Copyright © 1996-2006 Mel West. All rights reserved
Ambrose was born about 339 A.D., after the Council of Nicaea under Contantine had resolved the God-head into the shape it is seen now: as the Holy Trinity: father, son, and Holy Ghost. Just before this moment, and reaching its heights during Ambrose's time, there was strong opposition to this doctrine which was led by Arius, who argued that God, the Father, and Jesus, the son, are two substances and the son is not a god (as there is but one God, say the Holy Scriptures). Eusebius of Caesarea, the bishop who was the first Church Historian of whom we have already discussed; was excommunicated with Arius and others over the Arian doctrine. Later Eusebius was redeemed, by mincing words a little, and the Two Substances, Arian, issue of God prevailed for awhile. This doctrine was reversed, however, because of considerable pressure from the deacon Anthanasias who, through procedures which are best described as foul play-wrestled the bishop's seat of Alexandria from Mileteus. Jealous rivalries played a part in the ensuing saga, where Anthanasias was able to convince the Emperor Constantine to outlaw not only the Arians but bishop Eusebius of Caesarea as well. This presented a problem to Constantine, since his attitude was to leave matters of doctrine up to the bishops but yet sympathized, for the moment at least, with the concept that the Christ is a man. His esteem for Bishop Eusebius was well known, and is illustrated by the fact that he had ordered 50 copies of Eusebius's new translation of the Bible for his New City, Constantinople. Anthanasias, perhaps jealous over Eusebius's position (Eusebius also sympathized with Mileteus), finally swung Constantine back against the Two Substance doctrine. Anthanasias complained in his Easter Letters that the Arians divided the robe of Christ which his executioners had left intact [re: John 19-23-24]. Then, after much haggling the doctrine was restored to the One Substance of God (Monophysite) position, being of three parts called the Holy Trinity. Check this out for a clear statement on salvation: one would be excommunicated who said that there was when he was not, which suggested that God existed when The Word of God, the Christ did not exist; or before being born he was not, which suggests that Christ was born of the Father but did not exist with him from the beginning of Creation; or he came into existence out of nothing, or who said that the Son was of another essence or substance from the Father, or was created, changeable, or mutable.
Arius was not alone in the argument against the Nicene Creed. The Dual Essences of God and the Christ, called the Arian Controversy, dragged some popular bishops onto its side besides Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. Censoring all the Arians, in 325 A.D. Constantine issued a letter announcing specifically the deposition of Eusebius of Nicomedia, because of his Arian beliefs. The following is an extract of that letter:
Constantine Augustus to the Catholic Church of Nicomedia
You all, beloved brothers, obviously know very well that the Lord God and Christ the Savior are Father and Son Father with out beginning and without end, parent of the world itself, and Son, that is, the will of the Father, which has not been comprehended by any human conception nor received through any extraneous essence for the completion of his works. He who understands this and keeps it in his mind will have indefatigable endurance of every sort of affliction. But Christ, the Son of God, the creator of all and supplier of immortality itself, was begotten-or rather, he who also is ever in the Father came forth for the ordering of what he had created-Christ was begotten by an indivisible coming forth, for will is both permanently fixed in its dwelling place and acts on and arranges the things which need different attention according to the nature of each one. What then is there between God the Father and God the Son? Obviously nothing. For this completed creation has received by perception the command of the will but has not divided or separated the will from the essence of the Father.
..do you not see that God has chosen a most venerable body, by which he intended to manifest the proofs of the faith and examples of his own virtue, to remove the destruction in which fatal error had already enveloped the human race, to give new instructions for worship, to cleanse the unworthy deeds of the mind by an example of purity, and then to remove the torment of death and proclaim the rewards of immortality?
..We are Christians, and we quarrel in a pitiful state of mind. Is this our faith, this the teaching of our law? What is the cause by which the disaster of the present evil has been aroused? What perversity! What hatred, which far exceeds the measure of righteous indignation! What dreadful brigandage has been revealed, which denies that the Son of God has come forth from the indivisible essence of the Father? Is God not everywhere, and do we not perceive his presence ever with us? Does not the harmony of the universe exist through his power, without the deprivation of separation?
In spite of his compelling arguments to maintain Unity, when Constantine died in 337 A.D. the eastern church was more bitterly divided than ever before. And this division was occasioned by the dragging on of all the heresies which had gone before including, but not limited to, the Encratites during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.), who rejected Acts and the Pauline Epistles; the Montanists, the Novatianists, who advocated harsher treatment for apostates (because of the Decian persecutions mentioned earlier) -more than what the bishops thought prudent; the Sabellian Heresy which stressed the identity of God the Father with God the Son and argued that the two descriptions applied merely to different aspects of a single divine being which is what Eusebius of Caesarea gravitated towards and is similar to what Constantine wrote above ; then also there were the Valentinian sects and Manichaeans and others who have dropped in and out of history. In any event we can see in Constantine's letter that the debate on the nature of God and God the Son was plentiful, varied, and quite vitriolic-not becoming of a Christian Body. And this sets the scene for Ambrose who was a lawyer by trade, later governor of Aemilia-Liguria in northern Italy, and was suddenly elected by divine acclamation, so it is said, to replace the Arian Bishop of Milan whose name is Auxentius. Arianism was the preferred sect of the Christianized Gauls.
Ambrose was not baptized at the time he was elected bishop! This means that the apostolic succession had not been delivered to him, for the succession and anointing of Christ was passed from the Apostles to the Presbyters and down to the bishops through the laying on of hands through baptism. In simple terms, by modern standards, the new bishop of Milan was not "saved" when he was ordained as bishop of Milan on the 1st of December, 373 A.D.
This same argument of being ordained a bishop without baptism involved the denunciation of Mileteus, bishop of Alexandria, some time before, who had not been anointed through the [accepted] apostolic succession, as it was alleged. Suddenly Ambrose became a point of hypocrisy which was soon washed away.
Picking up from where Cyprian left off, and being a Trinitarian, Ambrose made the point that the church is ultimately responsible to God for the consciences and souls of her children. Therefore, to maintain the purity of conscience, the Church may often need to tell the faithful whether or not to obey the state. Before, under Constantine, the High Priest and Emperor were one. Ambrose would change the rules, and he led to St. Augustine's City of God and other writings. You may recognize the phrase, City of God, from the psalms and some of the fathers above. There is nothing new under the sun.
In a letter documenting the decisions of the Council of Aquileia in A.D. 381, which excommunicated two leading Arian bishops, Ambrose took up the torch against Arianism and said:
Ambrose, letter to the Council of Aquileia 7.0 Although they were convicted of misrepresentation and made to admit it, they were impervious to reason. When we said that the Son is described as less than the Father in respect to his taking of flesh, while, on the evidence of Scripture, he is proved to be like and equal to the Father in respect of deity, and that there can be no degrees of difference or greatness where there is unity of power, not only would they not correct their error, but they even began to press their insane notions further, saying that the son is subordinate in deity, as if there could be any subordination of God in his deity and majesty. In short, they refer his death not to the mystery of our salvation, but to some weakness in his deity.
Both Cyprian and St. Ambrose emphasize the point that the purpose of the church is to see that every man [in the Church] is instilled with a good conscience, after that of Christ. We must pause on this, Sir, because this is the very same argument we posed with you, to wit: faith without works is death. A Good Conscience must equate to a Good Faith in God. There is no fact more evident than that which leads to the conclusion that a Good Conscience is meaningless without good works following it.
This argument comes out of the plight of the Confessors, who were the martyrs we mentioned earlier, as opposed to those who were put to trial in the Christian Persecutions and, as it were, went over to the other side. Those who went over to the other side we can see clearly that Tertullian, Cyprian and St. Ambrose condemned in their arguments, Against Heresies.
You have to draw the line somewhere, as it is said, a line shall be drawn over Jerusalem, which follows the request Moses made to Korah and his apostates; and Moses, drawing a line in the sand, said He who is with God step towards me [Numbers 16]. This line has been drawn over and over again, through Tertullian and others, as it is also shown here.
ibid. 14.0..We cannot associate with another man's sin.
16.0 What more could my enemy have taken from me? You have repealed my decrees- a thing which he who took up arms against me has not done as yet. Now my body is struck by a deadlier weapon, for my ordinances are condemned by my brother [another bishop; ed. note]. You are endangering a better part of me, for that was the death of my body, this is the death of my virtues...
How wonderful! Here is a man who knows that he has inalienable rights in the worship of God, in which there is a doctrine of Good Conscience; and whilst one might threaten his body with death, he will not suffer his virtues to die also.
In a movie on Lawrence of Arabia, an Arab leader dressed in a beautiful black robe (the actor Anthony Quinn) leaned over to Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole) whilst he was standing by the horse and asked, "Isn't there anything in your life which you are willing to die for?" This is the same question the Church Fathers were asking, and they maintained that the gospel their source of Good Conscience required them to be willing to sacrifice their body to defend the doctrine. Thus:
ibid. 15.0 How will you answer these words? That you are only a boy, and that is how you fell? But every age is made perfect in Christ, every age is fulfilled in God. Childhood in faith is no excuse. Even children have confessed Christ fearlessly before their persecutors.
Ambrose, letter to the Emperor Valentinian, "Battle of the Basilicas" .. I would not have your law above the law of God. God's law has taught us what to follow, a thing which man's laws cannot do. They often compel a change in the timid, but they cannot inspire faith.
Here we see the Catholic Church beginning to flex its muscle over the kings of the earth. The emperor is told that he may wield his rod and move the timid, but one thing he cannot do is inspire faith. The next argument, one should then perceive, is that the kingdom can only be held together through Faith.
In as much as Ambrose is concerned with heresies, he carries on the traditional view that the Jews are heretics, as seen before:
ibid. 13.0 Auxentius [ the Arian Bishop; ed. note], they suggested might well house a pagan or a Jew, and if we allowed them to pronounce judgment concerning Christ, we should be giving them a triumph over Christ. What more can they desire than to hear Christ insulted? What could please them better than to have Christ's divinity denied-which God forbid? Naturally they are in entire agreement with the Arian who says that Christ is a creature. No pagan or Jew will be slow to make that confession.
St. Ambrose agrees with us concerning the point of view we suggested in Against Leviathan relative to the Watchman:
Letter # 40, Ambrose to Emperor Theodosiaus Augustus 2.0..I spake of thy testimonies before kings, and was not ashamed [Ps. 119.46] and in another place: Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel, to the intent (it says) that if a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, because thou hast not given him warning (that is, not told him what to guard against), his righteousness shall not be remembered, and his blood will I require at thine hands. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that he sin not, and he doth not sin, the righteous shall surely live because thou hast warned him; and thou shalt deliver thy soul [Ezek.3.17-21].
4.0 We bishops have one whom we offend at our peril. Emperors are not displeased that everyone should discharge his own function, and you listen patiently to anyone who makes suggestions within his own department. Indeed, you reprove persons who do not carry out the appointed duties of their service. If you welcome this in your own officials, can you take it ill in the case of bishops? For we speak not as we will, but as we are bidden. You know the passage: When ye shall stand before kings and governors, take no thought what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you [Matt. 10.19-20].
As we admire much of what St. Ambrose says, we nevertheless cannot overlook the fact in this letter he defends the burning of a synagogue in Syria by permission of the residing bishop. St. Ambrose then claims that though he did not order setting fire to the synagogue he would have and certainly the restitution of the synagogue should not be paid for out of Christian pockets (who burned it). His argument is the old one:
ibid.8.0..You have the offender before you, confessing his guilt. I declare that I set fire to the synagogue, at least that I instructed them to do it, that there might be no place in which Christ is denied.
12.0 Have you not heard, Sir, that when Julian ordered the repair of the temple at Jerusalem, the men who were clearing the site were consumed by fire from above? Take care that the same does not happen again. That Julian ordered it is good enough reason for you not to order it.
14.0 The burning of a single building, I submit, does not warrant so great a disturbance as the severe punishment of the whole people, and the less so when it was a synagogue that was burnt, a place of unbelief, a home of impiety, a refuge of insanity, damned by God himself.
17.0..What could a fire take from those scheming Jews? These are tricks of the Jews, trying to bring a false charge.
19.0 One can imagine how far they will go with their false charges, when they accused even Christ on false evidence. If they can lie with regard to God, there will be no limit to their calumnies. They will accuse anyone they please of causing sedition, they will aim even at people they do not know. What they want is to see row upon row of Christians in chains, the faithful with their necks under the yoke, the servants of God confined in dark prisons, beheaded with the axe, given to the flames, or sent to the mines to prolong their pains.
20.0 Will you give the Jews this triumph over the Church of God, this victory over the people of Christ?
26.0..It is a serious thing to hazard your faith for the sake of the Jews...Who is to avenge the synagogue? Christ, whom they slew, whom they denied? Will God the Father avenge those who do not even accept the Father, in that they did not accept the Son? Who is to avenge the heresy of the Valentinians?
When we said that the source of Martin Luther's remarks came from Paul, now perhaps you can see how it emerged and the form it already had sixteen hundred years ago!
In a letter to his sister, Ambrose reveals a bit more of his theology, as the responsibility of a watchman, which applies to a Bishop or any Christian leader. He points out that some times the message one must carry is bitter. We recall the Angel's small book which was bitter.
Ambrose, Letter # 41, to his sister 3.0..The prophet is bidden to take an almond rod because the fruit of this tree has a bitter rind and a hard shell, but is sweet inside. Like it, the prophet also offers hard and bitter things and does not shrink from declaring what is painful. It is the same with the priest, whose injunctions may seem bitter to some for a time, and, like Aaron's rod, long laid up in the ears of dissemblers, may yet blossom one day when men think they have withered.
This goes both ways, doesn't it? If the priest's injunctions are good they last as a testimony of virtue; if they are not good, as those dealing with the Jews, they last as a testimony of evil. Ambrose and the others before him assumed, of course, that Christ come again will be elated over the six million of the last holocaust and the millions before it. In truth, He must do as we have done, review both the good and the evil advise. We have here more good advise:
ibid. 6.0 Therefore he first forgives us through baptism and afterwards bestows ampler gifts on those who serve him well. Thus the kindnesses of Christ are both the incentive to virtue and also its reward.
The Incentive to Virtue has to do with the mission of the Church to instill in its members a good conscience. Comparing Christ's Grace as liberating one from a bad debt he says:
ibid. 7.0..I could have nothing of my own with which to free myself. He offered me a new form of acquittance, to change my creditor, since I had no means to pay the loan. It was guilt, not nature, that had made us debtors. By our own sins we contracted heavy debts..As Christ's riches are virtues, so the devil's wealth is crime.
9.0..So we must take care lest, by not forgiving the debts owed to us,
we should find ourselves having to pay what had previously been forgiven.
This is the argument we were making with you, Sir. Your Baptism does not come without strings attached.
ibid. 9.0 ..Let us, then, to whom much has been pardoned, forgive a little, and let us understand that the more we pardon,
the more acceptable we shall be to God; for the more we have been forgiven, the more grateful we are to God.
13.0...but if you feed the poor, wash their wounds, and wipe off their filth, you have wiped the feet of Christ.
St. Ambrose used the name Christ. When we put it to you, of the need to help the poor, and how touching them is the same as helping God, we expressed it as Catholics have always understood it. Look!:
ibid.15.0..He who receives the Spirit kisses Christ, when the prophet says: I opened my mouth and drew in the Spirit [Psalm 119.131]. He who confesses Christ kisses him, for the heart man believeth unto righteousness; but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation [Rom.10.10].
17.0 But you say: he kissed the Lord. Yes, but only with his lips. The Jewish people has that kiss, and therefore it was said: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me [Isaiah 29.13; Matt 15.8].
This is how I see Christianity today-far from our heart, that is, and certainly far from the original heart of Christianity. For we can add:
ibid 24.0..And now, in return for all these things, what else is required of thee, O man, but to do justice and righteousness, to love mercy, and to be ready to walk with the Lord thy God? [Micah 6.8]
This again weighs back on the argument of Truth, of doing, that faith without works is death. For those who do not walk with God [sic.] and step forward to the line, shall die. For, as it is said with regard to those who think they can hide from God:
Ambrose, Letter # 51, to the Emperor Theodosius. 2.0..And so I am allowed no part in the common ways of mankind! For the Lord Jesus says: Nothing is hid, that shall not be made manifest [Luke 8.17].
Whilst St. Ambrose used this argument to defend his position with regard to the emperor's designs, the same argument is true with all men, as it is said, Ye are justified in your own lips, which we quoted earlier, and which can be seen to be relative to some of the points we have made here. But expressing one's conscience is better than not doing, so he says:
ibid. 3.0 What was I to do? Not listen? I could not stop my ears with wax, as in the old stories [Homer, Odyssey, XII]. Was I to tell what I heard? But I had to take care that what I apprehended from your commands should not result from my own words-bloodshed. Say nothing? That would be the most wretched thing of all, one's conscience bound and one's lips closed.
Here again St. Ambrose has confirmed our position, that one is responsible for what one knows [sic. and it is the duty of the Church Christ in the issue at hand to make sure that you know]. If you know of something, as in the case of Sandhu's Revenge or the issue in Against Leviathan, you have a duty to say something, particularly when lives are at stake, and if you are in a position to save lives with your actions, you must save them. Thus he says:
ibid. 9.0 ..That man sins is no cause for surprise. What is blameworthy is his failure to acknowledge his error and humble himself before God.
12.0..Do not add sin to sin by following a course which has injured many.
Ambrose, Letter# 57, to Emperor Eugenius 7.0 The power of the emperor is indeed great; but consider, Sir, how great God is. He sees the hearts of all, he questions the innermost conscience, he knows all things before they are done [Ecclus. 23.20].
8.0..But we are the interpreters of the faith. How will you offer your gifts to Christ? Few will judge of your actions, everyone will judge of your intentions. Whatever they do will be ascribed to you, whatever they do not do, to themselves.
Ambrose, we have seen, has given good criteria towards salvation through doing righteous acts out of good conscience. In this way we mimic Christ:
Ambrose, Letter # 63 to the Church at Vercellae 47.0...though he was the Son of God, [he] might be seen to learn obedience from the things which he suffered, which he might teach us, that he might become unto us the author of salvation. Then, having accomplished his sufferings, as being himself made perfect, he gave health to all and bore the sin of all.
St. Ambrose believed that the Jews will one day be redeemed through the Church:
ibid. 58.0..[Aaron's rod seems to indicate that] the ancient people, decaying through the age-long infidelity of its priests., will in the last days be transformed to zealous faith and devotion by the example of the Church, and will again put forth, with renewed grace, its long-dead blossom.
ibid. 60.0..If a man cannot govern himself, it is intolerable that he should undertake to govern others.
61.0..the bishop must be without reproach..
63.0 Sin is washed away in baptism, law is not [laws, whether good or bad, stick around; ed. note]
64.0..he who binds others by his own precepts must observe in his own life the precepts of the law.
All things of Christ are easily revealed: as Ambrose said, ending the above letter, quoting Paul: We are made a spectacle unto this world, and to angels [I Cor. 4.9]. He compared the life of the clergy who were seen openly and could not hide their acts, as opposed to the monastic life which is secret and hidden. There is virtue in both; nevertheless, the Lord searches the hearts of all men, whether in the open or in hiding. Whoever steps onto the stage must perform.
Jerome lived from 347 to about 420 A.D., and he was a contemporary of St. Augustine, who was somewhat at odds with Jerome on several issues and in particular the dissimulation between Saint Peter and Paul, mentioned in Galatians, which had to do with Paul's chastisement of Peter's Circumcised Church. This refers to an incident of a man who had come from Saint James to eat with the Gentiles but then withdrew himself when Saint Peter and the others arrived. Here Jerome inquired into the issue in which we inquired.
Saint Peter and Saint James were highly opposed to Paul's unorthodox teachings. Paul's epistle to the Galatians, who were dissimulating towards the Circumcised Church, reflects this argument, which we have discussed in detail elsewhere but can show here in part:
Galatians 1.6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.
1.7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
1.9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
1.11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
1.12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Here we can see the thrust of Paul's gospel, that it is not the same as the gospel Saint Peter and the other apostles were teaching. Paul alleges his gospel was received by direct revelation from Christ as Paul was on the road to Damascus. This may explain why the content of his teachings relies little upon Jesus' teachings the basis of the Petrine Gospel. Rather than focusing on Jesus' Teachings, he claimed the revelation that the Law of Moses is abolished: replaced with a New Law which is that of Paul's Gospel. We continue:
ibid. 1.15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
1.16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
1.18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
1.19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
2.1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2.2 And I went up by revelation and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run or had run, in vain.
2.3 But neither Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
2.4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Saint Peter and Saint James and the other apostles of the church sent someone into that meeting to confirm the unorthodox goings on that had already come to their ears. Titus, Paul's son, says Paul, had been received by the Circumcised Church even though he was not circumcised-which is what happened also with Cornelius with Saint Peter before.
Paranoid over spys? When Paul refers to the spys of the Circumcised Church it is evident that not all was well between him and Saint Peter; and Paul was on the verge of being thrown out of the Church. In any event Paul persuaded the spys that everything was okay, and Saint Peter approved of his gospel:
ibid. 2.7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
2.8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles);
2.9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
2.10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
2.11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
2.12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself fearing them which were of the circumcision.
2.13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
2.14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? [A curious complaint from Paul in view of Acts 15.19, on the commission to the Gentile, that they need not obey the Law of Moses; ed. note].
There is something terribly wrong in this story to friends of Saint Peter , isn't there? It has no continuity. There are some missing parts to it which the Galatians, who had fallen away from Paul and back to the Circumcised, Petrine Gospel, apparently knew. Someone with a sharp pen has applied surgery to it.
In the beginning of his gospel, Paul asserts that his gospel is the true gospel, and anyone carrying another must be cursed, that his gospel came directly from Christ. He discussed his Gospel with Saint Peter, but fourteen years later Saint Peter sent spys to search out his gospel; and then, referring to the incident of a circumcised man eating with the Gentile and then removing himself when Saint Peter arrived, taking Barnabas and other Jews with them, he accuses Saint Peter [and the others, but Saint Peter is to blame] of hypocrisy. Later Paul says, in Antioch, he withstood Peter face to face, because Peter was to be blamed. For what was Saint Peter to be blamed?
From the evidence of the Jews [Circumcised Church] removing themselves from the table of the Gentile Church, it is apparent that the Church Doctrine required Gentile and Jew to eat at separate tables: i.e., to maintain the separate status of the Jews. But this is not the real issue, for Paul's Gospel taught that the Law is abolished, a teaching Saint Peter and the others could never accept, which is evident in their actions.
Jesus sat at dinner with a Publican, allowing the precedence for Saint Peter to set at dinner with Cornelius. If Kosher food were served there would be no problem here. But at the suppers of Paul there were no doubt non-kosher foods, in particular pork, which were set on the table. There may have been some confusion here as to what the proper procedure should be in such a case. Since the Apostles set doctrine through a council, no doubt after the example of the Sanhedrin, it would appear that the majority and in particular led by Saint James, might have required two separate tables where non-kosher foods were present. It is possible Saint Peter took a more permissive position, saying not to eat the non-kosher food but to sit at table with them, following the presumption that one should not exalt oneself above others. Whatever happened, it is apparent that Paul had not received-and probably did not seek-a distinct ruling on this accord, since he spurned the Circumcised Doctrine anyway. But speaking to the "backsliding Galatians" somehow this story had relevance, and I still have not figured out its relationship, except that Paul was using it and obviously the missing texts of it to verify that the pillars of the Circumcised Church are hypocrites and not to be followed. In this conflict it is also evident that the Galatians had come down upon Paul for his uncircumcised lips, and he retorted that he had been received with his son Titus, who is uncircumcised, etc., that James, Cephas [Saint Peter] and the others were hypocrites, and the Galatians should stop listening to them and come back to Paul. We are speaking here of a power struggle in the church.
Paul continued his persuasion, following the fragmented argument just mentioned:
Galatians 4.4 But when the fullness of the times was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
4.5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
This is the argument in Matthew 1.21 mentioned earlier, that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit to save his people from their sins. Here Paul refers to redeeming them. The Latter Day Messiah, the Redeemer of the Children of Israel, would reestablish them to the Holy Land and place God's Sanctuary in the midst of them, as described earlier. Paul's Gospel said that since Jesus has already come, the redemption of the Jews is come. Following this, then, is the need for a New Gospel or Covenant since Jesus, claims Paul, abolished the Old Covenant; which is a lie, verifiable not only by the teachings of Jesus but also the conflict between Saint Peter and Saint James's Circumcised Church (which first heard and passed on Jesus's teachings) and Paul's apostate Church. Now there is another way to measure liars: their teachings generally result in robbery, mayhem and murder.
If we were to suppose the comparison of the dissimulation at the supper caused by Saints Peter and James, et al., to the Galatians who also had dissimulated from His gospel, I still have trouble understanding the problem behind the dissimilation. What was it over? food, circumcision, the threat of damnation (which Paul used against Saint Peter's Church); what was the problem which was common to the Galatians and that dinner dissimilated by Saint Peter?
Galatians 4.12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
4.13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
4.14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
4.16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Try to put on Saint Peter's hat for a moment.Paul is not only railing against the Jews and the Law but he is putting himself across as Christ. He believes he is as Christ in Christ's stead because he says in a vision Christ gave him the Pauline Gospel and told him to preach it to the nations. Hitler also had a vision (most of which came from Paul).
The words we reviewed here are not the words of humility; and it is certain that Paul believed that the words he was then speaking were those of an Angel of God, even Christ Jesus. This is a very different perception than the idea of being led by the Holy Spirit. The term Antichrist comes to mind here, for in the Greek it means a phony imitation of Christ as reflected in Revelation ; not against Christ as perceived in English. A measure of this againstness can be seen in your own will, Sir, where you allowed me to quote you as long as I quoted you in context. If I were to quote you out of context such that your words meant something you had never intended, then you could say that I had been against you by misrepresenting you. This, if you will give it a fair inquiry, is what Paul did to Jesus.
The true intention of Paul is to pass what is in Him, which is His Gospel, on to the Galatians et al. that they also would be Christs (this is basic Christian doctrine and fine here except he left out of his epistles the teachings of Jesus):
ibid. 4.19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
4.20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
4.21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
5.2 Behold, I Paul say unto you that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
5.3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
5.4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
5.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
5.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
5.20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
5.21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
5.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
5.23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
5.24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
5.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk with the Spirit.
5.26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
This discussion Jerome understood. As mentioned before, Paul need not have tried to dissimulate those under Saint Peter, who desired to maintain the Law. His Gospel of Condemnation has nothing to do with Christ's Gospel.
Galatians 6.1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness: considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.
6.2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
6.3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
6.4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
6.5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
6.6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
6.7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
6.8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever-lasting.
6.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
6.10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
6.11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
6.12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
In the same letter suddenly Paul shifts from a Gospel of temperance and humility back into the Gospel of Intemperance: comparing all who circumcise as being the same as those who crucified Christ!
Can you not sympathize with Saint Peter and Saint James who now are being described as being the same as those who crucified Christ? His Gospel does not end here; this is where it begins, for along with it is the teaching that Saint Peter and the others were nothing but ignoramuses and cowards-still being taught today. Now we must remind you that Saint Peter and Saint James were more than friends to Jesus; and, knowing that you are a rational man, we know that Jesus might have a sympathetic reaction on behalf of Peter, against what your Pauline Church has been saying about him and the others. If you were Jesus how would you look upon these things? We say this not in a spirit of presumption, but rather in allowance for the fact that the intention of Christianity is to give you the Spirit of Jesus; so we believe we are not being unfair in asking you to judge what we have reviewed (and shall yet continue) as if you were in Jesus' stead.
Galatians 6.13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
6.14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
6.15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
6.16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
6.17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
6.18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
The translator and creator of the Vulgate Bible, Jerome, no doubt had some of the same concerns as we when he translated these passages and many others reflecting the very vitriolic attitude Paul had towards Saints Peter and James and their Circumcised Church in Jerusalem. He must have tapped his pen on his desk a few times.
Whilst Jerome picked up on many of the issues, Against Heresies (he wrote against another heresy called the Pelagian) we have already discussed, he was a leading scholar of the Church and after the order of Origen (185-250 A.D. who lived during the time of the Decian Persecutions mentioned earlier). Origen we shall discuss following our examination of Jerome's contributions to the thesis which we carried to you.
Jerome's understanding of the Gospel went beyond that of Paul's; and picking up on the theme, what is idolatry, discussed foremost by Tertullian and later others, Jerome gravitated to the thesis that the best emulation of Christ is through giving up all the things of this world. Jerome argued for complete chastity to Christ, which to him is best expressed in a monastic life. He went a step further than others before him, as he castrated himself. Apparently others following Jerome's example were in sufficient numbers that the Church finally outlawed the horrible practice of self castration (being as Paul claimed to be, an eunuch of the Lord).
When we hear the praises of those who claim to be married to God, in one form or another, we can't help but examine their intentions. For Paul was correct, when he tried to express the cause of creating One Spirit in Christ, through marriage of your soul through Christ, with God. Just what should be a perfect model of Christ has been of considerable controversy ever since. In a letter to his friend, whom he attempted to persuade to follow him into the monastic life in Syria, Jerome explains that marriage to God, following the example of Christ, begins with an assumption of poverty.
Jerome, Letter # 14:, to Heliodorus . 1.0 ..Take neither scrip nor staff [Matt. 10.10]. He is rich enough who is poor with Christ.
2.0 But what is this, and why do I foolishly importune you again? Away with entreaties, an end to coaxing words. Offended love does well to be angry. You have spurned my petition; perhaps you will listen to my remonstrance. What keeps you, pampered soldier, in your father's house? Where are your ramparts and trenches? When have you spent a winter in the field? Lo, the trumpet sounds from heaven! Lo, the Leader comes with clouds! He is armed to subdue the world; and out of the King's mouth proceeds a two-edged sword to mow down all that encounters it [Rev. 1.7,16 & 20] But as for you, what will you do? Pass straight from your chamber to the battlefield, and from the cool shade into the burning sun? Nay, a body used to a tunic cannot endure a buckler; a head that has worn a cap refuses a helmet; a hand made tender by idleness is galled by a sword hilt. Hear the proclamation of your King: He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth [Matt. 12.30]. Remember the day on which you enlisted, when, buried with Christ in baptism, you swore fealty to him, declaring that for his sake you would spare neither father nor mother. Lo, the enemy is striving to slay Christ in your breast. Lo, the ranks of the foe sigh for that bounty which you received when you entered his service. Should your little nephew hang on your neck, pay no regard to him; should your mother with ashes on her hair and garments rent show you the breasts at which she nursed you, heed her not; should your father prostrate himself on the threshold, trample him under foot and go your way. With dry eyes fly to the standard of the cross. In such cases cruelty is the only true affection.
3.0...Scripture, you will argue, bids us obey our parents. Yes, but whoso loves them more than Christ loses his own soul. The enemy takes sword in hand to slay me, and shall I think of a mother's tears? Or shall I desert the service of Christ for the sake of the father to whom, if I am Christ's servant, I owe no rites of burial, albeit if I am Christ's true servant I owe these to all? [Luke 9.59,60] Peter with his cowardly advise was an offence to the Lord on the way to his passion; and to the brethren who strove to restrain him from going up to Jerusalem, Paul's one answer was: What mean ye to weep and to break my heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [Acts 21.13]. The battering-ram of natural affection which so often shatters faith must recoil powerless from the wall of the Gospel. My mother and my brethren are these, whosoever do the will of my Father which is in heaven [Matt. 12.5; Luke 8.21]. If they believe in Christ let them bid me God-speed, for I go to fight in his name, And if they do not believe, let the dead bury the dead [Luke 9.60].
5.0 My dear brother, weigh well the various forms of transgression, and think not that the sins which I have mentioned are less flagrant than that of idolatry. Nay, hear the Apostle's view of the matter. For this ye know, he writes, that no whoremonger or unclean person, nor defrauder, which is idolatry, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God [Eph 5.5]. In a general way all that is of the devil savors of enmity to God, and what is of the devil is idolatry, since all idols are subject to him [re: Tertullian On Idolatry, Passim, ch. 1,2]. Yet Paul elsewhere lays down the law in express and unmistakable terms, saying: Mortify your members, which are upon the earth, laying aside fornication, uncleanness, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which are the service of idols, for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh [Col. 3.5].
Idolatry is not confined to casting incense upon an altar with finger and thumb, or to pouring libations of wine out of a cup into a bowl. Covetousness is idolatry, or else the selling of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver was a righteous act. Lust involves sacrilege, or else men may defile with common harlots those members of Christ which should be a living sacrifice acceptable to God [Rom.12.1]. Fraud is idolatry, or else they are worthy of imitation who, in the Acts of the Apostles, sold their inheritance, and because they kept back part of the price, perished by an instant doom. Consider well, my brother: nothing is yours to keep. Every man, the Lord says, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple [Luke 14.33]...
6.0 Why so ? you will perhaps argue; are not those who live in a city Christians? Your case, I reply, is not that of others. Listen to the words of the Lord: If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and come, follow me. You have already promised to be perfect. For when you forsook the army and made yourself an eunuch for the Kingdom of heaven's sake [re: Matt. 19.12], you did so that you might follow the perfect life. Now the perfect servant of Christ has nothing beside Christ. Or if he have anything beside Christ he is not perfect. And if he be not perfect when he has promised God to be so, his profession is a lie. But the mouth that lieth slayeth the soul [Wisdom 1.11].
7.0..Now, not to aim at perfection is itself a sin...
8.0 Driven from this line of defence you will appeal to the example of the clergy. These, you will say, remain in their cities, and yet they are surely above criticism. Far be it from me to censure the successors of the apostles, who with holy words make the Body of Christ, and through whom we are made Christians. Having the keys of the kingdom of heaven they judge men to some extent before the day of judgment, and, in sober chastity, guard the bride of Christ. But, as I have before hinted, the case of monks is different from that to the clergy. The clergy feed the sheep; I am fed by them...I may not sit in the presence of a presbyter; he, if I sin, may deliver me to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved [I Cor.5.5].
My word, Sir, did we not say that all of the terrifying persecutions we saw in the Inquisition : of those terrible bone crushing demands of Torquemada and other priests, and then what finally happened in the recent Holocaust of six million Jews-have we not confirmed now that they came from Paul? For here we show Jerome quoting him and St. Augustine applying that principle further that it should be a normal Christian duty to destroy all heretics. The doctrine of Paul has been tested in time and, as we have seen, as there is no secret beyond the eyes of heaven, Paul's Gospel had little to do with the gospel of which Christ spoke.
Under the Old Law, continues Jerome, he who disobeyed the priests was put outside the camp and stoned by the people, or else he was beheaded and expiated his contempt with his blood [Deut. 17.5,12]. But now the disobedient person is cut down with the spiritual sword, or he is expelled from the Church and torn to pieces by ravening demons. Just when these demons came to be possessed of the robes of priests has yet to be discerned. Sir, as for our own day, can there be much difference between a diffident priest of the Holocaust or even one in our own streets who is oblivious to the terror around him-of the poverty of the Homeless, among the least of whom we speak-and Torquemada? We continue:
ibid. 9.0 Not all bishops are bishops indeed. You notice Peter; mark Judas as well..To whom God has committed much, of him he will ask the more. Mighty men shall be mightily tormented [Wisdom 6.6]. No man need pride himself in the day of judgment on merely physical chastity, for then shall men give account for every idle word, and the reviling of a brother shall be counted as the sin of murder.
My word! Sir, we can show by this example the truth to the saying that the reviling of a brother is counted as the sin of murder. Here we apply the lesson to Paul. He reviled his Circumcised brethren and what has happened is that which we have complained about in the Holocaust, among other things: murder. If you can continue walking with us, we hope to show you how to stop this murder. Jerome, we regret to say, continued the tradition of Jew baiting and deriding the authority of Saint Peter. But then, because of the senseless feuding around him, he appealed to the authority of the Chair of Peter to restore Unity to the Church:
Jerome, Letter # 15: to Pope Damascus. 1.0 Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord...I think it my duty to consult the Chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul...The wide space of sea and land that lies between us cannot deter me from searching for the pearl of great price.
2.0..As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built...This is the ark of Noah..I know nothing of Vitalis; I reject Meletius; I have nothing to do with Paulinus. He that gathers not with you scatters; he that is not of Christ is of Antichrist [Luke 11.23].
The Arian controversy was still on-going, among other heresies; and thus he asked the Pope to support his view:
ibid. 3.0..If any man refuse, I cry, to acknowledge three hypostases in the sense of three things hypostatized, that is three persons subsisting, let him be anathema. Yet, because I do not denounce their words, I am counted a heretic. But, if any one, understand by hypostasis ousia, deny that in the three persons there is one hypostasis, he has no part in Christ. Because this is my confession, I, like you, am branded with the stigma of Sabellianism .
My word, how truth varies from generation to generation! The heresy of Sebellas is now back in vogue: that God is One Person in three substances or aspects; rather than the opposite, that the three substances of the Holy Trinity each, though God, can be worshipped. But in the Council of Constantinople 381 A.D. the three hypostases of the Holy Spirit, against which Jerome argued, were accepted and continue to this day. Thus, one can pray in, and to, the name of God, the Father; one can pray in the name of and to the Son of God, Jesus Christ; and one may pray to God the Holy Spirit ( no name to pray to here, except Messiah, Comforter).
Jerome didn't exactly say this but, if we can agree that Wisdom is the Glory of God (rather than intelligence, as Jacob Neusner supposed), then we can build on the eternal essence, or ousia, of God as Wisdom. This comes from:
Jerome, Letter 52, to Nepotianus. 3.0 Who, then, is this Shunamite [the virgin, Abishag, put in David's bed; ed. note], this wife and maid, so glowing as to warm the cold, yet so holy as not to arouse passion in him whom she warmed? Let Solomon, wisest of men, tell us of his father's favorite; let the man of peace recount to us the embraces of the man of war. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not and she shall hold to thee: love her and she shall keep thee.
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom,
and with all thy getting get understanding. Embrace her and she shall promote thee. Honor her, and she shall embrace thee, that she may give to thine head a crown of grace, that she may protect thee with a crown of delight [Prov. 4.5-9].
Almost all bodily excellences alter with age, and
while wisdom alone increases all things else decay.
Fasting, sleeping on the ground, moving from place to place, hospitality to travellers, pleading for the poor, perseverance in standing at prayer, the visitation of the sick, manual labor to supply money for almsgiving-all acts, in short, of which the body is the medium, decrease with its decay.
...from the pursuits of the past their old age--their old age, I repeat--reaps a harvest of delight. Hence that wise man of Greece [Theophrastus; Cicero, Tuse. Disp. II.69] perceiving, after the expiration of one hundred and seven years, that he was on the verge of the grave, is reported to have said that he regretted extremely having to leave life just when he was beginning to grow wise. Plato died in his eighty-first year, his pen still in his hand. Isocrates completed ninety and nine years in the midst of literary and scholastic work. I say nothing of other philosophers, such as Pythagoras, Democritus, Xenocrates, Zeno, and Cleanthes who in extreme old age displayed the vigor of youth in the pursuit of wisdom. I pass on to the poets, Homer, Hesiod, Simonides, Stesichorus, who all lived to a great age, yet at the approach of death sang each of them a swan song sweeter than their wont. Sophocles, when charged by his sons with dotage on account of his advanced years and his neglect of his property, read out to the judges his recently composed play of Oedipus, and made so great a display of wisdom-in spite of the inroads of time-that he changed the severity of the law court into the applause of the theatre. Nor should we wonder that Cato, that most eloquent of Romans, after he had been censor and in his old age, neither blushed at the thought of learning Greek nor despaired of succeeding. Homer, for his part, relates that from the tongue of Nestor, even when quite aged and almost decrepit, there flowed speech sweeter than honey [Illiad I].
Even the name Abishag in its mystic meaning points to the greater wisdom of old men. For the translation of it is: My father is over and above, or my father's roaring. The term over and above is obscure, but in this passage is indicative of excellence, and implies that the old have a larger stock of wisdom, and that it even overflows by reason of its abundance...
4.0 To what end, you ask, these far-fetched references? To show that you need not expect from me boyish declamation, flowery sentiments, a meretricious style, and at the close of every paragraph terse and pointed aphorisms to call forth approving shouts from those who hear them. Let Wisdom alone embrace me; let her nestle in my bosom, my Abishag who grows not old. Undefiled truly is she, and ever virgin; for although she daily conceives and unceasingly brings to birth, like Mary she remains inviolate. Hence, I suppose, the apostle says, be fervent in spirit [Rom. 12.11]. And when the Lord in the gospel declares that in the end of the world-when the shepherd shall grow foolish, according to the one prophecy of Zechariah [Zech. 11.15], the love of many shall wax cold [Matt 24.12], he means that wisdom shall decay. Hear, therefore--to quote the blessed Cyprian--words forcible rather than elegant [Ad Donatum 2.]. Hear one who, though he is your brother in orders, is in years your father; who can conduct you from the cradle of faith to perfect manhood; and who, while he builds up stage by stage the rules of holy living, can instruct others in instructing you. I know, of course, that from your reverend uncle, Heliodorus, now a bishop of Christ, you have learned and are daily learning all that is holy; and that in him you have before you a rule of life and a pattern of virtue. Take, then, my suggestions for what they are worth, and add this little book to the one I sent to him. One will teach you to be a perfect monk, and this will show you the whole duty of a clergyman.
5.0 A clergyman, then, as he serves Christ's Church, must first understand what his name means; and then, when he has defined it, must endeavor to be that which he is called...He who possesses the Lord, and who says with the prophet: The Lord is my portion [Ps. 16.5; 73.26] can hold to nothing beside the Lord...
..You cannot be holier than David or wiser than Solomon..
6.0..It is the glory of a bishop to make provision for the wants of the poor; but it is the shame of all priests to amass private fortunes.
9.0..It is disgraceful and absurd to boast of having neither napkin nor handkerchief and yet to carry a well-filled purse.
15.0 It is your duty to visit the sick, to know people's homes, ladies and their children, and to be trusted with the secrets of the great...
16.0..When you have received money to be doled out to the poor. ..to subtract a portion for yourself, is to be more cruel than any robber...Your purse ought not to be full while I remain in need. No one can look after what is mine better than I can. He is the best almoner who keeps nothing for himself.
10.0 Many build the walls of churches nowadays, but undermine the pillars of the Church. Their marbles gleam, their ceilings glitter with gold, their altars are studded with jewels; yet to the choice of Christ's ministers no heed is paid.
..and if we allow with Paul that the Law is spiritual and call to mind David's words: open thou mine eyes and I shall behold wondrous things out of thy law; and if on these grounds we interpret it as our Lord also interprets it (he has explained the Sabbath in this way [Matt.12.1-8]), then, rejecting the superstitions of the Jews, we must also reject the gold; or else, approving the gold, we must approve the Jews as well. For we must either accept them with the gold or condemn them with it.
What a mouthful! How wonderful! Jerome used Abishag to explain the virtue of Wisdom, how it never ages or decays, then, proceeding with his advise to the ministry to the criteria of separation of the ministry from this world to fulfill Paul's doctrine on living in the Spirit of the law, and then concludes that the gold which glitters in the churches shows itself hypocritical to its [Paul's] own doctrine and the Church must either give up the gold or accept the Jews.
Sir, we know it has been a long walk together, but if you can keep up with us-and perhaps bring your presbyter with you (We speak in the original context), we expect to show you the merits in this, how the Catholic Church may keep its precious gold, even though
ibid. 11.0..Fat bellies never breed fine thoughts
whilst bringing redemption to them by embracing into its wings the Jews. We speak of bringing Saint Peter and other Circumcised servants of God (who live by the Law of Moses) into St. Peter's Cathedral. We speak only for the Cathedra of Saint Peter; what the other churches of the Catholics do here is not our immediate concern. This time was appointed long ago and is now due, and surely you will agree, that Jerome is behind us on the proposal we here may yet reveal.
Jerome reminds his peers and us these timeless words, (which go with the precept we have mentioned from Lao Tzu-how the plowman plows over the temples of the dead):
Jerome, Letter # 107 to Laeta . 1.0 ..Every temple in Rome is covered with soot and cobwebs.
3.0..They who once were the gods of the nations remain under their lonely roofs with owls and birds of night.
This, we can say, applies to many Catholic churches. Whilst Jerome may have been exaggerating in his time, of the condition of the Pagan temples following Theodosius's legislation against pagan worship, mentioned earlier, it quite appropriately describes the state of the Catholic Church in these times: the Church is aging and decaying; vacant chapels now are adorned with cobwebs, their ceilings with bats. Why?
We hope to propose to you that the decay in the Church we should not exclude the plague of Protestantism which helped it came from the very snares it set for others. Again, we must say, the spores of confusion from Paul which dealt death to the Law had a lot to do with it, for:
ibid. 4.0 ..We are always ready to imitate what is evil; and faults are quickly copied where virtues appear unattainable.
This, Sir, is where Paul deviated from the gospel. He assumed because Adam and Eve had sinned, that we are all sinners and therefore have nothing to rely upon for redemption except God's Grace. This, I think, is what you had alluded to in your statement noted below, referring to burdens which cannot be removed without the grace of God: sic. which are so far out of scale that nobody can repay them:
Buckley..Isaiah mentions one burden that is heavy; St. Matthew (11.3) reports Christ as turning the trope on its head. His yoke is easy; His burden is light-probably because some gifts are so far out of scale that nobody can repay them.
The burdens of which Paul wrote, and the thesis upon which you rest your head, was engendered without knowledge of God's Will: Paul claims that we (because of Adam's sin) have all sinned; and therefore no man is perfect and falls short of the Glory of God. Sir, because the Glory of God does include His Wisdom, it is the Will of God to pour His Wisdom into us who will receive it. The salve against sin is Wisdom [sic. that you may know]; and the burden of Wisdom is rather light. The gift of Wisdom is not only easily carried but easily recompensed. All you need do, having drunk of these waters of Wisdom, which are everlasting, is to order your conversation and works aright. Have you not heard?:
Jeremiah 18.7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it.
18.8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
We fall short of the glory of God because of Adam's Sin? Sir, behold:
Ezekiel 18.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
18.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
18.23..Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
How, then, can you believe Paul against this great prophet, who corrects Paul, that you should know we each are judged by our own works and not our father's?
Everything is possible with me, with regard to Salvation; and I know that the Spirit which guides me affirms following the pursuit of Wisdom that through wisdom comes the grace of God. We connect Wisdom to Conscience, and good works out of good conscience earn God's Grace. Hence through Abraham's Wisdom to obey God and do Good Works his seed have been promised the unqualified, undecaying, redemption of God; and, to show you how Wisdom works we can demonstrate, should you wish to continue walking with us, that the Wisdom given to Abraham is Truth, and you can count on the saying, The Truth will set you free. Knowing this we can perceive that those who rest their salvation on lies are in chains. When a man dies, for instance, what he has done is disclosed [Wisdom 11.27], something which men of pride fear the most. We can learn from the same scripture that the Mercy of God has always been a gift to all men, contrary to what Paul would have us believe:
Ecclus. (Wisdom) 18.13 But the mercy of the Lord is for all mankind,
Reproving and training and teaching them,
And bringing them back as a shepherd does his flock.
Where Paul went wrong is that he attempted to put honey on a doctrine which would be bitter to Gentiles (because of both the laws and the prophesies which lay a curse on the Gentiles). The Law of Moses was written for the Jews, so to separate them unto God. This is probably Saint Peter's point of view. Whilst the Law of Moses cannot be void, because it represents Wisdom and Wisdom is eternal, it follows that the Gentile should be invited to embrace it; but since the Gentile are treated separately in the Law and the prophets even a separate covenant is made with them through the Light of the Gentile according to Ezekiel there is no reason for men to condemn the one just to introduce God to the other. Knowing Jesus as you do, surely you will agree with this first principle of our argument. Looking back upon the Pauline faults, which produced in these last days the Holocaust, we can reflect upon this truth:
Jerome, Letter # 107 to Laeta 6.0... No one administers poison 'till he has rubbed the rim of the cup with honey; so to better to deceive us, vice puts on the mien and the semblance of virtue.
Let's confess the truth: Paul served us all a mixture which had a bit of poison in it; in teaching virtue he taught contempt for the Law and the Jews and other heretics. Our objective is to remove the poison from the cup; otherwise we shall all be dead; for as we show herein, by one standard or another adopted by the Church fathers we are all condemned. Remember:
ibid. 9.0 ..that you are the parents of a consecrated virgin, and that your example will teach more than your precepts...
Jerome, Letter # 108, to Eustochium. 3.0..for glory follows virtue as its shadow; and deserting those who seek it, it seeks those who despise it [Re: Cic., Tusc. Disp.I; Seneca, Ep79.13; Pliny I.8,14].
ibid. 15.0 ..My carping critics, for ever biting me as hard as they can, need not insinuate that I am drawing on my imagination or decking Paula, like Aesop's crow, with the fine feathers of other birds. Humility is the first of Christian graces...
Then speaking to a situation relating to our allegory in Sandhu's Revenge he says:
ibid. 15.0..I, [says Paula whom Jerome eulogized]..if I beg, shall find many to give to me; but if this beggar does not obtain help from me who by borrowing can give it to him, and dies, of whom will his soul be required?
16.0..From this fault [glory], Paula was altogether free. She gave her money to each according as each had need, not ministering to self-indulgence, but relieving want...She constantly had on her lips such phrases as these: Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy; and as water quencheth a fire, so alms quencheth sins.
17.0..We know that many persons, while they have given alms, have yet given nothing which touches their bodily comfort; and while they have held out a helping hand to those in need, are themselves overcome with sensual indulgences; they whitewash the outside, but within they are full of dead men's bones [Matt. 23.27].
18.0 Envy always follows in the track of virtue; it is ever the mountain top that is smitten by the lightning [Horace, Odes II.10,11].
Those who are not charitable according to the demands placed upon them, relative to what they know, as in the case of the Good Samaritan are like the tares in the field. They raise their heads on high and are easily seen, since they pretend that they are charitable and imitate the wheat, who are following the Spirit of the law. As they each attempt to raise their heads above each other in their envy to achieve the best place for the light, or glory, from above, they become the most vulnerable. Having history with us as well as the troop who confirm us, we show you, Sir, how easy it is to demonstrate the way lightening strikes those seeking comfort in their own high places. Jerome, quoting Paul, reminds us that humility is best seen among those who:
ibid. 18.0..overcome evil with good..Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings; for the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool [Isa. 51.7,8; Matt 6.20]. In your patience ye shall win your souls.
..For all that is in the world is the desire of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of this life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof [Matt. 16.26; Job 1.21; I John 2.15-17].
ibid 20...by the outward man the faults of the inward are made manifest.
Jerome, Letter # 146 to Evangelus. ..For a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God.
Here we end that portion devoted to Saint Jerome, the scholar who thought to bring the Church back into the embrace of the poor, which, by our other comments, means into the embrace of God.
Sir, mightn't you let your bishop and presbyters know that there is one with a large troop, including not only Jesus but a host of Saints, who do not find the modern Church blameless? We mention this not to elicit consternation but to draw out virtue, that by confessing what is revealed we will bring forth more Wisdom; and with Wisdom is the Spirit of God. To walk with that Wisdom, let us stroll through the first principles from which Christians depart.
We now step back in time to the period of Cyprian. Origen lived from about 185 A.D. to 253 A.D., and, at the age of seventeen he narrowly escaped the persecution of Severus, under which his Christian father Leonides was martyred. Later, because of his scholastic excellence, he was called to Alexandria to serve under Demetrius, the Bishop of Alexandria. After about 15 years of service, in which Origen produced volumes of works, including On First Principles, where he attempted to formulate a cohesive Church Doctrine, he fell out of grace with his bishop and for some reason was excommunicated. Origen moved to Caesarea where he taught under the church led by Theoctistus, and from this time, about 231 A.D., he spent the rest of his life in Caesarea as an honored teacher and scholar. Perhaps more than any other scholar of the Bible, Origen had the ability to pause on every idea he came upon and examine it, as one picking up a stone from a creek and turning it over and over, wondering how it got so smooth.
We can't leave this observation alone as it is, because the Son's of Zadok in the Dead Sea Scrolls used the metaphor of smooth stones to describe those who walked away from the soul of the LORD God and turned to wickedness, as Adam and Eve were disposed, knowing shame, at the moment they heard God's voice in the Garden of Eden:
Genesis 3.7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
3.8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Origen concluded that the LORD God is a substance, a mind who spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden and from whom they hid. Picking up from there he says:
Origen, On First Principles, Book II.8.3..Mind, when it fell was made soul, and soul in its turn when furnished with virtues will become mind.
The entire thesis of the Church Body is to become of one mind in the Spirit of Christ. From the Mind of God issues His Spirit, it would follow, since Adam and Eve were fashioned after the image of God and we know that the only form in which God was known in the Garden was as a presence which had a voice and eyes, who formed a likeness described by Origen as a Mind which fell and became soul. And the Soul is something which can be furnished with virtues: in fact, the soul is a vessel of Virtue.
ibid. 8.4..The reader must also take this point into consideration, that of the passages in the gospels which concern the soul of the Saviour, it is noticeable that some refer to it under the name of soul and others under the name of Spirit. When scripture wishes to indicate any suffering or trouble that affected him, it does so under the name soul, as when it says: Now is my soul troubled [ John 12.27] and My soul is sorrowful even unto death [Matt.26.38], and No one taketh my soul from me, but I lay it down of myself [John 10.18]. On the other hand he commends into his Father's hands not his soul but his spirit [Luke 23.46]; and when he says the flesh is weak he does not say the soul is willing but the spirit [Matt. 26.41] from which it appears as if the soul were a kind of medium between the weak flesh and the willing spirit.
8.5 But perhaps someone may meet us with those objections of which we ourselves have given warning in our own arguments, and may say, How then is mention made even of God's Soul? [re: Isaiah 42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth..; ed. note]. To him we shall reply as follows. Just as in all bodily expressions that are applied to God, such as his fingers or hands or arms or eyes or mouth or feet, we do not mean these parts of the human body, but we indicate by such bodily terms certain of God's powers, so also we must suppose that there is some other object which is indicated by this term, the soul of God. And if it is lawful for us to dare to say anything further on such a subject, the Soul of God may perhaps be understood to mean his only-begotten Son. For as the soul, implanted throughout the whole body, is the source of all movement and directs every operation of the body, so also the only-begotten Son of God, who is his word and wisdom, is in close touch and association with every power of God, being implanted in him. And perhaps it is as an indication of this mystery that God is spoken of or described in the scriptures as a body.
..Finally, I know some, who, in expounding the passage which is spoken by the Saviour in the gospel, My soul is sorrowful even unto death [Matt.26.38], have interpreted it of the apostles, whom he might have terms his soul because they were better than the rest of his body. For they say that the multitude of believers is called his body [I Cor.12.27; Eph.4.12 et al.], and that the apostles, because they are better than the remaining multitude, ought to be regarded as his soul.
Here Origen is touching an area which we have been shouting your way, of satisfying God's Afflicted Soul, which comes from the following proof text:
Isaiah 58.4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
This seems to echo the strife we found in most of the epistles of the presbyters of the Church, beginning with Peter and James' letters, to Paul's letters [who was producing strife but still had to fight to maintain unity within his gentile church], to Clement's letters, Ignatius's letters, and many more after them, including those wonderful men whom we have quoted herein. The church was always suffering from fragmentation over various issues of the Bible and most certainly over the fact that one coalition would try to raise itself above another. So ye strife and debate. What can be done about it? We continue:
Isaiah 58.5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head, as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Jesus our Afflicted Soul; read Isaiah 61, concluding with the remark, and to proclaim the acceptable day of the LORD.
Isaiah 58.6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
58.7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
58.8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
58.9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
58.10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
58.11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
58.12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in.
58.13 If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
58.14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
We passed this cup to you, Sir, the terms of asserting the Truth, when the Truth will save lives, particularly of the poor and the afflicted among us, and satisfying the afflicted soul in general, who, in our case, cannot survive on bread alone.
We compared the judgment of the poor, of good, to that of a clock. This relates to Origen's view:
Origen, First Principles Book II.9.2..Now to withdraw from the good is nothing else than to be immersed in evil; for it is certain that to be evil means to be lacking in good. Hence it is that in whatever degree one declines from the good, one descends into an equal degree of wickedness. And so each mind, neglecting the good either more or less in proportion to its own movements, was drawn to the opposite of good, which undoubtedly is evil. From this source, it appears, the Creator of all things obtained certain seeds and cause of variety and diversity, in order that, according to the diversity of minds, that is, of rational beings (which diversity they must be supposed to have produced from the causes we have stated above) he might create a world that was various and diverse. ..[following this, Con. Celsum IV.70 says that ..For admitted that God, while preserving each individual's free-will, makes use of the evil of wicked men in the administration of the world, so disposing them as to conduce to the benefit of the whole, nevertheless such men are deserving of blame.. ed. note].
There are many proof texts which illustrate how God allows men's jealous and evil natures to serve his interests. We speak of the case of Nebuchednezzar, here again, who was then punished, even though, as Jeremiah shows, God delivered the Children of Israel into the hands of Nebuchednezzar, to be taken into captivity to Babylon for seventy years. God does say that he is capable of both good and evil, the proof texts of which we showed earlier.
Offsetting the evil nature in man is the Spirit of Christ, which Origen has just identified as the Soul of God, which is later described as the Word of God. Following this Origen says:
ibid. II.9.4...Thou has made all things in Wisdom [Ps. 104.24]
Seeing then that Christ, as he is the Word and Wisdom, is also righteousness, it will follow undoubtedly that those things which were made in the Word and in Wisdom may be said also to have been made in that righteousness which Christ is; whence it will be apparent that in the things which were made there was nothing unrighteous, nothing accidental, but all will be shown to be such as the principle of equity and righteousness demands.
We conclude from the above that filling the vessels of man [sic. their souls] with the Spirit of Christ is the same as filling them with the Spirit of God to which end all men shall one day be One in Christ and thereby One with God except those, of course, who do not drink of the Spirit of Christ, who then are judged and separated from God to receive the death of their soul (This is called the Second Death, according to Revelation 20.14). After this manner all men will be judged by the Spirit of Christ and here we can find in Revelation that the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Prophesy. You will be judged according to what the prophets told you. This follows the precept earlier expressed, that you may know, which establishes the baseline of conscience upon which you are judged, after the manner of Genesis 3.8 mentioned earlier. You will see your nakedness and be ashamed. Whosoever repents is saved. Thus:
Origen, ibid. II.9.8 As, then, without any doubt it will happen in the day of judgment that the good will be separated from the evil and the righteous from the unrighteous and every individual soul will by the judgment of God be allotted to that place of which his merits have rendered him worthy, a point which, if God will, we shall prove in the pages that follow, so also in the past some such process, I think, has taken place.
In the Judgment, as said before, you judge yourself. This is confirmed by:
Origen, ibid. II.10.4 If then this is the character of the body which rises from the dead, let us now see what is the meaning of the threatened eternal fire [Matt.25.41,46]. Now we find in the prophet Isaiah that the fire by which each man is punished is described as belonging to himself. For it says, Walk in the light of your fire and in the flame which you have kindled for yourselves [Isa. 50.11]. These words seem to indicate that every sinner kindles for himself the flame of his own fire, and is not plunged into a fire which has been previously kindled by some one else or which existed before him.
10.6...should we realize that God our physician, in his desire to wash away the ills of our souls, which they have brought on themselves through a variety of sins and crimes, makes use of penal remedies of a similar sort, even to the infliction of a punishment of fire on those who have lost their soul's health.
Allusions to this are found also in the Holy Scriptures. For instance, in Deuteronomy the divine word threatens that sinners are to be punished with fevers and cold and pallor, and tortured with feebleness of eyes and insanity and paralysis and blindness and weakness of the reins [Deut. 28.22-29]. And so if anyone will gather at his leisure from the whole of scripture all the references to sufferings which in threats against sinners are called by the names of bodily sicknesses, he will find that through them allusion is being made to either the ills or the punishments of souls. And to help us understand that as physicians supply aids to sufferers with the object of restoring them to health through careful treatment, so with the same motive God acts towards those who have relapsed and fallen into sin, there is proof in that passage in which through the prophet Jeremiah, God's cup of fury is commanded to be set before all nations that they may drink it and become mad and spew it out [Jeremiah. 25.15, 25.16, 25.27]. In this passage there is a threat which says, if anyone refuse to drink he shall not be cleansed, from which certainly we understand that the fury of God's vengeance ministers to the purification of souls.
Isaiah teaches that even the punishments which are said to be inflicted by fire are meant to be applied as a help, when he speaks thus about Israel: The Lord will wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Sion, and will purge away the blood from the midst of them by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning [Isa.4.4] And of the Chaldaeans he speaks thus: Thou hast coals of fire, sit upon them; they shall be to thee for a help [Is.57.14,15]; and in other places he says: The Lord shall sanctify them in burning fire [Is. 66.16,17], and in the prophet Malachi it speaks as follows: The Lord shall sift and refine his people as gold and silver; he shall refine and purify and pour forth purified the sons of Judah [Mal.3.3]...whether through baptism or the grace of the Spirit, the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge [I Cor. 12.8] or of any other endowment has been given to a man as a gift and not rightly used, that is to say, either hidden in the earth, or bound up in a napkin, [Matt. 25.25; Luke 19.20], the gift of the Spirit will surely be withdrawn from his soul, and the portion which remains, namely the essence of the soul, will be placed with the unbelievers, cut asunder and separated from that Spirit with whom, by joining itself to the LORD, it ought to have been One Spirit [I Cor. 6.17].
ibid. 9.3 The outer darkness, too, is in my opinion not to be understood as a place with a murky atmosphere and no light at all, but rather as a description of those who through their immersion in the darkness of deep ignorance have become separated from every gleam of reason and intelligence.
Here, here! This is what we have been saying, that to those who will not hear the Word of the LORD but fabricate their own opinions and beliefs, God says, Come, let us reason together the proof texts we have already listed ; and sometimes, to get your attention, He must apply the rod.
The proof of the rod is the confirmation of the Judgment of Israel, through the Spirit of Burning, described by Origen above, which has occurred. Few today will mistake the Holocaust [meaning, burnt offering in Hebrew], for anything other than the fulfillment of this process of refining the Children of Israel as one refines silver and gold.
Following this judgment, Origen lapsed into the Pauline Mind-set of anti-Semitism; here we extract a little:
Origen, ibid.II.11.2..All this they try to prove on prophetic authority from those passages of scripture which describe the promises made to Jerusalem; where it is also said that they who serve God shall eat and drink, but sinners shall hunger and thirst, and that the righteous shall enjoy the gladness, but confusion shall possess the wicked [Isa. 65.13,14]...Then, too, after the fashion of what happens in this life, and of this world's positions of dignity or rank or supreme power, they consider that they will be kings and princes, just like the corresponding earthly rulers, relying on the saying in the gospel, Thou shalt have authority over five cities [Jerem. 17.25; Luke 19.19]. And to speak briefly, they desire that all things which they look for in the promises should correspond in every detail with the course of this life, that is, that what exists now should exist again. Such are the thoughts of men who believe indeed in Christ, but because they understand the divine scriptures in a Judaistic sense, extract from them nothing that is worthy of the divine promises.
Origen complained about the Judaizers of whom Paul and Ignatius spoke. Following his pogrom against Jews, Origen returns to our thesis, of feeding the soul with wisdom:
Origen, Ibid. II.11.3 Those, however, who accept a view of the scriptures which accords with the meaning of the apostles, do indeed hope that the saints will eat; but they will eat the bread of life [John 6.35], which is to nourish the soul and enlighten the mind with the food of truth and wisdom and to cause it to drink from the cup of divine wisdom, as the divine scripture says: Wisdom has prepared her table, she has slain her victims, she has mingled her wine in the bowl and cries with a loud voice, Turn in to me and eat the bread which I have prepared for you, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you [Prov. 9.2-5]. The mind, when nourished by this food of wisdom to a whole and perfect state, as man was made in the beginning, will be restored to the image and likeness of God..There too, he will come to a truer and clearer knowledge of the saying already uttered here, that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God [Matt. 4.4].
What Origen whom I love except for his continuation of the antiSemitic theme to justify Paul's theory of Types and Shadows, etc., as we can perceive from the above has discounted is the contradiction between Matt. 4.4 and the conclusion that the Judaizers are wrong in believing that God will fulfill His Promises to the Jews and restore things [sic. The Tabernacle and its Law and Temple, and the Kingdom of David] as at the beginning. The phrase, By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God meaning the prophets cannot exclude the literal achievement of the Word they proclaimed. Otherwise we could assume that the Messiah, The Word, has no more bearing upon us than the Promise to restore with Him [sic. the Latter Day Redeemer, the Branch] the Temple. Why should Immanuel and his mother, the Virgin, the Sign of God mentioned in Isaiah 7.14, be God's Proof of His love for man while, according to Paul and you, The Branch,who builds the Temple of the LORD in Zechariah 6.13, or even His Tabernacle of Amos 9.11, is not God's Proof? Must we deny this also?:
Isaiah 24.17 Fear and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
24.18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
24.19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
24.20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
24.21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
Sir, our feet are on Heaven's Ladder. Paul never looked this high, this we know, since he condemned the place where we now tread. Paul spoke of lifting veils to see Truth, but knew not the steps where light dwells.
Isaiah 25.6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
25.7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
25.8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
26.19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
26.20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
26.21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
27.1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
Sir, being a reasonable man tell us, how is it that Paul can get away with corrupting the verses of the veil over the nations and swallowing death in victory to denounce the Jews, when the place in which it was laid was the opposite?: to the glory of the Jews and the lifting of that veil put over the nations, of which we now remove. Have you not heard?:
Isaiah 8.20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Holy, Holy, Holy all are Holy except those described in Revelation 11.18. Please look again at chapter four of Isaiah. The other thing which Origen has overlooked here, together with the other disciples of Paul, is the fact that the Latter Day Promise and Judgment has not to do with the issue of those heretics against us Christians, such as Christians against Jew and Moslems, but rather the Glorification of God and the fact that both the Gentile and the Jews share in that Glory! Hogging the glory for oneself perverting scripture even is sheer nonsense, as displayed by the following proof text, previously quoted.
Isaiah 61.6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
61.7 For shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting glory shall be unto them.
61.8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
61.9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
61.11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Referring back to Wisdom and God's Truth Origen supports us by saying:
Origen, ibid II.11.4...Now we have not received this longing from God on the condition that it should not or could not ever be satisfied; for in that case the love of truth [2 Thess.2.10] would appear to have been implanted in our mind by God the Creator to no purpose, if its gratification is never to be accomplished.
Here, here, we say! Origen then goes on to speak on the confirmation of prophetic vision, where he picks up on Paul's thesis in I Corinthians 12.12, seen through a glass darkly and yet truly seen in part, they:
Origen, ibid. II.6.0...will be revealed more clearly and brightly to the saints in their proper times and places.
Origen sees the Revelation of God as a continuing process; and-if we may apply an over-used aphorism by the news media of this day, who describe finding the truth as peeling away the layers of an onion-like peeling away layers of darkening film from before our eyes. Here we recall the proof text where the prophet says, let me be salve unto thine eyes, etc., for:
Isaiah 29.10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
29.11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed...
The cure, of course, has nothing to do with the veil Paul said was put over the Jew's eyes [by God?] (and thus, says Paul, they are damned), but follows this manner:
Origen , ibid, Book III.1.6. But in order to confirm by the authority of the Scriptures the results of our reasoning, namely, that to live rightly or otherwise is our task and not a thing that depends on external causes, nor, as some think, on the irresistible pressure of fate, Micah the Prophet will bear witness when he says in these words, It hath been told thee, O man, what is good , and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justice and to love mercy and to be ready to walk with the Lord thy God? [Micah 6.8].
Those who are not read to walk with the Lord are viewed as thorns and thistles, as seen in Christ's parable of the Vineyard:
Origen, ibid.III.1.6....whereas they who receive his kindness and forbearance as an opportunity of repentance and amendment obtain mercy. To show our meaning more clearly, we take the illustration used by the apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The land which hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is tilled, shall receive blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and thistles is rejected and nigh unto a curse, whose end is to be burned [Heb.6.7,8]. From these words of Paul which we have quoted it is clearly shown that through one and the same operation of God, by which he bestows rain upon the earth, one piece of land being carefully tilled brings forth good fruits, while another, which is neglected and untilled, produces thorns and thistles.
What Origen here cited is a good advertisement for the cause of scattering the Children of Israel off the land: because they did not allow the land to rest; they did not answer when he called [Isaiah 65.12], becase they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst [Isaiah 5.13]; because many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot [Jeremiah 12.10]; because ye walk everyone after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me [Jerem. 16.12]; so:
Ezekiel 20.33 As I live, saith the LORD God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
20.35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
20.36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the LORD God.
20.37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant.
20.43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loath yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
As noted before, Isaiah explains the parable of the Vineyard in Isaiah 5 and again in 7.14-24, how the Children of Israel shall pass again under the rod as they did in Egypt (and again in Babylon). We call into remembrance that with the Curse was a Blessing: that after the Children of Israel had passed under the rod they would be gathered from all the nations whither they had been scattered and redeemed to their land [Isaiah 1.26-27 and 2], as it seen today and featured in our last letter. The parable here, which Jesus drew upon, also applies to the Gentile those who forget God and, as discussed in John 6.66, who no longer walk with Him. Since the parable also applies to placement of the same curse of Egypt and Israel upon the Gentile, when the Children of Israel are restored to the land, and since this nation is the Head of the Gentile, it is apparent that any Curses held in reserve for this moment should now be released, on the proviso that:
Psalm 14.2 The LORD looked down from heaven, upon the Children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no not one.
Following this is:
Psalm 2.1 Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?
2.2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
2.3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
2.4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
Remember Leviathan, the King of the Children of Pride ? Is it not true that he is consumed by Wisdom [Truth]? Thus:
Isaiah 2.11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
2.12 For the day of the LORD of Hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
2.15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
2.17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
2.18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish
2.20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
Sir, come up hither. We said this before:
Isaiah 33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
33.5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
33.6 And Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure...
33.13 Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might...
41.20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it...
41.26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.
4.28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
41.29 Behold, they are all vanity...
43.8..Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
43.9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
43.10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
It is impossible to cherry-pick the Word of God and presume that one is spotless before Him who can see from heaven. Those who cast away God's bands and cords should be interpreted to include who toss away the bands and cords of the Tabernacle, a Tent held together with bands and cords which contained the Ark of the Covenant, as well as The Testimony of God. For we have clearly shown that the Tabernacle is a sign of the Glory [Wisdom!] of God in the Last Days, when the Children of Israel are restored to the Holy Land. Just as the Curse against Israel had a provision which said they would one day loathe themselves for their past wickedness (and thus repent), so too can we apply the same message to this nation who, by comparison to the Jews during Jesus' time, make those men appear as angels. Reverend Billy Graham is said to have complained that our nation is so evil God should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps this is why Mr. Graham spent much of his ministry focusing in other parts of the world, as he may have given up on the redemption of this nation, the subject of which is taken up in Against Leviathan. Shortly we should hear this nation howling, causing us to reflect on the men of sin, for whom Origen has a reminder:
Origen, ibid III.1.11..Accordingly Paul the apostle, when clearly dealing with this question, says to the man who remained in sin: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God [Rom. 2.4,5]. Let us then take that which the apostle says to the man who lives in sin and apply it to Pharaoh..
III.1.11 And Jeremiah speaks in the same way: Thou didst deceive us, O Lord, and we were deceived; thou hast held us and hast prevailed [Jerem.20.7]
Now the sentence, Why, Lord, didst thou harden our heart, that we should not fear thy name, spoken by those who were praying for mercy, must be taken in a special sense, as if it is said, Why hast thou spared us so long and not visited us when we sinned, but hast abandoned us, so that our wickedness has grown greater and our freedom to sin has extended because thy punishment ceased?..God therefore abandons and neglects those whom he judges to be unworthy of chastisement. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and punisheth; and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth [Heb.12.6; Deut. 8.5].
Nevertheless, to turn men back to God we must function as the Messiah and:
Origen, ibid III.1.12..as to the rational and heavenly powers, who have been appointed as it were helpers and servants of God in the work of bringing to pass the salvation of men [Re: Book I.8.1].
III.1.14..the soul sees for itself that its faults must first be removed and that it must then undergo instruction in Wisdom.
III.1.15..If then God promises to do this, and if, before he takes away our stony heart we are not able of our own selves to lay it aside, it follows that it is not in our power to cast off wickedness, but God's. And again, if it is not by our own act that there come into us the heart of flesh, if it is the work of God alone, then to live a virtuous life will not be our work but in all respects the work of God's grace.
III.1.17 We said before when discussing the case of Pharaoh that sometimes it does not turn out to advantage for one to be healed quickly, especially if the disease be thereby shut up in the internal organs and so rage more fiercely. Therefore God, who is the perceiver of secret things and who knows all things before they come to be, in his great goodness delays the healing of such persons and defers the remedy to a more distant time and, if I may say so, heals them by not healing them, lest a premature recovery of health should render them incurable.
..Who doubts that it is better for them to be put off and abandoned for a time, in order that if one day they should happen to have had their fill of wickedness and be able to shudder at the filthy ways in which they now delight, then at last the Word of God may be effectively revealed to them, with the result that what is holy is not given to the dogs nor pearls cast before swine who will trample them under their feet and then turn round and rend and attack those who have preached to them the Word of God? [Matt. 7.6]
Seeing, however, that in this day and age there are few who have appreciation for one who communicates with them in Scripture-and realizing at once that there is no virtue left here which would provoke them to do good I saw it appropriate to go ahead and throw what pearls I could carry on me to the pigs ( We speak in reference to Revelation 11.8, as you no doubt by now should suppose), knowing that someone should one day find them. The foundation for this exercise I found in the Oral Torah who offered the case that one thing about a Pearl is that no matter what filth it may be found in, it may be taken to the fountain and washed, and therefore always holds its beauty and value . As I mentioned before, was I surprised after all these years when someone strolling through the pig-pen I speak of you, kind Sir answered our Pearl!
Origen began his treatise by expressing his intent to find the pearl, which no doubt alludes to the Parable of the Pearl in the Odes of Solomon, and other references to Wisdom as being pearls, as in Ecclesiasticus: the Wisdom of Sirach. With the Wisdom of God being equated to the Messiah, and the idea that the Body of Christ is as a building, and even a City of God. This leads to Revelation 21.21 where we behold the City of God built with Pearly Gates; and from this we can see how casting Pearls of Wisdom builds the Gates of Righteousness which can be seen as the Pearly Gates, the main entrance of which is where Saint Peter sits. Origen builds a foundation (upon the one Paul laid: I Cor. 3.9,10) which is later built upon in the Shepherd of Hermes. In the Shepherd of Hermes the body of Christ is seen as a White Building (the stones of which relate to the allegory of Virgins in white, dressed for their wedding); and in the Shepherd of Hermes there are two kinds of stones used. Keep in mind that the subject of that story was to show the faithful what the relationships of the Holy Spirit, God the Father, and the Son are to each other, that they all represent the act of building a House of Virtue out of mankind, which is what Origen was leading to in his First Principles. The carved stones, which fit easily in place, are those whose works are found to be worthy of the building. But those stones which were smooth all over were rejected and put into a pile until the building was near completion. Then the Lord's angels would sort through the smooth stones to see if there were any in the pile which could be squared and fit into the building. In this action, referring to that parable in the Shepherd of Hermes , and in consideration of the options discussed relative to Against Leviathan, one could be of a mind to conclude that there is not much sense even sorting through the pile of smooth stones, the bulk of which are the people of this nation. Our position, of course, is to continue sorting. Origen would agree:
Origen, ibid. III.1.19 Having then routed our opponents..let us hasten now to explain the passage in question, in which it says, It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy [Rom 9.16]. In the Book of Psalms, in the Songs of Ascents, which are attributed to Solomon, it is written thus: Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain [Ps. 127.1]. By these words he is certainly not suggesting that we ought to cease from building or from keeping awake in order to guard that city which is within us, but he is showing us that what is built without God and what is guarded without God is built in vain and protected to no purpose. For in everything that is built well and preserved well the Lord is regarded as the author both of the building and of its safe preservation.
What a wonderful mind Origen has. Again he confirms our position: that God does not abandon His Creation. As Origen noted earlier and his remark was beautiful God is long suffering and allows those who are like Pharaoh, of hardened heart, to be weighed down by their sins. Eventually they will get tired of being wicked, and this follows God's thesis of being long suffering, to which extent the advise of the Lord relative to redemption is: Blessed are those who wait upon the LORD, etc. This is an issue which I have trouble with, myself; as being a witness of the holocaust, I shouted up to heaven a thunderous cry (as there were also multitudes shouting with me), How could you have allowed this ?
The message in the Holocaust, which Origen and others seemed to believe in an allegorical sense, is that the Spirit of Burning keeps God's Word: in the light that it will bring forth the Spirit of Repentance.
Origen discounted the replicative nature of prophesy, doing in the future as it was in the days of the Solemn Sacrifice, etc., but the fact is this is the structure of prophesy and the proof of God, that you may know by the examples you have already witnessed.
We all wonder how the Germans let's be candid, how the Western World could have turned their faces from the persecutions of the Jews this century. This carries a lesson in it, for the prophesy of burning was joined to a place in the north called the place of the dragon, where the Jews would be served judgment. Looking at the matter altogether shows us the true nature of that beast: that he can strike again and easy it will be. And knowing this, how much this nation resembles that dragon and was, after a manner of speaking even one of its many heads, we can easily see the curse against the Gentile falling on that thing. As mentioned, at the head of the Heathen and the present heir of Rome, is this nation.
As I grieved over My People, so too do I grieve over this nation: for the Spirit of Judgment and the Spirit of Burning. And to coin Origen's phrase and applying it to our particular City, which we earlier compared to the Titanic, we warn without equivocation. But let us keep on with our direction, for Origen can lead us with regard to saving our City and Ship of State, how our works will save us:
Origen, ibid. III.1. 19...Further, not even the sailors themselves nor the pilot would venture to say, I caused the ship to be saved, but they refer it all to the mercy of God; not that they suppose that they contributed nothing in the way of art or labor to the ship's safety, but that they know that while the labor was provided by them, the ship's safety was due to God.
So also in the journey of our life it is we who must expend labor and zeal and supply diligent toil, but the salvation which is the fruit of our labor we must look to receive from God. Otherwise, if God demands none of our work, the commandments will certainly appear to be superfluous; and it is in vain when Paul himself blames some who have fallen away from the truth and praises others for standing fast in the faith, and to no purpose when he also delivers certain precepts and directions to the churches; in vain, too, that we ourselves either will or run towards the good. But it is certain that these things do not happen in vain, and it is certain that the apostles do not deliver precepts in vain, nor does the Lord give laws to no purpose. It remains then for us to declare that the vanity lies rather with the heretics, when they give a false meaning to these good words.
ibid. 7.0..It is not consistent with the seriousness of the apostle to blame the man who is worthy of blame, that is, the man who has sinned, and to praise the man who is worthy of praise for his good work, and on the other hand to say, as if it were in no one's power to do anything good or evil, that it is the Creator's doing that each man acts either well or ill, since he makes one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor.
And how could he also add the saying that we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one of us may receive in his body according to what he has done, whether it be for good or bad [II Cor.5.10]? For what return of good is due to him who could do not evil, because he was fashioned for good by the Creator? Or what penalty could properly be demanded of him who by the very act of his Maker was unable to do good?
Finally, is there not a contradiction between this assertion and what is said elsewhere: In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor...
Each vessel has therefore from its own self provided the creator with the causes and occasions in virtue of which it was formed by him either unto honor or unto dishonor.
III.1.22. But if this statement appears to be just, as it certainly is just and in harmony with all piety, namely, that each vessel is fashioned by God for honor or for dishonor as a result of pre-existing causes, it does not seem absurd for us, when discussing the older causes in the same order and by the same method to apply the same principle to souls, and to believe that this was the reason why Jacob was loved even before he was born into this world, and Esau was hated while still enclosed in his mother's womb [Gen.25.25-26; see also Mal. 1.2, 3 and the merit given to John the Baptist in the womb ed. note].
III.1.23...Finally, thou who were formed by God to be Israelites in this age, and have lived a life unworthy of their noble birth and fallen away from their high descent, will in the age to come, for their unbelief, be changed as it were from vessels of honor into vessels of dishonor; while on the other hand many who in this life have been reckoned among the Egyptian or Idumaean vessels but have embraced the faith and conduct of the Israelites shall enter into the church of the Lord and exist as vessels of honor at the revelation of the sons of God [Deut. 23.7,8].
The truth of this matter of redemption based upon pre-existing conditions is found in Genesis 27:
Genesis 27.39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him [Esau], Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
27.40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
Then the scripture says Esau (who is also called Edom) hated Jacob because of the blessing which-let's not mince words-Jacob stole from him. But seeing as the prophesy of Esau would put him to trial first before all other children of Isaac, it follows that there must be some point in which they would be redeemed, having been purified, as it were, in their trial. The answer comes, When you hold the dominion, then you shall break the yoke of Jacob from off of your neck. The dominion--we speak of the dominion of God's Sanctuary which is Zion--has been occupied by Edomites and other Palestinians and, supposing that Edom should be redeemed at the same time as Jacob is redeemed, we treated those who hold the Temple Mount as Holy to God and entreated them to lead in the building of that House of Prayer for all men, which is the Temple. Let's be realistic: the prophets placed the Glory of God in the last days midst the Nations; and then declared that because of it all nations would come to worship in the Temple-that other House of Prayer. In Philistia Triumph Thou because of me we build upon this theme, of reconciling the Moslems and the Jews through the rebuilding of the House of Prayer for all people [Temple]. To do this, however, we need the cooperation of that other house of prayer in Rome which is called Saint Peter's Cathedral.
Now you may well feel at this point that you are being drug this way and that, in one direction and then another, when a conflict of thoughts arises in our heart and certain images are suggested to us which incline us now this way and now that and by which we stand at one time reproved and at another time self-approved [Origen, ibid III.4..4; see also Rom. 2.15]. If you feel this way, know that this is called Struggling with the Flesh .
The Flesh wars against the Spirit [ibid III.4.4 ] says Origen as he continues to build upon Paul's structure [Gal. 5.17], recognizing that we need some doctrine-which is what he endeavors to supply-which can keep us from being tempted so to retain our virtuous course, drawing upon the saying, The wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God [Rom.8.7].
The Perfection of the Flesh is with the Wisdom [Glory] of God.You must humble yourself to receive God's Wisdom. When you do this you will witness shame, as Adam and Eve before you in the Garden.
Staying with the lesson in the Garden, recognizing the implications of Revelation 11.18, which defines the wicked in terms of those who desolate the earth, we realize that the concept of original sin upon which Paul justified his argument of faith versus works is now a mute point. That we are all sinners [from the womb] and fall short of the Glory of God because of Adam's fall begs the issue of God's Wisdom.
Origen also whittles away at this thesis:
Origen, ibid.III.4.5..If then it is written that the wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God and if we are to say that this is a result of the creation, then God himself will appear to have made a certain nature that is at enmity with himself, a nature that cannot be subject to him or to his law, in which case indeed we should suppose it to be an animal of which these statements are made. But if the passage is to be understood in this way, what pray will be our difference from those men who say that souls are created diverse in their natures, so as to be destined by nature either for salvation or for destruction? This is certainly satisfactory to none but the heretics, who because they cannot defend the justice of God by pious reasoning compose impious inventions like this.
The concept, friendship with the world is enmity with God, comes from the prophets through Jesus to Saint James:
James 4.1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
4.2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
4.3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4.4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
4.5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy [re: Gen. 6. 5-8, 8.21; Num. 11.29]
4.6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble [Job.22.29; Luke 1.52 et al.].
Where it implies that the flesh is at enmity with God, it refers to God's Promises to Noah: that the LORD GOD will no longer curse the ground for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I smite any more everything living, as I have done [Gen. 8.21]. Because man's heart is evil, God must either reform man into His likeness! or destroy him. The likeness taught to man that he should imitiate includes: truthfulness, charity, mercy, and humility. A man humbled from the heights of pride to a lowly state is more often than not quick to adopt these principles. To this end the prophets lived, among whom we have Elijah, who taught us the precept that God provides for them who wait upon him. If you fast and debate on your salvation, you miss the point. You must wait upon Him, as in the Recreation of Heaven, God in His Wisdom supplies what you need. Often He sends your needs in the form of Messengers (Angels), as the one who wrestled with Jacob or the one of whom Moses wrote; and also, for those who scorn His Wisdom, the Two Angels whom He sent to Sodom: who witnessed that what God had heard as to the goings on in that place were true [Gen. 18.20-33]. It is no surprise that in Revelation 11.1-7 we see again the same Two Witnesses. We say they are the same because they carry the same Spirit of God, of judgment. In both judgments the people refuse to hear the Angels, and, despising what they say, attempt to kill them. In the case of Sodom, Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was there to protect them; in the vision of Revelation, there is no man to defend them. And thus we have argued our case of these times following that scenario, whereas we complained that there is no man....
Man likes to read scripture but few are willing to be kneaded by it. Jerome quotes Origen here, pointing out that the promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth would incorporate the original Promise*, following the thesis of Ecclesiastes:
Jerome, Ep. ad Avitum 9 [Eccl. 1.9,10] What is it that hath been? Even that which shall be. And what is it that hath been made? The very thing that shall be. And there is nothing new under the sun, nothing which can speak and say, Behold this is new. For it hath been already, in the ages of old which were before us. This testimony proves the existence not only of Past but also of Future Worlds, not all existing side by side at the same time, but one after another.
The preacher's message in Ecclesiastes begins with these words and he then says:
Ecclesiastes 2.11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
2.12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the mad do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
2.13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
2.18 Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
2.19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?
2.21 For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
3.16 And moreover, I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
4.1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
4.2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
4.9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
4.10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
This brings us back to the complaint we brought up in Against Leviathan, that in this day and age it is every man for himself; woe unto this nation, for when anyone falls there is no man to help another back up. Even in the case of a sinking ship of state, mind you, there is not one to be found who will warn the passengers! And this is in spite of the fact that the Messiah had come and done what Origen says:
Origen, First Principles, Book III.5.6 But just as we said that all souls that have dwelt in this world have stood in need of many ministers and rulers and helpers, so in the last times, when the end of the world was near at hand and the whole human race was hastening towards its final destruction, and when weakness had overtaken not only those that were ruled but those also to whom the care of ruling had been committed, then there arose the need not of such help as this nor of defenders like these, but the aid of the author and Creator himself was demanded in order to restore to the first the capacity to obey and to the second the capacity to rule, which in both cases had been corrupted and profaned. And so the only begotten Son of God, who was the word and wisdom of the Father, when he lived with the Father in that glory which he had before the word was, emptied himself, and taking the form of a servant became obedient even unto death in order to teach them obedience who could in no other way obtain salvation except through obedience; and also restored the corrupted laws of ruling and of reigning in that he subdues all enemies under his feet; and by the fact that he must reign till he puts his enemies under his feet he teaches the rulers themselves the arts of control [see I Cor. 15.27; Phil. 2.7,8].
III.5.8 But his subjection will be accomplished through certain means and courses of discipline and periods of time; that is, the whole world will not become subject to God by the pressure of some necessity that compels it into subjection, nor by the use of force, but by word, by reason, by teaching, by the exhortation to better things, by the best methods of education, and also by such merited and appropriate threatenings as are justly held over the heads of those who contemptuously neglect to care for their own salvation and advantage and their spiritual health. For even we men, in training slaves or children, restrain them by means of threats and fear so long as their age renders them incapable of listening to reason; but when they have acquired an understanding of what is good, profitable and honorable then the fear of blows may cease, and they can be persuaded by word and by reason to acquiesce in everything that is good.
Persuasion by the Word of God can be done through his Holy Scriptures or Holy men of God; we believe that one should leave the application of the rod up to God and not think, as the false shepherds of the past, to apply it for him. For there is much vanity under the sun, of which we have testified.
This comes from Plato, Theaetetus, and Clement of Alexandria used it in Protrepticus 12 and Stromata 2; and it has been as seen herein a continuing theme of the Body of Christ, following the prayer of John 17.21-24. But here we must walk on the path of Wisdom a bit more to show:
Eccles. 1.18 .. in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Many men talk of being like God but few are willing to look upon the sorrow; and thus, we illustrate by means of our own conversation the limitations of men, how some are genuine in their love for Wisdom and others play at it after the manner of panderers in the courts of kings. We here recall that Lady in Scarlet Robes mentioned in Revelation 17, who rides over the seven stars of the Church.
Following the idea that with the knowledge of God is sorrow, we can combine this with a point Origen made:
Origen, First Principles Book III.6.6..we must suppose that the entire substance of this body of ours will develop at the time when all things are restored and become one and when God shall be all in all [I Cor. 15.28].
You shall all come to know sorrow. Thus it has been said, This is what ye shall have of my hands: ye shall lay down in sorrow and we witness all Jerusalem in grief [Zechariah 12].
This will occur as men set an example of truth:
Origen, ibid, Book IV.2.4 ...that thou mayest answer words of truth to those who question thee [Prov. 22.20,21; see also I Peter 3.15 quoted previously].
Whilst the balance of Origen's Book IV dwells upon the veil of the Old Testament and the theory of types and shadows and how the Jews missed God's concealed treasures [ibid IV.3.11] to which we take exception as clearly illustrated he does there bring out the Pearl, after a manner of speaking:
Origen, ibid, IV.3.11..because the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field, which when a man findeth he hideth it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field [Matt. 13.44].
Where Origen left off is:
Matthew 13.45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
13.46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
We know that the Pearl is the Messiah, and, being the Word or Wisdom of God, is not a substance, nor, as Origen puts in Book IV.4.2, not confined to any place, but nevertheless, it behooves us to try to walk as he walked [sic.]; see also 1 John 2.6.
The only way to walk as he walked is to obey his commandments, among which is to do the will of the Father, which includes that final day of praise for Jerusalem where the Tabernacle and the House of Prayer for all people are restored to their place. For the Will of God is best seen as a Will of Inheritance, and those who would walk with Him should claim their portion in it, and claiming it, thereby witness the Glory of God. For this cause, then, one should be knowledgeable of that Will [which is the burden of God] and, being informed of it, do it. So we seek those whom Origen--who perceived some of the Wisdom describes as follows:
Origen, ibid. IV.4.8 ..we have proved to the best of our ability in the foregoing chapters, that all things that exist were made by God, and that there is nothing that was not made except the nature of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and that because God, who is good by nature, wished to have those whom he might benefit and who might enjoy receiving his benefits, he made creatures worthy of himself, that is, creatures capable of worthily receiving him, whom he also says he has begotten as sons [re: Is. 1.2]
Among those whom we know who fill the criteria mentioned by Origen, we know there is the Watchman, whom, and whose purpose, we addressed in considerable detail.
Chief among the Watchmen should be the one who sits atop Saint Peter's Chair; and since he presumes to carry the Keys of the Kingdom, which our troop also shares, we wonder if we might impose upon his good will to bring a simple offering to Jerusalem?-the subject of which we have summarized in Part II of this work and detailed a bit more in Philistia Triumph Thou because of me.
In these steps let's not quibble over the Word of God but rather walk with it. May we prevail upon Saint Peter's Chair to re-order its conversation, so that it no longer contains the spirit of antiSemitism but more the hope and unity described in Clement's Epistles, who did not need to rail against anyone or the Law to promote what is good? In Clement's epistles (we use them by illustration but for the lack of space we would have quoted them) there is a spirit which we can build upon, and through which, by not condemning the Law, we can embrace the Jews and the Moslems in a Unity of One. This, I think, is a fair thing to ask, that the antiSemitism of Paul be removed from the Gospel.
By this presence we hope that you can accept our ladder as a bridge by which many may cross over--as it were--the Jordan. Raising such a bridge can cover a multitude of sins, of which the Catholic Church has brought to its account some murky waters.
We have added to our troop the scholars of the church mentioned herein, trusting that we have justly maintained their context; and, whilst reasoning with you, doing the same with them. To this end, then, we believe we have treated them fairly-though we would have quoted them more were we able to impose more upon your patience-and to this end we hope you will amicably receive this suport of our aims in Against Leviathan .
You must agree that the key to our salvation is in the precept that the Wisdom of God is the Messiah; and that wisdom has an eternal nature to it-as its issue is always the same, to defend the poor and the afflicted among us, to which effort we are needful of your shoulders. You will find in this a divine sense [Prov.2.5]; and by this, the spiritual things we ask you to query (well within your means), are not of bodily senses-to which man frequently succumbs, being prevented by material reasons-but by some other which God calls divine.
I cannot forget my reason (which begets Mercy) to the homeless, nor can we turn from those who suffer from the jealousies of religion and their murderous frenzies-such frenzies will escalate: witness the massacre of the many innocent souls at prayer in the Mosque in Hebron, and then the shooting in New York-souls we might have saved and them that follow...
By this presence, of the need for good works, keeping in mind the leaven, with the Pharaoh's burden, we humbly submit ourself to your mercy-hoping in defense of these matters you will reply-and remain,
Pope John Paul II
Dear Pope John Paul II,
We sent this letter by way of Christ's messengers and hope that it finds you in good health. We know we have caught you in your twilight years, and, fearing that when you pass away you may leave some important things undone, we feel here a sense of urgency to reach your Holiness.
Each person who sat in Saint Peter's Chair has dealt with the seasons in a different way. Your person has had the most important seat in the House of God, since it was during your tenure that the Children of Israel were restored to their Promised Land; and you not only witnessed this event but also the burnt offering which preceded it. You also witnessed the greatest period of falling away from the Church: many churches are crumbling from old age, lack of priests, unattendance, then abandoned, leaving many more added to our list of the fatherless.
Just as a person suffers from the decay of old age, so too does the Body of Christ, as explained earlier in this text and our appendixes.
As the body ages and comes to decay-through all kinds of illnesses- so also goes its mind. Jerome said it so well:
Old age bears all, even the mind, away [Jerome, Letter #52 ].
We reflect upon your past good works and current concern over the tribulations which now shake our world (we are like women in travail with our hands on our knees); your stand relative to the tragedy of Bosnia gives hope to all who weep for the poor, the afflicted, and the fatherless growing everywhere among us. Here, in America, most of the children are fatherless, being abandoned through divorce and unwed relationships. Throughout the world, for the same and other reasons, including war, we see more fatherless. So you, papa, have held your tenure during a period which lacked fathers more than any other. I know this well, being a War Baby myself and made fatherless, and am also a father of a little girl who also is fatherless. So hear me, papa , I know the cries of the fatherless.
The world too suffers from the same ills that attend old age: an old world is passing by and, whilst harboring the birth of a New Heavens and a New Earth (confuse not our portion with the New Age claims), it seems that the old world will not itself retire without meeting more bloodshed. We speak of the many bitter feuds inherited from the world past: Moslem against Jew; Christian against Moslem; and Moslems and Christians against Jews. In these conflicts, we can all agree, there has been no Salvation in the earth. Rather than Salvation the conflict of one religion over another has brought damnation to the earth. We speak of desolation and call to your attention the concern of Revelation 11.18 mentioned earlier herein.
You cannot stop wars of the flesh, though you may inhibit them, but you can mitigate, or even end, the wars over the Holy Spirit which have taken great toll over the centuries. As all of those within our purview call themselves the Children of Abraham, it behooves us to spend a few moments examining ways to get them together, as was promised to the Heirs, which the prophets and their scholars agreed should occur when the Children of Israel are restored to the Holy Land.
We write from the Heirs' point of view, and we hope you will humor us to the extent that you will respond to this letter's desire: a Unity among men and no less than that Unity Promised to Abraham long ago. We write to you because it was your church who first claimed that Catholic Cause.
If you consider our inheritance promised long ago to Abraham, that it brought a blessing to the earth not desolation as now so well accommodated by the governors of men we know that we can bring you to a point of view which facilitates reconciliation of the diverse opinions and beliefs which arm men.
We know you will agree that it has not been the intention of God to arm men but rather to disarm them. If you will give us your Mind and Temperance, we can show you in a few words how work to this end can be more effectively achieved- not through the aged criteria of the past-but that offered in the Bible and described in part here.
A Large Troop behind us
We have included material in our work which explains the views of a large troop of sages, saints, and prophets-Jesus among them--who support our position. For your benefit we added Clement, Ignatius, Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, Jerome and other Fathers of the Church. Let us begin with a few criteria upon which they all agree.
Doctrines which limit God and also other images carved to imitate Him are idols. All of those who are in my troop confirm that even a doctrine can be like an idol. Idols are distinguished by virtue of the fact that they place a limitation on God, of whom all of the souls in our troop say is ineffable. God is One, they all say: God is all in all. A doctrine which limits God is illustrated in the idea of the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul gave the Holy Scriptures that name, Old Testament. By calling the Witness of God, Old and therefore abolished [II Corinthians 3.13 et al], Paul placed a limitation on God to the effect that He cannot keep His Word. To this extent our troop will confirm that Paul was wrong in many of his presumptions upon God. The Church that followed him is also wrong in having accepted those limitations.
We witness, for example, the long argued Iconoclastic conflicts in the early days of the church. All of these arguments were over doctrine and quite definitely served more to distract from the ineffable nature of God than to help us commune with Him better. Over this one doctrine millions upon millions of people were and continue to be murdered.
Central to the controversy is now the Koran , which took the side of the Iconoclasts and adhering to their doctrine persecuted themselves those who "worshipped idols". From their point of view the Catholic Church still worships idols. While this rather unfortunate dispute brewed, another doctrine, the Nicene Creed, added more heat to the fire, as discussed in part herein. Upon the adoption of the Holy Trinity there were then in the fourth century A.D. as many murders over the Trinity as now.
Whenever a sect goes to war with another in dispute over the image of God--with one forcing the image of God on another--it is murder. For there is no man who can describe the image of God, either through doctrine or a chisel.
Here we agree with Tertullian, the early prophets, and others, who pointed out that doctrines can set up false images which are no less idol worship than the stones in which many of those images are cast.
When a man is dying from those things which take advantage of old age, sometimes he can be given a New Spirit, a breath of New Life, and return to the blessing of life with the same vigor of youth as before. Because God sees all things, and nothing can be hidden from his view-most certainly the perceptions in this work-often His Cures are different from those the Vain Human Mind contemplates. If you will give us your attention we should be able to inspire to this indifferent and murderous world a Cure He long ago contemplated, which, if it would be good for the world, so too would it be good for the Catholic Church; and being good for them, no doubt it would also help to Cure my own nation, America, of its ills. The Cure of which we speak redirects the attention of the world from its petty internecine brawls-mostly caused by politicians-back to the original idea behind the Christian and Holy Catholic Church. For the original idea behind the Christian Church was to spread the teachings of Jesus the Messiah to the ends of the earth-which commission has been accomplished on several occasions; and we learned that the way to spread the Gospel of the Messiah was through loving one another [sic. The Golden Rule].
The Word initially perceived by the early Nazarene Church was that they must follow the Teachings of Jesus the Messiah and these reduce down to obeying the Golden Rule. Thus, we are continually reminded of his principal commandment: that you love one another as he loved you; by this way others will know that you are His disciples, that you love one another. Before his crucifixion, His Gospel and Keys to His Kingdom were entrusted to the care of Saint Peter.
Many fought over the Cathedra of St. Peter, too many sects to list but some we discussed here in part. We must also include among all the sects following Saint Peter--who honored the Law of Moses and Jesus the Messiah--the Moslems, based upon the following:
Koran, The Table 5:44..After those prophets we sent forth Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating that which was revealed before it in the Torah, a guide and an admonition to the righteous.
This is a good argument: Jesus confirmed and corroborated the Torah, the Law of Moses, which is the Gospel St. Peter and St. James taught, as evidenced in their epistles.
Jesus is the Messiah in the Koran:
Koran, IMRANS 3:45 The angels said to Mary: "Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary..
Here we have God confirming in the Koran that Jesus is a Word from Him. And that His Name is the Messiah. The only way to read the Messiah is, of course, as The Word of God. The prophesies illustrate His times and members. Except for the prophesies of The Word, we have no image of it.
Not Fighting over images. We can call The Word the Son of God or The Mighty God. But what does this say? What kind of image do you have in your mind concerning this thing? What does God look like? How does the image of God differ from a prophet of God? or David? or Moses? Behold, the Messiah was created as another Moses, even as that prophet of whom Moses spake whom Jesus said He was:
Deuteronomy 18.15-18.18 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken..and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
18.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Shocking! Jesus not only claimed this title, He used the epithet, saying, that He speaks only what the father had commanded Him-and this includes what was prophesied of Him: that which He would say and do.
Coupled with Him is the Angel mentioned in the Torah:
Exodus 23.20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
23.21 Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My Name is in Him.
This character has been further defined as The Word of God . We are told that He knows the secrets of men, to which end we now call your attention, for it presumes that men in the Last Days will have many dark secrets they might prefer to hide, and He will expose them. Some of these secrets are easy to expose.
Let's, for the sake of argument, refer to the part of the Koran, what it viewed as the image of The Word of God and how it concluded that the image of God will shock you (as it did Moses). An Arab, when in shock, uses the exclamation, Allah!; and thus the Koran refers to God by this name. A more passive but no less shocking name for it is JHVH, I am that I am. How it got to be that thing is a process which can only be described as ineffable. Yet, it says that in the Latter Days all men will know Him and bow down to Him. How you will come to know Him, all the sages and prophets agree, is through His Wisdom. Now Wisdom teaches us (because Wisdom is pregnant, like leaven, continuously growing "to expose all secrets", as Jesus said) that all those murders which have been going on to put an image on Him have been to no avail, which we hope to persuade you if you will walk with us for awhile.
The Church, being called the Body of Christ, cannot reflect any image which is not already in the Messiah. That is to say, whatever is in the members of the Messiah, the Body of Christ must agree upon and reflect. If, for instance, a member of the Messiah is to make the Law Honorable or rebuild the Temple--which is true, as illustrated herein--then it must support both the desire of making the Law Honorable and the restoration of the Temple--the end of which is our purpose with you. To this end, then, all the murders which were accomplished over doctrine which had nothing to do with training the Body of Christ to support the Messiah's Works with good conscience, in the Last Days was to no avail. They died for vanity's sake and not for God's.
I append by reference a group of letters between myself and the honorable William F. Buckley Jr. (a Catholic of world renown) which further examine the argument we express. I thus refer you to those letters and their associated documents for the history behind the presence we set before you now.
Most governors and their nations think they will live forever. But more often than not in the fullness of time the towers they built to their own vanity become hidden under the furrows of the plowman, and the doctrines which once raised the ruined towers become forgotten.
Doctrines and the towers that are built to defend them suffer the same pains of age as the flesh. After a time they become slow to act and finally witless and easily overcome by attacks from either within or without. So it is that we can say to you that to meet today's needs one must not search for answers in the aged and dying doctrines (no man will contest that the Catholic Church is dying) but rather we must search for other answers.
There are, and always have been, old men who refused to let go of the things of this world, even to the end, and bitterly complained all the way to their tomb: not willing to let go of their earthly possessions, hoping even that they would even take them into their tombs. Little good have their gold and silver treasures done them, and soon tomb robbers and the worms take their fill of what is left. David put it so well: once in the tomb you can no longer cry out against evil.
High Towers--or institutions of governments of all kinds--refuse to believe that they can suffer the same end as a corpse. Go to the valley of Kidron and look at the tombs on its sides, on the Mt. of Olives, that have been emptied and are in disarray. The capstones are tossed aside and broken and the only thing in the carefully chiselled sarcophagi are those creatures which live in the soil of the earth. And those who built the tombs and once put flowers over them and grieved over them are long since gone and forgotten.
Compare the Church to the aging David--whose tomb is also lost--for a moment, and reflect upon Jerome's letter to Nepotianus, where he comments on the relationships we are about to discover, so to encourage you to explore new paths which are yet Old but still relevant in the Holy Scriptures.
As David lay dying, his blood had chilled such that no one could keep him warm. Finally a virgin, named Abishag, the Shunamite, was brought in to him and she kept him warm until he passed away.
Old Age does chill the blood in many more ways than we can express here. But one way in which old age chills is perhaps best expressed in the saying,
The body is strong but the Spirit is weak
Too often we find-even in our youth, mind you!-a coldness come over us, where our Spirit is too weak to do good. This has effected our world, partly due to a dying Catholic and Holy Church, and partly due to the denial of the Virgin of Wisdom [re: Ecclus 6.19.], a field for whom the past had more esteem, and which is now cultivated by the politics of the flesh.
We call Wisdom a Virgin--for she never ages and is always faithful to Truth, which is God--and thus we here intercede on her behalf to show you how she can bring warmth to not only you in your last years but also, should you take her beside you, to the world. For we know that in warming your aging flesh we will warm also a cold, bitter world.
This idea is not a new one. Isaiah 7.14 picked up on it, as it would appear, to announce the Messiah who would be born of a Virgin who, like Abishag, would bring warmth to a chillingly cold world. And it is because of this Sign, whose appearance was prophesied to be at the time Israel is scattered to all the nations of the world (Isaiah 7.14-7.24), that we can now note for edification, and also the direction of our argument, that the time of the Virgin has passed, as Israel has been restored to the map once again, as Promised. It has been two days since the diaspora, as Hosea said it would be, until the scattered remnant of Israel are revived, to wit:
Hosea 6.1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
6.2 After two days will he revive us:
Thus, we know it is time for you to act.
Surely the Children of Israel were torn and smitten-much through the actions of the Catholic Church we regret to say-but now they have been revived and put back upon the land which was long ago promised them. And this was done even under the marvelous circumstances of having been despised and scattered from one nation to another to all corners of the world. You, Sir, have witnessed this with us.
Between you and me, Sir, is a wide gulf. But I am a book which easily bridges seas; and I know the space between us is bridged when I am taken to heart; then I, as Abishag, shall give warmth to your aching frame.
I mention this gulf between us because you reign from a great height which is difficult for me to touch. Sensing you may wish to leave behind you unresolved the perplexing problems we have discussed, causing more unrest, though they are in your capacity to resolve, we bring these judgments now to your bed:
The dispute between the Koran and the Holy See, you can resolve;
The dispute between the Jews and the Christian Community, you can resolve;
The dispute between the Christian Community and the Jews and the Koran you can, thus, resolve.
You, Sir, are seated on the Chair of St. Peter, yet those who have occupied that chair since and including Ignatius have not accepted the precepts of St. Peter. We speak of the argument of faith versus works which Paul introduced to the Jerusalem Church. May it suffice to say that I, as a disciple of St. Peter and St. James, have been, as it were, left out in the cold by your Chair; and I know that if you can satisfy me, you will also feed those others who honor the Law of Moses of whom we have just mentioned: which includes the Jews and the Moslems. This is a good light I would put on you if you will receive it, and should you gaze upon the light from our direction, you will see that opening the doors of the aging Catholic Church to them who share the views held by St. Peter and St. James, and the other apostles of the poor Church of Jerusalem, could heal a lot of wounds.
Though I may be the only living disciple of St. Peter and St. James, who has recently written on this matter, there may be others who sympathize with this need.
We ask that when the epistles of Paul are taught, they are introduced with a warning label to wit: that they have been the source of the holocaust and many other persecutions too numerous to list here. Furthermore, The Cathedra of St. Peter should offer space within its chambers where followers akin to St. Peter's and St. James' ministry may worship.
Pogroms against the Law prevent access St. Peters Church to those who honor the Law. St. Peter and St. James would never have approved any of the persecutions of the Jews or the Pauline declamations against the Law of Moses. We should also be able to agree (we have many Church Fathers who would agree with us) that the idols which pervade the chambers of St. Peter's Church would be seen as idols by St. Peter and St. James. We know, however, that there is no harm in images so long as they are not worshipped, knowing that the Word of God has no Image, except words.
Within the pages of His book is a promise that all men will be reconciled to God one day. We speak of His Wisdom [Glory], including:
The restoration of the Tabernacle
The restoration of the Temple
The Catholic Church is at an unusual crossroad in its aged history, for now it is being faced with the issue whether to support the Promises identified above, of which we note that the Second Coming of Messiah must support, to wit:
Zechariah 6.12 ..Thus speaketh the LORD of Hosts, saying, behold the man whose name is The Branch; and He shall grow up out of his place, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord.
The Temple was designed as a House of Prayer for all men . Whilst we thought it could be nice to have a minaret at Saint Peter's Cathedral, where a Mullah could call the faithful to prayer in many tongues, we nevertheless realized that the presence of the artwork within Saint Peters would become a source of distraction to both the Moslems and the Jews.
A Great White Elephant carrying a small engraving, nearby the Church, might dispel any apprehensions of other Iconoclasts:
Some blind men who had never known an elephant were brought before a Great White Elephant. One touched its foot and described the elephant in these terms; another touched the trunk, rising to the sky; another the ears; and another, who did not touch the elephant, passing by, was flicked on the side of his head by its tail, and startled by this, he cried out, Allah! None of the blind men were able to describe the Great White Elephant and those who built this Church and its fine works of art have fared none the more so.
If you would explore satisfying us on these matters aforementioned: 1) of making room for us, who would make the Law honorable, in Saint Peter's, knowing that all those who worship in its Chambers shall be Holy to God; and 2) provide spiritual support to the restoration of the Tabernacle and our Universal House of Prayer (Temple of Jerusalem)-hoping that you might plead those preferences for our House of Prayer outlined here and 3) the exclusion of the portion of the Apostle Paul's antiSemitic teachings from your pulpit, then we believe a New Spirit can be seen in the world from which the Catholic Church would receive new vigor.
By this presence we believe that the Promised House of Prayer for all people may be raised without sacrifice and without the exclusionary representations seen in the other "houses of God."
However you leave this world, you must leave it in good conscience. At the seat of your faith is a chair and a throne upon which the burden of salvation was placed. We think you will agree, that as Paul railed against the Law of Moses (in neglect of the inheritance of that House of Prayer for which we, the Heirs, have been waiting), had he been told that his castigations would lead to the persecution and holocaust of the six million Jews of our time, he should have altered his teaching, how the Jews had been abandoned by God and their Law abolished. We know that the Spirit of the Law would never have told Paul to teach a doctrine which would produce so much suffering and bloodshed...
We also speak in the Spirit of the Law but, unlike Paul, we do not allow that the Law itself should be a burden to any person. God forbid that a man should be condemned because he would try to do his part in honoring the Torah.
The Gospel Paul taught became a doctrine not of good will but of malice to all those who did not obey it; and sometimes from one eon to another, what was accepted by one council of presbyters was denied by another, and so on through these past eighteen hundred years. Surely, because of the abundance of the contradictions, which continue to this day, you will agree that if the Holy Spirit was guiding the Church it was obviously absent upon occasion. Whilst all laws are created to instill good conscience, doctrines do not always achieve this end, and through age and the revelation of those dark secrets which men think can be hidden, the seat of the doctrine becomes as a city under siege. For, like cities, doctrines are created by men, subject to neglect and corruption; men drink and are merry, allowing their crops to fail, and then horsemen appear on their border. As the men drunk on their own vintages try to defend them, as inebriated soldiers roused from their stupor at the sound of the trumpet, they make a last, desperate attempt to defend their weak and crumbling walls. But this is vanity, and anyone who would come to such a city which is drunk on its own vintage would tell them that what their forefathers took such great care to build they left in jeopardy.
We do not ask you to abandon your faith, but to abandon those things which are in it which pretend to judge for God, as to who should be thrown into the pit and who should not. This is a small thing to ask, and we would hope that those within the sound of our voice will allow God to defend His Judgments. History will bear us out, that the doctrines of which we have complained-who would murder for God-have not led to Salvation but to the pit. Those who were pierced by those doctrines ended up in huge, blood-drenched pits; the pastors who led them now wear robes stained by that blood.
There is a faith in God, of which we spoke, which looks to the fulfillment of a rather lengthy and detailed Promise to both Jew and Gentile. It does not speak of torture and murder so to save Souls for heaven, but rather the resurrection of the flesh to a Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. It does not place the Judgment Seat of God at the head of thieves and murderers, but rather at the head of men who feed the poor and attend to the afflicted among us, who say by their presence in good works that God Reigneth.
God has stated in Isaiah that he hates robbery for burnt offering. In many ways the church, and other faiths which source themselves from the Holy Scriptures, have wandered from the path, and though they gave up burnt offerings they tried to rob Him of His ability to fulfill His Promise to Israel.
When it is time for Promises to be fulfilled-for as Origen says each has its time-what must Christ think if he sees what we have seen and knows what we have known; or how too can we plead, knowing it time to restore the House of prayer, that we should let another do it?
We come to you as Zerubbabel, in the sense that Zerubbabel justified the return of the Children of Israel from their captivity of seventy years, and restoration of the Temple, by opening before Cyrus the pages of a book.
Sometimes men are confused between the will of the flesh and the will of God. Know that my flesh is in your hand, for those who know me can testify that the Spirit of my flesh exists only in a book. And my spirit is the spirit of many, an enormous troop. How could you be against me?
I fear that I shall not obtain your audience, as your chambers are far from me, but your Chair in time I will reach. And whilst I know that I may not reach you before you are taken to your tomb--where once in it your soul cannot save--I am comforted in knowing that the troop of saints and prophets with me are set in such precision that these writings can easily be recreated. For they are a progression, as a ladder, and each step a beam of light. Behold this marvel, from one age to another, we return again and again. Have not the heart of a fool which is like a broken dish [Ecclus. 21.14]-and accept this Abishag, who courts the aghast stares of aeons, as a mariner does the deep.
Lo, for mine own part,
when I mark the nature of man,
how he ever reverts to perversity and wrongdoing,
to sin and anguish of guilt,
a fountain of bitter mourning wells up within me..
that I raise a bitter lament and make a doleful moan and groan,
and keep plying my harp in mournful dirge and bitter lamentation,
till wrongdoing be brought to an end,
and men have no more to suffer punishing plague and stroke.
[Dead Sea Scrolls Book of Hymns, 20]
We defer to your judgment, the Chair of Saint Peter, knowing that in Saint Peter many may be justified.
We know that what we have asked of you is what Christ Himself--who knows the issues of this book- -would require. Ready to answer any questions and support any effort to this end, I remain,
Updated 7.18.99; 5.27.2000; 4.13.02; 2.18.06
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Copyright © 1996-2006 Mel West. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1996-2006 Maravot. All rights reserved.