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METANOIA

A Priestly Theology

H. David Blalock
FOREWORD

In the years following my discovery of the rich reward of


active pursuit of spiritual truth, I encountered numerous
references to unorthodox belief and disparate opinion.
Organized, orthodox belief has exerted its weight in the mind
of mankind without question for so long because of the threat
of the religion called Science. Yet, there are great and
wonderful things hidden in the history of human thought and
belief that make today's dogmatic acceptance of church
doctrine seem almost backward. True, there were plenty of
philosophies that deservedly died with their originators or
enjoyed only the briefest of followings. Most of these do not
deserve resurrection except as a warning against repetition of
those mistakes.
In this book, I have attempted to present how I have come
to understand the Truth of Christianity regarding the natures of
God, Christ, Man, and Satan. Each of these entities interrelate
in fascinating and sometimes confusing ways. It is not my
intent to state that what is written here is the last and most
complete understanding of God. I merely felt it worth the
attention of today's thinking Christian to have material
available that engendered serious reconsideration of blind
belief.
It is my sincerest hope that this book will answer more
questions than it generates, and will perhaps enlighten the
reader.

H. David Blalock
February 1997
PREFACE
Truth does not change because it is, or is not,
believed by a majority of the people.
--- Guido Bruno (1548-1600)1

Were Adam and Eve two separate beings created by the


Hand of God from the dust of the earth on the sixth day of
Creation? Did Noah actually build an ark, survive a worldwide
flood and become the ancestor of all humanity? Was Abraham
really promised by God he would be the father of a multitude,
in spite of the fact he was well advanced in years?
"A good Christian does not ask such questions," I have
been told. "The Bible says it is so, and therefore it is so."
But does The Bible say that?
The Bible is such a universally accepted authority in
Christianity that it is often quoted out of context to lend weight
to an otherwise vague argument. Although to some The Bible
is the only legitimate and acceptable source of spiritual
knowledge, there are factions who insist this is not the case.
Spiritual knowledge, or rather, knowledge of God and His
activity in the earth past, present, and future, is claimed by
every religion in the world, and each argues convincingly that
theirs is the only true knowledge of God, given supernaturally
and miraculously. Whether The Bible is the only source of the
Word of God to Man is a hotly disputed point. The Roman
Catholic Church gives equal weight to its own tradition as it
does to The Bible. The Pope, considered the emissary of God
on Earth, is capable of being a source of further spiritual
revelation for the Church. Indeed, the Canon is simply
organized thought and belief of the earliest days of the Church
exalted by ecumenical edict.
Since the Holy Spirit is eternal, it seems reasonable to
assume that He deals with each person today as much as He did
during Paul's time. Exactly how much weight such revelations
should be given is a point of contention throughout the body of
Christianity.

1
The Great Thoughts, page 54.
There are definite ideas expressed in The Bible, but are
those ideas expressed in today's Christian ethic? Have we, as
modern Christians, held true to the original intent of
Christianity, or are we more concerned with the dogma and
doctrine generated over the last 2000 years? How does what is
generally assumed about The Bible compare to its letter?
It is commonly asserted that The Bible is perfect. If this is
so, then why does The Bible itself say the Word of God is the
only perfect thing? As a guide to understanding basic Truth,
The Bible is indispensable. As Truth itself, it is a mere
glimmer in the brilliance of God.
It is maintained that The Bible is the Word of God. This is
so in a way, but the true Word of God is Jesus Christ. The
Bible, no matter how sacred it may seem, is still merely a book:
paper, print, and binding. Christ is the Living Word of the
Living God. We must be aware that the needs of all men were
met when Jesus went to the cross. God provides, not The
Bible.
The intent of this book is to help Christians grow
spiritually, not create disruption. But remember this: God is
infinite. We are finite creations of an infinite mind. How can
such creations create or convey perfection?

We do not know what God is ... because He is


infinite and therefore objectively unknowable ...
Therefore, nothing can be predicated of God
literally or affirmatively.
--- John Scotus Erigena (810-877 AD)2

The Bible is the best, most reliable source of information


we have concerning the Truth, and yet even it has suffered in
translation. Recent renditions and revisions drawing on the
oldest manuscripts have corrected this unfortunate
circumstance to a large extent, but there is much yet to be done.
Almost 2000 years of "explanations" and interpretations of The
Bible have given rise to literally hundreds of schools of thought
on Christianity. Yet, The Bible testifies that the Christians of

2
Patrologia Latina
the first generation were "all of one accord and one mind."3
What has changed to generate so many doctrinal differences?
The mind of man.
In his attempt to organize the universe so he might better
understand it, Man made the mistake of setting aside a
cubbyhole for God. As it became evident this cubbyhole was
not large enough, Man made more cubbyholes and placed a bit
of God in each, creating a piecemeal, manageable deity that
performed as required. When this deity showed power beyond
that assigned Him, it was either disbelieved, re-catalogued
under different headings, or ignored. God became finite and
predictable, defined by Man. But, what about the time before
the construction of this elaborate catalogue? If there were
those who saw God as an infinite God, would they not have
expressed it?
Indeed, the best witness for an unbounded and all-
powerful God is The Bible itself as the Holy Spirit opens it to
the Christian sincerely wishing to understand God. The best
way to approach this understanding is to read The Bible
without preconception. A student of The Bible will always
encounter confusion and questions if he begins from other than
the beginning, which is a proper attitude towards the basics in
the study of The Bible.

Rules for Effective Bible Study

 First and foremost to remember is that there are no human


authorities on The Bible, no matter how ancient or lettered
or honored they may be by others. God's personal message
to you cannot be interpreted by another in its fullest
implication. Martin Luther (1483-1546) said, "I
acknowledge no fixed rules for the interpretation of the
Word of God."4 One should never approach any subject for
study expecting to discover certain facts. This leads to
confusion and frustration. Maintain an objective and
impartial attitude to the information without regard to your
own expectations.
3
Acts 1:14
4
Open letter to Pope Leo, September 6, 1520
 Seek simplicity. Complicated explanations of biblical verse
serve more to obscure the meaning and intent of a passage
than give revelation.
 Bible study should be in whole subjects. The Bible was not
written as separate verses which were then compiled. It
was written to address whole subjects in depth. Unless a
single statement can summarize the entire thought, it is best
to study several chapters around a reference.
 Never assume that a verse has been quoted in context. The
Bible is a personal communiqué from the Spirit of God to
you. Learn to read it for yourself. The intent of the serious
student is not to complete the study, but to better
understand God. It's worth the effort to do for yourself
what others are only too willing to do for you: interpret the
"true meaning" of The Bible.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the


Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the
Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the
Protestant church, nor by any church that I know
of. My own mind is my own church.
--- Thomas Paine (1737-1809)5

Extra-Biblical Sources
Is it right to look for evidence of God outside The Bible, or
is that blasphemy? Considering the fact that our God is a God
of the living, not the dead, it is fair to assume that the term
"living" includes more than just those people associated with
The Bible. There are those who insist that God spoke only
through the writers of the Canon, yet The Bible tells us that the
Spirit will lead us into all Truth, and Christ Himself taught that
the Comforter would bring to remembrance everything He had
taught His disciples. The Apostle John in his gospel admits
that, were all the facts and teachings of Jesus to be recorded,
there were not enough books to hold them. 6 Where, then, are

5
The Age of Reason
6
John 21:25
we to find the balance of the information of which Jesus
spoke?
We could be receptive to the Spirit in study, learn His
voice and accept His gentle teaching. This is the best way, the
way Jesus recommended. But some of us have difficulty
dealing with the idea that the Spirit of the Almighty God can
speak directly to us personally, much less discern His voice
from the clamoring around us. For this reason, the Spirit
moved men in times past to write hundreds of books on
spiritual growth. Some are garbled, confused and uncertain
renditions of basic truth, products of innocent ignorance. Some
are deliberate alteration of truth to fit established doctrine.
Some are honest attempts to plumb the depths of the Spirit
while fighting off prejudices ingrained in the author. These
writings eventually defined the concept of orthodoxy and
heresy, drawing an often arbitrary line between the two, then
reinforcing that line until the orthodoxy was not just protected
from discordant ideas, but imprisoned its own attributes. The
security offered by orthodox Christianity is not only necessary
but vital to those who seek nothing more from religion than a
promise of the extension of that security beyond death. This is
not, of itself, wrong. The exercise of this mindset in daily life,
however, is to bring death into life, and is unnatural. In spite of
the contemporary move within the community to relate to
"modern issues" of social import, the attitude and motivation
remains how the problems and issues addressed relate to sin
and death.

The Nature of Sin and Repentance


Sin is not a genetic trait. One does not inherit sin through
the DNA. It is action, omission of action, or behavior that
violates a code of ethic. Traditionally, sin has been considered
the infraction of God's tenets and laws. Original Sin was the
action of Adam in disobedience to God. However, unless the
author or enforcer of the code takes offense at the infraction or
violation, there is, strictly speaking, no violation. The nature of
the action is one of violation, but the consequences do not
relate to the consequences of a violation; in other words, sin is
sin only if God calls it sin. God took offense at Adam's action,
therefore it was sin. However, since the Resurrection, there
has been no Law, Christ having fulfilled and redefined its
commandments. God no longer sees Man (Adam) but Christ in
Man, and therefore there is no recognition of sin. Since the
mind of God is the ultimate definer of reality, the eternality of
everything stemming from its recognition by God as being
existent, and since God forgave Adam's sin through Christ's
sacrifice, Adamic sin has ceased to exist. Sin continues only in
the mind of man, an offense against Man's accepted limits of
behavior, not God's. It is fitting man should now define sin,
enforce its punishment and seek its destruction, since it is Man
alone who is the manifestor of sin. Since man manifests sin, he
can uncreate it, and does so in a process called repentance.
Repentance is a change of mental attitude and physical
response from one set of values to another, usually from an
amoral or immoral code to a moral and aesthetically superior
code. The most beneficial set of moral codes is of God and
readily recognized by all cultures, since it forms the basis of
civilization. True and developed repentance's result is,
therefore, easily recognized by any religion or culture as
beneficent and all religions strive for it in their adherents.
The process to full repentance, the full transference from
one code to another, is variously called transformation,
growth, and evolution. Transformation can be defined as a
metamorphosis from form to form. The transformation of the
mind is the aim of true repentance and real religion; a healing
process whose end is peace and security. Evolution is a growth
within a certain form from incomplete to complete; a maturing
process, as in the development of a child. These terms are
more familiar to the non-Christian community because the
concepts are related to both the physical and spiritual, whereas
the Christian view is to ignore or deprecate the physical. By
expanding the view of orthodox Christianity to include instead
of exclude the physical, by taking the tenets of Christ's great
commandments and applying them to everyday life instead of
discussing them philosophically on Sunday, by making God a
real and continuing part of your life, you become spiritually
and physically a healthy person. The first step in this process
is simply learning how Man sees God.
Man’s Perception of God
Omnipotent. The Bible bears witness to the power of God;
a boundless, limitless power in perfect control of a perfect
Spirit. To men, absolute power may corrupt absolutely, but to
the incorruptible God, it is the tool of His expression in men's
minds and hearts.
Omniscient. Without wisdom to direct knowledge,
knowledge is impotent. Without knowledge to channel power,
power is useless. Knowing all does not merely mean to know
all that is, was, and is to come. It also means to know what is
not, what never was, and what never can be. Wisdom is not
merely ability to direct knowledge, but to direct it beneficially,
effectively, and efficiently.
Omnipresent. Without existence in the world of the
physical, spiritual, or the mind, there is no receptacle for wisely
directed power and knowledge, and therefore no manifestation.
Being present in all spheres allows manifestation of
omnipotence and omniscience in all spheres.
The combination of these three aspects make up our
understanding of God. No other description more fully
explains Man's perception of the Eternal, yet even this falls far
short of description of the true nature of God. Man's
understanding of God is shaped by his education. Usually, the
more intellectually oriented the education, the more structured,
ordered, and limited becomes the vision regarding God. This is
because academics is in actuality not the dispensation of Truth,
but of socially acceptable interpretation of the Truth. Just as
the nutritional value of fruit juice suffers in the fermentation
process, Truth left to fester in an atmosphere of prejudice and
preference becomes less than Truth. The basic structure is the
same, but the taste is bitter and hard on the palate educated to
accept simpler fare.

Self-Evident Truth is one Thing and Truth the


result of Reasoning is another thing. Rational
Truth is not the Truth of Christ, but of Pilate.
--- William Blake (1757-1827)7

7
Annotations to Bacon's "Essays" (1798)
Man's understanding of God has become as a thin, weak,
bad wine. Without bouquet or body, it retains only the faintest
identification with its Source. It is a mere shadow of the
Reality. Some would rather assume Man created God in his
own image, thinking this somehow assures Man's dignity, yet,
as has been so eloquently said,

They that deny God destroy man's nobility; for


certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body;
and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is
a base and ignoble creature.
--- Francis Bacon (1561-1626)8

The image is Man and the Reality is just at the outer limits
of perception.

God is beneficent, but the good is also


beneficent. It is natural therefore that the true
nature of the good should be in the same region
as the true nature of God.
--- Epictetus (c. 50-120 AD)9

8
The Essays or Counsels, Civill and Morall, "Of Atheists" (1625)
9
Discourses of Epictetus, Book II, Chapter VIII
PART ONE: On God and Christ

The religious geniuses of all ages have been


distinguished by this kind of religious feeling,
which knows no dogma and no God conceived
in man's image; ... Hence, it is precisely among
the heretics of every age that we find men who
are filled with the highest kind of religious
feeling and were in many cases regarded by their
contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as
Saints.
--- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)10

God is the Source. Uncreated, He is self-existent.


Therefore, God can, by definition, create everything but God.
Since God is Light, as indicated in the book of I John,11
Genesis 1:312 must refer to something other than creation.
Indeed, the division of light and darkness is unique in that this
was not accomplished as was the remainder of the universe.
Nowhere does Genesis say "God created Light." This is not in
the English, the Septuagint, the Masoretic, not even the original
Hebrew. It does say "God said, ‘Let light be.'" God called
forth the Light from the Dark.13 "And God saw the Light, that
it was good." God never called the Dark good, only the Light.
By this distinction, He showed a preference for the Light.
"And God separated between the light and the darkness." The
Hebrew here is very interesting, as the inference is that God put
God between the light and the darkness. Where did all this
light and darkness originate?
There is only one source for all things: God. Yes, that is
indeed saying there was darkness in God. Since He is the
Source of all things, there must have been. We must not,
however, allow our human consciousness to judge whether
10
The World As I See It (1934)
11
I John 1:5
12
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
13
“Adam asked God how light was created. God gave him a stone of Darkness and
of the shadow of Death which, when struck together, gave off a spark.” Hebrew
Myths, Graves and Patai, page 42
there was good or evil in the Dark of God. It simply existed,
defined by His Preference for the Light, and was a part of Him.
This portion was active and creative, even working in concert
with the greater goal, which was the reconciliation of the
Unpreferred (Dark) with the Preferred (Light). Jesus Christ
summed it best by saying He had "come to save that which was
lost."14
Through the Unpreferred, God instructed Man about sin,
unprofitable motivation, and the wages of foolishness. The
Mosaic Law was given not only to define Hebrew social
standards, but to show the limits of the Dark; to define its
shape and fruit and to warn of its effects. Even before the Law,
the Dark was defined in terms Man could understand. Cain,
the Nephilim, the generation of the Flood and of Babel, and
Canaan were examples of the manifestation of the Dark in the
world.
Man, physically a creature of flesh and blood, seldom
knew what was "preferred," lawful, or profitable. The result:
Man fell. He was now a part of the Darkness as well as the
Light, no longer able to fully benefit from what God wanted for
him. God, with His face only to the Light, searched for Man in
vain, for Man was behind Him in the Dark.

And the Lord said unto Moses ... Thou canst not
see my face: for there shall no man see me, and
live ... Behold, there is a place by me, and thou
shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to
pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put
thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee
with my hand while I pass by: and I will take
away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back
parts: but my face shall not be seen.
--- Exodus 33:17-23

The Darkness in which men walked was as much a part of


God as the Light Jesus brought.15

14
Matthew 18:11
15
After the Resurrection, it is true that "God is Light, and in him is no Darkness at
all." (I John 1:5) Jesus purged the Dark, both physical and spiritual.
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew
near unto the thick darkness where God was.
--- Exodus 20:21

And it came to pass, when the priests were come


out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the
house of the Lord, so that the priests could not
stand to minister because of the cloud: for the
glory of the Lord had filled the house of the
Lord. Then spoke Solomon, The Lord said that
he would dwell in the thick darkness.
--- I Kings 8:10-12

Man had separated himself from the face of God, but not
from God Himself. God could still speak to him, but only
through outside means, since the inner man of Adam no longer
functioned. Because of this separation, Man saw God as a
vengeful, vicious, petty, jealous God of strict Law and absolute
power. The truth is, it was the observer, not the Observed, who
walked in darkness. Unable to understand the Truth in the
nature of God, Man saw His warmth as wrath, His love as
judgment, and His wisdom as vengeance. God became a target
of fear; the only One who would ever work to aid all men seen
as the fire in the furnace built for the consumption of the dross.
Still, He worked steadily toward the goal of Redemption.
Much as one walks into the wind during a thunderstorm,
resisted on all sides by the very men He sought to recover, He
doggedly pushed against the flow that would have led all into
chaos and disorder. Because of His determination, He was
perceived as unfeeling and inflexible. Because of His nature,
He was seen as judgmental and full of anger. Through all this,
in spite of the slander and misinterpretation, in spite of the fear
and trepidation of men who saw only their own foibles
reflected in His perfect mirror, He worked for their redemption.
God is a God of honor, truth, and justice. Once the
covenant was struck, He would abide by it, no matter how
miserably the Hebrew behaved toward Him. We must break
the chain of thought that God is fixed and immutable. If that
were so, He would be finite. A fixed God, unchanging, is a
finite God. A God of change and abstraction is infinite. God
can, did, and does change His mind. God can, did, and does
change His manner of dealing with Man. It is the very
changeability of God that allowed a New Covenant to come
about. If God is immutable, He would only deal in one way
with Man. If God is immovable, His first word would have
been the last. This is not so, for righteousness for Man
changed through Jesus Christ. Not all doctrine and dogma is
wrong, but the misapplication of the truth can lead to bondage
as surely as a lie.

The thing from which the world suffers just now


more than from any other evil is not the
assertion of falsehood, but the endless and
irresponsible repetition of half-truths.
--- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)16

Love, Light, Life, Truth, Resurrection: all are names of


God. All were incomprehensible to Man without the sacrifice
Jesus made. From the Darkness of the Old Covenant, the Light
of God appeared a consuming fire, blindingly brilliant and
awe-inspiring. From the Light of the sacrifice of Jesus and His
Resurrection, the Light of God is warmth and love. A new
world, birthed from the tomb of the old, flourished under the
tutelage of the Lamb.
And men began to see God's face again. Now able to
understand the truth of the intent of God to Man through Jesus,
men began to accomplish His will on earth.
What is God's will? What it has always been: to bring all
Man to Him. Not by physical or psychological force, not by
persuasion of words, signs, or miracles are men to come to
God. No other way would be satisfactory to God or Man but
that the person come to grips with God personally and truly
commit out of love. Any effort to bring someone to God
through threat of hellfire and damnation, promises of
prosperity and health, guilt, remorse, envy, or any emotion
other than love is doomed to fail, for they can be thwarted by
any number of circumstances. God's love, once recognized and
appreciated, is the ultimate evangelist. Infallible and
16
"What's Wrong with the World" (1910), i.5
unalterable, it is God in Man through His Love that makes a
true and lasting difference in a person's life.
We live today in the Light of God. His New Covenant,
based on living promises and love, supports us spiritually when
our own understanding is darkened by ignorance and fleshly
indulgence. Redemption is a part of our heritage, something
we are born into and never need worry about losing. It cannot
be revoked or stolen. Redemption and salvation are not
synonymous.
Redemption is a one-time act.

Once in the end of the world has he appeared to


put away sin by sacrifice of himself ... Christ
was once offered up for the sins of many; and
unto them that look for him shall he appear the
second time unto salvation.
--- Hebrews 9:26b-28

We are sanctified through the offering of the


body of Jesus Christ once ...
--- Hebrews 10:10

Here we see the redemption in the sacrifice, but salvation


is something subsequent. The Bible repeatedly asserts that
salvation is visible evidence of God at work, visible to men
because other men walk in it. The New Testament is a
testament of salvation. It tells of the manifestation of the will
of God in the world of men.

... work out your own salvation with fear and


trembling, for it is God which works in you both
to will and do of his good pleasure.
--- Phillippians 2:12b-13

As we are changed from what we are to what Jesus is,17 we


see the vision of others toward the same end. The world's
salvation is Jesus, the Light of God, and He now exists in all
men, having become the second Adam, the progenitor of all
men's spirits.
17
II Corinthians 3:18
Because we share in the nature of Christ, all men are
redeemed. All men. Jesus did not die only to redeem those
who would believe in Him. He died for all men, for God is the
God of all Mankind. Because, through Christ we share in the
nature and eternality of God, all men are saved. All men.
Those living at the time of the Resurrection were saved through
God's grace, showing that salvation according to their faith.
From the moment of the Resurrection, those born were born
sons of God by birthright, of the generation of the Risen Christ,
their elder brother.
In order to accomplish this, God needed a vehicle to
communicate His intent to men. Though acting of necessity,
God would never delight in the use of the flesh to the remission
of sin of the flesh, and promised a better covenant to an
uncomprehending people.

... but to this man will I look, even to him that is


poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my
word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a
man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a
dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he
offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense,
as if he blessed an idol ...
--- Isaiah 66:2-3

In the beginning, God created a perfect system, a perfect


kosmos without spot or blemish. He called it Eden, which
means Pleasure, and placed Adam there to tend it, care for it,
and enjoy its fruit. In the midst of the garden stood two trees:
the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and
Evil. God, in His justice, having given Adam freedom of
choice, placed them there. The nature of God required that He
give Adam freedom of choice, for God is Love, and Love seeks
an object. It is most satisfying when the object of the Love
returns that love out of free will, without coercion and
unprogrammed, and if Adam was to return God's Love, he
must know the extent and the lack of it.
Adam's finite mind could not comprehend the infinity of
God, however, and thus never fully understood the choice.
Christ's mind is infinite, and thus His understanding of the
choice was perfect. He, wrapped in the same flesh that clothed
Adam, subject to the same temptations, would make a more
informed and lasting choice.
But Christ came also for God.

The whole Christian system ... goes to pieces


upon the problem of evil. Its most adept
theologians, attempting to reconcile the
Heavenly Father of their theory with the
dreadful agonies of man in His world, can only
retreat behind Chrystotom's despairing maxim,
that "a comprehended God is no God."
--- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)18

Jesus was the conduit to bring God's Light into the Dark,
and in Him we see what Adam was supposed to be. Because of
what Jesus did, we are all free to be what we elect to be, but the
important thing is that we can now be what we were created to
be: gardeners.
Jesus Christ was the architect of the Kingdom: the
cornerstone, the keystone, and the foundation of the New
Jerusalem. He set precedents in worship, prayer, praise, living,
witness, and fellowship. Without His influence, these key
points would have crumbled out of the lives of His people
within the first generation. As He spoke in the earth, He
exercised the creative power of God. With each pronunciation
of "the Kingdom of Heaven is on this wise ... ," He laid another
stone in the tomb of the Old World and the foundation of the
New.

Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom


shall he make to understand doctrine? Those
weaned from the milk, drawn from the breasts.
For precept upon precept, precept upon precept;
line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there
a little: for with stammering lips and another
tongue will he speak to his people ... the word of
the Lord was to them precept upon precept,
18
Treatise on the Gods, Part I (1930)
precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon
line; here a little, there a little; that they may go
backward and be broken and snared and taken.
--- Isaiah 28:9-11,13

Through the gradual introduction of the Light to Man, God


eventually would bring him back to grace. Much as the newly
sighted man's bandages are slowly unwrapped, so Man was to
slowly come to the knowledge of God as his companion and
creator. Typical of this process are these passages:

... in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the
book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of
obscurity and out of darkness.
--- Isaiah 29:18

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness and


will hold thine hand and will keep thee for a
covenant of the people, for a light of the
Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the
prisoners from the prison, them that sit in
darkness out of the prison house.
--- Isaiah 42:6-7

I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I


will lead them in paths they have not known: I
will make darkness light before them, and
crooked things straight. These things will I do
unto them ... who is blind, but my servant? or
deaf as my messenger I sent? who is blind as he
that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant?
Seeing many things, but thou observest not;
opening the ears but he heareth not.
--- Isaiah 42:19-20

In the Messiah, God was bringing His Light to Man.


Speaking to Christ and His Church, He says:

... In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in


a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will
preserve thee and give thee for a covenant of the
people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit
the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to
the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in
darkness, Show yourselves.
--- Isaiah 49:8-9a

The people that walked in darkness have seen a


great light: they that dwell in the land of the
shadow of death, upon them hath the light
shined.
--- Isaiah 9:2

In like manner, for the thousands of years involved in the


plan, God repeatedly reminded Man of his eventual
reconciliation.

When the breed of iniquity is shut up,


wickedness shall be banished by righteousness
as darkness is banished by the light. As smoke
clears and is no more, so shall wickedness perish
forever and righteousness be revealed like a sun
governing the world ...
--- Dead Sea Scroll fragment19

In the Old Covenant, man obeyed God out of fear, duty,


and respect. He felt he must appease God through sacrifice,
fasting, and observance of holy days and jubilee, hoping that,
through strict adherence to the Law, God would favor the
righteous and punish the wicked. However, God Himself
promised deliverance from sin, oppression, wickedness, and
iniquity. He promised establishment of a New Covenant, the
advent of a Redeemer, a passing of the Law from use, and the
personal indwelling of His righteousness.
Since the Resurrection, God is obeyed out of love and
gratitude. One pleases Him through meditation of His Love.
While the Old Covenant put the righteousness of Man equal to
his works, the New Covenant far surpassed that by imputing
the righteousness of God on Man through Jesus Christ. Man
began to see love, compassion, tenderness, and gentleness as
19
The Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Geza Hermes, 1962, Heritage Press, p. 199
preferable qualities to the unforgiving, overbearing dominance
of his Old Covenant mentality.
When Jesus was asked about the commandments, He
explained that the greatest and most important was to love the
Lord your God with all your mind and soul and heart and to
follow His commandments. He then summarized the
commandments, saying, in essence, "Love thy neighbor as
thyself; do unto others as you would have them do unto you;
this is the full intent of the Law."20 By this statement, Jesus
showed that God's intent had always been to bring men to Him,
not by bringing them together, but rather by taking their eyes
from each other and putting them on God. The Law's ultimate
aim was to shift final authority to God for all things, moving
the attention of Man from himself to God. Unfortunately, more
emphasis was placed on who received than Who gave the Law,
and the result is the checkered history of the Israelites and their
fellows that continues to this day. It was not until the New
Covenant was given that this intent of God's to gather all men
to Him through love was understood. It was not for lack of
effort on God's part. He continually called to Israel, the
microcosm of the fallen world, to return to Him, illustrating the
stubbornness and obnoxiousness of Man through often
shocking example in the actions of His prophets.
The time was important. God had not only promised Man
reconciliation and redemption, He had outlined where, how,
why, and when He would do it. There are over 300 specific
messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, all of which were
fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. From the famous "seventy
weeks" of Daniel21 to the actual pronunciation of the name of
the Savior in Zecheriah;22 from the most blatant to the most
obscure, from the easiest to fulfill to the most difficult; all the
prophecies culminated in the biography of Jesus Christ.
Jesus entered a society whose entire structure was geared
to technicality and legalism. Formulae for living were the
order of the day, and if there was the slightest deviation it was
dealt with most severely. There was little of the Love of God
20
Matthew 22:37-40
21
Daniel 9:24
22
Zecheriah 3:1
shown through Israel. Even Rome, not known for its purity,
was more tolerant of difference, allowing the continuance of a
conquered peoples' worship to go untouched as long as proper
respect was paid to the emperor. The Jews, the last remnant of
a once proud and prosperous race, had become little more than
a bothersome thing to be dealt with as a necessary part of the
Roman governor's duty. Particularly difficult, the Jewish
Sanhedrin was a constant source of aggravation to Rome and,
were it not for other considerations, Rome might have pulled
out of Judaea entirely. The Jews couldn't have ruled
themselves better than the Romans, probably less well. They
were known worldwide for their squabbling.
Small wonder, then, that the disciples that flocked to Jesus
early in His ministry quickly fell away. There were so many
factions, so many divisions of belief, that the merest statement
of any belief would be enough to alienate one or another of the
followers.23 Since the greater portion of the followers of
Messiah were militant, a ministry such as Jesus' would quickly
suffer not only loss of membership, but persecution from
within the family of Israel. All of this was apparent to Jesus
before the inception of His ministry, and He tried to explain
this to His disciples before it happened, seldom successfully.
When Jesus began His ministry, the Kingdom began to
come into the earth. With each question answered, each
healing accomplished, each deliverance given, even each
witness of Jesus as the Son of God through the mouth of an
unclean spirit, the Kingdom grew in strength and permanence
in the souls of His disciples.
They asked for a formula for prayer, 24 their minds geared
to the working of the Law, and He gave them one, but this
formula took great liberties with the piety of the Law and God.
He spoke to God as father, from whom He had a right to
petition, rather than as a servant to master begging for boon.
He insisted that prayer be personal and private rather than
public and repetitive.25 He revealed that God, not sacrifice,
was the source of forgiveness of sin. He allowed that each man
23
John 6:66
24
Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4
25
Matthew 6:5-8
could bring his own faults to God for forgiveness without the
intermediary priest.
His disciples asked Him to teach them of the coming
Kingdom, and He taught them, but His teaching was hard to
understand and oblique in meaning. He said the Kingdom
would be universal, with no difference of Jew and Gentile, that
it would be eternal and ruled only by the authority of God
Himself, without Sanhedrin. He promised the Kingdom would
be at peace throughout eternity.
They asked Him to teach them how to reach this Kingdom,
to tell them what they must do to have eternal life, and He
showed them. But this was the hardest of all, for to convey this
lesson He went to the Cross and gave up His life for them.
When He stretched His arms out on the Cross, He taught
them more than they could immediately understand. He
showed them how, although He would originally be rejected by
those He'd come to save, the Gentiles would be the first to
appreciate His sacrifice. He showed how the Spirit of the Law,
its structure and inner meaning, would not be broken by
circumstances. He showed them pain was part of the change
from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant way of thinking,
that there would be those who would lament and bemoan the
passing of the old law in preference to accepting the new order.
He showed them men would try to immobilize His instruments
for salvation, exalt the image of Him dead on the Cross,
venerate the outer trappings of the message of the sacrifice
rather than the inner meaning of the Crucifixion. Through
others at the Cross, He showed how there would be those who
would choose to turn a blind eye to Him rather than follow His
example, and how their rejection would keep them in
Darkness, shake their foundations and cause disruption and
conviction. He showed them He would be ridiculed even after
the Cross as the followers would vie for control of the
trappings of the Church while the Spirit of the Church cried out
for their attention. Through those around Him, He showed
how those who originally accepted Him would doubt and feel
abandoned at times, that no man's faith would be sufficient to
maintain God in his life, but that God would provide for him.
And, by His burial, He showed them that He would be interred
in their souls in a place unsullied by other conviction, a place
separated and apart, from which He would rise to do His work
at the proper time.
When God called Him forth from the tomb, He showed
them how the life of God is unconquerable, a victorious and
glorious manifestation of His Love, overcoming seemingly
insurmountable odds to return with the gift of life to share. As
He spoke to them in the upper room, where they huddled in
fear of all the world, He taught them the meaning of courage,
filled them with the strength of the Spirit, and charged them
with bringing His image into the world.
After His Resurrection, His disciples' eyes were opened,
and they began to appreciate the lessons He had taught. For
forty days, He stayed with them to insure their understanding
of what needed to be done in the manifestation of His image in
the world. Satisfied, He ascended unto the Father's arms with
one last promise and prophecy, changing the station of all
God's people from mere puppets to beings of initiative, will,
and volition to be used in the wisdom given them by the
indwelling of His Spirit.
Since the coming of Christ, the very creation itself has
begun a spontaneous regeneration. In the face of continuous
opposition to the message of Jesus, Man's own body stubbornly
pushes toward that goal of immortality promised by God, that
eternal life already a part of the spirit and soul, and by all rights
part of the physical body. The glorified body of which so
much is spoken is ready for manifestation at this time, were it
not for the mindset that refuses its existence due to the
evidence of the eye.
"We walk by faith, not by sight." The glorified body does
just that, but the mind of Man seems to have conditioned itself
to accept circumstances through the physical as indicating
limits on the spiritual, binding and crippling Christian growth.
Though the Christian confesses the victory of Jesus over death,
sickness, and sin, he often walks in all three for lack of
understanding that Jesus conquered those things that he, the
Christian, might not have to operate in them. Jesus did not
conquer sickness to wield it over the wicked as a weapon. He
did not conquer death to use it as an extortion over the sinner.
He did not conquer sin to remember it to all who exercise it.
Jesus won over all these to put them away, to remove them
from use, to purge them from men's minds. Did He ever intend
to recover these things for future use? God, in the time of the
Old Covenant, promised:

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy


transgressions for my own sake, and will not
remember their sins.
--- Isaiah 43:25

After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my


Law in their inward parts, and write it in their
hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be
my people. And they shall teach no more every
man his neighbor, and every man his brother,
Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from
the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith
the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I
will remember their sin no more.
--- Jeremiah 31:33-34

In bringing Christ into the world, He was fulfilling those


promises. Through the death of Jesus, the Old Covenant came
to fruition. From the beginning, the days of the Old Covenant
were numbered. Through His prophets, God relayed the
number of those days and gave ample warning of the coming
of the end. He taught Israel the method and import of the
ending through institution of sacrifice, sabbath, and fasting. He
revealed the time,26 place27, lineage28, and name29 of the Savior
through His prophets. He outlined the proper action and
reaction to the Savor in His Law and prophecy. No part, no bit
or portion of the purpose and ministry of the Savior was ever
to be a mystery.30 Had Israel listened with a whole and fervent
heart to God's voice, there would have been no confusion at
His coming, but God knew of Israel's expectations.
26
Daniel 9:24-27
27
Birth: Micah 5:2; Death: Psalm 22
28
Deuteronomy 18:15,18
29
Zecheriah 3:1
30
Isaiah 26:19; 42:6-9; 61; 62
Wherefore, the Lord said, Forasmuch as this
people draw near unto me with their mouth, and
with their lips do honour me, but have removed
their heart from me, and their fear toward me is
taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold,
I will proceed to do a marvelous work and a
wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall
perish, and the understanding of their most
prudent men shall be hid.
--- Isaiah 29:13-14

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what


we do know, and testify that we have seen; and
ye receive not our witness. If I have told you of
earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
--- John 3:11-12

Then, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the expectations


of the children of Israel, He did what He promised, and to this
day works to convince a world still living in the memory of the
Old Covenant of the blessing and prosperity of the New
Covenant.

The intention of Christianity was to change


everything.
--- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)31

As part of the work of the reconciliation, Christ was to be


the coup de grace, the blessed assurance. Through Christ, the
world would end and begin anew with a rebirth of the spirit of
man. Christ the Redeemer paid the price for the
communication failure between Man and God. He lay down
His life for the world, the kosmos, the system of mores and
values based in part of the Darkness He'd come to enlighten.
Why Christ came was simply to better show God's intent
for man. By the redemptive sacrifice, He fulfilled the Law, a
contract already accepted and committed. By the Resurrection,
31
The Great Thoughts, p.228
He fulfilled God's plan to recreate Man's spirit. Man, in his
inability to comprehend the intent of God, had missed the true
import of the Messiah. Self-centeredly, he had assumed the
Messiah was only for himself, but Jesus came for Man and
God. He came to redeem man from sin and to bring Light into
the Dark, thus freeing not only men living, but all unborn and
passed on as well.
While He awaited the final moments, he taught the true
Spirit of the Law, which was the manifest Light of God as first
given, through parable and example. He walked among those
He'd created, suffered what they suffered, felt what they felt,
and endured what they endured. When He went to the Cross,
he could not be criticized as being an improper sacrifice. "He
was in all things tempted as we." He struggled with His own
Darkness through the temptation of the flesh, and won. Not
without a battle, as He said in the garden: "... my soul is
troubled unto death ..." and "... his sweat fell as great clots of
blood." On that final night, He came to grips with all the
terrible demons that had haunted man since the Fall: fear, self-
pity, anger, and the rest. When Judas came with the temple
guard, Jesus had already been on trial by a higher authority.
He was found worthy to carry the sins of men, and was
delivered to Judas, the Sanhedrin, and Pilate for the final
assimilation of sin before giving His lifeblood as sacrifice on
the Cross. When the assertion of the scribes and elders ("We
have no King but Caesar. His blood be on us and on our
children.") rang out, the cup of Man's iniquity was full at last.
When even those to whom God had entrusted His most secret
and sacred thoughts turned from Him, actively seeking the
destruction of His plan for redemption and swearing allegiance
to the world of Darkness openly, the Darkness could be totally,
unreservedly, and effectively rebuked, entirely enlightened.
The depth of the Darkness was finally plumbed, and Jesus
understood it.
Of the myriad manners of execution men have invented
over the centuries, crucifixion is probably the most vicious. It
was the perfect vehicle for what needed to be done, being the
commoners' method of execution and a shame in the eyes of
the Law. In the few hours Jesus was actually on the Cross, He
accomplished a massive task. He searched the Dark, surveyed
its extent, and reaffirmed His authority over it. In a few short
hours, God restructured Man's spirit and revived a dead world.
In crucifying Jesus, the world committed suicide, and God
resurrected it in His image. As Christ rose again, so did Man's
spirit. As Christ was lifted into Heaven, so was Man, for
through Him all men again enjoy what Adam forfeited: being
the image of God. It was truly the end of the world and the end
of the age, for God had begun a process of regeneration. "We
are all new creatures through Jesus Christ."32 Jesus was the last
Adam,33 but Christ was the firstborn among many brethren.34
We are no longer human; we are Christ through Jesus.

He became like me so I could receive him.


He thought like me so I could become him ...
He took my nature so I could learn from him,
Took on my form so I would not turn away.
--- Odes of Solomon 7

The appointed times God had proclaimed had served their


purpose. They had foreshadowed the mission and intent of
God's Anointed. The feasts and festivals, shades of coming
Godly deliverances, were complete. The very Law itself, a
type for Christ, was fulfilled. The world had ended. His reign
began on that day in the hearts of all men.

32
II Corinthians 5:17
33
I Corinthians 15:45
34
Romans 8:29
PART TWO: On Man

It would suffice for me to answer you briefly


when you ask why God should have created
man, whom he proposed to make in his own
image, in the genus of animals. He wished so to
fashion him, that there would be a certain animal
in which he manifested his own express image.
--- John Scotus Erigena35

Jesus Christ Himself said, "Where two or more are


gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Usually, if two Christians are hotly at odds over an issue, the
Truth concerning that subject lies somewhere between their
views. Too often, this is seen as compromise, yet Paul said:

For though I be free from all men, yet have I


made myself a servant unto all men, that I might
gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a
Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are
under the Law, as under the Law, that I might
gain them that are under the Law; to them that
are without the Law, as without Law, (being not
without Law to God, but under the law to
Christ,) that I might gain them that are without
Law. To the weak became I as weak, that I
might gain the weak; I am made all things to all
men, that I might by all means save some.
--- I Corinthians 9:19-23

This spirit of understanding, the recognition of the needs


of others and a yearning to meet those needs, was alien to the
man of the Old Testament. In the few times it appeared, it was
through the direct intervention of God that it was
accomplished. Even Joseph, supposed compassionate and
loving as he was, could not resist the urge to psychologically
torture his brothers for what they had done to him. 36 From
Noah, who cursed his grandson for his own weakness,37 to
Elisha, who was the instrument of death for the children who

35
Patrologia Latina, quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 133
36
Genesis 44
37
Genesis 9:24-25
ridiculed him,38 the Old Man showed his lack of conscience
and pity. We do not fault the Old Man for his lack of
humanitarianism. He lacked far more than that. He also
lacked the life of God in his spirit. That void was the cause of
his hardness and the origin of that emptiness is in the story of
Adam and Eve.
ADAM AND EVE
A great deal of heated debate rages concerning the nature
of Adam and Eve. Most conservatives maintain they were two
human beings who lived in a literal Eden and were the
originators of Sin, the cause of all men's ills through their
rebellion against God's edict. More liberal Christians believe
they were symbols of some form of theological concept
expressing the primitive understanding of the early Hebrews of
the voluntary separation of man from the tenets and morals of
the Law, as the Greeks did in the Pandora legend.
Adam was created in the image of God after God
expressed His Preference for the Light, so Adam was the image
of the God of Light, the same image we are exhorted to
manifest today.
... to be conformed to the image of his Son, that
he might be firstborn among many brethren.
--- Romans 8:29

Human nature is originally good. Any evil in it


results from any changes made upon it by
[external] things.
--- Lu Wang (1139-1192)39

As such a creation, sin was alien to Adam in all its forms.


Yet, the Dark remained a part of God, and would remain a
troublesome part until the Resurrection of Jesus Christ would
enlighten it with the life-giving Light. Adam and Eve were
obedient in everything God decreed. God imbued Adam with
free choice for a very simple reason: love. God the Preferred is
Love and Light and Life, and wished Adam to choose that of
his own accord. Eve, the extension of Adam, was included in
that desire, and the Dark knew that. Adam saw the glory of
God daily, for the voice of God walked in the garden "in the

38
II Kings 2:23-25
39
The Great Thoughts, p. 255
cool of the day."40 Eve, the helpmate, was a bit more removed
from this relationship because she was created from a
creation.41 She saw the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil "that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be
desired to make one wise."42 The Dark, identifiable as God to
the spiritual eye of Eve and Adam, reassured them of their
position with Him when offering the fruit of the Tree.43
Unsuspecting, they partook of the fruit, only to immediately
realize what had happened. Through the fruit, they partook of
that which God the Preferred had omitted from their original
being.
Original Sin was not murder or rebellion. It was
ignorance.

The only good thing is knowledge, and the only


evil is ignorance.
--- Socrates44

Ignorance is the womb of monsters.


--- Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)45

Ignorance is not innocence but sin ...


--- Robert Browning (1812-1889)46

Ignorance of God in His totality caused Adam's fall, a fact


God recognized and accepted.
Were they real people? Were they symbols? It doesn't
matter. What does matter is the lesson being taught: ignorance
of the nature of God leads to failure.

NOAH
The origins of civilizations are as important to some as the
origins of life are to others. According to The Bible, all
civilization as we know it was spawned from the family of one
individual: Noah.47 Of all people living before the Great Flood,
Noah was the only man to find grace in God's eyes. Man had
40
Genesis 3:8
41
Genesis 2:21-23
42
Genesis 3:6
43
Genesis 3:4
44
Quoted by Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
45
Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1867)
46
The Inn Album (1875)
47
The name "Noah" means safety, security, rest.
degenerated to the point that even the direct descendants of
Adam were included in that destruction. Methuselah had just
passed on as the waters of the Flood gathered. Noah had lived
concurrently with Lamech, Methuselah, Jared, Mahalaleel,
Cainan, Enos, and their children. He was born only months
after Seth's passing, bare decades after Adam's death. His life
must have been filled with the wisdom of the centuries passed
to him so that, when his grandfather died, he was the final
representative of the Garden.
Some have argued that the Flood never happened, that the
story in Genesis is just that: a story. Others maintain that
archeological findings in the Middle East support the reality of
a worldwide deluge.48 Babylonian and Sumerian literature and
tradition are so similar to the narrative of The Bible that they
have been proposed as the originals from which the biblical
account is copied.
From Noah we learn the importance of a single origin to
all its descendants. Noah was, in a way, the firstborn of the
post-Diluvial world, the first among many. He, through the
direction of God, constructed the method of salvation for his
family, a remnant that, by association with him, received the
blessing of life from God.49 Here we see an obvious type for
Christ. On a massive scale, the life and times of Noah are
descriptive of the life and times of Jesus.

But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming


of the Son of man be. For as in the days that
were before the flood they were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered in the ark, and knew
not until the flood came, and took them all
away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.
--- Matthew 24:37-39

The major difference between Noah and Christ was, of


course, that there was no life in Noah's spirit. Only through the
great mercy of God did Noah find grace. There being no Law
to guide him, he would have to follow the instructions of his
fathers, who had already demonstrated their failure at
following the God of Light's commandments. Noah is truly an
example of the love and forgiveness in God.

48
For example, The Bible as History, pp. 25-34
49
Genesis 6-8
We he a real person? Or was he a symbol? It doesn't
matter. What does matter is the lesson taught: that the loving
and forgiving Father of Lights delivered Man from death
through the gift of a single Living Spirit, chosen by Him and
committed to His will.

ABRAHAM
Greatest among the patriarchs in The Bible is Abraham.
Looked on as the father of the Hebrews and Moslems, he is
venerated by Jew, Moslem, and Christian alike, the ancestor of
men of faith. Aside from Moses, Abraham is probably the
single most important figure in the history of the Hebrew
people, and therefore in the understanding of the makeup of the
Old Man.
As much as any man at the time could be, he was just, fair,
and sensible; the forerunner of a Law-abiding Hebrew.
Without the benefit of the Law and the Prophets, he showed the
success possible through their exercise. In spite of his common
sense approach to the situations of life, Abraham was still Old
Man, and as such never truly understood the power and
determination of God to redeem Man. When God struck a
covenant with him and promised a son from which a great
nation would arise, he scoffed, swayed by his sight of the
physical, unable to fully trust God for the completion of the
promise.50 He was convinced by Sarai's argument of a need to
act on his own to assure that completion,51 something that to
this day the Hebrews have had reason to deeply regret. Were it
not for their impatience, Ishmael, the ancestor of the Islamites
of Arabia, would never have been born. The controversy over
the homeland of the Hews might never had occurred; the
terrible wars in the Middle East might never have been; the
Crusades would have been unnecessary; the Spanish would
have had no Moorish invaders; Libya would have no Kaddafi,
Iran no Ayatollah, Iraq no Hussein.
Bound by His covenant, God honored not only Abraham's
firstborn of belief, but the firstborn of unbelief as well. He
made a great nation of Ishmael, and his seed are as the stars of
the sky.52 Mirroring the action He first accomplished in the
Garden with Adam, God accepted the blame for the lack of
50
Genesis 17:17
51
Genesis 16
52
Genesis 16:7-16
faith in Abraham and took the brunt of the curse to Himself.
The result is that Ishmael's children, though true to God as the
One and Only Living God, lack the vision to accept His Son
for their own salvation.53 Still, God sees them and the rest of
mankind as saved through the sacrifice of the very One they
refuse to acknowledge.
THE OLD COVENANT MANKIND
Armed with the promise given Abraham and the
confirmations of that promise with the generations that
followed, the Old Covenant Man waged war with the Dark
through exercise of trust and belief in that promise. After the
Exodus from Egypt, the Law became the manifestation of that
promise to the Children of Israel; something they could see,
touch, hear, and feel. With the witness of the daily sacrifice,
they were given special honor. They were spectators to the
workings of the plan of redemption in a way no other people
could be. The wondrous Presence of God Himself, the Shekina
glory, traveled in their midst and taught them, when they
listened, of the world to come. Human priests did what was
required, some without understanding, for the purpose of their
own eventual redemption. Israelite kings alternately worked
for and against His plan, becoming directly responsible for the
prosperity or poverty of the nation in a macrocosm of the
seedtime and harvest principle so familiar to the Christian
today.
But no man could prevail against the continuous sinking of
spiritual power to which he was subject. The Dark threatened
to win out, coming closer to success with each generation.
Man had become civilized in name, but not in spirit. As the
time of Christ approached, Man's civilization, instead of
accomplishing its promise of betterment of the human
condition, began to gear to man's destruction. The seeds of the
Dark Ages were being sown long before Rome was sacked,
even before the Empire was established.
Man had been endowed with reason and, unchecked by
moral limitation, this capacity had spawned illogical seed.
Though Israel had the Law to prevent this from occurring to
them, they often fell prey to the lure of the illusion of power
and wealth the Gentile pursued. The net effect of the presence
of the Law was not only compromised, it was nearly negated.
53
Genesis 16:12. See also The Koran, 4:171-172
Still, a bit of the consciousness of man responded to something
greater than himself. The ancient Greeks, for instance,
esteemed Sophia, goddess of wisdom, and worked to better
understand themselves and their environment. Even the
warlike Romans admired this and sought to imitate it. Neither
of these civilizations succeeded in raising this attitude of god-
consciousness to more than gut superstition. The Oriental
cultures developed in much the same manner. Although the
sheer numbers involved in the populations tended to encourage
vision of God in the plural, there was a very deeply ingrained
portion of Oriental philosophy whose crux was a single,
omnipotent (though impersonal) deity. Nevertheless, these
cultures again seemed unable to affect a definitive change in
the political and economic structure. Religion was still little
more than philosophy and superstition. In the Middle East and
Africa, it was different. Religion there had always been an
integral part of their civilization. From the priest-kings of
Sumeria to the Pharaohs of Egypt, government and church held
joint sway over the populace. But the religion was of the mind
and hand, not of the heart. Ritual observance was rife, but
intimate knowledge of God was not only avoided, it was
actually considered blasphemous.
So it was that true religion, consisting of a love for God
expressed through love for fellow man, was all but absent. As
a consequence, man became hard and uncaring. Values such as
good, virtues such as temperance, were a matter for argument
in the Western schools of rhetoric, qualities seldom exercised
in the East (where a code of honor supplanted moral values),
and seldom if ever addressed in the Middle East.

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall


prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom
ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even
the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight
in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts
... he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge
them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto
the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then
shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be
pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and
as in former years.
--- Malachi 3:1-4
In spite of Israel's belief it was the Chosen rather than the
elected nation and that Israel thought itself the privileged
people delivered from bondage for their own value to God,54
God overlooked their pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness
in preference to the greater goal. So simple was the plan that
man felt it needed something more to give it that mystic aura of
the esoteric that God "ought" to have. He took the simple
assertions at Sinai and created an amalgam of rules and
regulations that had only the vaguest semblance to the actual
Law by the time of Christ. Through traditions of men and a
smattering of the Truth, Israel as a nation alternately flourished
and waned until finally the traditions began to carry more
weight than the Law. Israel began to drown in its own
corruption.
And, from the beginning to end, God's voice never
wavered in intent nor varied in content: Return to me and I
will heal you.
When the time came for the Redeemer to appear on earth,
Israel waited expectantly. With bated breath, they watched the
horizons for the conquering hero astride his white stallion who
would come with the Sword of the Lord to strike the wicked
with massive plague and brimstone. With trembling, they
readied themselves for the war spoken of by Ezekiel:

... So will I make my holy name known in the


midst of my people Israel; and I will not pollute
my holy name any more: and the heathen shall
know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
Behold, it is come and it is done, saith the Lord
God; this is the day whereof I have spoken; and
they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go
forth and shall set on fire and burn the
weapons ... with fire seven years ... and they
shall spoil those that spoiled them and rob those
that robbed them ...
--- Ezekiel 39:7-10

In bloodthirsty glee, they planned the deaths of those who


had oppressed them. They planned how they would use the
booty of victory, and how they would make the oppressor
suffer. They prayed to God to hasten His coming so their arm

54
See Amos 9:4
would be strong and swift; sure to kill, maim, and torture their
enemies.
And God, who is Light and Life and Love, ignored their
hatefulness.
The time came and went. No warrior-messiah appeared on
the horizon. No massive army fell from heaven onto the
Romans. Wickedness and iniquity seemed untroubled,
unhindered. Some deduced they must have miscalculated the
intent of the prophecies. Others, disenchanted, sold out to the
Gentile. Still others, driven by fanatical nationalistic pride,
styled themselves the Messiah and lifted their hands against
Caesar, but never for long.
So sure of the coming of the Messiah were the Jews of
Palestine that there were pretenders to God's Anointing from
every walk of life. Nearly all, however, were militarily
minded, and rebellion was rife. Roman authorities looked on
an assignment to Palestine as an expression of their disfavor in
the eyes of Caesar. Pontius Pilate, attempting to prove his
efficiency in government, enraged the Jews through bringing
the image of Caesar into Jerusalem, taking temple moneys to
build an aqueduct, and general heavy-handedness in dealings
with the Sanhedrin.55 He often expressed concern over the lack
of loyal Roman guard to his fellow officials in Syria, but
received no pity from that quarter. With only a few Roman
guard and what mercenary troops he could buy, Pilate
governed a rebellious and dangerous people, usually through
the grace of an equally difficult Sanhedrin. As long as they
were disposed to cooperate, Pilate could be fairly certain of the
support of the powerful Jews, those who held sway over the
majority. Without their support, help would be a very long
time coming from Rome.
The common people drew a meager existence from a
dying land. Invaders in the past had robbed them of what
they'd had, Rome and their own elders robbed them of what
they might have. Crime was high, in spite of the terrible
penalties. Existence as a Jew, except for a very few, was a
shame. Subjugated by Rome, conquered and ridiculed on
every front, only the most faithful clung to their heritage.
Israel was dying. The Zealots took their most idealistic
members, the Pharisees their most practical, the Sadducees
their most stoic, the tax-gatherers their most ambitious. The

55
Josephus, Jewish Wars, Book II, "Judaea under Roman Rule"
merchants in Tyre and Caesarea cried out for their assimilation.
The nationalists in the hills of Judaea cried out for separatism.
And the people merely cried for peace.
When a man of wild and shocking appearance began
baptizing in the Jordan, prophesying the coming of the
Messiah, he was sure to gain a following. This man was
different from the others. He denied his own claim to
Messiahship, insisting on the kingship of Another yet to come.
When that Other came, he urged his followers to go after Him.
This, in itself, was enough to show the merit of his office. 56
Nor was the significance of the action lost on the Sanhedrin,
for from that moment Jesus was closely watched.
Following Jesus was often frightening. Supernatural
occurrences seemed drawn to Him as moths to flame. His
word was stunning in its impact, but puzzling in meaning.
Jesus' followers often fell to squabbling amongst themselves
over things He's said or done. This was not surprising, for the
Twelve were from backgrounds so diverse there could have
been no common ground but Jesus' teachings. Though lacking
the Life and Light of God in their spirits and hearts, they
recognized the Word of God, just as the unclean spirit knew
Him. However, whereas the unclean spirit knew Him at
sight,57 men needed to be near Him for a time to come to
appreciate His Light. His physical presence was not
impressive, but His Spoken Word was not to be denied in its
truth and wisdom.
This last generation before the Resurrection was the end
product of millennia of degenerating principle, scruple, and
moral. We have already seen the physical consequences of this
corruption in the shrinking life span, but what is less evident to
us today, because we have no point of reference, is the
callousness of the Old Covenant mind. The Truth to which
Jesus witnessed was of this ilk: a callous disregard for the
sanctity of human life, absence of pity or compassion, disdain
for love and gentleness, love of lucre, pursuance of war and
hatred and discord. In short, Jesus bore witness unto the God
of the Dark when He carried the offering to the Altar for
sacrifice. And that Dark had become totally and unreservedly
Man. The flesh of Man carried its physical manifestation, the
soul its abstract conceptions. This is why Jesus had to come as
56
Matthew 3; Mark 1:2-11; Luke 3:2-22; John 1:15-36
57
They lived and existed in the spiritual realm, and to them He was a great beacon in
the Dark.
a man, to partake of the Darkness that God might suffer what
His creation did, that He might understand the true depth of His
own choice.
At the Crucifixion, the Sin of Man was purged, not merely
covered, for it was the very Blood of God Himself that washed
it clean. That which hung on the Cross was more demigod
than Jesus could ever be, for on the Cross He was God in
totality and Man in totality. Every single act, even to the
driving of the nails, was taken into Him for the ultimate
Enlightening. The very skies of creation were darkened by the
influx of sin from all over the world. The Dark glowed from
the Cross, so much of it in its grisly glory that the centurion
standing at the foot of the Cross was overwhelmed by the sight.
He responded not to the Light that had been Jesus, but to the
immensity of Dark that hung there before him. Taught to
equate the Dark with righteousness, he could react in no other
way.
The world huddled in fear after the Crucifixion. The
disciples of Jesus in the upper room, fearing arrest; the
Sanhedrin in the Temple, fearing exposure of the truth of the
trial; Pilate in his chambers, fearing reprisal for the death of a
popular leader, or of the Sanhedrin for his hesitation; the
Temple guard by the tomb, fearing the death that awaited them
if they varied from their assignments; the people of Jerusalem
in their homes, stunned and confused at the events of the day.
Fear reigned supreme, for the god of the world was dead.

THE INTERIM GENERATION


From the time of the Resurrection to the time of the
passing of the last human being living in the generation
existing at the time of the Crucifixion, there was a unique
situation on the earth. There were two human races: the pre-
and post-Resurrection Man.
When Christ resurrected from the grave, He made all
things new, recreating the totality of creation inasmuch as He
had confined Himself to operate. Again, as at the Garden, He
gave Man the opportunity to come to Him through free will
choice.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,


All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you ...
--- Matthew 28:18-20

And he said unto them, Go ye unto all the world,


and preach the gospel to every creature. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he
that believeth not shall be damned.
--- Mark 16:15-16

Then he opened their understanding, that they


might understand the scriptures, and said unto
them ... that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in his name among all
nations, beginning in Jerusalem.
--- Luke 24:45-48

... he breathed on them, and said unto them,


Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins
ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and
whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
--- John 20:22-23

... ye shall receive power, after that the Holy


Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost
parts of the earth.
--- Acts 1:8

Even those who claimed to believe in nothing knew


something had happened. They could feel it in themselves.
And that something would grow.

Man, by the grace of God, can become what


God is in essence.
--- Maximus the Confessor (580-662 AD)

God and Man had come full circle. Man now stood where
Adam had stood, before God in righteousness, but with one
major and blessed difference: Christ had affirmed that, no
matter the choice made, Man would never again suffer for it.
Christ had removed the capability of anything of God's
creation, including Man, to do evil. Real, active Evil had been
defined in man's understanding of the Dark. Jesus Christ
enlightened the actuality of the Dark by reconciling it to the
Light. Only the memory of the Dark, remaining in the mind of
Man, continued. Man has to struggle with this memory of the
Dark, but Jesus Christ had imputed on Man right-standing with
God.

There is nothing evil save that which pervades


the mind and shackles the conscience.
--- St. Ambrose (340-397 AD)58

There is no possible source of evil save good.


--- St. Augustine (354-430 AD)59

Evil is not inherent in nature, it is learned.


--- Ashley Montagu (1905- )60

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil now


consisted of the Tree of the Knowledge of the Law and of
Christ; the knowledge of the pre- and post-Resurrection ways
of life. Faced with this choice was the newly born race of
Man, washed by Christ's sacrifice, the Nature of God in him
through Christ, whether he cared to admit its existence or not.

All things are pure to the pure ... man is the


handiwork of God. There is nothing in us that is
unpure.
--- St. Athanasius61

God has died in His transcendent form and


reality and is now fully incarnate in every
human face and hand. It is a way of saying that
Christ lives more fully and more
comprehensively now than He has ever lived
before.
--- Thomas J. J. Altizer (1927- )62

Christ became the "second Adam," the progenitor of the


New Covenant Adam, the First of the Last and the Last of the
58
Hexameron 1, 31; quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 10
59
Contra Julian I, 9
60
The Humanization of Man, quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 295
61
Letter to Amun, quoted by Migne in Patrologia Graeca
62
Saturday Review, June 25, 1966
First, the Alpha and the Omega. The effectiveness, the success
of this generation in dealing with this choice is reflected in the
book of I John.

I write unto you, little children, because your


sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I
write unto you, fathers, because ye have known
him that is from the beginning. I write unto you,
young men, because ye have overcome the
wicked one. I write unto you, little children,
because ye have known the Father. I have
written unto you, fathers, because ye have
known him that is from the beginning. I have
written unto you, young men, because ye are
strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and
ye have overcome the wicked one.
--- I John 2:12-14

Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile,


and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil
speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere
milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if
so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
To whom coming, as unto a living stone,
disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God,
and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built
up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer
up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by
Jesus Christ.
--- I Peter 2:1-5

Under the influence of men such as these, men who


themselves were undergoing inner change, there developed a
new humanity. Humanity at this juncture in time consisted of
three groups:

THE INTERIM GENERATION: FATHERS -- There


were those well advanced in years at the time of the
Crucifixion, the "Establishment," who later would either
choose for God or pass into oblivion without Him. Beings of
time and flesh, they were created for the purpose of the
manifestation of the Unpreferred for its eventual
enlightenment. Once this purpose was accomplished, their
existence became superfluous. God, through the apostles and
evangelists, appealed to the Fathers to accept a new purpose:
the manifestation of the Preferred in creation. The Fathers
were saved through the grace and love of God and the sacrifice
of Jesus Christ. They were Old Covenant beings in a New
Covenant world, allowed to exist through the Love of God and
His tolerance of their continued resistance of His Plan even
after its completion.

Before that we believed in God, the habitation of


our heart was corruptible, and feeble, as a
temple truly built with hands ... Having received
remission of our sins, and trusting in the name of
the Lord, we are become renewed, being again
created as it were from the beginning.
Wherefore God truly dwells in our house, that is,
in us.
--- Epistle of Barnabas 13:18, 2163

THE INTERIM GENERATION: YOUNG MEN -- Those


who were under the "age of accountability" at the time of the
Crucifixion would form the inner core of the emerging
Christian churches. They would become the martyrs of the
early persecutions. Their position was such that they were not
of the Law nor of Christ, never having committed to either
accountably. Their purpose became to show the importance of
choice, being truly free to choose Life or Death, to serve the
ministry of Christ or pursue the memory of the Dark. The
Young Men found their salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ. In their acceptance of that sacrifice, they would
discover a newer and better provision of their spiritual needs
than the Law could ever provide. Though some were loath to
leave the ways of their fathers, most would eventually
understand the importance of the choice and recognize the
reality of the Savior, something some of their Fathers could
never do.

THE INTERIM GENERATION: LITTLE CHILDREN --


Those born after the Resurrection would eventually supplant all
other generations, and the New Covenant church would be
fully grown at their ascendancy. Born the little brothers of the
Risen Christ, their major decision is whether to honor their
Father and follow His First-Begotten or ignore the spiritual
well-being entailed in that honor. Their primary immediate
63
Lost Books of The Bible, p. 162
problem was the well-intentioned but misguided effort of their
forebears to educate them in the only spirituality they knew:
the Dark. Fortunately, they could only pass along their finite
understanding of the Dark, and reason, quickened by God in
the minds of the little ones, blossomed into moral values, the
basis of a new and better civilization. The Little Children
were, by birth, younger brothers to the Risen Christ, and as
such they were automatically heir to the blessings of the
Kingdom.

Churches were established, the bases of all being the pre-


Resurrection generation, those saved through God's grace
because of Jesus' sacrifice. As the churches grew, they began
to encompass those of the post-Resurrection generations, and
these too had to be addressed. The spiritual needs of the two
generations were not the same. The pre-Resurrection
generation needed spiritual education on liberation from the
education of the Law. The post-Resurrection people needed
education in recognition of the Truth and caution concerning
exercise of the Law and its tenets. The end purpose of both
generations would be the same, however: to show forth the
image of the Son in the world. The difference between the
Interim Man and the children of the New World would turn on
understanding of God through their view of Christ as they
looked for guidance in their walk in the Spirit. The Interim
Man would face the decision of eternal life or death: the first
the free gift of God through acceptance of Christ as Savior, the
second the result of rejection of God's loving gift. The New
Man, those children born after the Resurrection, would face no
such terrible decision, for the Love of God guaranteed them,
through Christ, that eternal death would never touch them.
To accomplish this, God called teachers and apostles.
Two men in particular stand out: Paul, to those of the pre-
Resurrection not already under the influence of the Law for the
understanding of the Truth and recognition of the enemy called
bondage; and Peter, to educate the Jew in the understanding of
freedom from the Law for which they so yearned but were
afraid to claim.64

64
The intent of Jesus' teachings was to take men's eyes from other men and turn
them to God. Instead, Paul has gained almost divine stature today, his words given
nearly equal weight to those of Our Lord. In many churches, Paul's dissertations
seem preferred to the explanations given by Christ, perhaps out of lack of patience
to examine the teachings of the Lord for their meaning.
Christ came to purge the Dark from Man and God,
something He accomplished through the Cross and
Resurrection. But the mind of Man, quickened by the
indwelling Spirit of God, found its most fervent expression in
teaching the doctrine of the Law. Although Man knew the Law
could not impute righteousness, that there could be no life
through the Law, that the Law only increased sorrow, still he
preferred its clarity of definition and decisiveness of nature.
Through adherence to the Law, Man could ignore the newborn
responsibility given him to manifest the Son in the world.
Adhering to the Law required no thought or initiative.
Obedience of the Law was clear-cut and understandable
without contemplation.
Attractive doctrines gain followers quickly, however, and
the first generation of Christians was accosted on all sides by
the Law. The interim generation sought to find a leader who
might define the teachings of God in a manner they could find
easy to understand and spread. This attitude was probably a
carryover from the attitude that spurred the writing of The
Talmud. Rather than make the effort to trace the Spirit of the
Law, the Jew was content to allow the priest to dictate what he
was to believe and how he was to behave toward God. To
combat this mentality, the early evangelists used ever available
tool. Some tried to show the purpose of Christ's ministry
through re-examination of the tenets of the Law (e.g. Epistle of
Barnabas), some through appeal to gentile prophecy and
poetry (as Paul did at Mars Hill), and others through a
combination (Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp). Every effort was
made to encourage intelligent and informed faith instead of
blind, ignorant faith. Legalists, Jewish Christians, and
reactionaries wanted the Law to become an integral part of the
new religion. It held an aura of familiarity, status, and
sociability. One could become a Christian and still retain
Jewish status if the Law was kept. Proselytes to Judaism from
the pagan religions in Alexandria had been doing this for
centuries. Men such as Paul fought a bitter and arduous war
with this mentality. Preaching freedom from bondage was a
fine method of evangelism, but the Jew never totally
understood how the Law, with which they had lived all their
lives, given by God, could be bondage. It didn't seem
reasonable to assume that God would place His Chosen People
in bondage. The bondage was obviously to Rome, not to the
Law. The very ones that should have been teaching freedom
from the Law were teaching bondage to it. Afraid that release
from the Law would mean immediate chaos, they clung to it
with a ferocious tenacity, defending it fiercely against all
comers. Though realizing deep within themselves the
lifelessness of the Law, they refused to admit this publicly,
persecuting those who expressed interest in freedom. How do
we know of their understanding of the ineffectiveness of the
Law? Witness the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-39. Would
any member of the Sanhedrin have allowed even the hint of
something such as Christianity as being from God before the
Resurrection? Was it not for this very thing that Christ was
crucified?
The interim generation would give way to a generation of
the New Covenant, a people who would not remember with
such clarity the teachings of the first generation. In turn, that
New Covenant generation would be succeeded by another,
more separated from the original teaching of the pre-
Resurrection Man. In time, only the strongest of concepts from
before the Resurrection would survive: the hardest to dislodge
from men's minds, those concepts most a part of the former
nature of man.

... if so be that ye have heard him, and have been


taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put
off concerning the former conversation the old
man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful
lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
and that ye put on the new man, which after God
is created in righteousness and true holiness.
--- Ephesians 4:21-24

... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin


which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us, looking
unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ...
--- Hebrews 12:1b-2a

And to make all men see what is the fellowship


of the mystery, which from the beginning of the
world hath been in God, who created all things
by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the
principalities and powers in heavenly places
might be known by the church the manifold
wisdom of God.
--- Ephesians 3:9-10

THE NEW COVENANT MANKIND


Speaking to the interim generation, Paul and those of his
era looked on the beginning of the manifest Kingdom from the
perspective of the "putting on" of righteousness. Having been
born before the Resurrection, his nature required the "robe
washed in the Blood of the Lamb" to be fruitful in and for the
Kingdom. However, the generation that was emerging was one
of a different nature: life. The children of the post-
Resurrection world would not share the sin nature Paul carried
under his Christian shield.

I clothe his limbs, his own limbs,


and hang from them.
He loves me.
How would I know how to love the Lord
if He did not love me?
And who can tell us about love?
Only one who is loved.
I love the beloved and my soul loves him
and am where he reposes
and will be no stranger
for he is not petty, my high merciful Lord.
I have gone to join him, for the lover has found
his beloved,
and to love the son
I become a son.
Whoever joins the immortal becomes immortal.
Whoever delights in the living one is living.
--- Odes of Solomon, 3

The children of the New Covenant world would not


require the "robe of righteousness," for their righteousness
would not merely be a garment, but an integral part of their
nature because of Christ.

I write unto you, little children, because your


sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
--- I John 2:12

When a man therefore has learnt to understand


the government of the universe and has realized
that there is nothing so great or sovereign or all-
inclusive as this frame of things wherein all men
and God are united, and that from it come the
seeds from which are sprung not only my own
father or grandfather, but all things that are
begotten and that grow upon the earth, and
rational creatures in particular -- for these alone
are by nature fitted to share in the society of
God, being connected with Him by the bond of
reason -- why should he not call himself a
citizen of the universe and a son of God? Why
should he fear anything that can happen to him
among men? ... shall not the fact that we have
God as maker and father and kinsman relieve us
from pains and fears?
--- Epictetus65

Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have


heard from the beginning. If that which ye have
heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye
shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And
this is the promise that he hath promised us,
even eternal life ... And now, little children,
abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may
have confidence, and not be ashamed before him
at his coming.
--- I John 24, 28

The decision facing the New Covenant children was


different from the old in another way. The Old Man could
choose to abstain from working against God, which would then
be counted to them for righteousness, or work actively against
Him through exercise of the sinful Adamic nature they shared.
The New Man, unable to exercise the Adamic nature because
Christ carried it to the Cross, now chooses between joining
God in the manifestation of His will or abstention from aiding
in this manifestation.

Wherefore we being a part of the Holy One, let


us do all things that pertain unto holiness ...
--- I Clement 14:166

By exercising the first of choices, the New Man enjoys all


the blessings and success the Lord God has in store.
65
Discourses..., Book I, Chapter IX (p. 23)
66
Lost Books of The Bible, p. 126
Abstention from acceptance of those blessings, what is today
referred to as "sin," reaps misery not because it is the fate of
man to suffer, but because it is the choice of man to suffer.

Let us become spiritual, a perfect temple to God.


As much as in us lies, let us meditate upon the
fear of God; and strive to the utmost of our
power to keep his commandments ...
--- Epistle of Barnabas 3:1267

Many thousands of years of acceptance and


encouragement of this kind of suffering our of memory of the
Adamic nature, and the insistence that Christ's sacrifice did not
erase that nature, has resulted in every suffering in humanity
today, without exception. Hunger, poverty, pestilence, death;
these all still exist in our world because Man as whole believes
he deserves to suffer in a perverse memory of what he used to
be.

For it is impossible for those who were once


enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift,
and have been made partakers of the Holy
Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God,
and the powers of the world to come, if they
shall fall away, to renew them again unto
repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the
Son of God afresh, and put him to an open
shame.
--- Hebrews 6:4-6

... we are all, before anything else, children of


God and ... God is the Father of gods and men ...
--- Epictetus68

Out of fear of change and ignorance of Truth, the


teachings of the pre-Resurrection generation were carried
almost intact from one generation to the next for nearly 500
years. The persecution of the new religion was the most
obvious evidence of this carryover. Nero (c. 64 AD), Domitian
(c. 90-96 AD), and Septimus Severus (202-211 AD) did not
consider the Christian faith to be enough of a problem to
execute an all-out persecution, although Severus did forbid
67
Ibid., p. 148
68
Discourses..., Book I, Chapter III (p. 11)
conversion to Christianity. With the reign of Maximus the
Thracian (235-236 AD), Christianity became the political
enemy of the Emperor, and the persecutions became more
vicious with each succeeding Emperor until the reign of
Diocletian Galerius (303-311 AD), the last and worst of all.
Nevertheless, it was during that 500 years that some of the
most important decisions concerning the future of Christianity
were made. The institution of Christianity as a state religion
took place under Constantine in 312 AD. The definition of a
Canon of Scripture, in direct response to the development of a
canon by the heretical Gnostic sect under the leadership of
Marcion, was the culmination of work done from 140 to about
400 AD. The final acceptance of the deity of Jesus occurred at
the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, with the deity of the Holy
Spirit accepted in 381 AD by the Council of Constantinople.
These decisions and more were made under the influence of the
teaching of the pre-Resurrection Man.
Small wonder, then, that each generation has had its
"heretics" and "blasphemers," men of unorthodox faith and
assertion concerning the nature and disposition of God.
Although even St. Augustine admitted that "none save great
men have been the authors of great heresies,"69 not until the
Reformation would the heresies gain enough support from the
people to actually begin to make a difference. The teachings of
the Dark would have died eventually anyway, as they were
more easily forgotten than the sense of the presence of the
Love that is God within each of us can be forgotten.
When the New Man realizes his true office in Christ, when
the depth and breadth of the sacrifice of Christ is understood,
when the Love of God is felt and appreciated in life, the result
is familiar:

... Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,


and he will dwell with them, and they shall be
his people, and God himself shall be with them,
and be their God. And God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the former things are
passed away.
--- Revelation 21:3-4

69
Heretics, a treatise
PART THREE: On Satan

Perhaps no other entity ever existent has captured the


imagination of mankind as has the Evil One. Present in all
myths, legends, and tales, in religion and philosophy he is
considered the exact, although malefic, duplicate of Man's
Creator. Upon closer examination, however, the Evil One's
identity always seems too nebulous to define. His power of
deception is credited with foiling all attempts to find his
vulnerabilities except in very special cases, inspirations for
fanciful stories and plays centered on beating the Devil at his
own game: a dubious achievement at best.
The Christian attitude toward the Devil is confused. On
the one hand, the assertion that Jesus defeated him is widely
supported, yet it is still deemed necessary to constantly be alert
for his influence, as he is the "god of this world." Most
theologians and biblical scholars agree on this much: the Devil
was not nearly as powerful in the Old Testament as he is
presented to be today.

As a mark is not set up for men to miss it, so


there is nothing intrinsically evil in the world ...
--- Epictetus70

The origin of the Devil is as hard to determine as his


current nature and the extent of his power. Most Christians
believe he was a part of the Israelite's understanding of the
Opponent of God, but this is not entirely the case. Early
Hebrew tradition recognized no organized resistance to God on
anyone's part, physical or spiritual. God was supreme,
absolute, and omnipotent. He blessed and cursed as was His
right. As time went on, the idea of a "Satan" gained popularity.
The Hebrew word satan means "adversary, opponent," and was
used not only of spirits working in opposition to the intent of
God, but also of men71 and even of the angel sent by God
Himself to withstand Balaam.72 So, although the idea of a
worker in opposition of holy intent was in existence, the idea of

70
Discourses..., "Enchiridion" 27 (p. 282)
71
I Samuel 29:4; I Kings 11:23,25
72
Numbers 22:22,32
a separate and distinct personality whose sole purpose was
Opposition was unformed.
Jesus died, rose, and ascended. The miracles, teachings,
and wisdom He left continued to spread, but there was
resistance. At first, Christianity was tolerated as just another
religion. Then it became clear it was more than mere
ceremony. The authenticity of the miracles associated with
Peter and Paul was soon undeniable. Too many intelligent,
reliable witnesses held to the stories of their healings and
deliverances. Roman citizens in Palestine had been intimately
affected by His ministry,73 and traditions even tell of the
eventual conversion of Pontius Pilate and his wife Procla.74
Something deep within men was responding to this religion,
and to men in worldly authority that meant trouble.
Persecution, first in the form of legislation and a semblance of
decorum, gave way to outright genocidal mania as the power
that was the world, centered in Rome, tried to obliterate
Christianity. But the attempt to stifle it seemed only to fuel its
fires in the hearts of men. While Rome declined, Christ
expanded, eventually touching even the Emperor himself while
still technically an heretical doctrine. It was blamed for the
burning of Rome, the fall of the Temple, even the collapse of
the Roman Empire; and there might have been some truth to
that. Christianity encouraged all that was best in man:
compassion, gentleness, tolerance, virtue, love. Rome
demanded and exercised the worst: hatred, strife, war,
oppression, promiscuity. Christianity preached responsible
freedom from doctrine and dogma. The Temple was so
inflexible that even the voice of reason from Josephus could
not shake it.75
So it was that Israel fell, Rome faded, and men's hearts
were assaulted with a great emptiness. To fill that void, some
appealed to the mind as its own end, establishing religions of
mental discipline, memorization of volumes of written material
seen as manifestation of righteousness.76 Some turned to more
unsavory practices, for this was a time of anarchy and fear: a
grim, leaderless period in history. Kings were commonplace
and cheap, not men of real power. Clawing its way out of that
dark time, that time of fear and uncertainty, plague and war,
73
Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 7:1-10; 23:47; Acts 9:32-35; 10:1-48; 12:6-12
74
Lost Books of The Bible, p. 279; The Other Bible, p. 379
75
Wars of the Jews, Book III, Josephus
76
Islam, for instance, equates knowledge of The Koran with righteousness.
was something new, something that, until then, had held little
fascination for mankind. It had been a background figure,
seldom discussed, not out of fear, but out of its insignificance.
We tend to assume, since the word Satan is used as a
proper name in the King James Version of The Bible, that
Jesus and His disciples knew and understood Satan to be a
separate and distinct personality. However, Jesus and His
disciples were Jews, and as such were not familiar with our
understanding of Christianity (I refer to the human
understanding, of course). They were, however, familiar with
Hebrew tradition.
At about the time of Christ a book called The Book of
Jubilees was written. In it is described an angel named
Mastema (from the Hebrew word for hatred). Mastema is
spoken of as having been involved in the making of idols at Ur,
a practice Abraham as a boy opposed. Abraham also dispelled
a plague of raven sent by Mastema. In rebuttal to this
interference, Mastema is said to have suggested the testing of
Abraham through the sacrifice of Isaac. Later, he resisted the
re-entrance of Moses into Egypt, sought Moses' death, and was
the agent of the plague of the first-born. At no time, however,
did Mastema ever accomplish anything without the direct and
full awareness and permission of God. Much as the Satan in
the Book of Job, he was at all times under the direct command
of God, in total servitude.
This picture of Satan was the picture of the Opponent at
the time of Christ. Subordinate and without independent
volition, Mastema was little more than an errand boy, a far cry
from the Evil One of today's churches: the Devil nearly equal
to God in strength and power. We must remember that when
we read Peter, Paul, James, or John writing about satan, they
were not twentieth century men with over 1900 years of
doctrine on which to base their writings. They were Jews,
converted through their faith in Jesus and their own witness of
what had happened. They saw everything from the Jewish
standpoint, not the "Christian." There was no Christian
doctrine on which to elaborate.
A work of the first few centuries, named The Shepherd of
Hermas, given nearly scriptural authority by many early church
fathers, illustrates the lowly estate of the devil.
... fear not the devil, because he has no power
over you ... The devil doth indeed affright men;
but his terror is vain ...
--- Command 12:22b-23

At this time, the majority of attention paid to the


opposition to God's influence in men was directed at angels of
righteousness and iniquity, spirits both evil and neutral, and the
desires of men, with hardly an indication of a central
government to this opposition.77 Somehow, the suffering of
mankind became linked to it. After all, God did not kill, maim,
disease, and impoverish people, and of course it couldn't be
man's own fault! Therefore, there must be something else,
some monster of immense power forcing men to do its evil
bidding.
Toward the end of the second century AD, there were
terrible persecutions that forced a coagulation of concepts into
a firmer image of what we know as Satan today. Men of
impressive oratorical skills were convincing Christians that the
Resurrection had passed, or that their basic understanding of
the way of salvation was flawed. Yet, even then, there were
those who still remembered the all-powerful and omniscient
God. About 177 AD, a work appeared in which we find the
beginnings of understanding of what the devil was to the
apostles and the first generation of disciples. In a treatment of
the spiritual versus the physical existence, it says:

... we recognize that there are other powers


which surround matter and pervade it. Of these
there is one in particular which is hostile to God.
We do not mean that there is anything which is
opposed to God ... for even if anything did
manage to set itself up against God, it would
cease to exist ... fall to pieces by the power and
might of God. Rather do we mean that the spirit
which inhabits matter is opposed to God's
goodness, which is an essential quality with him
and coexists with him ... united and fused with
him as red is with fire and blue is with the sky.
This opposing spirit was created by God, just as
the other angels were created by Him and
entrusted with administering matter and its
forms ...
77
Lost Books of The Bible, pp. 197-269
--- The Plea of Athenagoras, 2478

Jerome, secretary to Pope Damascus, began in 382 AD to


translate The Bible into a standard form. Instead of merely
reorganizing the Old Testament as he had the New, he decided
to completely re-translate the Old Testament from the Hebrew.
In 405 AD his product, The Vulgate, appeared. In it was the
first mention of the name Lucifer, associated with the King of
Babylon. The use of this name has, in the intervening years,
come to be synonymous with the Evil One. In point of fact, the
use of the term was borrowed from Greek legend through Latin
names. Lucifer, known to the Greeks as Phosphor, was the
deified morning star, the son of Eros and the Titan Astraeus.
His manifestation was originally considered to be the morning
star until it was realized that the morning and evening stars
were one and the same. Venus, the evening star, was given
preference. Thus, Lucifer "fell from grace," as it were, to be
associated with Hesperus and Aphrodite, lesser deities.79 This
history probably prompted Jerome that the best possible
rendering of the Hebrew term he encountered (heylel, the
shining one or morning star) would be the use of the word
Lucifer, since the object of the passage, the King of Babylon,
was supposed to be a man of great power and beauty.
Nowhere else in The Bible is this term used, and it is only
through tradition that we are led to believe that it denotes a
personal name of the Evil One.
Thus was born the Devil.
Drawing on the ancient Hebraic beliefs, the newly
emerging political power that was the Church found the perfect
tool to wield control over a confused and ignorant world: the
threat of hellfire and damnation. As long as the general public
was illiterate and superstitious, there was no serious threat to
this doctrine. Unable to read the Canon even if they could find
a copy, the people put their trust in the clergy, so much so that
the clergy became a separate and distinct class even in the
feudal states formed in Europe and North Africa. The
authority of this elect class was seldom challenged.
Undisturbed, it grew in power and status with each passing
year.
78
Early Christian Fathers, pp. 326-327
79
It is interesting to note that Graves and Patai, in Hebrew Myths, conjecture that the
fall of Lucifer is a combination of Hebrew allegory and the Greek myth of Phaeton's
fall.
Then, about 1000 AD, a movement began that would spell
the downfall of the temporal authority of the Roman Catholic
Church: rational philosophy. Through the beginnings of
physics, chemistry, medicine, and other sciences, a dividing
line between where Man's limits actually were and where the
Church had defined them could be seen. Philosophers began
asking questions and finding answers that put the Church to
test in defense of its policies and doctrine. The Church's first
response to this was the same as it had been for heresies before:
track down the culprits, accuse them of trafficking with the
Devil, and burn them. The machine of Church legalism was
already well-oiled in this method of justice, and it effectively
slowed the progress of mankind along this avenue of
development. But there were too many and too powerful
proponents of the infant sciences to execute them all. Always
there remained one or two with staunch and formidable
political allies that slipped past the Church's stake.
By the end of the 14th century, the threat to Church
political power was a serious one, one that might even succeed.
Copies of the Canon were being widely read and understood
without the benefit of clergy, something in direct opposition to
the interest of the maintenance of Church power over the spirits
and minds of men, the backbone of the Church. With the
invention of the printing press, it became possible for nearly all
men of some substance to own The Bible. The problem took
on immense proportion. In desperation, the Church determined
that The Bible must be placed on the list of forbidden books,
books that could only be in the possession of a Catholic with
the expressed permission of the clergy on pain of
excommunication. And there it remains to this day.
When the Church did this, it began a process that would
eventually separate it almost entirely from the tenets of the
Canon.

A religion that requires persecution to sustain it


is of the devil's propagation.
--- Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)80

Already it had begun to partake of the same mistake made


by the Jews in preferring tradition to Canon, as the Jew
preferred The Talmud to the Scriptures. History was repeating

80
Universalist publications, c. 1819, quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 34
itself, and there must be someone to salvage the Spirit of the
Canon from this situation.
The first attempts at reformation led to the deaths of
literally hundreds in England and Germany, thousands in the
Middle East. The Church itself, already sundered through
internal discord, writhed in anguish over the rising power of
the philosophies and sciences. When the Reformation actually
began to assert real influence over the world, the Church could
do no more than bow to its power, stiffly and slowly accepting
the changes. As a result, pieces of God's Spirit are disbursed
through multiple philosophies of religion and thinking, the
Truth retained through disruption of Man's vanity.
Beneath the turmoil to understanding the Opponent lies a
basic truth: a principle of opposition. Although the principle
might never have been personified individually, it most
certainly was exercised in the world in the days of the Old
Covenant. Its limits were defined by the Law, and, as the Law
defined all things that could prove beneficial to mankind, those
who chose to remain outside the Law soon discovered the
depths of the Dark in all its despair and lack of mercy.
God knew of the misunderstanding of the extent of the
power of the Son of Lawlessness, and provided for the
protection of those who might be falsely accused. For instance,
in His mercy He provided refuge from His own wrath in the
form of the Levite cities (another type for Christ).81
After the Lord's coming, His ministry, death, and
Resurrection, we should have received a better understanding
of the nature of the Opponent. Yet, the very thing that began
the popularity of the notion of a separate being opponent to
God seemed rather to gain more support. Men did not want to
acknowledge that the Opponent in the Old Covenant had been
Man. Though the righteousness of God has been imputed to
Man through Christ Jesus, Man refuses to recognize that fact,
preferring to concentrate his attention on the memory of past
unrighteousness.
Great and wondrous power is allowed by Man to this
Opponent. Yet, the reality at the time of the Coming of Christ
was little more than an errand boy at its most awesome. How
might he become more?
By Man becoming less.

81
Numbers 35:6,9-15
Paul spoke of "the man of sin ... the son of perdition that
opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God" or is
worshipped as God.82 This being is allowed this office because
of the desire of each person to find someone to make the
decisions who, if the decision proves wrong, can be blamed.
Responsibility is the bottom line.

The essence of good and evil lies in an attitude


of the will.--- Epictetus83

God took men's eyes from other men and turned them to
God. He will continue to call men for this until the full intent
of the Spirit is realized in each person's life. The full power of
the Evil One depends entirely on the irresponsibility of
Christians. Unable to exercise its own power, it will use the
abdicated and neglected power of Christians to accomplish its
ends.
Who is Satan? That which works in opposition to the
manifestation of the image of the Son of God in the world, be
that a person, organization, or nation; that is Satan. Just as
the manifestation of the Opponent has always been through
Man, so it continues. There is, though, one major difference
today: choice. Before the Resurrection, Man could only
manifest abstinence or opposition to God. Being unrighteous,
he could not work righteousness. Today, we can exercise
choice to manifest righteousness or abstinence. Being the
righteousness of God through Christ Jesus, we cannot manifest
evil, although abstinence from righteousness might be called
evil.

Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and


doeth it not, to him it is sin.
--- James 4:17

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil


is for good men to do nothing.
--- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)84

Natural men are the devil's allies.


--- Edwin Hubbel Chapin (1814-1880)85
82
II Thessalonians 2:3b-4a
83
Discourses..., Book I, Chapter XXIX (p. 63)
84
Quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 60
85
Ibid., p. 74
Who Satan is today is a question of individual and
personal import to every human being on earth. Whatever
name the Opponent may have, his power is individually
endowed. A basic understanding of magic instructs the student
of the black arts to first instill in the intended victim a belief in
the effectiveness of the spell. Without that, its power fails and
it is defeated.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that


doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is
righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil;
for the devil sins from the beginning. For this
purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he
might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin;
for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God. In this the children
of God were manifest, and the children of the
devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not
of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
--- I John 3:7-10

Wholehearted belief and faith in an almighty and all-


knowing God leaves no room for a Devil of any power at all.
The problem is really one of perspective and priority. Many
people believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the
Bogeyman as children because they are taught to do so by their
parents or peers. Some time in their lives, they come to
understand the true meaning of these "spirits" and their proper
place in life. Satan is no different. All give material gifts, all
seem to know who is good and who is bad. Somehow, none of
us seem to outgrow the Devil. Instead of realizing its proper
office, it is promoted in our eyes to a position of real power
over our lives. The higher the Devil's office in our lives, the
lower we fall in the ranks of our own ambitions and dreams,
crushed under the imagined weight of its power.

If there is a hell on earth, it is to be found in a


melancholy man's heart.
--- Robert Burton (1577-1640)86

86
The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)
Starting now, we should begin demoting the Devil in our
lives. The resulting promotion of our own spirit will spell
success in spiritual growth and well-being.
We now understand that the Devil is not Lucifer, Man,
God, Jesus, a fallen angel, or god of this world. Satan is the
personification of everything that works against the
manifestation of the Son in the world, a combination of the
corrupt mores, values, and standards of the world system and
the neglect of righteousness that allows its continuance. In
short, Satan is the memory of the Dark that Christ came to
dispel, a memory that receives its power and life from the
support and encouragement of indolent and irresponsible men.
In not wishing to face the needs of his own spiritual growth,
Man prefers to think of himself as a helpless pawn in a game
between God and Satan. Such a philosophy is called dualism
and was the basis for numerous pagan religions.

When a man speaks evil or does evil to you,


remember that he does or says it because he
thinks it is fitting for him. It is not possible for
him to follow what seems good to you, but only
what seems good to him ... Everything has two
handles, one by which you carry it, the other by
which you cannot. If your brother wrongs you,
do not take it by that handle, the handle of his
wrong, for you cannot carry it by that, but rather
by the other handle -- that he is a brother,
brought up with you, and then you will take it by
the handle you can carry by.
--- Epictetus87

87
Discourses..., "Enchiridion" 42, 43 (pp. 288-289)
CONCLUSION

In summation, it is evident through examination of


historical, social, philosophical, religious, and secular sources,
that what is considered the truth of mainstream Christian
doctrine is in actuality a creation of social and political
development of the last nineteen hundred years. Somewhere in
the depths of the millennia since Christ's coming, there is the
Truth which all serious students of God seek, much of it hidden
in today's religious orders. But, it is a determined student
indeed that finds it in its fullness. Only through exacting and
dedicated effort on a personal basis can anyone hope to find the
true meaning of a personal relationship with God. No church
can give us what we need: God. He has already given Himself
for us and to us. We must come to accept our station in Him;
that of His utility in the world, a worker for His manifestation.
We come to appreciate God's love through understanding
His sacrifices undertaken long before Jesus went to the Cross:
His acceptance of blame for Man's continual failure, His
extension of love in the face of scorn and fear, His hope and
faith in the redemption of Man even as Man blasphemed and
corrupted His creation.
We come to understand the depth of Jesus Christ's
ministry through an understanding of the nature of God before
the Resurrection: the Light and the Dark; the Preferred and the
Unpreferred; that which was defined as Lawful, and that
defined as Unlawful; that called Clean and that called Unclean.
We see the Old Man for what he was: the offspring of the
Preference, not the Son of Sin. The Old Man was the Dark
personified, and through Christ he was enlightened.
We, the New Man, see ourselves now in a different light:
as Christ is, so are we, for that was His wish.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies


of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is
your reasonable service.
--- Romans 12:1

We are the "god of this world," and we blind our own eyes
if we neglect the exercise of the righteousness imputed to us
for manifestation in this world. There is no Satan outside of
ourselves. God is the only Power in the world. In an effort to
bring about the peace understood as God's plan for Man,
attention has been turned to unifying men into a common
purpose, but there is no need for a one-world religion, a one-
world government, or a one-world economy. World peace
does not hinge on the agreement of men about men. World
peace and ultimate spiritual success is dependent on agreement
on the Love of God and the manifestation of that Love.

All that is necessary to make this world a better


place to live in is to love --- to love as Christ
loved ...
--- Isadora Duncan (1878-1927)88

Peace is only possible if men ... raise themselves


to a point where they adopt an abstract principle
superior to themselves. In other words, it can
only be obtained by a betterment of human
morality.
--- Julien Benda (1867-1956)89

Let every soul be subject unto the higher


powers. For there is no power but of God: the
powers that be are ordained of God.
--- Romans 13:1

We determine whether the duty God entrusted us with will


be accomplished now or later, and any delay in that
manifestation is the only manifestation of Satan there can ever
be now.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the


things of the flesh; but they that are after the
Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally
minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace. Because the carnal mind is
enmity against God ...
--- Romans 8:5-7a

Don't wait for the last judgment -- it takes place


every day.
88
Unfinished memoirs, Berlin 1924, contracted for The Chicago Tribune by George
Seldes, quoted in The Great Thoughts, p. 116
89
Les Trahison des Clercs (1927)
--- Albert Camus (1913-1960)90

We should understand that God is Light, and in Him there


is no Darkness at all. We should push to the extermination of
all remembrance of the pre-Resurrection Dark, for only then
can the Son shine in the earth.
How can we do this?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor
as thyself.
--- Luke 10:27

And Jesus responds: "This do, and thou shalt live."


It's just that simple.

90
The Fall (1957)
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and Synonyms, George Ricker Berry; Zondervan
Publishing House (1958, 1982)
The Jerusalem Bible, Reader's Edition, general editor
Alexander Jones, L.S.S., S.T.L., I.C.B.; Doubleday and
Co. and Darton, Longman, & Todd, Ltd. (1966, 1967,
1968)
The Jewish War, Josephus, translated by G.A. Williamson;
Penguin Books, NY (1969, 1981)
The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah, Charles Foster
Kent, Ph.D.; Charles Scribner's Sons (1909)
The Koran, translated by N.J. Dawood; Penguin Books,
Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England (1974)
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim;
Macdonald Publishing Co., McLean, VA; ISBN 0-
9170006-12-7
The Lost Books of The Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden,
edited by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr.; World Bible Publishers.,
Inc. (1926, 1927)
Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, Fred H. Wright; Moody
Press, Chicago, IL (1953)
The Manual and Discourses of Epictetus, translated by P.E.
Metheson; Oxford University Press, Oxford, England
(1917); The Heritage Press, NY (1968); reprinted by
permission
The Middle Ages (revised edition), Dana C. Munro and
Raymond J. Sontag; The Century Co., NY (1921, 1928)
The New American Bible for Catholics, The Bishop's
Committee of the Cofraternity of Christian Doctrine;
World Bible Publishers, Iowa City, IA (1969, 1970, 1976
by Today, Inc.)
The New International Dictionary of New Testament
Theology, edited by Colin Brown; Zondervan Publishing
House, 4 volumes (1978)
The Other Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone; Harper & Row
Publishers, San Francisco, CA (1984)
The Paradoxes of Jesus, Ralph W. Sockman; Abingdon-
Cokesbury Press, Nashville (1936)
Treatise on the Gods, H.L. Mencken; 1930, 1946 by Alfred A.
Knopf, Inc.; renewed copyright 1958 by August Mencken
and Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. and Alfred A.
Knopf, Inc.; reprinted by permission
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Henry Bosley Woolf,
editor in chief; G&C Merriam Co., Springfield (1980)
The World As I See It, Albert Einstein; Citadel Press,
Secaucus, NJ (1934); reprinted by permission
NOTES