner man and others also. Therefore take heed to your thoughts and cleanse your hearts and let your food be pure. These things ought you to do, and not to leave the others undone. Whosoever breaks The Law of Purification of necessity, are blameless, for they do it not of their own will, neither despising The Law which is just and good. For cleanliness in all things is great gain. Be not therefore followers of evil fashions of the world, even in appearance; for many are led into transgression by the outward seeming, and the likeness of evil" (NG 43:20-23). Thus, the original words of Yeshua/Jesus paint an entirely different picture than the corrupted texts of our modern biblical translations.
In verses 1-6 of the Nazirene Gospel we further see the discourse between Yeshua/Jesus and the man who caught and caged birds for a living. It is also important to note that God, which in the newer translation is interpreted as the Most High, is herein referred to as Father-Mother -- which is true of all the earliest of New Covenant and Essene writings.
At verse 7 we see the phrase: "And Yeshua beheld a man working on the Sabbath, and He said to him, man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed, for you are not breaking the law in the spirit; but if you don't know, you are accursed and a transgressor of the law". This same exact phrase is found in both Codex Baeza, as well as in the Gospel of Thomas. What it means is that if one "…knows what they are doing", then they have overcome this world, and everyday becomes a Sabbath. If one is still in a divided state with respect to their soul and spiritual natures, then working on the Sabbath is in violation of the Commandment of God which causes them to be "…accursed and a transgressor of the law". Because the Pagan-Christians worshiped the sun-god on the day of the sun, this reference to Sabbath observance had to be removed from our Bibles.
At verse 8-9 we see the very important teaching which applies to modern Christians in the words: "And again Yeshua/Jesus said to His disciples, what shall be done to these servants who, knowing their Lord's will, don't prepare themselves for His coming, neither do according to His Will? They that know their master's will, and don't do it, will be beaten with many stripes. But they who don't know their master's will, and don't do it, will be beaten with but few stripes. To whomsoever much is given, of them is much required; and to whom little is given, from them is but little required". What this means is that Christians, who know the will of the Lord, and yet continue to sin and remain spiritually stagnant, will be dealt with more severely than the non-Christian who knows not the will of the Lord.
Lastly we have the healing of the blind man, which reads: "And there was a certain man who was blind from his birth. And he denied that there were such things as sun, moon, and stars, or that color existed. And they tried in vain to persuade him that other people saw them; and they led him to Yeshua/Jesus, and He anointed his eyes and made him see. And he greatly rejoiced with wonder and fear, and confessed that before he was blind. And now, after this, he said, I see all, I know everything, I am a god. And Yeshua/Jesus again said to him, How can you know all? You can't see through the walls of your house, nor read the thoughts of your fellow-men, nor understand the language of birds, or of beasts. You can not even recall the events of your former life, conception, or birth. Remember with humility how much remains unknown to you, yes, unseen, and doing so, you may see more clearly".
When Yeshua/Jesus restored his physical sight, he was under the same misconception as all men and women who are born seeing -- i.e., that he could see all there was. To this Yeshua/Jesus replied: "How can you know all? You can't see through the walls of your house, nor read the thoughts of your fellow-men, nor understand the language of birds, or of beasts". Since there is no mention of the man being in a house, the astute reader should recognize that Yeshua/Jesus is telling him that he can’t see beyond the three-dimensional realm within which he resides. Among other things, the "thoughts of your fellow-men" represent the laws which dictate the manner in which they think, and the "language of the birds or of beasts" represents the laws which control the movement of lower nature and the elemental things of this world.
Of the utmost importance to the modern Christian is the words of Yeshua/Jesus where he states to the man who was formerly blind: "You can not even recall the events of your former life, conception, or birth. Remember with humility how much remains unknown to you, yes, unseen, and doing so, you may see more clearly". Herein we can see one of the many references to the pre-existence of the soul that at one time existed in our Bibles. How can a person know anything, when then cannot "…recall the events of their former life" prior to entering into this present lifetime? How can they know anything when they are unable to perceive the laws or circumstances of their "conception or birth" into this present life? Thus, in the manner of the story of the death of Zacharias, we can immediately see why everything that transpired in Jericho had to be removed by the Gentile-Roman Church -- i.e., it is easier to alter the text of the scriptures, than to repent from their heathen and Pagan ways.
The original teachings of The Way revealed a manner of thinking and an associated lifestyle that prepared the believer to receive the Truth directly from the Son of God. With regard to our search for the Truth, what the believer must come to terms with is the fact that they can argue over doctrine and dogma till they take their last breath, and the only way they will ever know for sure is to prove it within their own lives! Belief and faith in the Lord are necessary attributes -- but Yeshua/Jesus also said to adhere to his Commandments, pick up your crosses, take his yoke upon you, and follow in his footsteps. When you do this, the early Christians professed that your faith and belief will be turned into sure spiritual knowledge -- Gnostic knowledge that is gained by virtue of your own first-hand spiritual experiences -- and this knowledge will be taught to you directly by the First Cause of Creation -- i.e., the Son of God. This is the True and Genuine message of the Bible!
A fundamental key in comprehending the process by which all truth is revealed as we walk the road of spiritual perfection, is to understand the mindset of the first century follower of Yeshua/Jesus -- which mindset represents the necessary state of mind within which the Word and Mysteries of God must be implanted. An important difference between the modern Christian and the first century Jew was their ideas pertaining to their place of origin, as demonstrated in the words of Gibbon: "...the Jews were persuaded of the pre-existence, transmigration, and immortality of souls; and providence was justified by a supposition, that they were confined in their earthly prisons to expiate the stains which they had contracted in a former state" (Gibbon; Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.364).
What is the implications? They are so far reaching, that the average Christian is simply incapable of comprehending the impact of these words upon their lives! Just this one difference in the believer’s ideas pertaining to life can so dramatically alter one’s understanding of both life and the Gospel, that it’s absence is responsible for an entirely erroneous perception of both Yeshua/Jesus, and the source and purpose of New Covenant teachings. The average person whose thinking is bounded by a quasi-Darwinist three-dimensional model of life, is simply unable to comprehend how Yeshua/Jesus came to be the Messiah, and the manner in which the revelation of spiritual truth is revealed. Moreover, in the above words of Gibbon we can see the biblical understanding of the relationship between the "…pre-existence and transmigration… of souls", and the very well defined biblical doctrine of "providence" -- i.e., Divine Providence, that is brought about in the life of the individual based upon one’s own past deeds.
In examination of the words of Gibbon, unless the believer understands the "pre-existence, transmigration, and immortality of souls" -- i.e., limitations imposed upon the physical body of man which acts in the manner of "earthly prisons" -- and the limitations that are placed upon the individual as a result of the "stains which they had contracted in a former state" -- the believer will be incapable of perceiving the spiritual essence, purpose and revelation of the Gospel message.
The concept that when a child is born into this life it is not a new creation -- but rather, the cyclic return of a soul who has existed since the very dawn of time as we understand it, is simply beyond our comprehension. In our manner of thinking, when we pose the question: 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".
You say you don’t believe that your soul has pre-existed your birth in this life because you don’t remember. On the surface this is a reasonable assumption. Yet, according to the first Christians, you are not supposed to remember your more distant past -- unless the Lord opens the minds of a person in order for them to remember the previous lives that their soul has lived. This fact that we don’t remember was very clearly acknowledged by Yeshua/Jesus when he made the above statement to the blind man he had healed: "You can not even recall the events of your former life, conception, or birth. Remember with humility how much remains unknown to you, yes, unseen, and doing so, you may see more clearly". That the majority of people do not remember the previous lives which their pre-existent soul has lived prior to their coming into being in their present life, is basically caused by the fact that by living sense-bound lives and 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 the teachings about the children which 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 to us 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 Yeshua/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. In the discourse in the Gospel of John, an observant reader will see that Yeshua/Jesus expected a "ruler of the Jews" (Jn 3:1) to understand the objective and the purpose of the sacred writings. When Yeshua/Jesus said: "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. After examining the Dead Sea Scrolls we must conclude that the Essenes perceived and understood the need to be born again -- and the fact that Nicodemus was a Pharisee leader of the Jews meant that, in order to be a genuine leader, that he should have known of the great truth which Yeshua/Jesus spoke of.
Finally, Yeshua/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"? Upon examination we must ask the question: 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 Yeshua/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 -- the original teachings of The Way -- and the Spiritual Christian as revealed in Origen and the other Church Fathers who lived prior to the fourth century. 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 or 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 formed and strongly influenced by the Church of the Roman Empire, what if the more enlightened Hasidic Jews have 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 secular Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees cannot absolve a person of sin, and save them in the hereafter -- but it is important to recognize that he would say the exact same thing of the ritual observances of the fourth century Church of Rome. In view of what is presented to us in the Nazirene Gospel with respect to the open condemnation of both temple sacrifice and the eating of flesh foods, the idea promoted by the later Gentile Church that the Messianic followers of Yeshua/Jesus required people to observe the Mosaic Law, must be merely seen as just one more lie that was published by the Church of Constantine. That there is a Royal Law of God that all genuine people of faith must adhere to -- and that there is a spiritual meaning that is of the utmost importance to those who attempt to follow in The Way, represent Divine Truths that remain as valid today as when Yeshua/Jesus taught these New Covenant concepts at the beginning of our Common Era.
Based upon the words of Yeshua 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 based upon the embodiment of a system of Laws that controlled 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 restricts or opens, 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 overcome, in order to embrace our soul and spiritual natures. The Essenes knew the secrets of these Laws -- Yeshua/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. Moreover, it is Paul’s knowledge of the workings of the Laws that was foundational to his doctrine that Christ paid the price of our salvation -- and all we need to do is begin to live our lives in the manner of a Genuine follower and believer in order to inherit the promise of the Good News. 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.
If there is any question as to the true religion of Paul, whereby he expected the followers of Christ to cease from sin and live a consecrated and holy life, the sixth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans clarifies this error: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? … Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord" (Rom 6:1-23 NIV).
Perhaps the most important concept which Paul sets before the reader is seen in the words: "…you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted". Paul knew that if you "wholeheartedly" obey the teachings of The Way in sincerity and truth of purpose, that you will invoke the Royal Law of God, and you will gain entrance into the Kingdom of the Light. Paul, therefore, professed a total faith in the Law -- not the law of the carnal Jews who in their ignorance observed the tenets of the Law in the form of dead rituals, meaningless sacrifices, and the sinful shedding of innocent blood -- but rather, the Law of the Spirit and Truth.
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. When the reflective nature is seduced by the god of this world -- in the manner of the prodigal son who fell under the power of the citizen of the far country -- it is portrayed in scripture as either an unfaithful wife, or a whore. 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.
The Church Father Origen conveys this great truth to us in the words: "It is sufficient however, to represent in the style of a historic narrative what is intended to convey a secret meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject." And with regard to what would otherwise be historical symbols and events that would appear to us as the knowledge of superficial episodes of the past, Origen writes: "I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed" (Origen - Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142). This same truth with respect to the symbols and forms used in the textual body of the scriptures is further conveyed to us on the Jewish side of the fence in the Zohar: "The narratives of the doctrine are its cloak. The simple look only on the garment, that is upon the narrative of the doctrine; more they know not. The instructed, however, see not merely the cloak, but what the cloak covers". And again in the words of the great Jewish theologian Moses Maimonedes: "Every time that you find in our books a tale the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit". These same truths with respect to the nature and spiritual language of the Bible is again conveyed to us in the words of the Church Historian Eusebius: "Many were led astray by reading the allegorical contents of the scriptures literally in the method of the Pharisees and Sadducees".
If this was not true with respect to the threefold nature and spiritual language with which the scriptures are composed, Yeshua/Jesus would not have said: "This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it" (Matt 13:13-17 NIV). Carnal man remains ever seeing without perceiving, and ever hearing without understanding, because their natural organic state of being has made them blind and deaf to the soul and spiritual meaning of the Word.
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 previously demonstrated, 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 Yeshua/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 Yeshua/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 ritual 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 which embraced the higher Laws of Creation, that freed us from being servants to the god of this world. And what is the meaning of active faith? Perhaps this is best defined by Paul himself when he wrote that Genuine Christians are those who "…wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted".
The revelation that I am setting before you 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.